Ah, another trip around the sun. I’m turning the big 25 today. I’m going to start doing these articles yearly on my birthday as much like celebrating another year around the sun, it’ll allow the chance to reflect on the big picture of the Oilers organization.
Last year, my wish was organizational consistency. Top to bottom. At the time, old cynical me didn’t expect the Oilers to be a playoff team so that was a bit of a nice surprise this year.
But the truth is there is still lots to long for with this organization. I think to an extent we’re seeing some “organization consistency” in that the team seems to have bought into what Dave Tippett and Ken Holland are selling. After all, it led the Oilers to their second playoff appearance in the last decade pandemic notwithstanding.
We probably won’t be able to see that consistency really come into place for a number of years, however. Tippett and Holland have only had the reins for the last year and the Oilers have a history of cycling through coaches and mangers like I cycle through a flat of Nation Beer on a warm summers day.
Edmonton has pieces in place. They have the two of the top players in the whole league and a decent roster to around them. As I’ve written about in the last week or so, there’s still lots to be desired and I think that leads me to my birthday wish for this year.
I wish that Ken Holland would go out, make some solid moves and fill out the rest of the Oilers roster. Specifically, I wish for a scoring 3C, a top-six scoring winger and a goaltender not named Mike Smith. Sorry Mike, but it’s time for the Oilers to move on.
Now with that being said, this is, after all, a wish. Something I’m hoping will come true but not entirely sold that it will.
Holland will have his work cut out for him if he has aspirations to make even two of the three happen. A scoring 3C and a goaltender not named Mike Smith are the two most likely moves he’ll be able to make this offseason. There’s a good couple goalies on the free-agent market and there may even be more he could acquire in a trade.
That’s where it gets interesting. The Oilers, like every team in the league, are facing a flat cap and for Edmonton, it’s going to make things tough.
The Oilers have around $10-million in space with Ethan Bear, Andreas Athanasiou and Matt Benning to sign as RFA’s alone and not including the UFA’s Holland has to make decisions on.
Let’s see if Holland can make my birthday wish come true.
On Twitter: @zljaing