Oilers News and Rumors: Draisaitl, Bouchard, Tippett, More

In an Edmonton Oilers news and rumors update, Leon Draisailt was not happy about a question he received after the team’s third consecutive loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Was he out of line in his response? Meanwhile, the Oilers have a lot of right-handed defensemen, is that hurting the development of a player like Evan Bouchard? What did head coach Dave Tippett attribute the three losses to and, should the Oilers decide to add a player to help the offense, when is the best time to make a move?

Draisaitl Not Happy With Reporter’s Question

As one would have expected with three straight losses to the Maple Leafs and with some of the biggest names on the team held pointless in those games, the Oilers players are clearly frustrated. One has to imagine players like like Connor McDavid and Draisaitl are beyond annoyed that they didn’t chip in, especially since they are counted on to produce offense on a nightly basis.

So, when Draisaitl was asked if it’s even more frustrating that the top players didn’t hold up their end of the bargain, it’s not surprising he barked back with a sarcastic response. Draisaitl said, “No, we love that, we love going with one point in three days, for sure. It’s great.”

There’s been a bit of a debate online about whether Draisaitl was in the wrong or the reporter asked an insanely obvious and unnecessary question. Personally, I’m happy to see Draisaitl respond in this way. It shows he’s not happy with the fact the Oilers top players were shut out and he’s still emotionally invested. In reality, this may turn out to be nothing more than three games where the Oilers got badly outplayed.

Good players like Draisaitl won’t let this happen again. It’s embarrassing for them and it’s hard to imagine when the Oilers play Toronto again that he’s not extra stoked for that game.

Dave Tippett Talks Losses

When asked about what the Oilers can take away from being thoroughly outplayed by the Maple Leafs, Tippett responded, “”You got to use it as a lesson. just like some of those games we were winning in different ways. we didn’t play very well. We weren’t sharp and didn’t capitalize on anything.” He added, “You have to recognize how you played because if you don’t recognize it, it’s pretty hard to fix it.”

Dave Tippett Seattle
FILE – Arizona Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett (AP Photo/LM Otero, file)

Tippett was concerned the Oilers didn’t ramp up their game to the necessary competitive level that was needed, not just to win the games, but draw a penalty in two of the three contests.

Related: NHL Rumors: Oilers, Bruins, Hurricanes, Penguins, More

Is Bouchard’s Development Being Hampered?

This was touched on in today’s NHL rumors rundown, but it’s fitting to ask the question: is Evan Bouchard’s development being stunted because the Oilers are trying to force him over to the left side of their blue line?

It’s a nice problem to have when you’ve got too many right-handed defensemen as viable options, but since Ethan Bear returned, Bouchard has been in and out of the lineup, mostly because the Oilers have Tyson Barrie, Adam Larsson and Bear in their top six.

It will be intriguing to watch how long the experiment of keeping Bouchard on his unnatural side lasts and if the Oilers consider making another move to get Bouchard in position he can be the most productive.

Best Time to Make a Trade

With the losses and drop in the standings, it’s probably premature, but only natural that some are talking what the Oilers might need to do in order to improve their roster prior to the NHL Trade Deadline. If there’s any thought at all to brining in a key player, Edmonton may want to avoid waiting too long to get that player used to the team’s systems.

So too, when you consider possible quarantine time, should the Oilers make a deal with a club south of the border, it might be best to do so before the start of April.

Brandon Sutter Vancouver Canucks
Brandon Sutter, Vancouver Canucks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

One name that Tyler Yaremchuk of Oilers Nation suggests could be a good fit for the Oilers is Brandon Sutter of the Vancouver Canucks. Yaremchuk notes:

“The centreman has pretty good numbers this season with the Vancouver Canucks and he checks a lot of boxes for the Oilers. His ability to kill penalties and the fact that he shoots right would make him a good fit. He’s also a UFA at the end of the season, so it’s not like the Oilers would be committing to him long-term.”


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