Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
As usual, there are more questions than answers before training camp, even more so this fall because head coach Craig MacTavish has a healthy lineup and only so many roster spots.
Here are 11 scenarios to ponder:
Q: Will left winger Dustin Penner be shuttled off the No. 1 line with the arrival of Erik Cole from the Carolina Hurricanes for defenceman Joni Pitkanen?
A: Possibly. Penner led the Oilers with 23 goals last year, but only 10 came even-strength, which has to improve. Cole, who turns 30 in November, has more of a pedigree as a scorer and is faster, plus he can be a nasty piece of business when he wants to go to the net. Penner was much better as the season wore on at a lighter weight than the 245 pounds he brought into camp last year. But he still might wind up on the third line.
Also from Matheson,
Sources say former Edmonton Oilers tough guy Marty McSorley is in the running to replace Ray Ferraro on the team’s SportsNet broadcasts.
from Alexandra Zabjek of the Edmonton Journal,
They first posed together back in 1985, when she was a four-year-old leukemia patient at the Cross Cancer Institute and he was an Edmonton Oilers’ star whose goals were raising money for the cancer facility.
The little girl had climbed atop the Stanley Cup and the hockey star leaned in and smiled brightly for media photographers.
Today, Alicia Maryniuk - a lifelong Oilers fan - and Glenn Anderson met at the institute again after it was announced that Anderson’s jersey would be retired at Rexall Place on Jan. 18.
From Dan Wood at Ducks Blog,
Just because we haven’t heard anything about it lately doesn’t mean that something couldn’t still come from the Ducks’ formal tampering charge against the Edmonton Oilers.
The NHL gave Edmonton until Friday to respond to the charge filed last month by Ducks general manager Brian Burke after comments made by then-Oilers general manager Kevin Lowe during a July 4 interview with Edmonton’s Team 1260 radio.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, who is on vacation this week, is expected to have something to say on the matter after receiving and processing the Oilers’ response.
From Evan Weiner at NHL.com,
The NHL was allegedly interested in moving one of its financially failing teams there in the mid 1970s, and Edmonton was very receptive to either getting a failed team or being part of an NHL-WHA merger.
Skalbania gave Oilers owner Peter Pocklington a chance to add a Canadian icon, Gretzky, which figured to bolster the Oilers’ chances of getting into the NHL. There were two catches. Skalbania offered Gretzky’s services to both Pocklington’s Oilers and to the Winnipeg ownership group and “the Gretzky sweepstakes” would involve a game of backgammon. [...]
Over the years, some people have said that Skalbania really did set down those parameters and others have said the “bet” was just a fable. But there is one man who said the trade really happened over a backgammon board.
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is accusing Edmonton city officials of hiding some important facts in its review of a $450 million NHL hockey arena proposed for the downtown.
A city-funded report released in March recommended that Edmonton build a new arena to replace its aging Rexall Place and that the project be funded through a mix of private and tax dollars, a formula that has been used in many U.S. cities. The city would fund about 70 per cent of the project by borrowing against future downtown tax revenues.
But a draft copy of the report, obtained by CBC News and the CTF, says the NHL arenas in Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto were built with private financing alone, a detail that was omitted in the final version of the study.
“I don’t think most Edmontonians know that most other NHL arenas in Canada were built with 100 per cent private financing and I don’t think the committee wanted them to know, either,” said Scott Hennig, CTF’s Alberta director.
from the King Township Sentinel,
If you could meet and talk to three people who would they be?
Elvis Presley and I’d just listen to him. I’m a listener. Bobby Orr and Bruce Springsteen would also be on my list, but I’ve already had the chance to meet them.
What are your views as a NHL fan?
I have a soft spot for the Oilers, but I think we’re all Toronto Maple Leafs fans living in the GTA. Hopefully they can turn things around, but it’s not going to happen over night. We (as fans) just want some consistency and with Cliff Fletcher (General Manager) at the helm and the new Head Coach Ron Wilson, maybe that will happen.
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.”
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.
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