Edmonton Oilers demote Anton Lander. Presumably there's a reason.

Jonathan Willis
December 21 2014 09:05PM

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Well, nobody’s going to say Anton Lander didn’t get a fair crack at the NHL. He had six shots, four hits and won 69 percent of his faceoffs in his latest one-game call-up, so naturally the Edmonton Oilers – loaded to the gills with centres who do all that stuff – shipped him off to the farm moments after the end of that game.

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Leon Draisaitl, Healthy Scratch

Jonathan Willis
December 20 2014 02:30PM

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In what can variously be described as a victory for meritocracy, a victory for proper development or a blow to proper development, it appears that the Edmonton Oilers will make Leon Draisaitl a healthy scratch for Sunday’s game against the Dallas Stars.

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Craig MacTavish and his Centres

Jonathan Willis
December 19 2014 01:45PM

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It’s a lot of fun watching Craig MacTavish behind the Oilers’ bench. The man can flat-out coach and honestly this would probably be a better organization if he were in that role full-time and somebody else were pulling the strings from the general manager’s office.

But it’s also interesting to watch the general manager behind the bench, because every assignment he makes says something about how the Oilers’ top decision maker sees his team. What he did with his centres against San Jose on Thursday is fascinating.

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The Second Opinion

Jonathan Willis
December 16 2014 09:53AM

Todd Nelson

One of the interesting complications to the Edmonton Oilers’ decision to dismiss Dallas Eakins and promote Todd Nelson is that the new coach brings with him a firm understanding of what’s happening in Oklahoma City, a firmer understanding than probably anyone else in the organization.

The general manager sets the roster of the team, but the head coach has the power to influence those decisions and it’s going to be awfully hard to tell Nelson that he can’t have Player X from the farm if he thinks Player X will help the situation. Which players currently on the farm might benefit from that?

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It’s important to know where the accountability needs to stop

Jonathan Willis
December 15 2014 06:10PM

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As anyone reading this almost certainly knows, on Monday the Oilers dismissed head coach Dallas Eakins. It’s the most significant change to the team in quite a while, and it’s a very good bet that the changes don’t stop with the head coach.

However, it’s also a very good bet that the changes stop somewhere well below Craig MacTavish and Kevin Lowe.

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