Ten Edmonton Oilers Predictions For 2019

Nicholson and Chia

Happy New Year everyone! Tonight the Edmonton Oilers will finish off their 2018 slate the same way they finished 2017, playing host to the Winnipeg Jets at Rogers Place. There will be some new faces in Edmonton, Brandon Manning and Alex Petrovic were both acquired yesterday via trade, as the Oil look to end a five game losing streak that is slowly taking them out of the playoff picture.

On New Year’s Day last year I gave ten predictions for the Oilers in 2018. This morning, we’ll kick off 2019 the right way with a look at ten predictions for the Edmonton Oilers in the new year.

1.) Oilers Miss The Playoffs: Edmonton is now falling back from the pack after a great start to the Ken Hitchcock era. The club will be without D Oscar Klefbom until February and simply doesn’t have the scoring depth to go with their big guns up front. The Oilers aren’t good enough to make up ground and as a result will sit the spring tournament out for the 12th time in 13 years.

2.) Oilers Fire Chiarelli: After missing the playoffs for the third time in four years with Connor McDavid, there is no where to hide for Peter Chiarelli. The President of Hockey Operations and GM who botched this era so badly will finally get his walking papers in February prior to the deadline when the Oil officially fall too far back in the playoff chase.

3.) Darnell Nurse Gets Traded: The first thing a new GM is going to want to do is add to the forward ranks. The Oilers have a plethora of good but not great defenders on this roster. See where I’m going here? Nurse’s potential far exceeds his current performance, and the Oilers could pounce on that via trade. They do at the draft, moving Nurse for a scoring winger to join the undermanned top-six.

4.) Condors Win Playoff Round: For the first time in their AHL history, the Bakersfield Condors will make the playoffs. Led by future Oilers Tyler Benson, Cooper Marody, Ethan Bear and Cameron Hebig, the Condors win their first ever playoff series before falling in the second round of the Calder Cup Playoffs.

5.) Ken Hitchcock Doesn’t Return as Coach: Hitch, unable to get the Oilers into the playoffs, elects to not return for a first full season behind the bench in Edmonton. Instead, I believe Hitch takes a front office job with the club as part of a new look Hockey Ops department.

6.) Only Two Survive: When the dust settles, only two people involved on the hockey side will survive in management. Bob Nicholson will remain with the club, along with Assistant GM Keith Gretzky. Both will stay in their current roles. That means so long Scott Howson, Craig MacTavish, Bob Green, Peter Chiarelli and Duane Sutter.

7.) Mike Futa For GM: The Oil go outside the organization once again, this time bringing in Mike Futa from the Kings organization to become the General Manager.

8.) McDavid Hits 115: It’ll be another career year for McDavid, who improves his career-high point total by eight this season. He’ll finish with 115 points, coming in second in the NHL behind Nikita Kucherov in the Art Ross race.

9.) Hard Sell: Keith Gretzky, as interim GM, makes a number of deadline moves for the Oilers as a seller. The club moves Zack Kassian (Pittsburgh), Matt Benning (New York Rangers), Tobias Rieder (Boston) and Cam Talbot (Philadelphia) in the days leading up to the deadline.

10.) Oilers Sign Myers: The Oilers, in search of another top-four D after dealing Darnell Nurse for a winger, finally get their hands on big Tyler Myers. The Oil sign the veteran defender on July 1st, using the cap space generated from Kassian and Talbot’s deadline departures.

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