In what appears to be an effort to get an experienced defenseman eventually on the roster, the Edmonton Oilers have signed Jason Demers to a one-year, two-way contract worth $750K for the purposes of loaning him to the Bakersfield Condors of the AHL. From there, it’s possible he gets called up to Edmonton as he’s already been playing in Bakersfield, tallying nine points and 32 penalty minutes in 24 games.
Edmonton signed the 34-year-old to a professional tryout (PTO) agreement on Sept. 19 and released him on Oct. 10 following the completion of the Oilers’ pre-season schedule.
This is not to suggest either Darnell Nurse or Evan Bouchard are in danger of losing their spots on the roster, nor should this hint that a trade that would include Tyson Barrie is imminent. This is likely just an affordable solution to a huge problem facing the team, which is turning over pucks and egregious times in their own zone and losing games because of it. Demers might not be able to add a lot offensively, but he’s been around in the NHL long enough to give head coach Jay Woodcroft a more reliable d-man to play worry-free minutes.
Demers played fairly well in the few preseason games he played for the Oilers this year. There simply wasn’t room to sign him coming out of training camp. But, with injuries and LTIR giving the Oilers a bit of room and Demers having a two-way deal at league minimum, this is a move the Oilers can try, getting an experienced leader in that locker room and on the ice.
Fans will chime in that this isn’t enough and that the Oilers need a better upgrade, but this is something the team can try in an effort to reverse their fortunes a bit.
Next: Oilers Interested in Trading For Blackhawks’ Sam Lafferty [Report]
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