Bad news for Stortini

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 10:30 AM ET

The welts were still fresh on Zack Stortini's face when he got the bad news yesterday morning.

The big winger, who dropped the gloves with tough guy Eric Godard during Thursday's 4-3 overtime win over the Calgary Flames at the Pengrowth Saddledome, was one of eight players cut or reassigned yesterday as the Edmonton Oilers trimmed their roster to 37.

That'll leave a mark.

"You're never happy being sent down," said the gap-toothed Stortini, who has been assigned to the Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL. "I'll make the best of the situation and work as hard as I can and help that team win. I'll be ready when they need me back up here.

"In all, six players were sent to the AHL. While Stortini goes to Steeltown, Forwards Kyle Brodziak, Liam Reddox and Tim Sestito are headed to the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins. Left wingers Stephane Goulet and Brock Radunske were sent to Grand Rapids.

Vyacheslav Trukhno was returned to Gatineau of the QMJHL, while J.J. Hunter, here on a tryout, was released.

Like the other forwards re-assigned, Stortini, a former captain of the Sudbury Wolves of the OHL, found himself in tough with the Oilers boasting a lot of depth up front.

"I don't think it's a situation where you look at everybody else on the team," Stortini said.

"You go into camp and work as hard as you can and make it a tough decision for the management and coaching staff. I just do the best I can and one day I'll have the opportunity to help the Oilers win."

Stortini's ticket to the NHL will be his toughness, but even his willingness to go with Godard couldn't keep him here.

"I've got to improve on everything. I think it's really important for me to continue to get better at my skating and my skill and to get bigger and stronger."


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