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Category: Edmonton-Oilers

Duncan Keith In Edmonton Could Work

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

While the Edmonton Oilers pursue Duncan Keith in a trade as a second-pairing left defenceman because of Oscar Klefbom’s serious shoulder repair, there is one overriding issue.

After unrestricted free-agent forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ signing, general manager Ken Holland was asked if that meant the Oilers were now protecting seven forwards and only three defencemen.

“Yes,” he said. No stick-handling.

So, if Darnell Nurse and Ethan Bear are automatics and Holland gets unrestricted free-agent Adam Larsson signed before the expansion lists have to be finalized July 17, that gives him his three defencemen. So, where does that put Keith? Does this mean any possible deal for Keith has to come after the July 21 Seattle expansion draft and the NHL amateur draft July 23-24?

Does this mean Chicago has to use up a defence-protected spot on Keith, who has a no-move clause, and possibly lose Riley Stillman? Yes, it does. So, as Holland works away at trying to get the 2015 Conn Smythe playoff MVP, trying to get Keith’s cap hit down into the $3-million range through Chicago Blackhawks cap retention or the Oilers off-loading an undesired body or a left D prospect and a draft pick in 2022, nothing is imminent. Caleb Jones’s name keeps coming up in a trade, but he could also be picked by Seattle. Dmitry Samorukov might make more sense to the Hawks because he’s bigger and the Hawks are chock full of talented smaller D.

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8-Year Deal For Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

 

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A Big Year For Ken Holland

from Kurt Leavins of the Edmonton Journal,

I see Ken Holland as the hockey executive version of Nolan Ryan. Holland was set to ease into semi-retirement after a few poor seasons in Detroit. Some thought then that Ken had perhaps “lost his fastball”. After winning the Central Division 10 times, the President’s Trophy 4 times, 3 Stanley Cups and more wins in the Stanley Cup Playoff than any other team during his stretch, maybe he was “done”? Didn’t have “it”, anymore? Detroit had its sights set on Steve Yzerman leading the club back to its former glory. Holland spent his last couple years there trading off assets and basically paving the road for Yzerman’s return to The Motor City. Holland would then gracefully step upstairs for the organization that he had done so much to build and win with.

But something funny happened on the way to the Forum…or was that Joe Lewis Arena? Holland decided the fire still burned within, and he instead accepted an offer from Bob Nicholson to run the Edmonton Oilers for the next 5 years. In his 2 years so far, and with his back to the NHL cap wall, Holland has guided his club into the playoffs both seasons. That shouldn’t be minimized, although it is 100% true that the results in the post-season for the Holland-era Oilers are not there yet. But now in the Summer of 2021, with at least $23m in cap space…Holland has a chance to prove that the fastball he used to help build a dynasty before in Detroit is still there. And as an ultra-competitive guy, I can’t help but think that would motivate Ken Holland. A lot.

Some of his detractors rankle when Holland waxes on poetic about his Detroit years. “What have you done for me lately”, those fans ask? A lot of people in this town don’t like to lean on the past. The intervening (losing) seasons have soured more than a few on that act. It’s understandable. But this is the off-season where Holland can silence those critics and even put a punctuation mark on his own Hall of Fame career at the same time.

With a hard, high-heater of an off-season, Holland can turn his 11th ranked but under-achieving Oilers club into a legit Stanley Cup contender. And no one would be able to quibble with that.

more topics on the Edmonton Oilers...

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Ken Holland Today

from Bruce McCurdy of the Edmonton Journal,

Ken Holland took to Zoom for an expansive, dare I say rambling press conference on Wednesday morning to discuss the demise of the 2021 version of the Edmonton Oilers he manages, and to respond to reporters’ questions as to how he plans to improve his club going forward.

65 minutes later, after many variations on the theme of “I’ve lived it, I’ve done it” and reminiscences of his long years of experience in Detroit, the two most interesting items to these ears were the two questions he answered most directly. So let’s start there.

Holland mentioned the names of his pending unrestricted free agents on a number of occasions, but was most forthcoming on the future of the oldest of them. When asked if he intended to bring back his 39-year-old netminder, he answered in a single syllable, “Yes”, and it didn’t take more than a few seconds before he made it crystal clear: “Yes I do want to re-sign Mike Smith“....

Another Oiler who was singled out by Holland in the presser was forward Devin Shore. When Stauffer asked about him specifically, Holland praised the player’s versatility, ability to play either centre or wing or to wait his turn in the press box without creating waves. Invited to camp on a Professional Tryout, Shore earned a one-year contract at NHL minimum, cleared waivers a couple of times, but became something close to a full time player down the stretch, primarily as a bottom six LW, bringing physicality and penalty killing to the mix. While his path to making the team superficially resembles that of Alex Chiasson a couple of years ago, presumably a Shore extension would come a whole lot cheaper. He is a restricted free agent for one thing, and he didn’t have a career season in the manner that Chiasson did in 2018-19....

