Jan. 22: Sportnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports that both Turris and Soderlund have cleared waivers. Soderlund will now have his contract terminated.
Jan. 21: The Edmonton Oilers have made one change, as Kyle Turris has been placed on waivers according to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet. The veteran forward was on waivers at the start of the season and cleared, but had been with the NHL team long enough that he needed them again in order to be assigned to the AHL. The Oilers have also placed Tim Soderlund on unconditional waivers for the purpose of a contract termination.
Turris, 32, carries a cap hit of $1.65MM for the Oilers, which means just $1.125MM would come off the cap if he were sent to the minor leagues. That, plus the opening of another contract slot with the termination of Soderlund, could suggest the Oilers are set to make an addition of some sort. Evander Kane is the obvious connection here, though the results of his investigation with the NHL have still not been released.
There is little chance that another team claims Turris, but if they did, the Oilers would likely welcome the departure. The veteran forward has recorded just one goal and four points in 21 games for Edmonton this season, averaging fewer than nine minutes when he does get into the lineup. There’s not much to suggest he’s providing any more value than a $750K replacement from Bakersfield, meaning the cap savings would be worth more than having him on the roster. PuckPedia reported this morning that the Oilers were expected to sign Ryan Malone from Bakersfield for exactly that reason, but Ryan Rishaug of TSN adds that a COVID situation in the minor leagues makes this impossible for now. Malone would need to clear waivers to report to the Condors if signed to an NHL deal.
Still, this certainly isn’t an answer to the Oilers’ problems unless the goaltending and defense are also addressed at some point. The team is struggling in all aspects of the game, meaning any slight cap space will have to be spent carefully.