Todd McLellan doesn’t waste time if he doesn’t like the look of a line.

He wants a strong, physical winger to play on the RW alongside Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Taylor Hall, at least until Jordan Eberle returns, and after trying Andrew Miller, who is a small, skilled winger, for 30 minutes last night, he went back to Rob Klinkhammer.

Klinkhammer is not the answer, but maybe Iiro Pakarinen is, so the Oilers recalled him today and sent Andrew Miller back to Bakersfield.

McLellan mentioned Pakarinen yesterday morning and said he was more in the mold of Korpikoski and Hendricks who are strong, physical wingers, while Miller was a speedy, skilled winger. He said last night he didn’t like the look of the top line, but didn’t blame Miller, and the move today shows he would rather go with a heavy, banging winger on the right side of the top line.

Pakarinen was injured in training camp and never played in the preseason. It was brutal timing for the young Finn, because he was unable to make an impression on the new coaching staff. 

He played 17 games with the Oilers last season scoring 1-2-3. He looked good in his first few games, but wasn’t much of a factor in his final ten games. Reports out of Bakersfield suggest he has played well in the four games, picking up 1-2-3, and I sense McLellan is intrigued by his size and style of play.

These moves illustrate how much the loss of Matt Hendricks has impacted the team. He looked good with RNH and Hall for two games before injuring his foot, but his misfortune has opened up an opportunity for Pakarinen.

We all know they are keeping the first line RW slot warm for Eberle, but the opportunity to impress the coach and get in the mix for the future is what Pakarinen needs to focus on.

Not many players are blessed with an opportunity to get recalled and play on the top line. He needs to take advantage of it, if indeed he plays there tomorrow.

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  • camdog

    To get quality you sometimes have to give up quality.A stud dman would be more benifical to the team than Hall is or will be. There is an old saying “PLAY PERFECT DEFENCE AND YOU WILL NEVER LOSE A GAME”. Looks like we might have the Gmen in place, now we need to fine tune the D.We have lots of fire power on the front end. If you score more than you give up, you are going to win. DA. I know it might be tough for a couple of you guys to grasp. But we will teach you.

    • Been there

      First off Hall will not get you a stud d-man. They are few and far between and most teams do not just give them away, at best you get another Sekera in return.
      Patience is required here. We are not contenders yet.
      Next year both Scrivens and Nikitin will be off the books freeing up cash, and Nurse will be that much further along. Gryba and Reinhart are coming along as expected.
      And Burns is not the answer, we want one that is entering his prime, a few years of serviceable value, not at the end of his tenure.
      I suggest waiting as Nashville has plenty of quality men and they will not be able to afford them all.
      Now is not the time to sell or buy. Waiting for trade deadline when one can be had for reasonable cost!

  • A-Mc

    Wayne Simmonds anyone? RW 1g 3a, 14:37TOI, 10PIMS, and is good for 50-60 pts every year @ 3.97M/yr to 2019.

    I wonder if that’s the kind of guy Chiarelli might target at some point.

      • A-Mc

        Eberle is the better pure scorer, but Simmonds brings a different element into a legit top 6 RW role. He’s also 2M/yr cheaper. EDIT: Actually, over the last 3 seasons, Simmonds has scored 4 more goals than Eberle, so Ebs ISNT the better scorer; he does have more assists though by a good margin (27).

        Philly has a -3 Goal differential right now and is rated 23rd overall in Goals For (And 16th in Goals against). I know its early, but its not unreasonable to think that at some point they look for a touch more scoring if their current trend continues.

        I’m not saying Ebs is the guy we move out, but it is something that doesn’t sound totally ridiculous for either team, depending on what they identify as a need. Being from the East, Chiarelli saw Simmonds a lot, so he’s probably got a good read on the player.