Bristow – Who do you see making the biggest impact out of all the Oilers rookies this year and why?
Jason Gregor– I’ll go with Magnus Paajarvi. He’s played the last three years in Sweden playing against men and I think he’ll make the jump to the NHL the quickest. He is a phenomenal skater, and he will start the season playing with Ales Hemsky so he should put up some point.
Neil Bristow – Out all the players you have saw this training camp and preseason games, who do you see the biggest improvement from so far?
Jason Gregor – Shawn Horcoff looks reborn so far. He changed his off-season training to focus lots on one-legged workouts and he looks faster than ever. With all the turnover in Edmonton, Horcoff will be called upon to lead the kids. I expect him to be named captain before the season starts, and he will have a bounce back year.
Neil Bristow – Ethan Moreau (9 goals 9 assists 18pts in 76gms ), who is now with the Columbus Blue Jackets was a leader for the Oilers at every angle the time wearing Oilers colors. Who takes over that role in the dressing room now that Moreau has gone elsewhere?
Jason Gregor – Horcoff will be the main guy, but they will need more than just one guy. Ryan Whitney wants to be a leader and he isn’t afraid to speak his mind. I also think one of the young “veterans”, like Sam Gagner, Andrew Cogliano or Gilbert Brule need to emerge as leaders.
Neil Bristow – From what I have saw this early preseason the guy that stood out for me the most is Magnus Paajarvi (3 goals – 1 assist ),Who’s game does his style remind you of? Can Oilers fans get excited about this kid?
Jason Gregor – They are already excited about him, and they should be. I think he skates like Mike Modano, but he needs to learn to shoot more. He reminds me a little bit like Daniel Alfredsson. A solid all-around game, but Paajarvi will be an impact player way sooner than Alfredsson was when he came into the league.
Neil Bristow – Did former Oilers front man Pat Quinn get a raw deal? What exactly is his position now with the Oilers?
Jason Gregor – I don’t think he did. Quinn is a great guy, but he wasn’t organized behind the bench last year. I don’t think he was able to communicate with his players very well, on how he wanted them to play. His role is a bit vague right now, but most of his focus will be on helping scouting other teams, and helping out with the coaches in the AHL and even the Oilers. Renney and him are still close, and Renney wants to lean on Quinn when it comes to the tendencies of other coaches around the league.
Neil Bristow – Shawn Horcoff had a rough go last season, have you noticed any changes to his game to make you believe and Oilers fans believe he is coming back to whom he was before he signed the big deal?
Jason Gregor – He looks better than ever so far. He is much faster, and his shoulder is completely healed now. I’m not sure he will get 73 points, but if he can get 65 and help mentor the kids the organization will be happy. I don’t think he will ever produce enough points to live up to his contract.
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