Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Edmonton Oilers’ GM Craig MacTavish was on his cell-phone while his team was skating Thursday morning and while it could have been his lovely wife telling her hubby to stop for a loaf of bread on the way home, it may have been another GM talking about defencemen. Certainly, the Oilers could use an NHL veteran back there....
Here’s who’s available, by most accounts:
Detroit’s Kyle Quincey, Carolina’s Tim Gleason, Florida’s Dmitry Kulikov and Phoenix’s David Rundblad.
*The Wings are likely offering Quincey, 28, around the league because he hasn’t played particularly well and they like Danny DeKeyser better and they badly need to clear out some money with major cap issues. Quincey, who has had two tours of duty with the Wings, has a $3.3775 million cap hit with his contract over July 1. He’s a C plus defenceman. Big enough but not an offensive guy or a true shutdown type. Detroit really doesn’t want to take a contract back in a deal for him but the Oilers are at 49 contracts (one under the max)
*Gleason,30, may be expendable with the Hurricanes because the 6’4″, 225-pound Brett Bellemore has stepped in to take XX night. He’s five years younger, plus Gleason has a $4 million cap hit for this year and two more, which makes his trade dicey. He’s a shutdown second-pairing guy. Carolina needs more offence.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
The Edmonton Oilers may be moving to Rogers Place in 2016, but for now, they still call Rexall Place home — and there is no over-the-counter medicine available for what ails drugstore billionaire Daryl Katz’s sad-sack defensive team.
The worst home team in the National Hockey League was crushed 6-2 by the Phoenix Coyotes Tuesday night, giving them a meagre three wins (over the New Jersey Devils, the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Florida Panthers) in 12 games as hosts.
If you’re going to be bad, be bad on the road, not at home, and while another Rexall sellout was announced, there were scores of empty seats, so it appears the fans are voting to stay away even if they’ve paid for the tickets — never a good thing.
When asked how he’d feel if he was an Oilers fan leaving the building this season, Ryan Jones took the fifth.
“It’s a question I don’t want to answer, to be honest,” he said.
continued and watch Coach Eakins below as he talks post-game, Eakins now looks like a coach searching for answers.
from the CP at the Globe and Mail,
Rogers Communications has purchased the naming rights for the future home of the Edmonton Oilers, further increasing the telecommunications giant’s reach in Canadian professional sports.
Rogers said in a release Tuesday that the downtown arena, which is set to open in 2016, will be named Rogers Place.
Ryan Garbutt of the Dallas Stars was involved in a collision with Ilya Bryzgalov which forced the Edmonton goaltender to leave the game.
from Derek Van Diest of the Edmonton Sun,
Ilya Bryzgalov is letting his game do the talking.
The Edmonton Oilers goaltender was solid in his first start for the club, making 33 saves in a 3-0 win over the Nashville Predators on Thursday.
It was the 31st shutout of his NHL career.
“It’s great to have a shutout,” Bryzgalov said. “A shutout is a shutout, it’s always good. I felt pretty good. The team played well.
“They had a couple of chances, but that’s what the goalie is there for, to make some saves.”
“There were a couple of incidents where he (Bryzgalov) wasn’t happy with the way our team played in front of him and he did a few things that caused us to say something to him and put him in his place. [He called us out] in not a very professional way. We had to take care of him because it wasn't always about him. It was about the team.
"He was unbelievable, a Vezina candidate, he got us to the playoffs. There's no question he probably played a little harder knowing that he was coming into free agency. Right now he's in a spot where he has to prove himself again.''
-Scottie Upshall on Ilya Bryzgalov when they were teammates in Phoenix. More from Harvey Fialkov of the SunSentinel.
from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,
Maurice is working for TSN, no doubt burning to get back to the bench in a meaningful way. I can't help but wonder if his experience would help Eakins and the Oilers. The two men have great respect for each other and worked together in Toronto.
When you're a wealthy franchise, and Edmonton is by NHL revenue standards, this is the advantage you have. There's the salary cap, yes. But nothing stops you from adding off the ice, if necessary.
If MacTavish doesn't want to, he doesn't need to let go of anyone. He can add Maurice's experience and figure out responsibilities along the way. You don't have to trade cornerstone players or take on a ridiculous salary.
But you can still make yourself better. That's what Edmonton's desperate to do.
more plus 30 Thoughts,
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
Ilya Bryzgalov’s strategy was apparent as he met the Edmonton media for the first time on Monday. Forget the past, hope everyone else forgets the past, and if that doesn’t work, then deny the past. So the average player-media exchange went something like this:
Reporter “Do you see this as a second chance for you?”
Bryzgalov “What do you mean?”
Reporter “Just, the way things ended up in Philadelphia…”
Bryzgalov “I never lost my first chance, you know.”
So it turns out that Bryzgalov, a contrarian if nothing else, was not blackballed by hockey these past few months. He just took a little longer to find a contract after that compliance-buyout thing in Philadelphia. The whole situation was completely out of his control, actually, which must include a save percentage that ranked 59th and 55th among NHL goalies the past two seasons. Does being paid $23 million over 14 years just to go away bother him? “Not at all,” Bryzgalov says, breaking into a big smile. “You know, it’s out of my control. I can’t do anything about it. It’s just like, ‘Ok, guys. If you decide… to make that move, I’ve just got to accept it and move on.’”
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
Nail Yakupov wants to play more. Dallas Eakins, the Edmonton winger’s coach, does not agree.
And so the sad-sack Oilers have a situation that is entirely of their own doing. The team is in the dumps. Arguably their most talented offensive player — scouts compared Yakupov with Hall of Famer Pavel Bure — is angry. Nobody, from the player to coach to captain Andrew Ference to general manager Craig MacTavish, has uncovered any answers to fix the first thing around the team.
Yakupov is not at fault. Yakupov is 20 years old. For most young, wealthy, and entitled men, maturity arrives in following years — if at all.
The blame belongs to the Oilers. They are one of the primary log-throwers onto a fire that’s burning organizations as well as players. The Oilers are leading the charge toward rushing young players into the meanest league in the sport.
continued plus additional NHL notes...
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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