Adding Size on the Cheap

Jonathan Willis
May 24 2016 05:00PM

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Peter Chiarelli’s first season at the helm of the Edmonton Oilers has had mixed results, but one of his real strengths has been his ability to add what we might call “functional toughness” on the cheap. There is a premium on size and grit in the NHL, and on Tuesday Chiarelli’s old team underlined that point with an outrageous contract extension for physical depth defenceman Kevan Miller.  

Chiarelli clearly values size, but so far he’s managed to add that element smartly, thanks to some judicious bargain-bin shopping.

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2015-16 Oilers: Pouliot/Eberle & any given centre

Jonathan Willis
May 22 2016 04:30PM

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It has become commonplace in Edmonton to talk about the importance of building down the middle. To some degree, that’s because the hockey community at large has always (and in my view rightly) valued centres over wingers. It’s also a result of Oilers teams over the last half-decade that had a lot of talent on the wing and not so much down the middle.

Still, as Jordan Eberle and Benoit Pouliot showed in 2015-16, wingers can make quite the difference too.

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Is there a trade fit between the Edmonton Oilers and Buffalo Sabres?

Jonathan Willis
May 20 2016 06:17PM

I should start off by saying that this is the worst kind of trade column: the speculative kind. Looking at the rosters of the Buffalo Sabres and Edmonton Oilers, though, I can’t help but wonder if there isn’t some kind of trade fit between the two teams.

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Small Shoes to Fill

Jonathan Willis
May 19 2016 03:40PM

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There has been no shortage of conversation this year about the Edmonton Oilers’ obvious need at right defence. Possible candidates have been investigated, with their abilities and the acquisition cost associated with each discussed in depth. The assets that Edmonton has available to trade in the right deal are also well-known at this point.

Less attention has been given to how easy it’s going to improve on the players the Oilers iced at that position last year.

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WWYDW: Finding a backup goaltender

Jonathan Willis
May 18 2016 04:39PM

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One of the Edmonton Oilers’ secondary needs this summer is in net. Cam Talbot was acquired last season to be the team’s starting goalie, and he did a good enough job that Edmonton signed him to a multi-year extension. However the backup position, currently held by Laurent Brossoit, is clearly up for grabs and there are a number of free agents worth consideration from the Oilers.

In this week’s edition of What Would You Do Wednesday, we ask who Edmonton should be looking at.

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