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Photo Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Strome, Caggiula relegated to extra forwards at practice

After a disappointing, listless loss against the Flyers last night, Todd McLellan has shuffled the Oilers’ lines at practice. Notably, Ryan Strome and Drake Caggiula are on the outside looking in.

Last game, Strome and Caggiula played the wings with Leon Draisaitl. The line was completely invisible against the Flyers, and now, Anton Slepyshev and newly-acquired Nathan Walker will be on Draisaitl’s wing instead. Is there an injury we don’t know about? Something else going on?

Both Strome and Caggiula, who were expected to play key roles in regards to depth scoring this season, have been disappointing. Strome has shown some solid flashes at times but only has four goals through 28 games thus far. Caggiula had a nice stretch when playing on Connor McDavid’s wing (I mean, who wouldn’t?) but only has one point when not playing with the captain.

Also, since we’re on the Strome topic, Travis Yost had an interesting nugget about the trade that we all love talking about.

Nobody wants to hear it, but hell, I’ll bring it up anyway. Jordan Eberle is on pace for more goals than Ryan Strome is points. No matter how lazy, mentally weak, or awful you want to believe he was based on one poor season (one poor playoff showing, really), the Oilers could use his scoring right now.

    • Cowbell_Feva

      Because in the playoffs he showed he was a soft player and has ZERO points. They also shed $2.5 million in cap space for the upcoming $12.5 that kicks in next year….

      • Glencontrolurstik

        I will bring up again,… “that Eberle one timer on Tuesday night…”
        A thing of beauty,… we taught him that in his final year with us, pre-season….
        Your more than welcome, that’s what we do here in Edmonton,… develop players to move on to better things…
        Wait till you guys get a load of Nuge,… & what he can do,… “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet”…

      • crabman

        for sake of accuracy Eberle had 2 points, still not much I know. And that $2.5M savings aren’t needed until next year. had more than enough money to keep him this year. It’s not even an issue of him having less value next year because he would only have 1 year left, because his value only got Stroke this year anyway. He was traded because he disappeared in the playoffs and had a down year by his career standards. Chairelli though this team would score fine without him. In hindsight waiting a year to better know what you had with Puljujarvi and give Yamamotto the full year in junior would have been the prudent move.

        • Cowbell_Feva

          I meant goals. But yes. Very little for a $6 million/year player. As far as “that one-timer on Tuesday”…don’t read too much into one shot in one game. Eberle is not able to one-time the puck regularly so he doesn’t attempt it. Its not in his bag. He has other tools, but a one-T is not one of them. Nor is grit or heart.

          I don’t love Strome. I think everybody in Canada knew he wouldn’t score as much as Eberle did. It was more for salary relief if the Oilers wanted to load up for a playoff run. Obviously a poor start and now injuries have all but made this season toast, but if you think Eberle being here would have us any higher in the standings, your dreaming.

    • FISTO Siltanen

      Chiarelli thought after last season’s disappointing regular season and even worse playoffs and said “There’s a guy who’s gonna score 33 goals and 60 points. Better downgrade that player ASAP. “

  • Randaman

    Honestly, until McLellan takes Letestu off the power play and replaces him with Jesse, I’m done. I got better things to do than watch this slow, non entertaining gong show on ice. LB is a lost cause. Start Ellis. Play offs are a fantasy anyways.

    • E-Mac

      Totally agreed that Letestu needs to be removed from the PP. Sure he produced last year, but so what!? It’s a new season and the PP is God awful. Zero chance generation at all. How much longer must we endure before he makes a change.

      Nurse is one of the only guys showing up every night and he is creating offence. I think he deserves a sniff on the PP.

      • I am Batman

        Now the cansucks have a stud D????
        Is it the Oilers than cannot ever find a stud in the pipeline?
        We are cursed for trading Gretzky, we will never be whole again

        • Glencontrolurstik

          they have arguably found flashes of “studliness”, even recently…
          It’s what they do with that talent is the only issue…
          All would be good if only they could get that right…
          Who is the longest serving coach on the Oilers staff?
          They may have something to do with it?

