Oilers News and Rumors: Puljujarvi, McDavid, Prospects, More

In today’s Edmonton Oilers news and rumors there is a ton of reaction to Jesse Puljujarvi signing in Finland. Arguments are coming from both sides of the spectrum and opinions are varied. So too, Connor McDavid speaks on the RFA situation in the NHL and there is clarification as to why he pulled out of the BioSteel camp. Finally, 30 years ago today, one of the greatest players had his likeness etched in bronze.

Puljujarvi to Finland Reactions

The news that Jesse Puljujarvi had signed a one-year deal with Oulu Karpat is being met with a ton of varying reactions.

Edmonton Oilers Jesse Puljujarvi Buffalo Sabres Vladimir Sobotka
Edmonton Oilers forward Jesse Puljujarvi and Buffalo Sabres forward Vladimir Sobotka (Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports)

Some, like The Athletic’s Jonathan Willis, is saying, “the one consistent factor for all of the Oilers’ misfiring prospects over the last decade has been the Oilers.” He goes on to add that the Oilers could not have done a poorer job on player development there if it had tried.

Related: Puljujarvi Puts Oilers on Hold… Signs With Finnish Karput

Others, like TSN’s Ryan Rishaug, are suggesting the best thing Puljujarvi could have done was sign an NHL deal and prove he was a legit NHL’er. Instead, he’s just “kicking the can down the road.”

Even former Oilers like Esa Tikkanen have commented saying Puljujarvi just never really had what it took to “make it” in Edmonton.

The Edmonton Journal’s Kurt Leavins points out that while many are citing how bad this might be for the Oilers, his decision (among other things) frees up both a contract and some cap space for the team. What will the Oilers do with that room now?

Related: Did The 2005 NHL Lockout Help Make The 2003 Draft Class Great?

McDavid Puts Minds at Ease… A Little

Connor McDavid showed up at the BioSteel camp for a press conference detailing why he would not be participating. The initial speculation by many was that he’d had a setback in terms of his injury rehab, but that’s not the case.

Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid
Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Jason Gregor writes that McDavid said about his not participating:

“I’ve been skating a lot, so much in fact I am even dealing with some lace bite (laughs). I choose not to skate today (Biosteel camp) due to the contact factor. We just want to be smart.”

This is really good news for the Oilers and it makes sense. McDavid is the type of player that needs all of a couple of shifts to get going and to have him overdo it by participating in a camp that doesn’t help his season long-term seems counterproductive to his recovery.

Still with McDavid, while talking to NHL.com at the camp, he also commented on the restricted free agent situation in the NHL and said all it will take is for one guy to sign and the rest of the dominos should fall. When it came to his situation in Edmonton, McDavid said he’s never considered a bridge deal or holding out. He never wanted to miss camp.

He also says he pays close attention to all the news because it’s imperative he knows about the issues facing the CBA.

Related: The NHL’s Best Farm Systems in 2017: A 1-31 Ranking

No. 9-Ranking Farm System?

Corey Pronman of The Athletic took a look at the Edmonton Oilers and ranked them No. 9 in the NHL. He cites that they have made positive developments in the last 12 months and have several prospects who took steps forward.

Edmonton Oilers Wayne Gretzky Philip Broberg Ken Holland
Edmonton Oilers Wayne Gretzky, Philip Broberg and Ken Holland (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)

Pronman writes:

They had a strong 2019 draft and amateur defensemen Evan Bouchard and Dmitri Samorukov had good seasons. For the first time in a while, you can say there is some depth coming for the Oilers to supplement their stars.

source – ‘2019 NHL farm system rankings: No. 9 Edmonton Oilers’ – Corey Pronman – The Athletic – 08/27/2019

Are the Oilers really that high on the NHL ranking list? If so, fans should expect some players in the system to contribute in the next one or two seasons.

Related: Wayne Gretzky Almost Joined the Detroit Red Wings

30 Years Ago Today, Gretzky Gets Statue

“I don’t know how I would put into words what it’s like to stand here and see yourself,” Gretzky said when he saw his statue unveiled at what was the Oilers’ home ice, the Northlands Coliseum, 30 years ago.

Wayne Gretzky, Edmonton Oilers
Wayne Gretzky #99 (Photo by B Bennett/Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images)

Today marks the 30-year anniversary of the unveiling of Gretzky’s bronze statue outside Northland’s Coliseum in 1989. He is still remembered in Edmonton today as one of the greatest things to ever come to the city, the NHL and that statue is still a constant reminder of the glory days for Oilers fans.

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