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Edmonton Oilers

Oilers Lose Speed and Some Identity: Will It Be a Problem?

With some off-season roster moves the Edmonton Oilers are seemingly shifting away from their long-standing identity of speed.

The Edmonton Oilers have been quite busy recently. As the off-season signings continue, the Oilers will have to grapple to find the chemistry and brotherhood previously seen from this team. With losses like Warren Foegele, Vincent Desharnais, and Ryan McLeod, new roles will have to be filled, both on and off the ice. It seems that the Oilers are shifting their identity this off-season. What part of the Oilers’ identity is changing, and will the Oilers regret this shift?

Throughout the 2023-24 season, the Edmonton Oilers radiated a brotherhood. A sense of comradery that helped them save their season multiple times. Whether that was coming back from a 2-9-2 start to the season or battling back from a 3-0 series deficit in the Stanley Cup Final to force a Game 7, the Oilers were a resilient group that stuck together through thick and thin.

Ryan McLeod Warren Foegele Vincent Desharnais Oilers

Chemistry is hard to find in hockey, let alone chemistry throughout all four lines. While the new additions are mostly seen as upgrades, some still wonder if it was the right decision. The Oilers have built their team identity off speed. With the fastest player in the league on the roster, it’s clear to see why. The loss of McLeod questions this identity. McLeod sits in 9th place for most 35+ kph speed bursts during the regular season. Similarly, Foegele sits in the 87th percentile for top skating speed. These quick-paced players were not replaced but rather filled in with players whose identity is tenacity and scoring goals. As a result, the identity of the Oilers is changing. 

Is the Back End of the Edmonton Oilers Changing?

The defense of the Oilers has had little change. So far, the Oilers have lost Desharnais, a 6-foot-7 player who is on a path of exponential development. As the Oilers tried to battle for the cap space, some losses were to be expected. Luckily, during the playoffs, Oilers prospect Phillip Broberg made huge steps in his development. When Broberg was called up, he quickly overtook the roster spot from Desharnais. A trend that most likely will continue into next season. 

With the replacements for the lost players already named, only time will tell if these replacements are the right ones. As the shifting identity of the Oilers continues, a brand new sense of brotherhood and chemistry will have to be built up. It’s clear to see the talent of the Oilers on paper; whether it translates to on-ice play is the next question. 

Next: Oilers Need Right-Side Defense Upgrade to Support Darnell Nurse

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Drockz50

    July 8, 2024 at 3:54 pm

    Don’t see it as loss especially to Foegle and Desharnais they left because of the money not to win what makes you think LA and Vancouver will go all the way there just playoff contenders thats it so not a loss to Edmonton. And McLeod was kinda a surprising one but a necessary one to free up cap space and getting a drated top 10 prospect back in return is a huge win in the long run and at least the trade wasn’t just for a cap dump and McLeod did struggle in the playoffs especially when they needed him the most and plus he would’ve been a 4th liner getting paid 2.1 mil that’s too high for a 4th liner in my opinion.

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