        • Samesame

          Yeah. Sucks. But 8 back of the final playoff spot and San Jose has a game in hand, u just don’t make that kind of ground up. Especially if u also have to jump over like 5 teams. it’s over.

      • puckle-head

        I hear that. Even if they win their remaining games at the same pace they did last season, they will only finish with 92 pts, and probably out of the playoffs. And they are a worse team, with more injury problems, with key players regressing when compared to last year, so I don’t see how they can perform at the level they did in 16/17. I say fire Chiarelli, and look to the future. McDavid is the ultimate GM mulligan, since he’ll be the best player in the game for several years still.

        • Glencontrolurstik

          say what you want about this team, but the only problem is lack of drive & direction…
          More than Chia being an issue, is the lack of coaching direction and systems. A great team psychologist will take care of the confidence issue…

      • Oilers_1978

        as i was an oilers even during 2007-2015 why should I give up with McD/Drai/Nuge/Klef/Nurse on board….go oilers go…and conquer the east on this road trip…

        • McRaj

          So you think that this team will do something that has not been done in history. Go from 14th in the West in December to Top 8 by the time April comes? LOL yeah this team ain’t making any history unless its the history of tying the Habs for the most first overall picks in team history (5).

          • FISTO Siltanen

            Teams don’t come back from 3-1 deficits in the NBA playoffs, let alone the finals, yet the Cavs did that two years ago.

            Teams don’t come back from 3-0 deficits but the Red Sox, Kings and Flyers all have.

            Great thing about sports is anything is possible. It just rarely happens…which makes it special.

      • Glencontrolurstik

        It’s all about attitude,… yes they are done…
        But we all know that there is much more to all these players than what we see?
        They are not the same team we witnessed this time last year…
        This year, I’m afraid we have caught them coasting…
        Last night was “fire in, fall back hockey”, they have given up…
        I’m afraid a lot of the fans are sayin’ “same old, same old.”
        Go Jets Go……

    • ricardo2000

      This whole month is a test for the Oilers: Montreal twice, Winnipeg twice, St Louis, Chicago, Minnesota… They all look like quality opponents, so if the Oilers don’t win at least 50% of the games, goodbye season, hello draft lottery, as they will be statistically eliminated from the playoffs. Frankly, there is only a slim mathematical chance that the Oil, with a 39% win rate, can improve to 62% for their remaining games.

  • PleaseWinOilers

    Other than McDavid I have no attachment to anyone on this roster but I don’t trust the GM to handle his assets properly… Sigh. I was hoping we were done with this nonsense but instead we hired MacTambo 3.0.

    • MrBung

      Drai’s cap hit at 8.5 is an big anchor. He is a great player, but just not 8.5 Million. That is going to be a drag on the organization in terms of value/return.

      Also, I just don’t get why Chia moved Eberle for Strome for cap space he never used this season. Why not just hold onto Eberle. Strome was the best he could get? Really? I remember being dumbfounded when it was announced.

      • puckle-head

        Right? It was the epitome of unforced errors. You could talk me into trading Eberle for cap space, but why rush it and why for a player who is so obviously worse? It’s not fair to the other player either, it’s not Strome’s fault some empty suit thought he was worth trading a 60+ pt per year player to acquire, but he will live with those comparisons now.

      • FISTO Siltanen

        “Why not just hold onto Eberle?”

        You can say that about any player ever traded. Are you better waiting it out and playing the wait and see game or is it best to sell low.

        Maybe Chiarelli is a fan of ON and read everyone scream to get rid of Ebs for a bag of pucks and thought he was doing us fans a solid.

