Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Adam Larsson activated, Anton Slepyshev odd man out

According to Jason Gregor, the Oilers have activated defenceman Adam Larsson in advance of tonight’s game against the San Jose Sharks. In a corresponding roster transaction, the Oilers have sent forward Anton Slepyshev to Bakersfield of the AHL.

It was assumed that Eric Gryba would be the odd man out when Larsson returned, given that the rugged defender had been passed on the depth chart by Yohann Auvitu and Brandon Davidson. But with the Christmas break around the corner, it makes sense that the Oilers didn’t want to waive the veteran who’s battled hard through two-and-a-half seasons with the club.

Slepyshev is one of just two Oilers, Jesse Puljujarvi being the other, who’s eligible to be sent to the minors without having to clear waivers. With Puljujarvi clearly ahead of Slepyshev on the depth chart and the team trying to avoid waiving someone at this point in time, it makes sense that Slepyshev was the odd man out.

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In 15 games this season, Slepyshev has one goal and two assists. He started the year with an ankle injury and it took him a little while to find his footing after returning. He’s bounced in and out of the lineup, but the Russian winger has looked effective in a bottom-six role.

Larsson was placed on the Injured Reserve back on Dec. 1 and missed seven games. In his absence, Kris Russell stepped up and played on the top pairing with Darnell Nurse, Matt Benning played with Oscar Klefbom, and Yohann Auvitu and Brandon Davidson held down the fort on the third pair. The blueline was pretty effective, but getting Larsson back will be a big boost. Also, not very long from now, Andrej Sekera will be set to return, meaning the Oilers can ice their ideal blueline for the first time this season.

A day late and a dollar short: The NHL needs to take more action

Edmonton’s roster can be viewed at nhlnumbers.com 

  • oilerjed

    Keeping 8 dmen over sending down a player who doesn’t look like he is getting in the lineup ever?? He has to be going down when Sekera gets back right? Why postpone the inevitable? Wonder if there is a trade on the horizon?

    • ubermiguel

      It’s in the article: why mess up a veteran’s Christmas when you can avoid it? Classy move if that’s the reasoning.

      Happy to have Larsson and Talbot back just as we start facing more Pacific Division teams. So you’re telling me there’s a chance? It’s a Lloyd Christmas miracle!

    • A trade might make perfect sense, honestly. Deal from a position of strength, right? And while the Oilers D-corps isn’t elite by any stretch, the progress of guys like Nurse certainly gives us a bit of breathing room there. Plus, say what you will about ol’ Grybes, he’s been a trooper. Hopefully some team out there could use him…and it would be nice to get something in return, rather than have some team claim him off waivers.

    • Magicaleigh

      Because we don’t know how injured other dmen are (Klefbom for example) and injuries can happen at any time. Why waive a dman when you don’t have to. Let health force it to happen, not anticipation of health.

  • Cowboy Bill

    It would make perfect sense to just waiver Nathan Walker when Sekera returns . Thus keeping 8 dmen plus using Auvitu as the thirteenth forward . In fact it would be nice to see him on the fourth line playing with Letestu & Kassian and have 7 dmen dressed incase of injury . Caggiula could sit because of Auvitu’s versatility .

    • camdog

      It’s been written by a few that Slepy has 1 more game before he is loses his waiver except status. Thus there is a good bet that he might be down in the AHL for a bit until they decide what they are doing with a couple of other players.

  • Clayton

    “Also, not very long from now, Andrej Sekera will be set to return, meaning the Oilers can ice their ideal blueline for the first time this season.”

    Ideal? Not sure that is their ‘ideal’ blue line…but perhaps their ‘planned’ blueline. I think the ‘ideal’ blueline would include a bonafide #1 D-Man, not a collection of second pairing guys. Yes…this is a far better blueline then the Oilers will have had all season and a good step forward for sure…but far from an ‘ideal’ blueline.