With Oilers winger Jesse Puljujarvi having been a healthy scratch in three of ten games already, Sportsnet’s Mark Spector notes that there is a debate inside the organization as to whether or not it’s time for the 2016 fourth overall pick to spend some time in the minors. Edmonton was hesitant to give him much minor league time last season even when he was struggling but optics aside (it rarely looks good when a high pick heads for the minors), there’s certainly a strong case to be made that this is a good time to send him down. Puljujarvi’s value has sharply eroded over the last couple of seasons and an extended stint with AHL Bakersfield would allow him to work on his all-around game while getting a lot more playing time than he currently is now.
Elsewhere out West:
- While Sharks center Joe Thornton wasn’t expected to miss much time due to a knee infection, he has now missed the last night games. Head coach Peter DeBoer told reporters, including Kevin Kurz of The Athletic (subscription required), that while Thornton is “getting closer”, he still has a catheter in his arm to give him antibiotics which would need to be removed before he could get clearance to return to San Jose’s lineup.
- Dallas is set to get one defenseman back but is losing another. Mike Heika of the Stars’ team website reports that Marc Methot is ready to return after missing the last two games due to a lower-body injury. However, he’ll likely take the place of fellow rearguard Connor Carrick who sustained a lower-body injury of his own on Sunday. Meanwhile, head coach Jim Montgomery indicated that he’s hopeful that winger Alexander Radulov will be available for Tuesday’s game against Montreal after missing four straight due to a lower-body issue.