According to Darren Dreger of TSN, via Twitter, the Edmonton Oilers have placed forward Ben Eager on waivers.
The move is somewhat surprising given Eager’s abilities on the ice as a fourth line player. He brings a toughness element to the team although not considered a heavy weight. He can skate which can’t be said for the tough guy the Oilers brought in in Steve MacIntyre.
When looking at the Oilers roster however, it’s clear that the final spot on the fourth line was between Eager and Mike Brown. Both play a similar game and in the end Eager was the odd man out.
After picking up Luke Gazdic on waivers from the Dallas Stars thanks to MacIntyre’s injury, Eager’s place on the team fell a little further down the depth chart. After watching Gazdic last night, it’s clear that Eager’s services are no longer an asset to this club.
An argument could still be made that Eager is a better defensive player than Brown. Given the toughness the team has in Gazdic and MacIntyre when he returns, keeping Eager for his ability to play a smarter game in his own end than Brown could have been reason enough to not put him on waivers.
Eager did come to training camp in impressive shape compared to last year, shedding 20 pounds in the off-season. In the end it wasn’t enough for the 29-year old who could be claimed by another NHL club.