Big Losses to Bad Teams

Jonathan Willis
March 24 2014 03:56PM

On Saturday night, the Oilers got walloped by the Calgary Flames. Losing by a touchdown to a team as bad as Calgary has prompted yet another round of questions about the direction of the Oilers franchise. Just how much should we read into the defeat?

In two words: not much.

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Young Defencemen

Jonathan Willis
March 19 2014 11:33AM

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The Edmonton Oilers have a weak blue line. In the short-term, they need to shore it up with actual NHL players, but in the long-term they need some of their prospects to step forward in a big way. How will they balance those two needs?

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Can the Edmonton Oilers afford to trade Sam Gagner? Can they afford not to?

Jonathan Willis
March 18 2014 10:13AM

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There is no more controversial player in Edmonton than Sam Gagner. The payoff for the difficult 2006-07 season, the still-young forward was supposed to be a primary piece for the Oilers to build around at centre. Instead, nearly 500 games into his NHL career, he continues to struggle.

What should Edmonton do with him?

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Different Directions

Jonathan Willis
March 17 2014 09:06PM

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Ryan Smyth and Ryan Jones have a lot in common. They share a first name, an NHL team, both play (primarily) on the wing, and are both bound for unrestricted free agency this summer. Where they differ is in the Oilers’ likely interest in retaining their respective services.

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The Matt Hendricks Career Curve

Jonathan Willis
March 15 2014 08:41PM

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Matt Hendricks was a somewhat controversial addition by the Edmonton Oilers earlier this season. On the one hand, in a lot of ways he’s what the doctor ordered: tough, physical, capable of finding his way to the defensive zone without a map and compass and competent once he gets there. On the other hand, he’s also signed to a terribly risky contract for a depth player.

All of which makes his career scoring curve an interesting study.

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