Commentary

The rebuild through defense

Armed with the No. 1 pick, the Oilers need to use the summer to add more D

Originally Published: June 18, 2010
By Robert Vollman and E.J. Hradek | Puck Prospectus and ESPN The Magazine
Getty ImagesThe No. 1 pick is a great thing for the Oilers, but it's still a long road back.

Plugging Holes -- Edmonton Oilers

The Hole: a shutdown defenseman

Last year, we recommended the Oilers shore up defensively by signing someone like Edmontonian Blair Betts. Unfortunately, they focused elsewhere and wound up finishing fifth-to-last in penalty killing, fourth-to-last in shots against and dead last in both goals against and defensive GVT. No one is expecting the Oilers to win the Cup, but they need to find someone who can improve their defensive respectability while their young stars develop.

E.J. Hradek

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
E.J. Hradek is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, joining the staff prior to its launch in 1998. He began covering hockey as a writer/editor for Hockey Illustrated in 1989.