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Oilers to Bring Back Anton Slepyshev?

The Edmonton Oilers are giving serious consideration to bringing back former Oiler forward and now KHL sniper Anton Slepyshev.

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Bruce McCurdy of the Edmonton Journal writes today that the Edmonton Oilers are giving serious consideration to bringing back former Oiler forward and now KHL sniper Anton Slepyshev.

McCurdy writes that “Plan A — which a reliable source places at >50% — appears to be trying to find a fit for the player back with the Oilers.”

Interesting.

There’d been word before that the Oilers might consider bringing Slepyshev back. That said, never was a number put on the odds of that happening and it’s not likely many believed, once they’d heard those numbers, the odds would be so high.

McCurdy asks, “What’s changed since 2018?” He says “lots of things.”

Citing the new coaching staff and management in Edmonton as a group that hasn’t soured on the player, there’s also now a chance to bring in an improved player to play with better linemates. Slepyshev has grown a ton offensively since he last played in the NHL.

In his previous run in Edmonton, Slepyshev never got much more than a sniff with top-tier talent, instead spending most of his time with grinders like Drake Caggiula, Milan Lucic, and Mark Letestu. But, now that Slepyshev has proven an ability to score, (18 goals and 45 points in 54 games for CSKA Moscow) he could be a real producer for the Oilers in a top-six role.

The Oilers one more summer to negotiate with Slepyshev and just as his KHL contract expires. If they can’t come to terms, but can convince him to come back to the NHL, they could also trade his rights for a pick. As McCurdy puts it, that would be Plan B.

Could Slepyshev prove useful if given another opportunity in Edmonton. If the odds McCurdy were given are correct, Ken Holland must think so.

Related: Should Teams Be Compensating Part-Time Staff?

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