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PTO Options

The Edmonton Oilers have dipped into the professional try-out (PTO) market the past few years. Last year, the Oilers signed right wing Alex Chiasson and defenceman Jason Garrison after they came to camp on a PTO. Scottie Upshall was also on a PTO, but wasn’t healthy enough to warrant a contract. The year before, Chris Kelly was a PTO signing and stayed past camp, but never given a contract. The year before that, Kris Versteeg and Eric Gryba were PTO guys. Gryba was signed and Versteeg ended up in Calgary.

The Oilers will almost assuredly have a couple of players on PTOs this year as welll.

Thomas Vanek

2018-19: 65gp 16g 20a 36p

Ken Holland is familiar with Thomas Vanek, having signed him twice already, and the Oilers desperately need scoring wingers. Vanek is suspect defensively, but he can score goals and shouldn’t cost more than a million or so. He has at least 16 goals in his past four seasons.

Vanek would add a right shot to a left-heavy lineup.

Patrick Maroon

2018-19: 74gp 10g 18a 28p 

Could a return to Edmonton be in the cards for the Big Rig? Patrick Maroon was a fan favourite with the Oilers and now he has a Stanley Cup to his name. The Oilers are thin at left-wing, even with Leon Draisaitl there, but Joakim Nygard, James Neal, and Markus Granlund should round out the top nine on the left side. Maroon had a down year five-on-five and the Oilers need capable players in that discipline. Maroon doesn’t penalty kill and isn’t the fastest skater. He could play with good players in Edmonton and New Jersey, maybe that’s still the case?

Brian Boyle

2018-19: 73gp 18g 6a 24p

How is a 6’6 centre who scored 18 goals and 24 points still unsigned in mid-August? Brian Boyle is 34 and will be 35 by the new year, but he’s a capable centre and the Oilers need a third-line guy behind Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Boyle might be more of a fourth-line guy at even strength at this point, but the Oilers could use him there too. Boyle is preferable to playing Jujhar Khaira or Granlund at centre and natural centres like Kyle Brodziak and Colby Cave.

Boyle has a lot of miles on him, but he consistently wins faceoffs and kills penalties.

Derrick Brassard

2018-19: 70gp 14g 9a 23p

Derrick Brassard went from being traded for a first-round pick to likely PTO candidate in 18 months. Brassard isn’t the player he used to be, but he’s a year removed from scoring 18 goals and a 38 points in 58 games, a 52-point pace. Brassard might not produce much on the Oilers third line, with some combination of Nygard, Gagner, Chiasson, Neal, and Josh Archibald as his linemates, but maybe there’s a way to get him more minutes on the wing with Nugent-Hopkins or McDavid.

Update: Brassard signed with the New York Islanders for one year at $1.2 million.

Oscar Lindberg

2018-19: 55gp 9g 11a 20p 

Lindberg can play left wing or centre. Lindberg has solid five-on-five numbers in limited minutes and isn’t a drag on obsession. Lindberg had a bump in production in Ottawa, though he was shooting the lights out. The Oilers need more useful players who can score and Lindberg fits that bill.

Riley Sheahan

2018-19: 82gp 9g 10a 19p

Sheahan is another centre available late into August. Sheahan kills penalties and wins faceoffs. Third line centre might be a bit of an ask, but the Oilers don’t have much better options currently on the roster. Sheahan is an upgrade on Brodziak and Cave.

I’d have time for Vanek and Lindberg. I can’t see a veteran defenceman coming in. There are enough young defencemen on the cusp. Bring in forwards who can score a bit and or play centre.



  • Kevwan

    Lindberg or Sheahan would be excellent bets. Boyle’s pretty old .

    I know the Oilers are trying to get faster but I always have time for Big Rig.

    The lower than expected cap has left some good players available.

  • NickL89

    I like what was pointed out on 1260 the other day re: Maroon. Sure he isn’t the fastest but look at St Louis. There’s a roster packed with talent who aren’t a “fast” team by any stretch but they have skill and work as a team and… they won a cup. We have the fastest skater in the league along with supporting pieces and continue to struggle. I’ll agree that speed is important in superstars but teamwork is what will win a cup. Not everyone needs to skate like McDavid.

    • BobbyCanuck

      Funny you mention that, not palatable with the amount of thumbs down, but I am with you. Ales should be concussion free by now, he is 32 yrs old. I did not like the way he left the Oilers and would love a PTO for him.

