One of the ongoing issues facing the Edmonton Oilers is the center position. As you’ll recall, the 2014-15 season saw the train leave the station with two centers and mud, and with the Connor McDavid injury the issue of center depth returns. Todd McLellan can run Nuge, Leon, Mark Letestu and Anton Lander, or he can keep Leon on the top line and run Matt Hendricks in the middle. Are there other options? The Oilers may see Andrew Miller as a possible option, he was recalled this afternoon.
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) November 4, 2015
Hamilton – Miller – Ford
Winquist – Yakimov – Platzer
Kessy- Khaira – McRae
Moroz – Loiseau (34) – Christoffer
— Bakersfield Condors (@Condors) November 1, 2015
Andrew Miller played center in college, and in training camp this fall—most of his pro career has been at RW for Edmonton since he signed. Miller was recalled earlier this year (for one game) and is having a good start to his AHL season (8GP, 2-4-6) while playing center in Bakersfield.
The other men who played up the middle this weekend in Bakersfield (Bogdan Yakimov and Jujhar Khaira) are interesting prospects but haven’t shown the kind of offensive potential Edmonton would be looking to place on a skill line. Is this a possible lineup for Friday night?
Eberle is just coming back into the lineup, so bringing him along in a lesser role may make sense. Todd McLellan could also use him liberally on the power play. Or is this a better plan?
Thoughts? Miller could also play on the top line Friday night if Eberle isn’t ready to go. Miller did play 87 minutes at 5×5 with Taylor Hall last season, recording three points. Todd McLellan and Peter Chiarelli may have factored that number into today’s decision.
— Bakersfield Condors (@Condors) November 4, 2015
Anton Slepyshev has been impressive (10GP, 0-1-1) in many areas this season, but the pucks aren’t going in and he was losing playing time to Iiro Pakarinen and others. I don’t think he’s going to be in the AHL long—Peter Chiarelli is likely to unload Teddy Purcell at some point this winter—but getting lots of playing time in the AHL is the right play. Peter Chiarelli telegraphed the demotion in a recent conversation with Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun.