— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) October 2, 2013
The Oilers have waived Ben Eager. Eager was a healthy scratch in last night's 5-4 loss to the Jets. While it's rare to be 100% sure about anything, I feel pretty secure in saying that whatever he would've brought to the fourth line wouldn't have made much of a contribution in changing the outcome of the game.
Eager was given a three year deal in the summer of 2011 to smash things with his fists. He started his Oiler tenure off with a concussion sustained at the hands of Kirill Tulupov during the Joey Moss Cup. Once in the lineup, he was mainly used for on-ice thuggery, although his hybrid blend of stupid penalties and miscellaneous fourth line goonery saw him drop the mitts on just five occasions that year. He did collect 13 points, good for 15th in 2011-12 team scoring.
Things didn't get better for Ben Eager in 2012-13.
This fight would result in another concussion for Ben Eager. Eager was limited to just fourteen games on the abbreviated 48 game schedule. After this fight, he didn't fight again in the NHL, and soon enough was jettisoned to OKC.
Ben Eager was brought for 'sandpaper' or 'grit' or to be a "presence", or some other word that means "player who can't regularly score goals". He's currently a 13/14th forward behind LUKE GAZDIC who was credited with a goal in last night's game. And while I give Eager a ton of crap, I totally understand him not wanting to fight if he's afraid of catching another concussion. He's had enough. It's unfortunate for him, but he can't do what he was brought in to do.
I'd rather see him score 15 goals and up his value to Ryan Jones. Baby steps.
If he's not going to do (or otherwise can't do) what he was brought in to do, there's no good purpose in keeping him around. As the Oilers have proven, it's not like a player of Eager's ilk is a rare bird. They've pulled two tough guys in MacIntyre and Gazdic off of waivers in the past week. While Oiler fans should appreciate that Eager came to camp in better shape than he's been in, he's still not very good at NHL hockey, and appears to have at least temporarily lost his job to a player with one game of NHL experience.
But with all that in mind, don't let that deter you from making a waiver claim. If you're interested in Ben Eager, he's available at the low, low cap hit of 1.2M.
This former first round pick comes fully loaded with the following add-ons, at no additional cost to you!
- A Stanley Cup Ring!
- Level of compete!
- A total of fourteen points over the past two seasons!
C'mon, Montréal. You've got to be in after losing George Parros to a concussion. Maybe it'll be you, Sabres. Throw Eager on a line with John Scott and Steve Ott, maybe all three of you can go after Milan Lucic at once.
Now's your chance. Don't wait. Act now.