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Oilers place Ziyat Paigin on Unconditional Waivers

According to the team’s official Twitter account, the Oilers have placed Ziyat Paigin on unconditional waivers. This means the team is ultimately seeking to give the prospect an unconditional release from his contract.

Paigin was drafted by the Oilers with a seventh-round pick in the 2015 draft. He spent his entire career in Russia before joining the Bakersfield Condors for a five-game stint at the end of the 2016-17 season. He started this season in Bakersfield and played in only seven games without recording a point. Paigin was in the first year of his two-year, entry-level deal.

One would assume Paigin wasn’t interested in riding the bus in the AHL and wants to return to the KHL to make a better salary. The Oilers also have a pretty massive logjam of defencemen ahead of him on the depth chart, as Paigin is a left handed shot. Caleb Jones, Ethan Bear, Dillon Simpson, and Ryan Mantha are all clearly ahead of Paigin on the depth chart at this point.

This is obviously disappointing news because there was some hype around Paigin when he joined the Condors this year. In September, David Staples ranked him as Edmonton’s No. 3 prospect and suggested he wasn’t far from the NHL.

“I’m planning to spend here the next couple of years,” Paigin said. “I need to do a step forward in my development, and I need to step up on a new level… I studied the (Edmonton) team’s roster, watched their games, and I think that I have a chance to play in the NHL.

“But it’s up to me. AHL coaches are very helpful, but no one else is going to make things easier for me… I have a goal and I’ll do what it takes to fulfill it… This year will ‘eat’ one season from the rookie contract, so I’ll have another two. It makes no sense to view things in such a long term.”

Well, so much for that.

Of course, I don’t mean to be so flippant. Playing in a new country is an extremely difficult endeavour for an individual in their early 20s, especially when there’s a greater possibility for making money back home.

This is much like a Toni Rajala or Bogdan Yakimov exit, in that the Oilers retain the player’s rights, but it’s unlikely we hear from Paigin again.

Source: Edmonton Oilers, Official Twitter Account, 11/22/2017, 10:05am MST

  • Mahaloeh

    Like others, pressure from home for more money leads to young players making these decisions! Too bad because I thought this kid had a real chance for NHL down the road. Good luck Ziyat!

  • Opi

    There was another bonehead move by Chia that didn’t get a lot of play such as when he traded Boyd Gordon (a guy with 1 year left on his contract & was excellent on the dot) for Korpikoski( a guy with 2 years left on his contract) and then he bought out the Korpikoski.

    This & the Paigin thangie are relatively small, meaningless moves that could have been prevented with the smallest amount of foresight. Isn’t that what Chia is paid for, foresight? How does he keep his job …?

    • OiledGUN

      What was the boneheaded move on the part of Chia in this? A long shot 7th rounder that wasn’t getting a lot of playing time (and didn’t deserve more) wanting to head home to Russia? What foresight could he have had to prevent this?

      • The Ghost of Alex Plante

        Maybe not signing so many AHL vets that take away playing time from prospects could have helped…

        I get the need for some depth, but do we really need Lowe, Stanton, Fayne, Simpson and Betker down there? That’s a lot of playing time not going to Jones, Bear, Mantha and Paigin. That could have played a role in him wanting to go back, why make less money here and not get any playing time when he could just go back home and make more $$??

        • MessyEH!

          AHL fans want to watch a winning team as well. This likely has more to do with a young guy knowing he’s not ready for the NHL and wanting to keep earning bigger money in the KHL.

          AHL salary maybe 80 000.

          KHL this guy likely gets 500000.

          NHL not good enough to make the big bucks.

          Seeing as he’s human and only has a short time to earn income as a pro, what decision makes the most sense.

          • The Ghost of Alex Plante

            To me it probably comes down to the fact that he wasn’t getting enough ice time. He seemed pretty excited to be coming over at the end of last year, but no ice time = no chance at making the NHL.

            I get that AHL fans want to see a winning team as well, but the AHL is a development league. Let your players develop if you’re going to have them there.

    • Spaceman Spiff

      Well, I’m not sure that’s it at all. Doubtful if the current woes with the parent club have anything to do with it. In fact, if I’m a prospect on the AHL team right now and I see the parent club struggling, I do everything I can to prepare myself and improve my game because I might have a shot. Paigin wasn’t ready to do that, which is his right, of course. Truth be told, he probably read the writing on the wall (a whole bunch of defence prospects ahead of him who are far more acclimated to the North American game and culture). Plus, let’s be honest, if you’re a borderline prospect from Russia, which sounds better – earn more money at home in front of crowds numbering in the thousands … or earn two-way money playing in front of dozens of fans in Bakersfield? Can’t blame him. And, in the Oilers’ sake, better to have a malcontent remove himself from the system than go through a messy divorce.

  • The Oilers don’t retain Paigin’s rights (and didn’t retain Rajala’s). This is essentially a buyout. Paigin is gone for good.

    Yakimov is still in their system because he was on loan to the KHL and then qualified as an RFA.

  • Spaceman Spiff

    Hmm. Sounds like it’s either a case of doesn’t-like-the-coach, doesn’t-like-the-league, or doesn’t-like-riding-buses. Or he’s homesick. Or all of the above. In any case, anyone who’s willing to walk away from Northern California in the winter and return to Russia in the winter probably isn’t overly focused on the NHL. Nothing wrong with that, by the way, it just means he was never a serious prospect. Nobody gets hurt here. The Oilers have other guys to play in The Bake and one less guy to worry about.

  • D'oh-ilers

    A few European players seem to have skewed expectations. They expect to be handed a big role with big minutes, have a short stint in the minors and go on straight to the NHL after a few games. It doesn’t work that way. It doesn’t matter how good you were in another league in the past, you have to be better than the internal competition to get a big role in the AHL, and you have to earn your call-up to the NHL through solid play in the minors. Some guys don’t want to grind it out.

    That said, it’s disappointing, but I don’t blame them for wanting to go home. Everyone has a right to make the decisions they feel are best for themselves, their families and their careers. Best of luck to him. Hopefully he finds what he’s looking for back home.