Everyone Hates Edmonton

Jonathan Willis
August 21 2009 11:00AM

There’s a feeling, often voiced around these parts, that free agents don’t want to play for the Edmonton Oilers. The reasons offered are varied – anything form the weather, the nightlife, Kevin Lowe, the travel, Ritch Winter, or even being on an NHLPA blacklist.

It’s overblown.

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Help on the Fourth Line

Jonathan Willis
August 20 2009 11:15AM

Looking at the Oilers from last season, the most obvious weakness was the team’s penalty-kill, which ranked 27th in the NHL at 77.5%. An increase even to the range of average (16th ranked Vancouver had an 81.4% success rate) would have saved the Oilers 13 goals against last year.

Believe it or not, all of this is a good thing – because fourth-line penalty-killing specialists are cheap and plentiful on the free agent market.

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Pat Quinn on the Current Roster

Jonathan Willis
August 19 2009 01:00PM

Dan Barnes’ column this morning is (as it often is) a must-read for Oilers fans – in this instance because he gets Pat Quinn saying some things that he (and the organization as a whole) haven’t been saying before.

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Mark Messier on Working for the Oilers

Jonathan Willis
August 18 2009 08:42AM

We talked a few days ago about a report by the New York Post’s Larry Brooks, a report which stated that Messier was interviewed this summer for the coaching position that eventually went to Pat Quinn.

According to Messier, that report wasn’t entirely accurate.

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Splitting the Season

Jonathan Willis
August 17 2009 05:30AM


One method occasionally used by prognosticators (and fantasy hockey types) is looking at season splits. Did the player start the season well but cool off? Did the player start the season poorly but turn it on towards the end?

These questions are of particular interest when it comes to young players – and predicting breakout seasons.

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