I’d Rather Be A Hammer (than a nail)

by Lowetide
Cooper Marody photo by Mark Williams

During the leadup to the 2020-21 season, as teams were waiving players in order to get down to 23 roster spots, I mentioned a player named Rudolfs Balcers: “He’s a talented offensive winger when healthy, and posted 16-20-36 in 33 AHL games one year ago. Good shot, responsible. This could be a steal.”

Balcers was claimed by the San Jose Sharks, played in 41 games during the 2020-21 season (8-9-17) and may have a career in front of him. He is 24. His possession and scoring rates were solid and his rel rates (all of this five on five) were top drawer. $1.55 million this and next season.

Waivers is a double-edged sword. If you make the right claim, it can benefit the roster for free. On the other hand, it’s possible to lose a player who is valued by the organization. Edmonton may be up against it this fall.


I’m proud to be writing for The Athletic, and pleased to be part of a great team with Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis. Here’s the latest!

There is no one among the ‘certain Oilers’ who is likely to be on waivers this fall. Several veterans could clear because of cap (Mikko Koskinen, Zack Kassian) but that’s extremely unlikely. Evan Bouchard is not waiver eligible, I also doubt that will come into play as the club tries to get down to the 23-man limit.

Ryan McLeod, Dmitri Samorukov, Filip Berglund and Stuart Skinner are all ineligible for waivers, but Kailer Yamamoto will need to be protected. That’s 18.

  • Stalock probably hits waivers unless there’s an injury to Smith or Koskinen.
  • Slater Koekkoek is likely the No. 7 defenseman, meaning William Lagesson will be eligible for waivers.
  • Ryan McLeod and Devin Shore should make the team, but are not locks to make it.
  • Tyler Benson, Cooper Marody, Brendan Perlini and Kyle Turris are vulnerable. There are two spots available, although it’s also possible the club goes with eight defensemen or a 22-man roster if cap compliance requires it.

Seth Griffith is waiver eligible, and has been claimed three times: October 2016 by Toronto from his drafting team (Boston); November 16 by the Florida Panthers and then he was re-claimed by the Maple Leafs January 2017.


I believe this is an under used area of procurement, Balzers represents one of nine waiver players currently on NHL rosters: Alex Stalock (Edmonton); Eric Comrie (Winnipeg reclaim); Mark Friedman (Pittsburgh); Drake Caggiula (Buffalo); Gustav Forsling (Florida); Noah Juulsen (Florida); Victor Mete (Ottawa); Anton Forsberg (Ottawa).

The Oilers don’t lose many prospects to waivers, but did lose Forsberg at a sensitive time one year ago. The last drafted Oilers I recall being lost to waivers were Rob Schremp (who went 17-30-47 in 89 games with the NY Islanders over two seasons) and Taylor Chorney.

I think Oilers fans have some reason to be concerned heading into the waiver period this year. Tyler Benson delivered solid offense during his time with the Bakersfield Condors, scouts would have seen him making those terrific passes and they can read the scoring race (he finished No. 7 in league scoring as a rookie, then No. 75 and finally No. 3 overall this season).

I think Benson could be claimed on waivers. Marody might be more vulnerable if a team sees him as a RH center who can play in the NHL (Condors moved him to RW this past season). Marody is a more dynamic offensive player than Benson and of course that has value.

Lagesson is an inexpensive defenseman and they always have value, as reflected in the percentage of waiver pickups on that list above (four of nine).

My guess? Injuries find a way for Edmonton to retain at least one of these names during the waiver period. I’ll have a look for potential Balcers this year in the coming weeks.


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Ancient Oilers Fan

So OP have someone pick up your mail and email you a copy of the code. You can access it from anywhere in the world


Yes, that is a good idea – if the code comes in time, before we hit customs in Greece (which doesn’t seem likely at this point).

Ancient Oilers Fan

Don’t you just need to include the number of the temporary id , like the drivers license number to get the show on the road?


Its expired and she said she needs to the new one in order to do it.


I’m glad they see Holloway as a center. I’ve been saying all along that’s where his future is


Maybe it is just me but I see the 3C position as even more important to team success than a 2W.

Harpers Hair

Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) Tweeted:
Terrible news from the Rangers: Rod Gilbert has passed away at the age of 80. I knew him a little and can say with 100 percent certainty he was a man full of life, passion, energy and heart. Here is a statement from James Dolan: https://t.co/2AT3vTOX52


Harpers Hair

Gilbert was an absolute class act…had his jersey as a kid.


R.I.P. He was a class act on the ice.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

When you’re a Nail, you are watching your back for an Eakins.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan (probably)


When you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

-Malatok Yakupov (probably)


I have long thought wavier wire were for the bottom tier of the NHL.

1.A NHL GM is giving up on a player
2.Bottom tier teams get the first option
3.If you have home grown talent why not use them?


If Stalock blows the doors off at camp, could/would a Koskinen, Yamamoto, Marody for DeBrusk(shudder) come to fruition? Probably be other pieces involved.
It’d give the Bruins a backup in case Swayman craps the bed, Marody would give them an extra centre and Yamo.

Just a spitball idea/spaghetti throwing at the wall but one never knows.


DeBrusk is due a qualifying offer of apx $4.5M next off-season and hasn’t come close to being worth that for a few seasons. Sure, maybe he pops back with 25G (and it allows one of Hyman or Nuge to play center or RW) but its probably not reasonable to expect that.

I’d perfer to keep, and continue to develop, Kailer Yamamoto.


I won’t argue with that, yet I’ll remain apprehensive and expect the unexpected. Been an odd off season, just have a gut feeling Yamamoto isn’t in the long term plans for Holland.


