SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL RAJALA’S

Every year, over one Edmonton Oilers prospect who appeared in the AHL is fired out of a cannon and into the sun. In this way, the parent club can both make room for new players and help other NHL teams and leagues stock their rosters with qualified men. Before we look at this year’s exits, let’s go back for a couple of knee-slapping episodes.

2013 SUMMER (MACT’S FIRST)

  • Teemu Hartikainen bolted to the KHL (and was traded).
  • Toni Rajala was released and Edmonton no longer retains his rights.
  • Mark Arcobello was retained and played half the season in the NHL. He would emerge as an NHL regular before being traded.
  • Phil Cornet exited the system.
  • Chris VandeVelde moved on, and played 18 games with the Flyers (no compensation). Now a regular Flyer.
  • Magnus Paajarvi was traded in a deal that delivered David Perron.
  • Colten Teubert signed in Germany.
  • Alex Plante exited the system and hit Europe.

Edmonton got value for Paajarvi and retained Arcobello from this group. Among those sent away for nothing, Chris VandeVelde gained NHL employment.

2014 SUMMER (MACT’S SECOND)

  • Mark Arcobello was signed to a team friendly deal after playing in the NHL in 2013-14 (41GP, 4-14-18). He would emerge as an NHL regular before being traded.
  • Martin Marincin arrived in the NHL, looking for all the world like he’d developed in the Red Wings’ system (44GP, 0-6-6). He would eventually be traded.
  • Oscar Klefbom struggled early and then turned a corner in OKC. He also spent time in the NHL (17GP, 1-2-3)
  • Ryan Martindale was traded for a veteran AHLer in Steve Pinizzotto, who spent some time in the NHL (6GP, 0-2-2).
  • Tyler Pitlick finally played in the NHL (10GP, 1-0-1) and would get a chance in 2014-15.
  • Anton Lander had a fine AHL season. He also played 27 games in the NHL.
  • Curtis Hamilton got another contract.
  • Andrew Miller, Martin Gernat, David Musil, Brandon Davidson, Travis Ewanyk, Richard Bachman all continued to develop and were retained.

2015 SUMMER (CHIARELLI’S FIRST)

  • Oscar Klefbom spent nine games in the AHL, but spent 60 impressive games in the NHL and looks to be a big part of the Edmonton Oilers through the end of the decade and beyond.
  • Martin Marincin was inexplicably banished to the AHL before getting recalled to Edmonton and playing in 41 uneven games. He was not impressive in the AHL at the end of the year and was traded to Toronto.
  • Anton Lander was waived, had a strong showing in the AHL, was re-called and blossomed in the NHL while playing in 38 effective games. He is signed and a part of the future. This is what the AHL is supposed to do for prospects (wobbly moments by the organization set aside).
  • Iiro Pakarinen rocked up the AHL depth chart and made it all the way to the NHL for 17 games.
  • Brandon Davidson took another step in the AHL, and impressed in 12 NHL games.
  • Brad Hunt continued to develop, played in 11 NHL games, and was re-signed.
  • Andrew Miller continued to develop, played in nine NHL games, and was re-signed.
  • Jordan Oesterle debuted, played well in the minors and impressed in six NHL games.
  • David Musil continued to defy the supposed odds and impress the organization. Played in his first four NHL games.
  • Laurent Brossoit was money in the minors and delivered a fantastic NHL debut in his one game. Bona fide prospect.
  • Bogdan Yakimov debuted, developed, flourished and played in one NHL game. He’ll be back.
  • Curtis Hamilton, stayed healthy, developed, played in one NHL game, and was not retained.
  • Josh Winquist signed an AHL deal, flourished in the ECHL & AHL but did not receive the NHL contract he earned.
  • Dillon Simpson struggled early but continued to develop, just as he had in the NCAA as a freshman.
  • Kale Kessy had a nice start to the year, including a Landeresque spike in skating ability. He was then injured, out for the year.
  • Jujhar Khaira stuggled all season long offensively, seems to have done good work in other areas.
  • Travis Ewanyk continued to play in the AHL in an extreme defensive role, and then was traded to Ottawa in the Eric Gryba deal.
  • Mitch Moroz had a very difficult time early but by season’s end had things going in a good direction.
  • Martin Gernat took an enormous step backward.

