Random Thoughts: Erik Karlsson rumours, Kailer Yamamoto’s return, and all of these matinees

Photo credit:Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
1 year ago
It’s Valentine’s Day and I can’t think of anything more romantic than having your boy drain the ol’ brain out of all its delicious contents in another edition of Random Thoughts. This week, I’m talking about the Erik Karlsson rumours, the NHL trade deadline, and I tried to figure out why we’re being punished with all of these matinees.


As much as I absolutely love the idea of the Oilers going whale hunting and landing Erik Karlsson ahead of the trade deadline, these kinds of chatter can’t actually be real, can it? There’s just no way. As much as I’ve read countless ideas for how the Oilers could make a Karlsson deal this work, there’s nothing in my brain or his history as our GM that would lead us to believe that Ken Holland is like to take a swing like this. I mean, you’d probably need a third team to take some of the cap hit unless the Sharks were willing to eat 50% for the next four years just to get rid of him, and that doesn’t even mention what the return would look like from an Oilers perspective to make this whole thing happen. Do you sell the farm? Are we all in?
I just can’t believe that this rumour can possibly be real, but maybe that’s because we’ve been hurt by these types of things so many times over the years that it’s hard to imagine landing a player of Karlsson’s status. So from my side of the TV screen, I’m enjoying the delusional high that comes with the idea of Karlsson as an Oiler in the same way that I fantasize about owning a mansion on the beach whenever I buy a lottery ticket — it’s fun to dream but I feel like I’m also more likely to get struck by Lightning than we are to seeing this trade happen. Then again, maybe ol’ Dutch can pull a Swedish rabbit out of his hat and blow our collective minds, making me eat my words in the most spectacular way. Dare to dream. Buckle up, everybody.


I love the way Kailer Yamamoto plays hockey. He may be a small dude but he’s got an engine that doesn’t quit and a dog-on-a-bone attitude that you love to see. The kid has fire, and I like it. Not only is he tenacious, but Yams has got plenty of skill and can score goals in bunches when he’s on top of his game, making his return to the lineup something to cheer for. The part that makes me nervous is that we need him to stay healthy, which has proven to be a challenge this season. Unfortunately, our boy has already missed 23 games with varying issues in 2022-23, and that raises questions about whether he can play every day down the stretch or how close to being healthy he actually is right now. I just think that the pedal-to-the-floor style he plays puts his body at risk given his smaller stature, that’s all. Can’t just be me, right? And with the cap decisions that are coming, it’s fair to think about every angle.


Can someone please explain to me why the Oilers have so many matinees this season? I mean, this past weekend we had back-to-back 10:30 AM starts against the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens respectively, and this coming weekend we have another one against the Colorado Avalanche at 1 PM on Sunday. What gives? I know the NHL wants more people to be able to watch Connor McDavid creating spells and wizardry on the ice, but this is getting ridiculous. I mean, we’ve already watched seven of these things and we’re not close to finished either. Between February 14th as I write this and the end of the regular season, the Oilers play four more games at 2 PM MT or earlier and that includes the next two weekends.


Not a whole lot needs to be said here other than to offer a friendly reminder that Connor McDavid is going to hit 100 points in the month of February and that a feat like that is absolutely ridiculous. In case you haven’t checked the calendar lately, it’s Valentine’s Day as I’m writing this and Connor McDavid already has 97 points on the year, making this century mark one of the wildest rides he’s given ys yet. And as he’s about to hit the 100-point milestone for the sixth time I must, once again, use this platform to remind us all of how lucky we are to watch him on a nightly basis and to have him on our team. This man is a cheat code and I am endlessly grateful for his abilities.


I’m not going to keep beating this dead horse any more than we already are, but I’m legitimately bummed out about the idea of having Jesse Puljujarvi hit the waiver wire as early as today to free the necessary space to activate Kailer Yamamoto from the LTIR. I know things haven’t always gone smoothly and I know the contract is too much money based on the production, but that doesn’t mean I’ll be dancing on the kid’s grave for whatever happens next. In fact, I want to say here and now that I’ll be cheering for Jesse Puljujarvi whether he’s here for a while longer or if he’s with any other team in this league because I think there’s a player there but one that absolutely needs a fresh start. You can place your bets on what happens next, but you won’t ever catch me fist-pumping about the way the Edmonton chapter of this story is wrapping up.


I’m not even lying to do you when I say that there are only four more spots left on this trip. Four. Check out the details you need right here. 

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