If Elliotte Friedman is correct (always a good bet) then the Oilers will be activating Andrej Sekera in the coming days. A trip to Bakersfield for Condors conditioning will be followed by his return to the NHL for the first time since April 2, 2018. The activation of Sekera and Oscar Klefbom in the coming days will give Edmonton nine blue and that’s way too many. What’s more, Caleb Jones, who has been a better third pairing lefty than some of the roster defensemen, is in Bakersfield awaiting recall. How will Keith Gretzky solve the issue?
The Athletic Edmonton brought it yesterday, there’s a fabulous cluster of stories (some linked below, some on the site). Great perspective from a ridiculous group of writers and analysts. Proud to be part of the group. Outstanding offer is here.
- New Lowetide: Finding a path to the playoffs may involve reckless use of future assets by the Oilers
- New Jonathan Willis: An Oilers blueprint for the 2019 NHL free agency period
- Tyler Dellow: A deeper look at Connor McDavid and the Oilers’ 5-on-5 offensive changes under Ken Hitchcock
- Corey Pronman: 2019 NHL Draft midseason rankings
- Jonathan Willis: An Oilers blueprint for the 2019 NHL trade deadline.
- Lowetide: Edmonton’s 2019 entry draft plans may change with new GM but needs are clear
- Lowetide: Caleb Jones has impressive first showing in the NHL with Oilers.
- Tyler Dellow: Four questions that the Oilers should be asking candidates for the GM job
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: New Oilers caretaker Keith Gretzky caught between earning playoff berth and keeping future assets
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Goalless Tobias Rieder hopes to follow Zack Kassian and Milan Lucic and end his offensive funk.
- Lowetide: Complete Oilers top 20 prospects, Winter 2018
- Edmonton’s two best defensemen are Oscar Klefbom and Adam Larsson. The duo also sees the toughest competition.
- The two other defenders who see elites most often (last I checked) are Darnell Nurse and Kris Russell. That second pair is the weak spot for the Oilers.
- The best third pairing (and an inexpensive one) might be Kevin Gravel and Matt Benning. I’m not sure Ken Hitchcock is a massive Gravel fan.
- I don’t have any idea where Andrej Sekera, Alex Petrovic or Brandon Manning fit.
- It might come down to trading Matt Benning and sending Brendon Manning to Bakersfield.
Oilers Cam Talbot has moved up to No. 8, Jesse Puljujarvi moved down to No. 34. If Sekera is coming back and cap room is dear, I think we’ll see a veteran dealt at the deadline. I’ll guess Talbot or Zack Kassian, possibly Tobias Rieder but he isn’t having a great season. Ryan Rishaug mentioned Kris Russell yesterday on the Dustin Nielson Show (Dan Tencer guest host) and that’s an idea too. Oilers need room now and later.
Darren Dreger talked to Dusty this morning, saying “Talbot is going to fetch something that matters in return. But it’s not going to be a top-six forward. So what’s it likely going to be. Is it a young NHL roster player and a pick. Is it a better pick and a prospect. I don’t know what the Oilers are looking for Talbot. What I know is that the interest is developing around Cam Talbot.”
I keep looking for a Matt Benning trade, Chicago might be a destination. Curious the team would send the phenom down, in the games I’ve seen the young man has played well. Mark Letestu was recalled by Columbus the other day, that’s another player who might be on the move.
- Ken Hitchcock: “My whole focus right now is the Edmonton Oilers. I know I haven’t been here a long time but I’m feeling everybody’s angst over the last 12 or 13 years and that’s my sole focus.”
I’m breaking my 24-hour rule but the quote above is like the sixth best one in the article posted last night by Terry Jones. Please click and read, you’ll not regret it.
THE WHISKY SUMMIT
Lowdown with Lowetide has a special first hour today, beginning at 10 this morning TSN1260. I’ll be asking questions of Darcy McLeod, Bruce McCurdy, Tyler Hupka and Tyler Yaremchuk in a mid-season edition of the roundtable. We’ll drill down on a most unusual season.
Hour two will feature Frank Seravalli of TSN, we’ll chat about the new trade board and the impending exit of Cam Talbot. We’ll also have some NFL content, still tracking down a Rams or Patriots guest.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!