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Photo Credit: Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

Speculation: Oilers interested in Scottie Upshall for a PTO

With training camp about a month away and holes still left to be plugged, I heard a rumour from a couple of different sources that I trust that the Edmonton Oilers are one of a few western conference teams (Vancouver is in the mix as well) that are interested in bringing in veteran, Scottie Upshall, on a professional tryout. I’ve also been told that he also has a KHL offer on the table that he’s considering as well. According to my sources, nothing is locked in yet but that there is some interest in seeing if Upshall is a fit from an Oilers perspective. Obviously, this is just a rumour at this point but I do trust the peeps this came from, and that makes me think that this thing has some legs.

With the Oilers’ depth on the wings looking as shallow as it is, it would make a world of sense for them to try and improve that situation as effectively and cheaply as possible. So bringing in a veteran player like Upshall on a PTO would give them another potential option on the wings without having to fully commit to anything aside from offering up an opportunity. To me, a PTO makes the sense given the variables that surround some of the unproven commodities that would otherwise be manning those positions.

For the Oilers, Upshall, a veteran of 759 NHL games with six different teams, would certainly add an element of experience to the wings with the ability to generate a little bit of bit of offence while also chipping in on special teams. Though we aren’t talking about a massive addition here, Upshall does have the skill set to help the Oilers solidify their bottom six and potentially help on special teams which are both issues that could use some attention. Last season, 34-year-old Upshall posted seven goals and 12 assists for the Blues in 63 games played, and averaged 10:51 per night with 9:27 of that coming at even strength.

Looking at the roster, the salary cap, and seeing areas where the Oilers could be looking to find cheap solutions, I can see how Scottie Upshall could fit the bill for what they need and why they would be interested.

THE WRAP…

At the end of the day, if this rumour ends up being true and the Oilers are the team that brings Upshall in for a tryout, I see this as a smart move for a team that doesn’t have cap space left to play with or much experience on that right side. At the very worst, having in a veteran like Upshall in on a PTO would add a welcomed layer of competition in a race for wing slots that wasn’t exactly jam-packed with horses, if you know what I mean. From Upshall’s perspective, I could also see him looking at the Oilers’ current lineup and seeing daylight on both sides of centre and feeling like there’s a real chance for him to continue his career. Not to mention, with Andrej Sekera hitting the LTIR when the season starts, the team would now have some additional cap space to make it happen should he earn the spot. 

With all that said, I can’t stress enough that this is all just a rumour at this point but I still thought it was worth writing about considering who I heard the information from and knowing where the Oilers would like to improve. Personally, I think PTOs are the way to go when trying to find cheap players that can be short-term plugs for holes in the roster and Upshall would certainly be a low risk gamble, provided that he ends up here on a tryout. So will this happen? That is yet to be seen, but it does certainly seem like a plausible rumour given what we know. And besides, Upshall is from Fort Mac and what good Alberta boy wouldn’t want to throw on the blue and orange at least once in their career? On paper, it all makes sense.

What do you guys think?

UPSHALL’S NHL CAREER

Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/- PGP G A Pts PIM
2003-04 Milwaukee Admirals AHL 31 13 11 24 42 2 8 3 0 3 4
2003-04 Nashville Predators NHL 7 0 1 1 0 -2
2004-05 Milwaukee Admirals AHL 62 19 27 46 108 9 5 2 2 4 8
2005-06 Milwaukee Admirals AHL 23 17 16 33 44 11 14 6 10 16 20
2005-06 Nashville Predators NHL 48 8 16 24 34 14 2 0 0 0 0
2006-07 Nashville Predators NHL 14 2 1 3 18 -1
2006-07 Milwaukee Admirals AHL 5 0 1 1 6 0
2006-07 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 18 6 7 13 8 4
2007-08 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 61 14 16 30 74 2 17 3 4 7 44
2008-09 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 55 7 14 21 63 5
2008-09 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 19 8 5 13 26 2
2009-10 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 49 18 14 32 50 5
2010-11 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 61 16 11 27 42 5
2010-11 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 21 6 1 7 10 -12
2011-12 Florida Panthers NHL 26 2 3 5 29 -3 7 1 2 3 4
2012-13 Florida Panthers NHL 27 4 1 5 25 -8
2013-14 Florida Panthers NHL 76 15 22 37 73 1
2014-15 Florida Panthers NHL 63 8 7 15 28 -8
2015-16 St. Louis Blues NHL 70 6 8 14 44 5 17 1 2 3 10
2016-17 St. Louis Blues NHL 73 10 8 18 45 -1 11 0 0 0 8
2017-18 St. Louis Blues NHL 63 7 12 19 46 -1
NHL Totals 759 138 147 285 615 54 5 8 13 66

 

  • Abagofpucks

    Hey if he’s got another year in him why not bring him in on a PTO makes some sense.

