152

What took so long?

For anybody with even a faint understanding of the concept of best practices, it shouldn’t be noteworthy that an NHL team looking to fill a position as important as general manager would insist on a proper search of all available candidates and exhaust due diligence in compiling a short list before hiring anybody.

121

This, That, and the Other Thing

As if fans of the Edmonton Oilers don’t already know how bad things are, how poorly their team is built and how overmatched it is, they got another reminder late in Saturday’s 5-2 loss to the New York Islanders when Colby Cave and Alex Petrovic got a shift on Ken Hitchcock’s second power play unit….

101

At Random: No Shortcuts

“If you’re going to enter a Volkswagen in the Indianapolis 500, you better know a helluva shortcut.” I’m dating myself, but back in 1975 before club fighter Chuck Wepner — he’s the palooka Sylvester Stallone loosely based his Rocky franchise on — stepped into the ring to face Muhammad Ali in a throwaway title bout…

104

Long way down

For most of his tenure behind the bench of the Edmonton Oilers, coach Ken Hitchcock has more or less assumed the role of the kindly old uncle, at least publicly, when it comes to addressing the shortcomings he inherited with his team. More often than not, he’s accentuated the positive whenever possible while trying to…

65

Freedom

Ken Hitchcock wasn’t brought in and put behind the bench in place of Todd McLellan to worry about what happens with the Edmonton Oilers down the road. His gig is here and now. We got another example of that in his post-game availability at the Xcel Energy Center after Thursday’s 4-1 win over the Minnesota…

177

Dark

Since the forgettable era that was the mid-1990’s, the Edmonton Oilers have been blessed with fans who have filled their buildings, bought their merchandise and supported the team win or lose – mostly lose these last 13 years – through some dark days. People in this town know the game and they are passionate about…

70

We needed a save…

With a roster as flawed as the one coach Ken Hitchcock is trying to coax into the playoffs, there’s plenty of blame to go around when it comes to the shortcomings that have the Edmonton Oilers spinning their wheels as they try to stay in post-season contention. That has been obvious for months.

129

The Big Ask

So, the Edmonton Oilers begin their post all-star break schedule after 10 days off against the Philadelphia Flyers, winners of six straight games, Saturday. They’re three points out of a wildcard playoff spot in the Western Conference with 32 games to play. They have five teams between them and a post-season berth after staggering into…

102

At Random: Get In or Get Out

The most impressive thing about Connor McDavid at the NHL all-star game wasn’t that he won the fastest skater competition for the third straight time. It’s how he handled all the questions thrown at him about his future with the Edmonton Oilers, even though he was obviously less than thrilled about the grilling he got.

128

Now what?

So, with Peter Chiarelli rightfully sacked and shown the door by the Edmonton Oilers in the better-late-than-never department, an obvious question begs: Now what? That’s really a two-part question, the way I see it. First, what happens in the short-term? Second, what happens in the long-term? They are, it goes without saying, connected.

102

At Random: Lame Duck

To borrow a page from Captain Obvious, there’s absolutely no doubt the Edmonton Oilers aren’t good enough to be anything more than fringe playoff contenders this season unless they make personnel changes. It’s just as obvious, at least from where I sit, GM Pete Chiarelli isn’t the man to make those changes. That’s not a…

58

For the Money

With 35 games remaining in the season, the Edmonton Oilers can’t lock up a playoff spot in the next three games they play before the NHL all-star break, but what they do in this upcoming trio of home dates is going to go a long way in determining whether they’re in or out in a…