SUN Hockey Pool

Last cut is the deepest

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 10:12 AM ET

See you soon?

Marc-Antoine Pouliot might not be gone for a long time, but he's gone for now.

The Edmonton Oilers made Pouliot their final pre-season cut after practice yesterday, sending their first pick in the 2003 Entry Draft to Wilkes-Barre of the AHL to get down to the NHL roster limit of 23.

"I thought I had a spot, too," said Pouliot, admittedly surprised. "It's a disappointment, but it might be better to have the ice time (in the minors). I'll go down there and play hard."

With Pouliot, 21, getting a ticket out of town, Alexei Mikhnov, J.F. Jacques and Brad Winchester, who got the nod because he needs to clear waivers to report to the minors, will stick around for one job on the fourth line and two spots in the press box.

Pouliot, who scored two goals in his six pre-season games and gave a good account of himself, doesn't intend on being gone long.

"They're saying that if I play well, I could be called up next week," said Pouliot. "They said I'm not going to have to stay awhile, but it will depend on my game."

SMID SURVIVES

Defenceman Ladislav Smid, who came from Anaheim with Joffrey Lupul in the Chris Pronger trade, survived the final cut.

"I'm so glad I can be a part of the team," Smid said. "It's a great feeling to be here."

Smid, selected ninth overall in 2004 by Anaheim, makes the grade on the blue-line as a 20-year-old.

"It's a new place and a new team, but this is a great place to play," said Smid, who is staying at agent Ritch Winter's house for now. "This is a hockey city."

AROUND THE RINK ...

Mathieu Roy cleared waivers yesterday and will report to Hamilton of the AHL, while Toby Petersen also cleared and will start the season with the Iowa Stars.


Photos