Kukla's Korner Hockey
via Edmonton press release,
The Edmonton Oilers announced today, they have signed winger Zack Kassian to a one-year contract.
Kassian, 25, appeared in 36 games with the Oilers last season, posting eight points (3G, 5A) and 114 penalty minutes.
The 6’3”, 217-pound winger has appeared in 234 career NHL games, accumulating 74 points (38G, 36A) and 421 penalty minutes. He has also played in eight playoff games, posting six penalty minutes.
The Windsor, Ontario native was selected by the Buffalo Sabres in the 1st round, 13th overall in the 2009 NHL Draft.
Kassian was a Memorial Cup Champion in 2010 with the Ontario Hockey League’s Windsor Spitfires, along with current Oilers forward Taylor Hall.
Edmonton Oilers press release,
The Edmonton Oilers have signed forward Drake Caggiula to a two-year entry level contract.
Caggiula, 21, appeared in 39 games this season with the University of North Dakota in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC), posting 51 points (25G, 26A), 60 penalty minutes and a plus 46 rating.
Caggiula led North Dakota to the 2016 NCAA Frozen Four title as an assistant captain and also earned the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player award. Caggiula ended the 2015-16 campaign with a 12-game point streak which included him registering a point in each game at the NCAA tournament, as well as two goals in the NCAA championship game.
The 5’10”, 185-pound winger has accumulated 127 points (62G, 65A) and 94 penalty minutes in 162 career games with North Dakota.
The Whitby, Ontario native has enjoyed success in his time at the University of North Dakota, capturing the 2016 NCAA Frozen Four title and being named the 2016 Frozen Four Most Outstanding Player. He was also named to the All-NCHC second team and earned NCAA West Region All-Tournament Team honors in 2014-15.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Do they really need another centre in Auston Matthews?
Do they need Matthews to saddle up with their other three young horses up the middle in Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins?
They’d have to shop the No. 1 pick, right? Or would they take Matthews and try to move King Leon instead for a ready-made defenceman?
Teams are calling more on Draisaitl than Nugent-Hopkins because he’s bigger.
There are other draft scenarios in play, of course.
There are three separate lotteries Saturday and the Oilers could get the No. 2 pick or the No. 3 and still take the left-shooting right-winger Patrik Laine, who is like the Finnish Flash Teemu Selanne only bigger at No. 2, or fellow Finnish winger Jesse Puljujarvi, who is more like an all-round Jari Kurri type at No.3 and be perfectly happy to keep either of those choices because they can play immediately, and either could play with McDavid.
The Oilers are the one team that could take Laine first overall and play him with McDavid and still have Draisaitl at centre, but Matthews would get them that sorely needed defenceman in a trade.
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
If you’re buying a Connor McDavid jersey between now and when the Edmonton Oilers move into Rogers Place next fall, you might as well have them stitch on a ‘C’.
And hold off on buying a Jordan Eberle or Taylor Hall.
If you were to bet on two things coming out of Peter Chiarelli’s year-end press conference Sunday, it would be that the Oilers aren’t going to wait another year or two to wait to make McDavid captain and that one of the so-called core players not named Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will be traded.
The Oilers went without a captain this year with the idea that the next captain was going to be McDavid.
from Dan Barnes of the Edmonton Journal,
Say what you will about the organization’s many on-ice foibles, their mistakes at the draft, their coaching carousel and management miscues, the Oiler salute has always been a first-class affair, be it a banner raising or, as it was on Wednesday, the fondest of farewells to their old hockey home.
And yes, the highlight packages provided by Wayne Gretzky and company offer them a leg up on most of their National Hockey League peers, right out of the gate. Those champagne-soaked moments in the old dressing room, victory parades and civic receptions all make for tear-jerking celluloid not readily available in Winnipeg, for instance. And who doesn’t love a long, nostalgic pull on the heartstrings?
Their glory gang was out in full force again Wednesday — Gretzky, Mark Messier, Paul Coffey, Grant Fuhr, Kevin Lowe, Jari Kurri and many more — smiling through another proper fete. The current Oilers played their part as the warm-up act too, hammering Vancouver 6-2, and damn the draft lottery implications.
Below, watch Wayne Gretzky as he gets saluted by the Edmonton fans. Also, the Oilers have numerous videos from last night.
from Dan Barnes of the Edmonton Journal,
If they have a sense of history, the current Oilers will do the right thing Wednesday night. And really, it’s a basic requirement; show up ready to play against the Vancouver Canucks. For reference, they could watch tape of their 5-0 loss to Calgary last Saturday and do the opposite.
Because it would be a shame to light a stink bomb before the final farewell ceremony. This isn’t Game 81 of another disappointing campaign. It’s regular season Game 1,431 in the storied history of a hockey home that hosted four Stanley Cup celebrations. Throw in 129 playoff tilts, 149 pre-season contests and it stands as the 1,709th and final time the Oilers will take the ice at the Coliseum/Skyreach Centre/Rexall Place.
There will be close to 200 alumni in the building, including Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Jari Kurri and Grant Fuhr. You want to make the Great One watch a half-assed effort from the home side?
from David Staples of the Edmonton Journal,
Eberle was blasted after Saturday’s loss to the Calgary Flames by former player Kelly Hrudey on Hockey Night in Canada. On Monday it was Hall’s turn to get attacked, this time by sportscaster Ryan Pinder and, to a lesser extent, by his broadcast partner, former NHL player Rhett Warrener.
Hall has proven he’s not captain material, Pinder said. “The biggest awkward part of it in Edmonton is that Connor McDavid should be the captain of that hockey club, but Taylor Hall still struts around like he’s king of the jungle. It’s over. If he was a great leader, he’s have a ‘C’ on his chest and this team wouldn’t be in the basement every year… There seems to be an acceptance of poor result and that is not what you see with some leaders. They don’t allow that to happen. They get mad. They call teammates onto the carpet. And that’s not what Hall does. And he’s the guy that has the biggest value. Trade him for a bloody defenceman that knows how to play defence.”
Pinder said Eberle wasn’t a winner either. “This notion that these guys are winners is so bogus. They are losers. McDavid should be their captain and they’ve got to cut bait with Hall while there’s still value there. And there is.”
Warrener then brought up Olli Jokinen, who consistently scored for the Florida Panthers, but the team was still was lousy. “That was always my thing,” Warrener said. “If a guy is that good why is he not helping his team?”
read on for Staples' take...
It’s hard to believe that Edmonton may have to tear down most of what it thought had been built.
Think about it. The message from the Oiler “core” to ownership and management on the weekend was a 5-0 loss at home in the final Battle of Alberta at the old Northlands barn, an unmistakable “we don’t care” from the group of young players the Oilers thought would bring the team back to competitiveness, at least.
Now GM Peter Chiarelli has to rip it all up, and one move won’t do. For it to have the necessary impact on the organization, Taylor Hall has to be the player to go, and fortuitously for Chiarelli, he’s the player likely to bring the greatest return.
-Damien Cox of Sportsnet where you can read more hockey topics.
NEW YORK (April 1, 2016) – Arizona Coyotes forward Martin Hanzal has been fined $2,000 as supplementary discipline under NHL Rule 64 (Diving/Embellishment), the National Hockey League announced today.
NEW YORK (April 1, 2016) – Edmonton Oilers forward Nail Yakupov has been fined $2,000 as supplementary discipline under NHL Rule 64 (Diving/Embellishment), the National Hockey League announced today.
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Listen as Edmonton Oilers forward Patrick Maroon describes throwing the game puck in the trash to get under the skin of the Anaheim Ducks.
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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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