Patience has been the watchword for the Oilers organization since the Oilers finished 30th and decided that a rebuild was in order. The Oilers have drafted a lot of talent but the results have been slow in coming. The Oilers have dug themselves a huge hole this season that may already be impossible to recover from. Do we need to start asking the tough question? Do the Oilers have the right mix of players to succeed?
They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. Is it time to admit that the Oilers organization needs to go about things in a different way?
The Oilers coaches in the last 7 years have been Craig MacTavish, Pat Quinn, Tom Renney, Ralph Krueger, and Dallas Eakins. Some fans are already thinking that a new coach is going to turn things around. Another coaching system is not the answer.
The Oilers have a lot of offensive talent, Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov, Jordan Eberle, the injured Sam Gagner, David Perron, Ales Hemsky, and Mark Arcobello. Very talented but do we notice a pattern? None of these players are physical or known for their ability to sustain offensive pressure when the going gets tough. Adding a player(s) that has some size and some scoring touch seems imperative.
Lets look at the Oilers defence. Jeff Petry, Justin Schultz, Andrew Ference, Anton Belov, Ladislav Smid, Nick Schultz and just recalled Dennis Grebeshkov. There is some physicality there but certainly not enough. When the Oilers are pressured they cannot move the puck and the forwards do not have enough size to help with the battle. A stud defencemen is needed. The Oilers may have that player in Darnell Nurse but he is a few years away from being a dominant force.
The Oilers added David Perron to add a bit of physicality to the top six. They have tried a plethora of different defencemen to try to get that right mix, none of that has been successful.
The Oilers have shuffled various players on their 4th line to have some semblance of balance but that has not really been a huge part of the problem.
Obviously, it is easier to say we need to acquire a stud defenceman and acquire skilled size in the top 6 but not easy to achieve. The cliché that you need to give something to get something is not inaccurate. How long can management wait in hopes that the present team can turn it around? Is it 15 games, half a season, another full season?
If the Oilers decide that it is time to make changes they can no longer add or change small pieces, that has proven grossly ineffective. The Oilers are going to have to look at trading some of those skilled players with value to make sure the pieces are more cohesive and to fill those holes. Yes it is difficult to talk about trading Nail Yakupov or Jordan Eberle as an example, but the Oilers management cannot keep shuffling the deck chairs on a sinking ship. If it is time for that bold move, the clock is ticking. The next move is yours Craig MacTavish. Follow me on twitter at @margih99.