The reassignment of 26-year-old Gazdic won’t provide much cap relief, though the Oilers aren’t looking for any at the moment. He’s on a one-way deal that pays him $800,000.
Gazdic isn’t known for his ability to contribute offensively in a depth role, but he hans’t been able to produce hardly anything at all this season. He has a goal and no assists through 28 games this season with 22 penalty minutes and 18 shots while averaging just 6:19 of ice time per game.
While he’s been ineffective at controlling play the last two seasons with CF%Rels of -11.4% and -5.6%, he’s managed a 2.5% this season through very limited time. The sample is a little too small for any team to really feel like he’s turned a corner and might be effective at driving play, but he’s had more success in that department this year than previously.
The biggest driver of the decision to send Gazdic down has to be management’s satisfaction with the performance of Zack Kassian, who they recently acquired from Montreal.
Kassian provides an option in the same role as Gazdic with more offensive potential and overall upside.