Oilers snag Esks' trainer

TERRY JONES, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:15 PM ET

EDMONTON - Finally the stories are more about comings than goings the Edmonton Oilers.

For the second straight time, the Oilers have taken a trainer from the Edmonton Eskimos.

The last time, mind you, was 1988. That when the NHL team took Ken Lowe, who had been with the CFL team for seven seasons.

Also after seven seasons in the employ of the Eskimos, T.D. Forss has been hired as head athletic therapist by the Oilers.

Lowe was removed from the job this year in an overall organization culture change which also resulted in longtime equipment men Barry Stafford and Lyle “Sparky” Kulchinsky ousted from their positions.

Prior to joining the Eskimos, Forss was a trainer with the Calgary Flames for two seasons. He previously worked for the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League for seven seasons, including the span Mike Babcock was coach.

Forss, a University of Alberta grad, spent time with Hockey Canada as trainer at the 1992 Spengler Cup and 1996 and 1999 World Junior.

“The Eskimos were very helpful in allowing the opportunity for T.D. to come to us,” said Tambellini.

Forss worked the Eskimos training camp and Sunday’s season-opening game and was in place Monday in the Oilers dressing room in preparation for this week’s prospects camp.

The Oilers also announced Jeff Lang, a part of the Oilers organization for the last seven years, has been promoted to equipment manager to replace Stafford, while Brad Harrison has been recruited from the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League to replace Kulchinsky.

Meanwhile the Eskimos announced that Nate Hay has been promoted to replace Forss. In his third year with the team, Hay is an Edmonton native who previously worked with the U of A Golden Bears football team, the Cracker Cats baseball team and St. FX Baseball Academy in Edmonton.

Denzil Ottley has been named his assistant. Schooled in Toronto, he’s worked as a volunteer in the job at the last two training camps.

Coaches coming ...

Expect new Oilers head coach Tom Renney to name his assistant coaches this week.

“I think that will all be figured out quite shortly,” said Tambellini.

Kelly Buchberger and Wayne Fleming worked with Renney under Pat Quinn last year. Tambellini said he planned no further deletions to the scouting staff than those made before the draft.

Souray interest ice cold ...

Tambellini admitted he hasn’t even had a bite for Sheldon Souray who cleared waivers Saturday . The Oilers GM suggested he expected nothing soon.

“We’ll talk to other teams. People have to restructure,” he said.

He refused to speculate if no deal was able to be made for Souray by training camp if the player who is a $5.4 million cap hit for the next two years would spend the season with the Oilers.

“I’m not even going to go there,” he said.

Lander back to Sweden ...

One Oilers prospect who will be coming and going is Anton Lander.

The Swede will be with the rest of the Oilers young draft choices at the annual prospects camp today but won’t be playing here or on the farm in Oklahoma City this coming season.

“Lander will go back to Timra,” said Tambellini of the Swedish Elite League team he and Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson helped bring from the verge of relegation to a playoff position this past spring.

“We’re going to look at bringing him here after their season ends,” he said.

The Oilers signed Paajarvi-Svensson, their first round draft pick last year (10th overall). Lander was their second selection (40th overall) in the same draft.

“He’ll be wearing a letter there, either a ‘C’ or an ‘A’ this year,” said Tambellini.

“He’s worn a letter at whatever level he’s played. Ask anybody on those teams who was their leader and they’ll say ‘Anton.’ ”

terry.jones@sunmedia.ca

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