This is just the beginning of many casualties folks, Zack Stortini, veteran of 256 games played for the Oilers – has quite possibly played his last game for the blue & orange, barring any injuries or surprises of course. Zack was placed on waivers, and has cleared waivers – he has been sent down to Oklahoma, on the farm.
Zack collected 4 points in 32 games this season with 76 penalty minutes. The Oilers had to make room with Ales Hemsky, and Jordan Eberle returning to the line-up, Stortini was the odd man out.
Linus Omark and Liam Reddox are playing well and seem to be going nowhere, so more cuts may be on the way. Most notably Jean-Francois Jacques and Colin Fraser have been targeted as the next cuts with a combined total of 6 points in 76 games; it comes to no one’s surprise that they too may suffer the same fate as Zack.
Ironically all 3 players were drafted in the 2003 draft, within 26 spots of each other. JFJ drafted by Edmonton with 68th pick, Colin Fraser at 69th by Philadelphia, then Zack at 94th by the Oilers – great draft for hard working grinders.
Zack is a friend to every Oiler who suited up with him to go to battle. No one questioned his heart or effort, but management finally realized it was time to move on. The Barch/Stortini fight was the final straw, he can’t fight, and that was essentially his job.
Steve MacIntyre has taken over as the lone enforcer on the club, although a couple of expiring contracts on the blue-line know a thing or two about fighting: Jim Vandermeer and Jason Strudwick. All 3 may be gone by the trade deadline, although I have a hunch Strudwick will stay on with the team at some capacity next season.
This won’t be my last “ENTER NAME has left the building” article, there will be more to come. Hopefully, as it comes closer to the trade deadline, not only will it consist of players leaving – because for many current Oilers, they just need to go, but also having an opportunity to discuss players arriving in Edmonton, through trade, or waiver pickup (e.g. Ryan Jones) So who’s next?