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My Kingdom For a Centreman

Edmonton Oiler’s head coach Dallas Eakins addressed the media Thursday afternoon expressing his concern that at this point, the team only has two NHL centremen. Finally, a coach that sees it and says it like it is. It’s not that the team doesn’t have a few options down the centre, but most are young and inexperienced and likely to gain more from another year of seasoning in the AHL with the Oklahoma City Barons than another year of struggles and losses with the Oilers. 

It’s not for lack of trying that the team is in the current position, centremen like top pairing Dmen are a hot commodity in the NHL, and not many will hit the trade market unless there is a personal or personnel issue.

Still, the Oilers do have a few possibilities in Anton Lander and Mark Arcobello. Players like Greg Chase and Bogdan Yakimov will turn heads and garner attention, but will be reassigned before too long.

What this of course means for the Oilers is that there is a lot of work to do. Without veteran Ryan Smyth taking the odd faceoff or even taking the centre position during long stretches of games the team needs a player or two to wow, or for the stars to align, allowing for a trade. The safe bet is on the Oilers continuing to show patience and continue to work with their prospects.

For those players who need skating work, players like the much anticipated power forward Mitch Moroz, the new hiring of David Pelltier to work along with Steve Serdachny will help. With two power skating coaches on staff, it will help to identify the players who are completely focussed on getting better versus those who feel that they are close enough. Of course, having two skating coaches also means more coaching time per player, and potentially the opportunity and the possibility of advancing a player up the NHL level sooner than expected.

 In the meantime, look for the Oilers to put their centreman camp attendees through the ringer, this is going to be an exciting and better, but still long season full of injuries, learning and hopefully a win or two more than last year.

Filed in: Edmonton Oilers, | Oil Patch | Permalink
  Tags: anton+lander, centremen, edmonton+oilers, ryan+nugent-hopkins



Would they take Andersson?

Posted by George0211 on 09/19/14 at 10:42 AM ET

Lisa Brown's avatar

Andersson would be like taking another Anton Lander, but I bet the Oilers are looking into it. Gordon and Nuge are not enough.

Posted by Lisa Brown on 09/19/14 at 10:55 AM ET

LumberingD's avatar

No thank you on Anderson.  No problem with the player, just not the solution required.  Also, looks like Nuge will still be the “baby Nuge” this year, he still looks like 10.

Posted by LumberingD on 09/19/14 at 10:57 AM ET

Lisa Brown's avatar

He looks 10 in that photo as it’s old. Alas, I wanted a picture of team centremen and only had this first development camp for Nuge photo that also had Lander. Nuge put on 15 pounds and is definitely ageing well.

Posted by Lisa Brown on 09/19/14 at 11:02 AM ET

LumberingD's avatar

Glad to hear, I was worried we had the boy that would not grow!

Posted by LumberingD on 09/19/14 at 12:59 PM ET

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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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