I have followed waivers for decades, along with its long forgotten brother the Intra-League Draft. It’s a fabulous idea, giving someone caught in one organization a second life in another one.
I will tell you that the group on waivers this morning might be my all-time favourite, exceeded only by the time Sam Pollock lost a HHOF goalie in the Intra-League Draft.
The Athletic Edmonton features 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 Athletic, we are celebrating our 2-year anniversary this week. To mark the occasion, you can get 40% off subscriptions here.
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Q&A: Oscar Klefbom on being a mentor, his strategy for staying healthy and saying goodbye to a friend.
- New Daniel and Jon: Ten bold (and not so bold) predictions for the Oilers this season
- Lowetide: The Oilers are poised to break a 25-year-old franchise record this season
- Lowetide: Jesse Puljujarvi’s fast start leads the way for Oilers prospects as 2019-20 gets underway
- Lowetide: Joakim Nygard and Gaetan Haas bid for final Oilers spots during a strange game in Calgary
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: An educated guess at the Oilers’ opening-night roster
- Lowetide: Jay Woodcroft’s Bakersfield Condors might be bound for glory
- Jonathan Willis: Ethan Bear, Tomas Jurco outshine the competition in second-to-last Oilers preseason game
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Joakim Nygard managing his anger as he eyes spot on Oilers.
- Jonathan Willis: Assessing the Oilers’ roster as the final positional battles are sorted out
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers cut Evan Bouchard and Shane Starrett. Is Ethan Bear on the cusp of making the team?
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Connor McDavid’s nearing return and four other things we’ve learned from Oilers camp
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: How five months in Kelowna changed Leon Draisaitl’s hockey career
- Lowetide: Matt Benning may be vulnerable to a trade as Ken Holland works to tweak Oilers roster
- Corey Pronman: Oilers No. 9 farm system.
- Lowetide: Oilers top 20 prospects summer 2019.
It’s like Lowetide Christmas! I’m two weeks away from a turkey and today is a helluva appetizer. The Edmonton Oilers are extremely unlikely to choose anyone, but that doesn’t mean they should pass on the ample talent available at 10am Edmonton time.
RW Daniel Sprong, Anaheim Ducks. This would be my first choice. Sprong is 22, fast, and his per 82 rates in the NHL (17 goals, 157 shots) are solid to good. He would be the first Dutch (Netherlands) Oiler, although Jerry Holland played 22 games for the WHA Oilers (Holland is from Beaver Lodge).
RW Josh Ho Sang, NY Islanders. He is fast, smaller and talented. Ho Sang doesn’t shoot a lot (averages about a shot per game) and will be highly motivated. I don’t believe the Oilers will put in a claim.
LD Thomas Hickey, NY Islanders. Another player Edmonton won’t pick, I’ve listed Hickey because his fancy numbers are excellent. According to Puck IQ, he spent 33.5 percent of his overall time defending against elites in 2018-19. DFF: 49.9 DFF%RC: 7.5. He’s a good player.
LW Nikolay Goldobin, Vancouver Canucks. Skill winger averages 12.6 goals and 117 shots per 82 NHL games. Good skater, he’s 23. Puck IQ doesn’t love him against elites.
LW Sven Baertschi, Vancouver Canucks. During his NHL career, he has averaged 19 goals and 125 shots per 82 games. He’s expensive (Oilers would be more likely to trade for him than make a claim) and I think this was an unwise waiver exposure.
G Eric Comrie, Winnipeg Jets. He’s 24, has played in only five NHL games, but owns a .917 AHL save percentage from 2018-19. My guess is that the Oilers are at least somewhat comfortable with the goalie depth chart, but this would be an intriguing claim.
G Casey DeSmith, Pittsburgh Penguins. In the last two seasons with the Penguins, his save percentages were .921 and .916. He is a solid waiver option.
LOWETIDE AUGUST PROJECTED OPENING NIGHT ROSTER
- Leon Draisaitl—Connor McDavid—Zack Kassian
- James Neal—Ryan Nugent-Hopkins—Alex Chiasson
- Jujhar Khaira—Riley Sheahan—Josh Archibald
- Markus Granlund—Gaetan Haas—
- Joakim Nygard, Colby Cave
- Darnell Nurse—Adam Larsson
- Oscar Klefbom—Joel Persson
- Kris Russell—Matt Benning
- Mikko Koskinen (Mike Smith)
Edmonton will start the season with Persson, Sheahan and Kyle Brodziak on IR. Brandon Manning in place of Caleb Jones, Patrick Russell made the team over Sam Gagner. Bear and Jurco sitting in for Persson and Sheahan.
I projected this year’s Oilers to have a -11 goal differential (239-250) and 88 points in the standings (falling shy of the postseason by six or seven points). None of the tweaks by management and coaching staff changes my August trajectory.
Sam Gagner getting waived was a surprise and honestly I suspect he’ll be back sooner than later. Despite having some warts, Gagner is a talented offensive player. I expect an offensive dry spell of two or more games has the team assessing the decision.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM OCTOBER
- At home to: Vancouver, Los Angeles (Expected: 1-1-0)
- On the road to: NYI, NJD, NYR, CHI (Expected 2-1-1)
- At home to: Philadelphia, Detroit (Expected 1-1-0)
- On the road to: Winnipeg, Minnesota (Expected 1-1-0)
- At home to: Washington, Florida (Expected 1-1-0)
- On the road to: Detroit, Columbus (Expected 1-1-0)
- Overall expected result: 7-6-1, 15 points in 14 games
- Current results: 0-0-0, 0 points after no games
I have the Oilers getting off to a nice start before going 4-4-0 to complete the month. The early schedule has enough average or worse teams, making it possible for coach Dave Tippett to find a rhythm that works for his roster. Goals will be less of a problem if the team can cut down on the GA. Last year’s totals (229-271) had Edmonton scoring 15 fewer goals than average. The big number came in GA, where the Oilers were fully 27 goals below average. The per game totals were 2.79-3.30, one hopes Tippett can get them closer to 3.00 GA per game.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A busy morning, TSN1260 we begin at 10. Simon Boisvert, our prospect insider, gets things rolling at 10:20 and we’ll be joined by Andrew Peard (Oil Kings play-by-play) at 11 to talk about a tough weekend (shakes fist at Dylan Cozens). Waivers will be front and center, I do not expect the Oilers to make a claim. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!