54

GETTING STARTED: A FIGHTING CHANCE

By the time the end of November rolled around last season, the Edmonton Oilers had dashed any hopes fans had that they’d kinda-sorta contend for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. Meaningful games in March and April? The Oilers were done by December.

31

Lost along the way

Toni Rajala was this close to being a success story. The 2009 fourth round draft pick passed hurdle after hurdle, and then left before even really challenging the final one.

59

HEAD OUT ON THE HIGHWAY

Jujhar Khaira will very likely spend his rookie pro season in Oklahoma City, with fellow newcomers Bogdan Yakimov, Mitchell Moroz, Iiro Pakarinen and others. It’s exciting for Oilers fans, who have enjoyed watching plenty of defensemen develop but not many forwards. This could be a big rookie crop of forwards in 2014-15, likely the strongest…

110

THE GOALIE OF THE FUTURE: WHERE IN HELL IS HE?

This is Laurent Brossoit. The Edmonton Oilers traded an NHL defenseman to get him — does that mean he’s the future in goal in Northern Alberta? The team spending 33% of their 2014 draft picks on goalies suggests the answer is “maybe not” or “too soon to tell” for the famous former Oil King. Who…

18

GET YOUR MOTOR RUNNING

It’s hard to believe, but the Edmonton Oil Kings’ training camp gets underway late next week with rookies arriving. The club has seen several changes and graduations to pro hockey, and for the first time in a long while will not feature any Edmonton Oilers’ prospects.

61

Lost in Translation – Vacation Edition

In case you were wondering, and I know you were, for the past couple weeks I took up the Nation summer tradition, jumped on a plane, and got out of here. While I was away, I had planned on writing updates on anything amusing that I was up to, but it was tougher than I expected.  How…

67

The Craig MacTavish Blue Line

It’s pretty easy to gut an NHL defence corps, but it’s much harder to build one up. Craig MacTavish has been wonderfully active in just over a season at the helm of the Oilers, flushing away 75 percent of the defence group he inherited from outgoing G.M. Steve Tambellini. But how has he done in…

14

The Roundup

The analytics debate rages on, how much does “character” matter, player profiles, ice bucket challenge, Wayne Gretzky and more in this week’s Roundup.

84

PACIFIC HEIGHTS 2014-15

After weeks of ciphering, I have figured out the Pacific Division for 2014-15. Now, if you click-through it will ruin the surprise of the actual season, so consider this a spoiler alert on winter. Up next: where do they finish?

68

EAKINS: PAUSE FOR THOUGHT

If nothing else, Dallas Eakins is giving critics who roasted him during his rookie season as head coach of the Edmonton Oilers pause for thought this summer with what looks to me like a very productive off-season.

62

The upside to missing the World Championships

The Edmonton Oilers and Hockey Canada have had a long relationship, and few players on the current roster exemplify it better than Jordan Eberle. Eberle was a famous player even before his first NHL game thanks to his exploits at the World Juniors, but he’s been a good soldier at the World Championships, too, joining…