Nilsson does not require waivers

Anders Nilsson has been perfect thus far in the preseason. He has stopped all 53 shots he’s faced; 17 vs. Calgary in half a game, 25 in a 60-minute effort vs. Minnesota and 11 last night against Arizona.

He signed a one-way contract worth $1 million earlier this summer, but he does not have to clear waivers to be sent down and that might be the reason he starts the season in Bakersfield.

Up until last night I incorrectly thought he needed to clear waivers, but that is not the case.

NHL forwards and defencemen are waivers eligible after their entry level contract is up. Essentially after the play three years of pro, or if they’ve already played 160 NHL games.

Goalies are different. They are waiver exempt until after their fourth season. I thought  Nilsson needed waivers because he played three years of AHL/NHL experience and then played pro last year in the KHL.

Incorrect. This is his fourth season on an NHL contract, and he has played fewer than 80 games, so he is waiver exempt.

This window allows the Oilers to send him to the AHL and keep Ben Scrivens in the NHL, without the risk of losing one to a waiver claim.

Scrivens has played well also, but I’d say Nilsson has outplayed him, albeit only in preseason action vs. watered down lineups.

I wonder if Nilsson’s free pass to the AHL could end up being the deciding factor in where he starts the season.

***I’ve also had many inquire about Nilsson bolting to Europe if he is reassigned. He does not have an out clause. He will play in the AHL or NHL all season.***


Darnell Nurse, Mitch Moroz, Iiro Pakarinen and Martin Gernat were reassigned to Bakersfield this morning. I thought Nurse might get one more preseason game, but it was clear he wasn’t going to start the season in Edmonton, so the Oilers decided to get him there earlier.

Smart move. I think most people see the potential of Nurse, and we all expect him to be a regular NHL in the future, but allowing him to develop his skills in the AHL makes sense.

I’d be stunned if we don’t see Nurse back in Edmonton at some point this season.


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  • NJ

    Nice to get the down low on the goalie situation. It is kind of interesting that Nilson did everything he could have in stopping every puck except 3 on 3 OT and still might get sent down. Seems like a raw deal.

    Maybe the fist thing we see in the regular season is a trade. 🙂

    • SurfacetoAirMissile

      Neither have much value outside the Oilers organization as of right now and that is why you don’t move either one, again, as of right now. Scrivens value is nil after last years ghastly performance and Nilsson is still highly unproven against NHL competition yet a bargain at his current contract so why would u suggest moving either one when the return would be so minimal? Are you that confident in Talbot that you would trade away one of Scrivens/Nilsson for pennies on the dollar? I should note that Talbot, although highly touted, has only 57 NHL games under hid belt. I would not be shocked to see either one of Scrivens or Nillson (who has looked excellent) steal the number 1 job if Talbot does not shine in the first quarter of the season.

      So to answer your question – you don’t trade em…You just don’t.

      • 916oiler

        Let’s put it this way – if Scrivens has the higher trade value, which despite a poor showing last year is probably the case since he has a longer more successful track record at the NHL level, you at least have to consider moving him.

        While it’s true we won’t get much back for him, what we would get is significant cap room. Chia could then pull the trigger on a trade that would bring back a good player with a potentially expensive contract.

        We could use another good defenseman or, now that Ebs is out, potentially a winger.

        I’d say Broissoit isn’t ready for backup duty just yet, Nilsson doesn’t want to be in the AHL for a 4th year, and it’d be preferable to have the starting AHL gig go to Brossoit so he can continue his development.

        • Jason Gregor

          Yes it would save cap room but your argument sort of collapses on itself when you say it could make room for a good player. How do you suppose this good player will be brought into the organization? Which other piece would you move to facilitate such a trade? Frankly, cap room is less important than having capable goaltending though #’s 1-2-3.

          If you trade Scrivens and Talbot gets hurt, now you’ve got Nilsson and who else? Do you feel confident moving forward in that scenario?

          I would carry 3 for the first part of the year and see who separates themselves from the pack. I don’t think Talbot should be a lock for the number 1 spot either.
          Although he will be given every opportunity, if he doesn’t play well we will be happy to have held on to Nilsson and Scrivens.

