Expectations: The Big Three Rookies

Jonathan Willis
October 11 2010 12:47PM

Edmonton Oilers' Jordan Eberle flies through the crease of Vancouver Canucks' goalie Cory Schneider during the first period of their NHL pre-season hockey game in Edmonton September 26, 2010.  REUTERS/Dan Riedlhuber (CANADA - Tags: SPORT ICE HOCKEY)

All through training camp, there was no real mystery about what was driving optimism among members of the OilersNation: the big three rookies. On most teams, any one of Taylor Hall, Magnus Paajarvi or Jordan Eberle would be sufficient reason for optimism; breaking in all three at once has done a lot to turn around perception of a team coming off a bad year.

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Expectations: Ales Hemsky

Jonathan Willis
October 11 2010 11:38AM

BUFFALO, NY - NOVEMBER 11: Ales Hemsky #83 of the Edmonton Oilers moves the puck during the game against the Buffalo Sabres at HSBC Arena on November 11, 2009 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

Ales Hemsky isn’t a mystery to Oilers fans. He was a first round pick of the team back in 2001, 13th overall, and was almost certainly the best draft pick of the Kevin Prendergast era. His entire 444 game NHL career has been spent with the Oilers, and for the last few years he’s been the most skilled player on the team.

How does the OilersNation see Hemsky performing this season?

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Lucky 13: Thoughts Of A Nation

Jonathan Willis
October 09 2010 11:29PM

Thinking on Robin Brownlee’s “Lucky 13” exercise, I realized that it’s more than a contest between the readers and the writers, the bloggers and the professionals, or whatever other distinction one chooses to make. It’s also a chance to see how the readers of Oilers Nation view their team at the dawn of the season.

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The End

Jonathan Willis
October 05 2010 01:24AM

Based on the reaction to Robin Brownlee’s latest post, it appears that the end is near. The 2010-11 Oilers roster has been decided in decisive fashion by a deciding decider, and there will be no further change. Liam Reddox, Linus Omark, and Richard Petiot are banished to the minors forthwith, on pain of death.

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Imitating Ken Holland

Jonathan Willis
September 30 2010 12:28AM

NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 22:  Jim Nill (L) and Ken Holland (R) of the Detroit Red Wings share a laugh during the 2003 NHL Entry Draft at the Gaylord Entertainment Center on June 22, 2003 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images/NHLI)

Aside from the Lou Lamoriello diehards, most people would agree that the best general manager in the NHL over the last decade or so is Ken Holland of the Detroit Red Wings. And while every year broadcasters, fans, and even NHL teams talk about adopting the model of the latest Stanley Cup winner, there’s been a persistent desire to emulate the Red Wings because of their success.

Fortunately for us, Red Wings G.M. Ken Holland has explained time and again different facets of his strategy, seemingly unafraid that people are going to start taking his advice to heart. And much of what he says is relevant for this year’s edition of the Oilers.

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