We're bad at judging NHL coaches

Jonathan Willis
August 20 2013 11:18AM

The Edmonton Oilers took a major step back under Ralph Krueger last season. Under (the much criticized) Tom Renney, the 2011-12 Oilers had dramatically improved in their ability to win the shots battle with the opposition; poor goaltending from Nikolai Khabibulin and other factors obscured the improvement but it was there. Renney was fired and Krueger promoted, and the team stepped into an elevator shaft.

But I’m not really writing about that. I’m writing about the second most-criticized man in any hockey rink, the head coach, and why so much of the criticism misses the mark.

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Jason Gregor
August 20 2013 09:39AM

The Oilers need another NHL centre. Plain. And. Simple.

In a best case scenario they will start the season with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Sam Gagner and Boyd Gordon as proven NHL players, leaving Anton Lander, Marc Arcobello, Will Acton and Andrew Miller to battle for the 4th spot.

In a realistic scenario, they likely start the season with two healthy, proven NHL centres. Ouch.

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Robin Brownlee
August 19 2013 07:37PM

It's obvious it doesn't take a vast intellect to see that the Edmonton Oilers remain alarmingly thin up the middle as training camp approaches because just about everybody who follows the team, be they fans or paid observers, has mentioned it or written about it this off-season.

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August 19 2013 03:05PM


The Nation Network and our affiliated group of companies is hiring again - this time for a graphic/web/video/animation designer. So if you rolled your eyes at the tee shirt above because "I am a designer and this is such a cliche" we may have just the job for you.

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Jason Gregor
August 19 2013 01:05PM

Does the month you are born in give you a better chance to play in the NHL? In 2008, Malcolm Gladwell wrote the book, Outliers, which focused on different factors that might influence people's success. It looked at the Beatles, Bill Gates, law firms and other successful companies and people. He also wrote on why the majority of NHL hockey players were born in the first three months of the year.

He often mentioned the "10,000 hour" rule as the key to anyone's success. He wrote that most people who reach high levels of success put in at least 10,000 hours of practice before gaining success. That premise makes a lot of sense, but after reading his book, I questioned if the birth month numbers matched today's NHL.

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