The Oilers are in a salary cap bind with Andrej Sekera set to return to the lineup in a week-and-a-half after his conditioning stint in Bakersfield is over. The team will need to clear up a decent chunk of room in order to fit Sekera, who has spent the entirety of the season on the Long-Term Injured Reserve, under the salary cap ceiling.
As #Oilers examine cap solutions to activate Sekera from LTIR after conditioning stint, cleanest option (short of a trade) may well be to waive and demote both Brandon Manning and Alex Petrovic. Clears necessary space. (Also: Undoes Chiarelli's last two trades.)
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) February 6, 2019
Now, this isn’t a rumour, but Frank Seravalli is a well-connected insider who likely has an idea of how the front office plans to navigate this situation, so there’s merit to what he’s suggesting here.
Waiving Manning and Petrovic, as Seravalli suggests, would mean all three of Peter Chiarelli’s final trades will have been buried. The Oilers have already stashed Ryan Spooner in the AHL, freeing up $1,025,000 of his cap hit. Waiving Manning and Petrovic would free up another combined $2,050,000 if each player goes unclaimed. That would mean Chiarelli managed to deal Ryan Strome, Drake Caggiula and a third-round pick for completely wasted cap room.
I agree with Seravalli here that this is the easiest play for the Oilers. Another way to free up cap room would be to deal Cam Talbot, but are there any teams out there willing to take on a struggling soon-to-be free agent backup goalie with a fairly large salary? Waiving these players is a PR nightmare, but it’s also the path of least resistance at this point.