It’s Saturday morning once again and that means your ol’ pal Baggedmilk is back with another dose of Random Thoughts before I vanish into the sunset for the weekend. As I do every week, I’ve taken a little cruise around the Internet to see what’s going on with the Oilers and around the NHL for a little dose of hockey talk to get your weekend started.
I was cruising around the Internet to find stuff to include in this week’s article when I came across this video of all of Jesse Puljujarvi’s goals from last season that u/Strattex posted in the Edmonton Oilers subreddit. After watching the video a couple of times and seeing all of the different ways Puljujarvi scored last season, it got me excited to think about what he’ll do for an encore. With what I’d call a successful season under his belt (55GP: 15G, 10A) and a spot on McDavid’s right side seemingly tied up, at least for now, I’ll be looking for Jesse to take another step forward in his development as a premier power forward in the Pacific Division, which is exactly what we all hoped would happen since the day he was drafted. Having him turn into ‘that guy’ would be a huge win for the Oilers and a huge boost to this team’s chances of success and I’ll be cheering for his transformation into the warlord we all know he can be.
Kyle Turris has come into Camp in terrific shape. Dave Tippett says he finished 3rd or 4th in overall conditioning amongst the team. #Oilers
— Tony Brar (@TonyBrarOTV) September 24, 2021
I know that we tend to hear the whole “he’s in the best shape of his life” thing a lot around these parts, but I wonder if that can actually make a difference for Kyle Turris here in Edmonton. It goes without saying that his first go round with the Oilers didn’t work out so well (27GP: 2G, 3A) but the guy’s NHL career is hanging by a thread and it would be a cool story to see him come into camp and earn a spot on the roster. Now, I’ll admit that I have no idea how likely that is to happen but I can certainly see an open spot as the 4th line RW that could be open at least a third of the time with Josh Archibald being unable to travel south of the border. Could Turris actually make something happen here? Can the 32-year-old vet bounce back when it looks like he’s already fallen off the cliff? I’d love to see it even though the odds aren’t great. Besides, aren’t we long overdue for one of these kinds of stories around here?
PETER CHIARELLI’S GIG IN ST. LOUIS
After I stopped laughing at how funny the news was that Peter Chiarelli landed a new management gig in St. Louis, it got me to thinking how dumb the hockey world really is. I mean, this is a guy that absolutely soiled himself as the GM of the Edmonton Oilers, and instead of being blasted off into the sun wearing a Brandon Manning-shaped dunce cap, he lands another high powered gig as the VP of Hockey Operations for the Blues. It’s not that I was surprised to see him get hired again but, at the same time, I was also surprised to see him get hired again if that makes any sense. I mean, how bad do you have to be at your job in this league before you’re off the list as a potential candidate for anything that comes up? Do you have to make a trade so bad that it causes the franchise to fold before anyone notices that you’re a screwup? I know NHL management is always bringing in their buddies to fill these spots but I can’t help but wonder how shallow the talent pool is if a disaster like Chiarelli keeps getting opportunities after the trainwreck he was responsible for here? I guess that Stanley Cup in Boston really carries a lot of weight, huh?
WHO WILL BE OUR JERSEY AD?
This week, the Washington Capitals became the NHL’s first team to announce their jersey sponsorship partner and it got me thinking about when the Oilers will announce their own ad deal and who it will be that takes up the space. But before we get to our guesses, I have to admit that this Caesars Sportsbook ad doesn’t bother me a whole lot, and now that I’m seeing what it will look like, I wonder how many folks will be like me and completely forget that they’re there in the first place. Even when these jersey ads were announced, I was in the camp of not caring all that much, and this Caps mockup kind of reinforces that stance. I mean, we won’t even see these things when we’re watching games on TV until we get a sweet, sweet Connor closeup and that’s not enough of a distraction for me to get too upset about it. As I’ve said before, if the league turns the jerseys into NASCAR as we see in Europe then I’ll get upset, but for now, I’m choosing to ignore the corporate greed. Either way, these jersey ads are here to stay so we’d might as well get used to seeing them and get our ad-related rage out before the season starts. As for who will be the Oilers’ jersey partner? My guess is that it will be a company like PCL or Stantec or something like that as opposed to a gambling partner like we see with the Capitals, but I’m obviously just taking a swing here. What do you guys think? Place your bets.
THE JACK EICHEL SITUATION
Jack Eichel has been stripped of the captaincy of the @BuffaloSabres
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) September 23, 2021
I know I’ve already written about the weird Jack Eichel situation a handful of times over the summer, but I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that this nonsense is still going and even getting weirder as we head into training camp. Over the last couple of days, not only has Eichel failed his pre-season physical — the expected result since he has yet to get surgery on his neck — but he also had the captaincy stripped as the cherry on top of this toxic sundae. At this point, I can’t even decide whose side I’m on as it seems like both camps aren’t willing to bend on any of their positions, making this saga stretch on for months longer than I think anyone would have wanted. That said, I don’t know that the Sabres are going to be able to convince Eichel to get the type of surgery that they want him to get and if his health is preventing them from getting the trade return they need to move then I don’t really understand why they don’t just let him do his thing. I assume there’s an insurancey type of reason or something, but I’m only guessing so who the hell knows what it will take to end the stalemate. It just seems weird that they’d want to let this situation go on for much longer seeing as whatever they get back in the trade will likely be more helpful than the dark cloud hanging over the organization.