Brandon Davidson returns

It’s funny. The Edmonton Oilers finally appeared to be getting healthy, but it wasn’t destined to last. In the span of two games, veterans Boyd Gordon, Matt Hendricks, Mark Fayne and Andrew Ference have all been lost to the team for indeterminate amounts of time. The Oilers have enough forwards to survive the first two losses without recalls, but on Thursday announced that Brandon Davidson would rejoin the team as a fill-in on defence.

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The Depth Chart


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Todd Nelson and Craig Ramsay deployed their five healthy defencemen in the following order against Colorado:

  • Oscar Klefbom: 69 career NHL games, 26:13 total ice time
  • Justin Schultz: 195 career NHL games, 25:14 total ice time
  • Martin Marincin: 77 career NHL games, 23:37 total ice time
  • Nikita Nikitin: 244 career NHL games, 23:05 total ice time
  • Keith Aulie: 159 career NHL games, 16:54 total ice time

It’s a pretty ugly group by NHL standards, but then the Oilers are playing out the string and didn’t have a strong set of defencemen even before losing their two veterans. It’s long on youth; only Nikitin has played more than 200 career games.

Assuming Ference and Fayne are out for some length of time, four of Edmonton’s six defencemen against the Dallas Stars on Friday will have played for Nelson in Oklahoma City this season.

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In a perfect world, Davidson would be able to play on the left side with an experienced right-shooting puck-mover as his partner. That’s the kind of setup that would play to his strengths, allowing him to focus on being a physical and dependable defensive defenceman. It’s something to keep in mind when he makes the jump. We don’t know yet who he’ll play with; if he’s lucky he’ll get Martin Marincin playing his off-side and if he’s unlucky he’ll be playing the off-side with Keith Aulie, who has his points but whose skillset makes him a difficult combination with Davidson.

It’s not a perfect opportunity for the player, but it is an opportunity. Davidson is in his third professional season now and is a candidate for a No. 6/7 job on the Oilers’ blue line next season; he could help his standing significantly if he can show well over these final games.


  • Mike Krushelnyski

    I’ve noticed our defenceman call ups are all wearing #80-something this year. Did Nikitin pick #86 so that people would think he was an AHLer playing over his head and cut him some slack?

  • Anton CP

    wow. no more checking line. who is going to take all of those defensive draws. taking the tank to a whole new level. plus buffalo and Arizona play tonight. somebody is getting some points. hope it cashes out some bettman points too

    • vetinari

      In an unrelated press release, Arizona just announced that Doan, Ekman-Larsson and Erat will all be out until the end of the season with a serious case of “the McDavid flu” and will be replaced by a scarecrow, a bag of corn and an overripe banana for its remaining games. Gagner will now centre the second line while the bag of corn slides into the 1C spot. When asked about the promotion, the scarecrow was quoted as saying “….”.

  • I like Davidson, his game doesn’t seem to be very complicated. But beginning next year I just don’t see any room for the guy on the Left side. Klefbom, Marincin, Nurse, and Ference will have that side locked up.

    Man do I ever wish this team had a right side top two defenceman to help mentor these kids and take the load off.

    Franson, Voynov, Seabrook, or Petrangilo.

    Seabrook does have a limited clause so maybe he keeps Edmonton off the list, but Chicago is in deep cap trouble next year. Petriangilo, well he starts hitting the cap at 7 mill next year and St. Louise is right up against it, so that might be something they’d go for depending on the return. Plus they have Shattenkirk, Boumeaster, Gunnerson, and Zybnek. Voynov might be allowed back in the league, and if so I doubt LA is able to unload the Richards contract, so I don’t know how they keep everyone. And Franson because Preds have Jones, Weber, and Josi already. Mac T needs to get someone for the right side.

      • WTF2

        Yes, I realize it hinges on his court case. But if not convicted, well there’s no perfect solution to the Oilers problem. But doing nothing is not allowing the team to go anywhere. A shrewd move would be to see if you can give LA a pick in the draft before the court case is settled. Then Gamble on the outcome. If he is not convicted, Oilers get Voynov for nothing.

