The Edmonton Oilers had lofty goals this season. Oilers GM Craig MacTavish was fairly certain that the team needed only minor tweaking. There was no way to know that the team may need a whole new overhaul, well at least according to MacT. Yet here the team is, bottom of the league again in a year where anything short of playoffs was to be a failure on the season. The goaltenders have both been swapped, and on trade deadline day, all that was acquired were more picks.
The Edmonton Oilers have made their decision with Ben Scrivens. Maybe. While the team has had quite possibly their worst year of their rebuild this year, goaltending issues had to be the cherry on the top of a mountain of troubles. The team had stuck with and developed Devan Dubnyk but ultimately decided that he wasn’t going to be the team’s starting goaltender. Now, it looks like he won’t be there for the Nashville Predators either. So, the team has moved on with Ben Scrivens but maybe only for 2 years, or even less.
The Edmonton Oilers are far from finished making changes. As seen time and time again at various other times, by various other teams around the league, simply drafting high, and acquiring young talent is not enough to make a Stanley Cup team. Steve Tambellini was never quite able to pull the trigger and make moves to make the team take bigger steps, and while new GM Craig MacTavish is making moves, we won’t know if it will be enough for quite some time. Just like we will never know if former goaltender Devan Dubnyk could have had a better season if the team in front of him was even just a little bit better.
The Edmonton Oilers have been dropping like flies to injury for years. We try to assess where the blame is, we try to figure out whether or not the medical staff are on their toes, but what if it's not a matter of misdiagnosis, what if it's more a case of the players eating too many pasta dinners? No, seriously.
Edmonton Oilers' GM Craig MacTavish has finally done it, he has successfully traded Linus Omark. Omark is a once highly touted Oilers' prospect who was soon surpassed by even younger and more talented prospects as the Oilers hit the jackpot with three first overall picks in a row. Omark's performance in the NHL never took off, while he has been the AHL Oklahoma City Baron's top scorer.
The Edmonton Oilers have had their share of issues this year. They couldn’t get a win, they couldn’t score goals, they couldn’t stay healthy, and most importantly, they had some terrible stretches of goaltending. GM Craig MacTavish set out during the off-season to acquire a backup goaltender, thinking that was all that his team would need. Devan Dubnyk had been showing signs of promise despite bad stretches or bad goals now and then. It was believed that Dubnyk would be the goaltender going forward, that he was going to prove himself this year. He has proved himself to this point, but as a backup goaltender.
Linus Omark is still unhappy, and still more than willing to talk to the Swedish media. After playing a lockout year in Switzerland, the Oilers and Omark appeared to have mended fences, or at the very least perhaps new GM Craig MacTavish decided to try his hand at working with Linus Omark. Regardless of what happened in the background, Omark agreed to a one year two way contract and began the season in the AHL with the Oklahoma City Barons. But that’s where he’s stayed (aside from one NHL game) despite highlight reel goals, game winning goals, repeated multiple goal games and a lot of buzz. And why?
From Jason Gregor of Oilers Nation:
I believe the NHL is much safer now than it ever has been, yet I don't see many articles portraying that. Every time there is a borderline hit, or a spur-of-the-moment dumb decision that results in an injury to an opposing player, some pundits are quick to try and over blow the magnitude of the play.
Since the NHL implemented rule 48, there has been a drop in checks to the head. The players are getting the message.
Who cares about draft picks anymore? Honestly. If you are in Edmonton, you have seen enough of highly touted draft picks. You have seen enough “HOPE” (Hall Omark Paajarvi Eberle) and can look back at how that turned out. Omark is having a fantastic season in Oklahoma City, but is still not helping the NHL team while he’s there. Paajarvi is struggling to crack the St. Luis Blues team, Hall has been off to a slow start, and Jordan Eberle leads the team in points… with a whopping 15 points in 20 games. And so with that, Oilers’ GM Craig MacTavish had no choice but to address the media, the fans and the city Thursday. What he had to say seemed honest, but it wasn’t a message the fans are excited to hear.
The Edmonton Oilers are still struggling to find their identity as a team and they are still looking for their missing pieces. While some of those missing pieces may just have to come through trades, others could already be in the system. A glaring need for the team right now are power forwards, forwards who can play the puck, score goals and stand up to anyone else on the ice. While the Oilers brass and fans are looking to the trade market, and other teams for the ideal fit player, the team is also working to develop their own fixes. One of the possibilities for the team is Mitch Moroz, currently with the Edmonton Oil Kings of the WHL.
About Oil Patch
Lisa McRitchie is a fairly new writer, online at least, but makes up for inexperience with passion for the game of hockey and memories of Mrs. Leskiw’s English AP class; who knew they would pay off one day.
Oil Patch focuses on the Edmonton Oilers, the Edmonton Oil Kings, The Oklahoma City Barons and Team Canada Hockey with game coverage, news updates, speculation and interviews.
Although the Oilers have had a difficult past decade… or three, here at Oil Patch, the future looks bright.
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