In the midst of back-to-back games, the Pittsburgh Penguins (29-18-1) travel to Edmonton Thursday night for a matchup against the last place Edmonton Oilers who own the second worst record in the league.
From injuries to star winger Ales Hemsky, to under-achieving overpaid veterans and a new coaching staff that hasn't been able to turn around the Oilers fortunes, it's been clearly a year of disappointment for the Edmonton Oilers ( 16-24-5-37pts).
With Nikolai Khabibulin sidelined for months, the Oilers now lack a true NHL goaltender.
David Staples of the Edmonton Journal took the time on Wednesday to speak to DePaoli about the Oilers woes, former Penguin Ryan Stone (2003, 2nd round pick) and new head coach Pat Quinn who was under consideration last winter to replace former Penguins coach Michel Therrien.
Staples on the Oilers woes
"The Oilers have no NHL goalie, in that Jeff Deslauriers just can't get the job done. He may be the weakest Oilers goalie I've ever seen, and I've been watching this team since 1972."
"The Oilers also have all kinds of under-performing high paid veterans. Ethan Moreau, the captain, hasnâ€™t been the same since an eye injury last season and is no longer an NHL-quality player. Sheldon Souray and Shawn Horcoff have both been injured and ineffective this year, and now Souray is making noise that he wants out of town."
"The leadership of this team is in disarray and the young players look lost, as a result."
"The management of the team is fixated on signing high-priced veterans, many of whom don't want to be in Edmonton. It's a "buy high" strategy, and it's ended with the Oilers having one of the biggest payrolls in the NHL, yet one of the worst teams."
"Fans are now calling out for a change, both in the veteran leadership of the team and in the manangement of the team."