This morning, Mark Fayne cleared through waivers and the Oilers made the move to recall Nikita Nikitin from the Bakersfield Condors.
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) December 10, 2015
When you look at it it’s kind of funny to see a $3.625 million guy get sent down to the AHL, only for a $4.5 million guy to get recalled. None the less, the deed has been done. Nikitin has done well during his time in the American League and done exactly what the management group wanted him to do: Get his game back.
The new mandate the Oilers have set is great. The best players play, and you don’t play based on your status as a veteran or what your contract is.
Nikitin has done well well in Bakersfield scoring nine points in the fourteen games this season including a five game point scoring streak. There have seemingly been lots of rumours this season surrounding Nikitin. In November, Jim Matheson wrote about how the Blackhawks could be looking at the Russian.
Interesting. At 50% salary retained, could the Oilers get back a 2nd or a 3rd for him? That’s up in the air and totally dependant on his play over the course of the next few months. If there is a team, or teams interested in Nikitin, exposing him on the waiver wire could prove to be a mistake as someone may take a chance at him that way.
At the end of the day, it’s time to really see what we have in Nikitin. I can’t help but feel good for him, as I could imagine it was a tough pill to swallow getting sent to the AHL at the start of the year. If Nikitin wants to prove his worth to the Oilers or to another potential suitor, now is the time for that.