I support moving on from a player before they lose all value, or if they aren’t a part of the plan. With regards to Yamamoto, he has had one season well beyond expectations, and one season below expectations. I’d like to see what he can do on a version of the Oilers with a bit of depth.

Scungilli Slushy

I wonder as well. I do know at his size he has to be an above average scorer. If they are heading in a different direction they need to get value for the first they spent on him.

Hopefully Holland isn’t the type to not like a prospect, keep them and run them and their value down, and then give them away often to see them contribute elsewhere.


Even if Yamamoto never develops in to a legit top 6 RW, he has real value as a 3RW – a quick and tenacious forechecker, who causes turnovers, draws penalties, can chip in offensively, is reliable defensively and can kill penalties.

Kailer is not a top 6 or bust type player.

On that other hand, DeBrusk kind of is.


That’s fair but I wasn’t making any calls on DeBrusk. Prior the Oilers off-season acquisitions, I was all for acquiring DeBrusk but at an acquisition costs that acknowledges his last couple of seasons and his high qualifying offer.

I believe the risk of him not being worth a QO of over $4.5M and losing the player after one year is too much to pay Yamamoto.

The comment above was related to the fact that, to my knowledge, if DeBrusk isn’t scoring, he’s not doing anything of value to help the team – he’s a top 6 scorer or nothing. When Kailer isn’t producing, he is still creating turnovers, drawing penalties, killing penalties, being responsible and hard-working in all zones, etc.




Small wingers for your bottom two lines are not the typical way things are done. Checking and board work are the key to both and requisite for your checking lines!


I think Yamamoto would be an elite 3rd liner.

3rd line is not longer equatable to “checking line”.

I think Yammer does fine checking and board work, no?

Scungilli Slushy

Yes, it’s not impossible, somebody always sets a new precedent, but for me the smallest player in the league thriving as a bottom 6 player feels like it has very low odds.

Physicality has an important role in contact sports by definition.

So if you’re not scoring you do that. Also a smart team doesn’t want the talent getting hurt, so you don’t require them to hit for hitting sake.

Like even though Nurse will drop them do you really want him doing that now? He has established his reputation and ability to fight and getting hurt fighting is not smrt.


It is strange to me that the idea of acquiring DeBrusk keeps getting tabled. Last season he was in the Chiasson/Kahun tier of production. If the Oilers are walking away from those two, why give anything up to acquire similar production? (Assuming he underperforms the $4.5 and he is being considered a UFA next season after not being qualified)

If folks really want the player because of his last name, just wait a season so he can be signed as a UFA.


Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think DeBrusk would be a fit at his contract price or the potential acquisition cost. Just from scouring rumours and the fact that Yamamoto isn’t signed yet and Koskinen gets about the same amount of love as a bowl of week old bean dip. Looking at Holland’s additions, just curious as to what the future holds.


His name keeps popping up because Boston has been trying to move him & people on this board have been trying to move Kassian.

Two players with similar cap hits, different wings and different skill sets.

NYI looked to me like they out hit Boston enroute to beating the Bruins & that led to yet another falling out between DeBrusk & the team. Kassian brings toughness.

Two players failing to live up to their contracts or expectations often get moved for each other.

Of course it is a long shot.

Its the middle of summer.

It is long shot season.


I think Debrusk would be an excellent bounce back candidate with a new team and a new coach. But I’m not giving up Yama for him. No way. I too think Yama can carve out a role in the bottom six. He doesn’t play like a prototypical small forward.

stephen sheps

It’d give the Bruins a backup in case Swayman craps the bed

Linus Ullmark says hello. Boston’s not in the market for a goaler anymore, especially since Rask is sure to come back once healthy.

Last edited 1 month ago by stephen sheps

Forgot about Ullmark, thanks for pointing that out.
still isn’t going to surprise me if Yamamoto and Koskinen wind up in the East by the end of October.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

Camp means almost nothing. This has been demonstrated repeatedly. Stalock can blow the doors off while Koski just blows and Koski will still be the 1B goalie as long as the Oil have him under contract. We can all hope for a Koski trade, but Stalock’s performance in camp is not going to move the needle.

Last edited 1 month ago by Decidedly Skeptical Fan

Fair enough.


I believe that camp performance means very little with respect to the NHL readiness of young prospects – we’ve seen great camp performances from youngsters countless times when they weren’t NHL ready – Puljujarvi, Yamamoto, Magus PRV, Ryan McLeod, Philip Broberg, etc.

With that said, Stalock isn’t a kid – he’s a proven NHL tender with a track record – his last NHL season was better than Mikko’s past season. There should 100% be a real battle there, in my opinion.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

Should be and will be are two different things. Especially when your head coach has a stubborn streak a mile wide.


I’m pretty sure all NHL coaches have a stubborn streak, no?

In any event, given last season, and them Holland not hiding the fact he was trying to trade Mikko all last season, I’m not sure I see evidence that Tip will be defaulting to Mikko if another option is presenting itself to be better.


I totally disagree with this.

What have Holland or Tippett done to show any loyalty to Koskinen? Holland didn’t sign him to that contract, and has tried to trade/replace him 2 summers in a row (even when he was coming off a .917 SV%).

Koskinen and Stalock are both under contract with the team next season. IMO Stalock could 100% win the #2 job if he outplays Koskinen in camp.


Agreed on Stalock’s ability to win the 2G.

As intriguing as who will win 2G is what they do with 3G given both Konovalov and Skinner needing the starts in the Bake (with Rodrigue in Wichita).


Yeah, given how Smith’s groin almost sewered last season I would think that having two proven backups would be a priority for Holland – if only so that he doesn’t have to go the trade route looking totally desperate.

