Following a dreadful weekend that saw them lose consecutive blowouts to Calgary and Carolina (getting scored by a 12-6 margin), the Edmonton Oilers made a few more changes to their roster on Monday by placing forwards Ryan Spooner and Ty Rattie on waivers.
The noteworthy name here, of course, is Ryan Spooner because of what he represents. What he represents is the type of roster management that has resulted in the Oilers wasting the first four years of a generational talent in Connor McDavid.
Follow along for a minute just to recall how we got here:
- The Oilers just acquired Spooner a couple of months ago from the New York Rangers in exchange for Ryan Strome.
- That trade came just one year after they acquired Strome in a one-for-one deal with the New York Islanders for Jordan Eberle.
- That means in less than a year-and-a-half the Oilers managed to turn a consistent 20-goal, 50-point winger in Eberle into a player they are placing on waivers. The only natural winger on the Oilers roster this season that is on track to even come close to that sort of production is Alex Chiasson. That is … not good.
Let us not forget how that sequence of trades started just one year after Taylor Hall was traded to New Jersey straight up for Adam Larsson.
Spooner still carries a $4 million salary cap hit through the end of next season.
Rattie spent the 2017-18 season split between Edmonton and the AHL and has appeared in 29 games with the big club this season, scoring two goals to go with six assists. He was a preseason standout this year with five goals and three assists while mostly playing on a line with McDavid. That success never translated over to the regular season.
Whether or not the Oilers make any other moves to accompany these waiver transactions this still has the look of an organization that doesn’t really have any kind of a set plan in place and is just making it up as it goes along.
Related: Oilers add two defenders, including McDavid nemesis Manning
Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.