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Likelihood Edmonton Oilers Will Land Goaltender Aaron Dell off Waivers

The Edmonton Oilers will certainly want to claim Aaron Dell off of waivers if he’s available to them. But, is it a given that happens?

Fans in Oilers Nation were excited to hear the Toronto Maple Leafs were forced to waive both Aaron Dell and Jason Spezza on Sunday morning. When it was learned that forward Nick Robertson was injured and the result was that Toronto would need to call some players from their taxi squad, when Dell and Spezza were waived, the immediate reaction was that Edmonton would claim Dell. Unfortunately, things are not quite that simple.

Related: Maple Leafs Place Spezza and Dell on Waivers, Spezza Threatens to Retire

While it is possible the Dell could fall to Edmonton on the waiver wire, it’s certainly not a given. The Oilers are 20th in terms of teams that can put in a claim. In other words, 19 teams have a better shot at getting Dell than the Oilers do. Some of those teams could use a netminder.

The situation gets even messier if one of those teams is a team south of the border and brings Dell in, even if for a short run. Once he crosses, he’ll need to undergo quarantine and the more times that happens, the longer Edmonton would have to wait to use him, assuming he eventually makes his way to the Oilers.

There’s also no guarantee that Dell will be given permission by the NHL to simply suit up if Edmonton is successful in any claim. It’s definitely possible his being in Canada and not having to take a commercial flight means he’s not going to have to quarantine before joining Edmonton, but that’s not a given either. As Jason Gregor points out:

Looking into if Oilers put a claim on Dell if he could remain in Toronto and then join Oilers when they arrive in TOR next week and be eligible right away. League would need to approve. I assume, but in theory it makes sense as no commercial flights. Many new rules due to C-19.

Aaron Dell signs with Maple Leafs
Aaron Dell signs with Maple Leafs

The Oilers Do Have One Advantage

Any team who chooses to claim Dell would have to keep him on their roster. Meaning, if their decision is to place him on the taxi squad, he’ll need to go back on waivers, thus giving Edmonton another shot at him. There would need to be a lot of juggling by teams and in some cases, the juice just isn’t worth the squeeze.

For the Oilers, Dell would immediately suit in as the backup to Mikko Koskinen. There would be no need to waive him for assignment. With Mike Smith’s LTIR status, the Oilers would slot Dell in behind Koskinen, then send Stuart Skinner to the taxi squad as a third-string option.

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