This in from the Edmonton Oilers, news that Raphael Lavoie has been sent to Bakersfield of the AHL.
With Dylan Holloway out and Connor Brown possibly coming back, what’s next for the Oilers?
1. In five games, Lavoie had some good moments with the puck. He also registered five seven hits, which is 11 hits per 60 minutes of play, about the same level as Evander Kane. The things is, I don’t remember any of Lavoie’s hits much. Any big ones? I’m focused on Grade A shots so maybe I missed a few.
2. Lavoie did not look out of place in the NHL, but neither did he look in place, let alone stand out. It was his first test and he passed it by not getting lost. But he’ll have to do more in his next stint if he hopes to stick.
3. With Holloway out and Mattias Janmark still not practicing, could the Oilers be ready to pull the trigger on a trade? Or will another different forward be called up from Bakersfield? Or a Bako d-man so the team can go 11-7 again?
There’s no one obvious pick at forward to recall from Bakersfield, with Edmonton already recalling Sam Gagner, James Hamblin and Lavoie.
If Holloway is going to be out long term, for months, perhaps Oilers hockey boss Jeff Jackson will deem the time right to trade for a forward. Edmonton has plenty of defensive depth, with Philip Broberg, Ben Gleason and Markus Niemelainen all NHL candidates on the farm and maybe also Cam Dineen and Phil Kemp. Could one of them be moved for an able forward?
4. I suspect the team will want to go with four lines. That seems aligned with new coach Kris Knoblauch’s talk about wanting to have more set lines.
5. This is just me guessing and speculating, as I’m no insider, but maybe the Oilers would look at 34-year-old centre Riley Nash, who is playing for the Hartford Wolf Pack, Knoblauch’s old team. He’d be a player in the Brandon Sutter mode, but one who has been playing regularly and doing well at the AHL level. Might not he be a useful placeholder on the Oilers? Can’t imagine he would cost much in trade.
At the Cult
STAPLES: Worst of luck: Holloway likely be out longer term
LEAVINS: Player grades in Coach K’s first win vs Isles
STAPLES: Clearing up the communication on the Kris Knoblauch hire
McCURDY: Jeff Jackson puts his stamp on the Oilers
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