The Oilers minor league team is delivering more talent than at any point since the EIG shot the AHL team in the face, and more talent is getting to the NHL. As the handling of Marincin this summer proves, the organization is still hurting itself over demons and sins real and imagined. At some point, Peter Chiarelli will learn that trading players for reasons that aren’t hockey related is both an Oilers tradition and the damndest thing. He needs to stop doing it, or we’ll be talking about another Martin Marincin—or Jeff Petry—and that’s the kind of thing that gets a GM fired.

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39 Responses to "SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL RAJALA’S"

  1. Mr DeBakey says:

    In fairness to the Oilers, Rajala’s stick is fairly light.

    I enjoyed riedering this post.

  2. Ducey says:

    The Oilers have 3 spots left on the 50 man.

    Giving 2 of them to MORoy and Winquist would not be a good idea. Winquist did not “earn’ an NHL deal anyway. 23 points in 56 AHL games for an undrafted soon to be 22 yr old player is a long way from the NHL.

    I continue to be baffled on how anyone could find that having these 2 guys on AHL deals is a bad thing. Its very fine asset management.

  3. Centre of attention says:

    Just finished watching the Nuge do a presser. Guy is looking confident. Glad to hear he is healthy and he had no lasting issues with his foot. He is also now 195 lbs and growing, jeez 4 years has gone fast.

  4. CMG30 says:

    My gut tells me that Chirelli was canned in Boston for non-hockey reasons. Maybe this will give him a better perspective on players that an organization takes an inexplicable dislike to?

    In any event, I think next season will be more telling in terms of Chirelli’s abilities as I wonder if moves like the MM trade still happen if MacTavish wasn’t hanging around and the new GM had a feel for the players.

  5. RexLibris says:

    Bell injured.

    Nichols ineffective.

    Shaw missing points.

    Yup, going to be a nice long night.

  6. RexLibris says:

    Turnover on downs.

    For the love of…

  7. RexLibris says:

    I like the commentator trying to find something positive to say.

    “Perhaps if the defense can make a stand the Eskimos should have a chance…(pregnant pause)…for some good field position”.

    Because field position is about as positive as it gets right now.

  8. Hammers says:

    Problem is the Oil always found ways of screwing the pooch when it came to AHL players . Hope it stops . Oh well .

  9. RexLibris says:

    STAFFORD!

    Kenny, not Drew.

    Sorry, Matheson.

  10. Cahoon says:

    Sorry guys, I’m an allouettes fan, I think it may come with having my last name/cousin. Any other team I’d ‘ve cheering for the eskis with ya.

  11. RexLibris says:

    Cahoon:
    Sorry guys, I’m an allouettes fan, I think it may come with having my last name/cousin. Any other team I’d ‘ve cheering for the eskis with ya.

    I can’t criticize someone who shares that name/family bloodlines.

    That being said, not sure I’ve forgiven Montreal for the ’77 staples.

  12. Cahoon says:

    RexLibris,

    I can’t say I blame you, that’s a pretty sleazy move to pull. I wasn’t alive to be outraged about it though.

  13. Lowetide says:

    That ’77 Grey Cup was an abomination. That said, I have no quarrel with the Alouettes.

  14. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide:
    That ’77 Grey Cup was an abomination. That said, I have no quarrel with the Alouettes.

    Yeah, I’ve always kind of had a soft spot for them.

    In all honesty, I kind of look at it as losing your team for an extended period is fair penance for stealing a championship in such blatant fashion.

    I cheered for the Montreal Machine back in the WFL days.

  15. RexLibris says:

    Aug. 18th, Flames will hold an announcement of the progress and plans for CalgaryNEXT, their new arena/CFL fieldhouse plans.

    Let the arena pissing match begin.

  16. RexLibris says:

    6 QB sacks tonight.

    Love this defense.

  17. RexLibris says:

    Sack seventh heaven.

  18. Hammers says:

    What the F is the score

  19. Lowetide says:

    Hammers:
    What the F is the score

    12-11 MTL

  20. G Money says:

    Esks just need to get the ball in field goal range and this thing should be all tied up.

  21. Oddspell says:

    Not a regular fan of grid iron but what a way to end the game.

