It’s almost September! You know what that means? Training camp is around the corner! You know what that means? Professional tryout contracts!
The Oilers have already offered two PTOs that we know about. Scottie Upshall has accepted a PTO and will attend Oilers camp. Brandon Davidson was offered a PTO but declined because he has other actual contract offers on the table.
Away from the Oilers, three others players have signed PTOs. Mark Letestu will try out for the Florida Panthers, Simon Despres will try to crack the Montreal Canadiens, and the Los Angeles Kings will bring Emerson Etem to camp.
There are still a whole bunch of free agents sitting out there looking for a job. That brings us to this week’s What Would You Do Wednesday THURSDAY EDITION question. Who else should the Oilers bring to camp on a PTO contract?
The Oilers have two main needs. They need depth on the wings, whether it’s veterans for the bottom-six or cheap guys who can score in the top-six. They could also use some help on the blueline in the wake of Andrej Sekera’s potentially-season-ending injury.
Rick Nash told teams prior to July 1 that he wasn’t sure if he was going to return next season due to nagging injuries. I’m just listing him here to say that he isn’t really an option.
Mike Cammalleri is the next highest-scoring winger on the market behind Nash. He put up 29 points in 65 games last season between the Oilers and Kings.
Troy Brouwer was just bought out by the Flames. He was obviously incredibly overpaid in Calgary but he’s thrived in the past in a bottom-six role.
Alex Chiasson is one of the more interesting names out there. He’s a big right winger who played on Washington’s Stanley Cup team last year. He only scored nine goals in the regular season and one in the playoffs, though. He was once a highly-regarded prospect.
Chris Stewart had back-to-back 28-goal seasons not too long ago. He only scored 10 goals between Minnesota and Calgary last year.
Jason Chimera was a player the Oilers were rumoured to be interested in earlier in the summer. He had back-to-back 20-goal season but fell off a cliff in 2017-18. He used to be a very good two-way player, but does he have anything left in the tank?
Ales Hemsky played just seven games for Montreal last season. His entire season was derailed due to a concussion. Is there any reason to believe he can have a healthy year? Obviously not, but I just had to throw his name out there anyway.
Luca Sbisa was good enough to play for the Golden Knights during their playoff run last spring, but he currently doesn’t have a contract. Sbisa is a lefty shutdown defender who doesn’t produce any offence which might be overkill on the Oilers at this point.
Alexei Emelin is cut from the same cloth as Sbisa. He’s tough, rugged, throws big hits, and doesn’t produce much offensively. He would also be another addition to the Leftorium.
Kevin Bieksa is another one-dimensional shutdown guy, but he plays on the right side, which is helpful to the lefty-heavy Oilers. After playing for rival teams for so long, it would be hilarious to see Bieksa in an Oilers jersey.
Tobias Enstrom was a very effective NHL defender for years, but injuries have derailed his past few seasons. Enstrom is the player I figured would make a lot of sense as an immediate Sekera replacement given his ability to produce offence.
Cody Franson has had success in the past in a special teams role. He’s a right-handed shooter and has a bomb from the point. He’s had a hard time finding work in the NHL, though.
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