In a moderate surprise, the Edmonton Oilers have claimed Winnipeg Jets defenceman Adam Pardy (and Vancouver forward Adam Cracknell) off the waiver wire.
A hobbled blueline may be part of the impetus behind the move. First, former captain Andrew Ference underwent season-ending hip surgery back in January. As of Feb. 18th, a knee injury was set to keep Eric Gryba out for at least a month, while Oscar Klefbom is skating but likely won't return until early March.
Klefbom and Gryba log the first and third most shorthanded time per game among Edmonton defencemen; Pardy can help fill that PK role. Even after those two return, Pardy might serve to alleviate the shorthanded burden on rookie blueliners Brandon Davidson and Darnell Nurse, presently second and fourth in SH TOI per game among Oilers d-men.
His addition also better enables Edmonton to keep still-developing defencemen such as Jordan Oesterle in the AHL:
Coach McLellan says Cracknell & Pardy are likely to meet the #Oilers in Buffalo. "We think both of them can come in & contribute."— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) February 29, 2016
From Winnipeg's point of view, it's hard to get worked up over Pardy being claimed. While the more desireable end would obviously have been to receive some return, it's also easy to believe that with just one assist and 14 games played, there may have been no trade market to speak of. Given his paucity of playing time, the "loss" wades into no harm, no foul territory. At the very least, True North Sports & Entertainment saves a few dollars on what remains of his one-way, $1,000,000 contract.
@PhilipAIver yes. He handles his minutes very well defensively. Way better than Stuart.— Stephen Burtch (@SteveBurtch) February 29, 2016
In the immediate future, it sounds as if Winnipeg might roll with the six defencemen currently on the roster. The Jets begin a five game homestand on Tuesday, while Manitoba's next game isn't until Friday in San Antonio. In other words, there's plenty of time and opportunity to recall a defenceman from the Moose, with both Gary Lawless and Ken Wiebe suggesting the possibility of Josh Morrissey. On a roll of 11 points in his last 12 games and four in his last five, the 2013 first rounder would seem a logical candidate.
If Josh Morrissey gets called up, the Manitoba Moose are gonna be nigh unwatchable.— Harrison Lee (@HLLivingLoco) February 29, 2016
Happy trails, Adam. We will never forget the Pardy Dangle: