With a single tweet today, Oilers' media voice Bob Stauffer set Oilers' fans abuzz:
The #Oilers have placed Toni Rajala on unconditional waivers— Bob Stauffer (@Bob_Stauffer) August 23, 2013
The Oilers have done so with the intention of buying Rajala out of his professional contract so that they might use Rajala's spot in their 50-man limit. Rajala is rumored to have a deal in place in Finland.
For the record I think Hartikainen and Omark are both better prospects for the NHL then Rajala. I am guessing most of you do too?— Bob Stauffer (@Bob_Stauffer) August 23, 2013
...which was a significant turn from his comments earlier this summer:
Toni Rajala certainly opened up some eyes this season. Skates better, hungrier than Linus Omark. Look forward to seeing him at training camp— Bob Stauffer (@Bob_Stauffer) June 6, 2013
It's an odd move to rid yourself of your best prospect in the AHL, but the logical conclusion is that the Oilers that Rajala may not have a place at the big kids' table in the near future.
Rajala came in at #16 with a bullet in our most recent Top 25 Under 25 and he leaves a significant hole in the Oklahoma City Barons' lineup. The Barons will need a proven point per game scorer like Linus Omark in the AHL to rescue the top of the lineup - the problem being how to find one at this time of the year.
The Oilers are now down to just two Finns within the organization, Jesse Joensuu and Frans Tuohimaa.