The Edmonton Oilers have had a busy offseason, signing Jack Campbell, Evander Kane, and Brett Kulak in an attempt to shore up their roster after a promising run to the Western Conference Final. One of the natural consequences of that spending has been that the team will rely on placing Oscar Klefbom and Mike Smith on long-term injured reserve in order to remain cap compliant. Today, Thomas Drance of The Athletic released an interview he conducted with Oilers GM Ken Holland, and in it, Holland spoke on the team’s cap situation as well as the state of their blueline. (subscription link)
When asked about the LTIR situation and how it relates to training camp battles, Holland said that top prospect Dylan Holloway is “probably going to have to be on the opening night roster” in order to maximize the benefit the team receives from those LTIR placements. He didn’t commit to keeping Holloway beyond that point, though, and did state that he’d rather Holloway play “20 minutes a night” in the AHL rather than play in a limited role in the NHL.
Now, for some other notes from across the Western Conference:
- One other topic Holland touched on in his interview was the team’s defense. While Holland did state that he didn’t think the team would be able to carry 23 players on its roster, he did touch on the upcoming battle for spots on the Oilers’ blueline. Holland said that he wanted “one of” the group of Vincent Desharnais, Dmitri Samorukov, Markus Niemelainen, Philip Broberg, and Mike Kesselring “to make the team.” Of note here is that all but Samorukov on that list are waivers-exempt per CapFriendly, so that factor alone may give Samorukov the leg up in the battle for a spot on that defense.
- While Karel Vejmelka impressed at times last season, describing the Arizona Coyotes’ goaltending situation as anything but wide-open would be a mistake. The team didn’t make major additions in their crease this summer, adding Jon Gilles on a minimum deal and Christopher Gibson on a PTO, but that wasn’t for a lack of trying. Craig Morgan of PHNX.com cites sources to report that the Coyotes “targeted” goalie Charlie Lindgren on the open market before he ended up signing with the Washington Capitals. Lindgren earned a three-year $1.1MM deal, a contract that surprised some in both its cost and length due to the fact that Lindgren was an AHL goalie last year, albeit a brilliant one. That contract should be less of a surprise now though as its clear there was competition to secure Lindgren’s services.