In the last week, MacTavish has made a couple of moves, yet the Edmonton Oilers record this season is 9-22-9. Nineteen of those losses have been lost by only one goal. Since Todd Nelson has taken over the bench, the Oilers have gone 2-3-4 in nine games. Not great, but acceptable. Since the 4-1 lose to Calgary, Edmonton’s record is 2-0-2. A .750 point percentage. Compared to Eakins, Nelson has been an improvement. While Nelson has been coach, Edmonton has scored 23 goals while only giving up 31. While Eakins was coached, Edmonton only scored 65 goals, and let in the whooping amount of 104. MacTavish made a good decision in firing Eakins.
MacTavish has also made numerous roster moves as of late; they have given the Oilers more gaining more size and grit. First MacTavish picked up Matt Fraser off waivers. It was a smart move by MacTavish, as Fraser brings grit and size. Although only appearing in 55 NHL games and scoring 8 goals and 2 assists, he is still a physical fourth liner that can score on occasion. In the four games he has played in as an Oiler, he has two goals and a plus/minus of +1. Fraser has been playing on the third line with Yakupov and a mixture of Draisaitl and Lander.
Draisaitl was sent to the Western Hockey leauage. After Draisaitl was sent to the WHL, MacTavish called up Anton Lander from Oklahoma City Barons in the American Hockey League. Lander’s two-way game this season has been decent, only playing three games. Lander has also been a stud in Oklahoma, with 9 goals and 22 assists in 29 games. Draisaitl had been struggling while playing in the big club. Only getting 2 goals and 7 assists in 37 games. MacTavish leaned on Draistal to play as Edmonton’s second line centre, this put pressure on him, and he could not play to the best of his ability. This was a good move by MacTavish, as it allows Draisaitl to develop his defensive abilities in the WHL.
On the same day when Fraser was picked up off waivers, MacTavish flipped Mark Arcobello for Derek Roy. Roy, in 4 games, has one goal and one assist with an even plus/minus. Roy has been playing with Pouliot and Purcell. An ideal mix between skill, size and grit, this line has been everything Edmonton needed.
While some may argue Roy is small and burnt out since his 2007-08 season where he registered 32 goals and 49 assists in 78 games playing for the Buffalo Sabres, I think this move has been quite impressive, considering Arcobello is no more than a fringe NHL centre. Roy has been around the game for over 10 years, he brings leadership and the ability to actually make a play, something Arcobello could not do. Something Arcobello didn’t demonstrate playing in Edmonton. Arcobello also has many flaws. His size is one of them. Standing at 5’9 and weighing 165 pounds, Arcobello easily gets knocked off the puck and turns it over quite often, something Edmonton does not need.
Perron had a carrer high season last season, registering 28 goals and 29 assists, this season though, Perron had 5 goals and 14 assists playing in 38 game before MacTavish traded him to Pittsburgh Penguins for Rob Klinkhammer and a first round draft selection this upcoming draft. This is Klinkhammer’s third NHL team this season, previously playing for the Arizona Coyotes and the Penguins. Before playing for Edmonton, Klinkhammer had played 29 games (19 games for Arizona, 10 for Pittsburgh) and only registered four goals and two assists.
Playing in his first game in Edmonton on Sunday, he had earned an assist. A well deserved assist, working hard for it. This trade is on the fence for many Oiler fans. As the first round selection is interesting, but it could possibly turn out bad. In this trade MacTavish gains more size and grit, but with the deduction of Perron, Edmonton loses more skill and speed, and not to mention a top 6 left winger. Perron also happened to have leadership, which is something the young guns have yet to develop.
The impact of these trades can mean many things. Edmonton’s season can continue to flounder, or these trades may possibly bring them out of the bottom five, a feat that Edmonton has only done once since 2010.