Alex Chiasson has gone from having his day with the Stanley Cup to trying to earn a job with the Edmonton Oilers.
Chiasson, 27, was a member of the Washington Capitals last season. Two weeks ago, he was the last member of the team to get his day with the Cup. He spent it with family, friends and mentors in Quebec City.
“I wanted to give back to some of the people who helped me along the way,” said Chiasson, shortly after scoring a goal in the Oilers’ Fan Day scrimmage Saturday at Rogers Place.
Chiasson is in Oilers camp on a professional try-out contract.
“To be honest, I didn’t think I was going to be in this position,” said Chiasson. “I’ve proven to the league and every team I’ve been on that I’m capable of helping a team and being in this league.”
Chiasson had 18 points in 61 games with the Caps last season. He would be a depth forward with the Oilers and is hoping his 381 regular season games give him an edge with the team.
“I have experience. I know what this league takes. September is one league, then January is a different league; come up in May it’s a different league. I witnessed that this year. Those are things that no one can take away from me. That’s experience I have over some other guys,” said Chiasson, who suited up in 16 of the Capitals’ playoff games last spring.
“He’s a player who has won a Stanley Cup and experienced the commitment level that it takes to get there,” said Oilers head coach Todd McLellan. “He has a coach on the staff who coached him for a full year in Calgary, that being Glen Gulutzan. Sometimes you might slip through the cracks, but Gully is making sure we’re aware of his strengths and weaknesses.”
“I wanted to be on a team that’s successful,” said Chiasson. “In my opinion, this team should make the playoffs every single year with the talent that they have.”
Chiasson will have to outplay incumbent wingers like Zack Kassian, Drake Caggiula and Pontus Aberg as well as Scottie Upshall, who is also on a professional try-out contract. Upshall failed his physical on Thursday but is expected to be able to get back on the ice soon.
The scrimmage saw Team Blue get goals from Chiasson, Aberg, Oscar Klefbom, Tobias Rieder and Ryan McLeod to beat Team White 5-3. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, William Lagesson and Ty Rattie scored for White.
McLellan called the line of Rieder, Leon Draisaitl and Milan Lucic “maybe our best throughout camp.”
Caggiula didn’t skate for the second day in a row as he battles an illness, while goalie Cam Talbot practiced but sat out the scrimmage with mild lower body soreness.