Last week Edmonton Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli made an appearance on Edmonton’s 630 CHED radio station and addressed his team’s lack of depth, particularly at the forward position and put forth ways in which the team can fill out their forward ranks. Veteran PTO, waivers, free agency, trade? How does Chiarelli plan on filling out his roster?
“I’ve been asked quite a bit about that 14th forward,” Chiarelli said to Oilers Now host Bob Stauffer. “We’ve talked to a number of players on PTOs. We’re going to look at waivers and see what’s available there.”
It’s interesting to note that under Chiarelli the Oilers have been fairly active on the waiver wire. Chiarelli claimed Australian forward Nathan Walker last season before eventually losing him back to the Washington Capitals. The thing with waivers though, is that you never know who’ll be available. Or do you? In his latest column for The Athletic, Allan “Lowetide” Mitchell surveyed the NHL landscape and put forward a few waiver options for the Oilers, should they become available.
Check them out:
*Josh Leivo* is a player I talk about every summer as a waiver option, and at this point I’m beginning to wonder if the Toronto Maple Leafs are going to squander his career. Leivo’s qualifications as an offensive option are quality (the last time he played in the AHL on a regular basis, 2015-16, he was basically a point-per-game player) but the Leafs may make room for him now. Leivo was such an impressive prospect, it is difficult to put into words, so I’ve decided to use math. Among the players listed here, Leivo’s boxcar totals in the AHL (per 82 games) put his potential in perspective:
*Michael McCarron* is a giant power winger who has struggled in the Montreal Canadiens system. He’s a former first-round selection and he’s 6.06, two reasons he is guaranteed a second chance. The Habs appear to be in transition and it’s possible McCarron spends the season in Montreal trying to find a spot in the everyday lineup. He might find a home in Edmonton should the Oilers see a need to add a rambunctious big man to the roster.
*Nick Baptiste* of the Buffalo Sabres should have a fairly easy time breaking into the lineup this fall, but if he is exposed, chances are more than one NHL team will have a lash at grabbing him. A nice combination of size, speed and skill would be too much to resist. He’s a right wing, so could contend for one of the skill jobs in Edmonton.
What do you think Oilers, fans? All three of these guys have NHL experience, but would you welcome them onto the team if it meant that a young guy like Jesse Puljujarvi or Kailer Yamamoto would be forced to sit in the press box?