EDMONTON OILERS: GRYBA, RUSSELL AND TUESDAY QUICK HITS | Oilersnetwork.com - Edmonton Oilers News and Rumours


Typically, posts here discuss one topic and I spill my guts about an opinion or subject as things pop into my head. Today, there is so much going on in the world of the Edmonton Oilers, it felt more natural to provide a quick "gut spill" on a few topics.

Photo credit Dinur via Visual hunt  CC BY-NC-ND

Eric Gryba

He is coming to the Oilers camp on a PTO.

This is good news for the Oilers and I think Gryba wins a spot on the team. This could happen potentially even if the Oilers sign Kris Russell (which was the rumour yesterday). Gryba is a right-handed d-man and Russell a lefty. The only issue becomes what happens if Russell comes aboard and it moves Sekera over to the right. Fayne then moves down in the depth chart, potentially bumping Gryba.

Kris Russell

Bob Mackenzie of TSN made a little noise and then Dustin Nielson caused a bigger stir when he posted that the Oilers had offered Kris Russell a one-year contract.

I wrote a piece for the Hockey Writers suggesting Russell could make sense in a more limited and sheltered role for the Oilers. Use him as a power play specialist and some time on the penalty kill in combination with third-pairing minutes and he could be a good option. The big asterisk here is that the Oilers get him only on a one-year contract for $2.5 or under.

Leon Draisaitl

If there is a player to respond better to a quick benching than Draisaitl, I haven't seen it in years. After sitting for two periods. He comes back, gets a hat trick and then yesterday wins the game in overtime for Team Europe.

If Oiler fans are not excited for the year Draisaitl  might have, they've got to be missing a pulse. No matter where Draisaitl plays this season — wing or center — he's going to get lots of good looks from his coach after what he's showed in this tournament. This season could be a breakout campaign for the German-born player.

Should he post big numbers, it could pose some issues in terms of determining his next contract, but that's one of those things you deal with when it comes.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

"Nuge" looks like a different player than last season. In a closely contested battle with Team Russia, Nugent-Hopkins was one of the best players for Team North America. He was everywhere.  Nathan McKinnon got the second star of the game, but I'd argue that McKinnon doesn't have the game he has without Nugent-Hopkins on the ice with him for much of that game.

Like Draisaitl, Nugent-Hopkins is using this tournament to show he's ready to have a strong season for the Oilers. It will be interesting to see where they use him as McClellan played the holy hell out of Nugent-Hopkins in the final frame of that game yesterday and Team North America almost made that comeback.
It's unfortunate too because the entire team played well with the exception of goaltender Tim Murray who let in four goals on four shots. If not for that performance, Team North America doesn't lose that game.

Connor McDavid

What can you say that hasn't already been said? Sometimes you hear the "hype-train" coming and you think it's a bit too much, but not with McDavid. The speed he flew down the wing in yesterday's contest and the pass he made to Auston Matthews was a thing of beauty.

But, who cares what I think right? For now, I'll just keep my mouth shut until I feel like spilling my guts again.

Jim Parsons is a business owner, husband, father and sports fan. For more information about Oilersnetwork.com founder and Oil Spill articles author Jim Parsons, click here.

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