Martin Gernat headlines list of five players demoted by the Oilers

Gernat, Martin

The Edmonton Oilers responded to their 5-0 loss on Sunday by axing five of the players who appeared in that contest. Some of the names are no surprise, but at least a couple of them left much earlier than expected.

The List

Curtis Hamilton. This wasn’t a surprise. He looked out of his depth against the Blackhawks and his AHL career to-date hasn’t been promising. He showed some flashes in camp but this is where he slots.

Kale Kessy. Despite some decent moments in camp that got a few people excited, this isn’t a surprise either. He was a fourth-line guy in the AHL a year ago, and his abilities with the puck remain a work-in-progress.

Jason Williams. AHL-only contract, no surprise. He didn’t look good at all in his preseason debut and probably slid down the Oklahoma City depth chart to start the year as a result.

Iiro Pakarinen. This is a little surprising; there’s a roster spot on the team that fits Pakarinen’s skillset and it’s a little surprising he didn’t outlast some of the guys on the list above him. Dallas Eakins had some very high praise for him in his Monday press conference, comparing him to Leo Komarov, but said he needs to adjust to the speed of the North American game.

Martin Gernat. This is an embarrassment for a guy who should be an NHL recall option in 2014-15. He has been passed in the view of the coaching staff by both Dillon Simpson and Jordan Oesterle – rookie pros – and both those guys played last night. Eakins praised his work in the summer but said he’s “still far below what it’s going to take” in terms of strength and endurance to survive in the NHL.

The Omissions

Simpson, Dillon

Jordan Oesterle. He wans’t drafted, he got a pro cameo in Oklahoma City a year ago and didn’t look good. This was an eye-opening camp for him and one that’s going to move him ahead of some guys.

Dillon Simpson. This is less of a surprise because this is a prospect of some note, but it’s a solid indicator for his career that he’s still in the mix this late in training camp.

A bunch of other guys. There are a pile of players slated for action tonight, and doubtless that group will see some cuts after they play. Guys to watch for include Mitch Moroz, Jujhar Khiara, Travis Ewanyk, Andrew Miller and David Musil (the latter in particular given Gernat’s demotion). This is the point in camp where these guys start bowing out, and anyone who survives the next series of cuts is doing pretty well indeed.

    • Randaman

      Are you high? Yak has actually been receiving high praise, in particular for his work away from the puck which was a big problem last year.

      Not to mention he’s on a 1 way contract so he’d have to clear waivers to be sent down….no way would last year’s 1st rounder pass all other 29 teams on the waiver wire….

      • Wax Man Riley

        Actually, Yakupov is on his entry level contract, so he doesn’t have to clear waivers until after 160 games played (someone correct me if I’m wrong). Yak has 111 poorly played NHL games under his belt and is now 20 so the AHL is all clear without going through waivers.

        I haven’t seen a thing from him that shows he can be an actual player. His “play away from the puck” that you say has been praised looks to me like he was slotted into left wing and couldn’t play there, so kept migrating to the right side stepping on Eberle’s feet all game. The only thing he has shown is that he has average (and choppy) skating, an unwillingness to be coached, and an unwillingness to adapt. Put it all together and I’ve seen nothing to show that he is better than Sam Gagner. Also, since Yak is my goat this year (lol…yak…goat), everything his Horcoff’s fault!

        I mean Yak’s fault. Old habits die hard… Can I still blame Horcoff?

        Someone please tell me why they think Yak is going to score 40….or 30…. Maybe 20 I can see, but even Gagner could score 20(ok, ok no he couldn’t lol)

        • Dan 1919

          Lol agreed Yak hasn’t been impressive in camp and definitely wasn’t last year either. I really hope he pulls through, and if it wasn’t for an impressive rookie year I would say the guy is a write off based on last season and this camp so far.

          His dramatic decline last year and to date actually boggles my mind, sometimes I can’t believe it’s the same player. We’ll know what type of player he’s going to develop into by the end of this year though.

    • DaveChamp

      Last I heard he’s been offered a contract and is considering his options.

      He’s completely allowed to do so, but taking too long might make you wonder if doing so will sour him in the eyes of management and fans.

      EDIT: He’ll be playing tonight with Yakimov and Westgarth (barf).

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    Hamilton’s days seem numbered here, wouldn’t be surprised if he’s gone by next season.

    Pakarinen was indeed a surprise! but maybe a year or less will do him good?

    Gernat still isn’t a surprise to me at least. he’s been passed by a lot of d-men here, so he’s now in tough to ever make this team.

  • Randaman

    I am not sure why Gernat getting demoted is a surprise. He is a fifth round pick with rough edges in his game that need to be smoothed out. He should be expected to be a year – or more likely two – away from being NHL ready.

  • Randaman

    I’m a little surprised at Osterle being cut but guys like Gernat are moving in the right direction.

    I don’t think in spite of your suggestion that Gernat is a dissapointment……..he made huge strides and need a couple of year to mature into a man. THe fact he was able to put on 15 lbs ( and still be a little small) suggests he is trying hard……… adding some strength will help him win battles along the boards in the future.

    It seems that all the players are starting to take strength and conditioning more seriously…….just maybe Eakis gets some kudos here.