With two new forwards set to join the Oilers lineup Friday against Dallas, two forwards will have to come out and there’s a chance one of them will be Ethan Moreau.
The captain skated on defence Thursday in practice with fellow scratch candidate Patrick O’Sullivan as his partner, while Ryan Jones and Charles Linglet skated on regular lines.
Both Moreau, who’s never been a healthy scratch as an Oiler, and head coach Pat Quinn said not to read anything into the practice moves.
“It’s just a practice,” said Moreau. “We’ll see what happens (Friday). Our line has been playing well, I’ve been playing well, so I don’t expect that (being scratched) to happen. I assume I’m playing.”
Not skating with linemates the day before a game is normally a sign that you’re not in, but Quinn isn’t committing to anything, either.
“Don’t read anything into it,” he said. “The decision is not made. Two guys will come out, but as far as who...”
There have been times earlier this season when Moreau was a prime candidate to be scratched, but the line of he, Shawn Horcoff and Fernando Pisani has actually been pretty good the last couple of weeks, so if the captain is out, so is the timing. Then again, the club is evaluating players for the future and Moreau’s future with the club is likely very short.
“It’s not always just going to be based on merit, from the standpoint of going forward for the next six games,” said Quinn. “It’ll be partly management’s idea of what our future is. There’s been no firm instruction in the sense that you have to play this guy or that guy, we’re trying to do something that makes sense for our future going forward.
“We’re not writing anybody off - our job is to evaluate our senior guys as well as our younger guys.”