Kukla's Korner Hockey
From my seat, I think the cold water thrown on the fans this year will prevent many from getting all hot and bothered about watching playoff hockey next season. And watching the Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings in the playoffs won’t likely help much, either.
That said, when it comes to the big picture, the hope will return.
-Terry Jones on the Edmonton Oilers. Read more from Jones at the Edmonton Sun.
from Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic,
The Coyotes let their lead slip away in the final minute of regulation, and Oilers center Sam Gagner – who pushed the game to overtime – scored the lone shootout goal in Round 4 to complete the comeback.
"The way we gave up the second goal, that's demoralizing," coach Dave Tippett said. "But it's not time to hang your head now. It's like losing a game in overtime in the playoffs. You've got to get back at it. That's where we're at."
watch the late, game tying goal by Sam Gagner below. TV color analyst Tyson Nash said it best- Ow....
from Craig Custance of ESPN,
In the end it may not mean a thing, but there are signs of growth from the Edmonton Oilers lately under Dallas Eakins.
On Sunday, the Oilers beat the Hurricanes 2-1 on the road. No great accomplishment, but it helped Edmonton earn five of a possible eight points on its four-game road trip.
The midseason tweaks GM Craig MacTavish has made in Edmonton have been positive. Goalie Ben Scrivens won again and has a .932 save percentage with the Oilers, so far fending off the expectations that his stats would take a nosedive when he left the protection of the Los Angeles Kings' defensive system.
Matt Hendricks has been another positive influence on this young team, scoring occasionally but also setting an example on how to work. There are still offseason changes to be made by MacTavish, but at least there's some hope for Edmonton fans to grab on to.
read on for Burnside on the Flyers, LeBrun on the Canadiens and Strang on the Sharks...
added 2:31pm, Official release below...
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Easy to figure out what names are available in Edmonton, most of them are pending unrestricted free agents, led by winger Ales Hemsky, who I hear is getting decent traction on the market.
It’s a guarantee he gets dealt before Wednesday. He’s a nice Plan B for those teams that strike out on Thomas Vanek or Matt Moulson. Hemsky can still play, I actually thought he looked good in Sochi for the Czech Republic.
Veteran winger Ryan Smyth is also a pending unrestricted free agent and could move. I think he’d be a terrific addition for one of the top contenders. He’d accept a fourth-line role on a Cup contender and his character goes without saying.
Nick Schultz is also an unrestricted free agent and will likely be moved as a depth defenseman addition to a contender.
more trade talk around the league, some you may have heard of, some not...
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
I know Weber’s the face of the Predators, but I also know if the future Hall of Famer Pronger can be traded, so can Weber.
I also know Oilers president of hockey ops Kevin Lowe LOVES Weber. Weber is in his prime, he’s 235 pounds, only Zdeno Chara shoots the puck as hard, and Z stands in front of the net on the Boston powerplay now.
So Weber, who probably has at least seven more years as an elite defenceman, currently pounds it better than anybody else.
If you were the Oilers and Weber was in play, what would you be willing to give up?
Would you consider trading Taylor Hall or Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for Weber? I can’t fathom the Predators not asking for either Ryan Nugent-Hopkins or Taylor Hall, who might get 80 points this season, in any package for Weber.
Would that be a non-starter for the Oilers or is Weber, in his prime, too good to pass up, no matter the cost?
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.
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