Yesterday, the Edmonton Oilers did something that I wrote about on Friday morning. The club claimed defender Brandon Davidson off waivers from the Montreal Canadiens. Davidson joins Nathan Walker as new comers to the team via the waiver wire in the last few days. Peter Chiarelli is injecting new blood in the depth positions.
While Davidson isn’t a sexy option or a homerun by any means, he’s a legit NHL defender that knows the Oilers’ system, was well liked by his teammates by all accounts, and who had success in this city. He’s a good bet as the Oilers look for improvement on their third pairing defensively.
In order to make room for Davidson, the club assigned Ryan Stanton to Bakersfield, which comes as no surprise. Stanton was a healthy scratch on Saturday night and was only in town due to Adam Larsson’s injury.
I like this move, as I believe Davidson is an upgrade on both Yohann Auvitu and Eric Gryba. Edmonton’s third pairing has been very up and down this season, and you can argue it has cost them select games throughout the year. With Andrej Sekera still on the mend, it’s good to have actual NHL depth on your roster.
I suspect Davidson draws in right away, the Oilers wouldn’t have claimed him if they weren’t gonna play him from the get-go. I suspect he’ll slide in for Auvitu on Wednesday night, as the veteran from France has struggled in his last few outings.
On top of that, when Adam Larsson returns in the next few days, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Oilers waived Auvitu or even traded him for help elsewhere on the roster. With Larsson close and Sekera not that far behind, the numbers game suggests someone has got to go.
For those looking for a refresher on Davidson, here’s a look at his scouting report via The Hockey News:
|Has the requisite size to play the National Hockey League game. Has a big point shot, so he can produce good numbers at lower levels. Can also play a physical game.|
|Needs to play with more consistency in order to maximize his talent at the highest level. Also needs to cut down on his mistakes with and without the puck in his own end.|
|Solid depth defenseman with a little upside.|
Could There Be More?:
I don’t need to remind everyone how bad Laurent Brossoit looked on Saturday night in the third period. LB looked fine in the first forty, but he struggled mightily in the final frame and allowed at least three goals that had no business finding the back of the net. It wasn’t all on him, but an NHL goaltender HAS to make those saves.
That near meltdown by the team has Peter Chiarelli looking for goaltending help on the market. The cost for said goaltender? It very well could be Anton Slepyshev, who was a healthy scratch in the 7-5 victory on Saturday night.
Personally, I would not move Slepyshev for a short-term addition in goal. I believe Slepy is a better bet than Mike Cammalleri at this point, but as Rishaug says, if Puljujarvi can cement his spot in the top-six then Yamamoto will get his spin next year and there isn’t room for Slepyshev (in theory).
I do believe, with the Walker and Davidson adds, that Chiarelli is trying to get this team going. Some believe that they are showing signs of turning the corner, and while I’m not there yet they absolutely need a more stable option in net to get there.
Even when Talbot is back, it has become quite clear that the team does not trust Brossoit to play games. If you aren’t going to play him, you damn well better get someone that can play when Talbot needs a rest.
I’ll have an in-depth look at some of the options later today, but wouldn’t be surprised if the Oilers looked at Andrew Hammond, Reto Berra or Calvin Pickard with Talbot on the shelf.
I highly doubt Chiarelli is done, and I suspect there is a new man in the crease on Wednesday when the Flyers come calling in what I’m already calling a must-win game at home.