Edmonton Oilers recall Anton Lander, again

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On Wednesday, the Edmonton Oilers announced that Anton Lander had been recalled from the minors on an emergency basis. It’s the second time in four days the team has brought Lander up due to being down to less than 12 forwards.

As we found out last time this happened, the recall doesn’t necessarily mean that Lander will get any NHL game action. The Oilers may have a player who is banged up but a gameday decision, but they can’t wait until the actual day of the game to recall Lander because at that point it would be too late.

Sam Gagner

It’s likely that Lander’s up as insurance for Sam Gagner. He took a hit from Matt Cooke late in the Oilers’ win over Minnesota, and didn’t skate in practice on Wednesday; head coach Dallas Eakins said that he had “tweaked his ankle” and that they felt rest was what was best for Gagner. 

If Gagner can play, it seems probable that the Oilers would return Lander to the minors so as to avoid burning a recall. Edmonton only gets four post-deadline (non-emergency) recalls, and they’ve used two of them (on Philip Larsen and Oscar Klefbom). 

If Gagner can’t play, though, this is a great chance to get a look at Lander in a role other than uber-conservative fourth liner. Gagner’s been playing between Taylor Hall and David Perron, so it’s possible that Lander would plug right into that slot. Alternatively, the top-six could be rejigged, which would leave Lander with two of Hall, Perron, Jordan Eberle and Nail Yakupov. It’s not likely that Boyd Gordon would get bumped out of third line duty, and it’s virtually certain that Ryan Smyth won’t move up. 

So it’s an all or nothing situation. Either Gagner will be well enough to play and Lander will sit, or Lander will have a great chance between quality players to show that he should be in the Oilers’ plans beyond this season. 

RECENTLY BY JONATHAN WILLIS

    • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

      Reinhard shouldnt even be in the mix. We have 7 of him, already. We dont need to get smaller and more talanted. If its not Ekblad (which im praying it is), then its Bennett. Otherwise the pick should be packaged up and traded for immediate blue line help or top 6 winger with size and preferably one that shoots as everyone else on the team seems to prefer passing (other than Yak but he is a long way from helping in the top 6).

    • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

      To answer the hypothetical question….Ekblad. If we are patient enough to wait three or four years we could end up with one of the better/best Defenses in the league.

      But for me a more interesting question is if we are picking 5 or 6th (get bumped down to six by the lottery) and Ekblad, Reinhart, Bennett and Draisaitl are gone, who do we take?

      Keep in mind the hypothetical is that they are gone…so don’t say Draisaitl slips to sixth. Also the hypothetical assumes the Oilers are picking and not moving the pick.

      Zarny answered the question with some legitimate choices in a previous post pointing to Micheal Del Colle, Hayden Fluery, and Nick Ritchie. Anyone else in the mix for any of you?

      • Quicksilver ballet

        Easy call to be in the top 4-5. Only way you get Reinhart is with that first selection. Assuming the Oilers draft 1 or 3. If they’re fortunate to be in that 1 spot, I take Reinhart and create some competition in the middle. If outside that spot, than Ekblad or Bennett has to be the goal. Go hard after Tyler Myers to help on the blueline if Ekblad isn’t the reality come June..

        Zarny mentioned something interesting. If the Oilers fall out of the top 5, would you offer that first and Yakupov for Tavares?

        The Islanders were prepared to offer the BlueJackets all seven of their selections in the 2012 draft had the Oilers passed on Nail Yakupov, so there’s definitely some Yak interest coming from Garth Snow.

        • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

          Like you, I think the Oilers have a lot to gain by adding a top tier centre. It would probably help the team more over the next two years, for the reasons you say, and might carry less risk than choosing Ekblad.

          So hard to call because I really don’t know which of these guys is closer to a lock to be a top tier NHLer. Reinhart seems less risky because he’s almost certainly going to eventually be a top line centre, meaning either he or Nuge would be 2C which seems like it has elite level tandem written all over it.

          But if you’re the patient type the idea of Ekblad, Nurse, Klefbom, J Schultz, has just as much appeal.

          In the final analysis I’d be happy with Reinhart/Ekblad, Bennett, Draisaitl…in that order….it’s not getting one of these four that most concerns me.

        • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

          I was wondering the same for Tavares but offering Yak this years #1 and one of AHL d-men not named Klesbom, I don’t think Yak and this years would do it but who knows, it seems that this Wong doesn’t usually get it right.

  • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

    whoops, i should have stated that 2C is currently what we need the most, after 1D, 2D, 3D. Winger with size wouldnt hurt, though.

    • Quicksilver ballet

      Figure it’s time to get someone in here to grab that first line center position. RNH has been slotted in there before he’s earned it. He’s starting in on a 6 mill per contract without having really even earned it yet.

      Hopkins needs to be pushed now. He’s no lock to be a number one center in my books. Maybe in 3 yrs he could be.

      Ryans first 3 seasons can be summed up with, meh, from my vantage point.

      • **

        While i do agree, i just cant see how we would get a 1C back without RNH going the other way. And i also feel that a 2C is easier to come by and cheaper to get then a true 1C. Right now, we have a far more concerning problem on our back end that needs to be addressed so i just dont think we can get another 1C to push RNH.

        He isnt worth $6M, and we all know that. Management always gives before they deserve in order to intice them to stay. And i understand why they did it (in this one case) as RNH appeared as a rookie, to be so above and beyond his age that this could have turned out to be a steal of a deal, contract wise. Unfortunately, it has not happened yet. YET. But i still feel it will and we will get great value out of him.

        So, if there is a way we can bring in another center to compete against RNH for top line minutes, then go for it! But i just dont see how we can consider that a priority with all of the other holes in our lineup.

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      and all are available in the top 10 at this year’s draft. too bad we couldn’t weasel another top 10 pick, so after we pick either Ekblad or Draisaitl, we could pick a big tough winger with talent like Nick Ritchie or the 2nd best d-man in the draft Haydn Fleury.

  • TKB2677

    I don’t think anyone has ragged on Sam Gagner more than me the last 3 years and none of it had to do with the amount of points he was getting.
    My problem was his defensive play, face-offs and foot speed, he did stand up for himself and his team mates and seemed to really be liked by his team.
    Saying all that I must admit he has been playing a more complete game since the Olympics and instead of 5-6 bad decisions a game it seems to be down to 1 or 2, maybe he is getting it and that will only help this team by increasing his trade value or being a better player for this team going forward.

    • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

      Hey Rod. The big issue with me is that the Oilers management appear to have failed on several fronts in incorrectly assessing the value of players and not moving them when they should have. Hind sight is 20/20 but Horcoff, Hemsky and Gagner all carry/carried contracts that made/make them harder to move. (Not saying this is exclusive to Oilers management, it happens all the time in many organizations)

      But the part that troubles me the most is that, IMO, the Management has been unwilling to make the HARD decisions. The decisions that take courage and business acumen. The courage to move good players out in order to build a well rounded team. This leads to paranoia on my part that if Gagner’s play improves, thus increasing his trade value, the brass will decide to keep him around even though he’s not the right fit for this lineup.

      I guess in the end all you can do is hope his play improves and hope they grow a pair and hope they move him as a result. That’s a lot of hoping.

      (Yes PRV and a 2nd for Perron took some nerve….but being a Perron fan from the time he entered the league, I give MacT kudos, but I didn’t view the deal as requiring a great deal of courage to make)

      • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

        You won’t hear any disagreement from me, I think the Gagner contract was based on the person and how his teammates regard him instead of being the right 2nd line center going forward, we also have to remember Mac T was in a in a bad position because Tambo/Lowe had only signed him for one year and he had only one year left before he was a free agent, you would have thought he could have been signed for 2 years at $3.2m or at the most $3.5.

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      and the Isles would decline. but i think there are indeed some players on the Isles we could use, so i think there is a deal this off season to be had with them. also if Ekblad is gone if we pick 2 or 3 spots ahead of the Isles, there’s the chance we could trade down with them.

  • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

    Tavares isnt going anywhere. If Tavares was in play during or before the draft, even a moron like Tambs would have easily traded for him.

    Olympian vs a player that is barely 3rd line capable on the 30th place NHL team (based over the past 7 seasons)…

    Id easily trade our 1st at the Draft + Yak + (name a player here not named Hall)

    Yak + Eberle is also something i would strongly consider. Then id move gagner to the position he belongs – RW.