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Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Oilers place Matt Benning on IR, recall Kevin Gravel

We’ve got roster moves!

After Matt Benning only played two minutes last night after leaving the game early with a mysterious injury, we were all expecting some type of roster move to happen today, and here we have it. The Oilers have officially recalled Kevin Gravel, and placed Matt Benning on the Injury Reserve.

This was sort of a surprise but not really a surprise. I was secretly hoping that Ethan Bear would get the call-up instead of Gravel, but whoever is to get the call will only be expected to play ~10 minutes a night anyway. This confirms that it is definitely wrong with Matt Benning. As discussed in my Injury Report this morning, Benning mysteriously left the game with nobody knowing why, or how he got hurt. Jason Gregor tweeted last night that he was in concussion protocol, however, no one has said a word about how it happened. Did he get hurt when he hit David Backes in his first shift? That’s the only time I can remember where something could have happened.

In the meantime, Kevin Gravel, who had a fairly decent preseason with the Oilers, will get a chance on the third line. I can only assume he will play with Bouchard on the third pairing tomorrow against Nashville. After four games played with the Bakersfield Condors, Kevin Gravel has one assist and has a +1 rating.

Are you happy Gravel got the call-up instead of Ethan Bear? Let me know in the comments!

Kevin Gravel’s Career Stats

Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/- GP G A Pts PIM
2015-16 Los Angeles Kings NHL 5 0 0 0 0 0
2016-17 Ontario Reign AHL 6 0 2 2 0 -2
2016-17 Los Angeles Kings NHL 49 1 6 7 6 3
2017-18 Ontario Reign AHL 25 3 8 11 17 -3
2017-18 Los Angeles Kings NHL 16 0 3 3 2 -3 1 0 0 0 0
2018-19 Bakersfield Condors AHL 4 0 1 1 0 1
2018-19 Edmonton Oilers NHL Statistics Unavailable
NHL Totals 70 1 9 10 8 1 0 0 0 0

 

  • TKB2677

    Oh no. Who will the Oilers have to give the puck away or not pick up their man. The horror!!

    Why exactly did they send Gravel down and sign Garrison anyway?

  • Peter Chairelli

    Dont worry everyone, we brought in the best medical team money can buy, Matty B will be back on the roster ASAP! You’re my boy Matty, you’re my boy!

  • camdog

    As long as Nurse, Larsson, Russell, and Klefbom are minimum 80% healthy for 82 games we should be alright…Hopefully Gravel plays well, because Oilers are going to need somebody to step up when top 4 are banged up. Bear needs to eat big minutes in AHL. He will be here soon enough.

      • Leichs

        Hopefully not too speedy lol. All of our wins have come with him nowhere near the ice.. Hate to pile on an injured guy but come on.. We won the game he was a healthy scratch against the Rangers, we got roasted against the Jets for the two periods that him and Garrison were getting ice time until they got stapled to the bench in the third and we came back hard, aaaaand last night we got demolished in the first period and Benning leaves injured and poof, we play solid after that. Hmmmmm, whats the constant in all that?

  • KootenayDan

    I hope Benning is ok I like the kid and it is not his fault that the Oilers did not have him in the AHL for at least 200 games learning to be an NHLer. They let Nurse percolate and it was good for his developement. Let’s see what Gravel has got with real games has to be better than what Garrison gives the team.

  • Dallas Eakins Hair

    While no one likes to see anyone injured, this time will be good for Benning to heal but also to get a view from the pressbox and a lotk at what our D and the Opositions D and how they play their style and soak it in.

    Lets face it, Benning hasnt been anywhere near what I call reliable to rely on in the Oil back end. There is a lot of bad habits that I see in his game, losing awareness of where the opponent is in our end, chasing the man and losing him, puck watching which gets him got flat footed and no communication with his partner. Benning has been here for 3 season and he is still a tire fire 98% of the time. Honestly he needs to view the game from above and see what his fellow Oilers D are doing but also the opposition in how they handle things, he really needs to soak it in and see how ( if ) he can be better.

    Is Benning’s play going to get better, honestly I doubt it, if he hasnt been able to fix the shortcoming in his game, then that’s an issue, if it is a failure on the coaching staff to point out things wrong with his style of play or they have and Benning just doesnt get it, then it is time to cut bait and move on. The Oilers can not continue to have a guy on the back end who costs us goals which leads to problems winning games, it just cant happen. It is even worse when a kid with 3 games experience outplays a veteran on the team.

