Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Terry Jones of the Edmonto Sun,
Between now and the July 1 beginning of free agent frenzy the second year general manager, like the rest of his brethren, can do more to determine the fate of his team than in the other 49 months of the year combined.
And with the Oilers now possessing the longest out-of-the-playoffs streak of any NHL team at eight straight after finishing 28th overall and patience having pretty much reached its expiry date, there’s some urgency involved.
“I’d like to add four or five players — one or two through trades and two or three unrestricted free agents,” said MacTavish.
Trades are the first priority.
“It would be nice to get something in place before free agency,” said the general manager.
Getting something done before the June 27-28 draft would be nicer and he’ll get a feel for that this week.
“The managers meeting at the final really gets everybody talking a little bit more. This week will be a busy week for everybody to see what the fits are out there.
June 13, 2014) EDMONTON - Katz Group announced today that Bob Nicholson will join the organization as Vice-Chairman of Oilers Entertainment Group (OEG), a new sports and entertainment company that will manage the Katz Group's growing family of sports and entertainment assets, and operate Rogers Place, the new home of the Edmonton Oilers.
The Edmonton Oilers have scheduled a news conference for Friday where they are expected to announce the addition of Bob Nicholson to their executive team.
TSN Hockey Insider Dreger speculated on Wednesday's Insider Trading that he would be hired by an NHL club "in a high executive capacity - above the level of president and below that of an NHL owner."
from Bruce McCurdy of the Edmonton Journal,
This is welcome news on a couple of fronts. In Ramsay, the Oilers have added a respected voice, a man who has excelled as both a player and a coach. After a great career as a two-way forward with Buffalo Sabres — nearly Hall of Fame worthy, in the opinion of the writer — Ramsay has filled a variety of coaching roles with a variety of NHL teams since the mid-1980s.
Oilers coach Dallas Eakins provided this rationale on the new hire on Oilers Now this afternoon [paraphrased slightly]:
from David Staples of The Cult of Hockey,
If Eakins fails to speak up now and bring in the necessary help, an experienced assistant or two like Cory Clouston, Craig Ramsay, Perry Pearn, Todd Nelson and/or Rob Daum, then he’s setting himself up for more of the same losing. He himself has paid his dues as a coach and was adept enough to identify what is wrong with his team: a lack of sound hockey habits.
But if Eakins doesn’t take decisive action now, this is on him as much as it’s on everyone else in the Oilers organization.
If the Oilers followed the lead of an outstanding team like St. Louis, they would axe one or two or three of these assistant coaches and the would have brought in a more able and experienced crew to help Eakins.
St. Louis axed head coach Ken Hitchcock’s long-time friend Gary Agnew and goalie coach Corey Hirsch. They brought in a former NHL head coach, Kirk Muller, to not only act as Hitchcock’s assistant, but also to be on hand as an heir apparent.
That is the tough-minded way to run an NHL team, where friendships don’t matter.
But this isn’t St. Louis, where winning has become a habit.
This is Edmonton, where losing has become the norm.
from David Staples of The Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal,
At the press conference on Wednesday where Hextall was named the new Flyers GM, he was asked about his plan to build the team. Hextall made it clear the Flyers were a model franchise, used to winning, and he wasn’t going to be looking at tanking the team in order to get a high draft pick.
“There’s 30 teams out there and right now there’s a team out there – I won’t mention any names — there’s a team out there just collecting number one picks right now.”
Uh, sorry Ron, you’re fooling no one.
Hextall continued: “Yeah, they’re going to be a pretty good team in three or four years, but ask their fans if they’ve had a fun last seven or eight years. The culture of winning is nothing to be embarrassed about. We should all be damn proud of this organization and how successful they’ve been.”
Well what a night that was! Three Game Sevens and now we start the second round later today.
Before the second round starts let’s take a look at how we did predicting the first round.
Huge night for hockey fans out there! Kings, avs and rangers are my picks!— anthony brodeur (@abrodeur30) April 30, 2014
I will put my own predictions up to bat:
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from David Staples of The Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal,
Key quotes from the Craig MacTavish press conference.
Oilers GM Craig MacTavish held a year-end presser, starting off with the expected comments, that the team hadn’t met expectations this year, but everyone in the organization is still committed to winning a Stanley Cup. The culture of the organization is to bring in hard-working, competitive “character” people.
This is exactly what the 14 other NHL GMs who didn’t make the playoffs are now telling their fans.
As for specifics, MacTavish gave a stay-the-course kind of message, with no promise of any bold moves, though he did talk about adding a “high-end” d-man.
On Eakins: “This is the right coach to lead us.”
“I’m more confident in my decision to hire Dallas Eakins than the day I hired him,” MacTavish said. “I’m more convinced that this is the right coach to lead us into much more successful times. … Time will prove that this coach was a very good hire for our organization. I really feel like he’s the guy to add the cultural elements, and police the cultural elements, that are necessary to build the quality team that we’re trying to build.
Ryan Smyth's final game ended with an Edmonton 5-2 win over Vancouver.
added 9:29am, Below, watch Ryan Smyth on HNIC After Hours segment last night...
Ryan Smyth is expected to announce his retirement today and you can watch the live stream below.
The press conference is expected to start at 4:00pm ET.
added 4:09pm, Also below, Oilers' official release on Smyth retirement.a
added 4:29pm, Live stream is complete.
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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.
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