The Edmonton Oilers have a short term problem and no really good solution available. Justin Schultz didn’t get on the flight to Minneapolis and Griffin Reinhart is not available despite making the trip. I do believe there’s a chance Reinhart draws back in tomorrow night (else he wouldn’t have traveled) but the Oilers appear to be running their business like thoughts don’t occur to people so I’ll play along.
POSSIBLE OPTIONS FOR RECALL
- Nikita Nikitin. He played one game (effectively) over the weekend and would be the easiest and obvious recall for a quick one-game shot. Nikitin can be sent back without much impact on the cap or a promise made.
- Jordan Oesterle. He’s a possible recall candidate, the Oilers last admin liked him and the man can skate very well. He’s not shooting lights out offensively at this time but we don’t know how much PP time he’s getting either. I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s the recall.
- Brad Hunt. I know, most posters on this blog don’t like him but Hunt can help on the power play and that’s a portion of the Schultz skill set. Hunt is a chaos blue, no doubt. However, he’s an option.
- Darnell Nurse. The biggest part of the future of Oilers blue is just six games into his AHL season and showing well. I believe he’ll get a recall for a quick few games (as was the case with Oesterle, Musil and others currently in the system).
- David Musil. Absolute opposite of Schultz, but he was capable in a look last season and the Oilers may feel he’s the best available option. He’s certainly similar in style to Reinhart, although not his match in terms of speed and passing ability.
- Joey Laleggia. Like Hunt, the skill set is a reasonable match for Schultz offensively, and Laleggia is 23 so we’re not talking about an extremely young player. He is a first-year pro and doesn’t have draft pedigree, I’d think a recall is unlikely.
- Martin Gernat. Just back in action after a long layoff, and was part of the infamous ‘sweathogs’ who apparently didn’t follow the instructions on the can and arrived in less than stellar condition fall 2014.
It’s also possible (maybe probable) the Oilers run with Brandon Davidson and Andrew Ference in place of Schultz and Reinhart. I am convinced, and have been for some time, that Darnell Nurse is by far the most qualified candidate and this is an appropriate time to bring him up. The one nagging detail: Nurse’s skills aren’t an ideal match for what Schultz brings and the number of minutes he plays are not a good entry point for any prospect coming in to a struggling team. Nikita Nikitin is the likely callup, although for me Reinhart’s presence on the team in Minneapolis is a tell. We wait.