Kukla's Korner Hockey
With NHL training camps just around the corner, hopes are high and everyone looks to their crystal and magic 8 balls to make their predictions for the coming season. Fans, media and players alike have ideas on what to expect. If there is any point in the season to be full of hope and optimism, surely that time is now. After all, the team hasn’t lost any games, no one has been a healthy scratch, and the IR list should be blank.*
*darn you Ryan Whitney!
On Wednesday August 31st, Gene Principe and Robin Brownlee had a very long interview with former Oiler prospect Jason Bonsignore. I needed a few days to digest what Bonsignore had said and to look for the other side. Robin Brownlee stated that “I’ve e-mailed John Rosasco, VP of public relations with the New York Rangers, told him about the interview with Bonsignore, provided a link to the audio on the TEAM 1260 site and offered to have Glen Sather offer his version of events, if he so desires. I’m waiting to hear back.” I would very much like to hear what Sather has to say as a rebuttal.
With many thanks to our Swedish Oiler fan Martin Lundén, there is an update on newly drafted Oiler Oscar Klefbom. As you may recall, Klefbom was selected 19th overall with the pick acquired from Los Angeles in exchange for winger Dustin Penner on trade deadline day.
Klefbom has made some fans concerned by stating that he intends to play out his contract with Färjestads BK of the Swedish Elite league, but seem to forget that Klefbom is also excited at the prospect of playing with so many Swedes in the Oilers’ lineup. Unfortunately for Klefbom, he has run into some injury issues as of late, and Martin Lundén brings us some clarity.
Drafted in the first round, fourth overall, Jason Bonsignore was a top pick of the 1994 NHL entry draft. He played one game with the Oilers in 1994-95 and the rest of the season was with his OHL team, the Sudbury Wolves. The following year, Bonsignore played 20 games with the Oilers 18 in the OHL and 12 in the AHL with the Cape Breton Oilers. That was the last Bonsignore would play in the NHL for the Edmonton Oilers.
Often touted as a bust, Bonsignore’s story has gone untold. All that most fans know is what they saw, another first round Edmonton Oilers draft pick just didn’t make the cut. Surely it was the scouting staff not doing their job. Or was it? In an extremely candid interview with Gene Principe and Robin Brownlee on the Jason Gregor show of the Team 1260 on Wednesday August 31st, Bonsignore told his tale and changed many opinions along the way. The twitter response was instant and so positive towards the interview that I wanted to share it with those inside as well as outside of Edmonton.
The Edmonton Oilers had more than their fair share of injuries last season, and it seems for some that luck continued through the off-season.
Oilers defenseman Ryan Whitney has re-tweaked his ankle in Boston earlier this month and according to Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal is “sick of not playing.”
Excellent Swedish Oilers fan and hockey blogger Martin Lundén has found another Linus Omark summer interview. Omark is known for his confidence and honesty despite the fact that most of what we learn from the Swede with finesse is from Swedish media.
Omark: Obviously I’m happy I’ve got to play my first NHL-game and played rather good from time to time and showed I have the capacity to play in this league. Sure, it’s been a pretty big change in life to first move from Sweden to Russia onward to the NHL. Now, it is the first time I live alone as I had Harju with me when I played in Russia. On the ice the difference is the smaller rinks and the fact you don’t have the same amount of time to do stuff. But apart from that the biggest difference is to live outside the rink…
Q: Where your goal is..?
Omark: I want a regular spot in the Edmonton Oilers. Then it’s up to me to prove I’m worthy of it.
Finding August lacking in hockey just a little too much? You’re not alone. The Edmonton Oil Kings have started their fifth training camp today and are inviting WHL and hockey fans in general to put on some socks and shoes, maybe grab a sweater and step out of the sun.
The television schedule for the upcoming hockey season is slowly coming to together. While Oilers’ fans are excited about a second season free from pay per view games, they are not happy with the number of games featured on CBC. After all, it’s supposed to be hockey night in Canada, not hockey night in Eastern Canada.
Mark Pysyk was drafted in the first round, 23rd overall by the Buffalo Sabres. The Oil Kings’ captain may not be an Oilers’ prospect, but for now he is still a member of the extended Oilers’ family. The emphasis on that statement should be for now. As Bruce McCurdy notes, it will not be a surprise if the young defenceman gets a long look by the Sabres. This summer, Pysyk received his second invitation to a Team Canada U20 development camp this summer and is hoping to have made the most of it. In 2009 Pysyk won gold representing his country at the U18 Ivan Hlinka Tournament, the 2009 and 2010 Subway Super Series, and in December 2010 Pysyk was invited to the World Junior Camp but didn’t make the final cuts to play in the Holiday tournament. This could be the young defenseman’s year.
A story that has made a lot of noise with the Edmonton sports media was The Hockey News saying that the Ottawa Senators could finish last in the east, and the Edmonton Oilers finish last in the west. The funny thing is that it has just created noise and even chatter with most writers and even fans having a hard time disputing that this may be a likely scenario. I am a little late to the party, but shockingly, I also have thoughts on this list.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org