WHICH WAY YOU GOIN’, ANTON?

Anton Slepyshev is a talented scoring-winger in the KHL and an Oilers’ draft pick from 2013. We’ve tracked him for the last two seasons and he blossomed after Christmas this past season. There are reports he may come over and there is a report he has signed with UFA in the KHL. Seems to be a disconnect somewhere.

Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal is probably the most trusted name in the city among newspaper men and his report earlier tonight about the Russian winger is encouraging.

  • Matheson: You can expect the Oilers to soon sign their 2013 third-round
    left-winger Anton Slepyshev (6’2, 187 pounds), who had 25 points in 58
    games for Salavat Ufa in the KHL this past winter. He could play in the
    AHL with fellow Russian Bogdan Yakimov, who was in Edmonton last week to
    get his injured knee looked at by Oilers medical staff. Source

Pretty straightforward, no guarantee but it would certainly appear mutual interest exists and—all things being equal—we should expect to see the young man signed and in training camp this fall. 

Ryan Rishaug is (as with Matheson) an extremely credible source. His wording is similar to Matheson, perhaps a little less certain but in the range.

HOW IS YOUR RUSSIAN?

Mine is terrible but the internet is a very interesting thing.

The article is in Russian and google translate gives us a hilarious view of the story:

  • “Salavat Yulaev” extended the contract with striker Anton Slepysheva and Stepan Khripunova two years. Both players bilateral contracts. 20-year-old Slepyshev this season had 63 games of “Salavat” and scored 27 (15 + 12) points. 19-year-old Hripunov while not involved in the KHL matches. In MHL he spent 59 games in the “Tolpar”, scored 23 goals and made 48 assists. Source

My thanks to Patrick C (Chunklets Hockey) for the translate, and for passing it along.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Ryan Rishaug and Jim Matheson have the story, that’s absolutely someone’s understanding of the situation. This contract could be any number of things, including:

  • A negotiating tactic by the player and his agent, signing a contract with a trap door if they receive a suitable offer inside a specific window
  • A change of heart by the player, who had been negotiating but instead decided to stay. 
  • An erroneous report. 

One of Slepyshev’s teammates this season in Ufa—Teemu Hartikainen—was once an Oilers farmhand and there’s a chance he will be a teammate in Ufa again this coming season (depending on Harski’s return and the veracity of today’s report from Russia). Slepyshev’s talent suggest he would certainly be a strong candidate for NHL time during an entry level deal, although a long shot for the opening night roster in 2015-16. We wait. 

  • nuge2drai

    Let’s just get to the draft.. Aka the Oilers playoffs..

    Let’s hope the Canadians and Rangers make it to the second round.

    Oilers will have another top 20 pick in the draft and an additional 3rd rounder.

  • Long evening at work for both of us I see. Slepy would be an interesting addition to Bakersfield. Russians.They are voodoo.Anything coming out of the press in Russia is half truths and half lies. Like TMZ.

    Todays presser by MacT was as vanilla as it could get. No bombshells or landmines being stepped on during that interview. Nothing to see boys move right along.

    Where are we celebrating Saturday night after we win the lottery. I have faith in the luck of the draw. When we do win I expect a pat on the back for keeping the faith.

  • Anton CP

    Look at Kuznetsov as example, it will take lots of patience and proper development for a player come directly from KHL to find successes in NHL. Which means, he will be very unlikely to success as an Oiler. The reason that Slepyshev will come play for NHL is simply because rubies are sinking, he makes more money to play in NHL.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    i just get the feeling he’s not all that enthused about coming over to NA to play hockey just yet. might do him good to play a few more years over there?

  • I have lost respect for most of the sports writers in this city. Yesterday’s was more a love in than feet to the fire presser. Begs the question. Are they on Katz’s payroll? What a bunch of marshmallows.

    • WTF2

      A few things I found of interest. First is that ON has not yet offered an opinion piece on MacT’s end of the season event.

      Second if I understand correct;y the Oilers control attendance at such events and at their sole discretion can cancel media access to team functions. This I find troubling and is another negative comment about an organization that claims to be fan friendly.

      And third the difference between Shanahan’s similar event in Toronto by comparison was significant. He was actually able to find some hunour in the situation. and displayed a level of confidence unseen with Oilers GM.

  • Randaman

    I also felt Mac T got off pretty light considering the season was lost in December because Mac T hired Eakings. The D was a mess all season and he traded what was our best d man. Mostly the team played with no heart and its a terrible mix of forwards. All of this falls at the feet of Mac T . Then of coarse the best part was when he said expect a slightly better team next year.
    Wow that was pretty exciting news for season ticket holders. While most teams talk about making the playoffs we are talking about reaching maybe 20th and once again going into the draft lottery. By the time Mac T finally gets fired , the Oilers will have a team of nothing but high first round draft picks. it will be like the Harllem Globetrotters going into the NBA, exciting times ahead indeed.

  • Spaceman Spiff

    If you only watched the video attached to this story, and not the story itself, you might be tempted to think (as I was), that Slepyshev is a supreme scorer in the KHL.

    Then … you read the story and discover that he had 25 points in 58 games … in the KHL. It’s at that point you begin to wonder if all 25 of those points were shown on the video.

    So …um… yeah. Are we supposed to get excited about that? Am I missing something here?

    The dude had less than half-a-point a game in a league that is either slightly better or slightly worse than the AHL. Yes, yes – I know. No second-assists awarded in Russia or most of Europe. But is it that hard to score in the KHL?

    Slepyshev is an interesting player, but I fail to see how he’s a “steal.”

  • Randaman

    “My thanks to Patrick C (Chunklets Hockey) for the translate, and for passing it along.”

    My pleasure! 🙂

    “The dude had less than half-a-point a game in a league that is either slightly better or slightly worse than the AHL. Yes, yes – I know. No second-assists awarded in Russia or most of Europe. But is it that hard to score in the KHL?”

    Not actually true about the second assists – they do award them, pretty much as the NHL does. What affected Sleps’ P/GM rate this season was ice time. He was being kept on a very short leash early in the season, and didn’t play 14 minutes in a game until the season was two months old. So basically his P/60 are better than his P/GM suggest.

    “I think there’s a handcuff version of restricted free agency in the KHL. The club may have unilaterally “extended” him. Remember when Malkin wanted out?”

    Yep – reports today indicate that that is exactly what happened. Link to article. What it means, likely, is that it will cost the Oilers a fair bit of money to buy him out of his KHL contract, if that’s what they want to do. They may, at this point, choose to leave him in Russia for a year, so that they only have to buy out one season. That’s a straight-up guess, though. 🙂

  • Randaman

    “So, basically it is legalized extortion.

    Sounds about right considering the country of origin.”

    It is hard on young players who want to leave, or at least it can be if their KHL teams want to make it that way. However, all Salavat Yulaev are really doing here is making sure they get compensated in some way for the loss of a good player on whom they spent some development time — either they get another year or two of service from Slepyshev, or they get some $$ from Katz, or both. And that’s fair enough, imho.