Sunday, December 3, 2017

Veteran Log Jam

With the addition of Brandon Davidson, the Oilers now find themselves at 49 contracts. League max is set at 50 so there isn't much wiggle room there when it comes to making a trade. There already has been speculation that the Oil will look at doing a 2 for 1 trade to drop themselves back down to 48 total contracts. But, on the flip side of that, they currently can't make their own a 2 for 1 trade as that would put them at 51 contracts and that's not going to be accepted. 

One would think, a deal is on the way soon. Especially for another back up goalie. I think for a lot of people, that's the most pressing need the Oilers currently have. With Talbot as a question mark and Brossoit not exactly lighting up the ice with his play, finding a better backup should be on the to do list. Fully expect a deal to be done sooner rather than later. 


Ryan Holt from the Condors brought up a valid point yesterday. He happened to mention the Condors have a log jam with veteran players right now. 

The rule states as follows;

What is the AHL’s development rule?

In the AHL, player development is a top priority. The American Hockey League and the Professional Hockey Players’ Association have the following development rule in place:

Of the 18 skaters (not counting two goaltenders) that teams may dress for a game, at least 13 must be qualified as “development players.” Of those 13, 12 must have played in 260 or fewer professional games (including AHL, NHL and European elite leagues), and one must have played in 320 or fewer professional games. All calculations for development status are based on regular-season totals as of the start of the season.

Currently the Condors have Fayne, Stanton, Hamilton, Callahan, Malone and Pakarinen listed as vets. If the Oilers make any trades or assign anyone else down to Bakersfield, that AHL vet rule could become worse. As of right now, they have to sit one of those guys per game to abide by the rules. They send another listed vet down and they would have to sit two per game. 

It is a great rule to help keep the AHL as a development league, but can also bite you in the ass. Say, for example, injuries take out a few of the non vets and you are stuck. I would imagine they would have to sign a player or two to a PTO. Or, possibly call up some players from the Condors minor league team. Either way, Oilers need to really focus on who they sign moving forward as "dumping" a player to the AHL isn't just an easy dump. Paying people to not play isn't exactly smart money management. 

Written by Brent Huska

Friday, December 1, 2017

Kick In The Balls

All I could say watching the end of the Oilers and Leafs game was... "inaudible gasping sounds".

I couldn't believe my eyes watching the replay. Russell turned to hammer the stick of Kadri, but, unfortunately that stick wasn't there, but the puck was. Doh! 

I felt so bad for him. It wasn't intentional at all. Heat of the moment and he made the play he figured was correct. But, in that instant, it all came crashing down. I will give Russell huge props for not hiding from the media last night. He stood there and took the heat. That in itself, that's commendable.

The way I look at it, there is two scenarios on how this will play out. 

1) this will not only elevate his game moving forward, it will make him a more of a gamer. His team stuck behind him after the game and that, in my mind, just made the Oilers better. This is something that can really bring a team together. Perhaps it's the missing link that the Oilers have needed all year. A legit reason to play for each other and to have each other's backs. Last night could very well be the turning point of this oddly played season. 


2) this is the beginning of the end for Russell. For some, this could really mess a played head up. Some never get over mistakes like this and could forever scar him from returning to the form we have seen him play in the past. 

I'm personally thinking its option 1. However, we will see next game and how the Oilers and Russell play. Fingers crossed I'm correct with option 1. 


Side note;

Oilers have claimed left winger Nathan Walker this morning. Report say that Walker can play all three forward positions. He's not a big man, but he is a guy who gives it his all. I will think Oilers fans are going to like this guy. But, we shall see. 

Written by Brent Huska

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