Dave Tippett told Jason Gregor he’s reviewing last year’s Oilers games and he has some Condors games, too. I think that’s an encouraging bit of news, curious people pursue knowledge during all 12 months of the year. So, if Dave Tippett can do it, maybe we can do a little of it, too. Let’s start with player usage, then and in the future.
The Athletic Edmonton features a fabulous cluster of stories (some linked below, some on the site). Great perspective from a ridiculous group of writers and analysts. Proud to be part of the group, here’s an incredible Offer!
- New Kent Wilson and Lowetide: Why the Flames and Oilers would (and wouldn’t) trade Sam Bennett for Jesse Puljujarvi
- New Lowetide: Looking ahead to Oilers training camp: 35 players for 23 jobs
- New Jonathan Willis: What the Oilers’ 2020 cap situation suggests about Ken Holland’s master plan.
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: With free agency all but over, Oilers’ Ken Holland has tough work ahead on the trade front
- Jonathan Willis: Josh Archibald won’t fix the Oilers’ biggest problems, but he’ll help with some key issues.
- Lowetide: Is there anyone left in free agency who can help the Oilers?
- Lowetide: Will the 2019-20 Bakersfield Condors be the Oilers’ best minor-league team ever?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: The Oilers have a new amateur scouting director. What can we learn from Tyler Wright’s track record at the draft?
- Lowetide: The Oilers are finally recovering from the wayward 2014 Draft
- Lowetide: Projecting Darnell Nurse’s next contract and possible trades
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: A missing mom, aching feet and looking for Kevin Lowe: A week in the life of Oilers prospect Raphael Lavoie
- Lowetide: What to do when Connor McDavid rests: The Oilers’ ideal No. 2 line for 2019-20
- Lowetide: Adding a scorer will be Ken Holland’s first big move as Oilers GM
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: What the Oilers’ depth chart looks like now and where they go from here
- Jonathan Willis: How often do goalies like the Oilers’ Mike Smith rebound?
- Lowetide: Ken Holland’s roster moves clear the way for Oilers top prospects Tyler Benson and Kailer Yamamoto.
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers GM Ken Holland promises long-term rewards for an approach light on short-term improvements
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Trade market now most likely place for Oilers to find scoring winger
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘He comes as advertised’: Philip Broberg’s skating makes him development camp standout for Oilers
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Oilers plan to skew younger on defence could open the door for Evan Bouchard, Dmitri Samorukov
- Lowetide: Oilers top 20 prospects summer 2019.
- Lowetide: Are these Jesse Puljujarvi’s final days with the Edmonton Oilers?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Ranking the Oilers’ trade assets from the high-priced diamonds to those needing fresh starts
- Lowetide: Oilers GM Ken Holland is shopping for 20-goal scorers on a budget. What will he find?
TIPPETT’S FINAL ARIZONA DEFENSE
This is 2016-17 and it looks exactly as expected. OEL is fencing against the world’s best swordsman every night while walking a tightrope over the Grand Canyon. This defense allowed 260 goals and finished 33 points behind the Oilers that season. Tippett cobbled together a top-4 until management sent Stone away. Credit as well for recognizing Chychrun at age 18.
OILERS DEFENSE 2018-19
McLellan and Hitchcock relied on four men throughout the year, it’s quite possible we see more of the same this coming season. What I’d like to see is another puck mover in the top-4D, and I do hope Tippett gives Matt Benning more chores against elites.
Some things worth watching: Will Tippett run with Klefbom-Larsson as top pair, or will Nurse get some time with Larsson? Who is the second pairing RH blue? It could be Russell, probably is Russell, but Jones is very mobile and has played RH side. Joel Persson, Ethan Bear and Evan Bouchard would seem to be applying for third pair but will Tippett see something in one of them? And of course my man Benning. If he played 350 minutes against elites, could he handle it? One true thing: Oscar Klefbom is vitally important to this hockey club.
Kent Wilson is one of my favourite writers and I enjoyed writing this piece with him. In drilling down on the young careers of both men, the Bennett-for-Puljujarvi idea has merit, but the downside is enormous. The Flames have been far better than the Oilers in identifying talent over these past few years and young JP is going to be highly motivated wherever he goes. A fascinating idea.
LUCIC FOR NEAL
Two things: We’re past all bonuses now (right?) so if this deal is going to drop now is the time. Why wait? Also, a few people talking about Edmonton having to sweeten the deal because of ML’s contract. I’m not certain a sweetener is reasonable. You?
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
If we get a Lucic trade today that will change everything. At 10 this morning, TSN1260, we’ll be joined by Ben Kramer, fantasy analyst for Daily Roto and CFL, plus Laura Armstrong of the Toronto Star. Lots of CFL and MLB and you know we’ll talk Oilers. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!