Oilers News & Rumors: Shore, Benson, Ryan, Holloway, Vaccination Policy

In an Edmonton Oilers news and rumors update, is Derek Ryan the third-line center the team has been looking for and player who can mentor young forwards like Fernando Pisani did back in 2006? Meanwhile, is there a competition brewing between Devin Shore and Tyler Benson for a fourth-line role on this roster? Where is prospect Dylan Holloway going to start the year? Finally, the Oilers have joined a number of other NHL clubs in requiring vaccinations or proof of good health before attending games. What is their policy for the upcoming season?

Is Ryan the Perfect Fit for the Oilers?

As per Allan Mitchell of The Athletic, there is some hope that Ryan can come in as a free agent signing this season and become the Oilers third-line center that the team has been missing for some time and failed to find when they signed Kyle Turris last offseason. Even if Turris gets a look this year, it won’t be in that spot, but Ryan could be the right fit and do what no other Oilers player has done in some time.

Derek Ryan Calgary Flames
Derek Ryan, Calgary Flames (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Mitchell writes:

I believe Ryan could be the much sought after third-line forward who can help the team outscore opponents at five-on-five while also mentoring young forwards as they arrive in the NHL and find their way. … The Oilers have been looking for just that player since Fernando Pisani patrolled right wing for Edmonton 15 years ago and helped develop youngsters like Jarret Stoll and Raffi Torres into productive NHL players.

source – ‘Lowetide: Did the Oilers find the new Fernando Pisani when signing Derek Ryan?’ – Allan Mitchell – The Athletic – 08/25/2021

The Oilers aren’t expecting Ryan to go on a big scoring run like Pisani did during the Oilers last playoff run to the Stanley Cup Final, but there is hope Ryan can mentor players like Kailer Yamamoto, Jesse Puljujarvi, Ryan McLeod, Benson and Holloway while being part of a line that improves the Oilers overall goal differentials issue.

Shore vs Benson on Oilers Fourth Line

According to Jonthan Willis of The Athletic, there’s going to be a direct competition between Benson and Shore in one of the closest positional contests the Oilers have had at training camp in some time. While it might not be a huge role on the team in terms of factoring into wins and losses, it’s an important battle for both players.

Devin Shore Edmonton Oilers
Devin Shore, Edmonton Oilers (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

Willis writes:

On the one hand, there’s the prospect who’s trying to graduate. He’s been in the system a few years, has obvious potential and just needs to make the jump. On the other is the journeyman. He’s bounced around a bit, the shine has worn off, and he’s survived by doing things coaches like to see.

source – ‘Making the Oilers: Tyler Benson, Devin Shore and the 4-year difference between a prospect and a has-been’ – Jonathan Willis – The Athletic – 08/24/2021

The descriptions of the players and their scouting reports are so similar it’s almost scary. Right now, Shore has the inside track on the spot and likely the support of the coaching staff. Benson’s hope is that he can turn heads at camp and get serious consideration as a player who warrants more of an opportunity.

Holloway to Start in Bakersfield?

As per Kurt Leavins of the Edmonton Journal, he believes the Oilers will probably give Holloway a shot in the NHL this season, but doesn’t believe it will be to start the campaign. He writes:

..while I wouldn’t rule out Dylan Holloway making it onto the roster as well, I suspect he is penciled in to start the year in Bakersfield, perhaps in the 1C slot that McLeod held last campaign. I get the strong sense that the Oilers would prefer Holloway to play center. Doing that full-time in the AHL first would be a logical step in terms of proper player development. 

source – ‘What will the Edmonton Oilers off-season moves mean for its 2 biggest guns: 9 Things’ – Kurt Leavins – Edmonton Journal – 08/22/2021

Oilers Vaccination Plans

The Oilers Entertainment Group has announced a series of new health and safety requirements that include either being double vaccinated or proving you don’t have the virus to attend games this coming season. As expected, this has led to varied responses from fans, even if the intention of the organization is to keep fellow fans and employees as safe as possible.

Anyone 12 years or older will need to:

  • Proof of COVID-19 vaccination received at least 14 days before the game.
  • A negative COVID-19 test result from an approved testing provider taken within 48 hours.

The hockey club has also mandated that all employees, volunteers, and contractors to be fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to Sept. 28.

As per a statement released on the Oilers official website, they write:

After careful deliberation with stakeholders including the NHL, WHL, live entertainment promoters, our fans and Alberta Health, we believe these changes are not only vital to the safety of our fans and staff, but also critical in the fight against COVID-19 as we welcome fans back to our venue and do our part for the safe reopening of our city, province and country. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide more information on our venue COVID-19 policies in the coming weeks.

Morning Skate newsletter Click To Subscribe