It’s that time of week again, hump day. The Oilers have tailed off recently in regards to their play, but they still remain on the outskirts of the playoff chase. It’s nice to type that in late December, but I think I speak for a lot of people when I say this team still has a lot of work to do and the frustrating moments are still around.
Wrapping Up Kassian:
My full thoughts on the Zack Kassian trade are here, so I won’t go into a ton of detail. That said, I think this deal has a lot of potential for the Oilers. Ben Scrivens simply was never going to play for the Oilers again, that ship sailed when he bottomed out last year and lost the training camp battle. He had settled in at the AHL level and certainly deserves another look, so this helps everyone out.
Peter Chiarelli seemingly knows the risks and has done his homework, while Kassian sure seems like he understands what this is, his last chance. The quote about him knowing he can say things but he has to show them really stuck out to me, it makes me think that maybe, just maybe, he gets it.
I don’t expect Kassian to be a difference maker, but is it crazy to think that he could be a third liner for Edmonton moving forward? If he screws his head on straight, I think it’s very possible. I’ll be intrigued to see how he does in the AHL during these next few weeks.
Boy, this looks like one of those moves that Glen Sather would make back in the day. I can’t help but think that this is kind of like the Craig MacTavish deal way back when. Remember, MacT had some big off-ice problems in Boston before he became a changed man and was dealt to Edmonton.
Anyone Worth Talking About?:
Friday is January 1st, meaning the calendar switches over to 2016. This also means that players on one year deals can be extended by their current teams. Edmonton has two guys, Cam Talbot and Anders Nilsson, that really stick out as potential candidates to be re-signed.
My take? The team is likely impressed with Laurent Brossoit’s work in the AHL and could consider him for backup duties next season. Is it crazy to think that Edmonton will only re-sign one of these netminders? I don’t think so, in fact I think that will be the case.
Cam Talbot has recently played exactly how we expected him to when he was acquired from the New York Rangers back in June. If he can provide Edmonton with a strong second half, and I think it is possible, then I think he gets a new contract.
Some other guys to look at? Teddy Purcell has enjoyed a really nice bounce back season. At a discounted rate, I think he could really help Edmonton in the coming years, but he’s also a prime candidate for trade at the deadline. Eric Gryba could go either way, while I suspect the Oilers will try hard to flip pending UFA Nikita Nikitin.
Waiver Wire Fun:
David Rundblad was on waivers until yesterday at noon but went unclaimed. I’m a little surprised, mainly because I think he’s an interesting player. He’s got size, is a right shot, and can move the puck quite well. No, he’s not a game changer but he would represent an upgrade on both Brad Hunt and Justin Schultz, the current offensive defenders on the roster.
I wonder if the Oilers would consider flipping a contract to the Blackhawks for the player like they did in the Mark Arcobello-for-Derek Roy trade one year ago around this time. I’d certainly look into it.
As for the guys on waivers this morning? Scott Gomez is well past his prime and really isn’t a guy that Edmonton should be looking at anymore. With all the injured players expected back within the month, it makes zero sense to claim the veteran. Same with Sam Gagner, who has all of the same holes in his game that he had when he was traded to Tampa Bay in the summer of 2014.
Good news and bad news it appears. First, the good news, Brandon Davidson is expected to return for the Oilers tomorrow night when they host the Anaheim Ducks. That’s a huge game for Edmonton, so getting one of their top-four defenders back should really help. I’d imagine either Brad Hunt or Eric Gryba gets the hook from last night’s unit.
The bad news? Reid Wilkins tweeted on Tuesday that Oscar Klefbom still is not skating and that there is no update from the Oilers regarding the team’s top defender. Edmonton badly needs him back. Jason Gregor has a similar report on Nail Yakupov, who has missed a month with a high ankle sprain suffered at the hands of a referee in Carolina.
Status remains the same regarding Connor McDavid, who is skating and taking shots but isn’t skating with the team yet.
The Oilers baldy need these guys back, that goes without saying. Klefbom could be ready in a week, according to Todd McLellan.