  • Jordan88

    So our defence is this:

    Boat Anchor – 3nd line winger*

    AHLer – AHLer

    7th D – AHLer

    *Justin Schultz is too stupid to realize he can’t play defence and would be better on the wing.

    The only place JULTZ can play D is in NHL 15

  • McDaddy

    My first nation post, I apologize if the context is wrong but here I go!

    I liked Davidson in his first stint, he wasn’t great, but he didn’t look overwhelmed at the same token. I can see him developing into a reliable bottom pair shut down guy.

    The real sad story is the talent of the call-ups we have at our disposal(no disrespect to Davidson) Just yesterday I re watched the 06 game 7 intro and I didn’t see one player that the Oil couldn’t use today. How have we fallen this far? I think we all know..

    More for another day,

    The Tank lives on boys and girls!

  • WTF2

    So we will now have what amounts to an AHL defense playing in the NHL.

    Thanks to Kim Jong this essentially has been our reality for many years.

    Your move Mr. Katz.

  • McDaddy

    What would be the circumstances the Oilers could call up Nurse? I am not suggesting they should, or will, but just wondering about the rules concerning an emergency call up.

    • CDNinATL

      I’m not certain we can. I believe we can move him to our AHL club as Eberle did that both years he played in junior after his draft year. After his team was out of the playoffs, he then played in OKC for the rest of the season.

  • Time to bust Lowe’s D-Man Mould.Lordy they are coming out of the egg all the same: Davidson, Chorney, Petry, Kelfbom, Simpson, Jultz ,Gilbert.. Pretty much in the same size , fair to decent skaters, poor passers, limited hockey IQ, softer than pudding in their own end, and other than Kelf none of them have or use their shot from the back end.
    Klef’s IQ is pretty good …I think he is the only real shinning star of the group.

  • It is a LITTLE strange that the hard-working veterans who are not World Championship candidates all got injured a few days after MacT talked about all the different call-ups he wanted to see…

    Not that I’m complaining. Play anyone you want for the rest of the season, I’m long past caring about wins this year.

  • Spoils

    to be clear. we have 8 games left and they are all against the west and only 3 games are against non-playoff teams. 4 against better teams that are desperate and on the bubble.

    now we toss in some fresh injuries and 25min a night of niki nikitin…

    remember how the Jets manhandled us… remember the 5 alarm mistakes schultz & co. have teed up…

    8 games left and I really do want to win them all, but wow does the tank look likely.

  • During last game the Sportsnet crew was breaking up the Oilers numbers under Nelson. Unfortunately they considered all the game together, including those of the McT-Nelson era, as well as those “with Petry”, and “without Petry”. If one differentiates those different periods, the numbers show something different: For example during the Nelson-solo era with Petry the Oilers won 48% of the possible points (25 point in 26 games), while scoring an average of 2.5 goals per game, and 3 goals against per game. Without Petry, they got 37.5% of the points (9 points in 12 games), scores 2.8 points per game, and 4 goals against per game (which clearly shows the defensive value of Petry).
    If now wants to compare with he Eakins era, they got 30.5% of the points (19 in 31 games), they scores 2.1 goals per game, and 3,4 golas against per game.
    Clearly some of the biggest mistakes this season were keeping Eakins and not keeping Petry….those are McT failures not Nelson’s.

    • The Soup Fascist

      #26 D JEFF PETRY
      GAMES: 12
      GOALS: 0
      ASSIST: 0
      POINTS: 0
      PLUS/MINUS: -5
      PIM: 2

      Games with Oilers: 59 Plus/Minus: -25
      Games with Montreal: 12 Plus/Minus: -5
      Continuing his superhero play.

      Before PETRY showed up
      Montreal winning % .651

      Since PETRY showed up
      Montreal winning % .500

      I don’t see any different player in Montreal then he was in Edmonton. 3rd pairing at best.

