The 2013-2014 N.H.L. is only one sleep away and the Edmonton Oilers roster is full of question marks yet again. There are new players, coaches and management but is it enough to think the Oilers can turn the corner and make the playoffs for the first time since real estate prices decided to fluctuate faster than Oprah’s dress size?
Once again, is Mactavish adding to make a deal? With today’s news that the Edmonton Oilers have once again acquired Denis Grebeshkov, fans are left to wonder why? Prior to today’s announcement, the Oilers already had eight NHL calibre defensemen under contract and by anyone’s count, you can only play six in any given game. If nothing changes, the Oilers will start camp with 9 NHL defensemen and a very decent pipeline of prospect blueliners knocking on the door from OKC. What makes this move even more strange is that the Oilers currently only have 2 proven NHL centremen (RNH & Gordon) under contract (until Gagner is signed or dealt) and will possibly start the season with an unproven (an so far underwhelming) Anton Lander as their fourth line centre. In addition, other than Joensu (sort of), the Oilers haven’t addressed their need for size and grit amongst their forward ranks. When there are so many holes upfront, why the continued focus on adding rearguards? One could easily speculate that it is because defence is a position of extreme importance and depth in this area is a good thing; however, couldn’t the same be said of centre ice?
There may be more to the Grebeshkov signing than is initially obvious.
Is GM Craig Mactavish loading up for a trade? - This morning over breakfast I was reading the Edmonton Journal’s Cult of Hockey Blog. Bruce McCurdy posted an article Sunday night referencing the Oilers latest pickups on defense. Organizationally, the Oilers have had a number of moves on defense this off season. Gone are Ryan Whitney, Theo Peckham, Colton Teubert, Alex Plante, and Kyle Bigos. Additions include: Anton Belov, Philip Larsen, Darnell Nurse, Lee Moffie, Ben Betker, and Brad Hunt. The additions and subtractions so far even out, but I was still left to wonder why the emphasis on organizational defensive depth early this off-season when there is so much need in other areas? Is it possible that Mactavish is loading up for a trade?
Since the 2013 NHL Entry Draft on Sunday, there has been no end to Oilers fan’s complaints about Craig Mactavish’s lack of a significant move. Whether you are listening to local sports talk radio, reading the comments section of a blog, or standing at the water cooler, there are no shortage of complaints and suggestions a out what Craig Mactavish ‘should have done.’ The knives are already out and they are long.