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Brandon Davidson declines PTO from Oilers

It appears the Edmonton Oilers were interested in giving Brandon Davidson a chance at Round Three, but they weren’t interested enough to offer him a contract. According to Reid Wilkins of 630 CHED, the Oilers offered the two-time former Oiler a professional tryout contract, but Davidson declined because he’s close to getting an NHL contract with another team. 

Davidson was originally drafted by the Oilers in the sixth round of the 2010 NHL draft. He would spend a few years in the minors before making his debut with the team in 2014-15. Davidson played with the club for two-and-a-half years before being traded to the Montreal Canadiens for David Desharnais at the trade deadline in 2017. The Oilers claimed Davidson on waivers from the Habs last year, but then flipped him to the New York Islanders for a third-round pick a few months later.

While Davidson is a fan favourite, the Oilers have ultimately decided that there was a better option to boost the depth of the team’s blueline. That really isn’t all too surprising given the fact they’ve now traded him two separate times, once for a draft pick.

Davidson appeared to be a logical option for the Oilers to sign after Andrej Sekera went down with an Achilles injury given his familiarity with the team. Instead, Peter Chiarelli ultimately decided to roll with Jakub Jerabek who brings more of an offensive element to his game on a one-year, $1 million deal.

I can’t blame Davidson for wanting to look for a secure contract rather than just a PTO and an invite to training camp. He’s certainly a good enough player to land somewhere, though it may be on a two-way deal.

  • Reg Dunlop

    I see some similarities, on a much smaller scale, with the Reinhart trade. Can’t get Hamilton so the GM overpays for a longshot and loses. This time, can’t get Davidson so he gives a contract to a longshot who would have been lucky to get a PTO. If the oil were looking to add a #7/8 depth defenceman, no problem with J.J. But they are looking for an everyday player, one to fill out the starting line-up. Davidson is closer to being that player. Unless Larsson/Klefbom can log 30 minutes nightly for 80-plus games, this season is toast. Sorry to seem melodramatic here but that’s how I see it.

      • puckle-head

        I wouldn’t say he’s overpaid, but I’d argue that they should have offered Jerabek the PTO and Davidson the $1m. That makes more sense to me, given we know that Davidson is a reasonably effective replacement player to plug in.

        • OriginalPouzar

          Jerabek was a KHL all-star a year ago, Chiarelli was, presumably, competing with KHL offers for him. I don’t think a PTO was an option.

          From accounts, he’s a better bet to make an impact than Davidson at this point.

          • puckle-head

            I wouldn’t classify either of these players as “impact players.” The Oilers are really just looking for serviceable plug-and-play options. And I would argue that Davidson, despite having a lower upside to his game, is more of a sure thing, and more versatile to boot.

    • Redbird62

      Seems to me you are misreading the situation somewhat. I don’t see where Davidson was offered a contract, but just a PTO, where as they offered and signed Jerabek to a contract. So I don’t see evidence that the Oilers preferred Davidson to Jerabek. And in terms of 2017/18 play, the Canadiens had both and played Jerabek 17 minutes per game for 25 games and Davidson for 13 games at 15 minutes per game. Montreal let Davidson go on waivers (not sure how many teams passed on him before the Oilers grabbed him) and got nothing but cap space for him. Jerabek got traded to the Stanley Cup champs for a 5th round draft pick, since the Hab’s season was done, and they might lose him at year end anyway. The Habs fans didn’t fret when Davidson was let go but there was someone disappointment when Jerabek was traded. Tells me the Habs, the league and now the Oilers rate Jerabek more highly than Davidson. It may not be much, but that combined with the difference in style of play, the Oilers view him as a better potential fill in for Sekera than Davidson would be.

  • puckle-head

    This is a yet another puzzling personnel choice by Chiarelli (albeit a very minor one). Why would you sign a player with 36 NHL games to a one year deal, while giving the player with 150+ NHL games, whom you are also more familiar with a PTO?? Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Sign Davidson, who is a known quantity for a year, then give Jerabek a PTO, and if he shows more upside than Davidson, that’s a win-win because you have the better player, you can trade Davidson (yet again), or send him to the minors where he might be picked up on waivers.

    • Bills Bills

      Because they do know Davidson and their pro scouts see more upside in JJ. They don’t need Davidson and offering him a PTO was likely just throwing him a bone as he is currently unsigned.

      • puckle-head

        Highly doubt they offered a PTO to “throw him a bone.” They are clearly trying to acquire cheap options to fill in the gap left by Sekera, and now they appear to be gambling that Jerabek + their internal options will be enough.

        • Bills Bills

          They don’t owe him anything and it is unlikely he would have shown them anything they haven’t already seen. If they thought he would be a better option or a solid addition, they would have offered him a contract. Doing a PTO is essentially throwing a bone to him as many players on PTOs end up signing with other teams.

