Oilers Kick Off Training Camp With Several New Faces

Discussion in 'HFNHL Talk' started by CopperAndBlueGM, Oct 2, 2017.

  1. CopperAndBlueGM

    CopperAndBlueGM Registered User

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    It has been a busy off-season as GM Niece Sr. has begun the painful process of rebuilding a franchise. While the process will be slow, especially as the team rebuilds for the future, tanking is never an option.

    The goal always is to try and make the play-offs and so the team looked heavily to free agency to manage the transition period but also had to manage a budget close to the cap floor for a team that could go bankrupt before the season ends if fans don’t show up.

    Out: David Desharnais (UFA), Henrik Zetterburg (UFA), Anton Lander (UFA – Europe), Ryan Garbutt (UFA – Europe), Jarome Iginla (UFA), Justin Fontaine (UFA), Johnny Oduya (UFA), Niklas Grossmann (Europe), Ondrej Pavalec (UFA), Nicolas Deslauriers (FA – not tendered a QO)

    In: Antoine Vermette (FA), Patrick Sharp (FA), Lauri Korpikoski (FA), Quinton Howden (FA), Dale Weise (Trade), Beau Bennett (FA), Dennis Wideman (FA), Michal Rozsival (FA), Joonas Korpisalo (Trade)

    At the first press conference GM Niece would not respond to questions about the many rumored trade inquiries the team may or may not have received choosing instead to focus on the upcoming season. “We are proud of the team we have assembled and are confident that we have enough depth and skill to foster strong completion here at camp. This camp more than most has many positions and roles up for the taking and so we will maximize our opportunities to try different combinations during camp to ensure we are well positioned to fight for a spot in the play-offs.”

    The opening exhibition games will be a home and home series against the Ducks whom the Oilers met in the first round of last year’s play-offs so this one could be a bit chippy if some returning players still harbor some grudges.

    While the pre-season will definitely determine the regular season roster the initial assumed line-up is a s follows:

    J. Neal – T. Johnson – P. Sharp
    A. Cogliano – P. Stastny – L. Korpikoski
    B. Bennett – F. Nielson – B. Connolly
    G. McKegg – A. Vermette – J. T. Brown
    Extras: D. Weiss, Q. Howden, T. Fritz

    D. Seidenberg – D. Wideman
    T. Daley – A. Marchenko
    J. Benn – A. Sustr
    Extras: M. Rozsival, R. Bortuzzo, T. Fedun

    C. Johnson
    J. Korpisalo
    D. Tokarski
     
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  2. MatthewFlames

    MatthewFlames Registered User

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    Very strong start to the turnaround - it's good to have you back.
     
  3. CopperAndBlueGM

    CopperAndBlueGM Registered User

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    The HFNHL Oilers had a surprisingly strong preseason with the best record of 13-1 but of course it is preseason so we can only hope the team plays half as well when it matters.

    There are no trophies for preseason, not a single dollar in revenue (???) for the team most likely to go bankrupt by mid- season, and of course it meant the Oilers with their low waiver priority lost out on a couple of waiver players that could have played regular minutes with the team.

    That said let’s look at the positives and areas of concern.

    Positives:
    1. Top two lines centered by Tyler Johnson and Paul Stastny respectively have shown some unusually good chemistry as the Oilers led the preseason with an average of 4.71 goals per game.
    2. In the fight for the final few forward spots J.T Brown was a great surprise as he recorded 8 points.
    3. Despite the team being regularly outshot Chad Johnson was in mid-season form with a .923 sav%.
    Concerns:
    1. Defensive units – since the return of Marchenko early in the preseason the team could not effectively rebalance the pairings and as a result but shots against and goals against went up.
    2. While some lines have found good chemistry that cannot be said for the third line which has struggled at both ends of the ice.
    3. Finances – with the slimmest bank account in the league the pressure is on to win to attract fans as, despite having slashed payroll, the team could be bankrupt before the season ends if the fans don’t show up.
    During the preseason there were a few other player changes to note as the organization attempted to add some depth but found it lost as many as it could add which included Kevin Porter being signed and then lost to waivers in 72 hours.

    Additions: Zbynek Michalek (FA), Kevin Porter (FA), Wade Megan (FA), Troy Grosenick (Waivers)

    Subtractions: Alexei Marchenko (Europe), Quinton Howden (Europe), Kevin Porter (Waivers), Michael Rozsival (Waivers).

    As a result the opening night roster is expected to look like this

    J. Neal – T. Johnson – P. Sharp
    A. Cogliano – P. Stastny – L. Korpikoski
    B. Bennett – F. Nielson – B. Connolly
    B. Bennett – A. Vermette – J. T. Brown
    Extras: G. McKegg

    D. Seidenberg – D. Wideman
    T. Daley – R. Bortuzzo
    J. Benn – A. Sustr
    7th dman Z. Michalek

    C. Johnson
    T. Grosenick
     
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