Otherwise, Holland spoke in generalities rather than specifics, returning to some takes time and time again. His initial comment was that he is “obviously disappointed, any time you don’t win the Stanley Cup, you’re disappointed… I was proud of our guys, lots of positive steps made this year. The pain that we’re feeling today is a good thing, it means we were good enough to have aspirations to go on a playoff run.”

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Video- Connor McDavid Today

via the YouTube page of Sportsnet,

Connor McDavid talked about the core the Oilers have built and his future with the team going forward.

 

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It’s Over In Edmonton

from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun,

It’s almost impossible to fathom.

After everything the Edmonton Oilers accomplished this season, after how they man-handled the Winnipeg Jets all year, how on earth did they get punted out of the playoffs in four games?

How, after a season in which everything went so right, did the playoffs go so horribly wrong?

“There are things we could have done better here, but… I honestly don’t know how to answer that one,” said defenceman Darnell Nurse, who logged a staggering 62:07 in a heartbreaking triple overtime loss in Game 4.

“We played hard. It sucks that we’re sitting here after four games and it’s a sweep and we took three to overtime.”

There is a massive sense of disbelief for everyone in the wake of this painfully early playoff exit. The Oilers went 17-6-2 in their last 25 games to finish with the second most regulation wins in the NHL. They had the two best players in the world. Their special teams were best in the league. Their goalie was running hot. They were a good team that truly believed it could go deep in the playoffs.

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Video- Josh Archibald Suspended One Game

Clipping.

 

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The Edmonton Oilers Suffered A Third Period Collapse

from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Journal,

We all saw it. Every agonizing second. We watched the replays, listened to the interviews and dissected the expert analysis.

But anyone who witnessed the Edmonton Oilers slow motion car wreck Sunday in Winnipeg still has no idea what the hell happened.

Catastrophic third-period collapse all but end Edmonton Oilers' season

It was over. They had already won Game 3. They closed the deficit to 2-1. The message was sent. The series was back on. The Oilers looked great.

Then, inexplicably, out of nowhere in a game they had ruled for 50 minutes, the Oilers spit up all of it in a humiliating, jaw-dropping catastrophic implosion that all but ended their season.

A 4-1 lead with less than 10 minutes to play in the third period blew up in their faces like one of those dye packs the banks use to catch stupid robbers.

“Winning is hard and there are painful lessons you need to learn to win,” said head coach Dave Tippett, after the Winnipeg Jets somehow came back to win 5-4 in overtime, taking a 3-0 death grip on the series and leaving the Oilers to write another playoff tragedy to go with last year’s bubble exit.

“Tonight, we learned some hard lessons on what not to do to win in the playoffs. We did enough good things in this game to win, but we gave a game away.

“It’s disappointing because we haven’t been that team all year, we’ve done a good job of closing things out. It’s disappointing that we did some of the things we did tonight. Now we’ll see how we respond.”

continued

Catch the highlights below.

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The Edmonton Oilers Are Down 0-2 To The Winnipeg Jets

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

It’s games like the one played on Friday night that define the term “playoff experience.” A crucial game for Edmonton that started out heavily in the Winnipeg Jets’ favour, then slowly shifted Edmonton’s way. By the third period, it was two teams slugging it out in search of what became obvious would be the one goal that would win this game.

Then, overtime heartbreak.

A Paul Stastny wrist shot, an Adam Larsson screen/deflection, an OT winner that puts Edmonton down 2-0 in their opening round series.

“We battled all game. We were still battling in OT,” said Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. “We just needed one to break them. We didn’t get one tonight.”

If you’d have told me the Oilers would allow only two regulation goals in two games (that weren’t empty netters) and would be down 2-0 in this series, I wouldn’t have believed that was possible.

If you’d have added that Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl — the NHL’s two leading scorers — would be pointless as they board the charter to Winnipeg for Game 3, I’d have started talking you into a wager.

read on and watch the OT goal below...

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The McDavid Show Is About To Begin

from Gemma Karstens-Smith of the CP at CBC,

Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice conceded that his squad has little chance of keeping McDavid off the scoresheet when they face the Oilers in the first round of the playoffs, starting Wednesday.

"He's that good," Maurice said. "You're not stopping this guy completely. If you just do it right, if you just play the right way against Connor McDavid, he's still putting up points against you. He's that level of talent. You just can't help him. He's going to get them on his own. You just can't help him do it."

Long touted as one of the NHL's top talents, the 24-year-old Oilers captain ascended to new heights this year, tallying 100 points in 53 games. Only seven players in NHL history have reached the mark faster.

By the end of the regular season, he led the league in scoring with 105 points (33 goals, 72 assists) in 56 games. His sometimes-linemate Leon Draisaitl was second with 84....

"He really stepped up his game and it was impressive to watch," said Winnipeg centre Mark Scheifele. "I'm a big fan of his. He's a fantastic hockey player and he's the best player in our game right now."

Maurice has watched the likes of Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr come through the league and is hesitant to draw comparisons.

But he's certainly proved himself to be a special talent, the Jets coach said.

"He's just unique," Maurice said. "This guy's different than all other players and that uniqueness, he's part of that group of players that are the greatest of all time."

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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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