Edmonton Oilers Send Five To Oklahoma City

With Oklahoma City Barons AHL training camp beginning today, and its NHL counter-part inching ever so close to the beginning of the season, the Edmonton Oilers have cut five players from their current roster. Those players will report to OKC as soon as possible.

The list is unsurprising in some regards, save perhaps Martin Gernat, and it features players that will ice predominantly minor league minutes for the remainder of the season. This is good news if you’re an Oklahoma City Barons fan because your roster takes a more shapely form. If you’re an Oilers fan perhaps you are discouraged by a few things. Just an FYI, you can indeed be a fan of both teams. Just don’t hurt yourself in your endeavor.

The list of players cut from the NHL roster and assigned to the AHL:

Curtis Hamilton (will need to clear waivers)
Kale Kessy
Iro Pakarinen
Jason Williams
Martin Gernat

Let’s begin with the lone defender, Martin Gernat. After an interesting start to his career, where he was paired with Taylor Fedun, Gernat has been a hot and cold mystery. At times he shows improvement, and generally speaking his trend line is probably up just a bit. His struggles continue to be defensive responsibility, namely positioning. We have seen this first hand in the NHL preseason games. All hope is not lost for Martin, however, and this could be a really could conditional assignment where he earns the right to get NHL minutes this season. Players like Oesterle, Musil, Simpson remain while Gernat heads to OKC – that’s enough to discourage a player. Yet Gernat has a way of rebounding from time-to-time, and he knows clearly what he has to do to get better. He will have an opportunity to do just that with one of the best “game shaping” coaches in the business.

Kessy was high on a few writers lists of “might surprise us”, but here he lands in the second wave of roster cuts. This is about where we expected him to land along with Williams, Hamilton and Pakarinen. Iro, in particular, is a guy that I think has a chance to ease his way through the lineup. I love me a good Finn, and he’s a good Finn. Less razzle and more wrastle (as we say in OK), and that’s fine. Consternation is the key.

The Barons training camp day one was tame, but productive. Adding these players will make the competition a bit more exuberant, and I know that Todd Nelson anxiously awaits their arrival.

More to come…

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