Saturday, September 08, 2007

Craig MacTavish Sheds some light RE: Training Camp

Article 1

Article 2

YELLOWKNIFE -- With five goals and six assists through the first six games of the Canada-Russia Super Series

Considering the article was published today, an update including game 7 totals would be present in any *real* newspaper. But who is quibbling?


13 points, 7 of them coming on the PP. The next highest is Giroux at 8, followed by Perron (a guy the Oilers liked) at 7. Turris has put up 6.

Sam Gagner is making the Edmonton Oilers scouts look awfully good.

Lets be honest here. When you're picking in the top 6, it's difficult to screw up. The true test will be to measure how Plante and Nash turn out (15th and 21st overall) compared to the picks in surrounding territory.

It was a pretty heavy price in terms of what we had to pay and what we had to endure (to get that high a pick), but it looks like money well spent," said head coach Craig MacTavish, who can't wait to see Gagner at the Oilers main camp next week.

Am I looking too much into it? What money spent?

"Mactavish who can't wait" - a nice rosy, cheerleading, writer's interpretation.

"We need (Andrew) Cogliano, we need Gagner or (Rob) Schremp, one of those three guys for sure to step up and fill a spot. It would be a disappointment if one of them didn't stay."

Center is getting awfully crowded.


Who do you move to wing if one of them makes the team?

Robert Nilsson, acquired in the Ryan Smyth trade with the Islanders, is being counted on to make the team.

"We have him pencilled in right now," said MacTavish. "It's up to him what he does with it, but we do have a spot for him. We saw him play last year in the playoffs in Wilkes-Barre. We need some power play help and he has the ability to do that.

"He needs a chance at the NHL level. He has to be deserving of that chance ... We feel like it's his spot to lose, for sure."

Combining all these quotes together, along with Lowe stating he'd like to fill in the loss of Pisani internally, it appears to be a rebuild year. Is MacTavish buying into the youth-movement plan? Was the talk of a "win-now" mode just nonsense? Were Souray and Penner just moves to keep the tickets selling and the Oilers from a bottom 5 finish?

What about the PP? Can Nilsson, primarily a passer, play on the 1st line PP? I could see a Hemsky-Nilsson-Penner-Souray-Stoll group. Horcoff-Sanderson-Pouliot-Pitkanen-Tarnstrom as the secondary.

"It's a good beginning to their professional careers," said Lowe. "That they know if they play for the Edmonton Oilers there is a community responsibility.

Chris Pronger obviously missed the memo.

"You always hear it's going to be a competitive camp and all jobs are open, but we're telling the truth this year. There really is great opportunity and we're hopeful the guys are confident enough against NHL players to compete with them.

I found that part amusing

"Plus, Bucky (Springfield Falcons coach Kelly Buchberger) was coaching, so they wanted to impress him, as well.

Nothing like an old-boys network.

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