Peter Chiarelli Talks About The Work Needed To Be Done In Edmonton

Peter Chiarelli Talks About The Work Needed To Be Done In Edmonton&h=235&w=320&zc=1

The bad news–the Edmonton Oilers finished the season with the worst record in the Western Conference and second worst in the entire National Hockey League. The good news–they had 8 more points than last season and a lot more hope for the future. On Tuesday, Oilers’ GM Peter Chiarelli gave his season ending ‘state of the team’ press conference and outlined what needs to happen for Edmonton to improve even more next year.

Perhaps the most obvious move–the Oilers will have a captain next year after going with a group of ‘A’s’ this year. And to the surprise of no one that captain will be wearing #97. Connor McDavid was easily the brightest spot for the Oilers this season. With all the pressure in the world on the next ‘generational player’, McDavid not only lived up to the hype but exceeded it. On most nights he was the best player on the ice and on quite a few nights he was downright unstoppable. Amazing that a player expected to be the ‘next big thing’ could be even better. We knew McDavid was fast but his speed is lethal. We knew he was a ‘good character guy’ but he’s already become the leader of a team desperately in need of one. And at the ridiculous age of 19 he’s only going to get better.

Chiarelli spoke of the most obvious need and one that will help McDavid and the rest of the team improve–upgrading the defensive corps and particularly with right handed shots. The Oilers do have one clear asset–a draft pick that will eventually be in the top five. Chiarelli has said before that they won’t keep the pick (though if they got another #1 pick I’d personally take Auston Matthews and ship Ryan Nugent-Hopkins elsewhere) and that’s a nice bargaining chip: “I’d like to upgrade our defence. I guess I could trade our pick. We have a surplus of forwards and we’ve got a lack of defenceman.”

The thing that many people overlook with the shabby defensive corps in Edmonton–it’s just not keeping goals off the scoreboard but they play a crucial part in getting the puck to the Oilers’ bumper crop of talented forwards.

Related Posts