The Edmonton Oilers have a bunch of guys headed for injured reserve, two on waivers and one incoming from the Dallas organization. The result? Sunday night’s 22 healthy bodies may get some company tomorrow morning.

The Oilers plucked two enforcers off waivers this week, Steve MacIntyre early and then the unusually named Luke Gazdic on the weekend. GM Craig MacTavish talked all summer about adding a strong, physical element and the two waiver hires would certainly seem to be enough (some might suggest "overkill" with the possibility of Mike Brown and Ben Eager also being on the roster).

The club also waived two players thought to have made the team (Ryan Hamilton and Phil Larsen) and it’s certainly an open question whether one or both will be taken from waivers tomorrow. Larsen specifically impressed during the pre-season and many are surprised this evening at his status.

All of this upheaval leaves the Oilers roster situation a little hazy this evening.

With MacIntyre joining the Nuge, Sam Gagner and Corey Potter on the sidelines (and likely heading for the IR), the Oilers have a 22 man list tonight, and that’s one below the max:

  • Goal Devan Dubnyk, Jason Labarbera
  • Defense Ladislav Smid, Jeff Petry, Andrew Ference, Justin Schultz, Nick Schultz, Anton Belov, Denis Grebeshkov
  • Center Taylor Hall, Mark Arcobello, Boyd Gordon, Will Acton
  • Left Wing Ryan Smyth, David Perron, Jesse Joensuu, Luke Gazdic, Ben Eager
  • Right Wing Ales Hemsky, Jordan Eberle, Nail Yakupov, Mike Brown


MacT and Dallas Eakins clearly felt the club needed a physical element and with MacIntyre and Gazdic added to Eager and Brown that seems like enough. Possible areas of improvement include center (most teams carry 5) and defense (where Grebeshkov and Potter don’t appear to be ready).

We’ll see. The Oilers could enter the season with the 22 men listed above, but there’s certainly a need there in the middle and some interesting players available.

Today, Gazdic. Tomorrow? We wait.

  • Spydyr

    I am all for protecting the kids but what this team really needs is some grit and toughness in the top six a skilled player who also brings some nasty.That and a center or two.Getting the player mentioned above who happens to be a center would be perfect.

  • The Last Big Bear

    You know who would have been a quick and cheap fill-in at centre, in addition to probably becoming the Oilers’ top centre prospect?

    6′ 5″, 23 year old 1st rounder, Joe Colborne.

    Do you know what Calgary had to pay to get him?
    A 4th round pick.

    Edmonton should have been on that kind of deal like a trucker on a donut.

    • Ducey

      Colborne is not a good fit for Edmonton. He needs to play top 6 minutes. But in that role he has not produced as well as Arcobello.

      He is big but plays on the perimeter (ie soft). He doesn’t PK and isn’t noted for defense.

      His eventual role (once Nuge and Gagner come back) would be as a 4th line C and he doesn’t do that well. Thats why TOR got rid of him.

      You can bet Eakins didn’t go to bat for him either.

      He is a better fit for Calgary as they don’t really have a 2nd line center (assuming Monohan will be the first line C).

      • Batfink

        Lol, yeah, the same Calgary who’s GM said they wouldn’t rebuild and wouldn’t, how did he put it, “wander the desert.” They are screwed. They let aging stars go for nothing, and now every GM in the NHL knows they only have a few assets to move. They WILL be rebuilding via draft, whether they like it or not!

    • Dan 1919

      Calgary had the better inside track, I don’t blame MacT. Colburne maybe showing signs of finally becoming a player after that wrist injury. Too bad he is going to a terrible team where he will probably struggle.

      Setting that aside, center issues needed to be dealt with in July. This is a major flub up. There are not any good solution, but you can’t tell me a PTO to Mueller or Steckel or heck even Wellwood could not have been given before Training Camp. I am pretty sure Mueller is better then anything we got after Hall and Gordon, and Steckel and Wellwood are not worse then the AHL duo. How would of Grabbo looked for 3 million, but we have Jones and Grubby for that money.

      I don’t have a clue what MacT is doing. I don’t see a coherant well thought out plan to his entire tenure when he can’t seem to figure out he needs a center.. Instead of addressing his needs this week, he plucked SMAC off the waiver wire with less then 30 minutes before he was shipped to Siberia. He gets hurt, so they get the flavour of the day in Gadzic after he had obviously the best game of his career right in front of their eyes. Then they dump a kid in Larson who without question based on merit made the club cause the our infinitely smarter braintrust wants a quartet of goons to staple to the bench. If you were going to dump Larson, at least do it so you can get a center.

  • BS-IT:
    Goalies cannot score goals.
    Gf 50% of wins.
    Goalies cannot prevent shots on net.
    60% of GA the other half of wins.
    Goalies stop shots. Save%
    40 % of GA
    20% of wins.
    .914 is the league average for Goalies.
    Can you name the goalies who were not below
    average the last three years?
    There Save% during that time.
    1. Schnieder VCR .929, .937, .927 (.931 avg)
    2. lundquist NYR .923, .930, .926 (.926)
    3. Rask BOS .918, .929, .929 ( .925)
    4. Vokoun FLD, WSH,PIT .922, .917, .919 (.920)
    5. Niemi SJS .920, .915, 924 (.919)
    6. Dubnyk EDM .916, .914, .920 (.917)
    6. Lehtonen DAL .914, .922, .916 (.917)
    8. Miller BUF .916, .916, .915 (.916)

    all the rest of the starters were below average one year.

