July 13 2016 06:27PM
If the Edmonton Oilers can't get a puck-moving defender at the NHL level, perhaps finding—and developing—this player-type is the wise route to take. There are some impressive talents bubbling under in the AHL, and one or more could be available in the next several months. Here is a quick look at the best offensive defensemen in the AHL during 2015-16. (Photo by Mark Williams)
July 10 2016 02:50PM
Shortly after the Edmonton Oilers acquired Adam Larsson this summer, my mind began to wander back through team history in search of a right-handed defenseman who could be called 'best' in the group. Of course, old timers like me immediately think of Lee Fogolin, he of the heart and soul that set the tone of unselfish play and sacrifice for the boys on the bus. Who is the best righty D in team history? Are there many?
July 10 2016 12:53PM
Brandon Davidson (photo by Rob Ferguson) established himself a year ago as a bona fide NHL defender. He did suffer some injuries, and that could impact management's decisions on the fall roster. Along with Oscar Klefbom, injury worries to Davidson mean the lefthanded NHL defenders—a fine group—could remain intact, to make sure there is enough depth for the coming year. Does Peter Chiarelli have an area of strength he can deal from?
July 09 2016 07:00PM
Depending on how much hockey you watch around Edmonton, Tyler Benson may or may not be well known to you. He certainly drew rave reviews during his formative hockey years in Edmonton with the South Side Athletic Club. Benson encountered some injury issues during his NHL draft season, and went from being a lock for the top 10 overall in the 2016 draft to an early second-round selection. How good is Tyler Benson?
July 08 2016 07:26PM
Todd McLellan appears to be a typical NHL coach in that he prefers forwards who cheat a little on the defensive side of the puck. I imagine there were nights when he was challenged to find enough to cover up for the fast cars who were set on offense most of the time in year one. I believe it is one reason Iiro Pakarinen found work in McLellan's first Oilers season, and will likely see more work in the coming season. As much as fans love the gifted kids, those men who mind the store will have a place in the game as long as coaches get fired for losing. If Iiro the hero was the first of McLellan's men, who's next?