It’s a busy blue line in Edmonton, as the Oilers announced today that they have recalled two defenseman, Griffin Reinhart and Jordan Oesterle. The move comes on the heels of rookie defenseman Matt Benning (and forward Jujhar Khaira) being placed on injured reserve. The call-up adds two more bodies to the back end, which already has fixtures in Oscar Klefbom, Adam Larsson, Andrej Sekera, and Kris Russell, has Brandon Davidson and Eric Gryba back and healthy, and is awaiting the return of Darnell Nurse.
If he’s in the lineup tomorrow against the Montreal Canadiens, it will be the first NHL game of the season for Reinhart, who failed to make much of an impact in 2015-16 with just one assist and a -6 rating in 29 games with the Oilers. However, Edmonton traded first and second rounders to acquire the young defenseman, so they won’t give up on him that easy, even if he does prove to be a sunk cost. Reinhart has five goals and six assists in 29 games with the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors this season. However, he’s been outshined by Oesterle, who has 3 goals and 15 assists to lead Condors defensemen in scoring. If Oesterle plays tomorrow, it will also be his first appearance in 2016-17. The 24-year-old played in 23 games with Edmonton over the past two seasons, recording six assists. Even with Benning on IR, don’t expect both Reinhart and Oesterle to remain with the Oilers for too long.
Elsewhere across the league:
- After clearing waivers, Mike Ribeiro has been sent down to the AHL by the Nashville Predators. Although he is clearly not in high demand having gone untouched by 29 teams, Ribeiro’s trip to the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL does not signal the end of his NHL season. If Nashville is willing to hold on to some salary, there is still a good chance Ribeiro gets his trade wish granted by March 1st.
- Cal O’Reilly also cleared waivers recently and has now been demoted to the AHL’s Rochester Americans. In a corresponding move, the Buffalo Sabres have recalled Justin Bailey, who is expected to take the place of the injured William Carrier while he remains sidelined. The 21-year-old Bailey has 19 goals and 10 assists in 39 AHL games this season.
- The Columbus Blue Jackets have recalled Markus Hannikainen on an emergency basis from the AHL’s Cleveland Monsters. There is no word on what prompted the quick call-up or whether the young winger will suit up for the Jackets’ game against the New Jersey Devils tonight. Hannikainen scored his first career NHL goal in his last game, a win over the Carolina Hurricanes on January 21st.
- Anaheim has called up defenseman Brandon Montour from the San Diego Gulls of the AHL. The Ducks have been swapping Montour and Shea Theodore back and forth from the AHL seemingly all season long. The former UMass blue liner has been outstanding with the Gulls, scoring 30 points in just 34 games, but is still looking for his first NHL point through five games with the Ducks.