Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Time To Put On The Shackles

It may have taken a lot longer than many had hoped but the Edmonton Oilers Peter Chiarelli is officially on the hot-seat. Though the goal of qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs remains the same, the organization has little choice but to place limitations on the kinds of moves they can allow their general manager to make over the coming months.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Bring On Hitch

Heading into the 2018-19 campaign, Edmonton Oilers head coach Todd McLellan had to know he was on borrowed time and that time finally came to an end earlier today. With his team struggling to the degree it has since the calendar flipped to November, no one could have been surprised with today’s announcement but the fact the organization decided to hire Ken Hitchcock certainly cut many off guard. 

Monday, November 19, 2018

Give Us Leon And RNH

As the Edmonton Oilers prepare to embark on a three-game road trip, it has become painfully obvious something needs to change. Whether now is the time that some will be handed their walking papers is anyone’s guess but from a deployment standpoint, something has to give. And the only substantial change that could potentially have an impact is playing Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on the same line. 

Bad Talbot = Bad Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers are about to reach the quarter pole in their 2018-19 schedule and netminder Cam Talbot may be on the verge of losing his spot as the team’s No. 1 goalie. With the 31-year-old still struggling with consistency, the improved play of Mikko Koskinen and the NHL standings being as tight as they are, the time for patience is something this organization does not have. 

Friday, November 16, 2018

Time For Mikko

It has been just over two months since Mikko Koskinen kicked off his return to North America and what a whirlwind it has been. After spending the last seven years tending twine in the KHL and SM-liiga, the Edmonton Oilers goaltender has gone from unknown commodity…to pre-season disaster…to fan-favourite over the course of nine weeks. Impressive to be sure but the real test will be what comes next. 

Monday, November 12, 2018

Time For Another Bold Move

Despite having gotten off to a better start than most had envisioned, the outlook for the Edmonton Oilers remains relatively unchanged. As we all know, the expectation for the tandem of Peter Chiarelli and Todd McLellan were rather lofty, so the fact this group is still viewed as being, at best, a fringe playoff team isn’t a good thing. Those results, combined with a newfound opportunity may force Daryl Katz into making a move quicker than expected. 

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Connor McDavid: What Is And Isn't A Penalty?

For those who follow the Edmonton Oilers with any kind of regularity, arguably the most frustrating part in every game is watching Connor McDavid being hooked, held and interfered with nearly every time he hits the ice. In a league that has repeatedly stated they instruct their referees to consistently call penalties against guys trying to illegally slow down the high end skilled player, this shouldn’t be a thing.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Suck It Up Pete and Move Along

It may have been unexpected but yesterday afternoon brought us another chapter in the ongoing saga between Edmonton Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli and the team’s loyal fan base. Depending on what side of the equation you fall on, this truly has become “love or hate” relationship among the masses across Oil Country and the chances of that changing are non-existent. 

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Not A Bad Spot To Be In

After not only surviving but thriving through the month of October, the Edmonton Oilers have positioned themselves in a pretty good spot as they make their way through November. How good you ask? Well, despite falling to the Stanley Cup champion Capitals in Washington last night and a pending date with the Tampa Bay Lightning later today, a pair of back-to-back regulation losses would be of no real consequence and that in itself is saying something.

Monday, November 05, 2018

Reset Time For Jesse And Kailer

From a team standpoint, there is not much to complain about when it comes to the Edmonton Oilers season. With eight wins in their first thirteen games, things are going as well as anyone could have hoped in the Alberta capital but there is an area of some concern…the deployment of Jesse Puljujarvi and Kailer Yamamoto.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Finding Leon Some Help

From the moment the Edmonton Oilers announced the signing of Leon Draisaitl to an eight-year extension for an eye-popping $68 million, expectations for the talented German pivot skyrocketed. Though on the surface, asking the 22-year-old to drive his own line while playing second fiddle to Connor McDavid may seem reasonable enough, in reality, it's not so cut and dry.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

