Oilers waive Musil and Beck, assign four others to the AHL

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The Oilers trimmed their training camp roster by six names on Saturday. Four players were assigned outright to the Bakersfield Condors to the AHL, while two others – David Musil and Taylor Beck – will need to clear waivers to be sent down.

I wonder a little about the decision to assign both Beck and Musil so early. On the face of it, it’s disappointing for both players, since they should have been in the mix for one of the end-of-roster jobs with the Oilers. It’s possible that Edmonton sent them out so early (at least in part) in the hopes of keeping them in the system – NHL rosters are crowded right now and it’s pretty tough for other teams to make waiver claims seeing as they’re still putting their respective rosters together. 

Nevertheless, an early demotion doesn’t say good things. Musil should have been firmly in the mix for the No. 7 defenceman job and certainly ought to be out-lasting the Mark Frasers and Dillon Simpsons of the world. Beck has a decent resume – I profiled him here – and always seemed like a guy with a far outside shot at sticking. Both should be in the recall conversation later in the year, though we may already know how Todd McLellan feels about defencemen with Musil’s footspeed issues. 

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The other player worth spending some time on is Khaira. He was seemingly eclipsed by Drake Caggiula before the puck had been dropped in the first exhibition game, and it’s a little surprising to see him dropped from camp so early after playing 15 games in the majors last season. He does have another season of waiver exemption, so the challenge now will be to build on last season’s surprisingly good offensive performance in the AHL. If he does that, the Oilers should be able to find room for a cheap 6’3″, 214-pound forward who can play all three positions. 

Moroz, Laurikainen and Laleggia were all inevitable cuts based on what we knew of them coming into the year.  Moroz only had 10 points in the AHL last season and did well to last as long as he did; he had a decent camp and with waiver rules being what they are basically has the coming year to turn himself into an NHL candidate. All three of these players are on expiring contracts and badly need strong minor-league performances to stay in the organization’s plans. 

As always, one of the noteworthy things about cuts like this one are the players who aren’t included. Simpson would seem to have opened some eyes; he has another year of waiver exemption and would have been an easy cut. Veterans Fraser and Jere Sallinen are still around, too; it’s easy to read too much into that but both are probably in the recall conversation this season, too. 

RECENTLY BY JONATHAN WILLIS

  • OriginalPouzar

    No surprise here except that Simpson isn’t included.

    I see next to zero chance that Musil (or Beck) will be claimed.

    Hopefully Frank’s boy can find a way to improve his foot-speed – if he can, he may have himself an NHL career.

  • RedMan

    My bold prediction:

    Next week Oilers sign Russell to a 3.5m 1 yr contract, after the Flames face their cap crunch realities. Russell slots in immediately as the 3rd Defender, and is a close second in team scoring from the blueline.

  • RedMan

    When your coach is still using terms like “visually better” to describe the defense, the fans should be worried and the team should be scrambling to pick up a guy like Russell. Yes I understand what the Flames Stain does to the guy for Edmonton fans, but he is a legitimate NHL defenseman.
    He would clearly make the team better then four or five guys on the radar currently for your bottom four spots.

  • tileguy

    What are the ins and outs of a PTO contract. For example is Grybe being pain say $50k to come to camp and then there is an agreed amount if he makes the team? Can he refuse the offer if he has a good camp and become a UFA? Would appreciate someone shedding some light. Thanking you in advance.

  • OriginalPouzar

    The PTO is really just an agreement to attend Oilers camp to the exclusion of attending camp of any other team. I’m sure there are details such as the team agreeing to pay the player’s insurance but, at the end of the day, its just a deal to attend camp, nothing more.

    There is absolutely no obligation on either side with respect to a contract.

    Gryba is a UFA right now and can sign a contract with any team, notwithstanding the PTO.

  • TheOneWhoKnocks

    I had high hopes for Davey boy. He looked like he was in great shape. Sadly, his foot speed continues to be a detriment to his overall game, which is really a shame. I agree with JW’s analysis of him completely. He would be a fantastic 3rd pairing shutdown guy if he could move a little quicker. Hope nobody claims him.

    But, also as someone said, it’s nice to see the team being so decisive. No need to have guys linger even for 1 more game if they have no realistic shot at an opening night roster spot.

  • Muddy

    Khaira is a very good well rounded hockey player. I expect to see him here after an early injury. Love his work ethic, glad to see him with the Oilers and hopefully in the big league at some point in the near future.

    • Reg Dunlop

      Jenny hockey is a poor, and I mean 3rd world live in a cardboard box poor, version of McDavid. Except he wants BIG money, either because he is greedy or because he actually wants to play in the US closer to home. Either way, the falmes should sign Russell but can’t because of Jenny’s contract demands.

      In the end, it doesn’t matter because the team will re-locate to Seattle when locals can’t afford to fund a NHL calibre arena. Or the ticket prices. Bright side is that when your team is gone we will allow the oil to play an exhibition game in your mouldy, old dive of a saddledump.

      • FireScorpion

        Interesting. From what I saw at the World Cup Johnny took a backseat to no one, leading the team in scoring. Was Connor even on that team?
        No the Flames shouldn’t resign Russell. If you recall they already traded him off once for a nice return at that. And he won’t be back. Our D is way too full for the likes of him.
        And correct me if I’m wrong but there’s only ever been one Alberta team in danger of getting relocated. Multiple times at that. I’ll let you Google the answer to that in case you’re too young to know.
        Enjoy your Sunday

        • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

          You think cuz Johnny got 4 points he was the best player in the tournament?? Use your head for once instead of your mouth. McDavid drove the play throughout that tournament and if his linemates would have cashed in their set ups Connor would have had 8 points!

        • Oilerchild77

          Only a jealous, permanently angry Flames fan would suggest that Gaudreau is as good a player as one who is soon to be the best player in the world.

          Go back to Flames Nation and be with your second rate brethren.

      • Hemi

        Amen to that! The trolls who visit the various Nation sites are the lowbrow contributors whom take away more than they lend to any discussions.

        Definitely an negative for the Nation network.

        • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

          I go there but read what I say when I do go there before talking sh/t!
          I go and have conversation they just can’t handle when someone says anything about anyone on their team .
          I am not racist or call people names and am not derogatory to any of the posters there. So before you say I’m trolling read what I’m actually saying instead of jumping on the flames bandwagon!!
          You spend quite a bit of time there yourself.

  • OilCan2

    Good moves at a good pace. The Condors are building some serious depth with guys like JJ. Not only will he get a lot of ice but he could move up very efficiently as the season progresses. AHL depth will improve the Admirals and give some younger guys in our system a shot at Pro.

    It’s still too early to snag a good player from the waiver wire. It might be good to have a roster spot or two available. We have a strong position this season for priority on claims.

  • camdog

    I don’t understand what’s surprising about sending Khaira down right now? The Oilers are a bigger team this year, they don’t need him playing on the 4th line or sitting on the bench, they need him eating big minutes in the AHL developing his game. Keeping him around the big club longer just makes it harder to develop chemistry with players/coaching staff he’s going to be playing with in the AHL this season.

    I expect to see him in the NHL this season for a few games. The order of cuts should never get confused with what the organisation thinks of a player…

  • FireScorpion

    Did I say he was the best player in the tournament? Its called reading. top to bottom, left to right. Take tylenol for any headaches, Midol for any cramps.

    Poor Conner, it’s always someone else’s fault..
    Big weekend for you hey Train? Heard minimum wage went up a dollar Saturday.
    Congrats

    • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

      Yes it did. What does that have to do with this website?

      You might not even have Gaudreau in your lineup . It’s obvious he doesn’t want to play in the saddledump anymore.

  • madjam

    Big game tonight to see if some chemistry/progress can be spotted in some main line combinations . Last two games team was going in reverse . If Talbot does not get better fast , we are in real trouble going into the season . Jesse has yet to impose himself on opposition .

  • TKB2677

    I love how McLellan is handling the camp. If a player is an extreme long shot to make the team, there is no point in keeping them long term. The first week of camp should be used to see where players are at in development. The first couple of games should be to see if what they see in camp is true. After that you should have a very good idea where a player is at. So if they aren’t close, cut them, get them to the minors where declopment is supposed to happen. Of the players cut, there isn’t a single one that anyone had being on the team. Maybe a couple were players we thought might last a bit longer for a longer look but not a one was going to bran oiler. So in all seriousness. Why keep them up. .