          IF Scrivens plays like he did last year, you wave him. Getting picked up by another team and absorbing his contract is just as good as trading him for a 9th round pick and eating dollars. Furthermore if he plays poorly I dont think he would get claimed but having him in Bakersfield in case of injury or otherwise is a good idea IMO.

          • 916oiler

            How does it collapse on itself just because I don’t specifically name a trade. Just because you don’t like a suggestion doesn’t mean you can use flawed logic to dismiss it.

            I don’t disagree that it would be beneficial to have goaltender depth, but my suggestion was to at least consider moving one of Nilsson/Scrivens.

            The big point you’re ignoring is the fact that Nilsson stated that he didn’t want to go back to the AHL for a 4th tour. As easy as it would be to tell him to shove it and report to Bakersfield it would strain the relationship between player and club after the way Nilsson has played. Broken promises are not the way to do things, and tend to make people angry.

          • pkam

            If you worry about damaging the relationship with Nilsson, then send Scriven to Bakersfield. We need a 3rd string goalie but don’t have any goalie other than these 3 in our system who is capable to play in NHL yet.

          • fran huckzky

            If we are starting to base our decisions on not hurting a players feelings then we have a big problem in Oil City. These guys are being paid big bucks to do what is best for the team

  • This was while Nilsson was in the Islanders system, before he spent last year in the KHL, but I wonder if his thoughts are still the same?

    “I have done for three years in the AHL and I do not think it would be good for my development to play a fourth year in the AHL. That’s what I’ve said to them, since we have not started to go into contract negotiations.”

    Again this was before he went and played a season in the KHL, so HOPEFULLY his intentions have shifted now.

    EDIT: AANNNDDD I just saw Gregor tweet he has no out-clause to flee back to Europe anyway. PROBLEM SOLVED!

  • ComeAtMeDog

    We need talbot in these next 2 games to get to get his mojo going a bit before reg season , based on this Nilsson goes down . even though Scrivens is suspect at best .

    Trades coming soon id imagine .

  • ComeAtMeDog

    Just waive Scrivens or trade him for scrap.

    he’s bad and he has a bad contract.

    the 59 save game I was at was cool, but seems like a freak game where he was just lucky.

  • Mac07

    Nelsson should be the hands down choice. I don’t think you want him backing up in the AHL. I am thinking there will be a move or two by the start of the season.

  • bazmagoo

    Chiarelli is awesome! Love this news, makes such a difference when you have competent management.

    Competition at every level of the organization, things are really looking up in Oilersnation!

  • #97TRAIN

    I think this pretty much seals the deal on the goalie situation – all 3 playing well, all deserving of NHL duty, one with waiver exemption. Unfortunate for Nilsson.

    This isn’t a bad outcome, a trade is still possible but a smart GM would hold onto all 3. There is nothing wrong with goalie depth. This allows Brossoit to stay in the AHL in case of injury and continue developing.

    • bradleypi

      If one of the oilers goalies gets hurt (knock on wood), I don’t think it would be detrimental for brossiot to get some nhl time. He’s gotta get his feet wet at some point.

  • pkam

    While I don’t envy Chiarelli and the coaching staff right now, I LOVE that they made it this hard on themselves.

    The fact that Nurse was sent down before the end of the preseason tells us that they want to be as decisive and swift as possible here.

    The fact that we still have 3 goalies, despite wanting to trim down the roster asap, tells us that there is still some heavy deliberation happening at that position…perhaps coming down to the final preseason game.

    The fact that Nilsson could be sent down with no negative consequence, and yet is still here, tells me a lot about how the coaching staff see him right now.

  • Tikkanese

    I really see no risk in putting Scrivens on waivers. He was clearly awful last season. He’s clearly been outplayed in camp by Nilsson this season. Not to mention that his contract alone would scare off most teams. None of that screams “Pick me! Pick me!”.

    The only way he gets picked up is if some team has an injury and they feel Scrivens is the best choice of the likely also waived Backstrom/Kuemper, Hiller/Ortio or a cheap guy like Bachman.

    Where is Scrivens more likely to regain his confidence? Backing up and barely playing behind Talbot, or splitting games in the AHL?

    Scrivens is also a UFA after this season anyways, so again, what is the risk?

