Realistic Expectations

Jonathan Willis
June 25 2014 11:01AM

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The Edmonton Oilers, as is well-known at this point, have signed Nikita Nikitin to a two-year deal with an average annual value of $4.5 million.

The interesting thing about the signing isn’t the deal itself, which was bad but defensible. It’s what it says about the Oilers. A team with Edmonton’s defence that prioritizes Nikitin cannot realistically expect to contend for a playoff berth in 2014-15.

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Overpaying Nikita Nikitin

Jonathan Willis
June 24 2014 03:00PM

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It’s becoming abundantly clear that if the Edmonton Oilers are able to reach a deal with Nikita Nikitin, the defenceman whose negotiating rights they acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets, they will be paying full price and then some for his rights.

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Welcome to the third line, Nail Yakupov

Jonathan Willis
June 23 2014 03:20PM

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In a long, wide-ranging interview with the Edmonton Jouranl’s Jim Matheson, Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish described Nail Yakupov as a third-line player.

This will doubtless be controversial. It shouldn’t be, because that’s exactly where the player should slot in on the organizational depth chart today.

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Gagner for Kulikov: Who Says ‘No’?

Jonathan Willis
June 19 2014 02:43PM

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Sam Gagner has been a fixture on the rumour mill for years for good reason, and plays for a team that desperately needs help on the back end, but the Edmonton Oilers are going to have trouble getting fair value for him.

Dmitri Kulikov has been a fixture on the rumour mill for years for good reason, and plays for a team that desperately needs help up front, but the Florida Panthers are going to have trouble getting fair value for him.

I'm just speculating, but might there be a deal to be made there?

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“We’re not really in a position where we can trade assets for draft choices right now”

Jonathan Willis
June 18 2014 10:56AM

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Craig MacTavish continued his rounds of the local media on Tuesday with an appearance on Oilers Now. In a wide ranging interview with host Bob Stauffer, MacTavish covered a lot of ground, but particularly interesting was his pragmatic view of what Edmonton needs to do at this year’s draft.

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