        • Glencontrolurstik

          Fisto, that’s exactly what happened, with some push from Katz…
          I believe he told Chia, “The fans want this,… it’s time.”
          When it’s all said and done, we have to ask ourselves “Who’s the barber here???”
          It’s not any GM in Edmonton’s doing… They just do what they are told…
          If the head wants something done, it gets done… I imagine in a “What am I paying you for” attitude…

  • The Strome boys, Ryan and Dylan are all over rated players that were good in junior, average on the world stage and disappointing in the NHL. Don’t touch their chunky brother Matthew that will be drafted in the 2018 first round. I think Edmonton could have gotten a much better player for Eberle than Ryan Strome.

    • gordo

      my theory is garth snow has something on chiarelli; we got reinhart and strome, they got eberle and barzal. yeah i heard the oilers weren’t gonna pick barzal, but this team has trouble picking unless it’s a for sure #1. i’m very frustrated and disappointed with the darryl katz era.

  • tkfisher

    Calvin de Haan would have been a good pick up. Way to negotiate Pete. What a joke of a GM that guy is. If there is any truth to that story, that’s sad. Throw in a pick with Eberle to balance the trade, not give them your jock and the shirt off your back. Just awful.

  • TKB2677

    I am not going to sit here and say that the Eberle for Strome trade was a good trade. It wasn’t. But given Eberle’s comments whining about how the big bad Edmonton media was too hard on him, how it hurt his feelings and how he lost confidence and it affected him game. If anyone thinks Eberle would be having a good year in Edmonton this season, you are fooling yourself.

  • I’m not writing the season completely off just yet due to Larson, Talbot and Reg currently out and alot of divisional games left, that said though if I were management I would start prepping Mac T for his ” this is a developing year” presser.

  • Consultant

    My lord Chia is a horrible negotiator:
    Ask: Strome and CDH for Ebs.
    Offer: Strome for Ebs.
    So in mid-summer he just “paid the price”. No draft pick or any movement needed from their side…

  • Hemmercules

    The only thing more depressing than the Oilers right now is this comments section. Last year was so fun, how did it come to this so fast? All those dreams of cup contenders for years to come, now I’m left wondering how they will ever make the show again with all these anchor contracts and underachievers.

  • Natti_89

    AS negative as we all are, there is still a lot of hockey left and like all sports, one team winning and others losing is not linear. Until we are mathematically eliminated I will drink the kool-aid . Let’s go boys!

  • Serious Gord

    No ‘punishment’ for draisaitl? He was pretty awful to my eyes.

    And the real heat should now be on tmc for failing to have this team energized. I think he’s lost the room (saw video of a recent practice of him tearing a strip off of them – not cool)

  • Slipknot 8

    Caggiula is Ryan Jones reincarnate…..

    I will say this, IF….. Eberle….. HAD run his course with the team and management then fine, I can deal with that, but to go out and settle for Strome is complete incompetence by a GM who hasn’t won a big trade in years.
    This is the guy going into McDavid’s prime years………..It’s gotta stop

  • 0W-20

    Aboot time dadgummit. Caggiula has brought nothing to the table other than terrible turnovers and a hint scrappiness. Strome has been underwhelming but with some good moments; he’s not an offensive black hole like Caggiula.

  • YoungerThanSpidey

    Although I’m tempted to blame PC, as I’m thinking he’s lost every trade he’s made, I have to think that when you have arguably the best player in the world, no offence, no defence, no goaltending, no breakout, no powerplay and no penalty kill, and you wonder why the team isn’t ready to go out of the gate pretty much every game, there seems to be only one place to point the finger…

    • Glencontrolurstik

      Haha, over the last 12 years I think every Oiler was a “career -52″… that’s funny,… your reaching…
      We all know you have much more “Eberle specific” criticisms than that, as you were the President of the “Get rid of that bum” fanclub…?

    • Shameless Plugger

      Yes but over the last two season he’s a plus player. So he’s actually helping his team more than hurting them this year whilst also scoring points. Your +\- argument held some weight THREE YEARS AGO it doesn’t mean squat now. Try again.