    • SurfacetoAirMissile

      I agree. No risk in putting Scrivens on waivers and Nillson can down no problem.

      Nillson has played some preseason games and looked good in that small window.

      Scrivens was terrible last year but I think everyone gets a do-over from last year. Plus he hasn’t looked terrible this preseason – though his puck handling still doesn’t look good.

      I think whatever the Oiler’s decide, it’s a good decision. If Nillson goes down I expect it temporary while the Oiler’s consider options with Scrivens. His track record is better and he can always be put on waivers later.

  • vetinari

    If Nilsson is waiver exempt and doesn’t have an out clause then d@mn good signing and roster management by Chiarelli… whatever happened to the days of trying to sign ineligible players by management???

  • 916oiler

    I think Nillson should start in the NHL. Don’t think there is fear Scrivens would be picked up, and wouldn’t that be an OK thing for him or the club?

    Scrivens was atrocious last year. If he was on a one year deal, I don’t know if he would be in the NHL this year.

    If Nillson was brought in to compete. Not only did he compete, he excelled. How do argue with no goals? He has won a job.

  • ubermiguel

    Yes, Scrivens had one awful year, but everybody is ready to flush him because some guy with 23 NHL games played better in 3 preseason games. Good GMs don’t make decisions exclusively based on preseason games, that’s just idiotic.

    Here are the stats for two goalies; which one is a better candidate for a back-up job?

    GP GAA SV%
    129 2.90 .905
    23 3.05 .898

    Notice even with his awful season last year Scrivens still has better numbers than Nilsson. Looks at the body of work not 3 meaningless games.

    • NJ


      On the same note, be careful about expectations with Draisaitl and Reinhart for that matter. Certain players need to turn the corner based on games played and experience (Yak, Shultz).

      There is no harm sending Nil to the Ahl to showcase Scrivens rebounding in order to move him, or vice versa. Scrivens would have to clear obviously but nobody is taking a flyer on him right now IMO. Any goalie in front of the Bakersfield defense is going to show well so do what you need to in order to unclog the crease.

    • NJ


      On the same note, be careful about expectations with Draisaitl and Reinhart for that matter. Certain players need to turn the corner based on games played and experience (Yak, Shultz).

      There is no harm sending Nil to the Ahl to showcase Scrivens rebounding in order to move him, or vice versa. Scrivens would have to clear obviously but nobody is taking a flyer on him right now IMO. Any goalie in front of the Bakersfield defense is going to show well so do what you need to in order to unclog the crease.

    • bradleypi

      “Gms don’t make decisions based on preseason games”. Oh really? So what’s the point of training camp and preseason then? If scrivens had a terrible preseason and nilsson was lights out like he has been, do you think we would be having this conversation right now?

      • Alsker

        Throwing quotes around something, while misquoting it, doesn’t make it true.

        You forgot a key word there, which is a key component of the point he was making.

        • bradleypi

          Ya I missed solely but my point still stands. Why even sign nilsson then if you are giving jobs based on seniority or games played? He loses every time then. By your guys logic, pitlick should be on the oilers before slepyshev or draisatl because he’s been an oiler longer. But they both clearly outplayed him this preseason so they stay and pitlick goes. If that’s not solely based on preseason I dont know what is

  • Spydyr

    Isn’t it about time to win?
    Ice the best team possible regardless of waivers.
    I doubt anyone wants the Oilers cast offs at this point.If they do pick up Ben his overpriced contract is off the books.

  • Strange Tamer

    If Nilsson out plays Scrivens at camp, and so far he has, no way he should get sent down, sends a message that mediocrity is still tolerated. Scrivens was statistically and visually the worst goalie to get significant playing time in the NHL last year. Also it’s not like he was an established NHL goalie before last season either.

    It’s not very likely Scrivens would be picked up on waivers, so you don’t have to worry about losing him either, but if you do then you save 2.3 million, win win.

  • bradleypi

    WOW that makes a difference for Nilsson. It seems he has played his way onto the starting pair so far.

    Scrivens on waivers would not be that dangerous. For sake of discussion what is his call up status if he clears waivers to the Condors? Does he just clear once for the year or does he fall into the four year exemption too?

