A Promise to the NHL and NHLPA

Jonathan Willis
September 15 2012 01:38PM

Today is September 15, the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and NHLPA. Tonight, barring an 11th-hour miracle, the league will lock out its players and begin yet another in a seemingly endless cycle of work stoppages.

If that happens, I have a promise to both sides.

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The market for defencemen

Jonathan Willis
September 14 2012 01:00PM

Bryan Allen (Photo: Benjamin Reed/Wikimedia/CC BY-SA 2.0)

The 2012 crop of free agent defenceman was decidedly weak. That weakness hurt a number of teams, including the Edmonton Oilers, since there was more need for help on the blue line than there were candidates to fill the role.

With the signing of Michal Rozsival and Carlo Colaiacovo, and an NHL lockout just a day away, the free agent period for rearguards is all but over. What does the final list look like?

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On Rebuilding, Part Nine: The Edmonton Oilers

Jonathan Willis
September 12 2012 01:04PM

Frequent commenter and guest contributor RexLibris' series on rebuilds continues with the Edmonton Oilers. Get comfortable because this is a long one.

Before we get into the details, let's set the stage a bit:

  • Edmonton blew their team up, nuclear-style, and deliberately iced a bad team in order to get high picks.
  • They have been rebuilding since 2006 and are no closer today to the playoffs than they were the year after the 2006 cup run.
  • The Oilers are in the same boat as the Islanders and Blue Jackets.
  • Management in Edmonton is incompetent. The Oilers have been one of the worst-run organizations in the NHL since the lockout and there is no reason to believe that they can improve simply because now they have better players.
  • Just gathering together 1st overall picks isn’t going to resurrect the team and then when that talent blossoms they will leave for greener pasture, making all that effort an exercise in futility.

Those are some of the many criticisms that have been leveled against the Oilers and their rebuild. They come from both inside Edmonton and rival NHL cities, fans and critics, media and analysts. Do any of those statements actually ring true though?

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Ten Points: Yakupov, RNH, and the Leafs as the worst franchise in pro sports

Jonathan Willis
September 10 2012 07:54PM

Nail Yakupov (Resolute/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0)

1. A year in Russia? With the end of the collective bargaining agreement rapidly approaching – it expires on Saturday – the possibility of Nail Yakupov spending part or all of the year in the KHL is very real.

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Kids on the penalty kill

Jonathan Willis
September 06 2012 10:51AM

In 2011-12, for the first time in four seasons, the Edmonton Oilers had a relatively successful penalty kill. After being marooned in the league basement while down a man in 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11, the Oilers managed to finish above league average, killing 82.4 percent of penalties against.

Naturally, the only logical question to ask is ‘why aren’t the kids killing penalties?’

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