How Does Eric Belanger Fit Long-Term?

One of the more disappointing side points of the Oilers’ 2011-12 season has been the play of veteran centre Eric Belanger. Going back to before the lockout, Belanger has been the model of modest offensive dependability; his point totals per season starting in 2002-03 are 35, 33, 37, 35, 37, 36, 39 and 40. Eight…


Position of Strength, Position of Weakness

The Oilers have a wealth of young offensive talent in the NHL. They have a shortage of young, NHL-ready defensive talent. At some point, is the logical decision to send away one or two of the former to add one or two of the latter?



NHL General Managers at the deadline go from aggressive to homicidal. Most are trying to "keep up with the Joneses" by adding parts to their team while also keeping valuable items from their opponents. The Oilers had a major item on the block just a few hours ago, but Ales Hemsky’s signing means Edmonton doesn’t…


Slow Train Coming

The prophecy for this trade deadline suggested lots of movement in Edmonton. As one of the few teams clearly out of the playoff race, it was thought that the club would be active. Now? It’s a moving target.



  After a dominating performance over an injury-riddled, not-much-talent Flames team on Tuesday, the Oilers will have a tougher test tonight. Outside of proving the Oilers have much more skill than Calgary, I was impressed by how hard they worked and skated on Tuesday. When their effort, desire and work ethic matches their natural skill…


Be The General Manager: Hemsky & The Trade Deadline

Quite a while back, Robin Brownlee offered fans a chance to work through a couple of hypothetical scenarios where they played the role of Steve Tambellini. I thought it was a great idea at the time, and filed it away in my mind for reference and stealing purposes. So, presented with the following deadline scenarios,…


Nation Radio – February 18, 2012

    Playoffs are a distant hope for the third straight season in Edmonton this year. The focus now shifts to the pending trade deadline, the kids and, eventually, the draft. This week Allan visits with California hockey fan and writer Earl Sleek, welcomes various voices familiar with both pro and amateur Edmonton prospects and shares…


Big Opportunity

The trade of Ryan O’Marra opens up opportunities for some OKC Barons forwards. Tanner House–an Alberta boy from Cochrane with a hockey resume that includes stops in Canmore, Penticton and Orono, Maine–has earned praise from his coach for 2-way play and attention to detail. The problem for Tanner House and this year’s AHL prospects: goals.



There might be a perfectly good reason why GM Steve Tambellini trades Sam Gagner one day, but size shouldn’t be it. Just a thought and a simple rule of thumb for armchair GMs who insist size is an issue with Gagner, or any player for that matter – find a way to keep your best…


Breaking the Oilers Down By Age

The Edmonton Oilers are a team struggling to pull themselves out of the NHL basement. Management has committed to a long-term rebuild, and that means that many of the older players playing significant roles now – including the team’s (arguably) starting goaltender and their two big-minute forwards – probably won’t be when the team is…



The Oilers are only one player, Tom Gilbert, away from being healthy for the first time all season. The Oilers haven’t had a game where Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Sam Gagner, Ryan Smyth, Ales Hemsky, Ryan Whitney, Ladislave Smid, Cam Barker and Tom Gilbert have all been in the lineup, but they are…


Hurry Linus

Linus Omark may be the most qualified player in the Edmonton system to replace Ales Hemsky.