Magnus Paajarvi hits the waiver wire

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If the Oilers were completely healthy, it would be extremely difficult to think about adding any forward to the roster. But with Jordan Eberle and Teddy Purcell both injured in the preseason, there just might be room for a little bit of insurance on the wing.

In related news, Magnus Paajarvi found his way to the waiver wire on Tuesday. 

Paajarvi has some significant limitations as a player. Despite some flashes early in his career, he’s not really a scorer. He notched 15 goals as a rookie and has never equaled that number, not even if we count his time in the AHL. He’s not a physical hockey player, either.

On the other hand, he’s big, fast, intelligent and competent both as a playmaker and as a defensive forward. That seems to be his niche at the NHL level; instead of being a defensive forward with a physical edge he’s a defensive forward with a strong passing game. 

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Paajarvi’s most recent approximation of NHL success came in 2012-13, mostly on a third scoring line next to Nail Yakupov. It’s easy to imagine him in the same role today, particularly with Anton Lander as the centre of that unit. Paajarvi and Lander played together extensively in Oklahoma City and had strong chemistry; there’s a chance the unit could hit the ground running. 

He’s certainly not an expensive bet. Paajarvi is on a one-year, $700,000 contract and can be demoted to the minors at any point without the team sending him down incurring any cap penalty at the NHL level. 

Some will reject this out of hand because Paajarvi is an ex-Oiler; they’ll argue the team has moved on and it’s pointless to revisit the past. It’s a silly argument; players should be assessed based on their ability to help in the here-and-now and regardless of their history with the team. Paajarvi’s a reasonable stopgap, is still young enough to have untapped potential, and is probably as good of a fit as the Oilers will find on the waiver wire.

Really, it comes down to how confident the team feels in its depth on the wings, how serious the injuries to Eberle and Purcell are, and what other options are out there via trade. I’m not saying the team must claim Paajarvi, but if they need a competent bottom-six winger with a bit of upside this is as good as they’re likely to get at zero acquisition cost. Paajarvi is the kind of cheap gamble that just might pay off, and even failing that he should provide competent play as an injury replacement. 

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  • bigfoot

    Need to grab him off waivers.

    I really like what I have seen from Slepyshev but this move would help make the 3rd line better defensively, and he has shown chemistry with Lander and Yakupov in the past. This will allow Slepyshev to be sent down to the AHL for a development year to adjust to the North American game.

    It is a no risk move that has the potential for high reward. Worst case you lose what you didn’t have to begin with and it didn’t cost you anything.

  • bigfoot

    Slepyshev is doing alright on the big club, hasn’t he earned the right to fill in for the month of October? MPS’ time in Edmonton was plain disappointing and his availability suggests things weren’t much better in St Loo. He’s cheap, that works in his favour, but are the Oilers looking for any more than a band aid on the wing for now?

  • Johnnydapunk

    Think I’m in the minority here but at 700 000, would be worth a shot and see how he works with the “new” Oil, worse comes to worse you put him back on waivers and if he clears, send him down to the AHL, for the price he could prove useful.

  • Sean17

    The forward depth should come from within the team should promote its own players first at least give them the opportunity to show what they got. Whats the point of having a development system if you don’t utilize it. Instills confidence in the prospects knowing the organization believes in them instead of looking elsewhere the moment there are injuries.

  • Sean17

    If we pick up Paajarvi all those people who bought Paajarvi jerseys will be able to wear them to Rexal again and not feel like they got ripped off.

    Other than that he can stay in the minors until he develops will make McTavishes’ Perron trade look even better