THIS FLIGHT TONIGHT

Lowetide
March 19 2014 03:37PM

pitlick ferguson

Tyler Pitlick is in an ideal situation. The physical winger has a very good opportunity in Edmonton, as the club is in search of his player-type. The Oilers recalled him today, and this audition will have a major impact on his future.

WHAT ARE THEY LOOKING FOR?

pitlick ferguson3

Looking ahead to next season, Edmonton has the following wingers under contract and are committed to them at the NHL level:

  1. Taylor Hall
  2. Jordan Eberle
  3. David Perron
  4. Nail Yakupov
  5. Matt Hendricks

They also have Luke Gazdic (rfa) and Jesse Joensuu (signed for next year, but not a lock) on the current roster. Ryan Smyth and Ryan Jones are UFA's who may or may not return, and Anton Lander got a head start on the audition process that Pitlick will likely start tomorrow night against Buffalo. 

There's a job or two there. Third line LW/RW alongside Gordon and Hendricks; and another one on the 4line depending on how Joensuu plays in the fall.

Pitlick is an RFA, and based on his previous cup of coffee in the NHL is a player Edmonton wants to see before making a decision. Chris Westcott at oilers.nhl.com wrote an insightful article on prospects today, with OKC coach Todd Nelson saying, "I see this guy as not being back in OKC next year. I see him playing in the National Hockey League," and that's a strong letter of recommendation.

Pitlick showed well during a callup earlier this season, and then suffered an injury. He's been working his way back since then, and has been scoring at a .696 point per game clip.

PITLICK SINCE JANUARY 1, 2014 IN OKC

  • Overall: 23, 7-9-16
  • Power Play: 23, 3-1-4
  • Penalty Kill: 23, 0-0-0
  • Even Strength: 23, 4-8-12

Most of the boxcars have been at evens, and there's no surprise. Pitlick did get a push on the power play, and cashed in three goals. I doubt he'll see much duty in Edmonton with the man advantage, and many of his goals were scored with third-line types, which is the slot he'll fill in Edmonton if he makes the grade.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

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This is too close to call. Tyler Pitlick spent much of his entry-level deal injured and ineffective, but has turned the corner this season. Coach Todd Nelson said “He’s taken his game to a whole new level and he’s ready to play up there."

If the Oilers can solve their 3rd line RW problem via Oklahoma City, and not have to go out searching to fill the job via free agency, it's one less problem to solve. These next 12 games are important to both team and player. Pitlick's competition (Lander, Joensuu, maybe Horak) isn't overwhelming and there's a real NHL job within reach.

We'll know this fall who wins the job, but Pitlick has a chance to grab it beginning tomorrow.


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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on TSN 1260.
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#51 Omar the Olive
March 20 2014, 10:15AM
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Patience has worn thin with many Oiler fans. Im not one of them. For years we saw the team improve for a short period before going on a 20 game drop of doom. We are finally seeing consistency and success. It hasn't been 10 games; its been 18, and the team is still holding strong. This is enough proof for me that the drops will only become smaller and smaller over the next couple of seasons. I believe in Mac T.

Hendricks, Gazdic, Gordon, Ference, Fraser. Proof #1. These players have made a difference, some in very big ways, for this team.

10-4-3 Proof #2. The 4th best record in the NHL since January 26. How can some of you fans not be optimistic about the coming years?

I don't care that Arco is not playing. I don't mind if Yaks is taking too long to come around. Whatever it takes to turn the ship. Its working. Lets not allow ourselves to stay used to the losing mentality.

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#52 DieHard
March 20 2014, 10:15AM
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I think this team will be better next year. Playoffs? Not too sure. It depends on what MacT can do. It'll be tough. I really believe we'd be chasing the playoffs (out by 6-8 points) this year if not for our goalies early on. I still have some faith. Let's just keep winning or just not be so embarrasing.

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#53 oilerjed
March 20 2014, 10:15AM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

A quick suggestion on the issue of "alias stealing"...We try to keep on top of it from a moderation perspective, but the best defense is to sign up for a Nations account and tie it to a Gravatar (image) like the Nations authors do. That way someone can't easily masquerade as "you" in the comments.

How do we add a "Gravatar"?????

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#54 C
March 20 2014, 10:45AM
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Man...that tsunami gif freaks me out. I live in Japan and worry about that kind of thing all the time. Ugh

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#55 C
March 20 2014, 10:48AM
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D wrote:

Man that gif is hilarious (the part about the cars, not the flood).

That's the 2011 Tsunami in Japan--not a flood

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#56 Marshall Law
March 20 2014, 10:55AM
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mesa wrote:

come on you guys.Arco is a nice story but he is not a second line center and neither is Gagner.so replacing a small center with another small center is not the solution.MacT next two moves should be number 1 D and 2nd line center and the price is anybody .the untouchables are hull ,nuge ,shultz, martin marincin, nail and eberle.

If you're hoping for them to acquire a #1 D or a #2 C without giving up any of those "untouchables", you're going to be disappointed.

You can't say "the price is anybody" and then exclude all of the pieces that have value.

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#57 zenoil
March 20 2014, 11:22AM
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@Oilerboy1112

success is the key to success

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#58 zenoil
March 20 2014, 11:23AM
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Oilerboy1112 wrote:

Patience is the key to success.

success is the key to success

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#59 Lochenzo
March 20 2014, 02:22PM
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Love the orange jersey. Circa the WHA days?

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#60 Zarny
March 20 2014, 07:33PM
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The premise of the "rebuild" was to build from the draft. So far the 1st overall picks are the only ones contributing.

Marincin looks like a win. A nice payoff for Riley Nash. Klefbom, Pitlick, Lander, Hamilton etc. Some of these kids need to start contributing or else trading away all the vets for picks was pointless.

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