The Edmonton Oilers had a goalie battle in net with three guys that have spent the bulk of their careers as backups. However, when it came time to shed one of them it was Ben Scrivens, who has 116 career starts in the NHL, that was waived.

Scrivens started 53 contests for the Oilers last season and 20 the year before after he was traded from the Los Angeles Kings. He did not have a good year between the pipes in 2014-15, however, as he posted an .890 save percentage in his first full year as a started. That helped contribute to a 15-26-11 record as the Oilers were once again one of the league’s worst teams.

That is going to make offseason acquisition Cam Talbot the undisputed starter in net, though that always looked to be the likeliest outcome. The Oilers nabbed Talbot in a trade on Day 2 of the NHL Entry Draft, sending three picks to the New York Rangers in exchange for the netminder and a seventh-round selection.

Like Scrivens, Talbot was undrafted out of college hockey. He also spent significant time as an understudy for one of the league’s best goaltenders, having been Henrik Lundqvist’s backup for the last two years.

In 57 career appearances, 53 of which were starts, Talbot has a .931 save percentage. He had a .926 mark over 36 games last season while filling in during an extended injury absence from Lundqvist.

Scrivens’ departure also means that Anders Nilsson, who spent last season in the KHL, is going to be Edmonton’s backup. The 25-year-old is a former backup with the New York Islanders. He has 23 NHL appearances under his belt with a career 9-9-2 record, .898 save percentage and 3.05 goals-against average.

He was outstanding in the KHL last season with a .936 save percentage and 20-9-8 record with Ak-Bars Kazan.

Scrivens is the highest-paid of all three goaltenders. He has one year remaining on his current contract at a $2.3 million cap hit. If he clears waivers, he will count for $1.35 million against the salary cap in buried salary according to

The Oilers also waived defenseman Nikita Nikitin Saturday. He went unclaimed and will count for $3.55 million against Edmonton’s cap in buried salary, if they send him to the AHL, according to

That $4.9 million that will potentially go against Edmonton's cap with both players in the AHL is a tough pill to swallow. That said, it's only a further indication that the Oilers are going to make those kinds of sacrifices to put what they think will be a better product on the ice this season. 

Ben Scrivens is on waivers after losing out in Edmonton's goalie battle. (USATSI)
Ben Scrivens is on waivers after losing out in Edmonton's goalie battle. (USATSI)