WWYDW(FE): Should the Oilers bring in more players on PTOs?

Photo credit:Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
7 months ago
We’re talking a lot about professional tryouts around these parts lately, and I wanted to ask whether or not you think the Oilers should be bringing in more unsigned vets to increase the competition in camp. In today’s What Would You Do Wednesday (Friday edition), I want you to put on your GM’s cap and tell me whether you think this is a good idea or not. What say you, Internet friends?
As we inch our way toward the start of the 2022-23 NHL season, the Edmonton Oilers don’t have a lot of cap space (read: basically none) to add on new friends to necessarily bolster the roster, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still talk about bringing more guys in on PTOs. If nothing else, at least from my side of the computer screen, bringing players in on a PTO adds another layer of competition to training camp and removes the idea that anyone’s job will be gifted to them. And when you look at the Oilers’ forward group, there could be a few spots in the bottom six that are for grabs if someone puts together a strong camp and pre-season. On the flip side, those spots could get further cemented too. Put another way, would it really be all that surprising if a player like Raphael Lavoie — one that many of us believe has a legitimate shot at the opening day roster — has a little bit of extra jump if he thinks his spot is at risk? I don’t think so.
A couple of days ago, Tyler Yaremchuk wrote about PTOs and expressed my feelings about why they’re a great move for teams during the pre-season:
Here’s the beauty of the PTO: it costs nothing and there is no downside.
If things don’t go well on the ice, then you send them away. At worst, you get a veteran who can slide in for a few pre-season games and saves some wear and tear on some of your key players.
Outside of saving guys like McDavid and Draisaitl the hassle of travelling around for the pre-season, Tyler also included four names that could make sense for the Oilers to bring into town to add another layer of competition through training camp:
Mark Pysyk – The local product missed last season with an injury but has plenty of NHL experience. He could provide some competition to Desharnais and Broberg for the 6/7 spot on the team’s blueline.
Simon Benoit – Similar to Pysyk, he’s a defenseman who can play. He might get a guaranteed contract from someone, but if he’s open to a PTO, then the Oilers should look at it.
Zach Aston-Reese – A physical bottom-six winger who can chip in 10-12 goals a season. The Oilers lost some jam with the exit of Klim Kostin and ‘ZAR’ could provide exactly that.
Maxime Comtois – I still think he’ll get a guaranteed contract somewhere, but even then I think the Oilers should consider it. He’s young and has shown flashes of having 20-goal potential. He’s a very interesting buy-low candidate.
On the other side of the argument, maybe you think that bringing more guys in on PTOs is a waste of time. Maybe you’d prefer to give the existing Oilers more pre-season at-bats as a means of getting themselves ready for when things kick off for real. Either way, for the purposes of this article, I want you to channel your inner Ken Holland and tell me what the Oilers should do in terms of professional tryouts.
If you were in charge of the Edmonton Oilers roster, would you bring more players in on professional tryouts to try and create additional competition and who would that be? Need some inspiration, check out the list of available free agents courtesy of CapFriendly


Much like every time we’ve ever done a trip like this, our first-ever #NationVacation to Seattle is going to sell out quickly so you’ll want to get your spot locked in as soon as possible. Need some details on what’s going down? No problem:
  • When: November 10 – 12th
  • Where we’re staying: Four Points by Sheraton Downtown Seattle
  • What you get: Your flights, three nights at the hotel, a ticket to the hockey game (Edmonton vs. Seattle), and a ticket to the football game the very next day (Seattle vs. Washington).
  • How Much: The total cost for the trip, flight, hotel, and entry to the game is $1999 per person (based on double occupancy) 
  • Tickets: Ready to dive in? Click this link.

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