A New And Improved Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

It has been just over seven years since the Edmonton Oilers used the first overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft to select Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Though he has developed into a solid all-around player, it is fair to say the Burnaby native has yet to live up to his pre-draft hype. However, this could be the season that No. 93 finally puts it all together and becomes a top 25 scorer…thanks to a little help from Connor McDavid. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Making Room For Kailer

From the moment the Edmonton Oilers used the 22nd overall pick in the 2017 Entry Draft to select Kailer Yamamoto, the youngster has become a fan-favourite across Oil Country. Despite having played just nine regular season games during his first go-round to start the 2017-18 campaign and no pro resume to speak of, there is arguably no player the masses want to see make the jump more and it’s easy to understand why.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Where Does Darnell Fit?

For a general manager who has shown little regard towards future cap space issues, Peter Chiarelli appears to be finally changing his tune. Though a good chunk of Edmonton Oilers fans are in full out panic mode over the status of negotiations with Darnell Nurse, the club’s general manager is doing exactly what he should be doing. It may not be a popular opinion among the masses but at this stage of the game, he has little to no choice in the matter. 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Coming Home

As far as reunions go, Kyle Brodziak returning to the Edmonton Oilers isn’t exactly a move anyone would consider to be earth-shattering. Not overly surprising, as we are talking about a former seventh-round pick going back to the team that drafted 15 years earlier. At 34-years of age, the St. Paul native may be past his prime but he should still have enough left in the proverbial tank to help this club climb its way back to respectability in 2018-19.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The Healthy Oscar Klefbom

If you talk to fans of the Edmonton Oilers or those who cover the team, the vast majority will point to goaltending and special teams as keys to the fast approaching 2018-19 campaign. No question the club will need better showings on the penalty kill and man advantage, a bounce-back performance from Cam Talbot and Mikko Koskinen to prove he was worth the risk but if the defence isn't improved, none of it will matter. Sitting atop that list is Oscar Klefbom.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Is Mikko Koskinen The Answer?

Of all the free agent signings made across the league this summer, arguably the most curious move of all was the Edmonton Oilers decision to hand Mikko Koskinen the contract they did. Though a one-year deal at $2.5 million isn’t a large chunk of change in today’s NHL, when we are talking about a 30-year old backup goalie with no resume to speak of and a roster starving for cap flexibility, it is certainly a headscratcher.

Sunday, August 05, 2018

Oilers History: The Value Of Jimmy Carson

Regardless of the sport, being traded for an all-time great is never an easy thing for the player going in the other direction. With that said, being the guy who the Edmonton Oilers got in return for Wayne Gretzky is an altogether different beast. This was the hand Jimmy Carson was dealt during the summer of 1988.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

The Return Of Tobias

With the Edmonton Oilers cap situation being far from ideal, the hope heading into the off-season was Peter Chiarelli would find a way to secure a handful of value contracts via the unrestricted free agent market to help round out his roster. In a perfect world, signing a bona fide top-six winger would have been ideal but adding a pair of depth forwards in Kyle Brodziak and Tobias Rieder were solid acquisitions.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Oilers History: The Reijo Ruotsalainen Years

There has never been a player in the Edmonton Oilers storied history quite like Reijo Ruotsalainen. The talented blueliner suited up in just 26 regular season games for the organization but still managed to leave a mark on the 1987 and 1990 Stanley Cup winning clubs. Not too shabby for a player who was here for a brief cup of coffee and one that Glen Sather ultimately stole from the New York Rangers.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Will Rattie Sink or Swim?

Of all the twists and turns the Edmonton Oilers had the misfortune of dealing with during what was a miserable 2017-18 NHL campaign, arguably none was more unexpected than the rise of Ty Rattie. Over the course of three weeks, the 25-year old winger went from depth AHL piece to a player who looks to have earned himself a shot lining up next to Connor McDavid to kick-off 2018-19 season. 

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Depth Players Are Not The Issue

When it comes to the NHL, there is perhaps no more overused term than “depth player”. Year after year, we hear about team “X” needing better players in the bottom half of their lineups and while that is all well and good, let’s get serious. At the end of the day, without enough impact pieces in the top half of one’s roster, everything else is window dressing and this is where the Edmonton Oilers currently sit. 