The safest path to that is to waive Koskinen and keep Stalock on the roster so I would say it is on Koskinen to prove he is the superior option rather than the other way around.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

Tip had ample opportunity to play Stalock last year when a win or loss would really make no difference in our playoff chances either way. Tip deferred. Stalock got no games. That is a tell.


From their verbal, that was a decision made among the two tenders, the goaltending coach and Tip – they decided to keep their tenders playing in their rhythm heading in to the post-season.

Tip also didn’t find a way to get Bouchard in games down the stretch and I don’t think that’s any sort of tell, right?


Koskinen was coming off a good season the previous year, had a rough start with zero rest, then had been consistently solid after Smith returned until that last awful start he had. There’d be next to no questioning of not playing Stalock if not for that last start by Koskinen IMO.

Anyway, we can agree to disagree, but I do disagree.


If you let in 4 goals on the first 4 shots you should relegated to the Siberian Outdoor League for the rest of your natural life.


So you’re saying you think Stalock has a chance? 🙂


Patrick Roy let in 9 goals in a home game.

One game sample sets should be disregarded.


Why didn’t he play Bouchard are Stalock? Are these so called reporters on the take are maybe they’re scared of Holland?


It was Tippett that chose not to play them and he was asked about it pretty much nightly, on both players.


DeBrusk is just this year’s Athanasiou. Scored a bunch of goals a few years ago, can’t defend worth a damn and has a QO that nobody wants to sign.

No thanks!


Leavins with a little snippet on Holloway in his Nine Things this morning.

He thinks the Oilers see him as a centre & as such will get time in Bakersfield to start the season.



Makes a lot of sense as a succession plan IMO.


You can always move a centre to wing later on but much tougher to go the other way.


Yes, my comment was initially based more on where the roster will have more need down the line (Nuge at 3C notwithstanding). But fully developing the player in all his potential roles is a great reason for patience here too. Agreed that putting him on wing now closes avenue vs. keeping him at C.


Reja won’t like this because it will delay his arrival but I think it is the better path for both Holloway & the team.


Haha, no he won’t be happy. Agree it’s the better plan though.


I like keeping Holloway as a Center. In the event that McDavid and/or Draisaitl move on (not suggesting that is likely), it is a good plan to have Center depth ready to move in. Nuge is here forever, Bourgault, Holloway, and McLeod is the makings of solid Center depth.


I think it’s better regardless of what happens going forward. The option of Holloway as 3C is a good one (well before any of the big deals expire), and as defmn said it doesn’t take away the possibility of him playing on the wing if he’s needed more there eventually.


I think Holloway at 3C is largely contingent on the development of McLeod and his ability to develop in to a real NHL 3C in the near term. I 100% think he has the ability, skill-set, size, etc. to be an elite 3C but am not 100% sure he gets there. I think he will but its not a lock.

McLeod at 3C opens up the ability to play Holloway in the wing on the top 6 (of course, assuming he progresses as anticipated).

Maybe they do see Holloway as a center though: Imagine going:


With Nuge as the injury cover – my goodness.


Yes, agree McLeod is key for where Holloway eventually plays.

I can see your McDavid/Drai/Holloway/McLeod depth chart as a possibility, as well obviously as Holloway on the wing.

Pretty good depth on those wings too with Nuge, Hyman, Foegele, Puljujarvi and Yamamoto as obvious top 9 wingers.

Holloway should be able to fill either role in the next year or so, and options are a good thing.


I think Bourgault is more likely to be a winger when he gets to the NHL level (assuming he gets there) – when I heard him speak on the radio in the week after the draft, he said he could play anywhere but it sounded like he was most comfortable on the flank (and that is where he played this past season I believe).


Hmm… didn’t know that. It will be interesting to see where he is slotted moving forward. All the more reason for Holloway to play C.


Fair enough – miles to go until Bourgault is even in the conversation for an NHL job I would think – last year of OHL plus a year in the AHL at least (presumably).

Who knows what we are getting from the likes of Lavoie, Savoie, Tulio – heck even Maksimov and some others. Maybe very little. Maybe alot.

Victoria Oil

I’m in Quebec now across the St. Lawrence from Bourgault’s home town. I’ll ask him about his preference between center and wing when I see him. 😀


Messier never started as a Centre and a lot of other Greats as well. You try Holloway in the top 6 as a winger after he piles up points from digging in the corners for Leon and company you rethink the Centre position. Dylan doesn’t have stone hands like Kahun and Yamo and a few others I won’t mention. The one award the Oilers have never won will be in jeopardy once Hollaway steps on the ice. The Calder Trophy is coming home after Wayne got burned for it.


Exceptions are always available but I think the smart play is to go with the general rule.

If Holloway is as good as you think he is he will force his way on to the team by Christmas no matter where they start him.

Last edited 1 month ago by defmn

You play Hollaway in the top 6 and watch him kill it. I miss Ryan Smyth or Craig Simpson what about Jason Arnott. We need some fresh blood that carries their lunch pails to work Holloway, Hyman and Foegele fit the description. Thank the heavens the Euro Hobbit experiment is gone the way of the Swarm never to be seen again.


I’ll wait until TC to get too worked up about whether or not Holloway is ready or not.

If he does make the team I think you might have to start spelling his name properly though. 😉


A little Birdie has been chirping that Calgary is going all in on Eichel.


I hope they do. I don’t see CGY really challenging EDM (whatever they pay sets them back a bit I think), and it’ll be cool to see that talent in the division.

If they do challenge? Right on. BoA.


