Oilers assign Puljujarvi, waive Gustavsson

Following last night’s loss to the Ottawa Senators, the Oilers have made some moves.

The news surprises few. Jesse Puljujarvi has played in limited time this season, playing in only 28 games averaging at 11 minutes per game. Now, he will get the opportunity to shine in Bakersfield alongside a Condors team that is currently seventh in the AHL’s Pacific Division.

It was my belief all year that the Oilers wanted to ease Puljujarvi in slowly. Being an 18-year old moving across the world is tough enough, let alone having to adjust to the North American ice surface. 

Anton Slepyshev has been up and down all season but will get another shot at showing his NHL worth. The young Russian has scored four points in 15 NHL games this season. 

Jonas Gustavsson was signed to be the Oilers backup this season but has had some mighty struggles. He has played in seven games this season and has posted one win alongside a 3.10 GAA and a .878 sv%. Gustavsson was pulled in three of the games he played in.

This could be an option moving forward.

The latest from Laing:

  • Gadgets

    So many silly conspiracy theorists jumping out of the woodwork. In my opinion this was the best way to develop JP. This is an 18 year old kid who has never lived away from home and doesn’t speak the language. And people wanted to dump him in the minors right from the start? Riding buses for hours on end? With players and coaches he’ll only know for maybe a year?

    No, the Oilers did it right. Bring him to the NHL. Treat him well. Let him get comfortable, help him understand what’s expected of him, show him what the league is like. If he flourishes then awesome. If he struggles, then he’s been treated right, he’s comfortable and now down to the minors to play a ton.

    Anyone remember Yakumov bailing? The Oilers ensured that this wouldn’t happen with JP and gave him a great opportunity at the same time. It seems to have worked extremely well for Draisaitl and he was already acclimated to North America.

    • freelancer

      I’ll say I had no problem with how they handled Puljujarvi up until four days ago. Letting him stay with the team, learn English, make friends since everyone he knows is across an ocean, live with someone who speaks his native language. The team has done an admirable job with making him feel part of the organization.

      I do wish that he was sent down before the Boston game. It was clear that his ice time was limited or he was a healthy scratch. Let him play in the AHL for 15 games or so. If he starts to generate offense than call him up and I have no issue with going over the 40 game NHL mark. I’m curious what changed between today and before Boston.

  • Phuryous George

    Hopefully the Oilers will take notice of this gap. Nice if you can claim McElhinney, but whats in the pipe besides LB? Be nice if they could shore up thru trade by the deadline and add someone like Stolarz (PHI) or Suros (NSH). Not sure what that would look like, but both are good looking prospects.

  • Kaplan

    Finally. (Though I really thought he’d have done better, and assumed PC had some insight into his play and potential, even after some mediocre seasons.)

    I assume the Oilers brass already has someone in mind. Can’t wait to see who it is.

    My money’s on Budaj.

  • 99CupsofCoffey

    Yeah, watching the Monster compared to Talbot is like watching molasses drip down a frozen pipe in January. Slow from one side of the net to the other.

    I DO get a kick out of the many “the sky is falling” Oiler fans who think our season is over after losing 5-3. Our offence played a heck of a game. Even McDavid missed a breakaway.

    I see good things.

    • Gkpoil

      Yes he pretty much cost us the 2 points himself, but I figured he had to sh*t the bed one more time before he has waived, at least it wasn’t a divisional game…

  • OilBlood

    Ahhhh I hate to say this but Jesse being assigned right after he’s been on the roster for 40 games and burned a year of his RFA status really doesn’t sit right with me.

    Why would the oilers purposefully do this to themselves? Is it possible there was pressure from Jesse’s camp?

    It’s been clear for weeks if not months that he needs some AHL seasoning so what’s changed? Pitlicks still injured, no RW pickup….

    I love puljujarvi and believe long term he will be a solid top 6 winger but this whole situation doesn’t make sense.

    ****Updated with RFA status being burned up after 40 games on roster not ELC

    • OriginalPouzar

      A year of JP’s contract was burned months ago when he played his 10th game. The 40 games threshold is 40 games on the NHL roster will be deemed a year of accrued service towards UFA status – so last week a year of RFA status was officially burned.

      The timing of it looks odd as it relates to the 40 games on roster threshold just vesting, however, I don’t believe the plan is to keep him in the AHL for the rest of the season and I believe, assuming he plays well and posts some box cars, he’ll be up in the next 8 weeks or so.

    • Aitch

      I suspect this was a gentleman’s agreement with Puljujarvi’s camp and the Oilers. Keep him on the roster for the first half of the season so that he gets to UFA a season quicker. Only rationale that makes sense. Otherwise, this stinks of poor asset management.

    • Strottie

      Not sure how much life there was to the rumor, but a KHL team (AK Bars iirc) was trying to acquire his rights from the KHL team that drafted him. Quite possible that his camp wanted a certain amount of games played or other behind the scenes stuff to happen or he would bugger off to the KHL for a couple years. Or Chiarelli had to convince Puljujarvi’s camp that the AHL was the best bet so he could still be called up for playoffs.

      Either way, it should have happened much sooner. Hopefully Sallinen can help Puljujarvi better adjust to North American life while he’s in Bakersfield.

      • OriginalPouzar

        The 40 games threshold (which goes to a year of accrued service as it relates to UFA status, not to burning a year of his ELC) is 40 games on the NHL roster (not 40 games played).

      • Sir Dudeinstein

        So many armchair GM’s
        remember some of these people in the front office gets paid (quite well must I add) to ensure whats best for their careers and best for the team.
        I am sure Chia wouldnt do something without thinking of what is best for the player.
        I am sure they are planning the next contract of JP will be either long term or bridge (to year before his UFA) so one year less on his bridge wouldnt matter as much as you guys are claiming it would be.

        In terms of the backup goalie, we all know that the confidence in the monster was low…(how many games a backup could of played for us to give Talbot a rest is prime example of this) but claiming a goalie will be risky (they are on waivers for a reason) I think there may be a deal in the works, especially if they have not called up a goalie by end of the day.

          • Cheesums

            From the CBA:

            “Accrued Season” means any League Year during which a Player was on a Club’s Active Roster for 40 (30 if the Player is a goalie) or more Regular Season Games, provided that, for the purposes of calculating an Accrued Season under this Agreement, games missed due to a hockey-related injury incurred while on a Club’s Active Roster shall count as games played for purposes of calculating an Accrued Season but only during the League Year in which the injury was incurred and a maximum of one additional season.

            Wouldn’t matter if he was injured for the game anyways. I am glad he has been sent down, just wish it happened a few games ago instead of burning a year of eligibility for 6 minutes of play time.

      • Sir Dudeinstein

        Hes been on the active roster for 40 games though
        I am not sure if it counts towards your game total being on the active roster or actually playing games. I assume its actual playing games

    • Craig1981

      The can’t assign the Gustarsson till he passes waivers. That means they will be at their roster max for 24 hours, at which time a call up will then be made.

      Trades are still possible though