WWYDW: Development Curves

Jonathan Willis
September 02 2015 12:18PM

Peter Chiarelli3

It’s September now, which means that we’re in for a month of relentless focus on training camp battles and the opening night lineup, with occasional breaks to just sit and enjoy the fact that hockey is being played again (even if it is in rookie tournament/preseason form).

So instead of focusing at the start of this season, let’s use WWYDW to take a few minutes and look ahead. If you were the general manager, what would your development plan look like for the prospects with an honest shot at NHL minutes as the year goes on?

Read Article | 95 Comments

Transitioning to the New Defence

Jonathan Willis
September 01 2015 02:18PM

Reinhart, Griffin3

The building blocks of the Oilers’ defensive future seem obvious at this point. Oscar Klefbom debuted last year, Darnell Nurse will graduate to the professional ranks this year and Edmonton paid a small fortune in futures to bring Islanders’ prospect Griffin Reinhart into the system.

One of the key subplots of this coming season will be the integration of Nurse and Reinhart into the defence and the role of Klefbom as the Oilers shift away from their disappointing veterans and toward the department of youth.

Read Article | 53 Comments

Defensive Tandem Performance

Jonathan Willis
August 31 2015 01:10PM

21-Ference-6

It’s a sure thing that Peter Chiarelli plans to overhaul the Oilers’ defence, and we’ve seen him at work already. There are, however, five holdovers from last year’s group, and we can probably learn something from what kinds of players the incumbents failed/succeeded with last season.

Read Article | 63 Comments

Re-live the Edmonton Oilers 2008-09 season

Jonathan Willis
August 28 2015 10:00AM

Steve Tambellini (2)

Even seven years later, it’s hard to be definitive about exactly what was accomplished in Edmonton during the Steve Tambellini era. He took the helm in the summer of 2008 and would spend five years running the team, though most of the offseason changes were made by Kevin Lowe before the official transition of power.

2008-09 was an uncertain start to Tambellini’s run as general manager, though as it turned out it also marked the high point in terms of on-ice achievement during his time with the Oilers.

Read Article | 29 Comments

Gone by the Deadline

Jonathan Willis
August 27 2015 12:16PM

Peter Chiarelli3

Peter Chiarelli made some headway this summer, but the Edmonton Oilers’ roster remains flawed in many ways. The goaltending is uncertain, the defence is loaded to the gills with third-pairing types and even the forward corps has some discernible weaknesses.

In short, the general manager isn’t close to finished yet, because realistically there are a finite number of things he can do in a single summer. Chiarelli does have a history of making in-season moves though, and I’d expect that a lot of the names on the opening night roster for 2015-16 are long gone by the time game 82 rolls around.

Read Article | 72 Comments