The Edmonton Oilers will make some significant cuts today. Part of it has to do with them flying to Kelowna after tonight’s preseason game against Calgary, for a team bonding weekend, but another main reason is today is the first day NHL teams are allowed to place players on waivers.

From your friendly CBA:

13.2: The “Playing Season Waiver Period” shall begin on the twelfth (12th) day prior to the start of the Regular Season and end on the day following the last day of a Club’s Playing Season.

Last night Dave Tippett said there would be between 29-31 players going to Kelowna.

Let’s start with the obvious.

Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Zack Kassian, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, James Neal, Sam Gagner, Markus Granlund, Alex Chiasson, Jujhar Khaira, Riley Sheahan, Josh Archibald, Joakim Nygard, Gaetan Haas, Colby Cave and Tomas Jurco (15 forwards).

Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse, Adam Larsson, Kris Russell, Matt Benning, Joel Persson, Evan Bouchard (Seven defencemen).

Mikko Koskinen and Mike Smith (two goalies).

That is 24 players.

Tippett said he expects Mike Smith to join the team for practice on Sunday. Tomorrow is a day off. Considering Smith hasn’t practiced with the team all week, I could see them bringing Shane Starrett as well.

I believe Cooper Marody and Patrick Russell have earned the trip based on their play thus far. Same with William Lagesson. I could Ethan Bear and Caleb Jones on the flight.

Now we are up to 30 players.

Brandon Manning is a veteran, and he played okay in his first preseason game. He could be the 31st, or Tyler Benson, who had a strong first two preseason games. What about Anton Burdasov? He is scheduled to play tonight. It is tough to gauge anything off a few days of practice. He travelled 24 hours from Russia, via Frankfurt and Calgary before arriving in Edmonton. He looked exhausted after his first skate. If they want to give him a fair shake he has to play a game next week, no?


Bakersfield Condors’ training camp begins with a meeting on Sunday and they are on ice on Monday. I see the following players being sent down either this morning or after the game.

Cameron Hebig, Kirill Maksimov, Ryan McLeod, Kailer, Yamamoto, Josh Currie, Joseph Gambardella and Brad Malone. Yamamoto has yet to play a preseason game as he recovers from wrist surgery.

Dmitri Samorukov, Keegan Lowe, Logan Day and Dylan Wells will also be sent down.

If Tippett’s number of 31 means that two of Benson, Burdasov and Manning will go down. If they only bring 29, that’s where it could get interesting.

Who do you think makes the flight to Kelowna?


The optics for Mikko Koskinen weren’t great. The first two goals beat him glove side. I spoke with a goalie coach last night who watched the game.

“The first goal is through traffic. With a point shot from the right side, goalies are taught to protect the short side. In this case, look to his left. I thought he looked to his right first, and that left the short side exposed. I’m sure Schwartzy (Dustin Schwartz) will ask him if he could see on the short side. If he couldn’t then he has to look to his right, but ideally you want him looking to the left of the traffic. On a traffic shot like that, if he leans left, then his shoulder would stop that shot. I didn’t see that goal as a bad glove hand.”

On the second goal.

“Great shot by the forward, right from downtown. Koskinen doesn’t have a great glove hand. I think that is fair, and it likely won’t improve that much due to his age. So you work on improving his positioning and subtle techniques. Even a great glove hand could get beat on that shot from that distance. If anything, what I’d want on that play is the defenceman to let Koskinen have the shooter, because he was a left shot and had fewer openings to shoot at, and take away the pass. The goal scorer (Beagle) was in a much more advantageous position.”

As Dave Tippett said it was Koskinen’s first preseason game. He wasn’t great last year in the preseason, but was solid through the first four months, until he fatigued down the stretch. He will get the start again tonight and it will be interesting to see how he plays and if the Flames shoot glove side often.

Recently by Jason Gregor: