So now the waivers and demotions in front of cut-down day have happened, with William Lagesson and Kyle Turris waived, Stuart Skinner sent to Bakersfield. Based on reports, we’ll see Philip Broberg recalled, then sent down, Turris will be back once he clears waivers and by Wednesday night there will be one or two rookies on the roster.
There are still some things to finalize, like Colton Sceviour’s status which may be tied to Zack Kassian’s health and offers from the hinterland, so there are some question marks. Nothing that approaches Anton Burdasov’s epic story, which I’m sure we all remember.
What does it all mean for Tyler Benson?
- New Lowetide: How Ken Holland is increasing the Oilers’ talent pool, and why fans are nervous about it
- Lowetide: Oilers prospects thrive as junior, college and European seasons begin
- Lowetide: Does Dom Luszczyszyn’s 2021-22 preview mean math hates the Oilers?
- Lowetide: When will the Edmonton Oilers fully embrace analytics?
- Jonathan Willis: How the 2021-22 Oilers mirror their coach’s best teams from the past
- DNB: Maxing out LTIR
- Lowetide: What might Oilers do if Kailer Yamamoto’s goal scoring slump continues?
- DNB: Oilers’ Mikko Koskinen much happier with family by his side again
- Lowetide: Is this Jay Woodcroft’s final year coaching the Bakersfield Condors?
- Lowetide: How could waivers impact Oilers’ roster decisions?
- New DNB: Duncan Keith’s decline, by the numbers and video
- Lowetide: 9 bold predictions for the 2021-22 Edmonton Oilers
- Lowetide: Connor McDavid, Zach Hyman and line chemistry
- New DNB: Oilers training camp invitees tell us what it’s like to face McDavid in practice
- DNB: Oilers training camp observations
- Lowetide: Why Colton Sceviour could be an important addition for the Oilers
- DNB: Derek Ryan Q&A
- Jonathan Willis: How can the Oilers find a long-term solution in net?
- Jonathan Willis: Darnell Nurse, in context
- DNB: Warren Foegele Q&A
- Lowetide: Oilers reasonable expectations for 2021-22: Goal differential
- Lowetide: Oilers’ reasonable expectations for 2021-22: Goal scoring
A CAUTIONARY TALE
At the beginning of the 1987 season, Tim Raines was not part of the Montreal Expos roster. MLB had this weird rule where a player who didn’t sign with his team before a certain date couldn’t return until May 1. That’s one month into the season.
This was the winter after the clubs colluded (paid a heavy price later on, $280 million) in not signing free agents and Raines was one. I believe the league did it again the following season.
I watched the Expos closely that spring, wondering who would win the LF job. Replacing Raines was impossible, in 1986 he won the NL batting championship and scored 91 runs. Manager Buck Rodgers chose Alonzo Powell, who hit .195 and scored three runs during April 1987.
I made a note of Powell’s demotion, and in my mind wondered if he would see the majors again. He did, in 1991 with the Seattle Mariners. He hit better, hung around longer, ultimately didn’t have a major league career. The guy I thought would win the job, Billy Moore, didn’t have a career either.
The point of my story (I don’t want you to spend all day looking) is that the Expos had one of the best LF’s in the game, didn’t sign him because all the mlb teams agreed to offer short term deals, then spent approximately zero hours looking for a real replacement for the first month of the season. The lesson of this story comes at the end of the 1987 season, when Montreal finishes 91-71 with help from a dream season by the now-signed Raines. Expos finished four games behind the St. Louis Cardinals, going 8-12 in April and 83-59 the rest of the way. Montreal’s winning percentage May to December put them in a tie for the Cardinals record over the entire season. Oh, those Expos.
The moral of the story: Get your act together man, and if you have a hole that is going to be there for a month, find a worthy solution.
Benson could get waived later in the week (we really don’t know where this is headed) but at this point he joins Kailer Yamamoto as part of the graduating crop of 2018-19 AHL rookies. Stuart Skinner and Cooper Marody remain in the organization. Logan Day, Shane Starrett, Cam Hebig, Tyler Vesel, Jake Kulevich and Dylan Wells have moved along.
POSSIBLE OPENING NIGHT ROSTER
It sounds like Kassian will be ready soon, so the IR list (LTIR in some cases) will be Oscar Klefbom, Josh Archibald, Dmitri Samorukov, Dylan Holloway and Alex Stalock. Colton Sceviour remains unsigned, and that could still impact Benson or Ryan McLeod.
It could come down to Benson versus McLeod. McLeod to Bakersfield would be my preference, if only because he didn’t push during preseason and 20 games in the minors might get him back to where he was last year when the team recalled him. Jay Woodcroft does wonders for young prospects pushing to the NHL. We’ll find out in the next 24 hours or so which way the wind blows.
I don’t expect Edmonton to make any waiver claims.
- LC Alex Barre-Boulet, Tampa Bay. He has a fine resume, is young enough (24) to play for years as a productive NHL player, and is averaging around 25 goals per 82 AHL games. Someone will grab him early in the process. This isn’t exactly like the Habs losing Carol Vadnais to the Seals, but ABB is a talent.
- LD Jacob Larsson, Anaheim. Good size, he’s a puck mover, his possession results relative to teammates isn’t strong. Puck IQ suggests he played fairly well versus elites. I always liked him.
Happy Thanksgiving! This is Ziggy. She is 10 this month. Mom’s dog, but I love her anyway. Ziggy has miles of personality, loves to run and beat the tar out of her hedgehog, which she has owned since the day we brought her home. She is a dear friend, has helped me through all kinds of troubles and been a constant source of joy during the pandemic. How does one describe a dog as anything other than a full and feature member of the family? Can’t be done. She is ruining the cushions of the sofa. Don’t care. Owns me. Don’t care. Absolutely joy. Spoiled rotten of course, but she was never going to be a hunting dog and wouldn’t be any good on a dogsled team. She’s right where she should be, wrapped up in my coyote blanket snoozing. What a dog!
The family is well, my kids have been working and then not working during Covid-19 and the coming up on 20 months of strange life. If you need data entry or someone to MacGyver your computer glitch, or the best retail woman this side of the Pecos, drop me a line. They’re good kids, I so wish their social lives weren’t a train wreck right now. It’s been ages since I embarrassed my daughter with my in-house wardrobe in front of her friends, and honestly I miss it.
Mrs. Lowetide is fine, she’s a rock. I’m surprised she has shown such patience around me these months together all day. The house is her domain, I just show up for supper and to dominate the evening television viewing.
I hope to see Connor McDavid play hockey while I’m in the building this year, I hope to take my beautiful wife out for dinner and wine. I hope my kids can hang with their friends and won’t even complain if they’re in the basement to all hours playing Warcraft World.
I hope you are finding your way, too. My Dad used to tell me about the dirty 30’s, polio, World War 2. He didn’t tell me about the worry, and the isolation and the waiting. I think the mind can become an enemy in times like these, we need to fill it with the things that matter and do our hearts good. I wish that for you and your family.