Timetable for the defence

Jonathan Willis
September 05 2013 09:55AM

There’s no secret that the strength of the Edmonton Oilers prospect group can be found on the blue line. That’s good on the one hand because it’s the area where the team needs high-end help. On the other hand, an NHL team can only break in so many rookies at one position at a time, so it’s worth asking when these players will be NHL ready and in what order.

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Robin Brownlee
September 04 2013 08:23PM

What we heard today from Edmonton Oilers GM Craig MacTavish and Ales Hemsky was a combination of pure spin and putting the best foot forward for the sake of public consumption.

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September 04 2013 06:14PM

Today's confirmation that Ales Hemsky is here for the forseeable future will be welcome news to some, a major disappointment to others. Hemksy's not a 'wide appeal' type, he's more jazz than top 40, more scotch than beer. That said, Hemsky's presence on the opening night roster will give the club more offense and a veteran to help against tough opposition.

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Jason Gregor
September 04 2013 11:22AM

Oilers training camp officially started today with rookie medicals, however, unlike previous years there isn't as much excitement surrounding the rookies. Oscar Klefbom is the only rookie with a shot at cracking the Oilers lineup, and while he is a first rounder, and could be a huge part of the Oilers future, there isn't the same excitement amongst Oilers fans compared to when Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov and Justin Schultz made their camp debuts.

Klefbom shouldn't take that as a knock on his ability, he's just experiencing what 3rd, 4th and 5th children in a family experience; your parents love you just as much, they just don't go crazy taking pictures of your every move and fawning all over you.

The excitement of another top-prospect still matters, of course, but the feeling in Oilersnation is much different this September than in previous years.

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Robin Brownlee
September 03 2013 05:01PM

It goes without saying that fans of the Edmonton Oilers deserve a little bit of good news after seven seasons of mostly misery. They got some from centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins regarding his surgically repaired shoulder after he took a twirl on the ice today.

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