  • Redbird62

    While the Oilers have a need for to 6 scoring wingers, with Neal and Chiasson already on the team, the Oilers do not need more one dimensional wingers on their team, like especially Vanek and maybe Maroon who can’t kill penalties and are not known to have a defensive side to their game. If there were a high probability they would get 50-60 points, like a few years ago maybe but if that were the case they wouldn’t be PTOs. Sheahan is the only one who could be in the mix for a 3rd line center based on his past experience. Decent faceoffs and kills penalties and did get 32 points in 73 games in 17/18.

    • Kevwan

      These players would only be on try outs to push the players in the system. If Marody couldn’t beat out Lindberg or Sheahan then he doesn’t deserve a spot.

      I personally like the competitiveness that a couple of veteran PTO’s bring to camp. It shows the young players that they are lucky to be in the league and need to work hard to stay there.

      • Leichs

        I take the Oil top 6 over the Flames top 6 all day all year. I don’t care about the past. We add a Neal and most likely Benson along with Drai, McD, and Nuge? I can’t wait until December 27th. You better hope like 7 Flamers have career years again or you might not even be in contention by then.

  • 50 Flex

    I feel bad for Maroon. I am sure he feels that he has earned a longer term deal, but in today’s NHL no team wants to commit more than 1 season to that type of player. Be interesting to see where he ends up. Would happily have him back with the Oil though.

  • toprightcorner

    Boyle interests me because he is a good 3C and has veteran leadership, both fill a void on the team. I don’t think he has any interested in playing out east.

    Lindberg and Sheehan best fit what the Oilers need. Speed, can play center or wing and are solid defensively. Are they better than what the Oilers currently have? We won’t know until we see Haas at camp. I would sign either of these guys to a PTO as a plan B if Haas doesn’t seem able to handle the job.

    – Maroon doesn’t fit what Holland is building with speed and flexibility.
    – Vanek can shoot the puck, but thats about it. He is a right shot, but plays LW and is deathly slow. Not seeing a fit, but on a PTO, only if a few of the new additions fall flat on their face, at least he can score 15 goals.

  • Dallas Eakins Hair

    If we are going by this list then I would say Sheahan and then Lindberg I would rather the Oil get some help at center , one things that the Oilers gets killed at is on the faceoff dot. Shehan has pretty decent numbers as a center so out of those on the list he’d be the first chose Lindberg would be next due to the fact that he can be center or a wing but he loves to shoot the puck, and Ottawa wasnt exactly stellar last year so on an average team he did alright. Boyle’s ag is catching up to him one problem I see with Boyle is his footspeed will be an issue and when you are trying to get a team to be a little faster, I dont see Boyle fitting that part of the build. I like Maroon, but I think he is looking for somewhere to sign for a couple years at more than what he was making last year and I dont see him getting that here

  • ed from edmonton

    Nobody on this list looks too exciting but considering a center only need to be better than Khaira (who has played only very limited center in the NHL). Haas, Marody, Cave or Bordziak to improve the team at least 1 PTO would be wise.

  • ed from edmonton

    The Oil have no use foe Maroon, but I ma surprised how unloved he has been the last two off seasons. A big guy with good hands should be bale to find a gig somewhere. No the fastest guy in the league but a good playoff.

  • Bond 0097

    If Sheehan is good on the dot, that is the only reason I would look at a PTO offer, if he was even interested. We need to start using our farm system to our advantage and give our young guys a shot

  • All Ice

    As the purpose of a pto is to push the guys already in your system I’d be good with maroon, sheahan and vanek. If the guys we have can’t outperform them then they are useful to us

  • AdambomB

    Would you give Scottie Upshall and his repaired knee a redux and allow him to come into camp and prove himself? By all reports, he is ready to give it another go..

    • RJ

      He scored 7 goals the last season he was healthy, and he’s now 35 and coming off a year long layoff. It’s unfortunate for him but I don’t see him getting another opportunity.

  • Mitch64

    I want lindberg bad, 5v5 numbers show who are best at running good creative offense to me and i feel that those players are most coachable. Also maroon cause we did just trade away lucic and while he was a drain in play he was still a good deterrent when he was playing aggressive which happened far too little. Maroon is clearly a good hockey player footspeed aside and feel that plus his toughness is good replacement for what lucic actually brought to the rink nightly. Lets not forget time when our players got bullied up and down the rink with no team toughness.