This time of year you hear and read some strange things from various NHL camps. Stories have been brewing for two weeks in 30 cities (and Winnipeg), but we’re closing in now on opening night so reports coming in have more urgency. Waivers? Trades? “What the actual hell?” is the most common sentence in the hockey world this time of year. Let’s roll.
- Jared Book: In three pre-season contests, Davidson has done little to separate himself from a pack of defenders that has been mediocre at best. With a chance to solidify a place on the opening night roster, Davidson hasn’t stood out in a good way despite arguably being the best defender, on paper, of the bunch. Source
When a player is struggling, I ask myself a series of questions. Is he 40? No. Davidson is 26. Is he injured? Doesn’t seem so. Is he being used in the right situation? So far away to know that answer but this young man was a fantastic option for the Oilers not so long ago. I’d certainly pick him up in a trade for the Oilers, he could help a team based on what we saw a season ago.
The excellent Prospect-Stats site is very informative in all areas but really helps us with AHL defenders. Among the things the site tells us about Pokka (all 5×5):
- Among Rockford defensemen last year, he played with the top qual team.
- Among Rockford defensemen last year, he played second pair qual comp.
- Among Rockford defensemen last year, he was No. 2 in TOI.
- Among Rockford defensemen last year, he was No. 1 in estimated points-per-60.
I like this player quite a bit but can see where the Oilers would pass on the opportunity. A more established player like Colin Miller (or Cody Franson) would probably be a better fit. Pokka is worth a claim for some team, though.
Chiarelli on the D: "I'm going to be relatively patient with this but we will see how it unfolds."
— Oilers Now with Bob Stauffer (@OilersNow) September 29, 2017
Unless Peter Chiarelli has a target who could come available early next month, I don’t understand this thinking. I can buy the idea of creating (trade or actual) value on RW so that Anton Slepyshev or another has value for asset exchange at the deadline but this blue line needs real help. Andrej Sekera isn’t guaranteed to be 100 percent when he returns and this seems a curious course of action. Maybe he sees Yohann Auvitu as a very real long-term option? I don’t claim to be an expert, but I can’t really see the thinking from here on the defense.
Jaromir Jagr's agent tells me he's currently talking with three #NHL teams.
— Andy Strickland (@andystrickland) September 29, 2017
Gerry Jagger is teasing hockey fans now. Sign dammit! I’ve long ago given up on the idea JJ would spend another winter in the frozen north, but there are 31 teams in the league. Pick one, for crying out loud!
If he gets sent down, please, please, please calm your tits. If you spend even a little time monitoring prospects, it becomes clear not all of these kids develop in a straight line. Jesse Puljujarvi may end up being the third best Finn on that electric World Junior line (Patrick Lane, Sebastian Aho) and still be a productive NHL player. The question that remains about him (goal-scoring) can be answered in Bakersfield as well as in Edmonton. 15 goals with the Oilers or 30 with Bakersfield, either way we’ll have our answer by next spring. Honestly, that’s the goal with this prospect. Let’s get him surrounded as a player.