AHL sources say the Oilers will have their farm team in Springfield, Mass. where the league headquarters are, next season with, Tampa Bay moving to Norfolk, Va. The Blackhawks are pulling up stakes in Norfolk to move to Rockford, Ill., just outside Chicago.
- Jim Matheson
Good news from Today's journal, it looks like the Oilers will have a full AHL affiliate next year in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Let's take a look at the minor league depth chart:
Signed through next season:
C: Schremp (AHL), O'Marra (OHL), Pouliot (AHL->NHL), Almtorp (EU), Johansson (EU), Spurgeon (ECHL->AHL), Sestito (AHL->ECHL).
RW: Goulet (ECHL), Stortini (AHL->NHL), Bodie (ECHL->AHL), Thoresen (NHL)
LW: Reddox (ECHL), Jacques (AHL->NHL), Trukhno (QMJHL), Nilsson (AHL)
D: Gilbert (AHL->NHL), Svret (AHL-NHL), Young (ECHL->AHL->NHL), Bisallion (QMJHL)
G: Dubnyk (ECHL)
C: Brodziak (AHL->NHL)
LW: Radunske (AHL->ECHL), Mikhnov (NHL-AHL-EU)
D: Roy (AHL->NHL), Grebeshkov (EU)
G: Deslauriers (AHL)
It's safe to say that the Oilers will resign all of the RFAs except Mikhnov. Whether or not he wants to come back to North America on a two-way contract still remains to be seen. Further, Grebeshkov left for the RSL last year after holding out for a one way contract, it's safe to say that he and the Oilers have agreed to a one way deal, so it's unlikely he will be in Springfield.
Unsigned that could go pro:
C: Cogliano (College)
LW: Pettersson (EU)
RW: McDonald (College), Umicevic (EU)
D: Chorney (College), Hrabel (EU)
G: Fisher (College)
Cogliano has publicly stated that he wants to play another year in college. There is a good chance the Oilers will sign Pettersson, Chorney, Umicevic, Hrabel, McDonald and Fisher.
Hypothetical minor league roster:
Jacques* - Pouliot* - Thoresen*
Nilsson* - Schremp* - Stortini*
Trukhno - Brodziak* - Pettersson
Spurgeon- O'Marra - Bodie
Reddox - Goulet - Umicevic
Almtorp - Johansson - Sestito
Gilbert* - Roy*
Svret* - Chorney
Bisallion - Young
*Players marked with asterixes will likely compete for NHL spots.
F: Hemsky, Horcoff, Torres, Moreau, Stoll, Pisani, Lupul, Reasoner, UFA 9/14 = 5 spots (2 PB)
D: Smith, Staios, Grebeshkov, Greene, Smid, UFA - 6/7 = 1 spot (1 PB)
G: Roloson - 1/2 = 1 spots
What I would like to see is Brodziak and Jacques in the PB while Pouliot, Nilsson and Thoresen make the line up. I'd also like to see us sign 2 UFA d men, leaving Roy, Svret et al in the minors. Deslaurier as a 25 game backup to Roloson would also be nice.