Oilers News & Rumors: McLeod, Shore, Maksimov, Bad Penalties

In an Edmonton Oilers news and rumors update, Devin Shore is ready to go for the team and will slot back into the lineup as the group takes on the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday. Meanwhile, it appears Ryan McLeod is coming out of the lineup and there are questions about what the Oilers might do with him.

Shore Back In

After missing the first two games with a minor injury, Devin Shore is ready to come back into the lineup for the Oilers and will make his debut Tuesday night. He’ll be the fourth-line center between Brendan Perlini and Kyle Turris. It’s a line that had a little bit of chemistry in preseason and head coach Dave Tippett is hoping they can pick up where they left off.

The fourth line hasn’t played much in the first two games. Some of that was based on the way penalties unfolded, but Ryan McLeod didn’t seem to have the same connection with his linemates that Shore did.

McLeod Back Down to Bakersfield

Reports are that Ryan McLeod is headed back down to the AHL after not showing much early in this season. The Oilers had high hopes for him and still do, but he could need more time in the minors.

Ryan McLeod Edmonton Oilers
Ryan McLeod, Edmonton Oilers (Photo by Derek Cain/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Oilers Now host Bob Stauffer spoke about the roster decision surrounding fourth-liners like McLeod and Tyler Benson and mentioned that waiver eligibility was going to play a factor in what the team ultimately decides to do. Since McLeod can go down to Bakersfield without concern, but Benson has to clear waivers, the Oilers chose to hang on to Benson.

Related: Oilers’ Yamamoto Needs To Be Penalty Killer, Not a Penalty Taker

McLeod hasn’t impressed and if Shore comes in and Tippett is more comfortable giving him the minutes, it’s best to get McLeod down to Bakersfield where he can be of use.

Maksimov Contract Terminated

Defenseman Kirill Maksimov was placed on unconditional waivers and cleared on Tuesday. His contract has been terminated by the team. Maksimov was selected in the fifth round of the 2017 NHL draft and signed a three-year entry-level deal back in March of 2018. It was believed he might develop into a role player for the Oilers at some point, but he and his agent felt he could find a job overseas after refusing an assignment from Bakersfield to ECHL Wichita.

He will likely return to Russia where he played on loan (CSKA Moscow) last season. It will be interesting to see if he performs well in the KHL and looks to make a return to the NHL at some point.

Tuesday’s Game vs Ducks About Fewer Penalties

Ducks’ head coach Dallas Eakins said the team’s mantra coming into Tuesday’s contest against the Oilers is not to take penalties. Considering how dangerous the Oilers’ power play is, that’s probably not a bad strategy. At the same time, knowing the Ducks are going to avoid hooking and other such infractions as often as possible, that could really open the speed game for the Oilers. Watch for Connor McDavid to have another big game.

Kailer Yamamoto Oilers
Kailer Yamamoto, Edmonton Oilers, Oct. 21, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The Oilers are also going to specifically try to cut back on taking unnecessary penalties. A few too many careless plays have led to players like Kailer Yamamoto being on Tippett’s radar and it’s likely he’s not the only player who has been told to tread carefully when it comes to the minor infractions. One of the things Tippett pointed out was that the plays leading up to when the penalties have been taken are his focus. It’s usually a series of misplays or poor decisions that lead to a player being in a position to have to take a penalty.