          As for the Oilers screwing him over, see Kevwan’s post. The Oilers have given him every chance to succeed and this PTO offer is another example of that.
          Why some of you always try to spin whatever the Oilers do towards the negative is kind of gross. There is a better way to live life than always being negative and miserable about things that are completely outside your control.

          • Bills Bills

            Puckhead, I was not only referring to your post but those who literally said the Oilers screwed him over and others that continue to critique every move PC and the Oilers do. I don’t spin it as misery, but when the same people beat the same drum over and over and over, it is kind of sad. Don’t like PC? You didn’t like MacTavish?Tambellini just never did enough to help the team? Kevin Lowe should have been fired years ago. TMac doesn’t know how to deploy his players, Dallas Eakins was a swarming madman etc. etc…. It is one thing to criticize the team when things go wrong, which last year they did. But it seems that there are a few that know nothing but complaining. Can’t see the positive in anything and will always try to twist what they say to others feel that their opinion is justified and verified. But hey, as long as you are miserable and feel justified and smarter than everyone else, enjoy.

          • puckle-head

            lol, wut? I never said they screwed Davidson over. I agree they didn’t owe him anything (which is why it would be weird if they offered him a PTO as a favour). And I’m aware that they offered him a PTO because they didn’t think he was a solid enough addition. My entire point was that it would make more sense to give the safer option a contract, and the wild card a PTO. Not everyone has to agree with that, but it’s how I feel.

            And just some personal advice for you, Bills Bills, the way you spin every critique of the Oilers as evidence of misery is kind of gross. There is a better way to live your life than always being negative and miserable about things that are completely outside your control. Think about that. Might really turn your life around.

    • Freddie the fog

      Cause Jerabek wasn’t coming on a try out. And Davidson, a great kid who overcame alot to live out a dream and play in the NHL , isn’t a #4, 5, or 6 NHL Dmen. And probably ( definitely) will never be one. And that’s ok. He’ s a good pro at the AHL level. Btw, that’s a league you have to be very good to play in. The best player on your pickup team is light years away from playing in the AHL , the ECHL, and probably even the SPHL. The better question is why not offer him a two way deal ? I’ll take that one… probably because they have plans in their system for the further development of some young to youngish Dmen that the organization believes still have room for growth in their game.With at least two such Dmen ( Bear, Jones) they quite possibly are just scratching the surface of their professional ability. Brando is what he is at this point in his career. And that’s fine, he’s owed nothing . So, we wish him well in his next journey. And continued good health. Thank him for being a good pro, a good Oiler. And move on to the guy that probably was on the fence about playing overseas or staying in N.A. A player thought of highly enough to get into two playoff games with the eventual Champions.

      • Big Nuggets

        If Brando in what he is at this point the same is probably true for Jerabek. They are the same age, Jerabek likewise hasn’t cracked an NHL roster full time. I hope Jerabek does well but I would have been just as happy to have signed Davidson. I guess they wanted Jerabek’s offense but Of they play Bouchard or Bear this season they might need someone to play strong defense more.

        • Redbird62

          Except Jerabek is more of a late bloomer. Never drafted by the NHL, he played professionally in the Czech republic on the same team since he was 17. He really blossomed offensively after he turned 23. The next season he won the league’s best defenseman award. The next year he jumped to the KHL and made the end of season all star selection and finally got noticed by the Habs before last season. He killed it in the AHL for a short stint and got brought up to the Habs. A whole lot of considerations go into who gets offered what type of contract or what opportunity they are give. I feel for Brandon. Who know what might have been if not for Tkachuk’s slew foot at the start of the 16-17 season how things would have gone for him. But he has been given 152 games in the NHL to show his stuff voer , and the consensus seems to be he is at best a stay at home borderline 5/6 guy with limited contribution to offense, which is not what the Oilers need more of. By all accounts, Jerabek played well in Montreal, his first opportunity to play in the NHL, and many are unclear why the Canadiens moved on from him. Washington brought him in more as insurance against injury but went with their established top 6 for most of the playoffs. Brandon scored 10 points in this last 90+ NHL games, Jerabek scored 8 in 36, and that is more of the what the Oilers need right now. Don’t know if it will turn out, but it is not an unreasonable choice under the circumstances.

  • Hockeysense9393

    Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice…? I don’t blame him for looking elsewhere. Chia can’t afford to burn bridges anywhere…but it seems like another black mark on his GM resume.

    • Freddie the fog

      Not burning anyone. If anything he’s helped Davidson out tremendously the last few years. The reasons are too obvious to spill digital ink on. This GM that likes to burn Bridges….the same guy that bought out Gryba because he knew he didn’t have a spot for him here but didn’t want to bury him in the minors just to fulfill a contractual agreement. Cut him loose, with pay mind you, so a good guy and a good pro like Gryba can at least make a personal choice about where/if , he wants to continue a professional career. Ya that’s a guy who burns Bridges. I get it if your frustrated with PC for some of his moves, but let’s keep it real. Take a shot when it’s deserved if you like ..but what any excuse to berate the guy ? That’s what these forums usually come down to. No reason to complain here…move along

      • Hockeysense9393

        Ok, you have a warped sense for this business. So buying out a player in a position of need is being nice? I guess that one can look at it that way lol. With Davidson, it just seems like a gracious no thank you (but don’t call again). As a player going through that…I would just feel that obviously the team has no commitment to me, and just wants to see if I still have trade value.

