Dillon Simpson is in a training camp battle for an NHL job and he gets to play tonight. That means he has his destiny in his hands, but will need to hold serve. There are four defenders (Simpson, Mark Fayne, Yohann Auvitu, Ryan Stanton) applying for one job (7D) and first recall option. Auvitu probably plays Wednesday, Stanton is apparently banged up so we’ll see (easy to IR players if unready and then decide later) how this week rolls out. For Simpson (and Fayne) tonight is a big damned game.
OILERS PROJECTED LINEUP
- The Oilers did as I expected, running all four RW’s who are in the running for available jobs. The one RW job that is set, Zack Kassian, will join three of the four names above (and don’t forget Anton Slepyshev!) in the lineup opening night.
- Dillon Simpson, Mark Fayne, Kailer Yamamoto and Jesse Puljujarvi are the bubble players I see, your mileage may vary.
- Todd McLellan on Strome’s day: “I’d rather do that now than do it two or three games into the year and have him confused or wondering what or why. We sat with him today and went through some video clips and we expect him to respond and be better. We’re still trying to figure him out as he’s trying to figure us out. But we’re going to push him to be the player that we believe he is and hopefully it pays off for him and for us.” Source
Strome has an outstanding opportunity this season, either on the McDavid line or on another. I think there is a train of thought that suggests Strome’s struggles with the Islanders may have two authors (player and team) but the second chance is here. Important to take advantage and I don’t see this current news item as anything but a stepping stone to finding his way.
We may see some cuts tomorrow, but I think Kailer Yamamoto gets another game after this one (possibly Wednesday). If Edmonton sends Simpson and Fayne down tomorrow, we may also see Brad Malone, Patrick Russell and Ty Rattie sent to Bakersfield. I think Chris Kelly may make it to the weekend. The Oilers may also wait until after the Wednesday game to make cuts.