The News Is Out (All Over Town)

The first of the Hockey Annuals hit the streets in the last week or so, with the Hockey News (once the bible of the sport) predicting Edmonton’s Oilers repeating their basement finish of a year ago.

A nice summary is here.

The focus of the HN piece seems to be the penalty-kill, and lord knows help is badly needed (veteran help at that).

Derek Zona has been lapping the field this summer and offers a nice item on a very important part of the Oiler powerplay this morning.

The bottom line is that the Oilers stunk every way they could a year ago. Injuries, ineffective play, weird moments in goal (starting in game 1) and some unusual roster decisions all contributed to the chaos.

A year ago, Edmonton was poor at everything:

  • EV GF/GA: 156-212 (-56)
  • PP GF/GA: 52-67 (-15)
  • PK GF/GA: 6-5 (+1)

The penalty kill has some people who should be able to help (Horcoff, Fraser) and the PP should be better with Hemsky healthy for more than 22 games. However, as the summer winds down and the organization continues to watch free agents (slowly) slide off the table we must assume that the goal is a lottery pick.

That’s the news, Hockey News. We’re in a full rebuild and if there are holes on the roster we’re just not going to worry about it right now. The lottery awaits, and next year the tsn special will be two hours and the draft party will be even bigger. We’re at a point where we can safely talk about dealing Hemsky or Penner at the deadline.

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