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Edmonton Oilers G.M. discusses another disappointing season

WATCH ABOVE: Oilers G.M. Craig MacTavish says while the team needs to improve in fundamental areas, they are not far off

EDMONTON – After another season that had the Oilers at or near the bottom of the NHL standings, G.M. Craig MacTavish held his annual season-ending wrap Monday afternoon.

The campaign saw the Oilers miss the playoffs for a ninth straight season, earning 62 points, and leaving them 28th place in the league standings.

WATCH: Highlights from Oilers GM Craig MacTavish’s season ending news conference

The point total is the same the Oilers finished with in 2011, the first season of this so-called rebuild, which started under then General Manager Steve Tambellini.

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In press conferences between 2011 and 2014, both Tambellini and MacTavish expressed optimism and said the team will be competitive.

Now in 2015, the message has been changed and expectations toned down.

“Next year I would forecast is another developmental year,” said MacTavish.

MacTavish said the focus is on developing this team from within, which of course starts with drafting.

The G.M. admits the team hasn’t “been as good as we needed it to be over the last number of years” at the annual amateur draft.

“That, in a large way, is what’s put us in the situation that we’re in.”

The team has to improve in several key areas this summer if it wants to be competitive next season.

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In goal, Ben Scrivens and Viktor Fasth were unable to overcome slow starts, combining for just 21 wins with a 0.889 SV%.

The late first-round pick acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins for David Perron could be a good bargaining tool for a netminder.

“Might get us a much better goalie,” said MacTavish. “It’s turned out to be a much more valuable piece than when we traded for it.”

The team’s defence is also under the microscope after finishing 30th in goals against.

This year, MacTavish made no promises of bold moves, and even though he alluded to having assets to acquire proven players, he said developing assets won’t be given away for veterans.

“The minute that developing asset intersects with that declining asset that’s when you regret it. That’s really the just and the crux of our decision making from now going through to next year.”

News on Nelson

MacTavish did address the head coaching situation today. He wouldn’t commit to interim Head Coach Todd Nelson, despite saying he was happy with the job he did.

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“I’ve got to let the emotion die down from the season,” said MacTavish. “We’re going to give a fixed amount of time going forward to see what that landscape looks like and then we’re going to make a decision.”

With files from Quinn Phillips

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