Sportsnet’s John Shannon reports that Matt Hendricks and Drake Caggiula are coming off IR. Hendricks was injured in a pre-season game at the beginning of October, while Caggiula suffered a hip injury while taking a penalty shot. Lander, a second round pick in 2009, has already cleared waivers once this year. He was not assigned to Bakersfield, in part because of injuries to Hendricks and Caggiula.
Lander has proven to be a legit number one center in the AHL, but has never been able to have sustained success at the NHL level. His best stretch was in the 2014-15 season, where he scored 20 points in 38 games as the Oilers third line center. He was expected to be the Oilers third line center the next season, and actually tied Alex Ovechkin for pre-season goal scoring. Unfortunately for Lander and the Oilers, he only scored one goal in 61 regular season games and lost his spot as an NHL regular. This season, he’s played 16 games on the Oilers fourth line. He’s a great face-off man and a good penalty killer, but the Oilers have enough slow-to-average speed players in the bottom six, and Lander’s skill-set is replaced by Hendricks.
One wonders if the Detroit Red Wings take a look at Lander. They’ve suffered some injuries at the forward position, and Lander’s only NHL success came under the Red Wings current AHL coach Todd Nelson. Nelson coached Lander in Oklahoma City, where he ended up being a 1.1 PPG player at that level.
Lander will be a restricted free agent at season’s end, and makes $990K.
- The Oilers have also assigned defenseman Dillon Simpson to the Condors. Simpson was recalled on November 5, but did not appear in an NHL game. The son of former Oiler and Hockey Night in Canada commentator Craig Simpson was called up because of an injury to Kris Russell, but Russell and Brandon Davidson are both close to returning.