Oilers Now at 49 Contracts, Trades Are In The Works

There’s nothing sweeter than dropping a 7-spot on the Calgary Flames during the late game on Hockey Night in Canada eh? Adding to that sweetness was,

  • Pulju getting two goals (nearly three)
  • a shorty from Letestu (who has 9pts over the past 15 games)
  • ANOTHER goal from JJ Khaira (7pts in his past 8 games)
  • Eric Gryba rebounding to get 2 assists and going +4
  • Kris Russell having TWO good games in a row there. He had 6 blocked shots! When Brodie put that puck in his own net I yelled, “VINDICATION!”
  • The Oilers chasing Mike Smith from the net
  • Special teams for the Oilers were a tad better. Would like to get more PP goals for though.
  • The game was in Calgary and the Oilers did it without their no.1 goalie and their top 2 (arguably) defensemen… Making it double-sweet that the Oilers won it.

A stat that was kind of interesting to me given the status of the game at hand was that the Oilers only had 9 hits to Calgary’s 14. You’d have thought there would’ve been WAY more hitting, right?

On the other side of the coin though, there were some disconcerting happenings…

  • Draisaitl and Strome were the only forwards NOT to get a point. Benning and Auvitu went pointless as well.
  • Laurent Brossoit’s near-historic meltdown in the third which has probably landed him either on another team shortly or in the minors once the Oilers find a backup to trade for.
  • A shorty against and a PP goal against does nothing to help the Oilers ongoing special teams struggles.
  • Speaking of reffing… Two powerplays for Edmonton to Calgary’s six?… How is it that teams are simply not getting the calls vs. the Oilers? It’s mind-boggling if we’re being honest and I have to wonder if Peter Chiarelli has called Steven Walkom to have a chat with him about the standard of officiating during the Oilers games?

OILERS ADD WALKER AND DAVIDSON

Peter Chiarelli has gone out and added some speed and glue to the bottom-6 and another left-handed bottom-pairing defender which tells me a couple of things,

  • The players whose spots Walker and Davidson might be playing in are on notice.
  • The team may very well be going the whole taxi squad thing.

On Saturday night, the “healthy” scratches were Anton Slepyshev, Ryan Stanton, and Nathan Walker. Now we have to add Brandon Davidson to that list right? I’d venture a guess that Ryan Stanton will be heading back to Bakersfield.

Just an aside, but is anybody else shocked that Buffalo, Arizona, and Florida passed on Davidson? Maybe there’s something about Davidson that the Oilers looked over though. He couldn’t find a way to overcome 3 AHL dmen and a teenager in Montreal and to me, that’s a bit of a yellow flag. Not a major concern because we don’t know what the deal was with Julien and/or Bergevin. We do know he’s a great locker-room guy that was well-liked before he was dealt for David Desharnais last year and that will help.

So who is going to come out of the lineup vs. Philadelphia on Wednesday?

Eric Gryba would be your first inkling, no? The Flyers are on a ridiculous 10-game losing streak (hopefully they can break that vs. Calgary this week) and usually they play a typical Flyers-like game. Heavy. So would Gryba be a better fit then? Davidson has the size and he’s a much better skater though. I probably still lean Davidson here but is that how you reward a player for a good bounce-back game? Tough call nevertheless.

How about the forwards? Who comes out if you want to see Walker, Aussie Oiler?

Right off the bat, I know exactly who I’d take out. Drake Caggiula for sure.

Chiarelli is not happy with his performances at all and I’d be surprised if he isn’t the guy dealt for a backup goalie. I mean, Caggiula CAN play much much better than he is and he doesn’t have to play on Connor’s wing to do it. He’s quick, he’s tenacious, and he can score… But he simply isn’t. Now, do we chalk that down to the sophomore slump or is there something else?

As for Anton Slepyshev, I love the guy because he doesn’t play the traditional Russian style. He’s got more sandpaper to his game and isn’t afraid to muck it up on the wall but he’s a guy that also has to be scoring and isn’t. I’d say he’s also a candidate to be used to bring back a netminding upgrade on Brossoit.

My initial reaction on the addition of Nathan Walker was that the Oilers had just added a younger Matt Hendricks and just as the Oilers dressing room lost a huge personality when Hendricks was let go, the Washington Capitals have as well.

Caps fans were NOT HAPPY that the team let Walker go on waivers. That right there should tell you all you need to know about the kind of player he is. He’ll be liked in Edmonton.

So will Nathan Walker be the Conor Sheary that Craig Button was talking about? I’m not so sure. He’s more waterbug that speed demon and that might just help us even more. Meaning he might be able to draw a few more penalties with his playing style and Lord knows the Oilers could use a few more of those players.

49 OUT OF 50 CONTRACTS

In normal circumstances, teams don’t want to be so close to the maximum contract allotment because it gives them very little wiggle room IF they want to make a trade. So right now any deal that Chiarelli makes will be made from behind the 8-ball a bit. I think he could probably find a team to give him a draft pick for Anton Slepyshev and that kind of trade would alleviate the pressure or another way would be to find a team that would take a Lowetide special (3-for-1). But how many teams are going to be doing the Oilers any favors, right?

As for the players on the way out, I believe that Chiarelli has to move some of those AHL players he signed. The Bakersfield Condors are NOT doing well and these AHL vets are simply taking up spots that could be used for the Oilers prospects.

50-man list courtesy of Lowetide

The problem moving said AHL vets is finding a team who’d take them. The Oilers do have a solid chunk of cap space on hand and they could use that to take back an unsavory contract from another team in exchange for two or three of the blue-colored players above. At this point, I’d say that’s his best bet if he wants to create some room on the list…

A COMPITENT BACKUP

Everybody and their dog knows that Peter Chiarelli is now on the lookout for a goalie upgrade. We’re not going through another promising season with bad goaltending. So who is all out there that the Oilers have the remotest chance of trading for?

  • Chad Johnson (BUF) – The Sabres are eating shit right now and I can’t see them making a huge run for the playoffs. He’s got a career .913 SV% and right now it’s sitting at .883. Was effective for Calgary last season.
  • Calvin Pickard (TOR) – This was exactly the reason why the Maple Leafs got Pickard. Now they can ask a premium for him.
  • Garrett Sparks (TOR) – Sparks, Pickard, and a stacked Toronto Marlies are having a helluva time in the AHL this year.
  • Michael Hutchinson (WPG) – Is doing very well in the AHL right now and Eric Comrie got the call-up over him when Mason went down… 9-1-1 .951 Sv% 1.73 GAA.

There are others like Neuvirth in Philly and Grubauer in Washington but my question is, do you go for an older veteran backup OR do you find a younger one that is just better than Laurent Brossoit?

Let me know in the comments below!!

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Beer League Hero Written by:

I’m the Beer League Hero! I am from Camrose, Alberta but I make my home in Taipei City, Taiwan. I’ve been through the ups and downs and the highs and the Lowes, the Bonsignores and the McDavids, the Sathers and the Eakins but I’ll never leave my Oilers, no matter what!

They’re with me until the end and then some. GO OILERS GO!