So far 12 NHL veterans have signed Professional Tests (PTOs) with various NHL teams. Others are considering their options, including Jake Virtanen. The Oilers have offered him a PTO and are waiting to see if he will sign him. Virtanen played in the Croatia Airlines League last year due to a criminal sexual assault case pending. The case concluded last July and Virtanen was found not guilty. There is still a civil case pending against him. No trial date has been set.
As stated in this report, “Very little supporting evidence was presented by either side, leaving the jury with only two different versions of the night in question.” It can be very difficult to prove cases of sexual assault, especially when it is in the first place, he said. Virtanen was 20 years old when they met in 2017. He and the woman Met a few months ago in Calgary They exchanged text messages for months before meeting at the hotel. Virtanen said the sex was consensual. The woman said it was not.
Virtanen was found not guilty last July, and now he can try to revive his National Hockey League career.
He was the sixth overall pick in 2014. He made his National Hockey League debut the following season with the Vancouver Canucks and produced 7-6-13 in 55 games. The following season, he spent primarily in the AHL where he scored 9-10-19 in 65 games. He’s played 10 NHL games, but only made one pass. It’s another prime example of why a teen’s rush to the NHL rarely works. He wasn’t ready for the NHL at the age of 19, then lost his confidence and struggled when he was 20.
In his third professional season, he started taking some positive steps and scored 10-10-20. Between 2018-2020, Virtanen played the third highest number of matches (177) for Canucks, producing an improvement in goal and points totals per season from 10 to 15 to 18 goals and from 20 to 25 to 36 points. for him The holding numbers weren’t that great, but he looked like a capable player in the National Hockey League. But then in the 2021 season cut short by the Covid virus, he produced only five points in 38 games, then in May of 2021 a woman filed a police report against Virtanen, and he was put on leave by the Canucks. Two months later, he was put into waivers and bought off the final year of his contract in July. Virtanen played last season in the Premier League.
Virtanen stands 6’1 and weighs 225-230 lbs. It is my body. He averaged 9.89 hits/60 or higher in five of his six NHL seasons. With no Zach Cassian and Josh Archibald on the squad, the Oilers had a void of physical players in the last six. PTO is a very low risk option. Oilers can use boot camp and prep to determine if he can still be an effective NHL player. If not, they release it and move on.
Some interesting names have already signed orders to launch the project.
Eric Stahl (1,293 NHL games) in Florida, Calvin De Haan (520 GP) and Derek Stepan (817) in Carolina, James Neal (869) in Columbus, Cody Aiken (701) with Calgary, Danny Deciser (547) in Vancouver , Jimmy Vesey (422) with the New York Rangers, Nathan Beaulieu (419) in Anaheim, Tyler Betlik (325), Zach Aston-Reese (230) with Toronto, Scott Harrington (210) in San Jose and goalkeeper Andrew Hammond with Florida.
Edmonton offered the Aston Race PTO, but chose to sign with Toronto. Wondering if Otters make an offer to Tyler Mott? I would also like to extend the PTO to PK Subban. I’ll be open and honest and tell him he’s coming here fighting for job #7 to start as the Oilers have three starting RDs, and if he says he’s good at it, I’ll bring him. He’s looking for an opportunity and as we get closer to camp, veterans who were hoping to sign NHL contracts will have to accept the PTO, get into camp and show what they can do.
I’ve been interviewing several Oilers this summer, usually after they’ve signed a new contract or extension. I haven’t written an article on every article, but here are some of the quotes that stand out.
I asked Kane how he managed to neutralize Matthew Tkachuk in matches 2-5 of the Battle of Alberta?
“I think a big part of the playoffs, just because you play with each other every night and the fight gets tough, I think a big part of hockey is the mental game. And that it gets overlooked a lot, especially in today’s game. But it can certainly be a useful tool against other teams, Especially the other guys.I think he’s a guy who likes to talk and gossip and click and make gestures.No one can tell me anything I haven’t heard before so it’s not my skin on my back.Sometimes when the shoe is on the other foot, people have a hard time dealing with it.I think that The mental aspect we were probably competing against each other deterred him a bit.”
