The Edmonton Oilers placed Mark Fayne on IR today and called up Ben Betker from the Bakersfield Condors. Betker in one of many lefties available, but Griffin Reinhart, David Musil, Jordan Oesterle, and Dillon Simpson would perhaps have been more logical additions based on merit and experience. What’s up?


This was late October and the Oilers did have some injury issues (Justin Schultz and Rob Klinkhammer) and the recall of two prospects made sense. However, neither man played in the days after—or at any time during the 2015-16 season.


In the cases last year and with regard to Betker this time, I think it might be a chance for the organization to reward a good soldier (Betker showed well in training camp this fall) for good work in Norfolk and Bakersfield last season.

There may also be a cap benefit—the closer to the cap Edmonton can run, the more benefit received when Andrew Ference is placed on LTIR.

The player chosen today (Betker) may not appear in any NHL games—as was the case with Laleggia. The current healthy top 6D looks like this:

  • Oscar Klefbom—Adam Larsson
  • Andrej Sekera—Kris Russell
  • Darnell Nurse—Eric Gryba

My thought on the recall is this: None of the players who were on the AHL roster are going to play in front of these six men, and Matt Benning—who was just sent down—is probably the next defenseman in line for playing time (after these six men).

Ben Betker is being rewarded for good play, in previous seasons and in this one. I don’t think he is likely to play much or at all during this recall.


  1. LD Griffin Reinhart 4gp, 1-1-2
  2. RD Matt Benning 4gp, 0-2-2
  3. LD Dillon Simpson 2gp, 0-0-0
  4. LD Jordan Oesterle 2gp, 0-0-0
  5. LD Markus Niemelainen 1gp, 0-0-0
  6. LD Caleb Jones 1gp, 0-0-0
  7. RD Ethan Bear 1gp, 0-0-0
  8. LD Ben Betker 1gp, 0-0-0
  9. LD Joey Laleggia 1gp, 0-0-0
  10. LD David Musil 1gp, 0-0-0
  • Free Bird

    I actually think it’s better to leave your top prospects on the farm and give them a stable learning environment where they can get top minutes and focus on improving whatever weak areas are holding them back. It’s much better than treating them like a yo-yo between teams, disrupting their development curve and having them sit in the pressbox for half their NHL games anyway. Leave the yo-yo’ing to the low grade prospects or a veteran tweener who can handle NHL spot duty for a few games.

    • Wranglicon

      True, but if there are financial benefits, and he can get a few practices in with the big club, why not? The Condors only play twice in the next 9 days; Thurday, Saturday, then not again until next Friday. Hurts a player that low on the chart less to come up and stay in the box than the guys we need to stay ready.

  • I am Batman

    Holly crap! Patrick Laine hatty to recover from a 4-0 loss and win the game!

    Are we sure Jesse isn’t ready? Are we giving him a fair shake?

    I’d like to see the fins go head to head!

  • Drew R. Fan

    I agree LT. I liked big bens games he played in preseason. He was physical and steady as a rock. Exactly how I wish fayne would play again. I’m hoping he gets in a game with the big club. See how gryba plays tomorrow I guess.

  • Jason Gregor


    Betker was a healthy scratch in the Condors first regular season game. I don’t see this as a reward for good play.

    He was recalled because the Oilers don’t want any of their young guys like Benning, Reinhart, Simpson just sitting in the pressbox tonight because they’d be playing in Winnipeg.

    The Oilers will stay with their top-six until one really struggles, or another injury occurs (hopefully not).

    Betker will get some time to work in practice with David Pelletier for a day or two, and I could see them switching him back to the AHL on Friday. I could see Benning come up then, but I’d rather they recall Mark Fraser, who won’t develop much more and have him be your #7 in the pressbox and let Benning play big minutes in the AHL every night.

    I could also see a scenario where they rotate their young guys up and down so they don’t sit too long up here.

  • Joy S. Lee

    Betker is a long-term “project.” Giving him a taste of where he wants to get to is never a bad idea, and if it works in favor of the organization, then that’s good also. Keep the development curve going, it’s not like he’s just sitting around in the press box and doing nothing else whatsoever. He’s learning, soaking it up, and getting valuable advice, I’m sure… all while getting a taste that will stay with him while he’s working towards his – and the Oilers’ – ultimate goal.