I know Oiler fans are ready to nail bust sign on him, and I am not sure how management feels about him anymore, but I would like to put my 2 cents in.
He basically missed all of last season, and had a pretty bad camp, and a rather terrible start to the season in Toronto.
That being said, he, like Rita, has played extremely well lately and it has made me think that maybe his slow start had more to do with being off for a year, than him not having talent or drive.
It'll be interesting to see how he performs over the course of the rest of the season, because this could be his last chance to show that he can be an NHL player.
Hi Dawgbone, I'm really glad to hear that because I actually thought that his camp wasn't that bad and last year at camp I thought he was making a move to stick when he got ill. Big body and big shot are two things any team can use if the rest of the package catches up.
IMO there is an opening on RW for a big guy with solid defense and some offensive pop - the current and future candidates: Izzy, Henrich, Jacques, McDonald. Pisani is a good 4th liner IMO and Laraques shelf life has long since expired and should be traded.
So there may be room for Henrich is he works hard on fitting into this kind of role.
Excellent mini-report, db...who else have we forgotten about that we shouldn't have (in Toronto)?
I'll stay away from the guys you know about (i.e. Rita, Sarno, Salmo), and I will stick to the guys who are relatively unknown, but have played well:
Mike Bishai has been pretty good so far this season, and he does do all the little things rather well. If the Oilers ever lose all their centres again, I could definitely see him getting a callup. I don't think he will ever be an everyday NHL player, but he looks like a useful PB guy, or even someone who bounces up and down picking up 5-10 NHL games per year.
Dan Smith was a pretty good free agent signing. If it wasn't for the fact that the Oilers were so deep on the blueline (and yes, I call a bunch of 4-7 guys deep), I could see the Oilers maybe giving him a callup, if no other reason than to reward him for some very solid play. He doesn't jump out at you and show anything spectacular, but I'd be okay throwing him out on the ice for 10 or so minutes in an NHL game here or there.
Rocky Thompson is alright, and a better skater than most were giving him credit for. I don't see him in the NHL anytime soon, especially with the play of Lynch and the acquiring of Wyowitka, but he is certainly fun to watch.
If the Oilers run into another goaltending issue, Mike Morrison would be interesting to see, if for no other reason than to give him "a day in the life of an NHLer". He did well when Valley was in Edmonton, and has played just as well as Valley, but has been a little more consistant.