The Edmonton Oilers have not enjoyed a good season, but there has been plenty of good work done. GM Craig MacTavish took over one year ago, and has been very active. Which move has worked out the best?
DRAFTING DARNELL NURSE
The defenseman Edmonton is looking for right now? Darnell Nurse may be that exact player. A strong step forward in boxcars (including an impressive power-play spike) married to tough minutes means Nurse is displaying a wide range of skills in one of the best junior leagues on the planet.
SIGNING BOYD GORDON
Extreme zone starts, penalty killing, and scoring more than we expected, Boyd Gordon makes a strong case for team MVP. The zone starts are the third toughest in the league.
Gordon’s crazy zone starts show up in the Vollman Sledgehammer. He’s playing very difficult minutes and has been doing it all season long.
TRADING FOR DAVID PERRON
The assets given (Paajarvi and a 2) had value, but Perron has covered them with a strong season. His offense is obvious, but he also plays with an edge and has provided the club with terrific even strength offense.
5×5/60, Oiler forwards
- Taylor Hall 3.15
- David Perron 2.10
- Mark Arcobello 1.93
- Jordan Eberle 1.79
- Nail Yakupov 1.60
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 1.60
- Sam Gagner 1.54
Perron’s 2.10/60 at 5×5 ranks him 64th overall in the entire NHL among regular forwards. That’s a helluva player.
ACQUIRING AND SIGNING BEN SCRIVENS
He leads the NHL in save percentage, and his numbers have improved since he arrived in Edmonton. The Oilers haven’t had goaltending this good since Dwayne Roloson. The fact that he’s a pretty good interview and has that ‘goalie cool’ attitude make it even more fun.
I SAID PARDON?
Which is it? The “perfect fit” defenseman Darnell Nurse, the shutdown center, the scoring winger with an edge or the show-stopper in goal?
I know this much: if Steve Tambellini had 12 months that included Perron, Scrivens and Gordon the Oilers wouldn’t be in this mess. Can MacTavish repeat things this summer? He’ll have to, and more.