In April, I asked 10 questions about the Edmonton Oilers. Three months later, we have our answers.


  1. Who will they take #1 overall? April 15 answer: Nail Yakupov. Actual answer: Nail Yakupov. The lottery gifted Edmonton with the number one overall pick and the club added another elite forward prospect in Yakupov. He’s signed, sealed and delivered as an Oiler, and after the prospect camp has already won the hearts of Oiler fans. Best possible result for the Oilers.
  2. Who will coach? April 15 answer:Tom Renney. Actual answer: Ralph Krueger.The summer did not develop as we expected it to in regard to coaching. In April, Brent Sutter was the name (apparently) in play, with Krueger’s name being mentioned as a secondary item (as in "the other coaches have to know about their futures, too"). As it turned out, Krueger was a major portion of the story and won the day with his articulate delivery of his vision for the team and inspiring way. I’ve followed the Oilers since their inception, and don’t recall a coaching decision as unlikely while still appearing to be painfully obvious when talking to all of the main players in the transaction. Clearly Ralph Krueger can hold sway in a room and that gift might be a key item to this team’s future success.
  3. How will they improve the defense? April 15 answer: Justin Schultz. Since Bob McKenzie mentioned Edmonton as a possible landing spot for soon to be UFA Justin Schultz Oiler fans have been talking about him. Actual Answer: Justin Schultz. I have tried to put into words what this signing represents, but it is difficult to convey the importance. During the glory years of the Oilers, they were able to acquire outstanding additions to the team via the trade route but it always involved giving up picks or players. When Oiler players approached free agency, they were traded for various parts and picks. That is the world we lived in. After the lockout, Edmonton did acquire free agents, but it involved paying a lot of money (Souray, Khabibulin) for gents who had injury issues and the erosion of age. Justin Schultz isn’t any of those things. He is a young "perfect fit" for the gifted cluster of forwards and the Oilers won his signature with a lot of other very good clubs vying for it. As much as winning the #1 overall selection was a Godsend, the Schultz signing represents what might be a brand new day and is perhaps the first major sign that the hockey world is taking notice of the build happening in the land of the ice and snow.
  4. If they trade to upgrade D, who will they trade? April 15 answer: Sam Gagner. Actual answer: Incomplete. The Oilers did add Schultz but are not yet done (we hope) in the addition department. It is extremely likely that the team would have to trade a roster defender as part of an improvement, as the team is currently at 8 NHL contracts (Smid-Petry, N Schultz-J Schultz, Whitney-Sutton, Peckham-Potter). We heard rumors of Marc Methot and Mark Streit early in the summer, so there is some evidence of a push to improve.
  5. Will they move Hall to center? April 15 answer: Yes. Actual answer: nothing so far. Jason Gregor and Dennis King both mentioned it in the spring and there is some logic to the plan. However, with Hall’s rehab this might not be the season to try it.
  6. Do the Oilers continue the DD-NK tandem or look to improve it? April 15 answer: no. Actual answer: nothing so far. Edmonton’s GM Steve Tambellini has stood by Khabibulin all down the line and it doesn’t look like there’s a lot of action in this area. I do think signing Yann Danis was a wise decision, he posted a strong SP in OKC and should be considered a worthy callup option in case of injury/ineffectiveness.
  7. Will they make a big splash this summer? April 15 answer: No. Actual answer: No, beyond the Schultz signing. The Oilers always have a way of creating excitement around the draft and did it again this season. Signing Schultz was a huge item, but we haven’t seen him play yet so it’s an idea more than a fact for the fanbase. Ryan Smyth was the big free agent signing, but he’s a known quantity and perhaps not the big splash at this point in his career. 
  8. What will the top 2 lines look like in the fall? April 15 answer: RNH, Hall, Eberle, Yakupov, Hemsky and Ryan Smyth. Actual answer: Same, except Sam Gagner is still here so Ryan Smyth is likely 3line. I’m not absolutely certain the Oilers are done here so we may have to do another edition of this ‘questions 12-13’ in early September. However, as it stands I think we can assume that–based on Krueger’s verbal–the club will pair Nuge-Ebs and Gags-Hemmer together and move Hall/Yakupov around to get matchups.
  9. How many of their own unrestricted free agents do the Oilers sign this summer? April 15 answer: Two. Smyth, Petrell.Actual answer: three: Smyth, Petrell, Hordichuk. Edmonton surprised by returning three of their wingers from the group that struggled so badly a year ago. The 4line was a disaster, so we wait for the plan. Hordichuk was a signing that allows the team to have a physical option as needed, but he can also sit. He knows the role.
  10. Which current NHL player on another roster has the best chance of being an Oiler in the fall? April 15 answer: Jason Garrison. Actual answer: nothing so far. Incredibly, the Oilers have a very similar roster now to the one that ended the season. We know Justin Schultz and Nail Yakupov will be here all year, and that the young guns will be a year older. I  think it is reasonable to assume business isn’t done.



