Examining Oilers Options at Centre: Internal & External

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Tim Connolly
Age: 32
Last NHL club: Toronto Maple Leafs
2011-12 stats: 70 GP, 13 G, 23 A, 36 Points

Connolly’s name has been mentioned here at Oil on Whyte before and perhaps now is the time to consider giving him a tryout.  Although with only three exhibition games remaining the window on PTO’s  may have passed the Oilers by.

Having spent last season with the Toronto Marlies of the AHL could be a potential blessing in disguise for the Oilers and Connolly. Remember, head coach Dallas Eakins just so happened to be the coach of the Marlies last season and would know first hand how well Connolly can adapt to the NHL game again.

The Oilers don’t need a superstar, they just need someone who can fill the void until Ryan Nugent-Hopkins or Sam Gagner returns.  Meaning a three or four week stint may be all that’s required.

Would it be a poor business practice to sign Connolly for the short-term only to place him on waivers if he can’t play into a roster spot when RNH and Gagner get healthy?  That’s the cold hard reality known as professional sports and it’s more of a ‘what have you done for me lately’ motto than it is about loyalty.

Of course there is the outside chance that Connolly could manage to find himself a place on the Oilers roster, albeit on the fourth line.  Then again with the young talent that the Oilers have knocking on the door for that role, Connolly would likely be used as a temporary replacement.

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