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Oil Patch

Good news!

The Edmonton Oilers sent another five players to their AHL affiliate team the Oklahoma City Barons Monday. Sent down were Martin Gernat (D), Curtis Hamilton (LW), Kale Kessey (LW), Iiro Pakarinen (RW), and Jason Williams (C). Why is this good news? It means that the Oilers feel confident enough in their defence that there is no need to rush Martin Gernat through the system and have him play in the NHL just quite yet.

Martin Gernat graduated from the Oil Kings only last season

After being a team of youth, a team of rookies and a team of young and inexperienced defencemen the Oilers finally have a few players with a number of games under their belt. The Oilers will always be a team that relies on youth to keep the team going. The Edmonton Oilers will always have to build and reinvigorate through the draft process, even if they were to build a dynasty, even with the new arena, Edmonton will never be the dreamed of destination for many free agents and their families. Players will always consider the winters, the travel and the size of Edmonton and weigh their options. So, the Oilers will always need to develop from within and hope for the best with the free agent and trade market.

Because the Oilers will always need to build from within, they will need to come up with a good development system and eventually, they will reach that point where they will finally have a core group and they will no longer face adding four or five rookies each and every year. The good news this year is that they might be there now. If the team can add just a couple rookies this year in potentially Darnell Nurse (who would benefit from more seasoning before the NHL), possibly Leon Draisaitl (who would also benefit from another year of confidence building in the WHL before facing the grueling NHL battles and schedule) or Bogdan Yakimov or another surprise player, you have to think that the team is making some big strides.

Working with fewer rookies should not stretch the current coaching staff, should allow the team to move forward with the returning head coach Dallas Eakins and will be one less excuse for losing streaks.

There is a lot of great news out of this year’s training camp and the pre-season games, news like Taylor Hall starting this season out healthy, the news that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Martin Marincin have added some bulk over the summer but there are still some of the same old worries and concerns such as will Oscar Klefbom be able to stay healthy and escape injury, how about Taylor Hall? For now, the good news that the Oilers are finally able to assign players to positions based on performance in camp rather than desperation for bodies is very good news indeed.

Filed in: Edmonton Oilers, | Oil Patch | Permalink
  Tags: kale+kessey, martin+gernat, oscar+klefbom


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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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