Everything. Is. Happening.

To quote the legendary Bob Cole. Everything. Is. Happening.

From a content perspective, the Edmonton Oilers are the gift that keeps on giving. It’s been a busy 48 hours the organization, here’s my best attempt at breaking it all down.


What an interesting three days in the life of a 20-year old trying to find his way in the National Hockey League. I find the entire timeline of all this Jesse news to be intriguing in itself.

I reached out to Puljujarvi’s agent, Markus Lehto, on Tuesday to ask about the speculation that his client may not want to go back to the American Hockey League. He replied in a timely fashion by simply stating that he did not want to comment on or off the record at that time. He had been open to discussions with myself in the past so I took his refusal to comment as a way to avoid throwing any unnecessary fuel on the fire which is more than fair.

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Then on Friday morning Ryan Rishaug tweeted this.

I’m not sure if Rishaug’s source was the team or the agent but if I was a betting man, I’d say it was the team, which then led to Lehto’s response later in the day via Mark Spector.

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Jesse Puljujarvi’s agent, Markus Lehto, tells Sportset he is unsure if staying with Edmonton is best for his client. Column to come shortly.

There was one quote from Spec’s article that leads me to believe Lehto decided to respond after seeing Rishaug’s tweet. “Look, I’m not the guy who is going around playing coach or general manager. It’s a two-way street.”

Is that Lehto’s way of saying if the Oilers want to talk about the situation then I will as well? I believe it is after his “no comment” to me earlier in the week.

Once again, I could be wrong, but I don’t think it’s too crazy to read into the way this all went down. It’s just an example of why this relationship may be past the point of no return.

There are basically four options for the Oilers right now.

  1. Keep playing him 10 minutes a night on the 4th line.
  2. Play him with Nuge for the next 25 games and live with the consequences, good or bad.
  3. Send him down to the American Hockey League and LEAVE him.
  4. Trade him.


Dec 7, 2018; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot (33) makes a save on Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise (11) during the second period at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

We have heard the last of the Cam Talbot shutout song on The Nielson Show and this makes me sad. The good news is we have a Koskinen shutout song but I’m not sure we will ever get to play it.

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As long as the Oilers didn’t bring back any significant salary in a Talbot trade it was always going to be, at worst, a tie. Personally, I think a draft pick would have been a better return for the Oilers but considering they don’t have another goaltender they want to bring up to support Koskinen this deal does make sense. Stolarz will need to play at least 30 minutes in ten of their remaining games or else he will be an UFA at the end of the year. Maybe Stolarz works out, maybe he doesn’t, it’s not the end of the world either way.

As long as they don’t give him $13.5 million over three years everything should be fine.


I’ve always liked Sam Gagner and I’m happy to see him get another legitimate shot at salvaging his NHL career.

I was told by someone close to the team that the Oilers had been contemplating bringing Sam back as early as December, talks may have only heated up over the last couple of weeks but he was a guy they had discussed at an earlier time. The thing that stands out in my mind the most about Sam is that when the team was struggling you would go into the room after the game and he was the one guy who was always sitting in his stall waiting to talk to the media. He wouldn’t run away and hide; he was ready to face the fire and did so in a very professional manner.

Spooner for Gagner is not a loss for the Oilers and maybe it ends up being a win simply because of Gagner’s presence in the room. I’m interested to see where the slot him in on the power-play.

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It still looks ridiculous on the organization that in a less than two years they turned Jordan Eberle into a version of Sam Gagner that has spent the majority of the season in the American League.


One final thought on Spooner. When the Oilers acquired him it was made apparent by a number of people that Spooner isn’t a bottom six guy. He is a player who can only really fit into an NHL lineup if he’s playing with skilled players in a top six role.

