Will someone please change the song – its on repeat.
Since the 2009-2010 season, the Edmonton Oilers have failed to have a winning record.
Since that time, their record has been a combined 124-188-45.
They have had three first overall picks and one pick in the top 10.
They have had four different coaches and two different general managers.
They even brought back a coach they fired and gave him the GM position. Um…what?
I can’t believe the moves that Craig MacTavish has made from the start of the season up until the trade deadline. Sure, maybe the Oilers need to cut their losses and get a few picks in the process, but has anyone stopped to think that maybe all the right pieces are there – and that another young prospect is the last thing that the Edmonton Oilers need.
Lets look at their moves this season:
- Traded Mike Brown for fourth-round pick (San Jose)
- Traded Ladislav Smid & prospect for Roman Horak & prospect (Calgary)
- Signed Ilya Bryzgalov to a one-year deal
- Traded Jason LaBarbera for future considerations (Chicago)
- Traded Linus Omark for conditional sixth-round pick (Buffalo)
- Traded starting goalie Devan Dubnyk for Matt Hendricks (Nashville)
- Traded a third-round pick for Ben Scrivens (LA)
- Traded Teemu Hartikainen & prospect for Mark Fraser (Toronto)
- Traded a fifth-round pick (2014) & third-round pick (2015) for Viktor Fasth (Anaheim)
- Traded Ilya Bryzgalov for a fourth-round pick (Minnesota)
- Traded Nick Schultz for a fifth-round pick (Washington)
- Traded Ales Hemsky for a fifth-round pick (2014) & third-round pick (2015)
* some minor deals and waivers I left off – these were the most important moves of the year
So, we see a number of things. First off, I like the Hendricks deal. The guy brings exactly what this team needs, and Dubnyk is not the future of this team. However, this year has been a backup goalie circus. Now, I may take some heat for this. Ben Scrivens had that unbelievable game where he got the save record – and Viktor Fasth has been outstanding for the Anaheim Ducks; and backups who turned into starters like Jaroslav Halak and Jonathan Bernier have flourished. Still, until Fasth plays a game, anything is possible. Bryzgalov was one of the best netminders in the game when he was in Phoenix, but that’s because he played behind a defensive juggernaut in the Coyotes. The same thing could be for Fasth – just saying.
Next, the Oilers have gotten weaker on the blueline. How does that happen you may ask? You take away a shot-blocker like Smid and a stay-at-home defenseman like Schultz. Truly bizarre. All I will say about Mark Fraser is that he’s tough – I mean he cracked his skull blocking a shot last year – but he’s nothing more than a slow bruiser.
And finally, the Oilers are now less offensive gifted than they were 24 hours ago. The move of Hemsky had to be done, however if this move was made a year or two ago, a solid two-way forward or strong defenseman could have been lying in the wake.
Now, I’m not putting this all on Mac-T. He was a hell of a coach before he got the axe. Let’s share the load…hmmmmmm…
Some people say Steve Tambellini was a great GM and that he drafted great players. Yeah, my job would be easy too, if all I did was select the best player in the draft three years running. Tambellini took over as GM in 2008 and saw his team finish last twice over the course of his five-year tenure. This is partly because he never surrounded his skilled guys with sandpaper – the best security blanket there is.
With the likes of Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov, Sam Gagner and Justin Schultz – this team has some extraordinary, young talent. However, out of the many characteristics that make these players similar, there is only one that people have been bantering about – and that is size.
The team lacks intimidation. They lack a presence. Sure, their powerplay can be off the charts – but how about their penalty kill? How about dominating the faceoff circl?. How about the aggressive forecheck? All these little things that make up a team are what the Oilers lack.
Edmonton sits in second-last place – they have traded away some notable players to stockpile picks and looks like they are heading into the upcoming NHL draft the same way they have the past few seasons – with a high draft pick.
Next off-season will bring many more questions that need to be answered, yet there will only be one on fan’s minds:
When will the drought end?
-Sips out! Oilers fans you can talk to me here: @rswainsworld
Photo credit: slam.canoe.ca