Rajala, Cornet, Zahn Sent To Stockton

Photo courtesy of Steven Christy Photography. All rights reserved.

Sometimes roster cuts make sense, and sometimes they can be a bit confusing. And yet there are times when moves are made, deals are done, and players part ways for the common good of the group. Individuality is limited when you play for an organization that is making room for high-end prospects, and more glamorous faces. The lockout in the NHL doesn’t do much to eliminate this “problem”.

After a double dose of preseason games over the weekend, the Barons and GM Bill Scott announced the first full set of roster moves.

Per the team:

The Edmonton Oilers re-assigned forwards Philippe Cornet and Toni Rajala to the Stockton Thunder of the ECHL. In a separate transaction, defenseman Teigan Zahn was loaned by the Barons to Stockton, General Manager Bill Scott announced today

Tony Rajala was anticipated to start in Stockton, the other two were not.

After an AHL All Star appearance a season ago for his incredible goal scoring streak, Philippe Cornet being reassigned is semi-surprising. Sure his shooting percentages were off the charts a season ago, and eventually came back down to earth, but management clearly thinks he’s better off playing better minutes in Stockton. To me, it seems like more of a death sentence than a “minutes promotion”. In terms as simple as they are blunt, he’s a prospect in his final year of ELC smack dab in the middle of the NHL lockout. Many are scheduled for a raw deal this year in the minors. Cornet is the first.

Teigan Zahn, the defensive heavy signed this offseason to an AHL contract, has apparently been “loaned” to the ECHL squad. It’s not unusual for an AHL player to be loaned to a lower league, but not one like Zahn who was almost guaranteed a roster spot on a very young Barons team. Apparently they’ll run with those higher on the prospect ladder, and with more direct Oilers ties.

If and when Taylor Hall makes it to OKC, look for at least two players to be reassigned to Stockton. In all, that’s a total of 6 really solid hockeyers in the ECHL (Bunz, Zahn, Rajala, Cornet, two more).

The trickle down effect of the NHL lockout continues. For a guy like Cornet, who bettered himself two seasons at the AHL, gets somewhat demoted just as he turns the page. And others, on other squads will suffer the same fate.

Stay tuned. At least a few more reassignments are forthcoming.