We’re not there yet. That’s my belief. However, I also believe that the long, warm days of summer (plus the monsoon season) have obscured the good works done before noon July 1. Yakupov, Justin Schultz and Ryan Smyth should help and I expect we’ll eventually see that top 4 defender.

The Nuge will be a year older, Hemsky will be healthy, the defense seemed to rally around the Smid-Petry pairing as the season wore on in 11-12. I’m not suggesting any kind of run with the current roster, but the young hockey players on this team are going to be better. 

That’s going to be the story of the 12-13 Edmonton Oilers no matter who they bring in.

  • I still think its one more year of lottery position, not being negative just think that its is part of the process of the rebuild.

    Like Reg mentioned, we are still pretty soft, we lack a true top pairing defensemen and there are a lot of “ifs” built in there.

    If Dubnyk can be consistent, if the growing pains of Schultz are not to bad,

    If Yakupov can jump in and be an offensive dynamo and responsible defensively,

    If Whitney is as healthy as he is going to get

    If Hemsky can get back to something that resembles the player he once was.

    If Belanger can regain some confidence, If Paarjvi can regain his confidence, and so on.

    22 points is what the Oilers will need according to last year to be an 8th place team, not to mention jump teams that have gotten better this summer.

    One more year of a borderline lottery team is not such a bad thing; this years draft is going to be a good one. Then the Oilers have an abundance of players they can start to deal to bring in the players they truly need.

  • PutzStew

    I think everyone is forgetting that the Oil had the best def record for the first 6weeks of the season last year, then injuries took their toll and they lost at least 3 of their top four d for the next 3months. Now I’m not saying that they would have finished the season that way as khabby was standing on his head but the point is that I don’t think they are as bad as their stats would indicate from last year. If they can stay a little more healthy and with the addition of the 2 Schultz’s and hopefully a healthy Whitney they don’t look to bad especially if smid and petry can play at the level they did last year. I like Sutton and Peckam as 6-7 playing limited minutes for their toughness. Now if there is an opportunity to upgrade without making a stupid deal then by all means do it but I don’t think things are as bleak as many of the posts here make it sound. On another note I like the idea of bowmeester as a top 4 addition – he’s stable, durable and eats a lot of minutes. He would also be a good replacement for Whitney if he doesnt return to form and isn’t resigned next year. If Whitney does get back to form then you have at least 3 proven top 4d with Whitney, N. Schultz and Bowmeester. Petry or the younger Schultz will hopefully round out the top four…

  • paul wodehouse

    love that picture too… especially it being the Freemont Street i used to love back in the day and yes well before any of those super kids were even thought of AND ! …When it didn’t have a roof on it …

  • paul wodehouse

    …my wish is that Whitney is healthy cuz he’s our best Dman…my worst nightmare is that he, like so many other ‘former elite althetes’ is on his way out to pasture…our GM has done little to nothing (albeit we have a college ice hockey player signed)to shore up what will certainly be a leaky blue…


    that’s yelled because our dithering GM is deaf dumb and blind…geeeesh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • paul wodehouse

    PERCEPTION . I see our club quite differently than most of you i suppose . Our veterans are still low team on the totem pole , and thus unlikely to get us anyway forward again this season . Only our youth is going to move us forward thanks to Tams and company doing less than adequate job of forming us a base . I FORSEE MANY YOUTH MAKING OUR SQUAD THIS YEAR , rather than bringing in anymore reclamation product ! Develop our youth and live with what that brings , rather than wasting positions on acquisitions which are basically fill in . Veterans failed us last year and will continue to do so – it’s up to the draftees !

    WE GO WITH OUR DRAFTEES , the only thing that we are excelling at !

    MAKING THE GRADE : Paajarvi , Schultz , Yakupov , Klefbom , Musil or Marincin , Zharkov , Martindale , Hartekainen . Power play, if kid pans out , might include a darkhorse like Lallegaia . We are going to be a three line offence jugernaut anchored by only one defensive line , at least for this year . We simply do not have the personnel to run two shutdown lines of respectability with our makeup . If we do , then 29-30th spot we will inevitably hit anyways .

    Have no faith in Tams (understandably ) acquiring a decent base anyway else other than handing it over to our last 3 years draftees .

  • paul wodehouse

    I am saying that I watched ALL the oilers from the very beginning,and i didnt see two thirds of the talent I see here now at the same beginning point of what I believe is another dynasty.

    I believe that there is a system of play called the newAge Hockey System that is tailormade for our talent level,and it is designed to negate the experience factor at the NHL level,Rookies can execute 100% within it equally as well for the most part as veterans.

