Kukla's Korner Hockey
from CBC News,
The man who was responsible for the ice during part of Edmonton Oilers' glory days will oversee ice-making at the new Rogers Place arena.
Dan Craig, the NHL's senior facility operations director, will work with the team in Edmonton to get the ice ready for next month's opening.
The Oilers play their first preseason game at Rogers Place on Sept. 26.
Craig expects the large space may pose some challenges for the Edmonton ice-making team, which has to consider air temperature and humidity levels.
"There will be a couple of little hiccups along the way, but I think they're going to get it under control," Craig said Wednesday on CBC's Edmonton AM.
"That's always been the goal from (the initial) design of that facility, that it will be the best in the league."
“I’m looking forward to these next seven years and I plan on playing them out to the best of my ability and, hopefully, I can add another year or two once this contract is done.
“Hopefully things are going well and I can play as long as I want to play. There’s maybe one or two per cent of guys who get to do that.
“I’m going to do everything I can to be the best player I can be in these next seven years. There’s a lot to look forward to.”
-Milan Lucic of the Edmonton Oilers. Much more from Lucic by Steve Ewen of the Vancouver Province.
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
Why have they shored up their defence with professional acquisitions like Anton Belov, Nikita Nikitin, Andrew Ference and Mark Fayne? Player evaluation: Pro.
Why did the front office overrule its scouts and draft Nail Yakupov first overall in 2012? Well, the GM and his pals didn’t trust the scouts’ collective player evaluation skills, and showed that their own were highly questionable as well.
Finally, how do you end up tied for the longest run of playoff misses in the history of the NHL? Play… Well, you get the picture.
When he became the Edmonton Oilers GM in April of 2015, Peter Chiarelli knew he had to get to work on the current Oilers roster. But he also knew the obvious: That the men who built that mess had to be replaced — ownership had already begun by replacing former GM Craig MacTavish with Chiarelli — and after moving out some scouts last summer he continued his assault on MacTavish’s group on Tuesday.
Keith Gretzky, a former director of amateur scouting for both the Arizona Coyotes and Boston Bruins — and a hire of Chiarelli’s in Boston — becomes Chiarelli’s right hand man in Edmonton, given the title of assistant general manager.
from Bruce McCurdy of the Edmont Journal,
Funny how tongues seem to loosen a bit when European players go home and do interviews in their native languages. Fans of the Edmonton Oilers have seen this in the past with the likes of Nail Yakupov and Linus Omark. The latest such comes from defenceman Oscar Klefbom, attributed with a controversial take on Taylor Hall in this revelation from Ola Winther of the website HockeySverige.se:
This tidbit was one part of a much longer interview with Klefbom, who also provided some comments on the state of his own health, a critical item going forward. More on that in a minute. Let’s start with quotes specific to the Taylor Hall trade for Adam Larsson, even as said quotes are somewhat garbled by the ever-adventurous Google Translate:
I think the team has improved. We already have so many promising forwards and we did not really have a peak reverse is rightare. I also think Adam gets a real breakthrough this year and hopefully I get the chance to play with him and forming chemistry.
– At the same time, I understand the reactions.Taylor has been our best player in recent years, but it’s also hard to tell what he has contributed.He never played his best games against the tougher teams, which we really needed it.However, he was fantastic when we met the little worse law.
A request for translation from an actual Swede has been placed, but let’s try to work through that.
continued and always remember, things can get lost in translation...
I don’t think we’re that far off from making the playoffs, to be honest with you. I think one more piece [on defence] and we’ve got all the talent up front we’ve always had and added more talent via free agency and the draft. When you shore up the back end, which is what Peter’s trying to do, as long as I do my part, I think we could definitely battle for a playoff spot this year and next year and go from there.
-Cam Talbot of the Edmonton Oilers. Read more from Talbot in a Q & A with Luke Fox of Sportsnet.
from David Staples of the Edmonton Journal,
Fans of the Edmonton Oilers are lucky in that between the two radio stations, 630 CHED and TSN 1260, we get to hear commentary from some of the wisest heads in hockey, including five of my favourites, Craig Simpson, Mike Johnson, Craig Button, Adam Oates and Ray Ferraro.
