In an Edmonton Oilers news and rumors update, the team has placed forward Tyler Ennis on waivers. Is there a risk they could lose him? Meanwhile, goaltender Alex Stalock got some time at practice Thursday, sharing the net with Mikko Koskninen. There’s still plenty of chatter in regards to the Connor McDavid elbow to Jesper Kotkaniemi and a couple of Bakersfield Condor forwards are named AHL players of the month.
Tyler Ennis on Waivers
The Edmonton Oilers placed Ennis on waivers Thursday. This is not the first time as they had done so before earlier this season — waived in late January, but cleared — but with the NHL Trade Deadline so close and teams looking for depth help, it will be interesting to see if he clears or is more attractive since he’s not an expensive add as a pending UFA.
Essentially, Ennis, 31, would become a rental player for a team that picks him off the waiver wire and without spending any assets to land him. That said, he’s appeared in 27 games with the team this year scoring three goals and nine points. He’s been mildly productive in a depth role.
If he clears, the Oilers will have another forward they can freely move to the taxi squad. If he does get claimed, the Oilers will have an additional $1,000,000 cap hit off the books, giving them a little more flexibility as we approach the 2021 NHL Trade Deadline.
Stalock Coming Off Injured Reserve
One of the reasons for the Ennis move might be because goaltender Alex Stalock was seen at practice on Thursday. He could be ready to make his return and potentially see his first game action for Edmonton since being picked up on waivers earlier this season.
One might expect to see Stalock actually play a game before the trade deadline as Koskinen has struggled a little. Mike Smith took a shot in practice today that seemed to sting him. He battled through but we’ll see if this affects his potentially starting on Friday versus the Calgary Flames.
New, But Also Old Lines and Pairings
After an embarrassing 4-0 loss to the Montreal Canadiens, it’s not surprising to see new lines at practice on Thursday. As per Reid Wilkins of 630 CHED, head coach Dave Tippett has gone back to lines very similar to the start of the season, with a few depth exceptions.
On the top line is Ryan Nugent-Hopkins along with Connor McDavid and Jesse Puljujarvi. Dominik Kahun looks to be slotting back in and will play with Leon Draisaitl and Kailer Yamamoto. Gaetan Haas will center Josh Archibald and Zack Kassian on the third line. Finally, Jujhar Khaira centers Devin Shore and Alex Chiasson on the fourth line.
It looks like Caleb Jones might slot back in as he was paired with Ethan Bear on the Oilers third-pairing defense units and William Lagesson will come out.
Benson and Marody Named Co-Winners Player of the Month AHL
The Bakersfield Condors and the American Hockey League announced today that forwards Tyler Benson and Cooper Marody were named co-winners of the CCM / AHL Player of the Month Award for the month of March. The two are tied for the league lead in scoring with 19 points over 14 games and they currently sit 1-2 overall in the league’s scoring race.
While this is excellent news for the Condors, it will be interesting to see if either player gets a look this season for the Oilers. With an injury or if Ennis were to get claimed, Edmonton might consider calling one of these two players up for a better look.
MacKinnon Gets Same Fine as McDavid
There are still plenty of people talking about the $5K fine to McDavid for his reckless elbow on Kotkaniemi of the Canadiens. Regardless of what you think about why McDavid was so frustrated and that he was potentially in the right to be irked, the play was dangerous and intentional and could have been much worse than it wound up being.
Interestingly, Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche got fined $5K for throwing his helmet at Conor Garland during a scrum on Wednesday. Which was was more deserving of the fine? One thing is clear, the fines themselves are pointless if they’re only ever going to be for $5K.
Also interesting, Golden Knights forward Chandler Stephenson has been suspended three games for elbowing Kings defenseman Tobias Bjornfot. Different hit, but not that different…
Hall Willing to Waive No-Move for the Oilers
As per a report from former TSN1260 host Paul Almeida:
It is official, Taylor Hall told the Sabres he is only willing to waive to join the Oilers. “I have unfinished business there and I want to win. With Connor, Leon and Nuge I think I can fit in quickly and contribute to achieving a championship in Edmonton. I hope it happens”
Oh ya… and that last bit about Hall?… We’re about 99.999% sure that’s an April Fools joke.
Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”