  22. G Money says:

    Nice job Shaw. Hit it when it counted most …

  23. RexLibris says:

    So Esks don’t lead for a second of the game.

    Kick the winning field goal with the clock at 0:00.

    Montreal should’ve put that 13th man on the field. Might have been the difference.

  24. Lowetide says:

    Good game, very enjoyable. Those defenses are going to win games for both teams.

  25. RexLibris says:

    G Money:
    Nice job Shaw. Hit it when it counted most…

    Yes.

    Except.

    The Eskimos gave them 10 points on interceptions and Shaw missed on 9 points.

    It didn’t need to be that way.

    I’m counting the days until Reilly returns.

  26. G Money says:

    RexLibris,

    Oh I know.

    Lots of flaws in that game without a doubt.

    Shaw goes 21-21 then 0-3. Apparently kickers are voodoo.

    Receivers still have the dropsies, though Walker and Stafford started to look pretty good.

    In light of that, plus Nichols having an on again off again game for reads, I still can’t understand the pass-heavy play selection. 38 passes and 15 runs. Wouldn’t even 33 and 20 make more sense? Why the multiple pass attempts on 2nd and 3?

    I guess we ought to cut some slack to a team without QB1, WR1, and RB1. But still. Pretty ineffective the last two games without AB. That’s worrisome. One player cannot be the entire key to your offense.

  27. Bag of Pucks says:

    Winning ugly. Never fully out of it with that D.

    By my eye, Franklin looks to have more upside than Nichols. He made a flat footed throw on an out pattern to the wide side of the field. Nichols can’t make that throw. I’ll take the kid with the arm and the dreaded ‘poise.’

    77 was my first season as a rabid Esks fan. I thought John Konihowski was the real deal! lol

    Actually wept after that loss. My Dad was disgusted with me and gave me a lil talk about putting sports losses in the proper perspective. My team won the next 5 so I’m not sure that lesson fully took.

  28. unca miltie says:

    Cahoon:
    RexLibris,

    I can’t say I blame you, that’s a pretty sleazy move to pull. I wasn’t alive to be outraged about it though.

    I must be a little older than you. I was at that game. Was very cold.

  29. AsiaOil says:

    Hey LT – I liked MM plenty – but let’s be realistic about what the market of 29 other organizations thought of MM and not just Chia. Basically MM was expendable after the GR deal was made and all Chia got was the TOR deal. That means nobody else thought MM was worth anything unless you believe that Chia would intentionally trade him for far less than market value. So it isn’t just some weird Oiler trait (although they have plenty) that got MM exiled – it was something more that a lot of other organizations saw as well. Otherwise he would have garnered a little bit more than “almost nothing” in the trade market.

  30. Lowetide says:

    AsiaOil:
    Hey LT – I liked MM plenty – but let’s be realistic about what the market of 29 other organizations thought of MM and not just Chia. Basically MM was expendable after the GR deal was made and all Chia got was the TOR deal. That means nobody else thought MM was worth anything unless you believe that Chia would intentionally trade him for far less than market value. So it isn’t just some weird Oiler trait (although they have plenty) that got MM exiled – it was something more that a lot of other organizations saw as well. Otherwise he would have garnered a little bit more than “almost nothing” in the trade market.

    There was no reason to trade Marincin at that point, Asia. None. Admittedly his value was low, but all the more reason to keep him.

  31. fifthcartel says:

    Lowetide: There was no reason to trade Marincin at that point, Asia. None. Admittedly his value was low, but all the more reason to keep him.

    Plus it’s just a terrible strategy of tearing down a prospects value. Playing Marincin against tough opponents, in the defensive zone, with no power play time won’t boost his value at all, and considering that all he did pretty well.

    If they don’t like a player, at least give him some favourable situations so the return isn’t a 4th round pick/Eric Gryba.

  32. Bank Shot says:

    Lowetide: There was no reason to trade Marincin at that point, Asia. None. Admittedly his value was low, but all the more reason to keep him.

    Well Marincin is waiver eligible. Perhaps its a case of getting something for him rather than nothing.

