Monday, September 28, 2009

Oilers Trim to 27

After the Oilers' game against the Canucks on Sunday night, they started making moves to finalize their roster by cutting five players and brining their current roster down to 27 players. On the way out was goalie Devan Dubnyk, forward Rob Schremp, defenseman Taylor Chorney and forward Kip Brennan were all sent to the AHL. Forward Jordan Eberle was sent back down to his junior team in Regina for another season down there.

Both Schremp and Eberle were having reasonable camps with the Oilers, but at the end of the day, it looks like there was just too many smaller, talented forwards and some had to see time elsewhere to really get the playing time that they need. In Schremp's case, this could have been the last straw, as his new contract in the summer is thought to be considered his last kick at the can in Edmonton.

Ales HemskySheldon SourayNikolai Khabibulin
Shawn HorcoffTom GilbertJeff Deslauriers
Patrick O'SullivanDenis Grebeshkov
Sam GagnerLubomir Visnovsky
Andrew CoglianoSteve Staios
Dustin PennerLadislav Smid
Robert NilssonJason Strudwick
Mike ComrieTheo Peckham
Ethan Moreau

Marc Pouliot

Fernando Pisani

Liam Reddox

Zach Stortini

Gilbert Brule

Steve MacIntyre

J-F Jacques

Ryan Stone

With an injury on the blueline, it looks like the opening night seven have been decided upon and will now practice together, leading up to the season opener. There is a fair bit of offense to come from the blueline this season, but it will likely be the defensive players that will work the hardest, including Steve Staios (pictured), who will be in charge of looking after their new number one goalie, Nikolai Khabibulin. We all know that the Oilers are going to be a good skating team down the ice into the offensive end, but it will be players like Staios and Ladislav Smid, who will be in charge of making sure that the opposition's transition game doesn't bite them in the ass.

Salary CapThe Oilers have three cuts to make, as Theo Peckham will be on the Injured Reserve to start the season and they will need those cuts to fall below the cap ceiling. With Peckham's salary in the calculation, the Oilers have 27 players on their roster at a cap hit of just over $59.5 million. That is about $2.7 million over the cap ceiling. I'm not sure if the depth players of the Oilers will be enough to slide underneath the cap, so I am quite curious to see who goes down and who stays up this week.

The Oilers showed a fair bit of offensive prowess this preseason, with the most notable players being Ales Hemsky, Patrick O'Sullivan and Mike Comrie. Comrie's return has really added another element to the Oilers' game this time around, but then the question of consistency rears it's ugly head and doubts start to linger. There should be enough there to keep the team competitive and fight for that last playoff spot in the Western Conference, unless Khabibulin has a stellar season and keeps them in the Northwest Division race. If so, there could be a good number of Oilers to choose from for your fantasy pool. If you think they are going to win, pick 'em... if not, stay away from the second line players.

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