I was listening to Oilers Now yesterday and I caught an interesting tidbit from Bob before the show got really rolling.
“Well it’s simple for Puljujarvi. If he doesn’t gain some traction at some point, he may be finding himself having a new address. Because I think the Oilers are going to have to make a decision with him”
Bob is the voice of the Oilers. He works on their flagship station and has proven knowledge of the inner workings of the organization, so when he goes out of his way to mention a roster player by name, people’s ears start to perk up. And when you consider the tone of the quote, you’d have to think that Puljujarvi is on the team’s radar and not in a good way.
It all seems a little over the top to expect a player who is really entering his second full year of NHL hockey (you’ll remember in his draft year he was given nineteen games more than the nine-game allowance the CBA has to not burn a year of team control) to be an impact player this quickly.
That lack of patience coupled with the fact that Puljujarvi’s most common linemates last year almost always included Milan Lucic who had the worst season of his career has people worried that we may have another witchhunt on our hands.
At the end of the day, the initial quote does sound like Bob is down on Jesse, but if you include the full comments afterwards it doesn’t sound nearly as harsh:
“I think Yamamoto (could steal that spot). And you saw Yamamoto the other night in the development camp. I mean he dominated, and he has the confidence of the other players and that was evident last year even when he was up in the NHL as well.”
I don’t think Stauffer was saying Jesse has been bad so much as Kailer Yamamoto might be ready to play his way into that spot on the right wing. Regardless of what actually happens, both players will have a very good chance to make an impact as the depth on the right side certainly leaves something to be desired. Then again, maybe the organization is already down on the player that fell into their laps with the 4th overall pick only two years ago.
Am I making too much of this? Are the Oilers trying to rush things a little bit? What do you guys think?
PULJUJARVI’S CAREER SO FAR