After a long offseason, the Edmonton Oilers are ready to get the season started and are in pursuit of a playoff spot as their last berth in the Stanley Cup playoffs was just over two and a half years ago. With a new GM (Ken Holland) and new head coach (Dave Tippett) the Oilers are looking for a fresh start for the better. Along with these new members, part of the management and coaching departments for the Oilers organization the team also acquired new players during the offseason. A few new players were added to the Oilers’ key core, including 32 year old forward James Neal who was acquired from the Calgary Flames for Milan Lucic and a conditional 2020 third round draft pick. Another key addition to the team was goaltender Mike Smith, who was also acquired from the Flames. He brings not only experience to a young Oiler team but also an ability to handle the puck aggressively and efficiently compared to many other goaltenders in the league. Other key notables to join the team include Tomas Jurco and Joakim Nygard, who look to provide a strong bottom nine presence.
Dave Tippet’s speciality in emphasizing the importance of defense is one of the main reasons why Holland decided to hire Tippett. A key area where the team looks to improve on is shrinking the goals against number (GAA) and to improve on the powerplay. Captain Connor McDavid looks to get back to his prime self, coming off an injury from the end of last season, after which he worked hard throughout the summer to be ready by opening night.
As the hockey season is well underway, hockey fans from across the city and Alberta are excited for a season of opportunity for this club to be successful. I guess for now, all we can say is, “GO OILERS GO!”