Oilers waive Joensuu, demote Marincin

Joensuu, Jesse

The Edmonton Oilers made a pair of minor-league assignments on Sunday, returning defenceman Martin Marincin to Oklahoma City and waiving right wing Jesse Joensuu for the purpose of assigning him to the minor leagues as well.



We might as well start with Marincin, who has not been playing of late. The Oilers had to make a choice here that got him playing, either inserting him into the NHL lineup or returning him to the farm team for more seasoning. The question is whether they have made the right decision.

The question with the player is potential vs. performance. A year ago he stepped into the lineup on the shutdown pairing alongside Jeff Petry and worked wonders, so we know what he’s capable of doing under the right circumstances. Unfortunately, he hasn’t shown well this year at all, leaving the Oilers in the position of deciding between riding out his problems in the hopes of a return to form or letting him reset in the minors. 

They probably made the right call. Marincin’s still a young player, and an assignment to the Barons likely isn’t going to hurt him any; there’s no sense forcing him to play through his problems when a minor-league demotion is an option.


Joensuu, Jesse 2

There would appear not to be much question of what happened here: Joensuu lost his job to Steve Pinizzotto. The defensive zone trio of Boyd Gordon, Matt Hendricks and Joensuu/Pinizzotto has been effective regardless of which winger slotted into that spot, and for whatever reason – maybe it was the fighting, maybe it was the goal results (Pinizotto is +2/-2 at evens six games into his call-up; Joensuu is +1/-12), but the Oilers have opted to make a switch. Even with Joensuu having an edge in some categories (the shot metrics are slightly in his favour and he’s seen zone starts that were just a hair tougher) I can’t get too worked up about it; both guys are fringe NHL’ers and this doesn’t seem like a big move. 

The question is why that job loss has resulted in Joensuu’s demotion. By my count, today’s assignments leave the Oilers with just 12 healthy forwards, seven defencemen and two goalies; 21 of the permissible 23 roster spots. One of those 12 healthy forwards is Luke Gazdic, who has been pretty decent in the two games he’s played but who presumably will be spending a night or two in the pressbox in the future. One of the others is Matt Hendricks, who sat out last game after taking a shot to the leg against Nashville. 

Prudence would dictate the value of having a spare forward available at all times, and if it isn’t going to be Joensuu the question is who gets that spot. Is someone – perhaps Iiro Pakarinen – coming up from Oklahoma City? Or is a trade in the works? 


  • Serious Gord

    Jonathan, I apologize for what I just wrote. You see my mom is being mean to me and took away my Wii.

    I wrote this out of frustration.

    So very sorry,


    • Lumley

      The troll is back. Beat it punk.

      I made the original comment about Willis not knowing how to skate but I meant what I said and didn’t make no apology.

      That’s 3-4 times I come across posting as me Lumley, written in blue not black.

      Mods get on this, get these little punks out of here.

  • Kevwan

    Does mean a trade has been made? It makes little sense to not have an extra F with the big team. Then again what does common sense have to do with this team?

  • TheBirdOfAnger

    Marty played 3 games in his latest call up.

    Nov 21, 22, and 25.

    Here’s his raw corsi and RelCor in those three games:

    Nov 21 vs NJD

    Cor = 93.75% (not a typo.amazing)
    RelCor = +40.63% (ridiculous)
    Rank 1 of 6 among D

    Nov 22 vs CHI

    Cor = 54.84%
    RelCor = +3.68%
    Rank 4 of 6 among D

    Nov 25 vs DAL

    Cor = 62.96%
    RelCor = +12.96%
    Rank 1 of 6 among D

    Marincin is a better D man then Nikitin, Ference, and Schultz. But Mact et al are incapable of assessing talent particularly on D. This is a wasted great prospect by the Oilers because they play favorites. And don’t buy they are following any analytical information thay are being given otherwise this would be different story.

  • bradleypi

    This leaves 2 roster spots open, so I suspect there will be some more moves to follow. A team can’t have only 6 dmen on the roster, so either they are going to recall someone (Hunt?? shudder) or some other moves are to follow.

  • Micbilly99

    Relax, everyone. Let me preface this by saying I think it is a mistake and MM should be up playing in the NHL and developing here.

    However, whether MM is playing better than other Dmen is irrelevant. Right MacT has created a mess with contracts on the blue line and they will keep playing Ference and Nikitin in the hopes that he can find a sucker for them come deadline time. AHL Aulie is likely the price Eakins demanded for having to deal with this mess. Add in the fact that MacT has a misguided man-crush on Klefbom (all the tools but can’t read the play consistently….) and it adds up to Marincin either sitting or playing in the minors. HE is better off playing there than sitting in the press box.

