Professional Tryouts Are A Win/Win For The Edmonton Oilers

Edmonton Oilers player Sam Gagner celebrates goal. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Edmonton Oilers player Sam Gagner celebrates goal. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports /

The Edmonton Oilers officially announced that Sam Gagner and Brandon Sutter have been signed to a professional tryout(PTO) with the team. This really doesn’t change much for the Edmonton Oilers as it is just a tryout for these players. They are guaranteed nothing.

Why Would The Edmonton Oilers Sign A Player To A PTO?

There is no downside for the Edmonton Oilers to bring in these two players on a PTO. It gives them more players they can use during preseason games, which will give players like McDavid and Draisaitl more rest to prepare for the regular season.

It will also create some competition in the bottom part of the lineup. Just because a bottom player has a contract with the Edmonton Oilers doesn’t mean they will be there on opening night. The more players you have battling for a roster spot the better you can expect players to play.

Being comfortable in the bottom six can cause players to get lazy. A bottom-six player can not be lazy. If there is a player that can take your spot, you are much less likely to take any breaks. If the player behind you passes you, you may not play again for a while.

Why Would Sutter And Gagner Choose The Edmonton Oilers For Their PTO?

Like I said above there is no guarantee that either of these two players will even sign with the Edmonton Oilers as they don’t have much cap space left. Then why would these players come to the Edmonton Oilers for a PTO and not a team like Arizona who has lots of cap space?

One reason is they get to have a chance to play with skilled players. During the regular season, there is almost no chance either Gagner or Sutter would be on McDavid or Draisaitl’s line, but in preseason there is.

If Sutter or Gagner get that chance and show they can still perform when put in that role another NHL team besides the Edmonton Oilers may offer them and full-time contract. This is the main reason why I think these players chose Edmonton for their PTOs.

For Gagner, there is also the history of him being an Edmonton Oiler that may have also played a part.

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Overall there is not reason to be critical of a PTO as a fan. It means almost nothing as of right now. If they sign an actual contract then we as fans can judge it, but right now it is a win/win scenario for both the team and the players