Edmonton is a city of 1.8+ million (CMA) but it’s really a series of neighbourhoods and towns that have been building in all directions since about 1795 when Fort Edmonton was built. That was about 40 years after Anthony Henday mapped out his freeway, but he didn’t get to hang around for another 220 years to see how it turned out.
I’m not sure how much of Edmonton, the real Edmonton, Peter Chiarelli saw in his time with the Oilers. I hope he can see our city up close and personal in the decades that will roll out from this one.
For the city itself, which houses most of the Oilers fanbase, today comes as a relief. This is the day when the club can renew itself, to bring hope back to the conversation. Me? I am once again thinking of the Star Trek episodes entitled “Year of Hell” when Voyager tangles with the Krenim whose ultimate weapon-ship manipulates time to erase their enemies. Over and over again.
The Athletic Edmonton is going to bring it all season long. Proud to be part of a lineup that is ready to cover the coming year. Outstanding coverage from a large group, including Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis, Lowetide, Minnia Feng and Pat McLean. If you haven’t subscribed yet, now’s your chance. Outstanding offer is here.
- New Lowetide: Peter Chiarelli’s inability adjust, poor trades and free-agent misses at the centre of his firing.
- New Jonathan Willis: Rushed Mikko Koskinen deal was one Peter Chiarelli should not have been allowed to make.
- Lowetide: Oilers sign Mikko Koskinen long term, signalling the end of the line for Cam Talbot in Edmonton.
- Jonathan Willis: Waiving of Ryan Spooner is another black mark on Peter Chiarelli’s Oilers resume.
- Lowetide: If the Oilers are sellers at the deadline, expect a Condo of Condors heading north.
- Lowetide: Jay Woodcroft’s usage of Tyler Benson and other young forwards in Bakersfield is both welcome and encouraging for Edmonton Oilers fans.
- Tyler Dellow: After 47 games, the Oilers’ 5-on-5 scoring woes stand out.
- Lowetide: The Oilers’ way forward and the smartest route to finding an impact winger this summer.
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Goalless Tobias Rieder hopes to follow Zack Kassian and Milan Lucic and end his offensive funk.
- Jonathan Willis: Why the Oilers should make a decision on Peter Chiarelli this week.
- Lowetide: Complete Oilers top 20 prospects, Winter 2018
OILERS AFTER 50
- Oilers in 2015: 19-26-5, 43 points; goal differential -26
- Oilers in 2016: 27-15-8, 62 points; goal differential +15
- Oilers in 2017: 22-24-4, 48 points; goal differential -30
- Oilers in 2018: 23-24-3, 49 points; goal differential -13
OILERS IN JANUARY
- Oilers in January 2016: 4-5-2, 10 points; goal differential -4
- Oilers in January 2017: 7-3-1, 15 points; goal differential +4
- Oilers in January 2018: 5-5-0, 10 points; goal differential -13
- Oilers in January 2019: 5-6-0, 10 points; goal differential -7
WHAT TO EXPECT IN JANUARY
- On the road to: Arizona, Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose (Expected 2-2-0) (Actual 2-2-0)
- At home to: Florida, Arizona, Buffalo (Expected 1-1-1) (Actual 2-1-0)
- On the road to: Vancouver (Expected 0-1-0) (Actual 1-0-0)
- At home to: Calgary, Carolina, Detroit (Expected 1-1-1) (Actual 0-3-0)
- Overall expected result: 4-5-2, 10 points in 11 games
- Current results: 5-6-0, 10 points in 11 games
I promise not to brag, but that’s pretty close to a direct hit. Edmonton is exhausted now, the last three games saw a group of great players unable to pull the big part of the roster over the line.
DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT
FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT
My piece at The Athletic this morning gives you an idea about Chiarelli’s time in Edmonton and the reasons for his firing. Stay tuned for more all day at The Athletic from Jon, Daniel and our national writers. We’re going to cover this story from all angles.
One thing I couldn’t find room for in my piece was the noxious trivia item involving the Oilers having to give up a draft pick (represented in human form by Jack Studnicka) for the right to hire a guy who had been fired. The mind boggles.
In the days to come, we’re all going to have a lash at what can be done to improve this team, and about what should be saved and built on from the current club.
I would like to see this team get it right, but am unsure of what that might look like. For me, the wish was always hire a general manager with experience and that didn’t work. They can’t go back, but the way forward must be unique compared to the past.
We can say “hire an analytics team” but you also need a general manager and coaching staff who are willing to apply those things to real life day to day.
We can say “do it like Detroit” or “Winnipeg has the best plan” and I absolutely agree. Question, though: Do fans have the patience? Does Nuge? Does McDavid?
The more I think about this team, the more I think the way forward might be trading the first-round selection this summer. I don’t view this year as a ‘must’ to make the playoffs, but next year must rhyme.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
We will carry today’s media avail live at 10 on TSN1260 and then it’s going to be a moving target in terms of guests. Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey will be on, I expect we’ll reach out to Ryan Rishaug who is always generous with his time. It’s what we call ‘all hands on deck’ and I hope you make us your destination this morning. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter.