Eakins doesn’t want Oilers to rely on ‘four players to put up our points’

10 Comments

“We need people who can make plays, possess the puck, score goals. We don’t want to be a team who relies solely on basically four players to put up our points. There’s been a perception of our team being an offensive one. It’s the wrong perception, and we’re going to try and change that by adding guys like [Teddy] Purcell and [Benoit] Pouliot.”

The “four players” to which Dallas Eakins is referring are Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, David Perron, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. In 2013-14, the forwards with the fifth- and sixth-most points on the team were Sam Gagner and Ales Hemsky, neither of whom are still with the club.

The Oilers picked up Purcell in a trade with Tampa Bay and got Pouliot in free agency. They also added Mark Fayne and Nikita Nikitin on defense.

But even with the new additions, plus the ongoing development of Edmonton’s youngsters, the Oilers will be hard-pressed to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2006. The Western Conference could be even stronger in 2014-15, and Eakins’ squad wasn’t even close to qualifying last season.