The Edmonton Oilers may have finished out of the playoffs for the ninth straight season, but general manager Craig MacTavish has no intention of splitting up his core of young players.
According to Elliotte Friedman on this week’s Hockey Night in Canada “Headlines” segment, the Oilers GM doesn’t want to give up on his young group too soon.
“He has informed Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins not to worry about listening to rumours because those players wilnot be traded. He said you can add Nail Yakupov to that list as well,” Friedman reported. “He believes very strongly that these are players, and the types of players that they are other teams have given up on too early. He doesn’t want to make the same mistakes and he wants to give them a chance to grow together.”
Eberle, Nugent-Hopkins and Hall finished 1-2-3 in team scoring this season with 62, 56 and 36 points, respectively. Nail Yakupov finished fifth on the team with 32 points, but his play picked up in the second half.
In fact, the team as a whole played better under interim head coach Todd Nelson. Friedman went on to say that MacTavish recognizes the great work Nelson did with the team this year, but that he’ll take some time to figure out where to go from here.
“MacTavish once again talked about how good a job he feels Todd Nelson has done. But he’s going to wait a couple weeks before he makes any other decision on the future of the oilers coaching.”