Edmonton Oilers make Jesse Puljujarvi a healthy scratch as decision time looms

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Edmonton Oilers make Jesse Puljujarvi a healthy scratch as decision time looms

The Oilers welcome Evander Kane to their lineup tonight for the first time since Nov. 8 when he suffered a horrific wrist injury against the Tampa Bay Lightning. At the time, it was expected that Kane would be out for 3-4 months, but his return comes before that time frame and obviously gives the Oilers a huge boost as they look to turn their season around.
Some say they’re rushing him back into the lineup, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. Kane told reporters yesterday that his shooting won’t be 100% early on, but it won’t be all season. This type of injury takes a long time to really get back to that point, as the nerves he damaged seem to repair themselves.

If Kane thinks he can step in and contribute and the doctors have cleared him to play, I want that guy in my lineup. Even if his shot is not 100%, he will still be effective for this team. They really missed him for the last 10 weeks.

Now that he’s back, the Oilers face a salary crisis similar to the one they faced at the start of the season when everyone was healthy.

And tonight, the team will give Jesse Puljujarvi a healthy scratch, sources say oil nation.

Over the past week or so, the big talk has centered on who the Oilers would send via waivers to make Kane’s return possible. It would have to have been one of Derek Ryan, Matthias Janmark, Warren Foegele or Jesse Puljujarvi. None of those are particularly easy decisions to make.

Even though Foegele is struggling, the Oilers might be wise to keep him in the NHL in hopes that he will warm up and regain some trade value so he can get out of his contract before the trade deadline.

Rather than have to send a player via waivers, the Oilers put Kailer Yamamoto on LTIR. This means that he will be out of the lineup until after the NHL All-Star break. That solves its capitalization crisis for now, but it’s far from a permanent solution.

We’ve also been speculating on whether or not the team would be forced to trade a player who makes over $2.5 million like Foegele or Puljujarvi and while they don’t need to make a move now, they probably will before the trade deadline, if not before

Our NHL insider Frank Seravalli spoke about this today on Daily Faceoff Live, which is a must-watch show if you want to stay informed ahead of the NHL trade deadline.

“Essentially, the Oilers have eliminated their cap problem” by putting Yamamoto on LTIR and giving him a chance to restart, he said.

Once he’s healthy and ready to come out of LTIR, they’ll have to make the corresponding salary cap move.

“The Oilers were preparing for these types of circumstances before Yamamoto was injured on January 11,” Seravalli added, noting that “Ken Holland put some sensors on the rest of the NHL.”

He went on to add that it was no secret that the Oilers would have had to give up one of Derek Ryan, Jesse Puljujarvi or Warren Foegele and that Holland made it known those players would be available to other teams.

“I was told that the Oilers had a conversation with a couple of teams about Jesse Puljujarvi and I think the conversations were pretty promising on that front,” Seravalli said. “Puljujarvi generated some interest from a handful of NHL teams, which is good news for the Oilers as the trade deadline approaches.”

A few months ago, it looked like the Oilers might have had to attach an asset to Puljujarvi to unload their $3 million cap, but now, Seravalli says that may not be the case.

If you’d like to watch the full segment, you can find it below. Frank had interesting inside information on the future of Timo Meier and a team that could be chasing him before the deadline and gave insight into the health of Golden Knights forward Mark Stone.

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