The Jeff Deslauriers experiment seems to have finally come to an end. The Oilers put Deslauriers on waivers today, and if no one claims him by noon EST tomorrow, he’ll be sent down to Oklahoma City. Deslauriers was drafted 31st overall by the Oilers in June of 2002, and in his eight years with the Oilers he posted a record of 20-31-7 with a 3.27 GAA and .901 SV%.
I say it seems to have come to an end, because if no one claims him, and Khabibulin or Dubnyk get injured we might see Deslauriers again, but barring an injury I don’t see him returning to the Oilers. Some will wonder why this decision came today and not at the start of the season, and that is fair question, but it seems the Oilers wanted to wait to see how Khabibulin would react once their schedule got hectic. It seems he passed the test and thus Deslauriers was waived today.
To Deslauriers’ credit he didn’t complain about not getting a fair shake during his eight-year tenure with the Oilers. Instead he just wants an opportunity. "What happened in the past happened and I can’t change it. I’m just looking forward to see what will happen to me tomorrow, react to it, and make the best out of it," said Deslauriers.
This is not the ending Deslauriers wanted, because his goal and dream is to play in the NHL, but he admitted it was nice to have the three-goalie situation resolved and wants to move forward.
The Oilers had Devan Dubnyk listed ahead of Deslauriers before camp even started, so Deslauriers being waived today wasn’t a big surprise, but it was a move that needed to be made.
HIS OWN CREASE
With Deslauriers being waived Dubnyk will finally get his own net during practice. Dubnyk, like JDD, showed a lot of maturity through the three-headed monster process but he was looking forward to settling into the usual two-goaltender rotation.
"It’s a huge difference, not just the physical shots, but the mental part. You go in there and if there is something you want to work on or concentrate on for a day, it is hard to work on it when you are jumping in and out of the net after four of five shots.
Some guys might miss the net, or you might not get looks from one side and you don’t really get to work on the stuff you are trying to. Then you get frustrated quickly, and you try not to, but it does get frustrating so it is exciting to have my own net and really be able to get down and get to work," said the 14th overall pick in 2004.
Dubnyk was solid in his first appearance v. Columbus on Thursday and expect Renney to use him more than once every eight games moving forward.
- Ryan Whitney didn’t practice today. He has a laceration on his forearm, and they wanted to ensure he wouldn’t get an infection, but he’ll be ready to go tomorrow. Steve MacIntyre was a bit under the weather and didn’t skate either.
- Sounds like Theo Peckham had the best costume at the Oilers annual Halloween party. He went as Razor Ramone, and according to his teammates he spoke like Ramone all night. Ales Hemsky went as a Roller Derby girl. Ladislav Smid had the fever according to Zack Stortini. Smid went as Justin Bieber.
- I asked Tom Renney about not using Shawn Horcoff in the shootout. He said he has a list of five to seven guys he will use, which means I guess Horcoff is 6th on that list. Renney had this to say about the Calgary shootout. "So far this year the ice hasn’t been that good in the shootout and for the most part I’ve tried to use guys that would shoot, although I was thinking Pens might… There is no question Horc is very adapt at it and I will use him in the future."
- I spoke to Horcoff about it and he was laughing that he might need to sell himself a bit more. He admitted that in practice he probably doesn’t stand out, and that he really only has two or three moves. Shoot five hole, deke five hole or shoot blocker. Regardless of how he looks in practice, the fact is right now he has the best shoot out % on the team, and needs to be the first shooter the next time out.
- Alex Burrows will play his first game of the season for the Canucks tomorrow night v. the Oilers, so the game should have some extra chippiness/energy to it which is good for the Oilers and their fans.