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Category: Edmonton-Oilers

Stop Ignoring The Penalty Calls

from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun,

The rather bizarre dynamic in which referees are allowed to ignore the rules as they see fit has been a constant source of consternation among some fans of the game, particularly those who cheer for the league’s most elite players.

While the NBA and NFL have embraced the value of letting star players exhibit their skills, the NHL has continually tailored its landscape to accommodate mid-range players instead. It remains a plumbers’ league, where the attitude seems to be something along the lines of “if we don’t let defencemen hook and hold, guys like Nathan MacKinnon, Connor McDavid and Nikita Kucherov will put up 200 points a year, and we can’t have that.”

It’s an issue that reached a peak in last year’s playoffs, where McDavid didn’t draw a single penalty in 121 shifts over four games against the Winnipeg Jets. A year earlier in the four-game post-season series with Chicago, he drew one penalty over four games....

It’s a delicate line that stars have to walk when discussing the subject, because getting on the wrong side of certain referees could have lasting consequences.

When asked about the issue, again, as another season approaches, McDavid tried to view it from both sides.

“It’s such a hard job, they’re never going to be perfect, they do the best they can do,” he said. “They’re human, too, and they have their own opinions. They’ll see the game maybe a little bit differently.

“Overall you just want to see some consistency from game to game, consistency throughout the night, period to period. That’s what everyone is striving for.”

read on

added 11:16am, Below watch Ray Ferraro on the same topic.

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All Dave Tippett

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

Sportsnet: Are you ready to turn playoff lessons into playoff wins?

Dave Tippett: Well, you’re learning hard lessons. And those are lessons that usually sink in a little easier.

We’ve taken some steps forward in the regular season, but it hasn’t translated into playoff success. That’s something that we have to own. To build your team not to just be a good regular season team, but how are you going to play in the playoffs?

Those are things you learn as you learn these hard lessons.

Tippet: There are changes you have to make in the playoffs. Some of it is the reffing. Teams tighten up. Players like Connor and Leon get focused on hard. You have to be able to win without (many) power plays; we’ve got to be able to win games as a team.

We have a saying we use all the time: Every play counts. Well, you look at (the Winnipeg series) … it might be a puck that should have got out, or maybe a lost faceoff. It turns out, that’s the difference in the game. So the more adept you are at dealing with the ‘Every play counts,’ the better percentage your chances are of winning (in the playoffs).

read on

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Video- Connor McDavid On A Few Topics

via Sportsnet,

Christine Simpson caught up with Connor McDavid at this year’s BioSteel camp to discuss last years playoff exit, the new additions to the roster, and Andre De Grasse.


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The Summer Of Ken Holland

from David Staples of the Edmonton Journal,

There’s a large group of vocal critics who contend that Edmonton Oilers GM Ken Holland blew it this summer. For the first time in his career as Oilers GM, Holland had plenty of cap space to play with, but he made a number of ill-advised moves, this group says.

But when it comes to the NHL oddsmakers, they cast a friendly eye on the chances of the Oilers making the playoffs for a third straight season, which would amount to every year Holland has been Edmonton’s GM.

SportsBetting.ag, for example, gives the Oilers a 76 per cent chance of doing so and predicts 97.5 regular season points for the team. Only seven other NHL teams are predicted to get more points than the Oilers. That would put Edmonton at the bottom of elite NHL squads, but still in that group.

Nonetheless, Holland is getting heat, most recently from Dom Luszczyszyn, national NHL reporter for The Athletic, who blasted Oilers management for “squandering” the talent of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.

Luszczyszyn was not impressed with Holland’s work this summer, writing: “The team’s signing of Zach Hyman was a strong one from a bottom line perspective as it does make the team better, but it’s an inherently risky one considering his age, play style and injury history. The term could be a disaster. And that was arguably the team’s best move. Edmonton traded actual assets for the ghost of Duncan Keith, signed Cody Ceci to dollars and term he isn’t worthy of, retained Tyson Barrie despite defensive deficiencies and ponied up a ridiculous amount of money to Darnell Nurse after a career season he is unlikely to repeat.”


