In recent years, the Edmonton Oilers have used waivers during the season to acquire talent. Ryan Jones is the most obvious example, a plug and play energy winger who found a home with Edmonton. Steve MacIntyre also came via waivers in September 2008 and I think the Oilers may have a close look at the waiver wire this fall in regard to goaltending.
Edmonton is fairly predictable in many ways, one of them being goaltending. For the last several seasons the club has had 5 organizational goaltenders–two for the NHL, two for the AHL and one for the ECHL–and so far this year they number only four at the position.
OKC Barons depth chart currently boasts Yann Danis and Olivier Roy. Roy is a fine prospect (although he has been passed by Tyler Bunz in my estimation) but the Oilers usually send their new pro’s to the ECHL. Here’s the split over recent seasons for draft picks in their first pro seasons:
- Jeff Deslauriers: 11 ECHL, 22 AHL first year pro
- Devan Dubnyk: 43 ECHL, 4 AHL first year pro
- Bryan Pitton: 34 ECHL, 1 AHL first year pro
- Glenn Fisher: 38 ECHL, 1 AHL first year pro
As it stands now, Roy will have to play in the AHL and there will be no ECHL goaltenders under contract to the Oilers.
Jim Matheson suggested the Oilers might wait until the waiver period at the end of training camp in this article. There are some candidates (Flyers have three, with backups being Bobrovsky and Michael Leighton) but I think it’s a very dangerous game to play. Nikolai Khabibulin’s injury status, Dubnyk’s youth and inexperience; Dannis is a solid AHL goaltender and might push for an NHL job in training camp, and Roy is a new pro that the Oilers traditionally bring along slowly.
tsn is reporting that Ray Emery is going to attend Chicago’s camp and the Hawks will have until October 1st to sign or release him. I think the Oilers stand a real chance of being left without a veteran goaltending option; the waiver wire is no sure thing, as teams can IR players to get down to their 23-man rosters and make a decision later in the season. One would think that Emery would have been willing to sign with the Oilers, as it would have represented something more secure than a training camp invite.
Opportunity missed? We’ll see.