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If the Edmonton Oilers greatest gamers are higher than the opposite man's greatest gamers: 9 Issues

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One of many best issues in regards to the Edmonton Oilers fan base, from Excessive Stage to Pink Deer, from Jasper to Lloydminster, is their unrelenting ardour.

You may see and listen to it as keep away from Oilers followers fiercely debate the standard of the 5th or 6th greatest prospect, to the 113-th and 14th forwards.

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However whereas admirable, the reality is that the Edmonton Oilers Stanley Cup hopes nonetheless to relaxation squarely on the shoulders of their two greatest gamers.

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That and extra on this late August version of…

9 Issues

9. Devin Shore has signed a 1-year, 2-way take care of the Seattle Kraken. Shore was the epitome of a superb soldier for the Oilers, so you want the man success. However you additionally anticipate turnover in your backside 6, particularly in a cap world.

8. The Oilers may have North America’s eyes on them this season. The membership may have 18 of its video games throughout American networks in 2023-24, probably the most within the NHL. Colorado is second at 17. For ages, U.S. networks have targeted on U.S. groups. Lastly, ESPN and TNT will as an alternative give attention to the most effective gamers.

7. It’s irritating watching Oilers prospect Nikita Yevseyev proceed to be stapled to the bench within the KHL. A prospect can develop in that league…in the event that they play. However Yevseyev was within the single digits in Sport 1 of the common season for Kazan Ak-Bars, about the place he was means too many nights in 2022-23.

6. Reid Wilkins’s Inside Sports activities program on 630 CHED strikes to 7-8pm Weeknights as of Tuesday. There are dozens of interview, open-line and opinion-driven Sports activities exhibits on radio. However there are treasured few magazines like Reid’s the place he really delves into tales because the present’s identify guarantees. I’m upset we solely get an hour of that now, versus two, and later within the evenings. We nonetheless, after all, get Wilkins on the pre-and post-game Oilers exhibits. Reid deserved hazard pay for all these post-game exhibits when the Oilers have been unhealthy. Extra radio in a minute…

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5. There’s a actual, tangible factor that Ken Holland completed when he signed Sam Gagner to a PTO: Holland ramped up the competitors means up within the bottom-half of his ahead ranks. That could be a vital plus with out Gagner ever enjoying one other recreation for the Oilers. It’s what good groups have. I feel Gagner has a 50-50 probability of creating the group. That will enhance if accidents hit. As a fan of Sam’s (full disclosure, I root arduous for this man), what I actually hope for the participant is a remaining stanza to a proud 1,000+ recreation NHL profession that permits him to carry his head excessive…no matter that appears like.

4. The toughest factor to foretell in regards to the Edmonton Oilers this 12 months is goaltending. I feel it’s the most tough factor to learn My Cult of Hockey colleague David Staples writes about simply that, right here. My take: Sure, if Stuart Skinner regresses (not unusual for twond 12 months goalies) and if Jack Campbell continues to wrestle, Ken Holland might must engineer an in-season answer. However it’s equally doubtless Campbell returns to round his profession common (.910) and Skinner continues to progress. In spite of everything, whereas Skinner was a rookie in 2022-23, he already had significant NHL expertise previous to that so I measure him in another way. As for Campbell, it usually takes a goalie some time to regulate to a brand new group. We’ll see.

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3. Sports activities 1440 on CKJR-AM Westaskiwin will hit the airwaves September 5th. It’s a non-rated station in Numeris. Its attain, with a transmitter decrease in energy relative to what 1260 AM was, will nonetheless be from Fort Saskatchewan south to Lacombe and from Spruce Grove to virtually Vegreville. However it’s a full lineup. Cult of Hockey colleague Bruce McCurdy will seem on Alan Mitchell’s noon present. Kevin Karius will do Mornings. Jason Gregor is spear heading this effort, along with internet hosting his Drive House present. One factor I’ve at all times mentioned about Jason: He at all times places within the work and that is no completely different. In the long run, all radio is sweet, there may be now extra alternative, competitors makes everybody higher, and I want 1440 properly.

2. Bob Stauffer’s Oilers Now program over on 630 AM shifts to 5-7pm as of Tuesday (and can modify its begin time on recreation days). For a present with probably the most listeners of any Sports activities radio present in Edmonton for 39 of the final 40 scores durations throughout his outdated time slot of Midday-2 (Numeris FC, 2+), Bob is most definitely not resting on his laurels. Stauffer’s new lineup of normal friends reads like a nationally syndicated program: Craig MacTavish and Frank Seravalli are on Mondays, Brian Lawton (my private favourite, he’s SO good) and Rob Brown (terrific story-teller) on Tuesdays, Elliotte Friedman (final insider), and John Shannon Wednesdays. Legendary Ron MacLean and Louie DeBrusk be a part of Bob on Thursdays after which a Seravalli reprise on Fridays together with fan favourite George Laraque. A assassin’s row lineup together with Bob’s inside perception makes the present a must-listen for hockey followers.

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1.Few issues give me extra confidence within the Edmonton Oilers potential to problem as Stanley Cup champions than the decided seems to be of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl this previous week at BioSteel NHL camp in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It’s arduous to not really feel good whenever you see the sport faces stamped throughout your two perfect gamers in August. They certain look dialed in and it’s weeks earlier than they may play a significant recreation. If certainly the Oilers can lastly break via this season and make all of it the best way to the finals, regardless that it’s a group recreation and others will certainly contribute, final success might be largely on the backs of McDavid and Draisaitl. If the explanations should not apparent, right here is why…

Even when we simply stopped at pure objectives and factors manufacturing that may make my case. Connor McDavid’s 64-goal, 153-point marketing campaign and Leon Draisaitl’s 2nd 50-goal season (plus 128 factors) are eye-popping. Then, issue within the 22 minutes per evening they log. Then, the minutes towards elites, the easiest competitors the opposite guys can muster with a purpose to cease them. The record-setting energy play manufacturing. 50%+ faceoff males. They even contribute on the PK. They usually have been off-the-charts within the post-season. Daggers of their eyes.

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If these two guys should not probably the most dominant two hockey gamers on this planet, and maybe probably the most dominant teammates in skilled sport, then it’s a quick rattling checklist. So, their efficiency would be the key driver in any success Edmonton achieves or any defeat they undergo. And (God forbid) if accidents strike one or both of them. That will be important. Who then steps into these sneakers over any vital size of time?

So, whereas it’s all fantastic and good to debate the fantastic factors on the outskirts of the Oilers roster, look no additional than the center of the batting order when assessing Edmonton’s Stanley Cup possibilities in 2023-24.

Little question Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl hope they may be capable to clear up.

Now on Threads @kleavins. Additionally, discover me on Twitter @KurtLeavins, Instagram at LeavinsOnHockey, and Mastodon at [email protected]

Just lately, at The Cult…

McCURDY: Oilers load up with younger, expert prospects on the wings

STAPLES: Why optimism over a participant with  a 1 in 17 probability?

LEAVINS: Can the third time be a allure for Sam Gagner?

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