Spooner played 25 games with the Oilers and played 56:22 with Nuge, 33:07 with Draisaitl and 25:19 with McDavid. I’m not going to sit here and tell you Spooner would have worked out if given a legit opportunity in the top six I’m simply pointing out that he didn’t get a legit crack in the top six. If you weren’t going to give him a look in the one spot he may actually have success why did you trade Strome for him in the first place?

I’m excited to see what’s next. Kind of.

Previously by Dustin Nielson:

  • BasementDweller

    At least there are some interesting things happening around the team to keep our attention other than just losing game after game.

    This is the sad life of an Oiler fan.

  • Abagofpucks

    KG looks like he’s doing his best to snag the Gm vacancy. This looks like he’s auditioning for the job and i’m thinking there gonna let him try to do what he can do till the end of the TDL.

    • Axe

      That’s the sense I am getting as well. While I think he did ok with the two moves so far it does seem like Chiarelli has lowered the bar so much that fans are willing to hand KG the job on a permenant basis. I just think we should slow down a little bit and not let nostalgia (Gagner coming back) and the thrill of getting rid of Spooner impede our judgement. If he ends up being the best man for the job then so be it, but not before an exhaustive search of external candidates.. I know some ppl defend him and say he is not part of the OBC and that he carved his own path. Thats great but I have such little faith and trust in Nicholson and the OBC that I worry this could have been the plan all along…

      • Dallas Eakins Hair

        I will admit, I was wotried that we wee going to end up with Elliot and I wasnt tooo excited about that, term left and a lot of dough for a guy on his way out. This frees up some cap space and if the Oiles dont like Stolartz they can sign him for qualifying and send him to Bakersfield if he is on a two way or choose not to sign him or sign an trade him or let him walk… very low risk, that’s okay with me


    If the reason for trading for Gagner was to keep fans interested in the team then it’s working. I didn’t watch the game last night and wasn’t planning on watching tonight’s game, but I’m going to tune in now to watch Samwise.

    Who knows, maybe he’ll be rejuvinated back on his original team. Or maybe he’ll be a Kyle Brodziak 2.0

  • Troyboy

    Here we go again.. Lets run everyone out of town. Who cares if JPs agent isn’t happy. You’re paid to play a game… We don’t need to run everyone out of town because Dufus Lehto is upset.. Pad your pocketbook somewhere else and tell your client to start putting in the work and maybe there will be some confidence from the organization that is paying your client and maybe a pot of gold at the end of your rainbow…

  • Dallas Eakins Hair

    I get that Jesse may not be happy with his development in Oil County, I dont know If the Oiles are happy with it either but Jesse’s agent needs o shut his pie hole. Airing the laundry to try and force a trade isnt going to help the Oilers or Jesse all it is going to do is significantly lower the chances of Jesse going to another NHL team in a trade because the optics from other teams are going to not look so favourable on him because teams are going to think that a) This kid wants this and that and when he doesnt get it he quits b) The kid doesnt want to put in the effort to get better or just isnt or doesnt want to listen to anyone c) That maybe the reason the other teams passed on him at the daft is because they saw issues, and maybe they’d be better off to pass if he is available.

    Anyway you slice it, his agent ought to shut it, because he isnt going to help facilitate a trade, its only going to hut the Oilers and Jesse’s chance of going anywhere with comments like that

  • Odanada

    I have to admit, I thought Keith should have been shipped out with Chia, but these 2 little deals show some promise. If KG can unload the Looch, I will be a believer – and I do think the Looch could be peddled to an Eastern Conference team.

  • CMG30

    The JP situation is what happens when you’ve slotted a player into the lineup based on pedigree alone. When he flounders you’ve got no other options. The best move for the player is that he go down for the rest of the season. This being the Oilers, they will probably decide to keep him on the NHL roster to try and rush his development. If this is the path they choose then they had better play him even if it costs them games.

  • BringJordanHome

    ”I was told by someone close to the team that the Oilers had been contemplating bringing Sam back as early as December.”
    Well, thank god that chiarelli wasn’t the one making the trade