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MacTavish: Oilers need to get stronger, deeper

Jun 18, 2013, 7:10 PM EDT

Edmonton Oilers' MacTavish yells for referee in St Paul

As the Stanley Cup Final goes on, one common thread that the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins share is the strength of their third and fourth lines. That’s a big part of what separates the championship teams from the pack and something Oilers GM Craig MacTavish hopes to emulate.

“I liked parts of our team this year, but it was quite evident to me that we really weren’t deep enough or strong enough to compete at the level that we need to next year,” MacTavish told Oilers’ season ticket holders. He went on to promise that “significant” attention would be paid to adding depth.

With the salary cap going down and teams looking to get under ceiling, MacTavish thinks that his team might be at a bit of an advantage given that they have some cap space to spare.

At the same time, he feels the Oilers already have a lot of young, high-end talent, so Edmonton is still more likely to go after complimentary players rather than big name stars.

MacTavish was also asked about the possibility of drafting Darnell Nurse, a big guy that could develop into an NHL shutdown defenseman, if he’s still available when the Oilers make their first selection.

“You’re preaching to the converted, I love that guy,” MacTavish said.

He’s also still willing to move up or down from the seventh overall spot. If the team trades up, they might go after a center instead.

Related:

‘This team is going to compete,’ vows new Oilers coach Eakins

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