Oilers demote two players, recall three

The Edmonton Oilers have announced via Twitter a number of roster moves. Recalled are defencemen Corey Potter and Martin Marincin, along with centre Anton Lander. Going to Oklahoma are Denis Grebeshkov and Will Acton.

The General Manager

Craig MacTavish took advantage of the Oilers’ trip to Dallas this past weekend to take in some games in Oklahoma City, watching the Barons win on Saturday and then lose on Tuesday night. Corey Potter didn’t play in those games, but Martin Marincin and Anton Lander both did and were given the opportunity to impress the G.M. in person.

Based on today’s moves, it’s fair to say they did. 

The Moves

Up front, the swap of Lander for Acton is fully deserved and has been al ong time coming. Lander perhaps isn’t as physical as Acton, but he’s a more rounded player at this point – both players offer the Oilers a fourth-line defensive specialist, but Lander’s offensive game has come along nicely in the AHL this year and he’s at the point where he’s a true 200-foot player – in other words, a guy who can legitimately help the team at both ends of the ice as opposed to just in the defensive zone.

Or, to put it another way: Will Acton’s best  AHL season saw him put up 19 points. Lander has 15 through 18 games this year. They aren’t in the same ballpark offensively, and Lander’s posted numbers while being dominant as a defensive forward.

On defence, the swap of Potter for Grebeshkov isn’t a big shock either. Potter’s been the better player when the two have played together in Oklahoma City; he plays a steadier defensive game than Grebeshkov and moves the puck almost as well.

The addition of Marincin is the only move I wonder about, but if the Oilers want another option on the left side he’s more ready for NHL work than Oscar Klefbom or Brad Hunt. Marincin has played better of late, though, and particularly on offence. In October he played eight games, with eight shots, one assist and a minus-two rating; since then he’s put up five points, 26 shots and a plus-six rating in 12 contests. 

These are reasonable moves. Two of the trades make the Oilers better right now, and the recall of Marincin rewards a guy on the NHL bubble who has made strides in his game of late. 

    • I suppose that’s a possibility, though I imagine if they were looking at it form a trade perspective it would be more a ‘let’s see what we have here’ look to establish for themselves how he can perform at the NHL level.

      But I don’t really think it’s any more complicated than rewarding a guy whose play has improved.

  • Truth

    At this point the entire team should be relegated. Make them win the Calder cup to be promoted back to the NHL. I honestly don’t think they would make it this year.

  • ubermiguel

    Finally Will Acton goes back down. Hopefully he turns into an NHL player someday, but he’s not there yet. Lander and Arco look more like NHL centres than Acton right now.

  • ubermiguel

    Gagner is not playing at anywhere near the 2C level. He can’t win a face off, can’t play defensively, can’t play along the boards and allows the play to die on his stick far too often. If he sits and is replaced by Arcobello it will be very interesting to see what happens. Good to see that Lander appears to have earned a shot.

    • S cottV

      Really be nice to bring in a veteran 1C and take some of the pressure off of RNH by dropping him to 2C.
      That would be worth Gagner – one of our high end small wingers and a draft pick – for sure.

      • Silver Streak

        Gagne absolutely must be moved this month…I believe his no trade kicks in at year end….he is and always has been a total wreck on the dot…way too soft…enough…move him anywhere for damn near anything.

  • Phuryous George

    Honestly, I felt sorry for Fedun, except having any ties with the Brass, he had done everything he’s asked by the team, yet he’s left out in the cold!! I don’t know what to say to you man, just suck it up, it’s the cruel cruel world, this is !! Sometimes, it also have to do with luck, you see, just when we thought we don’t have to suffer another night with Dubynk in goal; He gets in by default! Seriously, the guy couldn’t stop a beach ball!!!!

  • camdog

    Mact must be coming close to a record for the number of call ups he’s made this season. Maybe this one will work, however replacing AHL players with other AHL players, usually isn’t that impactful

  • Phuryous George

    We should get John Scott from Buffalo and make him play defence. He’s as big as Chara, and hey, it worked for Byf in WPG.

    Plus he’s from EDM. ANd thats how Steve Staios got started at D.

    P.S. i’ve started drinking and am now running at the mouth like a high school girl at her first party. Please dont hate me.

  • camdog

    Why cannot some team hire Mad Mike Keenan for their GM? Mike traded us Cujo and the Human rake for absolutely nothing….we need to make that kind of deal again….

    • Craig1981

      I wonder about Goalies. Miller is free (I know he most likely won’t come to Edmonton but he is there for other teams). Anaheim has Anderson/Faths so Hiller might be free. Scrivens, Harding, Reimer, Mazanec. Are all top 10 in Save% but backups that (besides Harding) have goalies in front of them that aren’t going to let them start anytime soon.

      • camdog

        Hiller can be had, I don’t think Anaheim thinks too highly of him. Word is they may make a pitch for Miller. That said if Anaheim doesn’t have much faith in Hillier, then why would we?

        • Johnnydapunk

          I don’t know if it is an issue of Anaheim not having faith in Hiller, it’s more to do with Fasth being signed for next year at a relatively cap friendly price (2.9 mill) and Andersen being signed for the next two years at an equally good price for a young backup (1.15 mill ish)

          I don’t think they expected Anderson or Fasth to be as decent as they have been and as a result have made Hiller expendable.

