Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

WWYDW(FE): Reinforcements

The Oilers are mired in a four-game losing streak and they currently sit on the outside of the playoffs looking in. The team is currently riddled with injuries, as Oscar Klefbom and Kris Russell’s missing presence has made the blueline paper thin. To compound matters, Alex Chiasson left Thursday night’s loss against Vancouver after getting hit by an Adam Larsson clapper.

The team placed Valentin Zykov on waivers Friday morning for the purpose of assignment to AHL Bakersfield. Zykov only got into five games with the Oilers and played more than 10 minutes just once. This would suggest that the Oilers are ready to activate Kris Russell from the Injured Reserve, but it also leaves the team with only 13 forwards, one of them being a banged up Chiasson.

That brings us to this week’s What Would You Do Wednesday FRIDAY EDITION question. Are there any reinforcements from the AHL you’d call up to help the team right now?

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Many are suggesting that Kailer Yamamoto will be the one to get the recall for the Oilers to inject some life into a struggling offence. After a slow start in the AHL, the 2017 first-round pick seems to have found a rhythym as he’s scored four goals and has put up eight points over 11 games.

That said, Yamamoto didn’t look NHL ready to start the season. He had just one goal and one assist in 12 games with the Oilers before getting sent down and he even had an opportunity on Connor McDavid’s wing but couldn’t get any offence going. Would it be prudent for his development to bring him up just 11 games into what is becoming a strong stretch at the AHL level?


Who else is there? The team’s top scorer right now is Joseph Gambardella, who has 11 goals in 27 games. He’s on the final year of his post-college entry-level deal, so if there was ever a chance to see if he could hack it, it would be now. Cooper Marody, one of Bakersfield’s best players so far, has been up and down a few times, but he’s received limited ice time at the NHL level. Cameron Hebig and Tyler Benson are both having solid offensive seasons as rookies in the AHL.

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What say you, Nation? Is there an internal solution to help the Oilers through their slump right now? Does it make sense to call up Yamamoto as soon as he’s managed to find a rhythm at the AHL level? Or does Peter Chiarelli need to find another way to fix this mess?

  • ed from edmonton

    I see no reason not to call up Yamo. He has not shown any ability to score at the NHL level so I wouldn’t expect him to add much that way. But his quickness and competetivness might help. Having said that the No.1 trouble with the Oil in on D. The recent troubles started with the Injuries to Klef and Russel. The group of forwards that were winning hasn’t changed much. Jones has looked so good I have to wonder if Bear or Lagesson are worth a try.

  • Spydyr

    The time to bring in help on defence was this summer as I mentioned many times. Even though Chia said he made a mistake last season not replacing Sekera before the season started in all his wisdom he made the same mistake this season. It was not a matter of if but when a defenceman got injured and the defence was below par before the first injury occurred. Now down Sekera , Russell and Klefbom the defence is atrocious.

    They are lying in the bed Chia made.

  • Randaman

    I would rather let the future percolate on the minors and suffer for another year just to see Chia fired. Hopefully Nicholson goes with him. What a joke of an organization.

  • Randaman

    I honestly don’t understand the Oilers bring up their young talent and playing them with the likes of Kassian, Lucic, Brodziak or ??? and expect first line results.

  • WhoreableGuy

    The one thing I will say is that once Yamomoto and Puljujarvi were sent down (Jesse recently called up) you noticed a big speed difference with the team. They weren’t generating too many points but it was amazing to see how Yamamoto was wining foot battles and even board battles.

    Is bring Kailer up now a bad decision for his development? I’m not sure but he will definitely help in areas like getting the puck.

  • Mark Lesser

    Can Gretzky play 10-12 minutes a night?
    If Kailer comes up, is he available to Seattle? I’ve wondered this about Caleb Jones too. Is he now available to Seattle? I don’t want to bring these guys up if it means potentially losing them in an expansion draft.

  • Sparky Blue

    Request Bettman invoke the mercy rule and give the season ticket holders back their money for the rest of this years games. Condition would be Katz puts Oilers in a blind trust managed by NHL.

  • Spoils

    ignoring the need to consider the effect on ELA timing and exposure to the expansion draft, I’d bring up Yamamoto and I’d play him in the top 6. With Klefbom, Russell, and Sekera out, we are going to need every scrap of offence we can muster. I get the sense Yammer’s got the best chance of producing at the NHL level. If he plays a decent amount of minutes and gets some PP2 time, that can’t hurt his development too much…

  • KMA

    Here’s an idea, how about bringing in a new GM and start at square one. Big step, yes, and the sooner it is done the sooner the Oil can begin a real rebuild.

    • Yup, let Chiarelli walk now. Damage control. The spooner move is evidence enough his trades equate to zero return. Fire his ass.

      Bring in a qualified GM. Chiarelli should be fired before the New Year. Allow a different, proven GM behind the wheel, please, preventively.

      The OBC should not be allowed anywhere near Oilers’ management. Katz should be barricaded from the office. Total joke, not funny.

  • MrBung

    The thinking with this ownership needs to be “acceptance” of what is.

    This team is a mess and not built to make the playoffs as a result of many bad moves, signings and trades. The few good ones do not make up for all the bad ones. The Oilers are a cap team and no where close to being competitive. They have squandered a generational talent.

    It is time to understand that there needs to be a fundamental course correction and do a true rebuild of management and how hockey ops/org is run here. Bobbi Nicks was not an NHL person. Chia sewered the Bruins in the end the same way he is sewering the Oilers over the last several years. He was just continuing his incompetence. It is time to understand that things are really broken here and the loser culture of the DOD has not left. Things are going to get worse in the near term. It will be ugly.

    • Big Nuggets

      This true rebuild idea is wack. The team has McDavud for one. A true rebuild implies you trade away your top players for picks and prospects and that obviously won’t happen with McDavid. In fact trading any of the good players on the roster would be a bad idea right now. If they can move on from Lucic great, but its not likely and the return would likely be another anchor contract. The team is not as bad as people are saying. They are missing 13.7 million worth of salary on defense at the moment.

      Granted they do lack scoring depth, the defense is weak compared to other teams, and goaltending is uncertain, but I don’t see why you would trade away any of the contributing players.

      They need a winger and a third line center as well has help on defense. The cap should go up again and there are prospects that might emerge. I think this roster is more in need of tweaking than full on rebuilding. Bouchard is already penciled into next years roster so there are reasons for optimism. Just need to make some smart roster moves, keep the prospects percolating and let the team emerge.