You talk to birdies? 😉


All the time especially on the golf course, I’ve also eaten Crow on more than one occasion


Hehe. Did your birdie have any details about what would be going back to Buffalo?

Harpers Hair

Curious why you think Eichel would be a bad fit in Calgary.

Seems to me, if healthy, he would be an ideal fit in that lineup.


Because they are closer to Buffalo then being a contender 🤷‍♂️

Harpers Hair

Based on what?


Based on missing the playoffs and not really improving – for sure not in any material way – adding a middle six forward and middle d-man and losing their captain and somewhat recent Norris trophy winner.

If one was going to argue for the flames being a contender, or taking material steps in that regard this off-season, well, that would be overtly silly.


Based on the fact that they were not a playoff team and don’t have a single top 20 let alone a top 40 prospect.

Harpers Hair

15 teams miss the playoffs every season..that’s hardly a determining factor.


ha!! You’re a joke


Wow, you are really struggling to be a homer for the Flames. That’s how bad it is in Calgary right now.

I don’t know why you bother.

Harpers Hair


Calgary has 2 top 50 ranked skater prospects…same as the Oilers as well as 1 of the top 10 ranked goalie prospects.



No they have two 4th tier 40-50th ranked prospects
the Oilers have 2 3rd tier prospects.
Once again
Go fish


I don’t think the flames have enough higher end offensive pieces on the team or in their prospect pool to give up the assets that will be required for the trade.

I know I read on here a few days ago a post about their great prospect pool but that wasn’t actually reality.


If you don’t have an A level prospect you are not getting Eichel


An this is not GM mode hockey game where you can pile on a bunch of Valimakis


I don’t remember saying he would be a bad fit. All I remember saying is that I didn’t believe Calgary was in the conversation because I think there are teams with a better fit for what Buffalo wants.

Specifically I don’t see why Buffalo would want Monahan whom you were touting as one of the major pieces going back.


It was mentioned yesterday but bears repeating, Monahan has a modified NTC. I can’t imagine why anyone would accept going to Buffalo right now. I also don’t think Monahan is what Buffalo would be looking for either. They’re probably looking at Tkachuk, Dube, Andersson, Valimaki…


I’d be said if Monohan was moved – it would be near as much fun to speculate on what cocktail of surgeries he’ll be having in the off-season if he’s in the east.

One would think they are looking at Tkachuk but, then again, he is due a $9M qualifying offer this coming season and has arb rights and 1 year from UFA status. He can essentially get a one year $9M deal that walks him to UFA.

His contract should cut his value in half.

Harpers Hair

At some point, Buffalo is going to have to take the best deal they can get to end the drama.

They’re currently sitting on $27 million in cap space so absorbing a contract for a couple of years is the least of their worries.

As far as I can tell, only Calgary and NYR are still in play so their options appear to be very limited.

Perhaps a wild card team will appear but I honestly can think of one.



Harpers Hair

Perhaps…but I think they’re far enough away from contention that they likely value their own prospects and draft picks pretty high.


I don’t agree with this. Buffalo doesn’t have to do anything if they don’t want to.

They can aim for another top pick next season and let Eichel watch his career slip away.

Buffalo has been bad for so long who would notice?


I guess that is true but I’m not sure how much more damaged the Buffalo franchise can get.

What I was trying to get at – and probably didn’t word it very well – is that I don’t think Buffalo feels that they have to accept a trade offer they don’t like just because Eichel is unhappy. If they were going to do that I suspect he would have been shipped out by now.

It isn’t like Buffalo thinks they are going to win anything this season.

Last edited 1 month ago by defmn
Harpers Hair

The problem as I see it is that Eichel becomes a giant elephant in the room and both he and his agent once again expressed their frustration over the weekend.

Thats a pretty huge distraction for a young GM trying to rebuild a team.

No, they don’t have to accommodate his wishes but there is very little upside in hanging on to him. The issue will fester the longer it goes on.

Reminds me of Pronger wanting out of Edmonton.

At some point you have to cut your losses.


Agreed that it reminds of Pronger but in that case don’t you think Edmonton moved too quickly?

Buffalo has a rookie GM who probably doesn’t have full control of the situation given all the rumours concerning owner interference and how important it is for the team to get it right.

LT pointed out that teams get a stink on themselves if they mistreat players and I think that is correct but I’m not convinced that Buffalo cares as much with EIchel as with other players they moved this summer.

I think the relationship has been strained for a long time in that town.

Harpers Hair

Not sure you can say it was too quickly in the Pronger case although the return was dreadful.

Pronger wanted out before Christmas that year when Lauren departed for STL after only a couple of months in Edmonton.

(I, at the time, lived a few doors down from the Pronger household at it was dark from November onward).

Lowe knew he was leaving and had 6 months to swing a deal but didn’t deliver the goods.

In Eichel’s case…I can’t see any upside in prolonging things at all..it’s only going to get worse until he’s moved.


Worse for Eichel than for Buffalo though, Buffalo is in no hurry because they aren’t going to win anything anyway.


I don’t see any relation to Pronger.

Pronger was traded like two weeks after the SCF ended and the Oilers weren’t refusing to allow the player to have a surgery that he wants – essentially holding his health and career hostage. Not to mention, he was leaving a team that almost won the Stanley Cup, not a tire fire org.

Last edited 1 month ago by OriginalPouzar

I agree that Buffalo doesn’t need to accept any trade but, at the same time, at some point, they need to let him have the surgery he wants if they are going to maintain contractual control, no?


Also, I wonder if the Oiler fan base/blogger community, as a whole, has expectations of Zack Hyman that are a bit unrealistic.