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Not A Good Enough Return But Still A Nice Fit

At no fault of his own, Adam Larsson was put in an awfully difficult position to start his Edmonton Oilers career. Though any reasonable fan, media member and student of the game would never view the rugged rearguard as fair value for Taylor Hall, one has to remove that part of the equation in order to fairly judge his performance. On its own merit, the trade is a fail every single time for the organization but the 25-year old has managed to deliver exactly what should have been expected of him. 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

For Better or Worse

So here we are. Just two seasons into the seven-year/$42 million deal Milan Lucic signed via free agency with the Edmonton Oilers and it appears as though the worst-case scenario has come to fruition far quicker than most imagined. In fact, it has gone so poorly that even those who were onboard with the move are suddenly wondering aloud what the next five years might bring. With that said, this organization has little to no choice but to use the veteran winger in a top-six role in 2018-19 and hope for something that resembles a bounce-back campaign.

Friday, April 13, 2018

The Panic Button

With a season that can only be described as disastrous finally in the books, the Edmonton Oilers are once again heading into the off-season with many a question surrounding their roster. Though many felt the organization had turned the corner from what is known as the “Decade of Darkness” following their 2016-17 campaign, there is still plenty of work to be done in good ol’ Oil Country. 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

They're Not Really This Bad

Coming off what was easily their most disappointing effort of the season, the Edmonton Oilers reached a new low point for 2017-18. After being thoroughly dominated by the lowly Buffalo Sabres on home-ice and being shutout for the third time in their last five appearances at Rogers Place, much of their fanbase is ready to wave the white flag on what has been a nightmare campaign.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Party Time!!!

With just one win in their last eight games, Saturday evening cannot come soon enough for the Edmonton Oilers. Yes, it has not been a pleasant start to the New Year for Todd McLellan’s crew but with tonight’s tilt against the Arizona Coyotes and their first official visit to Las Vegas next on the docket, this team actually has a shot at heading into their NHL mandated week off on a positive note.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Where To Go From Here

Despite looking as though their 2017-18 campaign is all but over, there are still those holding out hope the Edmonton Oilers could somehow save their season. Now the chances of that happening seem rather slim but to each his own. With that aside, if we go on the assumption that making the playoffs is no longer a realistic option, what should be this club’s focus over the next three months?

Sunday, January 07, 2018

The Acceptance Of Reality

Hockey fans are an interesting bunch. Perhaps it is due to the fact the sport is played at such high speeds and often includes a physical aspect but whenever a team goes through tough a stretch it is almost a guarantee the cry we hear from the masses revolves around an apparent lack of effort from players. Not surprisingly, this has become an all too familiar theme when it comes to the 2017-18 Edmonton Oilers. 

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Damage Control Time

Even for those of us who weren’t completely sold on the Edmonton Oilers being as good as many an expert thought they would be heading in the season, no one could have seen this coming. At what is essentially the midway point of the 2017-18 NHL campaign, this club finds itself with the second-fewest points in the Western Conference and on the verge of falling completely out of the post-season picture. 

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Missing Andrej

After taking over the reins as general manager of the Edmonton Oilers, Peter Chiarelli targeted two players to help address what was an apparent need for the club. In acquiring Cam Talbot via trade and signing Andrej Sekera to a free agent deal, the Ottawa native brought two important pieces to what has become the core of this lineup and the Slovak rearguard remains the key figure on this team’s backend. 

Monday, January 01, 2018

Oilers History: The Rebirth Of A Legend

From the moment he made his NHL debut against the Winnipeg Jets on October 14, 1981, to the Edmonton Oilers elimination in the first round of the 1989 playoffs at the hands of Wayne Gretzky and the Los Angeles Kings, no goaltender had accomplished more during said period of time than Grant Fuhr. In fact, only a handful of players in the history of the game had put together the kind run the former Victoria Cougars standout did to start his career.