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Players Hit The Ice, McLeod Signs, $165 and More as Training Camp Commences

September 23, 2022, 6:56 PM ET [26 Comments]
Sean Maloughney
Edmonton Oilers Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
This is not a drill, there are real line combinations to discuss! Players are on the ice and training camp has officially begun. Let's get right into it and take a look at what we might glean from the first set of lines Jay Woodcroft has laid out for us.

Kane-McDavid-Yamamoto
Hyman-Draisaitl-Puljujarvi
RNH-McLeod-Foegele
Holloway-Malone-Virtanen
Janmark-Shore-Ryan
Hamblin-Philp-Chiasson/Petrov

Nurse-Wanner
Kulak-Bouchard
Broberg-Barrie
Niemelainen-Demers
Murray-Samorukov
Peters-Kesselring

---

Some thoughts right off the bat:

- Quick extra note, Ceci will miss the first couple days of camp with a hamstring pull that is more precautionary than anything. Wanner is filling in in that spot until Ceci returns.

- Fantastic news to see Puljujarvi starting camp in the top six. The Finnish forward should get every opportunity to prove himself in the top six as the Oilers currently lack many established top six options on the right wing. As it stands that is the exact top six I would run, heading into opening night.

- That third line could also end up being a strong option for the team at 5 on 5. Warren Foegele has been moved to the right side, a position he did play when in Carolina. McLeod now signed to a contract has shown he can be a regular top nine player and can skate, win faceoffs, and score. Both RNH and McLeod fill similar roles, RNH with more experience but McLeod with more untapped potential. It will be interesting to see the competition between these two players as both fill similar roles.

- On McLeod's contract, the forward signs a highly team friendly deal at 1 year at 798,000, below his original qualifying offer. McLeod himself stated he would rather get the deal done and get onto the ice rather than haggling over a few thousand. One might be able to bet that the organization will remember this once it is time for his next contract.

- The good news about this deal is that the Oilers are now cap compliant (more on that in a second). The bad news is this could have been a great opportunity for the Oilers to lock up a young player on a good deal for a few years. Should McLeod breakout this season in a big way, it could lead to issues next summer. Kicking the can down a year can cause more headaches in the long run.

- As for the cap concerns... I am going to let Daniel Nugent Bowman explain this better:


With this in mind, here is a likely idea of how the Oilers roster will look on opening night:

Kane-McDavid-Yamamoto
Hyman-Draisaitl-Puljujarvi
Holloway-RNH-Foegele
Malone-McLeod-Ryan

Nurse-Ceci
Kulak-Bouchard
Broberg-Barrie
Murray

Campbell
Skinner

*Samorukov, Shore, and Janmark waived

With Smith and Klefbom placed onto LTIR this roster is underneath the cap by...wait for it... $167. Not $167,000... $167. I guess you can't say the Oilers don't fully maximize their cap space.

In the long run, something is going to have to give. Injuries that are not LTIR quickly puts this team into a tough spot with emergency call ups and having to run short handed. A trade or some other kind of move will likely still need to happen but in the meantime the Oilers are able to stay cap compliant and will not be forced into making a bad return deal.

I will update more as camp continues. Thanks for reading!
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