Listening to the various podcasts, most recently, The Other Connor Pod (with Connor Halley and Iwanyk as guest) and they are talking like its jut a no-brainer that Hyman is McDavid’s winger, and they signed him to be the winger McDavid has been waiting for.

Also, I hear he is 100% a lock for PP1 and the net front presence.

I get it and, 100%, I agree that Hyman should be given the first reps on McDavid’s left wing – he’s played well with start players and has a skill set that seems likely to mesh with McDavid.

At the same time, to me, the offensive skillset of Hyman is being a little over-rated. I hear predictions of 70 points over 30/30. This is a player that has a career high of 21 goals and 41 points and is almost 30. Don’t get me wrong, he has offensive skills and has produced at higher rates the last few years but, again, he’s never produced more is probably not likely to play 82 games.

With respect to the PP, personally, I think Jesse should be the first option on PP1 to start. Hyman played some PP in Toronto but he wasn’t usually on the first until and wasn’t a prime net front guy. I think Jesse has the better skill set for that role.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to have Hyman and I like the fact that he should be able to play with McDavid/Drai or help drive results on a secondary line.

I just feel expectations seem to be a bit high, like we’ve signed a legit 1st line winger who has P/G pedigree.


He’s scored at a 30-30-60 pace over the last 2 seasons, so that’s where the expectations come from. He really should get more PP time with the Oilers vs Leafs too, which should give him a scoring bump (just 1:18 per game over the past 2 years).

The injuries are a real concern which could stop him posting those totals, but those scoring rate projections are completely reasonable IMO.


Yes, he has scored at those rates for a couple of seasons and I acknowledged that in my post.

Of course, scoring at those rates for a partial season (whether games are missed due to Covid and/or injury) is not doing it through 82.

Covid cut both those seasons short but he also missed material time with knee injuries, in each.

He likely gets some additional PP time, you are right – frankly though, I think Jesse would be better in the Neal/Chiasson role and think he’s earned the first shot – I do think it will by Hyman though.

I don’t see Hyman playing 82 games and I don’t see him going for 30/30 (partially because of that).


Well, you acknowledged better than 21G/41Pts, not that he had scored at the rates people are projecting.

And given the additional PP time (I agree he’ll likely be the primary option, and feel like he should be) it’s reasonable to expect a bit better than 30-30-60 scoring rates.

Time missed due to injury is a real concern, no question. He’s missed 11, 19 and 13 games the past 3 seasons with injury, following 2 seasons playing 82 games.

Maybe expectations should be re-set to 50-60 points in 70 games from 60-70 in 80 games? I personally wouldn’t be surprised to see him score 30-30-60 even in 70 games.


After a few years of having Chiasson and Letestu as our RH shooter on the powerplay, surely he is better than them.


Letestu was = good on the PP – the one year he was very good.

Chiasson was never the shooter on the PP – he was a net front presence and puck retrieval guy and, frankly, he was very good at it and the PP performed better when he was on it.

I can’t say that Hyman will be as good as Chiasson as the 5th on the Oilers PP.


Further to OP’s point, here is a brief table for 2 seasons of the Power Play on-ice goals per sixty of the 5 forwards on the number:

Chaisson – 12.96
McDavid – 12.41
Nuge -12.07
Neal – 12.03
Draisaitl – 12.03fi
Neal – 11.65

Chaisson and Neal, both played their net front role brilliantly over those to seasons on what was a historically good power play. I said this before on here, both those guys knew their job was to retrieve pucks and create chaos in front of the net and let the super skilled guys do what they do best. They both did it differently but very effectively. Jesse was starting to get the hang of that role, when Neal was hurt, and may fit there. Maybe Hyman can do that next season, but a lot of his PP time was with the second unit in Toronto, who went with 5 high end skill guys most of the time for their number one unit, with noone designated to do the dirty work. Maybe that is why the OIlers PP was so much better than Toronto’s.


Marody needs to sign a contract at some point. He’s been qualified but his QO would have expired by now (normal expiry date is July 15).

He could have signed it for apx $850K but, like Benson, may think his NHL chances are higher if he signs for league min – at this point, league min may be the only offer of the table from the org.

Also, I wonder if Marody is digging in for a one-way (only matters to Katz) – that would hurt his chances of getting claimed by another team but at least he’d be getting paid. Maybe he’s digging in for a higher guaranteed min in the AHL.


As some here had foreseen, the cap is squeezing out the tweeners and more than tweens, such as Chaison. NHL rosters have a shrinking middle class


I agree that Koekkoek is likey the 7D but, at the same time, to start the 2021 season, Koekkoek was 3LD and Russell was healthy scratched and watching.


Yes but one of those two in 2021 season actually performed admirably as a second pair left defender and the other not so much: 5 on 5: Russell – 16 min per game played, 1.83 gf/gp 1.83 ga/gp 50% on ice goal share – Koekkoek – 11 min per game played, 1.22 gf/gp 3.66 ga/gp 25% on ice goal share. Russell – 34 % time on ice against elites resulted in 8GF/5GA for a 62% goal share. Koekkoek had 42% of his time against elites, but went 0-4.

Koekkoek was hurt, so didn’t get much opportunity to bounce back after his bad start. He is 27, played well in 2019/20 for the Blackhawks and Russell is now 34, but if both end camp fully healthy, I lean towards Russell getting the game 1 nod, particularly because he is the better penalty killer and can play right D on the PK if they don’t get Bouchard up to speed for that role.


Numbers be damned, I think Koekkoek will be the opening night 3LD too.


While I do think its “likley” that Koskinen is simply 2G to start the season but, for me, its not “certain” or, at least, it shouldn’t be certain.

