Math is one of the seven wonders of the world (along with women, demon liquor and chocolate) and today I am going to attempt to cipher what the Oilers are facing this evening. From my perspective, they have a bit of a roster issue.
You may recall the club sent Zack Kassian, Brad Hunt and Griffin Reinhart to the minors at the beginning of the break, and more recently claimed Adam Clendening on waivers. Let’s run the roster as it should appear on Peter Chiarelli’s white board this evening:
- Goal (2): Cam Talbot, Anders Nilsson
- Defense (6): Andrej Sekera, Mark Fayne, Darnell Nurse, Justin Schultz, Eric Gryba, Adam Clendening
- Center (3): Leon Draisaitl, Mark Letestu, Anton Lander
- Left Wing (5): Taylor Hall, Benoit Pouliot, Lauri Korpikoski, Luke Gazdic, Rob Klinkhammer
- Right Wing (5): Jordan Eberle, Teddy Purcell, Nail Yakupov, Matt Hendricks, Iiro Pakarinen
That is 21, leaving room for two players to be added via recall. After the break, the Oilers are very likely to recall Kassian while also activating Connor McDavid and Brandon Davidson. Oscar Klefbom hopefully arrives ready soonafter. My math says the club needs to make a move, with Rob Klinkhammer being the obvious choice (he has already cleared waivers recently). If Edmonton wants to recall Reinhart, candidates would include Darnell Nurse and waiving Luke Gazdic—neither likely. This brings us to the Justin Schultz conversation from a couple of days ago.
Friedman: I wouldn't be surprised if we're getting close to end of Schultz's time w/ Edmonton #Oilers. Writing is very much on the wall.
— Chris Nichols (@NicholsOnHockey) January 29, 2016
I think Reinhart’s recall may hinge on finding a landing spot for Schultz, and Mr. Friedman is a very connected fellow. Something imminent? I think that is probably being a little more aggressive than the current intel suggests, but we could see something soon.
"Tavares is an exceptional thinker, and he needs someone who thinks the game the same. Eberle has that ability." Button on trade rumour.
— Jason Gregor (@JasonGregor) January 29, 2016
This is a follow up to the Friedman conversation with Bob Stauffer earlier today, putting Jordan Eberle in Brooklyn and Travis Hamonic on the Canadian prairies. If that happens, I would be interested in knowing if it is connected to signing Teddy Purcell—the Oilers have to make a decision on him before the deadline. That would mean proceeding with Purcell and Nail Yakupov on the RW for next season—have to say I didn’t expect to see both of them in the fall and would not have been surprised to see both gone by July. Peter Chiarelli is apparently taking interesting phone calls.
OILERS CURRENT 50-MAN LIST (49)
- G Cam Talbot, NHL starter
- G Anders Nilsson, NHL backup.
- G Laurent Brossoit, AHL starter.
- G Eetu Laurikainen, AHL backup.
- D Andrej Sekera, veteran has been very valuable.
- D Oscar Klefbom, enjoying a solid year when healthy.
- D Mark Fayne, performing better in recent games.
- D Brandon Davidson, a brilliant season so far.
- D Darnell Nurse, started in AHL, now in NHL.
- D Justin Schultz, may be playing his final games as an Oiler.
- D Eric Gryba, third pairing defender.
- D Adam Clendening, waiver pickup. Oilers used to make these count, maybe again?
- D Griffin Reinhart, spent time in the NHL, AHL and IR.
- D Brad Hunt, has seen some NHL time, currently in AHL.
- D Andrew Ference, injured, gone for the season.
- D Nikita Nikitin, got a (ghastly) cup of coffee, back in the minors.
- D David Musil, AHL D. May get a look in the second half.
- D Jordan Oesterle, AHL D. Improving, might get a look.
- D Joey Laleggia, AHL D.
- D Dillon Simpson, AHL D.
- D Martin Gernat, AHL D.
- D Ben Betker, ECHL D, had a cup of coffee in the AHL recently.
- C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, NHL center. Injured.
- C Leon Draisaitl, emerging NHL talent.
- C Connor McDavid, brilliant 13 games, back soon.
- C Anton Lander, checking NHL C.
- C Mark Letestu, checking NHL C.
- C Jujhar Khaira, AHL C spent some time in the NHL.
- C Andrew Miller, AHL C, used to play wing.
- C Bogdan Yakimov, on loan to the KHL, for either six months or 50 years.
- C Kyle Platzer, AHL C looking good.
- L Taylor Hall, Quality NHL forward. Hey, you’re an All-Star!
- L Benoit Pouliot, No. 2 L for the Oil.
- R Zack Kassian, playing well as an Oiler.
- L Lauri Korpikoski, checking NHL W.
- L Matt Hendricks, checking NHL W.
- L Luke Gazdic, NHL Enforcer.
- L Ryan Hamilton, AHL winger, mentor.
- L Kale Kessy, AHL winger/enforcer showing some signs.
- L Mitch Moroz, AHL winger/enforcer.
- L Braden Christoffer, rugged new pro W.
- R Jordan Eberle, scoring winger. Rumors have him heading to Brooklyn.
- R Nail Yakupov, emerging NHL scorer.
- R Teddy Purcell, veteran NHL W having a good year.
- R Iiro Pakarinen, back in the NHL, being useful.
- R Rob Klinkhammer, energy winger in the NHL.
- R Anton Slepyshev, talented winger started in NHL, currently injured in AHL.
- R Tyler Pitlick, AHL winger is back and scoring. Stay healthy, dammit!
- R Greg Chase, up and down between ECHL and AHL.