Round One fun facts and more

Apr 19, 2023; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN;Edmonton Oilers forward Klim Kostin (21) celebrates scoring a goal. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 19, 2023; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN;Edmonton Oilers forward Klim Kostin (21) celebrates scoring a goal. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports /

Oilers-Leafs Cup final?  

I have a feeling that it will be an Oilers-Leafs Cup final. I’m not basing that on anything more than intuition, I don’t have data to back that up and I can’t read the future. It would certainly create another great storyline for the NHL as they’d have Mcdavid vs. Matthews in the Cup final. Lots of hockey left to play of course in the meantime, so we’ll go one game at a time and then be happy if this happens.

I’m not the only one predicting this, either.  I love the Beaverton’s tweet too, a man that’s hilarious:

Boston Bruins Leaf harder than Leafs have ever Leafed

LOL!!!  I agree.

If an Oilers-Leafs final does happen, it will be the first time an all-Canadian Cup final has happened since 1989 when the Flames got revenge on the Montreal Canadiens for 1986 and beat them for the franchise’s one and only Cup win.

This reminds me of a classic Flames joke:

What’s the difference between the Calgary Flames and a bra? 

A bra has two Cups.   

*comedic drumroll* You’re welcome.  🙂

Condors sign a pair to AHL-only contracts

Left d-man Alex Peters was signed to a one-way, AHL-only contract for one year. So far the player has only played in the AHL and ECHL, but you just never know with some of these guys, sometimes they turn out to be a diamond in the rough. Vincent Desharnais at one point was on an AHL-only contract and he is now a regular bottom-pairing blueliner. James Hamblin was also on an AHL-only contract once but that’s since been upgraded to a two-way NHL-AHL contract, and Hamblin earned himself a call-up early on in the season and could be a future fourth-liner or extra forward, so you just never know.

RWer Ethan De Jong was the other guy who was signed, and in his case, he is an undrafted college free agent turning pro next season. De Jong is an intriguing prospect as his point totals have increased in his last three seasons of NCAA hockey, culminating in last season when he set new careers highs in goals with 19, in points with 40 (in 41 games, I might add), and in +/- with a crazy good +25.

AHL-only contracts don’t count towards the 50-man roster NHL teams are required to abide by, so this is often a way for NHL teams to circumvent that limit and increase organizational depth. With this move, the Oilers – who at this point are at 45 of 50 players on the roster – now have room to sign their own draft picks to two-way ELCs. De Jong’s contract is AHL only for two years starting next season. Only time will tell whether this gets upgraded to a two-way AHL-NHL contract, but this appears to be a good find by Holland and the scouting staff.

Oilers call up three more for the playoff taxi squad

With the Bakersfield Condors eliminated in the first round of the AHL playoffs by the Abbotsford Canucks, their season is effectively over and as such the Oilers have called up the aforementioned Hamblin, C/RW Raphael Lavoie, and RD Phil Kemp for the taxi squad.

Prior to the first round, the Oilers had called up C/LWs Brad Malone and Dylan Holloway, two LDs in Markus Niemelainen and Cam Dineen, as well as the third and fourth-string goalies Calvin Pickard and Olivier Rodrigue.

None of these players are likely to see NHL action in the playoffs but never say never.