  • bradleypi

    I can’t imagine nilsson would be thrilled to get sent to the A after signing a one way deal and then out playing scrivens, by a small margin mind you. That’s a tough call. If it was up to me I’d be phoning every gm in the league to see if there’s any interest in either goalie. I’d hate to see one of them taking games from brossiot in Bakersfield.

    • SurfacetoAirMissile

      “travesty” might be a slight overstatement. 6 periods of preseason hockey for Nilsson does not “clearly” show he has won the job.

      I agree he has played great but we can all list a million examples of preseason success and how it doesn’t always translate to regular season success. Do you remember Mr. Schremp or MPS? Preseason is just one of many tools a team can use to identify talent but it is not the end all and be all for their decision making.

      • OtOil

        Oh I remember MPS, Schremp, Tkachev, Omark and all of the other pretenders that some of these guys on this site fawn over. My point is that I have seen enough of Scrivens to tell me that he is not an effective starter or back up on this team and never will be. Give Nilsson the back up job as I believe he earned it and move on. Send Scrivens down as no one will pick him up on waivers and stop the insanity about a trade….he has NO trade value.

        • SurfacetoAirMissile

          There might be some trade value left in Scrivens if you retain 1/2 his salary. Pretty cheap for a back up with that many NHL games played. Possible but perhaps not probable.

        • SurfacetoAirMissile

          Nilsson earned the job over 3 games, yet you reference MPS, Tkachev and Omark who all made a name for themselves in training camp or overseas as negatives.


  • Johnnydapunk

    I dunno but waivers or no waivers, I think the goalie who came prepared and played the best should stay up. Nilsson played better, he was calmer, in control and whatever he had issues with before when he went to the KHL, he seemed to have dealt with them. Now Scrivens has puck handling issues and he passed the pick directly to a Coyotes players on at least one if not more times last night, and Arizona looked terrible. Scrivens plays nervous and just seems to be off positionally and then has to make the diving awkward save as a result, it was evident last night, it’s sadly nothing new, he had all summer to work in that stuff and maybe he tried, but the issues were still there.

    Again I could be harsh, but I want the best players on the Oil, and as much as I am aware of loyalty and whatnot, Scivens has had the chance to be that Number one and he didn’t take it.

    If you put Scrivens on waivers, and is taken, I dont see it as a huge loss as then this season becomes a 2 goalie battle to get a new contract, 2 players who have a season to prove themselves as Scrivens has had that already.

    If for some horrible reason Talbot p**ps the bed and forgets how to stop pucks, I really don’t tthink Scrivens is the one to turn to, maybe Nilsson will be terrible too, but it can’t be much worse than last year (please I hope it’s not as bad as last year…)

  • SurfacetoAirMissile

    The message sent to the players and, to a lesser extent, the league as a whole if Nilsson gets sent down instead of Scrivens is a bad one.

    “We signed you to compete for a job in training camp, you did everything possible and clearly earned it, but DAH WELL, your contract lets us send you down so we will send you down…despite you playing better and earning it.”

    On the other hand, the message sent if Scrivens gets sent down is awesome!

    “Time to put up or shut up boys! Times are changing in Edmonton and if you ain’t cutting it, you’re gone…contract flexibility be damned. We will actually start rewarding people based on merit, not circumstance.”

    Besides…let’s be honest, we should ALL want Scrivens waived and picked up by someone. The dude sucks, is over paid, and shouldn’t even be taking ice time away from Broissoit in the AHL. Unfortunately, if we waive him, no one will pick him up so we will have to bury him unless and until Pete can dupe someone later on in the season.

  • CMG30

    ya id be pretty bummed to see Sievens on the Team (seeing as how we are looking to win games?) dont need a sieve in net that cant skate, pass or handle the puck!

  • pkam

    This is the title of that article:

    ‘Brandon Davidson will either make the Edmonton Oilers out of camp or be placed on waivers.’

    And from this article:

    ‘NHL forwards and defencemen are waivers eligible after their entry level contract is up. Essentially after the play three years of pro, or if they’ve already played 160 NHL games’

    Davidson has played 3 years of pro hockey.

    So I don’t think he is eligible for waiver exempt any more.