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Edmonton Oilers relieved that Lavoie cleared waivers

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It was dangerous enterprise placing Raphael Lavoie on waivers after his breakout AHL season final yr however the injury-squeezed Edmonton Oilers breathed straightforward Monday when no person claimed the younger proper winger.

“Normally in the beginning of the season is one of the best time to get any person by. You get into the season and groups begin to lose video games and folks get injured, and you set any person on waivers, then there’s a extra reasonable likelihood you lose them. We’re completely happy he went by (now),” stated Oilers normal supervisor Ken Holland, who watched Lavoie rating twice in pre-season.

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“Raffi’s not a longtime NHL participant but (no video games, however coming off a 25-goal season in Bakersfield). He’s made quite a lot of progress however not with the ability to carry 13 or 14 forwards due to the cap, means a unique choice for us,” stated Holland, who solely has 11 forwards on his opening day roster as a result of Markus Niemelainen needs to be on as an eighth D-man as a result of he can’t go on waivers whereas injured to get to Bakersfield.

“I didn’t see Raffi enjoying 80 video games this yr for us. He’s on the ability play within the American League however he wouldn’t be right here or a penalty-killer so that you’re speaking a six to eight minute job if that’s the case (NHL). It’s exhausting to have that in your NHL group if carrying solely 12 forwards as we will likely be as a result of everyone has to have a job and have the ability to pitch in. If it’s 13 or 14, they’ll practise on daily basis and play some video games, however not this manner,” stated Holland.

When Niemelainen will get wholesome within the close to future, they’ll have a twelfth NHL ahead, one other fourth-liner to go together with Mattias Janmark and Derek Ryan. Perhaps PTO winger Adam Erne if signed, nevertheless it gained’t be Lavoie.

“We advised Raffi that he has to make some changes in Bakersfield,” stated Holland, who isn’t going to bury him on the farm, saying they could carry him up at a while if enjoying properly once more with the Condors.

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“He’ll be in offensive conditions there, however he has to discover ways to handle and defend the puck. When you can’t try this at that stage, then you definitely gained’t be in defensive conditions with us, in D zone protection for 40 seconds. When you can’t try this, you don’t final very lengthy within the backside half (of an NHL roster),” stated Holland.


PTO winger Sam Gagner stays in a state of limbo. He isn’t within the state of California but with Bakersfield as he works towards some type of a contract to play video games within the American League after his double hip surgical procedure. He has taken half in Oilers practices with the primary group, however hasn’t had the inexperienced mild to play video games.

The Condors open their AHL schedule in Coachella Valley on Friday evening.

“I really feel actually shut. I’ve regularly launched contact. I’m checking the packing containers,” stated Gagner, who has no drawback beginning in Bakersfield at 34.

“This (Oilers group) is the place I need to be. The final couple of years have been a battle health-wise however I really feel nice. I’m persevering with to push. I attempt to not let ego get in the way in which anymore (enjoying within the minors),” stated Gagner, who has performed 1015 NHL video games however has been within the minors for Philadelphia and Vancouver earlier than.

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“Sam’s feeling good about his surgical procedures and needs to take another run at attempting to play within the NHL however he’s a few weeks from being cleared to play. We’ll direct him into Bakersfield then and see the place it goes,” stated Holland.

Holland appreciated Erne’s work by pre-season however he must be signed. Talks are ongoing with agent Ritch Winter and so they’ll see the place it goes. The PTO can’t drag on. His household is again in Connecticut. Perhaps he doesn’t need to go to Bakersfield, however he’s nonetheless within the image for a twelfth ahead spot right here.

“We don’t have a chance to do something now with the harm to Neemo (Nemalainen) however Erne is massive and powerful, kills penalties. He finishes his checks,” stated Holland. Briefly, a sensible fourth-line chance.


Ben Gleason, who additionally cleared waivers, had a superb Oilers camp as a left D choice and is off to Bakersfield however clearly confirmed he was an astute low season signing after his 5 years within the Dallas group. Gleason, 25, might be the primary call-up from the farm group. He has performed 4 profession NHL video games with the Stars in 2018 after they bumped into harm issues.

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“We had been very, very happy with Gleason. Wouldn’t be shocked to see him right here at a while down the street if we get banged up” stated Holland. “Our professional scouting folks did quite a lot of analysis on him within the low season and what I noticed in exhibitions was a man who was poised with the puck, passes tape to tape. He’s 25 years outdated, in the fitting age group, with professional expertise underneath his belt.”

“Identical story with (waiver clear) Lane Pederson. Clean skater. He’s an offensive kind of man. I don’t see him essentially as a fourth-line (NHL) man however he generally is a No. 1 centre in Bakersfield and if we get an harm, he can are available in as a result of he’s bought ability,” stated Holland. Pederson has a two-year, one-way deal at $775,000 a season


The Oilers had George Mumford, the acclaimed creator of The Aware Athlete: Secrets and techniques to Pure Efficiency, on the town for a number of days. Mumford has labored with Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson.

“It was fairly cool. You learn books (sports activities psychology) however to have him right here in our room and interacting with us on daily basis was particular. He clearly has quite a lot of expertise working with particular groups and gamers,” stated Darnell Nurse.

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“Totally different perspective. Sharing the expertise of what these groups (he labored with) needed to undergo (Bulls and Lakers) … it’s not all the time straightforward, it’s uncomfortable greater than it’s snug,” stated Nurse.


Former Oilers winger Zack Kassian, 32, was launched from his PTO in Anaheim. He had three factors in 4 pre-season Geese video games and there was a thought he would possibly get a contract to be a bodyguard for Trevor Zegras … The Jimmy Rutherford-Patrick Allvin Pittsburgh connection struck when the Canucks, who play the Oilers Wednesday, acquired PK ahead Sam Lafferty from Toronto for a fifth-round draft decide. Allvin ran the Penguins scouting division for the previous GM Rutherford after they first drafted Lafferty within the fourth spherical in 2014 … The Leafs traded Lafferty ($1.5 million cap hit) to doubtless signal PTO Noah Gregor for a fourth-line spot at half the worth … Vancouver had top-six winger Ilya Mikheyev (knee surgical procedure this previous January after tearing his ACL in pre-season in September of 2022) at his first full group follow Sunday however he doubtless gained’t play the opener in opposition to Edmonton …  Canucks prime low season free-agent D signee Carson Soucy is out week-to-week with a knee harm after he bought snarled with Flames Yegor Sharangovich final Friday.

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