Parents show, Brad doesn't

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:04 AM ET

ST. PAUL -- Brad Winchester had his parents at the Xcel Energy Centre last night. What he didn't have was a spot in the Edmonton Oilers line-up against the Wild.

While Winchester's parents came in from Wisconsin for the game, he was made a healthy scratch for the second straight game and the sixth time in the last 10 games.

"It's tough to find (ice time)," said GM Kevin Lowe, who got Winchester as the 35th overall pick in the 2000 Entry Draft as part of the deal that sent Roman Hamrlik to the New York Islanders.

"He doesn't kill penalties and power play time -- who are you not going to put on the power play? We've got a lot of guys who can play the power play. When you eliminate those two ..."

Winchester, 25, saw action in the Oilers first 24 games this season, mostly as a fourth-liner, but he's been in and out of the line-up since -- he's been a healthy scratch a total of nine times.

The six-foot-five, 215-pound right winger has scored 4-4-8 and is a plus-1 in the 37 games he's played, but he apparently hasn't shown enough to stay in the line-up.

"He's going to have to take somebody else's ice time," Lowe said.

Talking Gabby

On talent alone, Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire figures Marian Gaborik is one of the elite young players in the NHL.

What'll decide where the Slovakian forward fits in the pecking order in the long term is work ethic, says Lemaire.

"Now, he's at his best because he hasn't played for a long time, so he's excited," said Lemaire, who lost Gaborik for 34 games with a groin injury.

"If he keeps going like this he's going to improve. You look at (Sidney) Crosby and the other kids, they want to get better. They work. When he plays like this, he's there. The thing is to stay there. Work will keep him there."


Videos

Photos