The Edmonton Oilers are about to get some help back on the blue line as Adam Larsson was considered a game-time decision for Thursday's matchup against the Nashville Predators. Though he did not dress for the game, his return is imminent and changes will need to take place to add him back into the roster.
In order for Larsson to be activated from injured reserve, the Oilers will have to free up a spot on their 23-man roster. According to Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal, Edmonton is expected to keep eight defensemen in the fold, and will need to make a hard decision on a young forward.
Matheson wondered if Drake Caggiula could be the casuality and be placed on waivers to make room for Larsson. The 23-year-old forward has tallied just four goals and seven points in 21 games this season.
However, TSN 1260 Edmonton's Jason Gregor believes the team should send Anton Slepyshev to the minors, rather than risk losing Caggiula for nothing. It is believed that some teams looking for depth up front might want to nab Caggiula off waivers if he lands on the wire... Could it be more useful for the Oilers to try to trade Caggiula and get something in return?
The Oilers have just three waiver exempt players on their roster - Jesse Puljujarvi, goaltender Nick Ellis and Slepyshev, and it would allow them to keep forward Nathan Walker, whom they've just claimed off waivers at the beginning of December, instead of placing him back on the waiver wire and see the Washington Capitals taking him back.
Gregor argues the Oilers could also place veteran blue liner Eric Gryba on waivers. Edmonton is impatiently waiting for the return of defenseman Andrej Sekera, who has yet to play this season. Gryba has been a healthy scratch and recorded two assists and a plus-4 rating in 21 games this season.
One thing is sure, there will be changes in Edmonton sooner than later.