The Edmonton Oilers lost their opening game of the year Tuesday by the score of 5-4 to the Winnipeg Jets and Oiler fans are already out in full force calling for drastic changes to the line up. With 81 games still to played it might, just might, be a touch early for the fans to be starting already.
The 2013-2014 N.H.L. is only one sleep away and the Edmonton Oilers roster is full of question marks yet again. There are new players, coaches and management but is it enough to think the Oilers can turn the corner and make the playoffs for the first time since real estate prices decided to fluctuate faster than Oprah’s dress size?
The Edmonton Oilers managed a 5-2 victory last might against the Vancouver Canucks but woke up this morning to find out centre Sam Gagner will be gone for the foreseeable future with a broken jaw. Taylor Hall took a nasty elbow to the face earlier in the game and Darnell Nurse was run from behind as well. Reminds me of the last few seasons doesn’t it?
On the eve of the 2013 free agent frenzy: do you borrow from Peter to pay Paul? The 2013 NHL Free Agent period starts tomorrow and Oilers fans are all abuzz about the potential signings for the team. The one thing that is always absent from free agency is any sort of fiscal restraint (or planning) on the part of general managers. Emotional decisions are rampant as are poor decisions based on the small potential for short term gain rather than the long term big picture. A salary cap places artificial constraints not only on the total amount a team can spend, but also on how much a team can spend per position (if an organization hopes to be competitive). There have been numerous reports today that the Oilers have been “going hard” at David Clarkson. Currently, this is a poor idea which will lead to an even more uneven and unbalanced roster as far too much money will be committed to the wings leaving not enough resources to adequately man the rest of the roster.
Let me explain.
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.