We’re almost 40 games in to this season, and the Edmonton Oilers are in a world of hurt. Nothing rhymes, the shooters aren’t shooting, the defenders aren’t defending, the goalies aren’t stopping anything, and the fans are increasingly indifferent. WHAT can Craig MacTavish do? Aside from rescinding the Smid trade, there are a few things he can do.


  1. Too many kids! This one is obvious. If we name all of the Oilers with less than 200 games NHL experience (Nuge, Yakupov, Justin Schultz, Petry, Arcobello, Belov, Larsen, Potter, Joensuu, Gazdic) it’s almost half the roster.
  2. Too many kids in feature roles! Hell, Taylor Hall just passed 200 NHL games for crying out loud—and maybe that’s the best way to frame this issue—there are too many kids in important roles. The entire 1line lacks experience, the top pairing many nights is Belov-Petry and the veterans (Ference and Nick Schultz) are overwhelmed.


The smart move for Craig MacTavish should be ‘stay the course’ and wait for a trade that makes sense. However, fan rage is giving way to indifference, and that’s a very dangerous neighborhood for a sports franchise. I think the odds of Edmonton making a significant trade went way up last night, and the chances of seeing one of the gifted youngsters heading out of town rose with it.

Bold can be beautiful, but you better be right.


The 2014 1st rd pick, Nail Yakupov, Justin Schultz, Jeff Petry and any combination of that group. I don’t think they club moves Hall, Nuge or Eberle, and until last night would have included Yakupov on that list.

No longer. The die is cast.


Christian Ehrhoff, Brian Campbell, Dustin Byfgluien, a veteran defenseman who can play big minutes in all three disciplines.


From the 2010 draft through MacT’s arrival as GM, the Oilers were basically running in place, gathering talent. This next move—the bold one—is going to send away a significant piece of tomorrow for some sunshine today.

And Craig MacTavish has to make that deal with 29 jackals. Next stop, Pottersville.

      • elpol

        Eberle traded would be the best wake up call I think, his room mate would be shocked and so would ATB. Alan do you think his contract would be prohibitive to making a trade for anything but a bad contract back. I know you and others would like to see a #1d but that isn’t going to happen, we also don’t need any more soft defense-men, we need two hard nosed tough to play against veteran #3’s that can put a spark in this team and in the building, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to fire the person in charge of the song selection’s in Rexall either.

        • book¡e

          I dont understand what all the hate is for Eb’s , I assume you all have never played sports in your life with those comments to trade ebs. He is one of our best players for the last 3 years, he dominated in juniors, he is magic on shoot outs, whenever any other team talks they always want Eb’s , there is a reason for that , your baked and maybe get off the couch and play the sport before you hammer on guys on a lousy team. It isnt the core young guys its admin that is the problem.

          • Rdubb

            It wasnt really directed towards you just general, I read your’s as I was going through them and it had the move Ebs out, I hear it so much from forum boards not just this one and just cant understand why we (fans) would move a guy like that, hes done nothing but put up points for us, I know hes plus/minus isnt great but look at the Oil, all I was trying to say it isnt the core players its the rest and Managment have no clue.

          • Rdubb

            That’s pretty cheap,”Baked”,I have competitively played hockey,fastball, baseball and water skied as well as coached hockey and fastball,I have also had season tickets for the Oiler’s for 20 years, not much time for the couch.
            You are right though that Eberle is the player other teams want, how do you get what you need trading someone other teams don’t want?
            By the way I don’t need to make derogatory comment’s to people who state their opinion on here,why do you?
            “Merry Christmas”

          • Rdubb

            You get the the players you want by playing better ,Managment isnt making that happen if it be system ,style or whatever it is. I know I have had bad coach’s and good ones, but I do know we never did trade the top offensive talent we had because you never will be getting it back. You can teach hard workers what to do and I love them to but they will never have that extra of speed or skill that makes certain players Elite and about the comment for a guy that has played those sports and been in team atmosphere that should’nt offend you , its how guys talk to there friends, I didnt make it personal and wont but will continue to offer my opinion, thanks for understanding.
            I must also say Have a great and Merry Xmas to you and your family and hope Santa brings the Oil some wins

          • Zarny

            I think you misunderstand. Comments about trading players has nothing to do with hate.

            There are two simple facts:

            1) The Oilers top 6 F are too much of the same. They all get shutdown by the exact same game plan…push them to the outside and bump them off the puck.

            2) Aside from the top 6 F the Oilers basically have nothing else.

            The Oilers will NEVER win loaded up front with small, skilled F and nothing else to support them. They need a top pairing D pairing and they can’t afford to wait 4-6 years for Darnell Nurse to maybe fill that role.

            The only way to acquire a top pairing D is to trade one of the four kids.

            Yes, they will be sending away a very talented forward. Don’t worry they’ll still have 3 more.

          • Rdubb

            I did understand , I know you stated 6 forwards I currently only see 3 to keep ,Hall,Ebs and RNH, do what you want with the rest if you can the 3 I mentioned have contributed already and you cant teach talent, you either have or dont have it. Yaks has it but very young I would rather hear that guys that haven’t proved they can produce every year be on rumor talk. Trade J.S and Yaks for Top D like a Webber or PK but clutch guys you have to keep or you may never ever get them again. Eb’s or Hall should have been the Captain they give it a 3rd pairing Boston defenceman that is Eakins bum boy and does nothing wrong. 3 mistakes for this team from start of year, getting rid of Ralph who had the powerplay going nuts last year, hiring a nobody coach that cant teach better then a peewee coach, keeping same old oilers that weren’t great of players. ,Low good with Gretz garbage without, Smith scored goal on own net to end dynasty, and bucky umm ya a name like bucky as a coach. Frustrated.!!