The Second Opinion

Jonathan Willis
December 16 2014 09:53AM

Todd Nelson

One of the interesting complications to the Edmonton Oilers’ decision to dismiss Dallas Eakins and promote Todd Nelson is that the new coach brings with him a firm understanding of what’s happening in Oklahoma City, a firmer understanding than probably anyone else in the organization.

The general manager sets the roster of the team, but the head coach has the power to influence those decisions and it’s going to be awfully hard to tell Nelson that he can’t have Player X from the farm if he thinks Player X will help the situation. Which players currently on the farm might benefit from that?

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It’s important to know where the accountability needs to stop

Jonathan Willis
December 15 2014 06:10PM

Dallas Eakins 19

As anyone reading this almost certainly knows, on Monday the Oilers dismissed head coach Dallas Eakins. It’s the most significant change to the team in quite a while, and it’s a very good bet that the changes don’t stop with the head coach.

However, it’s also a very good bet that the changes stop somewhere well below Craig MacTavish and Kevin Lowe.

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Is there some reason Anton Lander hasn’t been recalled?

Jonathan Willis
December 13 2014 04:36PM


At what point is the Edmonton Oilers depth chart weak enough at centre to justify the recall of Anton Lander? For the majority of Friday’s game, the club iced a lineup with two natural centres and two converted wingers in the middle – is that bad enough to make bringing up a pivot palatable or is it necessary for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to get hurt before the team looks to recall a centre from the farm?

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The Edmonton Oilers and their defence pairings

Jonathan Willis
December 11 2014 12:47PM


The Oilers are in a not-very-funny place at the moment. The season is a loss once again, as every season since 2005-06 has been. The head coach likely has twin mandates at this point: first, to do everything he can to get the current roster to show some signs of life and, second, to develop players for next season.

On defence, those two mandates are actually surprisingly compatible.

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The Oilers’ 2012 Draft: Trending Sideways

Jonathan Willis
December 09 2014 09:01AM


There has been a lot of focus on the Oilers’ amateur scouting department over the last week or two, and Craig MacTavish’s comments last Friday didn’t really clear up the issue as they were half criticism and half vote of confidence.

The early results of the players selected in 2012 likely isn’t doing the current scouting staff any favours.

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