Our beloved Edmonton Oilers are now a pitiful 1-6-1 on the year. Sadly their playoff hopes are already fading especially considering the even longer road trip just around the corner in November. A quick look at the numbers says that the Oil need a .622 winning percentage to reach 95 points and a shot at the playoffs. The Oilers need to stop the bleeding before it is too late. Coach Dallas Eakins has implemented new systems and the players look like they haven’t grasped it as yet which is not good news for anyone.
The current 4th line guy, Anton Lander- With yesterday’s signing of Sam Gagner, the Oilers currently have three proven NHL centres under contract, along with RNH and Gordon, for the 2013-14 NHL season. It has been largely speculated that Anton Lander would be the guy to slot in the middle on the fourth line. The question for fans is whether or not Lander looks like a fourth line centre on a playoff team. Even though he has 67 NHL games to his credit over two seasons, no one could make the argument that he is a proven NHL player. Is he the right guy or should the Oilers make a move for a more proven commodity?
Once again, is Mactavish adding to make a deal? With today’s news that the Edmonton Oilers have once again acquired Denis Grebeshkov, fans are left to wonder why? Prior to today’s announcement, the Oilers already had eight NHL calibre defensemen under contract and by anyone’s count, you can only play six in any given game. If nothing changes, the Oilers will start camp with 9 NHL defensemen and a very decent pipeline of prospect blueliners knocking on the door from OKC. What makes this move even more strange is that the Oilers currently only have 2 proven NHL centremen (RNH & Gordon) under contract (until Gagner is signed or dealt) and will possibly start the season with an unproven (an so far underwhelming) Anton Lander as their fourth line centre. In addition, other than Joensu (sort of), the Oilers haven’t addressed their need for size and grit amongst their forward ranks. When there are so many holes upfront, why the continued focus on adding rearguards? One could easily speculate that it is because defence is a position of extreme importance and depth in this area is a good thing; however, couldn’t the same be said of centre ice?
There may be more to the Grebeshkov signing than is initially obvious.
The Edmonton Oilers wish list this off-season is a long one with NHL quality players needed throughout the line up. At a quick glance the needs look like this:
Hall Nuge Eberle
____ Gagner Yakupov
PRV ____ _____
Brown Lander ____
Obviously these holes can not be all be filled this off-season and Mact certainly has a ton of work to do.