Bergeron waiting on a deal

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:58 AM ET

Marc-Andre Bergeron is willing to sign an AHL contract to play for the Edmonton Road Runners, but it's a deal that won't be finalized until after Christmas.

Paul Corbeil, the agent for the Edmonton Oilers' defenceman, resumed discussions with Road Runners' GM Scott Howson late last week. There's interest by both sides in getting a deal done but it's a move that will have to wait, Bergeron says.

"I'd like to be able to be home with my family for Christmas," Bergeron said from Quebec yesterday.

"It's probably the only Christmas I'll be able to be at home for the next couple of years. I would like to (come to Edmonton) for sure. I think that's what's going to happen."

Bergeron, who celebrated his 24th birthday Saturday, inked a four-year deal with the Oilers for $3.8 million Sept. 3. Insuring the contract has been the significant issue in the talks between Corbeil and Howson to this point.

Insurance can be worked out. The question now for Bergeron, who has been skating with the Shawinigan Cataractes of the QMJHL and playing four-on-four shinny in Montreal, is the timing of the move to Alberta.

"We're probably going to make the move after Christmas," said Bergeron, who is playing with Danone in a three-team four-on-four circuit. "I would feel comfortable with that. There's still a lot of hockey left to play.

"I'm playing a lot here. I'm in pretty good shape.

"We play here in Montreal and in the small towns. It's been sold out in a lot of the places we play."

Howson, who inked Raffi Torres to an AHL pact last month, confirmed the late-December timeline.

"I don't think anything is going to happen before then," said Howson. "We'll revisit it."

MOVES COMING? With 26 players in the fold, including J.J. Hunter (dislocated shoulder) and Brad Winchester (sprained knee), after the addition of Jesse Niinimaki, expect the Road Runners to make a player move or two during the next homestand.

If Winchester is ready to go when the homestand opens Sunday and Hunter progresses as expected, the Road Runners will have 16 healthy forwards by the end of next week.

Defenceman Brent Henley, left home for the balance of a six-game road trip that ends in Hamilton tonight, has recovered from damaged knee cartilage, so coach Geoff Ward has eight blueliners.

AROUND THE RINK: Oilers' GM Kevin Lowe had successful surgery to repair a damaged rotator cuff in his right shoulder yesterday morning ... Howson stopped in Greenville to watch the Grrrowl in ECHL action last weekend and singled out Ed Caron, Kenny Smith, Martin St. Pierre and goaltender Mike Morrison for their play.


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