The Oilers are ready for the long season in some areas (No. 1 line, No. 1 and No. 2 pairings, No. 1 goalie) and working toward solutions in others (No. 3 line, No. 4 line, No. 3 pairing) while only a few spots are lagging (No. 2 line, No. 2 goalie). That’s not bad for a building team, if Edmonton can stay healthy, perhaps the club will have a positive headline on this blog on the day of their first home game of the regular season.
The big story tomorrow morning will likely be Mikko Koskinen (“Koskinen solid” or “Koskinen can’t buy a save!”) and of course we’ll be dealing with firming up the roster and reaching final final. It has been an enjoyable camp, it’s time for moving on.
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- New Jonathan Willis: What does the preseason performance of Jesse Puljujarvi and Kailer Yamamoto mean for the Oilers?
- Lowetide: Impressive Cooper Marody preseason could lead to NHL recall.
- Lowetide: Oilers farm system beginning to resemble the real thing
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: A pair of Ryans: Oilers McLeod, Strome strengthen families’ bond as teammates.
- Lowetide: After more Oilers’ cuts, roster decisions coming into focus.
- Tyler Dellow: Is Connor McDavid good enough to make a power play with five left shots work?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Former Oiler Dave Manson on coaching, nicknames and his raspy voice.
- New Lowetide: RE 18-19: Cam Talbot is key to Oilers success in 2018-19
- Lowetide: RE 18-19: A case for the defence.
- Lowetide: RE 18-19: Ryan Strome and the Oilers long journey to competent third and fourth lines
- Lowetide: RE 18-19: Leon Draisaitl and the pursuit of a second outscoring line in ’18-19
- Lowetide: RE 18-19: Can the McDavid line lead the 2018-19 Oilers to the playoffs?
- New Jonathan Willis: Challenge accepted: Young RW’s showcase skill in Oilers preseason game.
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Assessing the aftermath from Darnell Nurse’s deal with the Oilers.
- New Jonathan Willis: Pleasant and unpleasant surprises from Tuesday’s training camp cuts.
- New Lowetide: Oilers sign Nurse to a two-year deal.
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Can Tobias Rieder be the perfect complement to Leon Draisaitl?
Some interesting names came down the pipe yesterday, I think this is the first day so far we can reasonably discuss Edmonton raising an eyebrow of interest. Here are my thoughts.
- LW Kerby Rychel, Calgary Flames. Rychel is a rugged power forward and absolutely fits the Chiarelli template. His AHL scoring spiked after a late-season trade to the Montreal organization (eight goals in 16 games) and he might be worth a discussion. Edmonton’s left wing depth chart (Nugent-Hopkins, Lucic, Khaira, Rieder, Caggiula) isn’t stellar but likely enough to fend off the temptation of grabbing this player.
- LC Chase De Leo, Anaheim Ducks. A smaller forward, lots of energy and he can be a pest. De Leo’s AHL offense remained stagnant (40 points a year) during his entry deal and he might not have enough to have an NHL career. I’ve always liked him.
- L Brandon Pirri, Vegas Golden Knights. Scoring forward had 29 goals in the AHL last year, got a call to Sin City and scored (of course he did) three goals in two games. Edmonton’s wingers could use another sniper, Pirri is worth a long look.
I’d bet Edmonton grabs none of these men, preferring instead to wait for the defenders to be demoted. Perhaps a Tim Heed or similar trade will find its way to the newswire in the next 24 hours.
…that face you make running to the @PFFCentre box office to buy tickets when you find out both @TippettOwen and @ryan10mcleod are back in the Steelheads lineup this Friday!! #TheBoysAreBack #FEARtheFISH pic.twitter.com/W1HBpUlJUS
— Mississauga Steelheads (@OHLSteelheads) September 27, 2018
NHL teams usually like to release this information first, but cat appears to be out of the bag. Expect a release announcing an entry contract for Ryan McLeod (who outlasted his brother by a day) and then an option back to the OHL. He earned it with a fine training camp. Roster would be at 28 (no more distant bells, only Andrej Sekera) and 27 able bodied men. As you know, Edmonton can take 24, meaning we’re just a few decisions (Aberg versus Chiasson versus Yamamoto; Garrison versus Bear versus Bouchard) away from fin. Suspect we have a full boat by Saturday, maybe a waiver claim as a kicker.
SEPTEMBER 2016 DISTANT BELLS
If you’re doing it right, distant bells shouldn’t make the roster. Ryan McLeod will get sent out today (with a contract, likely anyway) but I wanted to use the 2016 distant bell list to show how rare McLeod’s success is historically. At this point in the preseason (late September, as now) only six men (Dillon Simpson, Eetu Laurikainen, Tyler Benson and Andrew Ference, all injured, Joey Laleggia and Mitchell Moroz) were still in camp. None of the names here have yet emerged as NHL regulars, although Ethan Bear seems to be closer than anyone.
- Several players showed extremely well (Ty Rattie, Jesse Puljujarvi, Kailer Yamamoto, Ryan McLeod) and right wing looks better today than in August. I wrote several times during the summer that it is folly to expect all players to arrive at the same time, that remains true. It sure looks like that is happening in this case, but remember the rule (three candidates, one success) and proceed accordingly.
- Backup goalie is in the balance, Al Montoya’s first interview this preseason was a confident one. He hasn’t played much, but if the outplays Mikko Koskinen tonight anything could happen in my opinion. I wouldn’t put it past Peter Chiarelli to send Koskinen to Bakersfield, grab a goalie on waivers and dress Montoya as backup opening night against the Devils.
- After the established top five defensemen, two rookie righties (Evan Bouchard and Ethan Bear) have been the best of the rest. History tells us the Oilers will keep one (likely Bouchard) and switch them out if and when, but the other spot (or two) have to go somewhere. Expect a trade of waiver move.
- I’m excited for the top line, intrigued by the No. 3 line and wondering at this point if moving Jesse Puljujarvi to 29’s trio is the ‘midnight run’ move for Todd McLellan at the end of this year’s camp.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning, we’re live at the $2.4 Million Grand Prize Show-home located in prestigious Cameron Heights! 3735 Cameron Heights Place NW for the Lowdown! Drop by if you can, this house rocks! Scheduled to appear:
- Ian Herbers, head coach of the Alberta Golden Bears. High expectations are nothing for the Golden Bears, who embark on another season with a fantastic roster. Injuries a concern, we’ll chat about the year ahead.
- Frank Seravalli, TSN. NHL teams are making big decisions in the next few days, and injuries in Anaheim and Columbus have sudden impact.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!