This past week all five weighed in on the Adam Larsson-for-Taylor Hall trade. In case you missed what they had to say to hosts Bob Stauffer of CHED and Jason Gregor of Team 1260, here are some of the highlights:
Craig Simpson on Oilers Now: “I felt there was a real sense of need (to acquire a defenceman). There was a real sense of anxiousness to make something happen so at least you fill a hole that you’ve not been able to fill for a long time… You’re forced in that situation to put in a guy that we all hope will fill that role...
Ray Ferraro on TSN1260: “Clearly the best player in the deal went East. There’s not any question about that. I mean I was surprised there wasn’t a second piece in the puzzle for Edmonton. Adam Larsson, I don’t see play live a whole pile, but he is a defence first, second and third guy. He moves the puck OK. He skates fine. He’s not a speed burner, but he skates fine. He’s not going to score a lot… but it’s really difficult to get a handle on what Adam Larsson is yet because the first couple of years in New Jersey he didn’t play very much.
more from both Simpson and Ferraro plus others on trade...
from David Staples of the Edmonton Journal,
Is Nail Yakupov ready to work this year? Is he really going to get another chance on the Oilers? That’s the question that Sportsnet hockey analyst Drew Remenda dug into on Oilers Now on Friday. I put some extra weight into Remenda’s take on this issue, as he’s been tight with Oilers coach Todd McLellan for years.
Remenda was speculating on what lines the Oilers might roll out this coming year. The broadcaster made it clear he is no fan of playing Yakupov again with Connor McDavid but preferred Jordan Eberle in that role.
“If you’re a coach, and I’m putting on my coaching hat, if I look at Jordan Eberle and Connor is telling me, ‘I like playing with that guy,’ I got to listen to my players. And Jordan was so productive with Connor, and I know he’s been productive with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins as well, then I’ve got to go with the guy I thought was going to be the strongest and give me the most production, which based on the year was Jordan. There comes a time, like Todd said, ‘When do I have to stop looking for some guy to make that guy better? When is that guy going to make other people better?'”
Remenda then got to the money quote about Yakupov: “I think he’s also got to be a better practice player…I know I talk about this a lot. I know they think I’m a broken record. But we’ve seen Nail Yakupov kind of check out at practice. And he’s got to be better, more focused, determined in practice, because that does 100 per cent transfer over to the game.”
“Last year for us was about laying a foundation and playing the game the right way. We didn’t finish where we wanted to finish, but we felt there was some good work done. This year we’re looking to take a step.”
-Jay Woodcroft, assistant coach for the Edmonton Oilers. More on the Oilers at Sportsnet.
from David Staples of the Edmonton Journal,
Edmonton Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli looked like one man at his press conference on Thursday when he carefully explained his thinking behind trading away fan favourite Taylor Hall, then like quite another man when he addressed the topic of the newest addition to the Edmonton Oilers’, Milan Lucic.
His vibe was entirely different.
In the first case, the normally calm Chiarelli seemed a uncertain as he dealt with assertions that he had lost the Hall-for-Adam Larsson trade. In the second, Chiarelli seemed almost giddy as he talked about a new attitude and new leadership on the team, and how things were going to be different now.
On Thursday the Chiarelli quote that will be remembered by Oilers fans was the general manager’s grim assessment of the necessity of moving Hall: “This is the price you have to pay.”
The money quote on Saturday? “We improved our team significantly.”
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of NHL.com,
The Edmonton Oilers had skill. Now they have snarl.
They will have it for a good, long time after signing Milan Lucic to a seven-year contract that ESPN reported was worth $42 million when the NHL free-agent market opened Friday, and that's the obvious concern. Seven years is a lot of term for a power forward who is 28 and locked up through age 34.
But you have to take risk if you're going to win bidding wars in unrestricted free agency, especially if you're a team like the Oilers, who have missed the playoffs for 10 straight seasons and play in one of the coldest of the cold-weather markets.
And general manager Peter Chiarelli was willing to take this risk because he knows what Lucic can do on the left wing with elite centers.
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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