Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Derek Van Diest of the Edmonton Sun,
Both were high-end draft picks. And both were considered the future of the franchise.
But after impressive rookie campaigns, Andrew Cogliano and Sam Gagner are now considered integral parts of the Edmonton Oilers lineup heading into this season.
Expectations will be high as they attempt to avoid the dreaded sophomore jinx.
“A lot of the sophomore jinx has to do with guys forgetting how hard they worked to get here going into their rookie year,” said Gagner.
“All of us that are going to be sophomore’s this year know how hard we have to work. We have worked hard this summer trying to make sure it doesn’t happen.
“That’s all you can really do. Once the season starts, you have to stay focused and mentally prepared, not letting things get to you and try and handle the things you can control. Hopefully that helps you get through it.”
from John MacKinnon of the Edmonton Journal via the National Post,
By design or not, the Oilers front-office begins to resemble the gold standard, that of the Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings.
In Detroit, single owner Mike Ilitch has an all-star hockey department, led by GM Ken Holland, assistant GM Jim Nill, vice-president and GM-in-training Steve Yzerman, with longtime hockey man Jim Devellano in the mix as senior vice-president.
Ilitch also has a shelf full of recent Stanley Cups.
In urging Lowe to beef up the hockey operations side, Katz is demonstrating he will do what is required to try to make that happen in Edmonton again.
From the Edmonton Oilers:
Oilers General Manager Kevin Lowe will be announcing important changes to the Edmonton Oilers Hockey Operations Department at 11:30 p.m. MDT. Follow the link below to listen to the press conference LIVE via 630 CHED and check back for reaction, including audio, video and exclusive interviews.
The press conference can be heard live at this link at 1:30pm ET.
Update 1:36pm ET: From the Oilers’ announcement—
Kevin Lowe will be the new President of Hockey Operations.
New General Manager, Steve Tambellini
New Assistant General Manager, Kevin Prendergast
More at the Oilers website.
from Joanne Ireland of the Edmonton Journal,
Cole and his wife had just made a quick trip to Edmonton from their home in upstate New York.
They will return in August with their two children, aged seven and four.
“This is more about opportunity. There’s going to be a tremendous opportunity for me to play with two tremendous hockey players, and that’s not to say I wasn’t in Carolina, but I’m looking to play a bigger role, more of a leadership role,” said Cole.
“I’m going from a team where I was maybe in the middle of the road, maybe even one of the younger guys, to being the old goat in the room. I’m excited about everything.”
from Dave Staples at The Cult of Hockey,
Patrick LaForge, the Oilers president, recently told Dan Tencer of 630 CHED that the Oilers would be announcing a new third jersey for the 2008-09 season, likely in August….
Katz’s vision for the team is to be an elite squad, one that competes deep into the playoffs every year.
So maybe it’s time to bring back some of that old time Oilers style, a take-off on the Oilers classic uniform of the early 1980s done up in the modern uniform style.
But as Katz settles in as the NHL’s newest owner, he would be wise to remember the immortal words of Groucho Marx who said, “I don’t care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members.” The NHL is filled with scoundrels, cheats and liars, all led by a pint-sized czar, a former lawyer no less. Some NHL owners seem to live by another of Marx’s rules: The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.
-Andy Holloway of Canadian Business
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
If you haven’t seen Kevin Lowe’s Edmonton Oiler big picture strategy developing along the way you can certainly see it now with the signing of Shawn Horcoff to a six-year contract extension through 2014-15 worth $33 million US.
“This team has a lot of upside right now and I see the fruits of that sooner than later,” said Horcoff. “I’m thrilled with the direction in which the team is headed. I’m so excited with the new ownership and the moves we’ve made.”
Pieces are in place
Horcoff said he looks around him and knows the pieces are in place with the core players in place long term to have a real success story here.
“With the core group of guys signed, we’re going to be able to do that.”
via the Edmonton Oilers,
The Edmonton Oilers have signed centre Shawn Horcoff to a six-year contract extension. More details to follow.
Oilers General Manager Kevin Lowe says, “Shawn has proven himself as one of the premier players in the National Hockey League and has been and will continue to be an integral part of our organization moving forward. By being proactive with this deal, we avoid being in a situation where Shawn could become an unrestricted free agent after next season and the unknown free agency can bring to the organization. Having him under contract long-term is something that has been on our radar for a long time and we are extremely pleased to finalize this deal.”
more at the above link and it is a 6 year extension…
via 630 CHED,
The Oilers have re-signed tough guy Zack Stortini to a 3 year contract. Stortini had 201 penalty minutes in 66 games for the Oilers last season and was among the league leader in fights.
The Oilers have also added some depth to their minor league system today by signing former Detroit Red Wings farmhand Carl Corazzini to a 1 year contract.
from Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com,
The 2008-09 season, which happens to be his ninth in Edmonton, MacTavish has greater expectations.
“I can’t remember a period of time over the last 15 years where we’ve been so excited heading into training camp,” he said. “We say that every year, mind you, but this year we actually mean it.”
MacTavish is especially thrilled to have defenseman Lubomir Visnovksy, acquired in a trade with the Los Angeles Kings, in the mix. He’s also looking forward to working with the Oilers’ other recent additions, including left wing Erik Cole and centers Ryan Potulny and Gilbert Brule.
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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