Robin Brownlee
March 26 2012 04:58PM

Might the most significant free agent signing for the Edmonton Oilers this off-season be an undersized, 51-year-old left winger from Moosomin, Saskatchewan? Could be, if the Phoenix Coyotes don't get Dave Tippett's name on a contract.

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Drafting Defensemen: The Lessons of 2008

Jonathan Willis
March 26 2012 01:21PM

The 2008 NHL Entry Draft boasted one of the strongest groups of high-end defensemen that we’ve seen in a long time. After Steven Stamkos went first overall, the next four picks were defensemen. After that group was picked, there were still defensemen like Tyler Myers, Erik Karlsson, Jake Gardiner and John Carlson available in the first round.

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The Red Menace

Jonathan Willis
March 26 2012 10:02AM

Oilers fans are, as has been noted here and myriad other places, in an interesting position. If the team loses, it does a better job of securing the second overall pick. If the team wins enough between now and the end of the season, they could conceivably slide out of the draft lottery entirely.

One thing that seems to be making it easier for fans is the so-called “Russian Factor.” The consensus top pick in this year’s draft is Nail Yakupov. The likely second pick – though there is some debate on this – is Mikhail Grigorenko. For many fans, that makes it easy to drop down – they want to see the Oilers pick a defenseman anyway, and they really would prefer the Oilers not draft a Russian.

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Theo Peckham and NHL Concussion Protocols

Jonathan Willis
March 25 2012 08:50PM

In today’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, defenseman Theo Peckham suffered what Tom Renney confirmed as a concussion on a hit from Rick Nash. In and of itself, that’s unfortunate but not uncommon in the NHL.

What’s more interesting is the fact that between taking the hit and being removed from the game, Peckham played five more shifts.

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Robin Brownlee
March 25 2012 06:22PM

Not enough wins means the Edmonton Oilers aren't progressing at the rate they should in the rebuild. Too many wins means the Oilers risk dropping back in the draft lottery. I'd say fans of the Oilers are a tough crowd, but fickle is more accurate.

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