Kukla's Korner Hockey
Eberle chatted with ESPN.com’s Craig Custance about the tournament and the future of the Oilers following Team Canada’s practice on Friday.
Custance: There’s a group of Oilers playing in this tournament. What do you hope you guys get out of playing here?
Eberle: First off, you get a chance to keep playing hockey. The playoffs are still going on and you want to be playing hockey in May. I’m a younger player, I have a lot to grow. You have a chance to play with some of the best players in the world. It brings your game up a level.
Custance: Are you still following the NHL playoffs back home?
Eberle: Oh, yeah. We’ve been watching quite a bit. It’s tough over here with the time change. You wake up with the scores and watch the highlights. But you definitely keep track.
Custance: So where were you when the Oilers won the draft lottery? Were you watching?
Eberle: I wasn’t even watching it. I found out on my phone, I was with quite a few teammates and pretty ecstatic....
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
Ten days ago Bob Nicholson had no real belief he was going to get Connor McDavid. Nor had he given any real thought to the idea of ever being able to hire Peter Chiarelli as his head of hockey operations and new general manager.
A week ago Wednesday, Chiarelli was fired by the Boston Bruins. Saturday the Edmonton Oilers won the right to draft Connor McDavid No. 1 overall. Monday Nicholson was made boss of everything for the Oilers Entertainment Group. Friday he introduced Chiarelli as the new President of Hockey Operations & General Manager.
As the bingo ball effect began to happen, Nicholson knew one thing. He had to move and move fast if he was going to get Chiarelli.
And Chiarelli knew one thing, first because his wife told him so and then because he figured it out on his own. He wasn’t meant to be out of hockey longer than five minutes.
Almost overnight the terrible team that spent nine seemingly endless seasons out of the playoffs made a lot of things go right.
It’s called seizing the moment.
“These are really exciting times for this organization,” said Nicholson about an hour and a half after the press conference had concluded to introduce Chiarelli.
April 24, 2015 (EDMONTON) – Oilers Entertainment Group (OEG) Chief Executive Officer & Vice Chair Bob Nicholson announced today significant changes to the management structure of the organization – both in hockey and business operations.
Peter Chiarelli has been appointed President of Hockey Operations and General Manager effective immediately. Chiarelli will report to CEO Bob Nicholson, and be responsible for all aspects of hockey operations.
“We are delighted to bring a person of Peter’s considerable hockey knowledge and experience to the Edmonton Oilers. Peter has had success at all levels of the game and we look forward to his leadership,” said Nicholson.
The Edmonton Oilers will have a major press conference which is scheduled to begin at 3:00pm ET.
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
The idea projected and promoted here that Connor McDavid would make the Edmonton Oilers significantly better long before he ever arrived on the ice in Edmonton, didn’t take long to kick in.
When Peter Chiarelli is introduced at a press conference Friday in Edmonton as the new head of Hockey Operations under new Oilers Entertainment Group CEO Bob Nicholson, it will deliver a message to the entire hockey world it’s finally the start of a brand new era of Oilers hockey.
The Oilers, after missing the playoffs nine years in a row, are undeniably having their best playoff years since they last won the Stanley Cup.
One of the first questions Chiarelli will no doubt be asked at the press conference is if he’d have made the move if the bingo balls hadn’t placed the next Wayne Gretzky in the same city where the last one played the greatest years of his career.
Maybe the recently fired Boston Bruins general manager might say there’s far more here than the kid expected to become the best players in the league within three or four years. Maybe he’ll say he’d have probably taken the job anyway. But if he’s honest about it, I suspect he’ll say McDavid made it a no brainer.
Hearing the same thing as @JasonGregor -- that EDM will have a media conference tomorrow to announce the hiring of Peter Chiarelli.
Not sure of structure of the new front office, but it is believed Chiarelli will be President of Hockey Operations (or something like that).
via Bob McKenzie tweets,
Peter Chiarelli has been in EDM meeting with Bob Nicholson for past two days. EDM won't confirm, not yet anyway, news conference for Fri...
...but all signs point to him taking over all hockey operations for the Oilers. If Chiarelli was to take job there, he wanted full autonomy.
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
There were those around the hockey world who watched Connor McDavid walk down the studio hall with a camera in his face after Edmonton won the draft lottery and determined that the serious look on his face meant he was disappointed that his destiny was to go to the Oilers.
His dad said he’s absolutely sure that was not the case.
“To be honest, he was a little bit in shock,” said Brian.
“He would have had the exact same expression on his face if the winner had been Buffalo, Toronto or Arizona. The reality is that his future had just been decided by bingo balls.”
Brian said he was aware of certain members of the media who reacted by suggesting maybe Connor would pull an Eric Lindros and decide he didn’t want to go where he was picked. He said these media members neither know his son nor, obviously, his history.
(April 20, 2015) EDMONTON – Daryl Katz, Chairman of Oilers Entertainment Group (OEG) announced today Bob Nicholson has been appointed Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Nicholson, who joined the organization as Vice-Chair in June of 2014, will take over an expanded set of responsibilities within OEG that includes authority over all aspects of business and hockey operations for the Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club. Mr. Nicholson will continue to serve as an Alternate Governor for the Edmonton Oilers on the NHL Board of Governors.
“Since joining OEG, Bob has devoted his time to assessing all aspects of the organization,” said Mr. Katz. “Going forward, he will have clear responsibility for OEG’s growing sports and entertainment business, and all the support and latitude he needs from me to lead the Oilers back to being a Stanley Cup contender. Bob is the ideal person to lead the organization forward. He is a bold thinker, a strong consensus builder and a very fine individual.”
The Oilers need a goaltending upgrade, better personnel on the blueline and an improved commitment to defensive hockey to move up the NHL ladder.
Saturday’s draft lottery win is a great starting point. It provided their franchise with a defining ‘wow’ moment and a genuine opportunity to fast track the rebuild within the rebuild.
This time, they’d better get it right.
-Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail where you can read more on the Oilers.
from Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star,
The Oilers already had three No. 1 picks in a row, and they kept winning lotteries and letting Oilers president Kevin Lowe say stuff like how they have two tiers of fans, and how half the league would trade rosters with them if they could, and “there’s one other guy in hockey today that is still working in the game that has won more Stanley Cups than me. So I think I know a little bit about winning, if there’s ever a concern.”
That was in 2013. They’ve finished 28th in the league twice since then. Their three No. 1 picks have been supported by just horrific drafting and development and decisions outside the first round, and Edmonton just went ahead and leveraged their 11.5% chance at the No. 1 pick into Connor McDavid. It was reported by Chris Johnston of Sportsnet that going into the final ball, the Leafs actually had a 4-in-11 chance, Buffalo 3 in 11, and Edmonton 2-of-11. (Carolina and Columbus had single chances.) Very Leafs, really.
But this is what happens when you fight on Edmonton’s turf. By the way, Oilers owner Darryl Katz, who has already played footsie with Seattle in a successful attempt to sucker Edmonton out of public funds for a new arena, is actively suing the Erie Otters and Sherry Bassin, the mentor of ... Connor McDavid. Ha, terrific.
Plus, did we mention they already won three lotteries? Ergo, the disappointment. As Coyotes co-owner Anthony Leblanc told Joe Yerdon of NHL.com, “(When I) realized it wasn’t us, I’m not going to lie, I’m like, ‘Holy crap, I hope it’s Buffalo.’ To find out it was Edmonton? That stung. That stung.” As Leafs president Brendan Shanahan said, “They’ve got some luck.”
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