June 17 2012 09:11AM
Playing defense is a tough damn job, with risk of injury, exposure and public humiliation on every sortie. The development of a successful defenseman should be timed by sundial, and there's an enormous risk in dealing away a defenseman during his development time. Trade him too soon and he haunts you for a decade.
June 16 2012 06:21AM
This is Alexei Mikhnov. A dozen years ago the internet was alive with tales of "Traktor Boy" playing in near darkness and Oilers scout Kenta Nilsson nudging his SAAB alongside the outdoor rink to get a better view of the power and the glory. Edmonton's draft history is rich and bountiful in some places and barren in others. It's been an amazing ride.
June 14 2012 05:05PM
We've been staring at the Oilers defense for what seems like decades. Six men who do the tough work every game, keeping themselves between the puck and their goalie. It's a tough job in any sport, but hockey decided to make these poor men do it on skates and at lightning speed. How many "actual NHL players" do the Oilers have on D? How many more do they need in order to be average?
June 12 2012 08:57PM
I think we're all pretty much agreed on the shopping list for the Edmonton Oilers this summer: don't screw up the draft, grab a defenseman and maybe a goalie when no one is looking. Oh, yeah. One more thing. a 2-way forward with or without crust.
June 10 2012 08:51PM
The truth is I don't think about it anymore. The spring of opponents' sorties handled expertly, the human rake with the enormous calm feet and the boys of winter winning deep into spring. I do retain one beautiful memory from that spring: the heavenly blue.