3 goalies on the move as Edmonton Oilers make room for Mike Smith's return

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Game Day 30: Edmonton at St. Louis

As expected, Edmonton Oilers have reactivated netminder Mike Smith after a 26-game absence in advance of the club’s own return to action at St. Louis tonight.

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A plethora of moves was required to make the move possible:

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That’s three different goalies on the move, pretty much everyone except  Mikko Koskinen , the man we speculated might be in jeopardy in this post yesterday. Not for now, at least. Instead, management followed the more conventional course of action as stated here:

  • The conventional move would be to keep the two veterans and return Skinner to Bakersfield. What they can’t do, is place the younger man on the taxi squad. Whereas they could place either remaining farm club netminder, Ilya Konovalov or  Olivier Rodrigue , on the TS for the simple reason that neither has been on the NHL roster to this point. Seems odd, doesn’t it?

Which is in fact what has happened. Stuart Skinner is ineligible for the taxi squad so has been returned to Bakersfield, while Ilya Konovalov and his 0 NHL GP has been promoted (if that’s even the correct term) to the taxi squad. Konovalov, a veteran of 3 seasons in the KHL, has produced middling numbers (3-3-2, 2.48, .900) in Bako as he adapts to the North American game, but has been strong in December with 1-1-1, 1.47, .946 in four recent appearances.

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Don’t expect him to see any NHL action barring a serious emergency involving both veterans ahead of him. Should, say, Smith suffer a physical setback, the move would simply be to recall Skinner for the next game.

The other move to clear cap space involved sending Philip Broberg to the taxi squad. Not only does that remove his cap hit of $863k from the equation, but also claws back some $146k in bonus overages, as reported yesterday and confirmed by PuckPedia this morning:

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The subsequent reassignment of Skinner provided the Oilers with just enough cap space to activate Smith with some $74k to spare. With the Oilers in LTIR mode all season, cap management is a critical element from each day to the next.

We will have more on tonight’s line-up when it becomes available in the next couple of hours.

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Follow me on Twitter @BruceMcCurdy

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