Belle, Petiot waive goodbye

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:47 AM ET

EDMONTON -- Shawn Belle and Richard Petiot are two players on the cusp of cracking an NHL roster.

But on Monday they were again told they're just not good enough. At least not yet.

The two defencemen were cut by the Oilers and placed on waivers for the purpose of reassigning the pair to Oklahoma City in the American Hockey League.

"I put my best foot forward," Petiot said. "I wanted to crack the lineup. I worked as hard as I could, and it just didn't work out."

A journeyman defenceman who had spent the majority of his career in the minors, Petiot, 28, made a strong impression at training camp by playing two solid exhibition games.

His performance thrust him into competition for the final spot on the Edmonton blue line with Belle and Theo Peckham.

In the end, Peckham, 22, won the job.

"It's a pretty disappointing time right now," said Belle. "There is obviously some positives I can take out of it. I stuck around here for a little bit, and my meeting with the coaching staff was positive.

"They told me to continue to work hard in Oklahoma City, show them that I belong in the NHL."

Meanwhile, the Oilers still have a decision to make on their goaltending situation.

Monday's cuts did not include Jeff Deslauriers or Devan Dubnyk, who are-battling for the backup spot behind Nikolai Khabibulin.

With 24 players left on the roster -- including banished d-man Sheldon Souray-- the Oilers could conceivably start the season with all three goalies on the roster.

"I don't know what to expect with that," said head coach Tom Renney.

"We need to have a talk about this inside (among management)."

The Oilers also need to decide on a captain.

Renney says one will be named by the season opener on Thursday.


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