SUN Hockey Pool

Oilers close on AHL deals

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:49 AM ET

The Edmonton Oilers still have seven players to sign to AHL contracts before the Edmonton Road Runners open training camp at Rexall Place Thursday, but the ink is a formality.

Road Runners GM Scott Howson said yesterday he expects to have Tyler Moss, Dan Smith, Rocky Thompson, Jamie Wright, Nate DiCasmirro, Toby Petersen and Sean McAslan inked to AHL deals - thus avoiding the need to clear waivers to go to the minors - in time for medicals and fitness testing tomorrow.

"We'll get them d100one this week. It's just paperwork," Howson said. "If they aren't signed, they won't be on the ice."

Howson is negotiating a contract with free-agent forward Martin St. Pierre, who is enrolled at Dalhousie University. St. Pierre, a Guelph Storm grad who impressed at the Oilers rookie camp in Sherwood Park, has received a contract offer but he has to decide if he wants to leave school and go the minor-eague route.

ROLL YOUR Rs: With the Columbus Cottonmouths having suspended operation following last season, the Greenville Grrrowl will be the Oilers' ECHL affiliate in 2004-05.

The Grrrowl, who play at the 7,479-seat Bi-Lo Center in the East Division of the American Conference, are coached by former NHLer John Marks.

The Grrrowl, last in the entire ECHL last season with just 14 wins and 33 points in 72 games, will be stocked by the Oilers and Chicago Blackhawks this season.

BY THE NUMBERS: After averaging 4,587 fans a game at Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto last season - and those numbers are thought to be greatly inflated over actual attendance - the Road Runners have surpassed 4,000 season ticket packages with more than two weeks to go before the season-opener against Hamilton Oct. 15.

AROUND THE RINK: Forward Dan Baum, who missed most of rookie camp with headaches, is taking medication to remedy the problem, but he'll have to get through medicals and fitness testing tomorrow before he'll be allowed on the ice.


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