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Checking In With Connor McDavid

from Stephen Whyno of the CP at CKPGToday,

Connor McDavid did not take much time off after he and the Edmonton Oilers were swept out of the playoffs in the first round.

The unanimous NHL MVP returned to the ice in July and worked hard to improve his defensive game with an eye on building off a 105-point season in just 56 games. McDavid’s preparations take another step this week, skating with more than a dozen other players at the annual BioSteel pro hockey camp, and becoming a better all-around player is his focus.

“This is one of those weeks where guys are really trying to ramp it up and dial in their details, and I’m no different,” McDavid told The Associated Press. “I’m trying to keep the details where they need to be, and that way when it comes camp it’s not just a light switch.”

McDavid is widely considered the best player in the world but at 24 he said he feels he is just entering his prime. Last season he put up 21 more points than the next-closest player — teammate Leon Draisaitl — and had the best faceoff percentage of his career, yet there’s still room to improve.

After another early playoff exit, the 2015 No. 1 pick said he thinks the the root of a deeper run is better play without the puck and in his own end. It’s not easy to practice in summer skates that are more like shinny than postseason hockey, but McDavid has taken it upon himself to try.

“It’s lots of battle drills, lots of little 1-on-1 things, scrimmage stuff — just trying to stop on pucks, get into some battles and really focus on that,” he said. “For me that’s always kind of where the defensive game slips is when I’m not dialed into those details and stopping on pucks and supporting guys and doing all that.”


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Video- Connor McDavid Is Good

His top plays from the past season.


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Would You Pay Darnell Nurse $9.25M Per Year?


added 3:01pm, signing is official, press release is below.

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A Good Day For The Edmonton Oilers

from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,

So, did Ken Holland succeed?

Finally having some salary cap space to work with, on one of the most important days in Edmonton Oilers history, was he able to make his hockey club significantly better?

Was he able to transform his team into a Stanley Cup contender going forward with the Connor McDavid-Leon Draisaitl window officially now wide open?

Are the Oilers now better?

Yes. Absolutely. Definitely.

Good enough to go for it?

Maybe. Possibly. Maybe even probably. But not absolutely. And definitely not definitely.

It’ll take 82 games and at least a month into the playoffs to prove it. But you have to give Holland credit. While he managed to make many Edmonton fans furious with the decision to trade an exceptionally popular player and First Nations role model, Ethan Bear, he had a pretty good day.


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Zach Hyman Signing Is Official In Edmonton

(Edmonton, AB) - The Edmonton Oilers have signed free agent forward Zach Hyman to a seven-year contract with an average annual value (AAV) of $5.5 million.

Hyman, 29, joins the Oilers after spending six seasons as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs where he appeared in 345 games recording 185 points (86G, 99A) along with 201 PIM and a plus/minus rating of +72.

The 6’1”, 210-pound Toronto native saw action in 43 games last season and ranked fifth among Leaf forwards in goals (15) as well as points (33) with the third-highest plus/minus rating of +19. Seeing an average ice time of 19:32 per game, Hyman recorded eight multi-point games and notched at least one point in 24 of his 43 appearances.

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Mike Smith Signing Is Official In Edmonton

EDMONTON, AB - The Oilers have signed goaltender Mike Smith to a two-year contract extension with an average annual value of $2.2 million, the team announced Saturday.

The 39-year-old is coming off a strong season that saw him post a 21-6-2 record in 32 regular season appearances, including three shutouts, a 2.31 goals-against average and .923 save percentage.

Smith has played 642 career NHL games with the Dallas Stars, Tampa Bay Lightning, Arizona Coyotes and Oilers, compiling a 283-254-76 record with 42 shutouts, a 2.69 GAA and .912 save percentage.

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com



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