It’s tough to see everything that’s going to happen in a hockey season while sitting on a deck drinking the Nation brew during August, and God knows I haven’t been in tune with Craig MacTavish this summer.
That all changes now. If you simply cannot wait to see what’s going to happen with your Edmonton Oilers this winter, click through and read. However, if you read this and then the season seems anticlimactic because you found out in August, don’t blame me! You’ve been warned!!!
THE VERY GOOD
- The Edmonton Oilers make the playoffs! Nothing crazy. The club grabs the final playoff spot, wins a couple of games in the opening series against Los Angeles and vows to return stronger for 2014-15.
- Tayor Hall scores 35+ goals and 80+ points and is voted to the end-of-season All-Star team. More importantly–as this happened last season–he is also named to the post season All-Star team.
- Jordan Eberle and Nail Yakupov also come close to 30 goals next season.
- RNH comes back earlier than expected and posts a point-per-game season.
- David Perron scores 20.
- Boyd Gordon becomes a crowd favorite, for his faceoff prowess, his exceptional PK ability and his in-your-face style.
- Ryan Smyth turns back the clock for his final season and delivers a quality effort.
- Justin Schultz has a fine year offensively and impresses with defensive improvement. Andrew Ference is given much credit for the turnaround.
- Anton Belov and Denis Grebeshkov win jobs out of training camp and post solid seasons.
- Oscar Klefbom and Martin Marincin both make their NHL debuts.
- Devan Dubnyk strengthens his hold on the starting job.
- Dallas Eakins has moments of difficulty, but is given credit for employing a more effective coaching strategy, especially in regard to even strength play.
THE NOT SO GOOD
- Oiler fans will not like the choice of pre TC deal for Toby Petersen.
- Oiler fans will not like TC invite list that includes Ty Conklin and Lauren Pronger.
- The Oilers will not get off to a good start.
- The lack of depth in the organization at center will be a season long issue.
- Oiler fans will be disappointed when the club is unable to add significant quality at the deadline.
- Oiler fans will be disappointed when Ales Hemsky is signed to a three-year deal.
- Oiler fans will be ‘weirded-out’ by season ticket holder who looks like Ralph Krueger and sits behind the Oiler bench all year.
- Shawn Horcoff scores a hat trick in his Rexall return.
- Yakupov draws the wrath of Don Cherry with a Celly that involves a cartwheel, doves, and Nail screaming ‘now go get yer shinebox’ in broken English.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
The Edmonton Oilers have had a very interesting summer, but the die was cast for this coming season long before draft day. The Oilers will make or break this winter on the fortunes of Hall, Nuge, Ebs, Yak City, Schultz the younger, Gagner and the other under 25’s.
I’m picking them to make the second season. Everything else is window dressing.