Kukla's Korner Hockey
While playing for the Boston Bruins in 2013, Andrew Ference learned of a little girl who was coming to watch his team play. The five-year old child was battling a life-threatening disease and Ference was touched by her story.
via the Edmonton Sun,
Edmonton Oilers forward Taylor Hall will be sidelined for six weeks with a bad ankle the team said is the result of slash in a game against San Jose.
The slash was on his already bad ankle and the team is calling the injury a crack.
It was close to a pre-existing bone bruise, suffered after being hit on the ankle with a puck in practice, but the team is calling it a different injury.
Hall hasn't played since the Feb. 2 game versus the Sharks, where he picked up a goal and an assists and tallied just 10:41 time on ice.
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
Of the four Canadian teams in the West, obviously only the Oilers stack up as sellers at the March deadline. The Jets, Flames and Canucks all fit into that category known as “The Careful Buyer.” None are at the point where they’ll give up young prospects to win right now, but all three can spot a position (or two) on their team that needs shoring up for a playoff run.
In Edmonton, UFA defenceman Jeff Petry will be dealt. Pittsburgh is very interested, among others. Petry is the quintessential defenceman who plays above his grade on a poor team in Edmonton, but would look much better getting less minutes/responsibilities on a better D-corps.
Also up for auction will be UFA goalie Viktor Fasth, though the market for backups is never strong at the deadline. And what about Derek Roy as a depth centreman for a playoff run? Many people believed Roy was done when he arrived in Edmonton around New Year’s, but he’s got four goals and nine points in 16 games. He has made the Oilers better, there is no question about it.
read on for more hockey topics including the Vancouver Canuks, Evander Kane and the LA Kings...
from Joanne Ireland of the Edmonton Journal,
His game has taken a marked turn for the better, and it’s hard to fathom a scenario where the Oilers will just let their 2006 draft pick walk on July 1 without at least securing a draft pick — assuming, of course, he isn’t re-signed.
But between now and March 2, Petry intends to do what he can to dismiss the external chatter.
“It’s business as usual for me. From the summer until the first week of the season, there were rumours going around, so I just have to continue to block them out. They are just rumours until something actually happens,” the 27-year-old said before the team headed out for a six-game road trip that starts Saturday against the Toronto Maple Leafs and concludes Feb. 16 against the Winnipeg Jets.
“I’ve talked to my agent a little bit about what to expect. From there, it’s just a wait and see.”
A healthy scratch earlier this season, Petry has been the steadiest of the defencemen of late, although he may never be physical enough to hush his critics.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
This improvement has received mixed reviews in Edmonton. Some believe that to win too many games when the season is hopelessly lost undermines the long-term future because it lessens the Oilers’ odds of landing either McDavid or Jack Eichel, the two most-coveted teenage prospects available in this year’s draft.
Others see the frustrating recent history of failure – eight consecutive years outside the playoffs – and just want the losses to stop, whatever the long-term consequences.
But there’s no divided agenda in either the dressing room or in the coach’s office. The Oilers are out to win every night and suggestions that they tank what’s left of the season to enhance their draft position are decisively rejected. Players and coaches are in the business of a) winning and b) survival. Accordingly, they couldn’t care less about who might be riding in with the cavalry come next season.
Under Nelson, “the biggest thing I’m noticing is, we’re playing better as a team,” said winger Jordan Eberle, who leads the Oilers in goal-scoring with 15. “We’re playing better as a five-man unit systematically. We’ve upped our tempo in practice a little bit and we’re playing more like that in games. Those two things – and we’re starting to enjoy coming into the locker room a bit more. A lot of that goes with winning, but it’s really a catalyst in helping you play better too.”
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
Back in November, a few paragraphs of an Associated Press wire story out of Erie, Pa., made their way into Canadian newspapers and websites. The item noted that Sherry Bassin, owner and general manager of the major-junior Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League, lost a $4.6-million (U.S.) judgment to Daryl Katz, owner of the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers.
On the face of it, is seemed just another business-deal-gone-bad – the settlement amount was for a loan Katz advanced to Bassin, plus interest, nearly three years earlier. It was before the Otters had drafted the bankable teen phenom Connor McDavid, and Bassin needed the money to prop up the financially struggling franchise. Then, for reasons that weren’t made clear in the wire story, Katz called the loan. Bassin couldn’t pay, so off to court they went.
But a closer look at the dispute and what led to it reveals the indecorous underside of sports franchise ownership, not to mention the fickle relationships between teams and their communities, and the fragile “partnerships” between owners in various leagues. So much for the honour in pro sports.
The details will follow, but in short, Katz made the deal with Bassin not because he was interested in the welfare of fans in Erie. Instead, if he could quietly buy the Otters, he could move them to Hamilton and take control of his ultimate prize – the hockey lease at Copps Coliseum – even though a fellow NHL owner, Michael Andlauer, was the existing leaseholder at the Hamilton arena.
Ah, the timeline. In Edmonton, they’re still in about Year 2 or 3 of a successful rebuild. The problem being, they started five or six years ago.
In Toronto, they’ve painted themselves into a corner where they may have to start completely over. That means a good year of getting rid of assets before beginning at rock bottom again.
-Mark Spector of Sportsnet where you can read more on both teams.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Now healthy as he can be, Hall can’t score. He has 11 goals and 29 points in 40 games, well off his normal pace.
Hall scored two goals against the Dallas Stars on Dec. 21, and got one against the Chicago Blackhawks on Jan. 9, but that’s it in the last 24 games. He’s managed 13 assists, but no goal celebrations.
His name has come up in trade talk, which was sacrilege until now, although any player can get moved, no matter where they were picked in the draft. Tyler Seguin, who was the second pick behind Hall in 2010, was moved from the Boston Bruins after winning a Stanley Cup, albeit maybe more for how he was away from the rink than on the ice.
The Oilers aren’t shopping Hall, but general manager Craig MacTavish’s phone has likely rung, with Hall in Year 2 of a seven-year, $42-million contract.
“I’m sure teams are asking, but I’m happy here and need to get my own game untracked before worrying about that stuff,” Hall said.
“It’s a change. In year’s past, I’ve always been mentioned as a guy who won’t be traded, but now you see your name creeping up in rumours.
“My friends and family ask me about it. I tell them, ‘You really think I want to talk about being traded?’ ” he said with a laugh. “My only control over being traded is how I play. Ultimately, if I ever asked for a trade, that would be my responsibility. But I don’t want to leave, especially the way I’m playing now.”
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
When you’re at the bottom rung of the National Hockey League ladder, it’s pretty obvious you’re a seller at the trade deadline — especially with guys who can walk away on July 1, no strings attached.
Which brings us to Jeff Petry. The Edmonton Oilers defenceman is in the prime of his career, but he’s due to become an unrestricted free agent following this season.
The clock’s ticking loudly on Petry — if there’s no traction on a long-term deal from his side or from Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish, he’s out the door by the trade deadline March 5, 21 games from now.
Chances are he’ll head to the Detroit Red Wings or to the Pittsburgh Penguins or to any team looking for one of those rare birds: a right-handed shooting defenceman who can skate and who has lots left on his odometer at age 27.
Rentals, outside big names such as Jarome Iginla when he left Calgary for Pittsburgh, normally bring back second-round draft picks or prospects at the deadline, but if a team feels they can sign a player before July 1, often they’ll give up more than one piece. Petry doesn’t want to think about the trade deadline, though.
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.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com