There are a lot of theories regarding the Edmonton Oilers’ perpetual poorness.
They haven’t drafted well, especially beyond obvious high first-round picks. Despite year after year of ineptitude, the front office seems fairly protected, especially Kevin Lowe (sure, they changed GMs … but some wonder if Lowe’s voice still rings the loudest, anyway). Most directly, they are pretty lousy at keeping the puck out of their own net, whether that falls heaviest on their goalies or defensemen.
If you ask the Edmonton Sun’s Robert Tychkowski, the real problem is that the Oilers are “soft.”
It’s been nine years since the Edmonton Oilers were last described as a gritty, hard-working team that nobody wants to play against, which is probably why it’s been nine years since they last made the playoffs.
Any coach or GM worth his weight in lottery balls knows you need some mongrels mixed in with your purebreds if you’re ever going to win.
Granted, it’s also been nine years since the Oilers employed an elite defenseman, as Chris Pronger was traded to the Anaheim Ducks after Edmonton’s memorable run.
Anyway, Tychkowski believes that a recent roster move implies that the front office is acknowledging his perceived lack of sand paper. By calling up Tyler Pitlick and keeping Steve Pinizzotto while demoting Jesse Joensuu, he thinks that Edmonton’s addressing a deficit.
Is it really about grit and intangibles for Edmonton? Maybe, maybe not … but it seems like the Oilers still have a long way to go, which has basically been a refrain since that playoff run many moons ago.