The Oilers have placed Alex Chiasson on taxi squad waivers.
I’ve gotten really bad at predicting whether or not players will get picked up (I thought for sure the Oilers would have been in on Alex Nedeljkovic), but I think it’s probably unlikely that anyone takes a chance on Chiasson’s 2.15MM cap hit. Prove me wrong, it won’t be the first time.
Whether Chiasson gets picked up or not, him being waived should pave the way for Evan Bouchard’s season debut.
Question: "So, Bouchard might play tomorrow?"— Mark Spector (@SportsnetSpec) February 1, 2021
Tippett: "We're going to try to get him in pretty soon, yep."
If Bouchard gets in tomorrow, it’s not a moment too soon.
Ethan Bear’s absence from last night’s 8-5 victory over the Ottawa Senators was especially glaring once you got a chance to see the pairings. Things like that sometimes will get overlooked when your two best players combine for eleven points and your power play has an 80% success rate on the night. However that may be, I hope that we can avoid seeing Kris Russell on his off side again this season. (Russell’s 16 minutes to Caleb Jones’ 12 was also a head scratcher) Add on that it was Stuart Skinner’s NHL debut, and it could’ve gotten out of hand quickly had the Oilers not scored early and often. The Lagesson/Russell pair trotted out a 0% xGF%, which is...less than good. Let’s not see that pair again.
Even if Ethan Bear is back tomorrow (which is totally up in the air at this time), I’d consider taking a look at a right side made up of Bear, Barrie and Bouchard.
Bouchard has been on the taxi squad since the beginning of the season. The 2018 first round selection anchored the Bakersfield Condors defence last year while scoring 36 points (7-29-36) in 54 games, which tied him for second in team scoring. The Oilers are taking on the Senators again tomorrow night, so it’s a perfect time for Bouchard to find his way into the lineup. Let’s take Tippett at his word and let’s hope we see Bouchard tomorrow.