He was a year and two months into his entry-level deal when the call came—and Jujhar Khaira did not wither under the bright lights of the NHL. He survived, contributed, impressed, and with one year left on the three years of his contract, JJ Khaira is poised to push for more than 15 games (as he saw in 2015-16). In the words of the great philosopher Izzy Mandelbaum, it’s go time. He went from 1.05 to 2.06 in estimated points-per-60 in the AHL year over year and the Oilers are going to need inexpensive depth players. Jujhar Khaira, come on down!
- Todd McLellan: ‘He’s an NHL prospect and looks more confident because he understands our game and the language now. I expect him to push really hard this year. I thought he did a lot of good things on the ice today — by himself, rushes, one-on-one play. That will evolve into good team play.’ Source
I see Slepyshev as having a bit of an edge on some of the contenders this fall, because he can play both wings. Edmonton may run with 8D, meaning one fewer forward. Todd McLellan kept Slepyshev a year ago, and early indications this year have expectations high. Could be a good sign for the Russian winger.
McLellan mentioned yesterday that the lack of McDavid, Nuge and Leon gives the camp centers a chance to shine. If we look at the group who were employed as centers yesterday, there may be some clues about how management sees the current group:
- Lucic – Caggiula – Eberle
- Pouliot – Letestu – Puljujarvi
- Maroon – Lander – Yakupov
- Benik – Hendricks – Kassian
- Pitlick – Vesce – Versteeg
- Christoffer – Sallinen – Slepyshev
- Beck – Khaira – Pakarinen
- Moroz – Platzer – Russell
I have no idea how to handicap this race (Letestu has a 4C job, Hendricks likely 4L) beyond Drake Caggiula is getting a push and two new hires—Vesce and Sallinen—are unknown at this time. The fifth guy may well be Anton, but he needs to push it at TC starting tonight. Mark McNeill could be out there, too.
- Klefbom – Larsson
- Simpson – Fayne
- Nurse – Davidson
- Reinhart – Gryba
- Oesterle – Benning
- Laleggia – Musil
This is an interesting group. If you put Andrej Sekera in the Simpson spot, and then Simpson where Laleggia is placed, that is pretty much the depth chart you and I would come up with for the team. Encouraging. If they run eight defenders to begin the season based on this list, Musil will have to clear waivers and Gryba gets signed.
McKenzie saying Oilers might have a piece. Saying though that the Oilers are the team that drives the door down for Trouba.
— Kris (@WildcardKH) September 26, 2016
I do not think Darnell Nurse is going to be part of this deal, because the Jets will need someone who can play in the top 4D immediately—Nurse is not yet that player. Brandon Davidson could be part of a package, although it is fair to question how well known he is among NHL management people. I don’t really buy that argument, but it is one you will see today.
Davidson wouldn’t be enough, and I am fairly confident another NHL team would be able to satisfy the Jets requirements successfully. I think the best Edmonton could offer is something like Brandon Davidson and Griffin Reinhart, or Brandon Davidson and Ziyat Paigin. A three-way deal may also work and this deal either happens very soon or could drag out into the season.
I do not think the Oilers will trade their 2017 first-round selection. The club is without a second-round selection, so trading the first would mean the 2017 draft would be a possible write-off—too much risk for a team still building a useful organization.
Some days I truly believe Oilers twitter has lost the ability to think. The Oilers introduced a new mascot today, it is a Lynx named Hunter. If you are riled up about this, or have expressed disdain, rage or outrage, I would ask you to take a moment to think about why a mascot exists. Along with branding, mascots often become a focal point for young fans, an entry into fandom. My kids don’t even like baseball, but if I said we were going to a game with Homer in attendance, they would go! Seriously. I will also tell you it pisses me off no end that Youppi! is now a Montreal Canadiens mascot, another injustice done to my beloved Expos. So, if you are reading this having ripped off several clever tweets about the idiocy of the new mascot, may I ask you one question? Did you ever think, even for a moment, that this mascot is for the kids, and not you? Get over yourself. PS, nice touch naming him after Bill Hunter, a pioneer of the franchise and the original owner/manager/coach/window washer.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
- Scott Burnside, ESPN. World Cup of Hockey, Jacob Trouba.
- Andy McNamara, TSN-4Downs. Eagles! Holy hell! Wow! Plus the Cowboys, Patriots and tonight’s game.
- Jason Gregor, TSN1260. Trouba for Nurse? Tonight’s doubleheader between Flames and Oilers.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. I will have a GDT up at 5pm. This is it!