Sooner or later, the veterans are going to play a preseason game and at that point we’ll be able to drill down on what opening night Oilers might look like. Until then, the checkers and the kids and the Euros will push for the support jobs, few though they be at this point.
While you’re thinking about the opening night group, keep this in mind: Injuries have had an impact early and that could continue.
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 Athletic, we are celebrating our 2-year anniversary this week. To mark the occasion, you can get 40% off subscriptions until Sept. 19 here.
- New Lowetide: Why Kailer Yamamoto’s delayed training camp may benefit his Oilers career
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Q&A: Brandon Manning on how his contract is hurting him, proving his worth at camp and being a mentor
- Jonathan Willis: Four players who helped, three who hurt their Oilers hopes in Edmonton’s second preseason game
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: How an offseason adding more pop in his stick and skates has James Neal primed for first Oilers season
- Lowetide: A big night for Oilers defencemen Joel Persson, William Lagesson and Evan Bouchard
- Lowetide: Preseason 2019-20: The Oilers’ journey to respectability begins
- Lowetide: Handicapping Oilers prospect progress: The development of Ethan Bear, Caleb Jones and William Lagesson
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Eight key questions for the Oilers to solve at training camp
- Jonathan Willis: Predicting the winners of the Oilers’ top-six and top-nine forward jobs out of camp
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: In, out or on the bubble: Breaking down positional battles at Oilers camp
- New Lowetide: Evan Bouchard and the Calder Trophy: The Oilers’ pursuit of the elusive rookie award
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Alex Chiasson prepares to return to scoring form for Edmonton Oilers
- Jonathan Willis: Kyle Brodziak defied the odds, and then the Oilers, to carve out a significant NHL career
- Lowetide: Can Mikko Koskinen and Mike Smith stop enough pucks for the Oilers?
- Lowetide: Shutdown success by Darnell Nurse and Adam Larsson is a key for the Oilers in 2019-20.
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Even if he’s unsure about his return, Oilers’ Connor McDavid looks and sounds like his old self
- Lowetide: RE 19-20: How can the Oilers’ bottom six close the gap in goal differential?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Kailer Yamamoto and Tyler Benson address respective highs and lows as Oilers rookie camp begins
- Jonathan Willis: Riley Sheahan is a prudent signing by the Oilers in more ways than one
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers’ defensive hopes will rest on the new shutdown pair of Darnell Nurse and Adam Larsson
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: With Evan Bouchard as the headliner, here are the players to watch at Oilers rookie camp
- Lowetide: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and the configuration of the Oilers second line
- Lowetide: Connor McDavid’s 2019-20: Pushing for 50 goals while Dave Tippett loads up the Oilers’ top line
- Lowetide: Estimating reasonable expectations for the 2019-20 Edmonton Oilers: A difficult journey
- Jonathan Willis: How much money will Darnell Nurse make on his next NHL contract?
- Corey Pronman: Oilers No. 9 farm system.
- Lowetide: Oilers coach Dave Tippett might have to take drastic action in order to find a second outscoring line in 2019-20
- Lowetide: Oilers top 20 prospects summer 2019.
CERTAIN OILERS 
One thing that should be mentioned (and I noted in the ‘reasonable expectations’ series) is that we could see someone from this list traded before or during the season. The impressive showing by several young blue may force a deal, especially if the one of the young skill forwards doesn’t step up.
UNCERTAIN OILERS 
I’m not sure anyone on this list is out of the race, although Yamamoto’s inactivity probably means he’ll start in Bakersfield. Good early camps by these men has resulted in this training camp holding our interest more than in the past.
DISTANT BELLS 
Burdasov just arrived, I don’t believe he’ll make the team (there’s no time). McLeod, Manning and Samorukov are all doing well, Malone and Hebig are showing flashes. Interestin group this year, most have played well.
How many of these men do we see tonight? I’ll suggest the Nuge and Haas lines, maybe the Sheahan line with a different right winger. The McDavid line? Talk to the doctors.
OILERS LEADING SCORERS
- Tomas Jurco 1, 1-1-2
- Cooper Marody 1, 0-2-2
- Patrick Russell 2, 1-1-2
- James Neal 1, 1-0-1
- RNH 1, 1-0-1
TOI LEADERS (DEFENSE) (FIVE-ON-FIVE)
- Oscar Klefbom 21:25
- Darnell Nurse 20:06
- Joel Persson 19:42
- Evan Bouchard 18:52
- Adam Larsson 18:46
- William Lagesson 18:46
Lots of talk about Sam Gagner and his spot on the roster, I think he’s a lock but some are questioning the idea. For me, the Oilers as a group are painfully shy of proven NHL offense, and Gagner has been a productive player in this area. Mad holes without the puck, but even last year in Edmonton he delivered 1.74 points per 60 at five-on-five after coming over from the Canucks. The Oilers will replace him but the wise move is to wait until a suitable winger has proven himself worthy. Edmonton’s wingers aren’t a quality group, Gagner is the best offensive option past Leon Draisaitl and James Neal. In fact, Gagner was more productive in Edmonton than Neal a year ago. The Oilers will find someone more efficient but until then Gagner should get a regular shift. In my opinion.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning, TSN1260, we truly have a universal show today. Frank Seravalli from TSN will talk CBA, preseason, Jets are a mess and some Oilers nuggets. Paul Sir, basketball legend, will discuss the FIBA 3 x 3 WOMEN’s event this weekend at West Edmonton Mall Ice Palace. Plus, and this is going to be fabulous, I’ll be joined by Andre Costopoulos, Dean of Students at the U of A, and anthropologist. He will be doing a lecture called “The Evolution of the Baseball Fight”. Costopoulos using evolutionary theory to discuss how and why the baseball fight has become a ritualized and formalized part of the sport. The lecture will take place on Sept. 21, 11:30 – 12:30. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!