Edmonton Completes Roster
The final cuts have just been announced and the roster is down to the required 23 players. The final decisions were the toughest and 6 NHL level players were cut, players that would have made the rosters of several teams in the league. Jan Benda was given his out right release, not that the Oilers woulnd’t have wanted to keep him for Hamilton, but the veteran european center had an offer from Russia he wished to pursue.
Jason Chimera and Jani Rita go down to Hamilton but could be early season call ups, especially Chimera, if an opening comes up due to injury or trade.
Ales Pisa and Sven Butenschon were blueliners sent to the AHL. Butenschon needs time to work out the kinks after a slow recovery from shoulder surgery. Pisa, still learning the north american style of play, had a strong camp and was considered to replace Tom Poti’s offensive touch.
It was Marc Lamothe who lost the back up battle, but he’ll be a big part of the Bulldogs’ season in Hamilton.
Wednesday nights season opener against the Calgary Flames will see this forward line up:
There are 7 defencemen, 8 if you include Poti, but only six will play. Newcomer Kari Haakana will likely be the spectator for game #1. Janne Niinimaa, Jason Smith, Eric Brewer, Steve Staios, Sean Brown and Scott Ferguson will play.
Of course Tommy Salo will tend the net, his first of many games this year. Hopefully though there will be enough games for Jussi Markkanen to play in so that Salo will get the rest he needs.