In a quick report on the Edmonton Oilers, Monday brought a number of updates and changes to the team including a few players on the NHL waiver wire, clarity on how new Oilers’ coach Dave Tippett will ice his roster down the middle and a couple moves to AHL. Plus, should the Oilers go after someone like Sven Baertschi on waivers?
Obvious Solution at Center?
One of the questions being asked on Monday morning was if coach Tippett found a solution to his lack of center depth based on lines at practice? It appears he may go with his three most skilled players on separate lines.
That means, assuming practice is an indicator, Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will all be split up to start the season.
Edmonton’s three-best offensive weapons were all on separate lines with new wingers flanking each. It’s a strategy that’s been employed before and often resulted in a short-term experiment that saw Draisaitl back with McDavid. Tippett must be hoping the new acquisitions will produce a different result.
The lines at practice:
Russell and Haas were slotted as the extra forwards. Riley Sheahan wasn’t on the ice. Apparently, he’s a bit banged up.
Jason Gregor posted a tweet Monday that said it appears the Oilers have their opening night roster set.
San Gagner Placed on Waivers
One of the obvious omissions from the practice roster was Sam Gagner who was placed on waivers by the Oilers on Monday. He was one of a number of former first-round picks to hit the waiver wire, many of whom were a surprise.
Other notable names included Casey DeSmith (PIT), Eric Comrie (WPG), Brandon Manning (EDM), Luke Schenn (TB), Nikolay Goldobin (VAN), Alex Biega (VAN), Sven Baertschi (VAN).
That’s a big list of talented players. I’m Gagner’s case, it could be a combination of salary cap management as well as some of the bottom-six pickups this summer showing a bit more on camp and deserving of a shot on opening night.
Oilers to Go After Baerstchi?
Baerstchi was waived by the Vancouver Canucks on Monday in what many called a puzzling decision. Would he be someone the Oilers might be interested in?
He’s a skilled winger with speed and the Oilers could certainly use that. He’s also a proven top-nine forward in the NHL who is trying his best to come back from some injury issues. Still, he’s probably capable of 15-20 goals per season. It seems like an easy choice for the Oilers.
The arguments are that he didn’t have a great season but also that he really never got a chance in Vancouver. Hard to know what the Oilers think of this player.
William Lagesson Sent to AHL
Defenseman William Lagesson, 23, will officially start his second pro season with the Bakersfield Condors of the AHL. The Swedish defenseman was on the cusp of making the team as a No. 7 but will be given a bit more time before getting the call-up.
Who Starts in Goal for Oilers?
Coach Tippett wouldn’t announce who will start in goal on Wednesday. He’s keeping the competition between starters alive and hopes that they’ll push each other to be a strong one-two combination.
According to Jason Gregor of Oilers Nation, when asked if he has a plan throughout the season, Tippett said he will ad-lib as he goes. Fatigue will be a factor in his decisions.
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