Oilers odds and ends

Edmonton Oilers defenseman Ryan Murray (28) Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Edmonton Oilers defenseman Ryan Murray (28) Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Oilers Jason Demers
Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports /

The Oilers have signed Right D Jason Demers and winger Jake Virtanen to PTOs.

Neither of these players are likely to make the team, but the exercise is still useful for both the player and the team. For the team, it creates extra competition for the incumbents and prospects of the organization without having to commit to another contract for the season.

For the player, even if they don’t make the Oilers they still have a great chance to audition for other teams, because other teams will be watching. So, another team could come calling with a contract for the player even if they don’t make the Oilers. It’s happened before, other teams have scooped up players signed to PTOs on other teams.

The Oilers have pretty good depth at this point, but that doesn’t mean teams with less depth couldn’t use a little more veteran depth on either their bottom six forward group or bottom pairing D.

The signing of Virtanen, in particular, has rankled some Oilers fans a little, and if you’re one of those fans I have one thing to say to you:

You’re a complete and total hypocrite. 

After all, Virtanen was found not guilty of sexual assault in a court of law. How many of you objected to Craig Mactavish being on the team as either a player, coach, or GM?  Back in the 80s he killed a child with a sports car and spent a year in jail for vehicular homicide, but nobody seemed to care about that when he was winning cups or getting us to the ’06 Cup finals and knocking off the President’s Trophy winning Red Wings.

How about when Evander Kane came to the team?  Everyone who was his critic was his ally by season’s end.  Yeah, I frowned on the signing too at first but I also said I would keep an open mind and let his actions do the talking. Many of you just said he shouldn’t be signed PERIOD.

Nobody is saying that about Kane now.

Grant Fuhr was a cokehead back in the late 80s, but nobody said boo when he was winning Cups for us during the dynasty years.

Zack Kassian was also a participant of the NHL’s substance abuse program, but nobody objected to him being traded here prior to his offseason trade to Arizona.

The point is that Virtanen was found innocent in a court of law – and he was only given a PTO to boot anyway.

How could you overlook drug use, problem gambling, and jail time and yet object to the signing of a man who was literally found innocent in a court of law? It makes no sense to me, and it seems a lot of Oiler fans need to get their priorities straight between what they condemn and what they overlook in the players who play NHL hockey in their city.