First off, Marc Pouliot will likely be placed on the IR for Osteitis Pubis or a “pubis whatever” as Pat Quinn eloquently put it. The Edmonton Journal has a write up on the situation with Pouliot.
A little bit of research shows that it looks like this can be one of those things that sticks around for a while, and has been known to occur within hockey players (Kevin Lowe being one of them, as the Journal mentioned). Lowe was able to return to the lineup within 3 games, but the most effective treatment for this is rest. So don’t expect to see him return to the lineup in any hurry. That will likely work to someone else’s favor that wouldn’t normally be on the line up (say Ryan Stone or Steve MacIntyre).
Pisani reinjured his back again in practice. This nagging back problem kept him out of the lineup for 4 days last year, so don’t expect him to miss too much action.
Subtle line up hints
“We’re going to have a Jacques in the lineup, and we’re going to have a Stone probably in the lineup.”
While Quinn’s comment was very noncommittal on Ryan Stone, it does sound like Stone has won the attention of the coach, however. Expect to see him in the lineup at least until Marc Pouliot returns. I’d actually put him ahead of Nilsson right now on Quinn’s list.
So with the players expected to be on IR, don’t except any big shockers come Wednesday. Likely Liam Reddox will be the only player dropped to the Minors. Pisani and Pouliot will hit the IR, and MacIntyre and Nilsson will linger around until a decision needs to really be made (i.e. Pouliot and/or Pisani return).
So by my books, I think the opening lines will be:
JFJ Horcoff Hemsky
Penner O’Sullivan Comrie (not sure which one will center this line though)
Moreau Gagner Cogliano
Stone Brule Stortini
The only thing I could see is MacIntyre slotting into line 4 LW to have an extra thug in the lineup, however that doesn’t seem to be Quinn’s style.
Now what do they do when Pisani returns? Ideally, with Pisani back in the lineup they’re going to have to cut some salary. Any combination of the remaining players on the roster will fit under the salary cap, however if Tambellini is smart, he isn’t going to scrape through the year with ~ half a million in cap space.
Something’s got to give – take your pick of Robert Nilsson, Fernando Pisani, Ethan Moreau or Steve Staios. I know many of you would say to dump all 4, however logic says Robert Nilsson will be the guy moved. How they choose to do that remains to be seen. There isn’t a great sense of urgency to do this either, however I would hope that the team get it over with once one of the IR guys come back to the lineup (again, assuming Pouliot and Pisani go on the IR) rather than send someone who has to clear waivers down to Springfield. While waiver claims rarely happen at this point of the year, I wouldn’t want to see any assets lost for nothing. That said though, I believe Reddox will clear, and Stone would clear, should they be sent down. However…
Word is, Steve Tambellini is actively calling around looking for a trading partner for Liam Reddox, Steve MacIntyre, Robert Nilsson, Marc Pouliot or even Fernando Pisani. One would have to figure that he’s just looking to get something for any one of these guys just so he doesn’t have to lose a player for nothing. The Oilers brass feel that Liam Reddox is the next Pisani, so logically they are moving one or the other (not both), one would think. Marc Pouliot being thought of as available would make me think that the Oilers are willing to hand the 4th line center position over to Gilbert Brule. I’ll be honest, I’m not too excited to see Pisani go, because he is a key component of our penalty kill, but the PK (aside from last night) has looked a lot better.
With any hope, Tambellini will make this next cut quick and painless.
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