Some Oiler Rumblings

We haven't heard much in respect to the Oilers since prospect camp started. It's almost like management took some time and ignored the dealings in the NHL to watch the kids play like so many Edmontonians did.

But, not all is totally quiet...

Mike Comrie

To further an article Brownlee did on Oilers Nation today regarding Mike Comrie and his status with the Oilers, we did a little digging to see if anyone we knew had heard anything. We didn't find much, but a couple tidbits that were interesting.

Mike Comrie's first choice is Edmonton. He's let the management know it and he's advised those that are listening that he'd be willing to wait a little for another 1 year deal until Edmonton gets the "holes" filled that need filling. Comrie's take is that he didn't get the chance to prove what he wanted last year when he made his return. He'd like to have one full healthy season with the Oilers to get his numbers back on track and in a place the Oilers find him either a) indispensible or b) worth a lot more than $1.2 million on the open market.

Those are all good things for Edmonton fans hoping the Oilers keep Comrie one more year. The trick is that Comrie might not wait forever. As Brownlee pointed out (and we hadn't heard any specific names, but I believe Brownlee when he says it) there are teams kicking tires. There shouldn't be much concern over the next five days or so with teams like Chicago and San Jose battling over Hjalmarsson as they'd be silly to make other moves while this Hjalmarsson RFA offer thing is going on, but after that all bets are off. If Edmonton wants Comrie signed, they need to do it in a week or two. My guess is if they don't we might see Comrie in a San Jose uniform.

Simon Gagne

Despite how big I think it is that Gagne could get placed on waivers, the people I talked to don't seem to hear anything in the Oilers office about it. They think it's because no one truly believes that the Flyers would waive Gagne and that eventually a trade would be approved by Gagne to someplace like L.A.

I was also corrected about Gagne's ability to be traded at the end of the season if Edmonton claims him on waivers. The belief is that Gagne would have to be put back on waivers before being traded by Edmonton at the deadline. If this is true, it takes away a major factor in picking Gagne up as an investment.

I still believe if Gagne is put on waivers a team would be silly not to take a proven goal scorer, but the Oilers do have depth on left wing. Perhaps it's why there hasn't been much excitement about the rumors.

Teemu Hartikainen and Linus Omark

There is some buzz going that outside of the big three (Eberle, MPS and Hall) Hartikainen was the sleeper prospect in this years camp and may get some time with the big club. There is a feeling with the lack of options at that 3rd line center spot, Teemu may get a look if he does well prior to making the jump to the NHL.

Hartikainen caught the eye of a number of coaches and management.

There is also word that some think Linus Omark who many call a shoe in for Oklahoma, might be considered more than just a straight to the minors guy. Obviously Omark wasn't at camp, but there is some thought he might get serious consideration and be that 4th prospect Renney was talking about in interviews when he said "who knows, maybe we're taking about more than three guys making this team".

Rob Neidermayer

It sounds as though Edmonton wasn't too concerned they lost out on Neidermayer and their kicking tires wasn't an official offer. It was rumored Neidermayer had given serious consideration to Edmonton, but that Buffalo offered something official more quickly and he jumped on the sure thing.

The Oilers may not do much about that third line center spot until arbitration hearings or pre-signings with players like Gilbert Brule. The Oilers might be back and forth about whether or not they already have something in their system that could effectively fill that 3rd line void.

Tom Gilbert

Spoke to a guy who spoke to a guy who had the chance to talk to Tom Gilbert (take that to mean I have no idea how valid this is). They said Gilbert was extremely excited for the coming season and getting the chance to play with Ryan Whitney.

Gilbert was the biggest benefactor when Whitney arrived and went on an incredible offensive point producing run. Gilbert feels his game is more suited to that style of play and that his pairings last year left him to be the more defensive minded of the two defencemen, which he wasn't totally comfortable with. Whitney liked to work with Gilbert and Gilbert with Whitney.

My buddy seems to think Gilbert can get 60 points plus playing with Whitney for an entire season and being on the top powerplay unit. I'm not as sold, but I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility.

Taylor Hall Partying It Up

There were some spottings of Taylor Hall throughout prospect camp around Edmonton. Some of the recollections of what Taylor Hall was doing involved guest bartending, partying and enjoying the nightlife. As you can guess, reaction to it was mixed and sparked some conversation about the Oilers arranging a living situation with a seasoned pro for Hall during his rookie campaign.

I agree on the living situation as many good players like Crosby and Gagner have done it, but not because he was seen partying a couple times during the offseason. Let me be the first to say the following about people seeing Hall partying... who cares.

I didn't see Taylor Hall except at the camp. He looked a bit sluggish at times, but he was probably beat up and tired from the non-stop press and media buzz surrounding his being the 1st overall pick and it being to a hockey mad market like Edmonton. Some should consider it a good sign that Hall is enjoying what the city has to offer.

I don't want to hear of course that Hall isn't preparing to be the best he can be for the Oilers this season because of course Edmonton has a lot riding on his success, but sheesh, players like the Staals, Jason Arnott, Patrick Kane and half the Montreal Canadiens roster have done worse than guest bartend somewhere. This is no big deal and shouldn't be taken to the extreme.

Shawn Horcoff

I've been told from people who have seen Horcoff, is that he's leaned out a bit. There was some concern that he put too much beef on in an effort to get more physical and was concerned about another injury while doing rehab and playing. His overcompensating for it took away from his speed.

Horcoff isn't given much credit for being as fast as he actually is, and I think it will be a good thing if Horcoff is around the weight he was before his injury. Personally I hope that of all the players on this years roster to bounce back or really shine it's Shawn Horcoff.

When the pressure wasn't on him last season as the year closed, he was argueably Edmonton's best forward playing along side Moreau and Pisani. Despite the odds he won't have either as linemates this year, it would be nice to see him pick up where he left off on that little run.


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