There are several threads of ideas running around my brain tonight, so I thought it might be an idea to write them down. None of these is obvious, or will happen, but circumstances have collected them and we are here. Let’s consider a few items of note and a pressure point or two:
- Anton Slepyshev has been in the minors for 20 days now. He has played in eight games, and gone 7-3-10 for the Bakersfield Condors. I think the Oilers miss his speed, and the current RWs are not posting offense at this time.
- Benoit Pouliot is probably deeper in the doghouse today than he was this time yesterday, courtesy the pass that lead to a goal in Columbus (Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to play off-wing).
- Jesse Puljujarvi is about to spend the day of Game 40 on the NHL roster, thus burning a year of RFA rights. If Peter Chiarelli plans to Leon JP, he has to do it in the coming hours.
- Matt Nieto was placed on waivers by the San Jose Sharks this morning.
- Anton Khudobin was placed on waivers by the Boston Bruins this morning.
There are real and logical reasons to expect nothing happens tomorrow, but it is also possible we see Puljujarvi and Slepyshev change location, Benoit Pouliot sees waivers and Nieto or Khudobin claimed off waivers.
- I think the least likely is the Slepyshev-Puljujarvi switch—because it could/should have happened today if it was going to happen at all.
- The Pouliot issue has no pressure point at all, no reason to waive him beyond a fit of pique. That said, if the coach has had it, perhaps we do see a break in the coming days and a transaction. I am not suggesting this is a good idea, by the way, just reading the tea leaves.
- Matt Nieto is a two-way winger who got his NHL start under Todd McLellan in San Jose. He is not a big winger, but has some offensive ability and defensive acumen. He has posted good possession numbers, does not have a big contract, and can help on the PK.
- Anton Khudobin is not having an especially good season, doubt there is a tremendous difference between him and Jonas Gustavsson in terms of performance this season.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
I would keep Pouliot in the lineup, send JP down, recall Slepyshev and God help me ride the wild Gustavsson until Brossoit is ready. What about you?