Smyth Denies Reports Of Trade Request

Jonathan Willis
June 20 2011 06:19PM

TSN hockey guru Bob McKenzie is one of the most solid sources out there, so when he reported earlier today that Ryan Smyth had requested a trade back to the Oilers, it’s understandable that many people got very excited.

Unfortunately, Ryan Smyth has since told the Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson that no such request was made.

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Measuring Up Against The Finalists: Edmonton Oilers Edition

Jonathan Willis
June 20 2011 01:37PM

A few days ago, we took a snapshot of the current edition of the Edmonton Oilers, and compared it to the Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins. We did this because the ultimate goal of any rebuilding program is a championship win, and it can be useful to compare just to see which areas the team needs to work on, and which areas can be regarded as relative strengths.

However, another team came within one win of the Stanley Cup, and that team is among those the Oilers will have to compete with to emerge from the Western Conference. Therefore, it probably makes sense to run a similar check against the Vancouver Canucks.

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Playoff Prediction Project: Final Standings

Jonathan Willis
June 20 2011 01:04PM

In the wake of the Stanley Cup finals and the build-up to the NHL Entry Draft, I completely forgot to post the final standings for the Nation Network’s playoff prediction contest.

After the jump, the final results.

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Up And Down At The Draft, Part II

Jonathan Willis
June 20 2011 07:44AM

If the Edmonton Oilers opt to move their first overall selection in this year’s draft, either because the player they like most will be attainable later, there isn’t much clearance within the top group, or they simply like an offer, there are a limited number of teams that might be in the conversation. Similarly, if they are going to try and move up to snag a second prospect in the top-10, only a handful of teams can help them out.

After the jump, a look at the other teams with a top-10 pick.

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Could The Oilers Pursue A Restricted Free Agent?

Jonathan Willis
June 18 2011 05:29PM

Signing a restricted free agent is always a contentious issue in the NHL. While unrestricted free agents pass from team to team with regularity, the younger players with RFA contracts are rarely poached, and when they are the deals are almost always matched (no matter how outlandish, as Buffalo proved by retaining Thomas Vanek despite a gross overpay by Kevin Lowe that would have forked over an insanely large wad of cash to Vanek and four first round picks to the Sabres). Even when the deals aren’t matched, as the Oilers’ offer sheet to Dustin Penner wasn’t (thanks to Anaheim’s salary cap bind), the acrimony between executives can be long-lasting.

The upshot of all this is that RFA offers have become a rather rare, despite the fact that they are a legitimate option under the current collective bargaining agreement. Should the Oilers, as they have in the past, look to buck the trend this summer and add a restricted free agent?

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