The Edmonton Oilers have made yet another transaction as opening night quickly approaches, waiving two veterans on Monday morning.
Gagner and Manning to waivers.— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) September 30, 2019
Sam Gagner was a fixture on the Oilers second line this preseason, with Nugent-Hopkins and Neal, but failed to gather momentum in any of his appearances. The veteran spent has spent the bulk of his career with the Oilers, having been drafted by the club in 2007, and was re-acquired last season in a trade that saw the Oilers ship Ryan Spooner to Vancouver. Gagner will be making a total of 3.15 million dollars in what will be the final year of his current contract. His cap-hit in the AHL will be reduced to 2.075 million.
Brandon Manning has been seen as a contender for the team’s 7th defenceman throughout most of the preseason. Poor play and a problematic cap-hit worked against his favour. Manning is most notable for injuring Connor McDavid back in 2015, when Manning was a member of the Philadelphia Flyer. He was acquired by, then Oilers GM, Peter Chiarelli in November 2017 in exchange for Drake Caggiula. Manning played a total of 12 games with Edmonton and was relegated to the AHL, where he struggled and only suited up for 8 game. Manning’s cap hit in the AHL will be set at 1.17 million.
What Does This Mean?
Both of these moves have significant implications for the opening night roster. Gagner being cut most likely means that one of Joakim Nygard or Tomas Jurco will get the nod on the second line with RNH and James Neal. Nygard has gotten looks in that role and has shown an impressive display of speed and offensive instincts. Jurco has been auditioned on the top lines throughout the preseason as well and has produced well. It will be interesting to see who is pencilled into that position this Wednesday.
UPDATE: The Oilers also announced that William Lagesson was assigned to the Condors
On the backend, the group has been all but solidified. Ethan Bear will start with Oscar Klefbom, while it seems that Joel Persson will be close to returning to injury and will start the season as the team’s 7th defenceman.
The fates of Gaeten Haas and Colby Cave are to be determined.