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In a little bit of a shock that entails important danger, the Edmonton Oilers put Raphael Lavoie and Lane Pederson, the 2 main candidates for the twelfth ahead spot, on waivers Sunday.
However the choice has as a lot to do with what’s taking place on defence than on the fourth line. With three of their defencemen — Mattias Ekholm, Brett Kulak and Markus Niemelainen — unable to play within the final pre-season recreation on Friday, the crew wants to guard itself on the blue line for opening night time Wednesday.
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Kulak is alleged to be shut whereas Ekholm isn’t certain he’ll be prepared. Niemelainen, who can’t be despatched to the minors whereas injured, so he has to depend in direction of the 21-man roster, is uncertain. That leaves Darnell Nurse, Evan Bouchard, Cody Ceci, Philip Broberg and Vincent Desharnais as the one certain issues.
“The place we’re at with sure conditions, it’s a needed factor to occur,” mentioned head coach Jay Woodcroft, not lengthy after Lavoie, Pederson and defenceman Ben Gleason, who additionally had an excellent camp, had been positioned on waivers.
“We have now a few wholesome conditions and we wish to be certain we give ourselves essentially the most flexibility doable to ensure that us to area the perfect lineup on opening night time.”
Lavoie, Pederson or Gleason might be proper again within the image in the event that they clear waivers.
The Lavoie scenario is essentially the most unnerving. Whereas he doesn’t match what the Oilers are in search of on their fourth line, he’s a prime prospect within the group and the chance of dropping him for nothing could be very actual, and would damage.
It’s no assure he will get taken — he doesn’t have a single recreation of NHL expertise, groups have already got full rosters at this level and if he isn’t in your prime six he isn’t anybody’s concept of a prototypical backside six participant — however a six-foot-four, 215-pound second-round decide who put up 25 targets and 45 factors in 61 AHL video games final yr is unquestionably engaging.
In the meantime, left winger Adam Erne, the 28-year-old former Tampa Bay Lightning and Detroit Pink Wing, who got here to coaching camp on knowledgeable tryout because the twelfth ahead, remains to be with the group. He’s hasn’t been launched and he hasn’t signed a contract.
The Oilers will discover out quickly sufficient how this performs out. The deadline for claiming a participant on waivers is midday Mountain time on Monday and the deadline for submitting the ultimate roster is 3 p.m.
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