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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