Oilers GM says he’s optimistic about future

Global News

EDMONTON – Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish feels optimistic about his team’s future despite a last-place finish in the Western Conference standings.

MacTavish gave his head coach a vote of confidence Tuesday and said while it’s hard to determine where the team is in its development stage, he feels most of the « heavy lifting » has been done.

« We’re closer to the end in my mind than we are to the beginning in terms of the development of this team, » MacTavish said Tuesday at a season-ending media availability.

Expectations were higher in Edmonton this season but the team struggled from the start and finished with a 29-44-9 record for 67 points, good for a 28th-place finish in the 30-team league.

There were a few bright lights for the Oilers. Taylor Hall had a strong year with 80 points in 75 games and fellow forwards Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had productive…

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