Photo Credit: James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

Kris Russell placed on IR; Ethan Bear assigned to Bakersfield

All the Oilers news is happening at once! The Edmonton Oilers have just placed Kris Russell onto the Injury Reserve, and have assigned Ethan Bear to the Bakersfield Condors. 

As the NHL season is set to kick-off tomorrow, the Oilers are filing the last few moves needed to have their roster set. Ethan Bear has already traveled with the team to Europe, so these are all strictly paper transactions. Technically, I don’t think it means that Evan Bouchard has earned the spot over Ethan Bear, but it’s a fairly good indication of what’s to come. I personally think the Oilers will give Bouchard his nine games in the NHL with Bear beginning the season in the AHL. If Bouchard is decided as a no-go for the season, Bear would be brought up to fill his spot.

With the signing of Jason Garrison this morning, the Oilers now have two extra defencemen on their roster. Placing Kris Russell on the IR and sending down Bear is the only right move. In case you missed it, Russell was banged up in a preseason game but is expected to play on Saturday. It makes sense to place him on the IR for the time being, but I expect him to be taken off for Saturday and have another transaction made between now and then as well.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

It’s a bit of an odd week as the team still has one preseason game left to play tomorrow, while the rest of the NHL is beginning their regular season. I wouldn’t really panic over any of these transactions as they’re all contractual mumbo-jumbo in my opinion. I’ll only start to think long and hard about the roster until I see who’s playing in Sweden on October 6th.



As per good media guy, Reid Wilkens, the Oilers have just placed Andrej Sekera on the LTIR and have recalled Ethan Bear back to the team. Confusing, amirite?

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

I was expecting this to happen tomorrow but this makes sense too. So now the speculation begins… will Kris Russell be activated before Saturday and then Ethan Bear gets sent down AGAIN? What do you guys think? Here is the tweet from the Oilers claiming that Russell is hopefully expected to play for Saturdays game.

  • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

    Wilkins confirmed that Bear hasn’t and won’t go anywhere. It’s just a paper transaction. If it wasn’t, the Oilers wouldn’t have brought him to Germany

  • Dapper Dan 3099

    I also remember when Klefbom only had a “minor” infection, and was only supposed to miss a game or two…. lets hope that’s not the case here again with Russell and Larrson

  • BR

    About what was expected after the RW’s all proved they deserved to stay. Interested to see how the middle six lines shake out, Reider is deserving of playing above the 4LW spot. How long does Lucic hold him off? Might see one of the RW’s like Yamamoto fall off and end up in Bakersfield for a spell as well.

    I’m still hoping Bouchard goes down after his 9 games (won’t have to protect him at expansion) and Bear is deserving to play the spot. A few games in OKC for Bear will be good for him while Bouchard gets up to his 9 game mark, Garrison spelling him so he can get the birds eye view with a coach. Would be the prudent asset management move.

  • toprightcorner

    I knew figured Bear would only be a paper transaction until Sekera was put on LTIR. The Oilers are allowed to keep extra players during their Europe trip.

    If Russell can play to start the season, then Bear will be sent down again, but on paper only. He will stay with the team in case there is an injury. This is all about saving as much cap space as possible even a couple games here and there could make a difference at the deadline. We will probably see a lot of this during the season. With players not having to report to the AHL immediately, anytime the Oilers have a couple days off, they will do paper transactions to save some money and call them back up before the next game. Done right, it could give the team an additional $500-$600k more cap space by the trade deadline.

    • Kepler62c

      I’m not sure they’d be doing that all that often, seems like a good way to sour a relationship with a waiver-exempt player. A player like Bear makes a lot less in the minors and I doubt he’d be pleased about having his pay checks cut every few weeks because of cap space.

      • OilerForLife

        I think he’ll be cool with that, Bear will be a regular on the Oilers Blue line, and with a shot like that he’ll be on one of the PP units, sooner rather than later. His waiver exempt status with the Oilers dancing along the cap line, will keep the right players in the right spots at the right time. Oilers will let him know what they are doing and why.

  • OilCan2

    Glitch in the matrix. NHL season has started. Oilers to play exhibition game tomorrow. Bear goes to California from Edmonton and back but he is really in Germany. Its OK. I’m NOT confused as long as I do not have to think, write or talk,……

  • Consultant

    So Saturday I’ll guess it’s:
    Larsson – Klef
    Nurse – Benning
    Garrison – Bouchard

    Dang if Larsson and Russel can’t go we are in trouble.
    Q- Is Saturday’s game on regular NHL sized ice or big Euro ice?

  • Dallas Eakins Hair

    I doubt there wasnt anyone who didnt see Bear going that far away from the team with Russell on the limp so to speak. Honestly I hope the Oil either work Bear or send him down to Bakersfield to keep him playing I dont thin k they should let him sit in the bleachers too long, I would like to see them keep working with him on shoring up things in our end of the ice.Bouchard is here for the 9 game run but I dont see the Oil leaving him on the roster after the 9 games, unless they get a D injured or a trade happens as much as they dont want to send him back to junior they dont have the option but to do that unless an injury or trade takes place. Could be with Larson’s back acting up they dont want to be caught short in case he has to miss some games and Russell as well.

    • IRONman

      Bouchard and Bear. No choice now. 3 veterans down, some kind of bad luck. Don’t worry about the expansion draft. Send 1st pick and maybe dump a bad 6 million dollar contract. Hint hint