In an Edmonton Oilers news and rumors update, Connor McDavid took a not-so-subtle shot at John Tortorella ahead of Thursday’s game versus the Winnipeg Jets. Meanwhile, there’s news about Derek Ryan, who is dealing with concussion symptoms. Stuart Skinner is going to get the start on Thursday night and could defenseman Ben Chiarot be a fit for the Oilers before the NHL trade deadline?
McDavid Takes Shot at Tortorella
The debate in the NHL over non-calls is a front-and-center topic in Edmonton because McDavid is the poster boy for NHL officials putting their whistles away. Recently, former coach John Tortorella used his platform on ESPN to tell McDavid to “shut up” when it comes to complaining about not getting those penalty calls.
When asked by the media ahead of Thursday’s game versus the Winnipeg Jets what he thinks about it, McDavid said, “I guess I just gotta shut up about this.” He then declined to actually answer the question.
Whether this goes to show that McDavid won’t be speaking up about calls that should be going his way but aren’t isn’t clear. What is clear is that he heard Tortorella’s comments on ESPN and doesn’t seem impressed. You can tell from McDavid’s reaction that he knows the officials are either missing a lot of calls or choosing to ignore the infractions and that has to be frustrating. At the same time, he probably believes that moaning about it bringing it to the NHL’s attention publicly won’t help his cause.
Derek Ryan Dealing With Concussion Symptoms
Head coach Dave Tippett delivered some unfortunate news on Thursday regarding depth center Derek Ryan. He noted, “He hasn’t been diagnosed with a concussion. He is having more tests today, but he had some concussion-like symptoms and won’t play tonight.”
Colton Sceviour will be 4th line at center with Tyler Benson and Kyle Turris. Ryan McLeod will continue on the third line as the pivot. Ryan has been a nice add for the Oilers and key in the faceoff circle. He’s second on the team with a 57.4% win rate. As a team, the Oilers are fifth in the NHL for faceoff win percentage.
Stuart Skinner Gets the Start
Skinner will start for the Oilers tonight following Tuesday’s game where he played the third period. Mikko Koskinen was pulled between the second and third after allowing four goals, one of which was a terrible miss on the first shot of the game. Skinner played well in relief, even though the Oilers weren’t able to complete the comeback.
The Oilers need to do a better job in front of the goaltender tonight. In both of Skinner’s losses this season, the Oilers have not helped him out at all. They’ve allowed a ton of shots against and it will take a full team effort against a strong Jets team to get Skinner his first win of the season.
Chiarot a Good Fit For the Oilers
Elliotte Friedman noted during the most recent episode of The Jeff Marek Show, “The team that really sticks out to me that should probably be feeling very good about itself thinking about what it could do is a team like Edmonton”. The expectation is that the Montreal Canadiens might be a seller this season with the way their year has gone and Ben Chiarot is a player who could be moved because of his contract situation.
The Oilers have a left-shot defenseman on their potential list of things to add before the NHL trade deadline. Chiarot can play both sides and makes $3 million this year in the final year of his contract before becoming an unrestricted free agent. He’s 30 years old and can play heavy minutes. He does have a modified 10-team no-trade list so the Oilers would need to be on that list.
Friedman believes it would take at least a second-round pick to acquire Chiarot and wonders if a team would be willing to give up a first-round pick. The Oilers are believed to be willing to move their first-rounder, but if it would be for a player like Chiarot is unclear.
Both hosts of the show have mentioned Chiarot seems like a good candidate to be willing to play in the west coast.
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.”