SUN Hockey Pool

Oilers get battle-ready

The Edmonton Oilers have recalled Zack Stortini from Hamilton in advance of their game against the...

The Edmonton Oilers have recalled Zack Stortini from Hamilton in advance of their game against the Calgary Flames tonight. (Calgary Sun File/Al Charest)

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:39 AM ET

It may be just coincidence or part of a grand scheme, but the Edmonton Oilers got bigger and stronger on the eve of the Battle of Alberta.

Yesterday the Oilers recalled forward Zack Stortini from the Hamilton Bulldogs.

In 16 games with the Bulldogs this season, the six-foot-three, 216-pound centre had six goals with a plus-one rating and 60 penalty minutes.

"We only have 12 healthy forwards up here and we wanted to reward him by bringing him up, even if it's just to practise with the team," said Oilers assistant general manager Scott Howson.

"It will be up to (head coach) Craig (MacTavish) whether or not he plays."

Stortini replaces Jean-Francois Jacques on the Oilers roster. Jacques was assigned to the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins on Sunday.

Jacques had not registered a point in four games with the Oilers this season. The six-foot-four, 217-pound winger had 24 goals and 19 assists with the Hamilton Bulldogs last year.

"It was a chance to get him down and get him skating a little bit, get him playing in some games," said MacTavish.

"He hasn't played in that many games.

"We have to get him game-ready.

"We saw how Toby (Petersen) came up and filled in playing a pretty prominent role and we expect the same from J.F."

Stortini, 21, arrived in Edmonton last night and will skate with the club this morning.

With 261 penalty-minutes between Iowa and Milwaukee last year, Stortini's toughness might come in handy against the Flames.

Stortini was the Oilers' fifth-pick, 51st overall in the 2005 NHL Bantam Draft. His six goals prior to his call up was tied for the team lead in Hamilton.

"He's been playing very well down there," said Howson.

"They got off to a tough start and in talking to their coach, Don Lever, he said Zack's play helped turned things around for them."


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