Currently on the roster including the return of injured Josh Green thier will be 21 players next training camp competing for 13 spots. It seems at the moment that at least 11 are a lock with 8 forwards fighting it out for the two remaining positions. At the end of the regular season the line up should look something like this.
Line #1 Green/Zholtok – Weight – Cleary
Line #2 Smyth – Comrie – Carter
Line #3 Moreau – Marchant – Grier
Line #4 Horcoff – Murray – Laraque
Spare – Pittis
However next year you throw in this list of players and things become a lot more crowded.
RW/LW Michel Riesen,
LW Jani Rita,
C Brian Swanson,
RW/C Paul Comrie,
C Jason Chimera,
C Peter Sarno,
LW Tony Salmelainen
Of the remaining six it seems Michel Riesen has the best chance of making the squad since the Oilers have a need for winger with goal scoring ability. Zholtok and Pittis may both be pushed aside by younger players since both are good utility players neither have the ability to command regular duty. Zholtok and Pittis could be both moved for defensive depth or picks and allow Green and Riesen to take thier spots and have the remainder return to Hamilton for a year without hurting the deveopment of the players or the team.
The battles between the players to make the club will be interesting for the media and fans and difficult for the coaches and managment since thier decisions could alter the direction of the organization over the next couple seasons. But everyone involved can take heart that Read more»
Since being drafted 14th overall in 1997 Michel is the Oiler’s David a potential masterpiece a project which takes time and patience. After coming over to North America for the 1998-99 season it has taken over 200 games in the American Hockey League for him to realize what it takes on a nightly basis to make the leap forward. The largest improvement has come in his willingness to take responsibility for his defensive assignments in neutral and defensive zones.
As ice time increased for him with a more dilligent work ethic the offensive stats began to appear as well with 56 goals over the last 140 games with a multitude of different linemates as well. At the begining of the season Michel had the chance to secure a roster spot with the Oilers but after 12 games he was sent back down. His demotion was not due to lack of effort in either offensive of defensive areas but having been paired up the two other rookies for the majority of the time did not allow him to showcase his talents.
Pure and simple he is a goal scorer and perhaps he does not have the grit and physical presence that the Oilers ideally look for but does however possess talents that could help them become a more well rounded team. Next training camp will tell if the Oiler’s management and coaching have the forsight to place Michel on Doug Weight’s line with Dan Cleary. With Dan Cleary’s game rounding out and Doug Weight’s ability to make players around him better thier may not be a better place for Michel in the league.
At the start of next season Michel will be 22 yrs of age wh Read more»
Exactly 361 days ago, the stage was set
in an eerily similar way. The Kootenay
ICE had just finished off a four game
sweep of the Red Deer Rebels. The
Swift Current Broncos had just come off
a hard fought, six-game series with the
Prince Albert Raiders. Fast forward
almost a year to the day and you’ll find
that as much as things change, the more
they stay the same.
After subduing the Moose Jaw Warriors
in four straight games, the Kootenay
ICE continue the defense of their WHL
title tonight (Friday) against the Swift
Current Broncos (7pm at the Cranbrook
Rec/Plex). The Broncos, coming off a
hard-fought series win against the
Brandon Wheat Kings four games to
two, are backstopped by former ICE
goaltender B.J. Boxma who was
obtained in a trade by the Broncos on
October 24, 2000.
It is sufficed then to say that the
motivational factors coming into this
Eastern Conference Semifinal series
aren’t exactly lacking for the Swift
Current Broncos. That being said,
Kootenay ICE Head Coach Ryan
McGill says he and his charges aren’t
going to change anything to so far what
has been a blueprint for success in the
2001 WHL Playoffs. “We’re going to
prepare basically the same way we
prepared for Moose Jaw,” offered
McGill. “The biggest keys for us is
making sure that we’re playing our
systems and they’re not going to
change. We don’t feel that just because
we’re playing Swift Current that we
have to totally change the way we
forecheck or totally change a certain
way that we play the power-play.
“We’ Read more»