It’s too bad that Tkachuk is in Florida now. Will Kane and Nazim Qadri face a similar competition this season?
Yamamoto is not the biggest guy. He’s been young throughout his football career, and he’s adapted on every level. Although he would like to add some weight.
“I would say I’m like 160 pounds right now. If I could gain five to ten pounds, that would push it, but if I could gain five to ten pounds, that would be an ideal weight for me. And roughly 170, for me, might feel like Slowly a little bit, but if I get to 165 I think that will be a lot of weight for me, and more importantly I will have that little extra shield, that will be great.”
He weighed 150 pounds a few years ago, so he’s already added 10 pounds and would like to add another five. It probably won’t be noticeable to the naked eye, but as he said it would give him some extra armor as well as more power.
Under pressure to play in a crazy hockey market with a new big contract.
“I definitely feel like playing in Toronto has prepared me for that moment where I go to a competitor and expect to win right away. This is so exciting and the things I have learned, I really feel ready and prepared for this moment and I really enjoyed my time in Toronto. When the fans live and breathe the game of hockey, that is something Great and makes you want to be the best professional you can be and in the end, that’s what I want – to be the best I can be every single day. There’s no better place to do that, for me, than Edmonton.”
“We expect to win immediately.” These words have not been uttered in Edmonton for many years.
On why he wanted to try the free proxy.
“I’m glad I did it and the way it went for me Landing in Edmonton It was awesome. It was a good experience overall and you know what led me to this situation and this decision to pursue it on Free Agency Day, I based a little bit on my colleagues and guys who went through Free Agency. Just reaching for the guys and they’re like, “You know, the free agency tomorrow, you might as well go through it. It might be the only time in your career that you can try it.”
“It’s been great getting calls from the teams and talking to different coaches and, as you say, they are trying to lure you and bring you into their team. But at the end of the day, I’m glad I’m still with the Oilers and I can look forward to the next four seasons.
How did you feel about getting ready to go through that free agency?
“The closer I got, I think I was more excited. But it was a stressful two weeks. It’s a big decision at this point in my career, and there’s a lot of things you’ve been thinking about that want to make the best possible decision for me on the ice, and put my family off the ice.” Whatever the future holds is unknown, but you are just trying to imagine yourself in situations with any team or anywhere. That’s all you can prepare is to ask yourself some questions, what do you want and why. And I leaned on my wife a lot and asked her what she wanted. Then let things go It’s fine then.”
Free agency can be stressful and exhilarating. It is a major decision for the player. The players hope to pick the right team and position, but as we’ve seen, it doesn’t always go that way.
Evan Rodriguez finally got a contract, but it likely isn’t the one he was expecting when the free agency started in July. He signed a one-year, $2 million deal today with Colorado. He scored 19 goals and 43 points last season with the Penguins and many felt he would get a multi-year contract worth at least $3 million. That didn’t happen and now he has a show contract with Avs. The timing is huge, and I wonder if the opposing team would consider saving $3-4 million in cap space for late August and early September, when you can sign players for much less AAV than in the first week of free agent frenzy?
The Oilers are already in the LTIR, but they aren’t alone. There can be 10 teams, maybe more, that should start in the LTIR. Assistant General Manager and Capbologist Bill Scott joined us at the DailyFaceoff Podcast to discuss max management, the differences between being in an off-season LTIR compared to going to an in-season LTIR and other related topics. You can listen to it here Or download it wherever you get your podcasts.
- When: On Thursday, January 12, we hopped on a flight at Edmonton International Airport and made our way to Vegas. On Sunday evening, we will be returning from Vegas to Edmonton. So the dates you have to block for this trip are January 12-15.
- Where do we live: After landing at LV, we’ll hop on the free shuttle and make our way to Park MGM before settling in for a good night’s sleep. 😉
- What did you get: Round trip, hotel, shuttle, viewing party (Friday night), game entry – we got seats this time (Saturday night), and exclusive entry to the “meet everyone” event before the flight.
- What is the price: The total cost of the flight, flight, hotel and entrance to the game $1,499 per person (based on double occupancy)
- the tickets: Are you ready to dive? Click on this link.