Taking away the possibility of 3 goalies on the roster (either going with 13F or the league permitting/mandating 3 goalies due to Covid, which is still an issue, without cap/roster implications), I would think that Stalock should be given every opportunity to compete with Mikko.

I mean, his 2019/20 season was better than Mikko’s 2021 season and, frankly (a) his game, as a plus puck-handler, is better suited as Smith’s partner and (b) it saves a few hundred grand on the cap vis-a-vis MIkko.

Not to mention, there is zero chance Mikko is claimed on waivers and a real chance Stalock would be claimed.

To me, Mikko is likely there but not certain.


Off topic and I apologize but has anyone travelled internationally in the last little while? We are going to Greece and Turkey in early Sept – does anyone know what European countries are accepting as “proof of vaccination”? All I’ve got is two pieces of paper that I could probably make at home.


I don’t plan to travel for some time, hoping to go to China for the 2023 Chinese New Year, so I have no idea, however this fellow is super-passionate about travel (he Is the Lowetide of travel) and you’ll find all your answers here:


I also think he has sites for YEG and other Canadian cities.


Thanks – I’ll check it out in more detail but, on first look, that site looks pretty chaotic.


After quickly looking through it would be best to sign up to his FB group and you can ask specific questions and receive detailed answers from knowledgeable and passionate experienced travellers.


I think travelling to Greece/Turkey in Sept may be risky. I have a trip booked to Hawaii in late November and thinking 50/50 we may end up cancelling. No specifics but some countries are not accepting those with mixed vaccines and others are not accepting the CoVax Astrazaneca made in India. We are also planning a Europe trip for the spring but are in wait and see mode. Wave #4 and the Delta variant may cause a lot of changes to travel restrictions. Hope it goes well for you though!


Yes, its a bit risky but we 100% aren’t cancelling – we are willing to take the risks and have done enough research to mitigate.

Both Greece and Turkey are 100% fine with both AZ and there is nothing to indicate mixing is any issue – I have read their government entry protocols. I am fully comfortable we are fine in that regard, its just a matter of “proof”.

Also, both those countries accept a negative PCR test within 72 hours and we are going to get that two days before we get on the plane for Greece and, from my research, will be able to get a test on Naxos in anticipation of entry in to Turkey.

Yes, of course, there are risk travelling at this point but we are 100% in and committed and I’m excited as hell (and nervous).


Have yet to travel. Based on Radio One chatter and a little Internet’ing, various places are asking for:

A. Proof of full vaccination. Canada has a ‘national’ passport in the works. In the absence of such I would go with whatever the province can provide + duplicate documentation in the form of entries in a vaccination passport of the kind already supplied for ‘regular’ travel vaccines (e.g. yellow fever).

B. Proof of a negative Covid test administered no more than 72 hours before arrival at your final destination. So there’s an expense and a scheduling complication.


Greece and Turkey are both one of the above – either proof of full vaccination or a negative test within 72 hours (or an antigen test within 48). Either/or works.

We have “proof of vaccination” but its really just pieces of paper that can be made at home. We will be contacting AHS on Monday to see if there is anything more official looking that we can get.

We will also be getting the PCR test a few days before we go.

We should be doubly valid but, until I get past customs, I’ll have some nerves.


I know SHL and Allsvenskan teams have had issues getting their NA players across borders in europe because, quoting an SHL coach here, “The NA vaccination passes looks like something my daughter would make in elementary school” have no clue how they look like myself so I don’t know if that’s a fair quote but considering teams have had trouble with their NA guys I think it’s wise to make sure you have a negative pcr.
Don’t think Turkey will be much of a problem though, from what I’ve heard they want their tourists so won’t hassle too much despite quite a high number of new cases atm.
Greece might be a different story. Rates are heading upwards there, think they’re near the top in europe in new cases, so you never know when they decide to tighten restrictions, they already did some two weeks ago. A lot changes from week to week so be prepared for complications and things not running smoothly.


Thanks for the info and, yes, I can confirm on what my “proof” currently looks like.

My second shot was through Alberta Health Services at a giant pop-pup clinic and i literally have a piece of paper printed off, filled out in pen and that’s it. My first shot was at a pharmacy and its the same piece of paper but at least it has a pharmacy label on it.

Greece is the same as Turkey – they want/need the tourists so I am hopeful they will have no issue with it.

Yes, we are getting the PCR test before we do – its just trying to time it right as it needs to be within 72 hours but the results aren’t guaranteed for 48 hours. With the travel time plus losing 9 hours, I need to ensure I do it early enough to get the results in time but not so early that i miss the 72 hours.

Getting in to Turkey won’t be an issue – we have a week on Naxos in Greece and the internet tells me there are a few places to get a test while so that logistic, pre-turkey, should be easy.


Do you have your MyAlbertaID online or whatever its called? Supposedly, one has access to your health records there which might provide something better.

Or your family doctor would have access to these records.

Ancient Oilers Fan

Yes there is the online health record. Go to AHS and follow the links and instructions. Don’t wait till the last minute because they send you an access code in the mail which they say can take up to 10 days


Yup – my access code will be here this week (presumably) but not for the wife……


That is in progress – one you sign up, they mail you an activation code which will come within 10 days – my code should come soon.

Unfortunately, its not going to work for my wife as her Alberta ID was expired and, when she went to renew it, it will take 2 weeks (its not a drivers’ license, she doesn’t have one. So, once she gets the ID, it’ll take another 10 days to get the activation code – we’ll be gone.

I don’t have a family doctor – well, maybe that’s not quite true – I get a yearly medical at a private clinic through my firm – would they have the vaccination records? My wife has a doctor, maybe that will work – thanks.


Waivers can be a valuable tool unless you’re Ken Holland and you lose your original 3rd string goalie and decide not to claim Nedeljkovic for reasons.


Ned sure is an odd case though. The rest of the league passed on him initially, then the Canes traded their ROY finalist for a 3rd round pick.

Something doesn’t add up with this players valuation by GMs aside from Holland.


Agree a bit with both sides of this take, but just because 29 other GMs miss the boat, doesn’t mean we should be happy about our GM doing the same.


Yeah that’s definitely fair.


What really stuck I my craw at the time, aside from leaving a gaping hole in net, was Ned was known as one of the best goalies outside the NHL. Add in his low AAV, his appropriate age relative to the team’s core, and upcoming RFA status and the mind boggles.

Claiming him was a smart bet with low risk and plenty of upside.


Sure, but no one did.

Probably means there were other factors that we are not aware of.

I not sure you should critique the moves no one did.

The ones someone else did, that could have been done by us but weren’t, sure fill your boots.


Not many teams were in the Goaltending Pickle the Oilers were at the time….


Claiming him was a smart bet with low risk and plenty of upside.

It’s difficult to argue that’s not true.

Still, something is off with his valuation around the league if ‘one of the best goalies outside the NHL’ goes unclaimed on waiver. THEN proves himself with a Calder finalist season and is promptly traded for a mid-round pick.

I have a tough time faulting Holland too much on this one given how low other GMs seem to be rating Ned, even after he had a great NHL run.

Also what Genjutsu said.


There’s always going to be the inside info we can’t know from the outside looking in, but I was stunned we didn’t claim him at the time and will likely hold that position until convinced otherwise.

Especially when Kenny himself said that he talked to Waddell who didn’t want to lose Ned so that’s why he claimed Forsberg. Kenny doing him a solid like that was perplexing considering the pickle the team was in.

Elgin R

Holland does things to be liked by other GMs. Adding in the Keith trade and the comments about Bowman to go with the actions with Waddell shows a pattern of not going for the jugular. I don’t care, and I assume Katz doesn’t, if Holland is ‘one of the good guys’, I just want Stanley.


Yes, that’s all fair.


Perhaps it’s case of Jim Carey and Blaine Lacher? Wait and see what happens for the Red Wings in the next few seasons.


I think a lot of the reason for some two year contracts is to make them less likely to get picked up on waivers. Maybe it will lead to some surprise moves att the bottom of the roster.

Last edited 1 month ago by Revolved

The informal poll yesterday established pretty strong support for the expected top three lines. The only surprises were relatively low support for Yamamoto on the second line and Kassian in general.

To continue the exercise, I would be interested in who would get the group’s support as forwards 11-14, as well as the extra D and G. If you would like to play, just put a + on the guys you would keep on the roster. If you would have no issue losing them to waivers, give the man a -.


Ryan McLeod


Kyle Turris


Devin Shore


Tyler Benson


Brendan Perlini


Cooper Marody


Slater Koekkoek


William Lagesson


Alex Stalock


Mikko Koskinen


It’ll be interesting to revisit these (and the ones from yesterday). It would be cool to re-post the results after the season.

I’m pretty surprised at Koekkoek v. Lagesson and Koskinen v. Stalock (as I was about Yamamoto yesterday).


I think everyone is going to be eating crow regarding Koskinen. Except me.

John Chambers

Sending down Turris and keeping Benson on the roster to start the season just based on salary alone seems like a no-brainer.
According to Leaving there’s some smoke around Marody not signing. Pity because he’s a Balcers who could make sense as a top-6 RW replacement.
If Marody isn’t in the plans I could see Chiasson coming back on a cheap contact.


Agree on Turris. He may be better than last year but his career is close to over. Would much rather give an opportunity to Benson if the choice is between the two of them. Turris was bought out for a reason!



 Reply to John Chambers

 August 22, 2021 8:55 am

Agree on Turris. He may be better than last year but his career is close to over. Would much rather give an opportunity to Benson if the choice is between the two of them. Turris was bought out for a reason!

Turris just turned 32 a week ago – yes, he is on the back side of his career and clearly not the player he was in his mid-20s but a material bounce back from last year isn’t out of the question.

I don’t know what type of effects his bout with Covid had on his ability to get ready for the season – He very well could have been in less than NHL game shape when the season started and its tough to catch up mid-season

Of course, he could be done – we’ll know in 6-7 weeks.

Yes, he was bought out because of his $6M cap hit. He produced at a 0.5 P/G in the year he was bought out – he was a legit bottom 6 center just way overpaid.

Not all buyouts mean the player is done – there are many serviceable players bought out due to contract – see Minnesota.


According to Leaving there’s some smoke around Marody not signing.

It would be weird for him to have trouble coming to a deal after not filing for arbitration.


Keeping Benson and sending down Turris is easily the right move, even if the media narrative right now is that Turris is training like a demon in Edmonton and in the best shape of his life. As for Marody, I have time for him, but I think if he’s playing here ideally you’re playing him with skill. I keep Marody and Benson over Shore any day of the week and twice on Sundays as well. Doubt the coach and management see it that way but hope I’m pleasantly surprised.

Bank Shot

Why are Marody and Benson better than Shore?

Shore was at 21 where those two are sitting today except they are much older. Shore was an NHL regular at 22….

Both of those guys would be lucky to have a career like Shore’s at this point.


Shore has been a black hole possession wise. It’s true we’re not certain what we have in the other two at the NHL level, but I think it’s also true that if Shore is in the lineup that is a position we could and should improve.

Scungilli Slushy

I think if Marody was strong on faceoffs he would have a far better chance. He’s not cracking the Oilers top 6, but would have a shot at 3-4 C if that was the case.

