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09-21-2003, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by lowetide
13. Jarret Stoll-I think Stoll wins this job for two reasons: he's the same type of players as his coach, and the uncertainty of his position.

14. Jamie Wright-Biggest camp surprise catches on as an energy winger in the Pittis/Swanson role.

15.Jani Rita I keep hearing that he's improved, but MacT said early on that he needs to learn about playing without the puck and imo he doesn't make this team. I hope I'm wrong.

16. Tony Salmelainen It sounds crazy, but Salmelainen may leap frog Rita at some point this season. Blazing speed.

17. Peter Sarno I think he'll fight it out with Wright for the 14th spot on the team, and if Rita beats out Stoll then Sarno could beat out Wright. They did have him as pp point guy, so if Sarno makes the team he could be more than a 14th man up front.

That's 29. Agree on all of this? Didn't think so.
It's a little bit funny that the posts about who will win the final d spots are more based upon who will be the lesser of two evils while on offense I think there is more optimism.

I don't think Wright gets to make this team off of his training camp because MacT has been burned on good training camps before that turned into nothing in the regular season. It is difficult to explain how a guy like Wright could have developed hands during the off season at this point in his career and if he did then he can bring them back up after showing them to me in TO for 20 games. Rita on the other hand has also shown some offense in training camp and chemistry with Reasoner. He may be 20-30 games away from being traded or relegated forever to minor league status but if I am MacT and company I want to see what he can do at this level now. Especially after seeing what Semenov did after coming here last year when he really wasn't doing anything in Hamilton. Salmelainen is there if Rita doesn't work out but NOW is the time to find out.

Lineups based upon what has happened so far is just an exercise but to date we have seen chemsitry between

Smyth - Isbister
Reasoner - Rita
Horcoff - Hemsky
and MacT has all but told us that Torres and Laraque will play together.

I expect to see more and more of these 2 player lines in the next few games as he tries to find the 3rd player for each of them. The only exception might be to see Hemsky with Smyth and Isbister while Horcoff plays with York and Dvorak but it sounds like we are a couple of games away from seeing York.

One thing I am fairly certain of is that we will not see Salmelainen playing in Edmonton as long as York and Comrie are both on the ice. For that reason alone I expect to see a lot of Salmelainen in the pre-season as the brass try to make up their minds what to do about Comrie.

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