    Our special teams were a mess last year, if he can crack the line up and shore up the 4th line im in. But who gets the gets the boot if that happens ?

    • Glencontrolurstik

      You have to think that Brodziak may have had a hand in this. They MUST have played together on the same line in St. Lou? All I can see it is a positive, as someone like Khaira or Kassian can move up in the line-up. And the Brodziak line would be a proven solid. Kassian will show better this year, maybe even up in the line-up. I say this because no coach has gotten more out of Kassian over the years than Gully. He produced some timely events when he was in Vancouver.
      Either that, or Kassian will be traded if Upshall works out and Kassian doesnt?

  • a lg dubl dubl

    If it pushes Yamo down the charts a bit and force the kid to earn a spot even more, I’m all for Upshall coming in. Plus as with Sekera out for the year and no real NHL depth on defence, the team needs all the depth up front when/if injuries occur.

    • Glencontrolurstik

      Hey, I just want to point out that Jussi Jokenin got 10 points in 14 games with the Canucks after free agency last year…
      Was it a fluke, or was he coached & utilized properly? He’s also free for a PTO & we have new coaches…
      Go ahead, “TRASH IT”, but 10 points in 14 games on a bad team is nothing to sneeze at.

      • FISTO Siltanen

        I look at 10 points in 14 games on a bad team as more of an indication the team lacked depth and he got hot for a couple of weeks. I wouldn’t go that route with him.

        I see it on NBA teams all the time. Horrible team with 20+ points per game scorer.

        At this juncture the Oilers need to have guys positioned to play in the top-9 to play well and they need others to find roles elsewhere in the lineup. Particularly on the PK.

  • OriginalPouzar

    I’m not sure if Upshall turns out to be the guy but its imperative that Chiarelli acquire one more forward for the bottom of the lineup, a cheap player for $800K (or less) to put another actual body between the NHL and Brad Malone (or even a rookie pro prospect like Marody).

    At this point, depending on Yamamoto, the Oilers are one injury up front to Malone being on the roster. I have no doubt he’ll get some games when injuries pile up but he should not be the first option. The other call-up option would be a guy like Marody and, although I really like him and do think he could earn some NHL games this year on merit, I think he deserves the privilege of some development time in Bakersfield – he is a raw rookie pro.

    No harm in a PTO so, sure, bring Upshall to camp but I think, for a 12th-14th forward, the waiver wire might be the best place – there will be some decent players available.

  • Violentgent13

    Could be a smart move. Have him play on the 4th line with Brodz, they did play together in St. Louis. It would boost some of the other guys to want to move up the line-up as well. Have JJ, Drake and Looch battle for that 2nd-3rd line spot.
    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  • Bills Bills

    Not sure Upshall is going to improve the right side that much he’s a checker who should still have some legs but as long as he is not playing above the third line right wing. I don’t want to see him getting opportunity that should be going to JP just because TM likes his veterans.

  • Kneedroptalbot

    He played his best hockey in Arizona and Florida, that was a while ago. Don’t expect him to add any speed or scoring to the team. Kyle Brodziak is a much better checker.

  • ed from edmonton

    The silver lining of the Sekera issue is that it frees up perhaps as much a s $5.5M of cap space. So the cap tightness that the Oil were in this year has evaporated. Upshall on a PTO is okay, but the Oil need to be setting their aim much higher. I know there is not a lot of talent left unsigned, but the Oil now have a lot of cap space to play with. If nothing else they should be re-considering the option of a long term contract for Nurse.

    • FlamesFanOtherCity

      It’s not quite that simple. The max you could sign Nurse to right now, without going over the cap is $4.9m. If you signed him to $6m and Sekera comes back mid year, then you would be over the cap. That’s the simple part.

      • Chitikas

        It’s not quite that simple. They could still sign Nurse to the $6m and as long as Reggie is out until his daily cap hit goes down to the $1.1m left owing they would still be cap compliant.

  • Ted

    Aren’t we in dire need of a defense man though. Sekera Isa huge hole. Look what happened last year when we started without him. Ouch! Painful! Missed the playoffs in the first month that’s how bad!!

    • Big Nuggets

      I like the idea of adding a guy like Upshall or Hartnell, as well as someone on defense. Enstrom unless they can find someone better. Maybe wait for a waiverwire pickup. A couple older vets would do the team good. Yamamoto might be ready this season but most likely he plays well for part of the year and fades or perhaps only finds success with McDavid. The advantage of the older vets besides the leadership is they know how long the season is, they are not going to burn out half way through. Also it sounds like Lucic has nobody to hang with and a few older players will make Lucic feel like a young guy again.