March 04 2016 12:08PM
The Oilers have finally created a competitive culture. Todd McLellan didn't mince his words after an uninspired effort vs. 4-1 loss to Ottawa on February 23rd. He was disappointed. He was concerned about the spirit of his group, but he was also very blunt when I asked how they eliminate the major errors, "Maybe we get rid of some players," he said.
Within 72 hours Justin Schultz, Teddy Purcell and Anders Nilsson were traded, and two days later they acquired Patrick Maroon and picked up Adam Pardy and Adam Cracknell on waivers. General Manager Peter Chiarelli didn't make a blockbuster deal, but the moves he made continued his transformation of the Oilers and it grabbed the attention of his team.
The Oilers competitiveness during the last five games has been the most consistent and highest I have seen in years. It is a welcome change.
March 03 2016 11:27AM
While Peter Chiarelli tries to reshape the Oilers into a contender, he is also overseeing Team North America (U23) for the upcoming World Cup of Hockey. He is one of many general managers wearing two hats this season, and when Ryan Nugent-Hopkins wasn't named one of the original 16 members of team NA, many wondered what Chiarelli was doing.
He doesn't have autonomy when selecting the team. Stan Bowman is the other GM, while Adam Graves is Special Assistant to the General Managers; Pat Verbeek and Paul Fenton are each a Director of Player Personnel; while Ryan Jankowski is the Director of Operations. Todd McLellan is the head coach, while Dave Tippett, Gerard Gallant, John Cooper and Jay Woodcroft are the assistants.
March 01 2016 03:58PM
Overhauling nine years of losing wasn't going to be easy, and it should surprise no one that the Oilers' losing streak extended to a decade, but I'm starting to see actual change with Peter Chiarelli at the helm. He is actually changing the makeup of his team, which was long overdue.
For many years the Oilers' only identity was being a soft, skilled team. To make it worse they were also inexperienced -- youth was expected to lead the team. It's also hard to win when you have the least talented defensive corps in the NHL. Surprisingly, the previous regime never realized the errors of their ways.
Since Chiarelli has taken over it is clear he has a plan on how to build this team. He has added some tenacity. He's added heavier players, but also ones with different skill sets than the current group. He has added the small pieces, and this summer is when he'll make the significant changes this organization has desperately needed.
February 29 2016 10:34AM
Peter Chiarelli signed Brandon Davidson to a two-year extension this morning worth $1.425 million/year. Based on Davidson's play it is an incredible value signing.
Davidson has been the Oilers most consistent defender all season.
February 29 2016 12:12AM
You can expect the Edmonton Oilers to make a few moves on trade deadline day, but most will not involve trades, instead it will be assigning players to Bakersfield and possibly claiming one or two players off waivers.
Monday is the trade deadline, but because the Oilers won't be making the playoffs they will need to decide which current Oilers they want to play in the AHL playoffs.