Oil business will resume moment CBA ink dries

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:10 AM ET

When the ink dries and paperwork is completed on a new collective bargaining agreement, the Edmonton Oilers will be well prepared to get back to the business of hockey on all fronts.

Aside from preparing for the belated 2005 Entry Draft, cranking up the obligatory season-ticket selling campaign, finalizing recalls of employees laid off during the lockout and preparing for the free-agent frenzy that's expected after the deal is ratified, the Oilers have already booked blocks of ice time in anticipation of training camp in September.

While the Oilers don't have any firm dates lined up for camp, the team has booked ice time at Millennium Place in Sherwood Park and at Rexall Place from Sept. 8 and on. They'll split camp at both rinks, just as they have for the past several seasons.

NO SUMMER CAMP ...

The Oilers had hoped to revive their summer camp for prospects and draft picks, but that possibility has been scrubbed with CBA talks dragging into this month. Team management is, however, contemplating holding a rookie camp before main camp begins.

THE DOTTED LINE ...

The Oilers have 26 players under contract, including 12 who spent 2003-04 in the NHL - Marc-Andre Bergeron, Ty Conklin, Cory Cross, Radek Dvorak, Todd Harvey, Brad Isbister, Georges Laraque, Ethan Moreau, Fernando Pisani, Alexei Semenov, Jason Smith and Steve Staios. They also have deals in place with 14 players who toiled in the AHL or ECHL last season.

THE FINE PRINT: One possibility with the new CBA is NHL rosters could be cut to 22 players from the 2003-04 limit of 23 ... Expect teams to get a 10-day window to sign 2003 draft picks (Rimouski Oceanic grad Marc-Antoine Pouliot falls into that category with the Oilers) before free agency signings begin ... While there's been speculation an abbreviated Entry Draft will be staged sometime between July 30 and Aug. 6 after the order of selection is decided by a lottery, word now is there's a possibility the NHL will delay draft day until the last week of August.


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