In his final 30 thoughts of the year, Elliotte Friedman gave Oiler fans some wonderful insight into the Edmonton Oilers and their new coach Ralph Krueger.
Among the items Friedman focused on:
- “The Hitchcockian stuff came when we discussed Edmonton’s forward lines. In Dallas, Hitchcock once explained how he believed more in forward “pairs” than trios. For example, Mike Modano always played with Jere Lehtinen. The third could be rotated. Krueger wants to see if he can create a flexible, dangerous lineup that way.”
- “He explained that he liked Jordan Eberle with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Sam Gagner with Ales Hemsky. That not only allows him to move Hall around the lineup, but also rotate others depending on the situation — Ryan Smyth, Ryan Jones, Ben Eager and potentially even Shawn Horcoff on the wing. I’m really curious to see this. This stuff fascinates me.”
Interesting stuff. I’d suggest the Oilers will run a designated Horcoff-Smyth-Jones line (Winnik didn’t arrive as hoped) but these are the names as described in Friedman’s article. Hall can ignite any line, so my guess is we’ll see a big jump in TOI for #4 this coming season.
- “Some of you will be wondering: what about Nail Yakupov? Krueger wants to see how the number one pick looks on the left side. Yakupov is used to the right, but with Eberle and Hemsky there, it’s pretty jammed. Finally, Krueger closed by saying one of the most important things moving forward for the Oilers will be the group “demanding more from each other and the team right from the beginning.”
And finally from Friedman:
- “Wayne Gretzky and Paul Coffey got a lot of attention for helping recruit Justin Schultz to Oilertown, but do not underestimate the role Hall played. Word is his sales pitch was extremely impressive, because he was unafraid to discuss the tough things the team has gone through — and how he believes those will be fixed.”
NATION RADIO hits the air at noon today on Team 1260. A jam packed lineup includes:
- Tom Lynn, Agent and Advisor for NHL and Amateur Hockey Players based in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Tom has quickly become Nation Radio’s “go-to” guy for draft, free agency and CBA talk. We’ll do that and more on today’s show.
- Harrison Mooney from Pass it to Bulis. We’ll talk Canucks, free agency, Luongo and Nash among other things.
- John Matisz and Brendan Gaunce. We’ll talk about a book on Gaunce (by Matisz) that follows the young junior player through his draft year. THIS is going to be a fascinating read.
- Lisa McRitchie from Kukla’s Korner. Lisa is a bright light in the Oilogosphere with unique commentary and always has an interesting take. We’ll talk draft and the Oilers in free agency.
- Ryan Pike from Flames Nation. We’ll have a lash at the CBA talks, Shea Weber’s future and try to figure out if Jay Feaster is all about the past, present or future.
Emails welcome firstname.lastname@example.org and you can put comments and questions in the thread below or I’m @lowetide_ and @ItsNationRadio on twitter.
Cool show. Hope you tune in.