The regular season is fast approaching for the Fort McMurray Oil Barons.
Over the weekend, the team held their annual “Blue and Gold” inter-squad scrimmage.
Team Blue came out with the victory, winning 5-2, however, it was the performance from some of the young players which will give the coaching staff some tough decisions on how the roster should look by mid-September.
“It’s always a good thing when you have tough decisions,” said Tom Keca, Head Coach and General Manager. “It would be disheartening if we already knew who was going to be on the team.”
Keca notes the scrimmage featured 38 players with 13 veterans from last season. Some of the more notable players in attendance were Ryan Cox, Jack Hamly, and Eric Szudor.
Despite what Keca’s calling a “solid performance” by all the players, only 32 will be heading to their preseason tournament in Camrose on Wednesday.
“We still have some players that are young enough that maybe we don’t see them in our plans for this year but maybe as future Oil Barons in a year or two.”
Keca adds the players will get equal of amount of shots to make a good impression on the team. The tournament will start against Spruce Grove Saints though the team is looking for any great results, just player development.
“We want to see how many intelligent players we have and they’re able to be sponges here from a couple practices and thrown them right in the fire at the tournament,” added Keca.
He says cuts will be a work in progress throughout in the next couple of weeks.
Meanwhile, the Oil Barons will be playing two exhibition games against the Bonnyville Pontiacs at the Casman Centre on September 6 and 8.
The regular season will begin on the road against the Grand Prairie Storm on September 16 with the first home game happening on September 22 against the Lloydminster Bobcats.
“It’s not about how you’re playing in September, it’s about how you’re going to be playing starting in the second week of March,” added Keca.