Reddox, Jones shoot for Oilers' line-up

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:40 AM ET

Liam Reddox will have to rest his case; Ryan Jones has yet to make his final argument.

But both are hoping the verdict will go their way when head coach Tom Renney makes the final cuts on Monday.

With most of the positions up front swallowed up by the Big Three (Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, Magnus Paajarvi) and the original six (Ales Hemsky, Dustin Penner, Shawn Horcoff, Andrew Cogliano, Sam Gagner and Gilbert Brule), and bruise brothers Zack Stortini and Steve MacIntyre, the math is rather daunting for Reddox, Jones and the rest of the contenders.

"I've looked at the big picture a lot and it doesn't seem like it helps," said Reddox, who played in four of Edmonton's first five pre-season games, showing his usual hustle and smarts. "My job is just to show up and do what I can do, control what I can control, be a professional and try and bring something different every day."

Including a scrap in Friday's tilt with the Flames.

"I'm just trying to do something a little different, something different to stand out in the group."

Reddox has been close before, he played nine games last year before the Oilers sent him down for good (a 10th game would have meant clearing waivers and management didn't want to risk losing him). That they like him enough to guard against losing him is good, but spending the year in Springfield isn't. He wants to be an NHLer. Now.

"It definitely gets frustrating, but it's my job to make it hard on them to send me down," he said. "I still have to clear waivers (if they cut him this year) so that's in the back of my mind. If it's not here then hopefully I make a good enough showing that somebody else will give me a shot."

Renney, like Craig MacTavish and Pat Quinn before him, loves what Reddox brings to the rink every night. If Reddox was 6-foot-2, 215, he'd be a lock. At 5-11, 190, on a team with a lot of smallish forwards, they have to look at the overall picture.

"Liam always works hard and he plays an intelligent game, that comes as no surprise," said the coach. "The thing that we've got to look at in our line-up is are we big enough, are we strong enough? Are we tough enough?

"We don't want to get ourselves pushed out of games. Liam can contribute to our needs with his speed, quickness and intelligence, and he goes to the net. He's not the biggest guy, but he plays in a big way. I think that's important. We'll have to make sure we evaluate that contribution, too."

Jones, meanwhile, has one more game to show what he can do. Sixty more minutes that might determine the rest of his career.

In Calgary. Perfect.

"It's a good situation for me to showcase what I can do," he said. "They've expressed to me to keep playing physical, take defensive time away, force them to make mistakes, and just... I'm trying not to swear... but for lack of a better term, be a little prick out there."


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