It’s not been a good week for the Edmonton Oilers. More losses, more COVID protocol additions, trade issues and coaching issues came to the fore for days, leaving everyone wondering what’s next for teams, players and front office.
The sky seems to be falling, but also forward Zach Cassian says, “There will be highs and lows in a year. We had a real high to start and now we are at a low. I am confident we will get out of this. It’s taking longer than we want…we just need to find A way to win the first one and go from there.”
11 Put in a COVID Protocol
According to the Oilers website, the team has placed 11 people on COVID protocols, including five players and six support staff.Although the name likes Conor McDavid, Derrick Ryan and Tyson Barry are already on the roster, and the following players have been added:
- Keller Yamamoto
- Evan Bouchard
- Slater Kirk Kirk
- Brendan Perini
- Ilya Konovalov
As for what that means for Monday’s scheduled game against the Ottawa Senators, time will tell. This will see at least eight players withdraw from the lineup due to COVID. If someone else is added between Saturday and Sunday, one has to assume the league needs to consider postponing that game.
Dylan Holloway skates with the team
If there’s one light that shines on the Oilers this week, it’s that much-touted prospect Dylan Holloway Skating with the club in practice, the Oilers said he looked fine and would only need to be checked by medical staff before potentially being sent to the AHL to work with Bakersfield’s Jay Woodcroft.
“He was an excited kid today,” coach Dave Tippett said. With roster news, it’s hard to rule out the idea that Holloway could take a look as he gets closer to a return. After missing several months with a hand/wrist injury, Tippett added: “Hopefully he gets up and gets his chance, whether it’s at Bakersfield or here.”
Kassian said of watching Holloway work this season, “He’s always in the gym and he’s been working really hard with our skating coach David Pelletier, so it’s great to see him finally able to get into practice.” He added that the hard work seems to be It paid off and believed that Holloway had a bright future with the team.
Carey price on oiler radar?
Eric Engels of SportsNet It was recently reported that he could see the Edmonton Oilers and Colorado Avalanche as potential landing spots for veteran network administrators Carey PriceThere’s no guarantee that Price will be traded, or that he’ll return to the NHL this season, but if he does, many believe it might be an attempt to showcase his potential trade.
The Oilers will have a hard time making the deal, but Engels thinks it could be an option if Montreal keeps half of Price’s salary and gets his contract back.
Koskinen likely to step down, Stewart Skinner to step in
Jason Gregor’s recent chat On the Daily Faceoff podcast with Frank Seravalli and noting that he thinks the Oilers will make a goal change and send Miko Koskinen to Bakersfield and bring Stuart Skinner up. Noting that the team may make other roster changes would be a significant change, and possibly a permanent solution, unless an injury or illness creates unavoidable circumstances that need to change.
The Oilers may have seen everything they wanted to do with Koskinen, and Skinner has been incredible in the AHL since returning there. There’s an insider’s opinion that Skinner’s numbers in the NHL at the start of the season don’t reflect how good he is, and he’s playing more minutes.
Did Markus Niemeläinen win the last left shot?
Gregor also noted that defenseman Markus Niemeläinen could be someone the Oilers are looking to fill in for the team’s defense’s last left-hander. They really like the different physical elements that Nimelainen brings to the lineup, and his injury is just bad timing.
Niemeläinen was on the ice today for the Oilers’ optional practice. He’s trying to get himself back up to speed and recovery. Once he’s ready, it’s believed he will take precedence over the likes of Philip Broberg, Dmitry Zamorukov and William Lagerson.
Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time reporter and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He has been The Hockey Writers’ trusted source for more than five years, but more importantly, his mission is to keep readers informed of the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is an everyday staple for readers who want to be “informed.”