WWYDW: Which NHL veteran would you most like to see on a tryout deal?

Jonathan Willis
September 07 2016 07:00AM

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Professional tryout offers have arguably become a more important tool in recent years for both general managers and players looking for NHL employment. The salary cap is of course to blame, as GMs have had to get better and better at using the money at their disposal, and as a result have become more selective in signing players.

Lee Stempniak is the poster boy for how effective a PTO can be. He signed with New Jersey after a strong training camp with the Devils last season and produced in a major way for the team, even garnering a sizeable draft pick return from Boston at the trade deadline.

In this week’s edition of What Would You Do Wednesday, we ask which remaining free agents Oilers fans would like to see in training camp on a tryout deal.

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KIDS THESE DAYS

Robin Brownlee
September 06 2016 01:00PM

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see the fuzzy-cheeked collection of players known as Team North America get after it at the World Cup of Hockey with Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers leading the way.

While that might not be a take you expect from somebody of my vintage who has been accused from time to time of yelling and telling kids to stay the hell off my lawn – it’s true – TNA, a collection of the best and brightest 23-and-under players from the NHL, is the most intriguing team at the tournament for me.

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Second Chances and Kris Versteeg

Jonathan Willis
September 06 2016 11:47AM

Things didn’t work out in Switzerland for Kris Versteeg, and now he’s once again on the open market in NHL free agency.

It represents a second chance for Versteeg to stay in North America. It also represents a second chance for teams like the Edmonton Oilers that still have a need for a proven top-six NHL scorer at right wing.

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The Precarious Nature of the Oilers’ Goaltending

Jonathan Willis
September 05 2016 11:00AM

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If the Edmonton Oilers’ 2016-17 season ends up going truly sideways, it’s going to have something to do with goaltending. This shouldn’t be a revelation; after all, the official rebuild started back in 2009-10 with a meltdown in net and more recently the Craig MacTavish-helmed edition of the team foundered off something similar.

The 2016-17 team shares some of the same weaknesses as those clubs.

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Expecting Connor

Matt Henderson
September 05 2016 09:00AM

It’s rather unfair to be labelled the next big thing. The weight of expectation could crush someone not mentally strong enough. Connor McDavid’s NHL career has been highly anticipated since he was 11 years old and his debut only disappointed because we were robbed of a full season by a Flyers defense whose only means of stopping the child prodigy was jumping on his back and driving his shoulder into the boards. While voters played mental gymnastics finding ways to say he wasn’t worthy of the Calder trophy, what’s clear to those who watched was that he was already well past the rookie conversation. Now we’re left wondering how many in the league McDavid isn’t already better than.

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