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Hot Links: Monday, August 17

Evaluating the Oilers decision-making process, season in review, goaltenders, Draft stuff, and MORE!

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Edmonton Oilers v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

Morning, everyone!

Sunil wrote a piece about evaluating the Oilers’ decision-making process, suggesting that any process that culminated in Edmonton signing Mike Smith as a viable solution to their goaltending woes is inherently flawed, and worthy of deep analysis.

I tend to agree, and would happily piggyback onto that argument and offer that, if the Oilers run it back with Mike Smith again, it is an obvious indication that the Oilers brass are either:

  • lazy,
  • bad at the job,
  • or both.

If they aren’t upgrading over Mike Smith, they simply aren’t looking hard enough.

Dave Tippett’s first year behind the Oilers bench was borderline revelatory. That is, until the qualifying round. No matter how good he was this season, it is incredibly hard to argue anything other than he got out-coached by Jeremy Colliton. That said, the Oilers were good enough to win 3 of the 4 games they played, and had the Oilers received a few more bounces — or deflected a few less goals into their own net, perhaps — we probably wouldn’t even be discussing Tippett’s performance.

Czechboy’s latest is a season review in which he concludes that the Oilers are close to an elite team and any moves made should be at the edges. Bring most of the team back and go again.

I’m not so sure here. I think the Oilers have some elite pieces and, to be honest, if the team were a ‘greater than the sum of its parts’ type outfit, they might be a top ten team in the league. But they aren’t, to me. While their high-end pieces are almost too good, there are too many players that simply don’t contribute often enough. Tippett suggested they overachieved this season, to the tune of five more wins in 71 games than last year’s obvious debacle. That doesn’t scream elite to me. They overachieved during the year and finished 12th.

I’m looking at writing a few pieces over the summer diving into the various groups: F, D, G, to hopefully illustrate where I’m coming from. But motivation is hard to come by 6 months into the global pandemic, so don’t wait with bated breath.

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