    My guess is the goalie that faced the 2nd most shots per game in that 3 yr period stands a chance of improving his save % with better defence and reduced shot count.


    I prefer facts not views based on BS IT

  • Fresh Mess:
    Fistric-potter were the best GA d pair in the Game last year.
    When we replace that 3rd comp D pair , how do you improve on the best.
    there was areason we offered over 1M and term to Fistric

    I would be much happier with
    Smid-Petry ( 3rd best ga 1st comp pair last year)
    Ference-belov (replaces the worst 2nd comp D in the game (N. schultz-J. schultz, -Whitney)
    Fistric-J. Schultz

    Our preseason shot count was reduced by 5 shots/gm versus the last three preseasons. that would be a reduction of.40goals against.
    I would gladly take less than the league average in shots 28.9 with a better than league average save % goalie. A 3.3 reduction in shots.

  • This team is being run reactively and not at all proactive.

    MacTavish is slowly closing in Tambellini type management system.

    I have zero idea how two enforcers will make any difference what so ever?

    When in the 1 1/2 minutes of playing time will they impose there will? Players are who want to cheap shot will cheap shot.

    Players like Kassian , Cooke , Burrows don’t give a flying Fook about Mac or Gazdic, they may go a whole year and never see them once on the ice at the same time.

    The minute these guys ( Mac or Gazdic)do get on the ice the other team will change to take advantage of two players who can’t skate.

    This team needs players like Glencross, players that are good enough to go against the team’s top line and inflict a little retribution, Steve Ott, Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Malone, Steve Downie, Backes

    Mac & Gadzic are a waste of a roster spot

    Oilers should be trying to fill a center position not some Tonka truck on skates.

  • Ducey

    I liked Larsen too. But if you look at the right side of the blue line, you have Petry, J Schultz, Belov, Potter and Larsen. Petry and Schultz are locks. Belov was on a two-way deal, but I like him more than Larsen at this point, so you keep Belov. Potter’s body of work as a third pairing D is actually decent and you can’t waive Potter because he’s hurt. Odd man out is Larsen. Now, I’m hoping that they waived Larsen to open up a spot on the 23-man roster for a centre.

    As for Gadzic, well, let’s just say that you and I can argue about the value of an enforcer. But as long as another team believes in having an enforcer to met out “justice,” you’d better have an enforcer too. See John Scott chasing Kessel? That was a dangerous play where Devane drove Tropp’s head into the ice. Pretty obvious that the Sabre bench was incensed by the incident. Scott was on the ice for the next shift. I think Carlyle could have been better prepared and now Clarkson is suspended 10 games.

    • Ducey

      But why did having Scott in the lineup not prevent what happened to Devane in the first place??

      I thought that the enforcers were supposed to stop things like this just by being in the game?

      ~After all it clearly worked on Regher all those years ago when we had SMac protecting our skill and Hemsky never got cheap shotted~

  • Ducey

    For all those who are going crazy thinking about all the tough guys we now have…….relax take a chill pill.

    I for one think teams that clearly have a thing for running our young guys, will think twice. I remember a game in Calgary that I attended where Glencross was continously running RNH with no Oiler response……..in fact all the players were skating away as if they had not noticed what was going on.

    Let’s see them try that now? As for all the extra heavyweights, I suspect Mac T will pick the best of them and waiver the rest.

    • Really, I remember that game and many like it, so tell me what’s going to stop Glencross?

      Why didn’t Hordichuck get on the ice and get his pound of flesh then? There is a reason the Oilers never responded.

      Why didn’t Eager or Peckham, go after Glencross?

      Because Glencross wasn’t on the ice when these plugs are on the ice, Glencross plays on the top two lines are you going to put Mac out there against the other team’s top two lines…….NO, there is no opportunity to put a tough guy out against those players, you have to have like players to combat that.

      The Oilers need tough players who can play in the top 6, not just the bottom 6. Ryane Clowe was a wasted opportunity for the Oilers.

      • Reg Dunlop

        We can’t put a thug out against the opposition’s top 2 lines? Is that against the rules? You are missing the point. Mac or Brown or Gazdic need to do to Sedins or Thorton or Getzlaf exactly what Weiss tries to do to Hall. Then let the Ducks or Canucks respond by playing their enforcers so our top lines can skate circles around them. Time to be proactive and make the opposition react. What’s the worst that can happen? We give up a good scoring chance? That’s why we have a goalie.

        Red ice, go oil.

        • When was the last time you actually witnessed this?

          maybe, maybe, preseason and that’s about it.

          The problem with Mac was teams were playing there best against him, same with Hordichuck.

          As soon as those players come on the ice the other teams changes to catch them.

          To combate a team taking liberties, score on the PP, the only way to truely stop the other team from running you.

          That, or get players who can play in the top 6 and can fight.

  • Dan 1919

    For everyone saying the Oilers need top six tough guys, please stop it already. This isn’t NHL 13, you can’t just trade up until you get them.

    SPOILER ALERT, EVERY SINGLE TEAM IN THE NHL NEEDS/WANTS A TOP 6 TOUGH GUY. They are hard to get, so get over it!

    That is why we are seeing an alternative right now.

    MacT went after both Clarkson and Clowe. They did not want to come here, so what can you do about it, pout? No, you find another way, exactly what MacT did, he found a different way, maybe not the easy way you can do it on NHL 13, but he did something instead of nothing.