I have never read that he is good at faceoffs. Maybe he is, but in this regime it seems being weak at them means you are playing wing. Marody has the skill, but the size and boots means a steep hill for him I think at RW on the Oilers. There are a few teams that could use the skill and be better despite the weaknesses in his game. I hope they trade him and get a bullet for the scouts.

So I see Turris as having a spot to lose. He is a vet and has as much skill as Benson or Marody, is a RC that was brought in to help with RS faceoffs that the Oilers really need help with.

Tipp seems to give established players a shot, I suppose they have earned that, most players have up and down seasons and are at the mercy of covid, coaches and usage. It’s possible he has a decent bottom 6 season in him.

To me it would be ideal to have Ryan and Turris on the roster in case one gets hurt. Turris could play with McLeod, wing or C depending on how McLeod comes along, possibly switching up with him.

Of course Turris has to win the spot. We will see what happens.

For me
Hyman CMD Yama
Foegele Ryan Kassian
Archie McLeod Turris Or McLeod Turris Archie
Benson Shore

Switching Yama and JP is to balance size. Ryan and Foegele have been very good together on the Canes. Turris rebounding gives the team a situation like Spezza, a former top 6 player that if playing well enough ‘should’ bring the heat on bottom 6ers and 3rd pair D.

I see Benson Shore Turris as vulnerable in season to Holloway. Or if there is an injury and he’s called up there is a non zero chance he is good enough that he’s not coming out, and somebody goes else goes down.

Elgin R

Turris was the new Belanger triangle for the Oilers last year. Send him to Robidas Island or the ECHL, just get this guy as far away from the Oilers NHL team as possible.

Marody may or may not be an NHL player, but we know that Turris is definitely not. Go with the maybe.

Last edited 1 month ago by Elgin R
Scungilli Slushy

He could be done for sure. Though Belanger was never the player Turris was.


I don’t agree that we know that on Turris.

We do know that he had a terrible season last season and was not an NHL player last season.

We also know that the season before he scored at 0.5 P/G and was a legit NHL player (bought out due to cap/contract reasons).

We also know that he had Covid in the off-season.

We don’t know how that Covid affected his ability to get ready for the season and what role it played in his 2021 performance.

We will know much more in about 7 weeks on Turris.

cowboy bill

Interesting how you have Yamo with McDavid & Hyman . I’m wondering if actually they are regretting protecting him in the expansion draft and leaving Larsson unprotected . Now they aren’t in any kind of hurry to sign him . Go figure .


Just business with Yamo imo. They didn’t protect Larsson because he was UFA and he wouldn’t sign. Protecting him just delayed him leaving by days.

They made the right decision.

cowboy bill

Maybe ? Larsson might have felt wanted and signed in Edmonton . And the roster for better , or worse , would have looked completely different .


We’re both speculating so I am not trying to claim that I am right but he signed for the same amount he was offered in Edmonton and Holland probably would have matched whatever Seattle offered if given the chance.

I think it was personal for Larsson. He wanted a change and that was his right.


Holland had been trying to sign Larsson since January and had made multiple offers to him over the course of 6 months – he had offers on the table for Larsson (I believe one that matched what he signed for in Seattle and another with a 5 year term).

If Larsson wanted to sign in Edmonton for a reasonable contract (high end of reasonable) he would have.


100% agreed!


cowboy bill

 Reply to Scungilli Slushy

 August 22, 2021 11:00 am

Interesting how you have Yamo with McDavid & Hyman . I’m wondering if actually they are regretting protecting him in the expansion draft and leaving Larsson unprotected . Now they aren’t in any kind of hurry to sign him . Go figure .

I can’t imagine they would be regretting that and I think they would 100% protect Yamamoto again – that’s a no-brainer. Archibald and Kassian would be unprotected before Yamamoto. Not being signed now doesn’t mean the org doesn’t value the player quite a bit – its part of the business. Lots of RFAs still unsigned – Dube is unsigned in Calgary and Valimaki just signed this weekend, for example.

Protecting Larsson would likely have not changed anything. Larsson had made up his decision to move on it seems. Protecting him would have just delayed him signing with another team until July 28.


Sending down Turris and keeping Benson on the roster to start the season just based on salary alone seems like a no-brainer.

I don’t think its quite the simple.

I think, after Kailer signs, there are two forward roster spots for Shore/Benson/Perlini/Turris/Marody.

One needs to be a LW (to go with Nuge, Hyman, Foegele) and it could be two lefties as Nuge can play center and both Hyman and Foegele can both play the right.

As of right now, I would expect two of Shore/Benson/Perlini to take those spots. Even if Marody doesn’t make it, as a right shot, there is Turris.

I don’t see a spot for Chiasson but I wouldn’t be surprised if he is brought in – they could bring him to camp on a PTO in the name of giving him some ice to see if another team wants to sign him as well.


Occurred to me last night – Neal, Kahun, Chiasson, all without contracts.


Khaira too no?


He signed a 2 year deal in Chicago


Oilers should offer Kahun a contract but I’m sure that ship has sailed. Local media have been saying all summer to not be surprised if Chiasson comes in here on a PTO or last minute deal before camp. Not sure where he fits in the lineup but I’d rather him than Shore.

Elgin R

Just more names added to a long list of guys employed by the Oilers who never play in the NHL again.


yes. For the last 10 years or so the Oilers have been last chance Texaco…

Scungilli Slushy

I could see PTO’s, I hope none with the Oilers.


Ennis isn’t even worth mentioning on the contractless list? I guess that’s telling. 😀


Forgot about Ennis – good call.