Oilers will make some moves

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You can expect the Edmonton Oilers to make a few moves on trade deadline day, but most will not involve trades, instead it will be assigning players to Bakersfield and possibly claiming one or two players off waivers.

Monday is the trade deadline, but because the Oilers won’t be making the playoffs they will need to decide which current Oilers they want to play in the AHL playoffs.

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Jordan Oesterle, Laurent Brossoit and Jujhar Khaira are the obvious choices. In order to be eligible for the AHL playoffs they need to be on the AHL roster tomorrow, so they will be sent down. It could just be a paper transaction and they will be recalled immediately, or they might stay down for a short time.

Darnell Nurse and Leon Draisaitl  are also eligible to be sent down, because they don’t require waivers. Of the three, Nurse is the most likely because he played there at the start of the season and they want him to keep playing.

There is a good chance Draisaitl could continue playing for Germany at the World Championships, so I think it unlikely he will be sent down just to be eligible for the AHL playoffs.

The issue the Oilers have is teams are only allowed to recall four players from the AHL after the trade deadline. If they suffer more injuries they can recall players on an emergency basis. Teams bend this rule all the time by claiming an NHL player is injured so they can give a young player one or two games in the NHL.

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As of right now the Oilers only have 20 healthy players, after Benoit Pouliot injured his shoulder (suspected dislocation) in the third period vs. the Islanders.

There will be some “paper transactions” with the aforementioned players, but you should also expect the Oilers to claim one or two players on waivers to fill out their roster and avoid using all four or their eligible recalls right away.

Players placed on waivers today include:

Forwards Adam Cracknell, Mike Brown, Zac Rinaldo and Rene Bourque.

D-men David Warsofsky and Adam Pardy

Goalies Reto Berra and Alex Stalock.

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Berra has one year remaining on his deal, so I doubt they take him. Bourque makes too much, $3.3 mill cap hit, and he’s too inconsistent effort-wise to be around this group.

Pardy, Cracknell and Stalock would make the most sense since they are all UFAs at the end of the of the season. Cracknell has a $575,000 cap hit, Pardy is $1 million while Stalock is $1.6 million. It would cost the Oilers around 23% of their respective cap hits if they were claimed.

I expect the Oilers to recall Nikita Nikitin prior to trade deadline, because they won’t be worried if he doesn’t play in the AHL playoffs and could keep him in Edmonton as an extra and only play him sparingly. They could do the same with Rob Klinkhammer and Luke Gazdic if they didn’t want them eligible for the AHL playoffs.

Oesterle has played well, and the only reason he will be sent down, and possibly not recalled right away is strictly so he can be play in the AHL playoffs. Same with Khaira and Brossoit.

YAKUPOV PROMOTED

“It is more than day to day. We have lost him for awhile,” McLellan replied when I asked him about Pouliot’s injury.

I thought there was a slight chance Nail Yakupov would be moved before the deadline, but I doubt he is moved now. He will replace Pouliot on the left side with McDavid and Jordan Eberle. He’ll have an opportunity to end the season on good note, and possibly increase his trade value in the summer, if indeed Chiarelli is considering trading him.

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If a good deal was available tomorrow, I doubt Chiarelli would hesitate, but I’d be surprised if that transpires.

Rumours are swirling that the Oilers are interested in Brandon Pirri in Florida, so we’ll see if Chiarelli does make a trade or if his moves on Monday are simply waiver claims and AHL re-assignments.


  • Dutchy

    I think Yak deserves an extended look with quality mins. It seems he never got the same opportunity that hall and nuge were given. His situation reminds me a lot of Spezza’s beginnings, defensive liabilities with offensive potential. Hopefully he proves himself

  • JimmyV1965

    Hey Gregor. This is totally off topic, but I want two give my two cents on the comments Button made the other day on your show. I really respect what he says most of the time, but I think RNH is a huge overpay for Trouba. Although I haven’t seen Trouba play very often, I vividly recall his play during our last game against the Jets. He was an absolute tire fire. I mean he was awful, coughing up the puck at the blueline on the PP and giving us a short-handed breakaway. His mistakes went beyond the young guy miscues that Nurse makes. They were more like the head-scratching, what the hell are you doing gaffes that Schultz is so fond of doing. I know it was only one game, but Trouba definitely made a lasting impression.

    • Seanaconda

      One game is hard to judge a player by. Like you said. I would rather ask someone who watches alot of jets hockey. Frigging Karlson had a shultz game last week where he basically scored on Ottawa twice. Well he tipped the puck in once and then passed it to an opposing player in his team’s slot. But either way guys have bad games.

    • Jason Gregor

      Did you watch him the other games when he dominated the Oilers physically?

      No scout ever goes off of just one game or even two or three. Trouba isn’t having as good of a season this year as his first two, but if you recall RNH had similar struggle after his rookie year.

      Button is very high on Trouba. You are high on RNH, which is great, but you will need more than a one game example to say why Trouba is clearly not as valuable.

  • Intermission

    When would these send downs happen? I have behind the bench seats in Buffalo on tuesday that were very expensive. I’d be very upset to see a shell of a roster.

  • Jiff

    Interesting read.

    I’d be happy seeing Nurse sent down for a little more ripening. If it wasn’t for injuries I’d like to think he’d still be down there. Don’t get me wrong, I Love the way he plays and think he has a fantastic future but I think the more time in AHL the better for everyone involved for the young d-man.

  • If we are trading Yak, a good person to look for would be Rilley Sheahan from Detroit. Big, powerful 2 way winger, plays with lots of heart and can kill penalties. He’s currently on their 4th line but can easily be an impactful 2nd/3rd line right winger. Good Notre Dame boy too.

  • Valar Morghulis

    As far as more picks go, who really thinks a pick is going to be better than Yak?

    Maybe I am a blind supporter, maybe I see a guy who screws up as much as anyone else, or maybe he is “visually” better than he seems to be for a guy who gives a sheet about winning. Maybe Yak has many faces.

  • Explicit

    What’s the deal with Ference? Why not play him instead of bringing up Nikitin? Did he practically retire already? You’d think he might want another shot to show he can still play

  • Petrolero

    So the Kings have given up on zykov. Guy was struggling in the ahl. McTavish might still win that trade.

    Yakimovs team in the khl lost their playoff series. I wonder if he comes back to Bakersfield, maybe even be a late callup.

    • MessyEH!

      If Yakimov is selected to the Russian National team he won’t want to come back. The spin put on his departure was this stint in the KHL was all about exposure to help make the Worlds team.

  • OttawaOiler

    Can Yakupov bring back Jamie McGinn and a second or third rounder from Buffalo? McGinn is a “rental” player right now, but he is the type of heavy player that Chiarelli wants. He’d have to be comfortable that he can sign him, but for $3M/$3.5M he can score some and he can create space for some of the pure skill guys. A third line of Nuge, McGinn, and Pakarinen would be able to score on and control other third lines.

    Meanwhile Yak can get another chance to play with top offensive talent in Eichel or Reinhart.

  • Freewheeling Freddie

    Chia is getting ready to pull in one large fish.It will like the night they announced Pronger was coming here.The only problem we will have to wait till June.He is one shrewed dude.