SUN Hockey Pool

Petersen doesn't make it

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 10:07 AM ET

VANCOUVER -- Being the tough call among yesterday's seven cuts by the Edmonton Oilers might not be much consolation to Toby Petersen, but he was it.

The versatile 27-year-old forward got caught behind a fine camp performance by rookie Patrick Thoresen and strong showings by Alexei Mikhnov and Marc-Antoine Pouliot, ending up with a ticket to the Iowa Stars of the AHL as the Oilers cut their roster to 26.

"Looking back at how I felt coming into camp, I knew by the numbers there was going to be a pretty good battle going on for those last couple forward spots," said Petersen, who had an off-night in Thursday's 3-2 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes.

"From what I saw, I don't feel like anybody played themselves out of the lineup. I think that's a great situation for the coaches and the organization. The guys involved made them make some tough decisions. Unfortunately, I'm on the short end."

With Thoresen locking up one spot on the fourth line with his all-around play, Petersen, who is in much the same mould as the Norwegian winger, didn't fit in coach Craig MacTavish's mix.

"He really didn't play himself off the team," MacTavish said. "Normally, I like to have the sense they aren't quite ready. I can't say that about Toby.

"I think Patrick largely outplayed him at this point and the thing about Patrick is he's a winger. The satisfaction I have about Toby is knowing that if we do get injuries on the top couple lines, we have a very complete player who can come up and fill that position."

Petersen, who tallied 26-47-73 in 79 games with Iowa last season, looks forward to that opportunity - assuming another team doesn't claim him on waivers.

"I feel like I can claw my way back in here," Petersen said. "Every single camp I've ever been sent down in, you hear, 'Be the best player at your position and if there's an injury, you'll be the guy.'

"I do get the feeling this year that there's a little more sincerity to that message. It's very encouraging."

In essence, the Oilers opted to risk losing Petersen, who needs to clear waivers, rather than put Brad Winchester, who also needs to clear and is on a one-way contract, up for grabs, even though Petersen outperformed the big winger from Wisconsin.


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