Oilers look to future

Robert Tychkowski, Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 11:44 PM ET

Seat cushions, anyone?

They might need a few of them in the press box now that the trade deadline has come and gone.

No longer concerned with having to showcase his veterans to make them more attractive on the open market, Pat Quinn will now turn his attention to the future, at the expense of the past.

That means playing the kids and sitting the vets.

“We’re going to really focus on development, especially our younger guys who we will be going forward with,” said the head coach, who had a sit-down with management to discuss the plan. “With the veterans, it’s going to be an in-and-out (of the lineup) sort of thing while we find out about the kids who warrant going forward.

“As we go forward we’ll even want to look at some guys who are in Springfield, so there might be some guys called up for that. So the guys who logically might not play are the veteran guys.”

They’re serious about this housecleaning thing.

“There’s a movement toward restructuring and that will probably continue in the off-season,” said Quinn. “But in the meantime we’re going to have a bunch of younger fellas who we’re going to find out if they can play and get better.”

FLAME TURNed OILER: Defenceman Aaron Johnson is one of the guys who hopes to use these final games to make a name for himself. The former Flame spent much of his time in Calgary as a seventh defenceman, but with Edmonton dealing three veteran blue-liners this week there are plenty of job openings.

“I think this is a good opportunity for me,” said the 26-year-old. “I have 19 games here to try and prove myself and get myself a job on this team. I want to take advantage of it.”

He played 22 games with Calgary, posting three points and an even rating, which gives him one of the best plus-minuses on the Oilers.

“I think it’s more of a defensive game,” he said of his strengths. “But I feel like I can contribute in any situation. The thing with me is just hard work. I might not have the skill to go end to end but I try never to get outworked out there.”

The six-foot-one, 208-pounder got in a brief scrap with Ryan Stone when Edmonton last played Calgary.

“It was the end of the game and he was asking me to fight, so I just went. I didn’t have much time to think about it.”

robert.tychkowski@sunmedia.ca


Videos

Photos