This is my first writeup at Rantsports Oilers. After writing at Edmonton Oilers Thoughts for the past couple of seasons, I figured its time to branch out and put my musings in a more formal forum. In the upcoming season(s), hopefully sans lockout, I will be writing about all kinds of topics. Game Reports, scouting reports, prospect pools, depth charts, attempting to predict future moves, critiquing the coaching staff and management. I’m not much for rumour mongering but I will dabble in that kind of thing as well as needed.
For now, I will recap that summer that was and continues to be for the Edmonton Oilers. Essentially the Oilers have drafted Nail Yakupov with the first overall pick and outbid every other team for the services of Justin Schultz. Both will likely make the opening day team. Other than that its been pretty quiet in Oilerville. The Oilers resigned the likes of Ryan Smyth (2yr deal), Devan Dubnyk (2yr deal), Jeff Petry (2yr deal), Lennert Petrell (1yr deal), Darcy Hordichuk (1yr deal), and Sam Gagner avoided arbitration by signing a 1 year deal. Essentially, the Oilers will be going into next season with a simliar lineup that ended last season, with the additions of Nail Yakupov and Justin Schultz, unless there are more transactions on the horizon.
The Oilers let Tom Renney go in May, but retained Ralph Krueger to become the new head coach of the team. Krueger’s methods will need to be a bit more refined as he was a part of the coaching staff that was 29th in the entire NHL. It will be interesting to see what Krueger does in terms of gameplans and adjustments that differed from the Tom Renney regime.
Here’s to hoping the Oilers start to trend upward. The pieces are coming together, albeit very slowly. They still have some holes on the defense and are still far too easy to play against, but as long as the likes of Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and now Nail Yakupov continue to trend upward, they should, at the very least, be an entertaining group to watch.