Setting Free the Bears

Lowetide
January 11 2011 06:41PM

With the Oilers reaching the official halfway point of their season, it's time to discuess a few home truths. The Oilers aren't going to make the playoffs, the trade deadline market suggests "UFA" is much easier to move than "RFA" and big ticket items are more likely to move in the warmer months. What does this mean to the Oilers? Read on.

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GDB 41.0: HALFWAY TO THE FUTURE?

Jason Gregor
January 11 2011 10:43AM

The Oilers arrive at the midway point of the season tonight in Dallas, and despite registering only 13 wins in their first 40 games, this first half isn't even in the top-five worst first 40 games in franchise history. In the Oilers' inaugural season of 1979/80 they went 9-23-8, but made the playoffs going 19-16-5 in their final 40 games.

They had some kid name Gretzky, and another named Messier along with Kevin Lowe, Blair MacDonald, Stan Weir and Brett Callighen. They used six different goalies that year, and fans had faith things would improve.

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HALL FIRST LINE CENTRE

Jason Gregor
January 10 2011 03:21PM

Taylor Hall was skating in the middle of Ales Hemsky and Dustin Penner at practice this afternoon in Dallas, and it will be interesting to see how he handles playing the middle. Now that Hall has gotten used to the speed and pace of the NHL, it looks like Tom Renney wants to see if Hall can handle all the responsibilites that go with playing centre.

There are lots of reasons why the Oilers are trying this experiment now.

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Meanwhile, Back On The Farm

Jonathan Willis
January 10 2011 08:05AM

It’s been an interesting season in Oklahoma, where the Barons have had on-ice more success in their initial season than any Oilers farm team has going as far back as the Hamilton Bulldogs. While I’m often critical of managerial choices made by the Oilers, in this instance they set the team up to succeed and deserve credit for executing a solid plan.

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Class & Cowardice

Jonathan Willis
January 09 2011 01:26PM

If there’s anything I’ve learned from writing here at Oilers Nation, it’s that anybody taking the time to publish their opinions in a public forum is bound to take some shots now and then – some of them deserved, some of them not. A thick skin or alcohol, or occasionally both, are a necessity. There’s no reason to complain about that, particularly given that writing about a hockey team often involves critiquing players; turnabout is fair play after all.

Every so often, though, the startling discovery of something can throw a person.

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