        • Hockeysense9393

          It’s a strange move actually with Gryba? Instead of just burying his contract for a season with no cap hit, now he costs the team 300k for 2 years? When the team needs all the cap room it can muster? Orrr say be a GM and find a taker like say NJ for example and trade him for future considerations and keep 200k for 1 year…and be ahead of the curve? Yup…good (nice) GM.

          • Freddie the fog

            Go back to PlayStation where you might be able to get a 7 the rounder for Gryba cause in the really real world nobody is giving u anything. You find that out after making calls.

          • Freddie the fog

            Is that an independent thought ? Or do you just agree with the more popular consensus ? Nobody wants Gryba for ” future considerations” . You actually think because it didn’t happen that hmmmm let’s see …he may have dialed around the league ( all 31 teams) and got no takers ? For Eric Gryba. No…had to be someone that was willing to give up ” future considerations” right ? Wrong. I’m the one with the warped sense.

          • Oilerchild77

            Oh my god! 300K! Well our cap is screwed now! Are you friggin serious dude!? The buyout was a favour for a guy who wants options. You’re just another arrogant know-it-all “fan” who thinks they can manage a team better than someone who’s been doing it for 20+ years. Get a grip.

        • Bills Bills

          Gryba never should have been signed for more than a year at league minimum, there was no room in the AHL for him and sending him to the ECHL, well that wouldn’t have been very nice. So yes, he did Gryba a favour with the buyout.
          As for seeing if Davidson has trade value, he was claimed off of waivers from Montreal. So at that point he had none. He is a UFA with only PTOs and two way deals coming his way. So again, as of now the answer is no. The fact that PC traded him twice when other teams had to walk away with nothing, says PC has been an astute asset manager when it comes to Davidson.

        • Freddie the fog

          Kid you are really missing the point if you think something is wrong with this course of action. I’m fine with your comment that I have a really warped sense of ” this” business ( meaning Hockey ) I’m not in the business of hockey. And what you’re an NHL GM ? I do have a small business, that runs fairly efficiently. And I most definitely understand that hard or unpopular decisions absolutely have to made sometimes. Go back to sleep. Someday I hope you mature enough to see things through a different lens

  • Pizzy

    Why offer a PTO when they already know the type and level of player he is? He is not going to do anything different in training camp. Dumb move. Don’t blame Davidson for not accepting.

    • neojanus

      I don’t mind the PTO offer.

      Receiving a PTO does a couple of things for a player that has yet to be signed: 1) it allows him a chance to earn a contract while at the same time protecting the the team from spending cap dollars on a fringe contract before knowing whether that play fits; 2) if he shows well in pre-season, another team may notice him and sign him before the regular season begins. We saw this ourselves when dude signed in Calgary after a decent (but not amazing) preseason.

      The Oilers wouldn’t have necessarily known how close Davidson might be to signing a contract when they offered a PTO. It could have easily been a favour to him in order to keep the training moving along so that another team could make an offer, even if the Oilers wouldn’t.

      For the record, I like Davidson, but I see value in giving Jerabek a shot as a depth defenseman with potential offense. If he under-performs offensively, he isn’t terrible based on the defensive numbers. If he over-produces you have a decent trade chip, a good depth guy in case of horrendous injuries, or even a potential gem if the cards fall the right way.

      I see the PTO offer and decline as reasonable business options from both sides. No harm; no foul.

  • Theboon83

    My question is did Davidson ever even want to come back to EDM? I mean we got rid of him twice, that has to sting and if it were me I wouldn’t want to come back.

    • Kevwan

      Edmonton drafted him in the 6th rd. Very possible that if they don’t he goes undrafted.

      Stood beside him through his bout with Cancer.

      Signed him to a generous 2.85 million total for 2 years after his ELC.

      When he couldn’t crack the lineup in ’16 sent him to Montreal.

      When he couldn’t crack Montreal’s lineup in ’17 claimed him on waivers so he wasn’t sent down.

      Last spring when the team was out of contention they sent him to the Isles to compete for the playoffs.

      I get it that Davidson is a fan favorite. His is great story of dedication and perseverance. But the facts are the Canadians waived him and the Isles didn’t qualify him as a RFA letting him go UFA meaning maybe he’s not that great. And the Oilers have treated him very well actually.

  • T Ambrosini

    We know what he brings to the table and would have been a decent addition if signed inexpensively but I can’t blame the guy… I’d as well want to hitch onto another organization if I was in a similar situation.