          Hiller still has some good years left in him, but he is making 4.5 mill a year so I don’t think he would get anything less than 5 mill on the open market.

          Looking at the current RFA and UFA listings for 2014, there are a lot of goalies that may potentially be finding new homes next season. Hope the Oil can find at least 2 decent ones willing to come here.

        • Craig1981

          Why do you think they don’t have faith in Hiller? He was given all the games in the playoffs last year, despite having slightly poorer numbers than Fasth. He has played in the majority of their games this year despite missing time with injury.

          I’m not sure what the answer is, I just wonder what the options look like from MacT’s eyes. I have always found myself cheering for Reimer even though he is a leaf

  • Johnnydapunk

    Does that mean the Bryz is on the IR now ? I remember that he wasn’t previously and was taking up a roster spot as a result, meaning the Oil had one less skater than usual because of having 3 goalies up.

  • Oilerz4life

    I disagree with this move entirely, Grebeshkov still has plenty of talent, for the KHL. He should not be on the next flight to Oklahoma, he should be on the next connector that will get him back to Russia!

  • A-Mc

    JWillis: Are you actually watching the OKC games, either live or via stream?

    If so, can you tell us what the heck is going on with Klefbom? Is he being over hyped? or is he a legitimate option that just hasn’t gotten a chance to come up yet?

    We’d like to know and with the way you speak of OKC happenings, it suggests you actually attend or watch all their games.

    • I’ve been in Oklahoma City all season and have a press pass for Barons games.

      As for Klefbom, he’s a rookie. Plenty of talent, but he needs time. What Taylor Fedun told me about the state of the defence in general last night applies exceptionally well to Klefbom:

      “We have a lot of potential, we have some very skilled and hard-working guys back there. But it is, no matter how you look at it, it’s a big jump to move from junior up to play at this level. At times we have to remind ourselves that they’re young back there, but that’s the way it is in this league – we hold everyone to a high expectation. Moving forward, we’re going to try and stop using that as something to lean back on.”

  • Tikkanese

    Wish it was Fedun not Potter but it’s still upgrades all around.

    Was hoping Lander would get most or all of a season in the AHL to even further help his offensive confidence but oh well. He’s surely better than Napolean Dynamite, I mean Will Acton.

    • Bishai in the Benches

      Seems kind of like a recipe for disaster to me. But hey, this is the Oilers we’re talking about. Who cares about defenseman development!?! Sign me up for 3 more years of rebuild.

    • A-Mc

      Nurse, Klefbom, Fedun and Marincin?

      Personally I’d run those 4 now if i thought they could handle it and i could afford them proper ice time.

      It wont hurt our season any!

      • reaperfunkss

        WOnt hurt this year at all. it will however put a huge dent in the development of Nurse Kefblom and marincin. I don’t think Fedun will be all that much.

      • Truth

        Wishful thinking. Nurse couldn’t make world junior team. Needs another full year of juniors and 1 or more in AHL. Kelfbom should play this entire year and maybe next in the “A” too. Let them develop. We’ll have to suffer with what we have or add UFA’s

      • pkam

        If we ice those 4 rookie defensemen for the rest of the year, you can be sure we will get Ekblad this year.

        And we can ice 2 more rookie defensemen next year in Nurse and Ekland so we will get McDavid next year.

        Look like you are suggesting to start another rebuild.

        • A-Mc

          If you aren’t going to make the playoffs, play bad for Ekblad!


          Might as well get something for sucking.. The worst possible scenario is to end up like calgary does most years: Not sucking enough to get a good pick but not good enough to actually make the playoffs. ie: No mans land.

    • S cottV

      The perennial rotating door of the AHL players up for some experience . Been here all to often before . They hope they get a couple of good games out of each before they send them back down again . MacT. has nothing better to offer us ? P.S. – it’s never seemed to work before ,and I doubt it will have any relevance this time either . The continuing cycle of failure .

        • Phuryous George

          Fair enough, but this is the Oilers. Almost the whole team plays above where they would on any other NHL team, so that like comparing apples to oranges.

          No WAY Petry plays as a top Dman anywhere else. Even Ference is a 3-4 guy, has been all his career, but not here. Everyone is asked to play tougher minutes than they should. And God forbid you have 2 good games winning your 3rd line matchup, then its time to put Ryan Jones on the first line, get blown up, and sent back down to OKC. What other team does that.

          This season more than ever, its important for me tostay in the Oilers fishbowl, and try to find the silver linings.

          I mean, for crying out loud, i have season tickets.

  • A-Mc

    OH sweet, Lander is back. Good luck Kid!

    My guess is Jeff Petry sits out and Marincin slides in. Obviously Lander takes Will Actons spot, and with any luck Arco plays in Gagner’s spot.

    Petry and Gagner.

    Looks good to me!

    • Craig1981

      I think you have a great thought with Petry. Nothing would push a player to give more than a younger version taking his job for a bit.

      I’m not sure Gagner is badly need of a “reset” I personally think he get unfairly singled out, such as the Nashville game when he got blamed for Petry’s TERRIBLE coverage on the 2nd man by fans. If you look Gagner clearly had the 3rd man coming in.

  • Phuryous George

    Nice. So long Grebs ( you could see in a replay from a goal last night, he hung his head and knew he was going) WELCOME BACK, POTTER! Some fresh blood and LANDO.

    just need some Bellyfire now.