Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/20/13
It is pretty much the dictionary definition of a mixed message that the Edmonton Oilers are giving Mark Arcobello. Check out of the hotel and start looking for a place to stay in Edmonton … but, first, pack your bags, you’re going to Oklahoma City. You’ve played your way into the picture, you’ve earned a spot on the Oilers, now get in the press box for the next three games. But somewhere in the between the ringing endorsements and the snubs is the high point (so far) in his pro career. “It’s good, it’s nice to get out of the hotel and get settled,” said the 25-year-old centre, whose brief demotion last Friday caused a uproar among Oilers fans who couldn’t figure out why the team couldn’t find room in the lineup for its fifth-leading scorer. “It was definitely a confidence boost and nice to know I’m going to be around for a while. It’s the next step in the process.” He’s well aware, of course, of the difference between the next step in the process and being an established NHLer — especially given that he hasn’t played a game since head coach Dallas Eakins gave him that vote of confidence. “I’m definitely not as established as I want to be,” he said. “It’s definitely something I’m going to have to keep pushing for.” That he’s made it this far, though, is a significant milestone in an underdog journey that began seven years ago at Yale University. You don’t see a lot of 5-foot-7 players in the NHL, but there haven’t been many, if any, moments when Arcobello looked like he didn’t belong. “I remember when I was graduating college a guy told me that I would be, at best, a fourth-line AHL guy. I didn’t know any better so I kind of thought he was right. “Lots of people along the way have told me I couldn’t make it, that’s always been a motivating factor for me. I just keep feeding off it.” Same as when the Oilers told him last summer that he could. “When they signed me here this summer Craig MacTavish told me there would be opportunity,” he said. “I embraced that challenge over the summer and did everything I could to come into camp prepared.”
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