    I look forward to seeing what Bear is going to do, I hope that he runs with the opportunity, yes Bear has some thing he needs to work on in our end of the ice, but the kid brings a lot of good things to the table in that he can make good passes and he has a booming shot which the Oilers need on their back end and the PP

    • Cowbell_Feva

      I have been hard on Benning for years now, because quite frankly, he is brutal.
      I’m glad others are finally coming around to seeing he is not an NHL defenseman. Period.
      I recall arguing with one of the bloggers on this site that Russell was better than Benning. He is busy baking his crow as we speak.

      Benning cannot skate at this level. Period. He cannot defend properly because of it and lack of size. The ONLY reason he is in the NHL is because Chiarelli drafted him and Boston. Having a dad and uncle with NHL roots/connections doesn’t hurt him either.

  • Dan 1919

    Gravel comes up as a 26 year old with 70GP under his belt. Assuming they did this so they can have a bottom pair of Gravel LH/ Bouchard RH playing their natural sides? (Bear is RH)
    Big opportunity for Gravel, I haven’t seen him play yet but as many are pointing out, Benning hasn’t been playing his best hockey. If Gravel plays his cards right he could land himself a permanent gig that’s his to lose.

  • OriginalPouzar

    This was a no-brainer move (and one that needed to be made prior to Benning even getting hurt). With the hole at 2RW being filled by Russell (and he’s doing a great job for now), we have a hole at 3LW and its fairly clear that Garrison can only be used in an emergency.

    I know many wanted to see Bear, however, this is what Gravel was signed for on July 1 this year. He is a serviceable NHL 3rd pairing d-man. He was playing every day in LA prior to being hurt. He is not spectacular but he can be effective in the role and is solid on the PK. All the team needs is some solid minutes so that the coach can play the top 4 less – Nurse has been over 27 minutes two games in a row and Klefbom was at 28 last night – that’s too much and is not sustainable.

    • OriginalPouzar

      Bear had a very nice camp but there is little doubt that a nice AHL development stint wouldn’t be beneficial. I’m not talking two games and them being called up – hopefully we can give him 20-30 games (the season would be great but its highly unlikely).

  • OriginalPouzar

    Also, having Bear and Bouchard in the lineup at the same time is simply too much rookie at the same time. Yawney would go crazy trying to deploy that and give the kids adequate shelter.

    Bear will likely come up when Bouchard gets re-assigned. Hopefully Benning is back soon as I am hoping they can slow play the last 5 games for Bouchard over a period of time to give Bear some more AHL games.

    Unfortunately, the Condors are in a stretch where they play 2 games in 2 weeks – blah!

  • OriginalPouzar

    Also, having Bear and Bouchard in the lineup at the same time is simply too much rookie at the same time. Yawney would go crazy trying to deploy that and give the kids adequate shelter.

    Bear will likely come up when Bouchard gets re-assigned. Hopefully Benning is back soon as I am hoping they can slow play the last 5 games for Bouchard over a period of time to give Bear some more AHL games.

    Unfortunately, the Condors are in a stretch where they play 2 games in 2 weeks – blah!

  • OriginalPouzar

    Also, having Bear and Bouchard in the lineup at the same time is simply too much rookie at the same time. Yawney would go crazy trying to deploy that and give the kids adequate shelter.

  • OriginalPouzar

    Bear will likely come up when Bouchard gets re-assigned. Hopefully Benning is back soon as I am hoping they can slow play the last 5 games for Bouchard over a period of time to give Bear some more AHL games.

  • toprightcorner

    Why would you think Bear would get the call-up? Oilers need another lefty as Russell and Nurse have played well together. With Garisson struggling, the Oilers need another lefty to balance it out a bit better as they are likely planning on playing Bouchard for the next couple games until Benning gets back.

    • OriginalPouzar

      As I posted, to me, Gravel was the no-brainer call-up – for various reasons including the fact he plays the left side (did play some right side in LA as well). MANY Oiler fans have been clamoring for the Bear call-up and my posts were partially to provide my opinion of why Gravel makes much more sense over Bear.

  • Battman

    I think I would have been ok had bear been called up. Ideally, he stays in the ahl and gets some seasoning. If called up, I could and wouldn’t mind seeing

    Klefbom-Larsson
    Nurse-bear/Bouchard
    Russel-bear/Bouchard.

    That could be an effective yet also highly risky d corps. Balanced nicely.