We’re almost there.
As we enter the 3rd week in August, players are ramping up training routines while camp approaches. Coaches and executives are squeezing in a final day or two at the lake before they have to get back at it as well. As the days now pass, the noise of the approaching Oilers season will start to build.
Among the items that have already trickled out are these…
9. Former Oilers D prospect John Marino has inked a 2-year, entry-level contract in Pittsburgh. That seals the deal for Edmonton, who as a result gets a 6th Round pick in 2021 in exchange. Marino’s offence stalled in college this past season. He was blocked in the organization. A fresh start for both sides.
8. This week an arbitrator awarded the Blues’ Joel Edmundson a $3.1m settlement for 2019-20. That leaves St. Louis just $2.7m below the cap. And most NHL General Managers like to have a little wiggle room. So, with Ivan Barbashev still to sign, cash is fast running out for former Oiler Patrick Maroon in his hometown.
7. It has always been way too easy to say that Matthew Barzal was the ultimate price the Oilers paid for the Griffin Reinhart trade. Perhaps as close to being an Oiler as Barzal will ever come was as a guest instructor at the Ethan Bear Hockey Skills camp this past July on the Ochapowace First Nation in Saskatchewan. Speaking of which…
6. With the Oilers system flush with defence prospects it is easy to forget that not Ethan Bear, nor Caleb Jones, William Lagesson, Ryan Stanton, Keegan Lowe or Evan Bouchard led the minor pro ranks in points from the point last season. That honor goes to Logan Day (7-27-34 in 64 games). Those who saw him daily? Were impressed.
5. Shane Starrett is one teammate’s injury away from being up with the big club. After a strong AHL season in Bakersfield (27-12-2, 2.33, 0.918) he currently sits at the top of the pile of minor-pro goalies. Although at 25, Starrett is also at the make-it-or-break-it point of his career. Remember…prospect Stuart Skinner is just 20, and Dylan Wells 21. And others younger are coming.