One week ago, we were comparing Dylan Strome to Noah Hanifin, talking about small steps next season and trying to figure out the real meaning of 11.5%. This Friday? Absolutely insane.
It’s still beyond belief, suspect I’ll need to see the young man in training camp before it will register. Oilers fans who had long since given up on the team sent me texts with dozens of emojis (well no, but the words were all in caps) in an amazing mass return to the Oildrop. It was too long away, but the lottery win gave life to young and old, across the universe.//
Bob Nicholson emerged on Monday to tell us he was the de facto head of OEG, responsible for all departments, business and hockey ops. It was a power drive worthy of Bruce Springsteen and the timing (as we’re trying to piece things together) may have had something to do with an event in faraway Boston.
Chiarelli fell out of favor with the Bruins and came available last week. I thought the Ottawa Senators made the most sense and didn’t think for one minute the Oilers would go that route. Edmonton? Well, Oilers fans were talking McDavid for sure and that had changed, but picking the coach and possible goalies were the normal conversation.
I spoke to Sarah Connors of Stanley Cup of Chowder and Kirk Luedeke of Red Line Report and New England Hockey Journal this week, and both gave the impression that Peter Chiarelli did a very good job during his time in Boston. The record suggests the same, and he is coming to a team in the Oilers with far more natural talent.
  • Chiarelli: “This team has got a lot of good pieces. The way I manage there’s nothing
    really flashy about it, although in the past I’ve made some trades and
    I’m not afraid to do that, it’s about getting to know the players,
    instilling an attitude and a philosophy about winning, the sacrifices it
    takes to win, sacrifices on … and off the ice, the mentality that we
    all have to embrace.  There’s really nothing magical about it, there’s
    nothing magical about me. It’s about hard work, connecting,
    communicating, and that’s what I plan to do.”
I think we’re going to see some veterans here over the summer. Justin Williams, Brent Seabrook, Antti Niemi, Carl Soderberg, that kind of player. I’m not really one for ‘attitude’ and ‘mentality’ because for me the young group’s dedication has never been the issue. That said, those things wouldn’t necessarily be obvious from afar.
I think roster makeup is the number one culprit, an example being too many young defensemen playing too high on the depth chart. Chiarelli is going to take a machete to that defensive depth chart and buy a veteran goalie. The way is clear.
!!!!! Incredible.