The Edmonton Oilers have missed yet another chance to add to their defence. A piece of the pie they’d be clambering for all summer. James Wisniewski has signed a PTO (professional tryout offer) with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
James Wisniewski has signed a PTO (camp tryout) with the Lightning. Missed all but one game of last year with injury.
— James Mirtle (@mirtle) August 10, 2016
Now, we’ve been hearing Wisniewski rumours to the Oilers all summer. I was personally told that term was the hold up, not money. Now the Oilers are behind the 8-ball a bit. They can watch from afar but honestly, if they’re only willing to give him a 1 or 2 year deal, why would he sign in Edmonton? A veteran like Wisniewski will be looking for his best opportunity to win a Stanley Cup and if he does well, Tampa likes what they see, and he decides to choose Tampa Bay after training camp ends; he’s done well for himself as Tampa and Pittsburgh have the best shot at heading to the Cup finals next year.
In all truth Oilers fans, as soon as you seen this tweet from Bob Stauffer, you should’ve known that Wisniewski wasn’t coming to Edmonton on a PTO.
James Wisniewski will get multiple PTO offers and be able to pick his spot to compete for job. Should Oilers offer him a 1-year deal now?
— Bob Stauffer (@Bob_Stauffer) August 10, 2016
He also said on Oilers Now! this week that IF Wisniewski didn’t get an offer elsewhere, he’d sign a PTO with the Oilers…
Bobby tends to lay it out there if you can read between the lines and he very rarely crowdsources like that on Twitter. So that’s a tell right there.
Can the Oilers still sign the right-shot 31yr old dman who played all of 47 seconds last year before blowing his knee out? Sure. But as I said above, the ball’s not in their court anymore. But should they be really concerned? We don’t even know how Wisniewski can skate on that repaired wheel.
Well at this point if the Oilers are really set on having a RH’d shot on the point they’ve got the following choices:
- Adam Larsson: I think he could surprise here if given the chance.
- Jordan Eberle: Not unless he’s packing a 100MPH clapper now days.
- Jesse Puljujarvi: This might be more real than you think.
- Mark Letestu: (crickets)
Am I missing someone?
More realistically they’ll be playing a LH’d shooter on the blue line for the PP.
- Oscar Klefbom: Did somebody say bomb?
- Brandon Davidson: Showed he can fire ’em last year.
- Nail Yakupov: He can shoot, no doubt about that but accuracy might be an issue here.
- Andrej Sekera: Shinpad Assasin…
Apart from those guys, the free agent market still has:
- Dan Boyle: Can’t skate like he used to and may have issues keeping up in the Western Conference.
- Jakub Nakladal: 5pts in 27 games last year for Calgary. Has a hard shot but doesn’t sound like teams are lining up for him.
- Eric Gryba: Not the droid the team’s looking for…
What about trade?
Well, personally I think the team is set up front apart from some tinkering in the bottom nine. But if there’s a team that needs draft picks and left-handed defencemen, then they’d be a good fit for the Oilers as a trade partner.
- Dennis Wideman: Please. Please. Stop with the Wideman suggestions. Screams Nikitin!!
- Cody Franson: A big boy who we know can shoot and skate but would the Sabres eat skrilla to make it happen?
- Ryan Murphy: Young guy who can’t seem to get traction with the Hurricanes.
- Brandon Montour: Lowetide likes this guy but I’m skeptical as to his availability. 57pts in 68gp for Syracuse (AHL).
If anything the team could wait until training camps are winding down and see who gets waived or they could wait a tad longer and see who shakes loose during the season and make a clever deal to bring that RHD in.
So what do you think? Should the Oilers just buckle down and get ready for the year with what they have? Or should they try to force something through because it’s imperative that they make improvements on their record in 2016/17?
Let us know in the comments below!