    I believe we will play a similar system of offense ,and I believe that our team proved a lot more than they are getting credit for last year.We were in a position to make the playoffs last year,and after our free-fall we were recovering that same rythem and sucess.

    This year if the right decisions are made we can start the same and this time make the playoffs and go deep.We will blow some teams out in a serious way this year and i dont believe Mr.Krueger allows his system to STOP functioning properly when he is up two or three goals,he will run at maximum performance for 60mins because he knows his men need to be prepared and to expect that every night as professionals,he needs them to know he doesnt have the option to gear them down

    I believe we will win more than ten games with 7 or more goals on the board,we are going to dissect teams with our talent level,its that simple,if krueger decides to play the system I created and developed specificly for the Oilers type of team Moma2s NewAge Hockey System—and it is based off of the way Wayne Gretzky used to operate the 80 powerplay in its entirity the whole system is based off of the dynamics Wayne created then—then we will score 4 or more goals a game and put up 40 plus shots per game,every game night in and night out.That is how Oiler records are equalled and broken.Mr.kreuger has already made reference to my systems core values in the media through his reference to the Oilers 80s PP earlier in the year so unless we were both abducted by the same UFO then he is familiar with my systems data and is planning on integrateing it into his gameplan.

    This is the same system LA used from about 25 gms to go right through the playoffs,they won a cup useing this system,and the oilers I believe were also experimenting with it at the same time with about 25 gms to go,in addition our farm team also began integrateing core value components into their hybrid system,the sucess is documented,a Stanley Cup,A trip to the final series for the farm team,and the beginnings of a strong turnaround by the Oilers to close the year.And the best part is that nobody seems to be able to explain the sucess of any of these teams in a clear and concise manner,but i can because they utilised my system i created and offered to them in cyber-space via the internet.

    The media asked Renney many many times last year to explain the Jeckyl and Hyde results we were getting in a consistantly identifiable manner,in other words—what system are you playing when we blow teams out for four or five in a row and why change it when it is working??All through the playoffs TV analysts were questioning the way LA has changed its game and was seemingly unstoppable,they managed to correctly identify the point when the sucess started,with about 25 games to go,but not the catalyst,which was my NewAge Hockey System data I provided on-line.This is fact.

    If we use this system and execute it completely we will see records broken this year,the offense is that potent,it is a possesion/transition type of game that focuses 100% on offense for 60mins.It is the Purest offensive system available in the NHL today and few teams can maximise the systems potential due to a lack of talent depth.I designed the System for the Oilers and its based off the 80s powerplay—so we are perfectly set to maximise its potential now.

    I only released the core value components of the base of the system on-line to this point,teams have taken this data and incorporated it into their existing “hybrid”systems and found immediate sucess,because the base of the NewAgeSystem is in form and function “the trap”except its a “trap with a difference”the difference is that you can incorporate substantially more offense into my NewAge Hockey Systems —“System Check-mate”–than you used to be able to inject into the trap.

    This is why LAs games all remained consistant and so did their results.This is why they scored so many”individual effort”type of goals,they were really system induced,they just appeared due to dynamics to be individual efforts.It was a consistant storyline.Put the oppositions “hybrid system”into a NewAge Hockey System “system check-mate”and then exploit their weaknesses as they try to figure out how to generate offense,but unlike the trap which just kills the play my system check-mate has offensive dynamics built into it,you just have to become opportunistic as opposed to forceful.Hence the superman seeming type of goals,in the old trap those wouldnt have happened as we all know.

    My point is this,the Oilers have the creator of a new and tailormade Hocky System here on their side,a system that has documented sucess,and is absolutely brand new.I created the NewAge Hockey System for specificly the oilers type of team,and if the Oilers embrace all of my system core value components they will dominate the NHL this year,i dont mean compete either I mean dominate.This type of offensive generation has never been witnessed 5 on 5 EVER,because no team has ever utilised my new and dynamic system,the newAge Hockey System until the oilers and their farmteam experimented and until LA used it to win a cup.

    So yes,I think we have more talent up front than in the 80s and i think we have a better and even more offensively dynamic system available to execute than the old Oilers had,i also believe that these great records will never be broken until a team embraces a new and even more dynamic system of play than the Oilers themselves used,and I decided to create from their greatness an even bigger greatness,it is called the NewAge Hockey system and it is tailor made for the Oilers.

    I have been flogging this system for several years and it is finally catching on,and I dont hide so I am available to discuss the system here any time,or on some other forum.