    It is interesting to note that they are screwing around with him in the season that he is set to become a RFA. Setting the table for a lowball offer I presume? In that case, will he sign here or go to someplace in Europe for bigger $$$?

    Here is a scary thought for Oilers fans: the only d-men under contract for next season are Nikitin, Ference, Fayne (he is okay) and Klefbom (should be in the AHL still this season). The team will likely lose Petry, and Jultz should be gone as well as he is not worth the qualifying offer they would have to make him as an RFA based on his play. That would leave the team with two over the hill and untradeable d-men, one decent one (Fayne), and a prospect that struggles to read the play at the NHL level (Klefbom). Even if Marincin re-signs, the blueline could arguably be worse next year as the only players that will sign here are veterans on the decline for more term and $$$ than anyone else will pay them. Until the team has an average NHL blueline it will not improve at all in the standings no matter who they have at center.

  • bradleypi

    Very frustrating.

    I don’t know what to think anymore. It is like scolding your kid and all you get is silence.

    Every decision from the Oilers comes with silence. Not playing Marty, trading Smid, etc.

    Upper management is now hiding behind Nicholson thinking he can put out the fire for another year or so while 6 rings, MacT and Eakins keep their jobs and destroy the Oilers and many good players in the process.

    I never dreamed it would get this bad

    • ThinkingOutLoud

      The worst of the worst etc etc. I have instructed my family members to refrain from giving me any Oiler related Christmas presents. I urge everyone to tell their family members to not buy Oiler gifts. Not until management changes are made. Pass it on and hurt Katz just in case you are not a tier 1 fan.

  • Lumley

    Relax, I think Marincin will be an Oiler D man for a long time provided he accepts his development role at this time.

    He’s really only got a handful of NHL games.He wasn bad last year, but looked better than he really was playing on a very bad team.

    Needs to work on his mobility, toughness and develop a better shot. Will get more opportunity in OKC.He should spend his summer working out in Edm. instead of Europe.

    At this point he cannot play ahead of Nikitan or Schultz for political reason, as they are
    MacTs , save your face.. players.

    Also I think Klefbom, needs a long look here to see how
    he adapts to the NHL, game

  • Lumley

    And right move with JJ, he’s not an NHL player, not good enough. Marincin is better off being in minors then in press box.

    Schultz and Nikitin play because MacT awarded them big millions of dollars contracts, it’s the same line of thinking that Bettman won’t do something about the Arizona team, won’t admit a mistake was made.

  • Andy7190

    Apparently ‘Craigie’ doesn’t have much faith in Fr’Eakins conscripts from the bottom of the Leaf’s organization. They have pretty much all failed and are on their way out. The only thing the Oiler mis-management team does worse than er…everything is how to assay hockey flesh.

  • Perogies From Baba

    The frustration of being this low in the standings is engendering some revisionist history.

    Ladislav Smid (at $3.5 M for another 3 years) is not someone the Oilers need. I liked Smid quite a bit about three years ago. He seemed to have a great technique in shot-blocking, put his body and soul into the game, and appeared to me on the verge of becoming a legit top-four defenseman.

    Then for whatever reason(s) his game started going south. And it didn’t correct. He became a liability. In typical fashion the Oilers traded him when his value was low and got nothing really other than cap space (which they’ve wasted on people like Nikitin).

    There is no need to waste energy pining for Ladislav Smid.

    And while we’re on the subject: no, Ralph Krueger was not a good coach.

    • Andy7190

      So the Oilers don’t need Krueger or Smid, but they do need Eakins and Nikitin.

      Greet moves.

      It isn’t about pining for Smid, he fills a role for the Flames, does what they ask and that is that.

      Krueger was a better coach than Eakins. Period.

      Perhaps that will change. But I doubt it.

  • sportsjunkie007

    Jon you made a mistake with your counting. I think that you accidentally counted Justin Schultz as a defenseman. Everybody knows he’s a right winger.

  • Micbilly99

    So another 2nd round defenseman is not developing with Oilers organization…stop the presses! This is huge news, oh wait no it’s not. Marincin stands in a long line of potentially good defenseman who never developed any skills further than what he bought to the Oilers organization. When will the Oilers finally realize that they are not helping this young kids and find some people who have PROVEN track records in developing hockey players. No Mark Messier is not the answer nor is any other former Oiler. They all played on Stanley Cup winning teams, that doesn’t mean the know how to teach. Kevin Lowe may think he knows what a winner is, but he and the Oilers can’t develop squat! Until development takes the front seat with the Boys on the bus, the team will continue down the road of mediocrity!