    If the defence looks like this:

    Sekera-Fayne
    Klefbom-Schultz
    XXXX-Gryba

    And Chiarelli likes both Reinhart and Nurse better than Marincin, then whats the point in hanging on to Marincin? He’s not going to play often, and I think the Oilers have to try and keep Nikitin and Ference around long enough to gain some value to move them.

    I don’t think it’d be wise for the Oilers to try to run with Klefbom, Nurse, Reinhart, and Marincin, plus Schultz on the roster all at the same time.

    They need a couple of father figures in the mix. Gryba helps them from getting pushed out of the rink every night, and there is some kind of value in that.

    It’s not like Marincin is really showing any kind of offensive potential. I think his upside may be essentially what he is now.

  33. godot10 says:

    Lowetide: There was no reason to trade Marincin at that point, Asia. None. Admittedly his value was low, but all the more reason to keep him.

    Perhaps Marincin had requested a trade, and said he would sign in Europe if the Oilers did not trade him. Marincin was a free agent.

    i.e. Chiarelli was screwed because MacT had destroyed the relationship with the player.

  34. Pouzar says:

    Lowetide:
    Good game, very enjoyable. Those defenses are going to win games for both teams.

    Yeah….lovely

  35. SwedishPoster says:

    So I looked through the media scrum with RNH, 8 mins, pretty much the last 30-45 secs were about RNH and his off season, Tom Gazzola pretty much asking the first somewhat interesting question at the tail end “how about yourself”, there was some interesting stuff about his improvement last season in the middle but that’s it. The rest was all in relation to McDavid, where were you at the draft, how about the PP with McDavid, how about the center depth with McDavid and so on.
    I’m excited about McDavid as well but I’d rather hear more about RNHs off season, what he think went wrong last season, what he learned, what he needs to improve on, what he thinks about having McLellan as a coach and so on. These interviews are usually mainly fluff but with some decent question you can get some value at least.

    I can just imagine the questions during pre-season. How is it to shower with McDavid? What’s his soaping technique like? Does he have any birth marks? How does he pronounce potato?

  36. RexLibris says:

    G Money:
    RexLibris,

    Oh I know.

    Lots of flaws in that game without a doubt.

    Shaw goes 21-21 then 0-3.Apparently kickers are voodoo.

    Receivers still have the dropsies, though Walker and Stafford started to look pretty good.

    In light of that, plus Nichols having an on again off again game for reads, I still can’t understand the pass-heavy play selection.38 passes and 15 runs.Wouldn’t even 33 and 20 make more sense?Why the multiple pass attempts on 2nd and 3?

    I guess we ought to cut some slack to a team without QB1, WR1, and RB1.But still.Pretty ineffective the last two games without AB.That’s worrisome.One player cannot be the entire key to your offense.

    They had to drop some run plays because Bell injured his ankle.

    He made a few late, but you can’t have as much balance in the attack when that happens. Earlier I think they were trying to pass more in order to open up the run game for him by pushing some of the DBs back.

    Nichols is supposed to be a fantastic D-reader, and perhaps he is, but all I’m seeing from him is check-downs and outlets that aren’t getting past 10 yards.

    Unfortunately for him, when he does make the play and deliver the ball his receivers are dropping them at an infuriating rate.

    If they could have caught a few more passes, the Eskimos would be walking around with only the Ft. McMurray game as their loss, and even that could be debatable.

  37. RexLibris says:

    SwedishPoster,

    Agree.

    Heck, ask him how much time he got to spend with his horse this summer and what races he has lined up.

  38. AsiaOil says:

    Lowetide,

    Well like I said LT – I like the kid – but then again I liked another guy who kind of reminds me of MM right now. You might remember another big dman the Oilers drafted in the 2nd round and had high hopes for – Alexei Semenov.

    In my opinion MM was done after we acquired another young dman in GR. Is MM better than Nurse, Klef, or GR – no. Does he bring anything unique or missing to the table – no. Is he worth holding Nurse or GR back in the minors for- no. Is he worth buying out NN or Ference for – again no. He’s big but not tough or offensive and something else was going on that made him very unpopular on Kingsway. That’s not a good thing to have going on when you are a marginal player who doesn’t bring anything terribly unique to the table. Good luck to MM – hope he does well – but it’s unlikely he amounts to much as an NHL player.

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