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Oilers GM doesn’t anticipate a trade before training camp

Sep 1, 2014, 9:01 PM EDT

2014 NHL Draft - Round 1 Getty Images

The Edmonton Oilers have enjoyed a mostly positive offseason, yet questions remain, particularly down the middle. GM Craig MacTavish didn’t outright deny such claims, but he told the Edmonton Sun that he doesn’t expect to make a trade, at least not until after he gets a better look at first-rounder Leon Draisaitl.

“There is no deal there right now, because like us, everybody else is very optimistic,” MacTavish said. “We’re all undefeated in July and August, but things change once the fur flies in October. We’re hopeful with the group that we have we’re going to be competitive.”

Hindsight-driven or not, the Oilers have received some criticism for their perceived tendency to rush high-end prospects to the NHL levels right out of the draft. While they allowed defenseman Darnell Nurse (seventh pick of the 2013 NHL Draft) mature, No. 1 picks Nail Yakupov (2012), Ryan-Nugent Hopkins (2011) and Taylor Hall (2010) all made instant jumps and have experienced growing pains. Some worry about the team continuing what seems like an unflattering pattern with Draisaitl, 2014’s third overall selection.

MacTavish doesn’t seem too pleased by such armchair GM talk, though.

“Anybody, whether fan, coach, manager, media, anybody that says that they can tell you definitively whether Leon Draisaitl is ready or is not ready before getting the information at training camp is naive,” MacTavish said. “That would reveal a very superficial understanding of the game of hockey. Fortunately, we don’t have to make that decision right now.

“In my mind, I feel he’s going to make a strong case. I’ve seen him play, he’s going to make a strong case, I’ll be shocked if he’s not going to make a strong case.”

The Oilers added stability to their forward group by acquiring the likes of Teddy Purcell and Benoit Pouliot this summer, yet it seems like they’ll live or die by the play of their youngsters once again.

Maybe it will work out for them this time around, though?

  1. gbatap - Sep 1, 2014 at 9:08 PM

    This team will go no where until Lowe and his cronies are sent packing and until they get an NHL caliber coach who acts like an actual professional behind the bench. It’s a shame because oilers fans deserve so much better.

    • elrock7 - Sep 2, 2014 at 2:06 PM

      Still, I predict a 2-4 win improvement over last season

  2. luz56 - Sep 1, 2014 at 9:13 PM

    I wonder if he would like to trade his life for the life he took by drinking and driving

    • dipthatchip - Sep 1, 2014 at 9:29 PM

      Wow, didn’t know about the manslaughter conviction. Only one year in jail? Jesus

  3. b1unt3d - Sep 1, 2014 at 9:26 PM

    Both gbatap and luz56’s comments are absolutely spot on.

  4. roblo76 - Sep 1, 2014 at 9:31 PM

    Can hardly wait for the season to start to see genius Oiler fans to come up with more brilliant trade “proposals.”

    “Teddy Purcell and a 2nd for Shea Weber and a 3rd becuz teh Preds need teh scoring!11!”


  5. jernster21 - Sep 1, 2014 at 11:53 PM

    The draft lottery isn’t being changed to spite the Buffalo Sabres, but to hinder the chances of the Edmonton Oilers getting another 1st overall pick.

    • endusersolutions2013 - Sep 2, 2014 at 12:25 AM

      A situationaly empty “tank”?

  6. leepetertk - Sep 2, 2014 at 2:21 AM

    There is a bold move out there that is not just finish near the bottom of the standings and draft an highly touted18 year old player.

  7. ray2013 - Sep 2, 2014 at 3:07 AM

    Since Tyler Dellow only wrote a few dozen posts decrying this practice, we will see what happens. From a hockey standpoint, given their weakness down the middle, it only stands to reason he will make the team out of camp. However, from a prospect development and a contract management standpoint, he is better off going back to juniors. Since they are not competing seriously for the playoffs, he should go back. So welcome to the NHL!

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