As it was reported earlier, the Edmonton Journal’s Bruce McCurdy believes that Anton Slepyshev’s availability is a “fire sale” sign that Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli has displayed for the entire league. McCurdy opines that the Oilers “appear poised to part company with yet another talented young Russian for pennies on the dollar.” Arguments abound for and against such a decision, with the former being that the young forward struggled with injuries and didn’t put together enough “excellent” nights to justify his keep. The latter argument poses that the youngster received an ample chance to display what he could do. Given little to no opportunity on special teams and logging limited minutes, McCurdy writes that the Russian posted impressive numbers during those limited chances–fleshed out further by advanced metrics. To be fair, McCurdy points out that only 40% of the Oilers goals occurred when Slepyshev was on the ice while his “pedestrian” numbers of 1 goal, and 3 points do little to help his case. While it appears to be another young player that the Oilers will ship out, one can only wonder how much longer the front office and coaching staff have before they’re the next to be booted.
- The Detroit News’ Bob Wojnowski guesses that the writing is on the wall for the Red Wings. All that’s left to decipher is who the architect will be for the inevitable rebuild: Ken Holland or someone else. Wojnowski writes that the Red Wings are no longer the elite team that will make a yearly playoff visit, but at least have some hope in the futures of Dylan Larkin, Andreas Athanasiou, and Anthony Mantha. Wojnowski quotes Holland as saying the Wings will either “stay pat or sell” at the deadline. Holland adds that he’s not in it for a rebuild (something he’s been consistently saying) and his job is to keep the team competitive. But he’s also not naive:
“I’ve been very fortunate to watch some great players on great teams, and I want to do that again. Sometimes your time runs out, but there is a plan, and we’re on our way back. Up until two years ago, we were making moves for the today, we weren’t bad enough to make moves for the future. At some point, you’re gonna pay the piper.”
Whether Detroit chooses to go forward with Holland or someone different remains to be seen. But even the executive who doesn’t want to go through a “painful” rebuild realizes that the days of buying, instead of selling, are over.