Your Thoughts: How Do the Oilers Improve Defensively

Photo credit:Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
By Woz
1 year ago
Last week after the Oilers’ collapses to New York and Colorado, it had me wondering. How do we improve the Oiler’s blue line, without trading Darnell Nurse. Because that simply won’t happen, plus he also has a full team no-movement clause. I asked your thoughts on Oilersnation Socials, let’s see what you had to say!
Before getting into the article I’d like to say this piece is purely to involve the community of Oilersnation on the website. Comments are selected from Oilersnation social accounts (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram). Articles such as this are intended to be fun and engaging


Lots of trade activity from Joel on Facebook! Not sure if the Oilers would be willing to part ways with Broberg. Parayko I’ve been told to stay away from due to injury history, he’s on a long-term deal and simply isn’t the player we think he is. Maybe the 2018 version of Colton Parayko but not the 2023 version. Chychurn on the other hand, yes, please.
Shaun loves the idea of a stay-at-home defenseman; I do on paper as well. The Oilers have been missing someone like Adam Larsson here for a while. The one problem I find with a shutdown defenseman, stay-at-home would be his ability to move the puck. Edmonton needs players who can help transition the puck out of their defensive zone based on the way they try to play. Would a defensive defenseman slow down the Oilers?! It’s tough to say.


Ryan Whitememe brings in the fact that the Nurse-Ceci pair is a massive problem. In my opinion, Darnell Nurse could really use a new partner, someone who can help take the pressure off his shoulders. He’s asked to do so much and likely why he has the contract that he has. Does a partner like Ceci bring Nurse down?! If anything Cody Ceci is the one player who hasn’t taken a step back this year. He played solid minutes last season however that hasn’t been the case during the 2022-2023 season.
Changing the defensive structure is something I’m open to. The only player that comes to mind when it comes to separating pucks and disrupting the play is Jesse Puljujarvi. Now I know many won’t agree with me there however he’s hailed as a great defensive forward for a reason. It’s possible the Oilers need more of the positives that Puljujarvi does bring. I’m surprised the Oilers aren’t more defensively sound under Manson and Woodcroft and question if the defensive problems come from the coaching staff.
It’s very rare to see someone not pin the blame on Darnell Nurse. Gibson mentions how the pressure of the big contract has gotten to Nurse. Bringing in a guy like Karlsson, which is highly unlikely at this point would solve a few issues. Does the same go for Chychurn?! A player who can take the focus and attention off Darnell Nurse and is more responsible with the puck?! I believe a puck mover like Karlsson or Jakob Chychrun would be the answer.


Bringing in an elite puck-moving defenseman would allow the Oilers to efficiently move the puck out of their defensive zone resulting in more time in the other team’s zone and less in yours. Sounds simple right?! I’m not a genius when it comes to this however I feel less time in the defensive zone is a positive!
Karlsson, Chychrun, McCabe, Ekholm! Four names that would certainly benefit the Oilers, but the real question can Ken Holland be creative the pull off a deal for one of them? Tyler Yaremchuk on Oilersnation Everyday has mentioned Ekholm as a potential fit. Just anyone who’s able to move the puck sounds like a nice solution. As much as a defensive defenseman sounds awesome, there are also not many on the market and why would any playoff team trade one away?!

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