Tyler Pitlick had some successful moments this pre-season. He had a game-changing shift at Winnipeg, he earned time with skilled players like Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and a big check by the winger knocked Bo Horvat out of the game against the Canucks and turned up the intensity.
But the Oilers placed Pitlick on waivers Sunday morning, with the purpose of assignment to Oklahoma City.
The decision is a risk, but one that MacTavish says the team was willing to make when they went through their personnel for the opening night roster. Pitlick was joined by Steve Pinizzotto, Keith Aulie and Anton Lander on waivers.
“I think we can debate on the effectiveness of Tyler Pitlick,” MacTavish said. “I think Tyler is at a position right now that we wish he would have been at a year or a year and a half ago. He’s turned himself into a professional. I think that it ended up with Tyler, as well as Pinizzotto, were two difficult decisions. It got down to a positional bias and I thought the 13th forward here would be best served by being a centreman and it was a risk I was willing to take.”
Will Acton is currently the 13th forward the Oilers elected to keep. The team stressed that the moves were not permanent, with the evaluation process ongoing.