Will the Edmonton Oilers make a move before the roster freeze tonight?

Photo credit:Wikimedia Commons
Zach Laing
6 months ago
When the clock strikes midnight tonight in Edmonton, the NHL’s holiday roster freeze hits and no teams can make transactions.
Implemented to prevent disruption to families over the holidays, the freeze keeps teams from bringing forth any waiver activity or trades. It allows there to be limited movement between the NHL and AHL, however, in emergency circumstances. The freeze, as noted by CapFriendlyremains in place until Dec. 28th, at 12:01 AM local time.
One benefit for teams is that clubs can exceed the 23-man roster limit so long as they remain cap-compliant. But with the Oilers starting at roughly $65,000 in cap space, according to CapFriendly, it’s hard to imagine any moves coming there.
The club isn’t expected to activate Dylan Holloway from the injured reserve as the winger works his way back from a collision with the boards, resulting in him fracturing his kneecap. He, however, is expected to return after the Christmas break.
For the Edmonton Oilers, they haven’t done much of significance around the holiday roster freeze in the past. Last year, they signed Stuart Skinner to a three-year contract extension, and during the freeze, they activated Ryan McLeod from the injured reserve and placed Ryan Murray there.
Back in 2021, the Oilers had been dealing with COVID-19 issues. Jesse Puljujarvi had entered protocols the day before the freeze, while Slater Koekkoek had been activated off the injured reserve. And during the freeze, a slew of other moves came, which saw the Oilers assign Seth Griffith and Cooper Marody to the AHL, Zack Kassian land in protocols, and both Dmitri Samorukov and Philip Broberg recalled.
In 2020, the league was still trying to sort out a return to play, from the much larger COVID shutdown, and the season didn’t kick off until the middle of January.
In 2019, the Oilers never made any moves before the roster freeze, but the day it ended, they placed Brandon Manning and Markus Granlund on waivers, recalling William Lagesson and Kailer Yamamoto the following day. This, for those who may remember, began Yamamoto’s breakout stint in the NHL, where down the stretch run of the season, he scored 11 goals and 26 points in 27 games alongside Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
So, as you can see, dating back several years, the Oilers haven’t done much in the way of anything significant, and there’s no reason — despite the team truly needing to make some trades — to believe that anything of significance would happen tonight.
The Oilers are set to take on the New York Islanders tonight at 5:30, and barring anything surprising, they’ll remain quiet.
It might not be the same for other clubs, however. As The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun opened Monday, the Carolina Hurricanes, New Jersey Devils, Ottawa Senators and Tampa Bay Lightning could be clubs to watch. On Tuesday, however, there was no waiver activity.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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