Tue. May 28th, 2024

In a strategic move aimed at sending a message and getting more production out of their bottom six, the Edmonton Oilers have made the decision to waive forward Adam Erne after he failed to make a significant impact in the team’s initial eight games.

The Oilers made the announcement through a statement on Tuesday, stating, “Forward Adam Erne has been placed on waivers for the purpose of assignment.” With Erne failing to register a single point in six games, the decision didn’t come as a surprise to many fans who have been eager to see another forward get an opportunity, especially as the team is struggling.

Erne Was Not Giving the Oilers All That Much

While seen as a forechecker and penalty killer, Erne’s struggles on the ice were glaring. In Sunday’s game against the Calgary Flames, he played just 3:34, a season low. He’s got no points on the season, he’s a plus/minus -1, and he’s been particularly bad when given open opportunities, including failing to capitalize on open nets near the crease. Such inefficiency became a growing concern for the Oilers, especially as they aimed to secure contributions from their bottom six forwards. He’s not the only player who has struggled in the bottom six, but he’s perhaps the most expendable.

Erne had initially earned a spot on the Oilers’ roster through a professional tryout contract but failed to deliver as expected, prompting the team’s management to actively explore alternative options to bolster their overall performance.

Adam Erne Edmonton Oilers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Sam Gagner to Sign NHL Deal

With an additional two days off before the Oilers take the ice against versus the Dallas Stars on Thursday, there’s a bit of time to make a decision. But, it sounds like the Oilers have already made it. Daniel Nugent-Bowman of The Athletic writes, “I’d expect Erne’s replacement to be someone suited for a fourth-line role (see a veteran player).” Bob Stauffer is reporting that head coach Jay Woodcroft has confirmed that Sam Gagner will sign an NHL deal and will be called up in the coming days. This comes after Ryan Rishaug of TSN weighed in on the situation, suggesting that the team should consider young talents like Raphael Lavoie, especially after his standout performance.

Related: Concerning Remarks About McDavid’s Impact Surfacing for Oilers

Sam Gagner is back playing, having just started to suit up in Bakersfield with the Condors. He’s got four points in three games and one scout said he “looks too good to be in the AHL.”

At this stage and with the lack of results, Gagner (despite rehabbing an injury during the preseason) would likely be considered an upgrade over Erne.

Should the Oilers Bring Up Lavoie?

The move to waive Erne fueled speculation among fans and analysts alike regarding potential replacements. Lavoie seems to be the favorite amongst the fan base, but there are questions about promoting a young prospect whose minutes will go way down if called up. For someone like Gagner, he knows his role and will try to make the most of three to eight minutes per game. For Lavoie, is it better to let him dominate and over-ripen him?

Ideally, he’s not the best fit on the fourth line if head coach Jay Woodcroft is going to keep ice times similar, regardless of who is on the roster. As such, the Oilers find themselves at a crucial juncture, carefully evaluating their options to rejuvenate their momentum in the league.

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The decision to waive Erne came amidst Lavoie’s impressive showing — he was awarded Player of the Week honors in the AHL — isn’t necessarily an easy one. Despite his remarkable performance, the Oilers might choose to keep Lavoie in the minors, further developing his skills and finding a spot for him in the top-nine before making a significant leap to the NHL.

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The post Oilers Waive Adam Erne: Gagner Coming and Not Lavoie appeared first on WorldNewsEra.

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