When teams pull off a trade in the National Hockey League, you have to assume that there is some paperwork that needs to be done. However, in this case, it seems that one important element was forgotten or delayed.
On Monday, the Edmonton Oilers traded defenseman Jakub Jerabek in return for a sixth-round 2020 draft pick from the St. Louis Blues; the pick becomes a fifth-round selection if the Jerabek plays 50 or more games for the Blues this season.
What was supposed to take place back in August for Jerabek, who signed a one-year, $1 million free-agent contract, is that he was expected to fill in for Andrej Sekera tore the achilles tendon in his right leg in off-season training. After training camp, it appears that the Oilers are trusting youngsters Ethan Bear and first-round draft Evan Bouchard, and newly signed Jason Garrison on the blue line.
The Blues acquired Jerabek and revealed to their fan base their 23-man roster for the season opener on Tuesday. However, the 27-year-old defenseman does not appear on the list, provided by the team's website:
Forwards: Ivan Barbashev, Sammy Blais, Tyler Bozak, Jordan Kyrou, Pat Maroon, Ryan O'Reilly, David Perron, Brayden Schenn, Jaden Schwartz, Alexander Steen, Vladimir Tarasenko, Robert Thomas
Defense: Robert Bortuzzo, Jay Bouwmeester, Chris Butler, Vince Dunn, Joel Edmundson, Niko Mikkola, Colton Parayko, Alex Pietrangelo, Jordan Schmaltz
Goalies: Jake Allen, Chad Johnson
Injured Reserve: Oskar Sundqvist
Non-Roster: Robby Fabbri, Erik Foley, Carl Gunnarsson, Jakub Jerabek, Luke Opilka, Nikita Soshnikov
According to the Blues' website, and Oilers team insider Jim Matheson for the Edmonton Journal, Jerabek is awaiting his work visa in order to make the roster. The other non-roster players are all currently injured.
The Oilers decided to move Jerabek instead of playing him on waivers, as they were afraid to lose him for nothing. The Blues pulled the trigger on the move, however, some paperwork need to be filled out in order to get their newly traded player in their lineup.
Jerabek finished up last season as the No. 7 blue liner on the Stanley winning Washington Capitals. During the past trade deadline, the Montreal Canadiens moved Jerabek to the Caps, who did not re-sign him this summer after their first championship in franchise history. The Blues are Jerabek's fourth team in just over a year after signing as a free agent in May 2017 with the Habs.
He sure hopes his work visa issues get solved sooner rather than later...