The Edmonton Oilers waived veteran forward Alex Chiasson on Monday, a move that caught many off guard. It was also a move that disappointed the 2018 Stanley Cup Champion. In his third season with the Oilers, Chiasson wasn’t expecting to not only get waived, but to clear without getting claimed.
The veteran blamed no one but himself for his current reality on Thursday. Chiasson met the media after practice and talked about getting waived for the first time.
“That’s the first time in my career. I’ll be the first one to admit, it was a little bit disappointing as a player,” Chiasson said. “Not towards the organization but towards myself. It hasn’t been the start to the season I was hoping for. With all the new additions of extra players and all that, I was hoping to get off to a better start. ”
Chiasson had a golden opportunity at the start of the season. With James Neal injured, Chiasson started on Edmonton’s top powerplay unit. The unit, which was the best in the NHL in 2019-20, struggled out of the gate. Chiasson was removed from the powerplay when Neal returned, and the unit began filling the net with pucks. It wasn’t Chiasson’s fault the powerplay struggled, but the timing of its rebound could not have been worse for him.
That certainly played a factor in the club’s decision, especially with Chiasson being a relative non-factor at five-on-five so far.
“On Monday, I was a little bit nervous,” Chiasson continued. “You never know what’s going to happen, whether you got to pack and leave, and where you’re heading to or staying here. It’s on me now. Hopefully, I get a few opportunities again. I need to find a way to stay in the lineup and find a way to put some points on the board. I haven’t had many scoring chances and I haven’t capitalized on any of them, really. It goes back to putting in the time in practice and preparation. You’re trying to find your spot mentally. Hopefully, I can get back to that sooner rather than later.”
Chiasson, less than 12 hours after clearing waivers, was in Edmonton’s lineup Tuesday night against the Ottawa Senators. It was his first opportunity to show that he belongs with the Oilers. After all, only he can make the decision easy for the club.
“If I play well, they don’t put me on waivers. That’s how I see it.”