Written by FriesenNHL
This is a blog I would have liked to have gotten out much earlier.
What can we expect from the Edmonton Oilers this coming season? In all honesty, I expect nothing less than fighting for a playoff spot until the very end.
The changes made by the Oilers so far this off-season are more than they have made in the past 10 years. An experienced winner in a GM, a coach that has shown he can get the most out of players and bring a team to an elite level, an upgraded defence, upgraded goaltending, and then there is this McDavid kid.
None of these changes would have happened without the Oilers winning McDavid. Before that happened, I was told the plan was to move forward with the rebuild. They believed McTavish was a competent GM to do this. McDavid changed everyhing. The Oilers knew at that moment the window to start winning had now opened and they needed a GM capable of making the changes necessary as quickly as possible.
Chiarelli has done well to improve the team in the very short time he has been here, but I will not ignore a huge mistake he has made already. Chiarelli had every intention to giving Dougie Hamilton an offer sheet, and did nothing to hide the fact he planned on doing so.The threat of Chiarelli getting Hamilton put Boston into panic mode to trade him. When the Oilers tried to make a trade for Hamilton, they found out Boston wanted a lot from them. Boston wanted Chiarelli to pay, because Chiarelli was the reason Hamilton was going to be traded in the first place. The Flames ended up with Hamilton for a much lesser price. Had Chiarelli kept his offer sheet plans very quiet, there is a good chance Hamilton would be an Oiler instead of a Flame.
The Oilers still have one more move to do. They still need that number one defenseman. I have no doubt the Oilers will make that move before the season starts. Is there a better trading partner for the Oilers than Nashville? Or vice versa? Both teams have what the other so desperately needs. In my opinion, another smart option would be to offer Ehrhoff a two-year deal. This would buy the Oilers time to see if Nurse or Klefbom can become the number one guy and if not they have the time to find a true number one. Another option would be calling LA about Voynov. The Kings may not want the negative publicity that will come with Voynov and may be willing to move him. I do not believe Nurse and Reinhart play on this team this upcoming season. I woud think Nurse will start in the AHL and be brought on board midway through the season.
With San Jose and Vancouver on the downslide, I see no reason the Oilers shouldnt be a playoff team this coming season. Finally jumping ahead of Calgary would be great too.