All 31 teams need to submit their opening day roster today by 3 p.m. MT (5 p.m. ET).
This morning Carolina claimed Anton Forsberg on waivers, so, for now, Stuart Skinner will be the Oilers third goalie.
Last week on my TSN 1260 radio show I mentioned some teams might consider having three goalies on the 23-man roster this year. I envision Toronto doing this. The third goalie could be more important than the 14th forward, and with the taxi-squad rules in place this season, the 14th forward could still practice with the team, they just wouldn’t be on the active roster. If injuries occurred you could call them up right away.
Right now it looks like Carolina will carry three goalies to start the season — Forsberg, along with James Reimer and Petr Mrazek. When they claimed Forsberg they placed goalie Alex Nedeljkovic on waivers. The Oilers could claim him, but he’d have to be placed on their active roster tomorrow morning (when he would be officially claimed). If they claimed him, but wanted to slide him to the AHL, the Hurricanes would simply reclaim him. So maybe they do that tomorrow, we shall see.
So for today, the Oilers goaltending depth has taken a hit. But it could change in a few days as other teams finalize their rosters.
Which gets me to the Oilers roster options for today.
They have to submit their 23-man roster and here are the obvious names to be on the roster.
McDavid, Draisaitl, Nugent-Hopkins, Kassian, Yamamoto, Kahun, Archibald, Turris, Puljujarvi, Ennis, Khaira and Chiasson.
I think putting Khaira on waivers was a bit of a message. He needs to be more consistent, and going unclaimed could be a wake up call as to how he is perceived around the league. Many players have been placed on waivers, not claimed, and then had decent NHL careers. If Khaira can play like he did in the playoffs, he will help the team. If he can’t find his consistency, he likely will lose his spot to Gaetan Haas, when he is healthy, or possibly to Devin Shore.
Nurse, Bear, Jones, Larsson, Barrie, Russell, Koekkoek and Lagesson.
Yes, I expect Lagesson to be on roster later today.
Koskinen and Smith
I expect to see James Neal and Gaetan Haas on the IR. Klefbom will be on LTIR.
So that leaves one spot to fill. Maybe the Oilers sign Devin Shore and he is the 13th forward.
Or maybe he remains unsigned and just will skate with the team similar to Chris Kelly a few years ago, while he stayed in shape before joining the Olympic team in 2018.
The other options are Evan Bouchard, Tyler Benson, Patrick Russell, Joakim Nygard or Ryan McLeod.
Russell and Nygard cleared waivers, to they could be reassigned today. Both are on one-way contracts to they will get NHL money if they are in the AHL or on the taxi-squad.
The other three are on two-way deals, and having them on the TS or in the AHL saves money. Plus with 17 forwards, potentially 18 (if Shore is signed), I could see why owner Daryl Katz doesn’t want to pay players NHL money while on the TS or in the AHL.
So the Oilers roster likely comes down to one unknown name today. And if the Oilers have any goaltending issues down the road, it will be fair to question if it was worth keeping Lagesson ahead of Forsberg.
One of Bouchard, Shore, Nygard, P.Russell, Benson or McLeod will be on the opening night roster.
I know having nine D seems odd, but it has happened before on other teams for short times. I expect Bouchard on roster to start.
Who would you have on the roster?
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