    I believe we all focus to much on talent–with the NewAge Hockey System variants an average talented team can generate serious offense.I designed the system to do this in order that teams start to abandon the “hybrids”they are playing today,it generates more offensive exciteing hocky and sacrifices nothing,and the best part is that I released limited system data,just enough to lear to initiate a system check-mate and then flounder to find offense,I reserved the majority of my system data for just the Oilers,in essence I set a Trojan Horse by initiateing a fundamental change that first brings NHL teams out of their “hybrid”systems lureing them with more attainable offense,and then when they are seemingly closer to our talent laden team in terms of ability to seemingly generate good offense,they will run into the Oilers who will be executeing the NewAge Hockey System in its entirity incorporateing ALL core value components,and we will have intimate knowledge of how the opposition is executeing their adjusted hybrid systems because the adjustments will come from their integration of our “system base’into their hybrid systems,we will be playing the complete system from which their own system were created.

    For the record Jarret Stoll was the conduit of the newAge Hockey system data to the LA Kings team,and he ran with the data with someones full support,had I released more critical system data on-line the kings would have already been incorporateing it.Just watch Sutter face when he is asked what changes he made to turn the team around and into a Stanly Cup Winner??He doesnt have a complete answer because I am the answer,the newAge Hockey System data is the answer,it was sutters willingness to listen to someone and incorporate adjustments via my data that set his team off,just like our farm team was set off,and just like we were beginning to look as the year closed out,for cripes sakes we were turning it around completely in a lost season!!at the end of it of all times.

    I firmly say we will see records fall and be an early playoff lock if we play our cards right,it isnt talent that wins championships it is a winning system supported by talent.

    The only thing new so far this year is Mr.krueger so only time will tell if he has prepared this type of dynamic system for the Oilers,I hope he has,and am willing to support him with my own NewAge Hockey System data any time.

    Sam Gagner will be the best example of the results of the newAge Hockey Systems unique phylosophys.The 8 pt night was no fluke at all,and each game where we executed a version of the Newage Hockey System his play jumped significantly as did the entire teams.

    Some players have begun to incorporate core value components of my new system into their individual games,positive results are like magnetic attraction,sucess breeds sucess.As a result of solid exposure to this data for two years many players are already prepped to learn the complete system core value components.

    The newage Hockey System dramaticly reduces the amount of input player are required to manufacture out on the ice,the system clearly takes most decision makeing power away from them and allows them to play reactively,not actively,in other words they dont actively try to force their system down your throat,they focus on offense and when you push back to defend they become REACTIVE and step it up a gear.The newage Hockey System is all out 60mins of offense.They dont actively try to beat the goaltender with a shot,they shoot reactively where there is no goaltender,they remove the goaltender from the equation,didnt you watch LA take apart Brodeur?That is until i went on-line and sent data to the Devils and gave em data that stopped LA from working the low post toe save rebound on him,actually they were trying it from both sides with lethal effect,till the Devils took away the shot from the top of the circle that was the catalyst,LA smoked every team useing this simple core value play.
    Actually i contacted three opponents of LAs this past year dureing the playoffs and showed them all how to put LA into a system check-mate–IT WAS WORKING FOR EVERYONE–some just learned faster and a couple almost had it turned around,it was part of establishing a groundroots change away from the “hybrid”systems–the Trojan Horse.

    Records will be broken and names will be made this year if we open up with all of our assets,It should be a great year.4 goals per game is the average,we are uber-talented so its anyones guess how many we will get through the entire year.i am sticking by ten 7 goal games at least,because even if no one listens to the NewAge Hockey System to start with,they will like last year after we free-fall,so based on that scenario I say ten 7 goal games——if we start off the season gunning for bear you can up the number of games to fifteen or more.

    I know its a brash and outlandish way of looking at the year,and it defies all convention,but thats what winning is,it isnt realistic at all.You must manifest and will victory,and it all starts when you verbalise or write a thought ,then communicate it to someone and so on and so on.I will also say I think the Safeway 5 goal million dollar prize will be handed out this year,as I believe Sam Gagners 8pt night woke up a lot of talented kids to a new reality,they work with a man who put up 8pts in 60mins of hockey,they have a bar to reach and I think one of them will do it this year,and that is the craziest thing i could ever say,8pt games two years in a row???Impossible right???Hall looked more hungry than amazed,my moneys on him.

  • paul wodehouse

    NEWAGE: There will not be many big results scorewise until the talent plays proficiently at the “take away”o”turnove” game as in football . Thats an integral part of offence often disguised or referred to as defence . Special teams are good at that , and is an area that we are still learning and not proficient at in comparison to other clubs . That is why a possesssion game is hard to enact with a young skilled team – it takes time to envelop a total team concept and positioning to envolk a possession game on complete ice surface . With any luck and good coaching accompanied with results success – we could surprise this year . For now , however , we still dwell near the bottom till team game gets further developed . It could be soon as this year , or it might never develop over next few years . Everything is relative to the times we play in and the speed at which teams can adapt , which is much faster than it used to be to be honest .