Oilers recall Tyler Pitlick

Tyler Pitlick

The Edmonton Oilers made a somewhat surprising decision on Sunday, bypassing recall candidates like Anton Lander and Iiro Pakarinen in order to bring up Tyler Pitlick.

Pitlick replaces Jesse Joensuu on the roster, with the big Finn going on waivers a few hours earlier in the day. He’s a reasonable fit for either the Oilers’ third or fourth line and depending on the health of Matt Hendricks is probably a reasonable option to slot in alongside Boyd Gordon and Steve Pinizzotto on the team’s defensive zone specialty unit. He has NHL size and speed and some experience down the middle though he’s primarily played right wing over his professional career.  

Delayed Reaction

Craig MacTavish6

Pitlick’s demotion to the minors out of training camp was a little bit controversial; he and Pinizzotto ended up on the wrong side of the cut while Jesse Joensuu and Will Acton made the grade as the twelfth and thirteenth forwards. Craig MacTavish said the following on the day those cuts were made: 

I think that we can debate the effectiveness of Tyler Pitlick. I think Tyler is at a position right now that we wished he would have been at a year or a year and a half ago. He’s turned himself into a professional. It ended up with Tyler as well as with Pinizzotto was two difficult decisions, but at the end of the day for me it got down to a positional bias, and I thought the 13th forward here would be best served by being a centreman. It [waivers] was a risk I was willing to take.

What both MacTavish and head coach Dallas Eakins emphasized that day was that the decisions made were not permanent ones, and the team would keep an open mind down the road. That’s proven true; both Pitlick and Pinizzotto are on the roster now while Joensuu is on waivers and Acton is now part of the Canucks’ organization. 

Of the four guys on that list, the one with the most upside is Pitlick. He’s struggled with injuries and he’s struggled with long stretches of ineffective play but he’s also a 6′, 200-odd pound forward with exceptional speed who just turned 23 years old. He’s not lighting the world on fire in Oklahoma City (he has three points in his last nine games after posting six in his first five) but he’s a reasonable scoring option with a range of ability.

He’s a bit of a surprising add, but in his brief NHL career he’s looked pretty decent and he wasn’t bad at all in training camp either. One sort of suspects he’ll either make the grade this time around or be looking for a second opinion with another organization a year from now.

RECENTLY BY JONATHAN WILLIS

  • DoubleDIon

    Another series of “bold moves” by GM MacT. Waiving Joensuu? Demoting Marincin? Firing the goalie coach when you give him 2 backups to work with? Recalling Pitlick?

    Minor moves that are slightly counter-productive. Joensuu and Marincin weren’t the problem. The lack of accountability for the “golden boys” and the lack of NHL level talent in the 3 most crucial positions on a hockey team are.

    On the bright side, nobody wants these buffoons making any actual “bold moves.”

  • bazmagoo

    Had a good chat with two Oilers fans in the Vancouver area who don’t have geographic ties to the team, one grew up on the island the other in the lower mainland, both grew up loving the team in the 80’s. I grew up in Edmonton. All 3 of us agreed that the brand has been damaged big time, and all 3 agreed that we would rather watch the Canucks even though we aren’t fans. The worldwide brand of the Oilers is being destroyed Oilersnation, be aware of that.

  • bazmagoo

    The key to the promotion of Pitlick is one thing “speed”. The Oilers are not a fast skating hockey club, lots of average skaters. Even on the farm team there are not alot of guys with great speed, I think Pitlick will be able to use his quickness to get on the forecheck better than JJ.

    • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

      Agree that Pitlick moves pretty well for a bigger forward and this should allow him to engage more physically than JJ. I think JJ had the willingness to engage physically but could rarely get to the battle in time. The Oil team speed is not particularly good so if Pitlick can add something that way so much the better.

      Ptlick’s biggest problem is he can’t stay healthy. He plays a number of impressive games and then gets injured and the reset button gets pushed.

  • bazmagoo

    Lowe knows a little about winning…
    like ringo Starr knows a little about writing great songs…

    …both were formerly associated with some of the greatest.

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    Is it a myth the Oilers are wanting to be a competitive club this year ? Toying with the roster as much as they have seems to indicate they do not want to , only give the allusion they are trying to . Seems rather odd and ridiculous that no one in management or coaching of consequence has been removed does it not? MacT. has taken a poor club and has managed to make it doubly worse , and somehow is still here with managements blessings . Our linkage is shot and we are stuck in reverse , running out of gas and burning oil profusely unable to see the light of day . Time for Katz to trade in the old model and get a shiny new one that won’t two bit his team to death .

    • By Mac-T’s own standards Dallas Eakins should no longer be employed .When he gave up the gig he said he had to because he could get nothing more out of this group of player’s. You’re horrible choice for a head coach can’t get anything from this group of player’s , so what is the hold up?. More double standards, business as usual. I actually thought you were a lousy coach but upon reflection, you got more out of a group of plugs than Dallas can with some much better pieces. You should not be any higher in the NHL than as a head coach. Grab the reins and see if you still have what it takes to coach. If you don’t then the right thing to do is resign.

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    It’s safe to say the Oilers will either draft McDavid, Hanifin or Eichel Any one of these guys will enhance this team for years to come.

    Sounds like Dallas, Ottawa and Arizona might be looking to shed some contracts for various reasons. Suppose Keith Yandle could be had? Once Nikitin is bought out next year that’s 4.5 million the Oilers could spend(I think).

    Hopefully a competent GM will be brought in to properly spend that money.

  • Zamboni Driver

    A wise man…with an “MBA” and wears glasses once said..

    “If you have to ask the question, you probably know the answer.”

    Tyler.

    Pitlick.

    is the answer ONLY to the question “Who has the worst name in Oilers’ history?”

    • the business isn’t in trouble. they make money off a crap product. lots of businesses make money off lousy products. Tim Hortons is pretty awful, but people flock to that. No one is saying fire the CEO of Tim Horton’s because the coffee sucks. Millions of people are happy drinking bad coffee, simply because it’s marketed as some kind of nationalistic Canadiana. It’s the same idea. As bad as they are, the oilers still make money.

  • DonEnrico

    ……i was thinking is it legal to play two goalies at the same time, i think two together could make a good nhl goalie…..its like oilers applying make up on the pig……we saw all this with Duby sub par goal tending and we are going to have it all over again, i am in despair as a fan, other teams address situations that negatively effects the team, Oilers seem to collect and retain negativity, 10+ game losing streaks, 3 consecutive seasons. Need some thing positive to happen just for a change. I am becoming indifferent to any Oiler movement, it is not an NHL competitive team, any body can come here and look good even playing their worst game, take a shot from center and chances are the goalie will miss it, the team has no confidence in their goalie, any defensive mistake is in the net. Players under Kruger showed signs of improvement, under Eakins every player has regressed