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Edmonton Fans Still Waiting For Big Changes

Edmonton Fans Still Waiting For Big Changes
Published On: Mon, Aug 06
Dec 21, 2015; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oiler forward Teddy Purcell (16) attempts to shoot the puck against Winnipeg Jets goaltender Michael Hutchinson (34) during the third period at Rexall Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

The Edmonton Oilers were one of the biggest disappointments of the 2017-18 season. Despite being led by one of the best players in the world in Connor McDavid, the team dropped 25 points in the standings and finished well out of the playoffs. Only three players on the team broke the 15-goal or 40-point thresholds, and goaltender Cam Talbot posted his worst season as a professional. Changes were obviously needed, and big things were expected from GM Peter Chiarelli, who had never been known for his hesitation in the past. Chiarelli has always been willing to trade players who he believed were problems, and acquire assets that could help his team.

In April, just after the Oilers season had come to a close, Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal wrote a piece outlining ten changes that could happen in order to get the team back to the playoffs in 2018-19. Among them was a common thread, that basically everyone on the roster outside of McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins should be considered available. Real additions also needed to be made up front, to help add some secondary scoring to the rest of the lineup. A puck-moving defenseman should be added, and something needs to be done about the left-handed imbalance of the blue line.

This summer though, almost none of those things have happened.

A change in the coaching staff was expected, and the team did bring in several new faces to help head coach Todd McLellan this season. Glen Gulutzan, Trent Yawney and Manny Viveiros were all hired as assistants, replacing several outgoing names. That should give the team a different look in terms of system, but those asked to perform will be the same. The defense corps remains relatively unchanged, other than the fact that Darnell Nurse is still without a contract and Kevin Gravel was brought in on a two-way contract. No additional puck-movers have been added, meaning as it stands the burden will once again fall on players like Nurse and Oscar Klefbom to really drive the team.

Read the complete news article here...

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