        • So your point is, he can’t handle tough zone starts ? If so, I agree.

          He also can’t handle tough hockey players. But lots of posters on here(and you seem to be one of them) wanted to back up the brinks truck for 4.5M – 5.5 M year long term. MacTavish haven’t made a lot of good hockey moves, but that I believe was a good one.

  • Oiler Fan 16

    •Oscar Klefbom: 69 career NHL games, 26:13 total ice time
    •Justin Schultz: 195 career NHL games, 25:14 total ice time
    •Martin Marincin: 77 career NHL games, 23:37 total ice time
    •Nikita Nikitin: 244 career NHL games, 23:05 total ice time
    •Keith Aulie: 159 career NHL games, 16:54 total ice time

    As we all know it is a lost season, has been since October. I don’t mind playing the snot out of all of our young D including Schultz. MacT needs to really see what he has before making any decisions on these young defensemen’s fates.

    This includes Nikitin but I don’t think it will matter as management has stated he will be in the lineup starting next season.

  • Oiler Fan 16

    In NHL 16, the Jultz has some realistic moves.

    1. The give-away and don’t give-a-$hit. After you watch your pass float away to an opponent, you start slowly working back out of the zone to get ready for a center ice face off.

    2. The Jultz. When an opponent has the puck near you, press the A button 3 times. Causes one handed stick swings in weak circles around the body and the feet get stuck to the ice. Looks cool on HD. Sorta like the Darien Hatcher move he made famous years ago, but without contact of the stick to any part of the opponent.

    3. The corner stop. Just skate into the corner and pass or give away the puck. Then stand still. You can check out the girls in the front row if you want in the new version while you stand there admiring your pass.

  • Oiler Fan 16

    Next Year Predictions:

    1. Ference still has the C, but he keeps it in his lunch box because the Oilers won’t let him wear it on the ice.
    2. Hall plays over 70 games and is the highest scoring left winger in the league. Look out Ovie!
    3. Nurse starts the year in the AHL. Plays lights out and gets called up after 23 games. Subsequently realizes the AHL team is better and begs to be sent down.
    4. MacT starts the race to 30th even earlier by going into camp with 1 NHL center man.

    • Next years predictions:

      Continuing on with the way the rebuild is trending, after the season opener loss the team admits the season is over after 1 game. They begin to trade NHL players away for picks, stauffer declares Shultz is still young and begs for patience, and 1 week into the season oiler fans know the names of every single draft eligible kid in hockey.

  • The Soup Fascist

    Man. I have to stop reading any articles where Nikitin is mentioned. How the hell did these guys trade for the right to pay this turnstile $9 million dollars?

    Scott Howson….. The next time you have a “good” idea, please keep it to yourself.

    MacT ….. Here is $5, feel free to buy a clue.

    I don’t know how purportedly smart people can make such monstrously stupid decisions.

  • Next year prediction. The hype is sold all off season. Todd Nelson stays, Mac T tells us this is the year. Uses examples from this year, Nail Yakupov is getting better. Oilers fans are excited. Very excited. Lose first 6 games in a row by a margin of -69 combined. Fans say be patient and not panic. Fans panic. Oilers presume to go 5-32-6 over the first however many games that is. Nelson gets fired. Bring in Hitchock. Oilers play better finish in 27th place and all oilers fan know way to much about the TSN draft rankings and start talking about how next year will be different..

    • Next year prediction:

      Hanifin gets drafted by oilers, all summer long msm hypes the kid up. MacT over pays for some old 3rd pairing dman and a winger with good possesion numbers. Hanifin starts on the first pairing with Schultz, oilers go 4-29-7. Nelson gets fired. Ramsey steps in to coach rest of year. Stauffer declares he will win the jack Adams next year. Oiler fans get excited for a highly skilled yet undersized winger projected to be a top pick the following draft. Katz publicizes a letter in the paper confirming the amount of rings KLowe has.