Protecting Connor McDavid

Jonathan Willis
September 15 2015 10:00AM

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It took all of one game for questions about the Edmonton Oilers’ ability to protect Connor McDavid to surface. It wasn’t a regular season game, which would have been too much to hope for, but I had been optimistic that we’d at least be able to wait until the preseason before the inevitable hair-pulling about the possibility of injury.

Instead, one clean hit in the first game of an almost entirely meaningless prospect tourney and here we are.

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Peter Chiarelli lays out the challenge for Darnell Nurse and Leon Draisaitl

Jonathan Willis
September 14 2015 03:43PM

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On Saturday night, TSN’s Bob McKenzie interviewed Edmonton GM Peter Chiarelli. We’ve had a number of posts on this site hitting on what was said because the wide-ranging conversation gives us a glimpse into the mind of the man tasked with reviving the Oilers.

Among other points, Chiarelli gave us a glimpse into his philosophy regarding young players, specifically Darnell Nurse and Leon Draisaitl.

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Training Camp Battles: Goaltending

Jonathan Willis
September 11 2015 08:00AM

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For all the attention focused on centre and defence and coaching, no position burned the Edmonton Oilers in 2014-15 like goaltending did. Both of the Oilers’ key goalie gambles faltered badly, and the best puck-stopping the team got came in those days when injuries meant that Richard Bachman and Laurent Brossoit were between the pipes.

A new general manager hasn’t meant a change in fundamental approach. Once again, Edmonton is rolling the dice on goalies that have never held down the No. 1 job, and hoping this time that things work out better. We’ll see if that happens, and it’s likely to be a dominant story one way or the other from the first day of training camp to the last minute of the final game of the season.

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WWYDW: Oscar Klefbom’s contract extension

Jonathan Willis
September 09 2015 10:26AM

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Last season, Oscar Klefbom established himself as a key building block in the Oilers’ defensive plans. He has one year remaining on his entry-level deal and will become a restricted free agent next summer. When should Edmonton extend him, and what kind of deal should they offer him?

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Leon Draisaitl on the wing may just work out for everyone

Jonathan Willis
September 04 2015 10:00AM

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Asked on Thursday about the possibility of moving 2014 third overall pick Leon Draisaitl out of his natural position at centre and on to the wing, Edmonton Oilers head coach Todd McLellan admitted that he’d thought about it.

His subsequent comments made it clear that he’d thought about it a lot.

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