According to the Oilers’ Twitter account, the team has activated the recently acquired Valentin Zykov and recalled Cooper Marody from the Bakersfield Condors. They’ve also added Drake Caggiula to the IR for his hand injury and reassigned Patrick Russell back to Bakersfield.
Alright, so the Oilers gave us a lot to unpack with today’s update so we’re going to go ahead and break this down step-by-step.
As Gregor wrote this morning, Drake Caggiula hurt his hand in practice doing some kind of weird glove-grabbing drill and will now be on the shelf for a while. That’s very bad luck for a guy that’s been having a solid season so far, and I hope that he doesn’t have to miss too much time because of it.
Drake Caggiula will get an MRI on his hand today. There is a concern this could end up being more than short-term. He won’t play this weekend. He was one of the few depth guys scoring, so losing him is not ideal at this time. It makes it worse that he got injured in practice during a reaction-time drill with players seeing who could grab the glove on the ice the quickest. Seems like a pointless drill to me.
Needless to say, this is bad news for the Oilers and Caggiula as he was having himself a fine season so far. While we don’t yet know how long he will be out of the lineup, it certainly doesn’t look promising that he has to have an MRI done to get to the bottom of how bad his hand injury is. Considering the season he’s been having, all we can do is hope that he’s back in the lineup soon.
After being claimed from the Carolina Hurricanes and having delays with his work visa, the Oilers are finally able to activate their newest toy and bring him into the mix. According to Gregor’s article from this morning, Zykov has been skating in Edmonton while he waited for his immigration issues to get cleared up and now that he has the proper paperwork in place, he will finally be able to make his debut tomorrow against the Minnesota Wild.
Valentine Zykov has been skating in Edmonton since being claimed on waivers, but due to immigration issues he couldn’t play on the road. My understanding is he is cleared to play in Canada so he will likely dress tomorrow and I could see him getting a shot in the top-six right away.
While we don’t yet know exactly where he will fit into the lineup, Zykov has been a very successful scorer at the AHL level which makes me think a top-six role will be the best fit. Zykov led the AHL in goal scoring last season despite spending some time in the NHL, so we’ll have to hope that he can bring some of that scoring touch with him to Edmonton. Gord knows they need some offence.
With the Oilers sending Patrick Russell back to Bakersfield, likely to get more TOI, Cooper Marody gets his third recall of the season with the big club. In the six NHL games played so far, Marody has averaged 6:55 worth of ice time with 67% of his zone starts coming in the offensive zone, two stats that make me wonder why they’re recalling him now.
Personally, I would have gone with a guy like Brad Malone who is a player of similar quality at this stage, and one that the organization probably wouldn’t mind if he doesn’t play many minutes. Regardless of what I think, no one ever asks for my opinion even though they should, Marody is on his way back to Edmonton for his third look in two and a half months. From where I blog, it will be very interesting to see if anything changes in terms of his usage. The last game he played, a 2-1 OT loss to the Anaheim Ducks, Marody only got five shifts and was on the ice for a measly 3:19.
I’m honestly curious about why the Oilers would send back Patrick Russell and recall Cooper Marody in his place. To me, Russell is a better skater than Marody and probably a better fit on the fourth line than the latter would be. That said, it does make sense to send Russell back down to the Condors if the reason behind the move is to get him playing more minutes. In six games with the Oilers, Russell has averaged 8:47 on the ice with a CF% of 66.3 while getting 70% of his starts in the offensive zone.
Source: Edmonton Oilers, Official Twitter Account, 12/06/2018 – 3:28 pm MST