Photo Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Oilers make a flurry of roster moves

According to Twitter, the Oilers have waived the newly acquired Nathan Walker, recalled Anton Slepyshev from Bakersfield, added Oscar Klefbom to the IR, and get set to activate Andrej Sekera off the injured reserve.


With the Oilers finally starting to get healthy it was only a matter of time before the math wouldn’t work out anymore, and it was Nathan Walker that drew the short straw. That said, it wasn’t exactly surprising that the Oilers would waive Walker over anyone else considering he hasn’t exactly been a world beater (or even noticeable) in the two games he’s played since being claimed on waivers. Let me put it this way, aside from the DDT he gave a defenceman last night (which resulted in a power play goal for the Sharks btw) would you even have noticed he was playing?

Walker will be replaced by Anton Slepyshev who was briefly assigned to the Bakersfield Condors only yesterday in what amounted to a paper transaction. Now that the dust has settled and the roster picture becomes clearer, it makes sense for the Oilers to recall Slepyshev and have him as depth on the right side. From where I blog, I don’t see any situation where having Slepyshev over Walker isn’t an upgrade for the team. What will be interesting is to see how many games Slepyshev gets into considering he was used quite sparingly over the past couple weeks.


The biggest surprise of the morning comes with the news that Oscar Klefbom was added to the Injured Reserve. With that said, should we really be surprised? While this news was perhaps unexpected, seeing Klefbom placed on the IR could explain a lot when you think about how he has looked like a skeleton version of the player he was last year. Knowing that he was playing through injury answers a lot of questions.

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Then again, Peter Chiarelli did hint that Klefbom was banged up when he held his first press conference of the year a few weeks back so this moves starts to make more sense. Considering the injuries on the back end and the players fighting above their weight class, pulling Klefbom out of the lineup would have been tough. Having Sekera set to return means that Klefbom can take the next couple games off to recover and get himself healthy again over the Christmas break. Here’s hoping that will be enough time.


On the bright side, we’re finally getting closer to having Andrej Sekera back in the mix will add a calming influence with a little bit of offensive touch to a defensive group that is finally starting to find its way. While it will definitely take Reggie a couple games/weeks to get himself back up to speed, his addition will go a long way in ensuring that the other five defencemen are properly slotted and also to ease the pressure of losing Klefbom. Sekera should also help to boost the special teams as he will likely see time on both the power play and penalty kill, an area the Oilers desperately need assistance in.

Source: Edmonton Oilers, Official Twitter Account, 12/19/2017, 10:10am MST