The Edmonton Bruisers

Please welcome Mike Sifeldeen to the BLH family! Mr.Sifeldeen is an up and coming writer on the Oilogosphere scene and we’re stoked to have him on board! We think you’re really going to dig his smooth free-flowing writing style which make for an easy read and his knowledge of the Oilers is extensive to say the least. The other thing I personally like about Mike’s writings are that they have some character and they don’t feel like essays. We hope you enjoy his posts as much as we enjoy having you visit the site. Give him a follow on Twitter (@sife)!

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Take a trip back to last year with me. It’s spring of 2015, and the Edmonton Oilers have just won the right to pick first overall in the Connor McDavid Sweepstakes. Peter Chiarelli has just been fired from the Boston Bruins organization after a lacklustre few years since their 2011 Stanley Cup victory. The powers-that-be in Edmonton have rightly decided that — with the arrival of the greatest prospect in hockey since Sidney Crosby — so, too, should Oilers back office receive a new face or two. Within a matter of days, Chiarelli is the Oilers GM and Todd McLellan is swiped from San Jose to take up bench duty from Dallas “My Firing Was a Gift” Eakins, and would you look at that: there’s a small beacon of hope emerging on the horizon for the Edmonton Oilers’ fan base.

Then the 2015-16 season started, and we pretty much sucked about as hard as we had for the last decade, but there were flashes of brilliance which were seen in that injury-riddled season that we certainly had not seen in the previous decade, which much smarter people than me have written about in-depth.

Moving on to the spring/summer of 2016…

So, let’s take stock: Since the addition of Chiarelli in the big boss chair, we have seen some new adjectives added to describe this lineup that I think few pundits ever imagined they would use for the Oilers, this team is scary now. They’re big, mean, and I think fewer and fewer teams are looking at them as a joke, a quick 2 points and a ‘see ya later’.

We have the bash brothers of Pat Maroon and Zack Kassian, who were super cheap pickups in the latter half of last season. Kass cost us all of Ben Scrivens, a much-beloved-but-really-only-AHL-calibre goalie we had taking minutes away from Laurent Brossoit in Bakersfield, and the Big Rig was a steal at the low low cost of Martin Whoever and our 2016 4th round pick. Both showed up big time for the Oilers, with Maroon racking up 14 points in 16 games next to McDavid, and Kassian eating up minutes on the bottom-6 and spitting out fools on the opposition.

With the gift of big Finnish winger Jesse Puljujärvi at this year’s draft in Buffalo, add another 6″3+ body to the bench for next season to go alongside our equally tall and shiny new Swedish defenceman heartthrob, Adam Larsson.

And for the pièce de résistance of the Summer of Chiarelli, the Edmonton Oilers are now the proud owners of a like-new Milan Lucic. 233 pounds of left-wing power forward hulking in at 6″4 and eager to impress his new mistress Connor, Looch is looking like one of the final pieces which will turn this team fully to the dark side it’s been toying with since Darth Peter took the reigns.

Let’s recap:

• Zack Kassian: 6″3, 217lbs
• Patrick Maroon: 6″3, 229lbs
• Jesse Puljujärvi: 6″3, 202lbs (and just barely 18, so who knows how big Poolparty will end up with those Northern European viking genes)
• Adam Larsson: 6″3, 206lbs
• Milan Lucic: 6″4, 233lbs

I don’t know about you, but if I’m a team heading into Rogers Place this fall, I’m not liking my chances of leaving without a few serious cuts and bruises from this revamped Oilers squad. Say goodbye to the quick-but-fragile Oilers of the last 6 years and more, and hello to the Boston… er, Edmonton Bruisers.

Dig skateboarding? Click the pic and grab this new "Thrasher Magazine" inspired tee!
Dig skateboarding? Click the pic and grab this new “Thrasher Magazine” inspired tee!
Click on the pic and grab a new 16-bit Fighting Looch tee!
Click on the pic and grab a new 16-bit Fighting Looch tee!
Click the pic and buy the new Pulju 16-Bit Tee!
Click the pic and buy the new Pulju 16-Bit Tee!
Michael Sifeldeen Written by:
  • Michael Gerber

    Just seeing those names makes me smile. Don’t know how many years I’ve heard everyone say they need size with skill and now we have at least 3 legit scary men that can play is Looch, Kass and Maroon up front and Nurse on the back causing terror. To start last season we had none of those men on this opening day roster and only one who played more than half a season with the team. This year we won’t be the ones banged up by Christmas!

    • Beer League Hero

      Yup man, it’s game on! Not only can our boys skate and stickhandle, they can and will knock your teeth out.

  • Kane Adamson

    Great article!

    I have always been afraid of the “we need size!” cry because we answered it with Gazdics and Frasers. They didn’t have the skill to play above, well, the AHL but Oilers gotta Oiler. To see bigger players that can protect the puck and create space, have the offenisve abilities to put up 30+ points (or 60+ assuming Lucic is beside McDavid) and bang some bodies? I like it.

    Also, on the whole “enforcers protect players” note which has been argued to justify some of the older signings, I never like that. So our fighter fights their fighter. So what? Lucic won’t fight you. But he will find you. Again, and again, and again.

    • Beer League Hero

      Is lucic the Jason Voorhees of the NHL?