Does the NHL need a Second Minor League?

September 06 2010 12:25PM

This is Serge Savard, age 20. The young defender had completed his junior career and began the long climb up the Montreal Canadiens depth chart. The Habs (and other NHL teams) had long since discovered many prospects were unable to adjust to the rigors of the AHL, so a second league was placed in the American south. Some of the best NHL players of the 1970's made their pro debuts in cities like Houston, Oklahoma City and Tulsa. The NHL might be wise to have another long look at the idea of a second professional league.

Read Article | 46 Comments


September 05 2010 10:04AM

I'm a big fan of comps. Comparables. Outer-markers. Players from NHL history whose careers are somewhat similar to a modern player who has written such a small script we need an indicator about their future. As a fan, I always look for the outer marker--just as Ranger fans did with Brad Park (in photo, with some other guy) early in his career. After all, why look for a comparable who ended up being a role player? Exactly.  Who are the best comparables for the current group of young Oilers? 

Read Article | 129 Comments


September 04 2010 01:53PM

It's a boring Saturday Nation. If you are looking for an article on the new Corsi Numbers vis-a-vis the powerplay rankings or some such thing, keep on keepin' on. We have nothing Oilers hockey related to discuss. If you want to talk about the embarrassment that is the Kovalchuk signing and hear about an emerging Canadian Country Music powerhouse then continue.

You have been warned.

Read Article | 54 Comments

Character & Culture

Jonathan Willis
September 04 2010 01:05PM

DALLAS - APRIL 02: Defenseman Jason Strudwick #43 of the Edmonton Oilers at American Airlines Center on April 2, 2010 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Team culture and player character isn’t an issue I generally spend a lot of time on, for a few different reasons. I’ve always believed the off-ice stuff, while not inconsequential, is certainly auxiliary to the on-ice stuff. Additionally, I’m woefully ill-qualified to comment on how the players act off the ice, and even if I did spend a significant amount of time with the team my views would at best be incomplete – I can’t actually get inside player’s heads. Needless to say, on-ice body language is a less than perfect indicator.

However, given Steve Tambellini’s emphasis on character and culture change, I thought it might be interesting to take a look at how the roster he inherited in the summer of 2008 has turned over, and see if we can’t get some feel for direction. 

Read Article | 18 Comments

Training Camp Rosters Offer Surprises

September 04 2010 08:32AM

This is Tim Thomas. He was at training camp for the Edmonton Oilers 1998 fall. Every NHL team loses quality talent for little or nothing over the years, but the bygone training camp roster serves as "God's flashlight" and the names can be eye-popping years later. We can also see some wise moves by the organization years before the player arrives in the NHL, and also get some insight into this fall's invite list. Here are some interesting items 98-07:

Read Article | 33 Comments