Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: edmonton oilers
The Edmonton press has always impressed me because it so exhaustively analyzes its team's performance (as you probably know, they were figuring out "fancy stats" a decade ago), and their passion seems to reflect the passion of the team's fan base. It's hard to watch the Oilers go through such an incredibly difficult period of time because you know that the bad times are going to be exhaustively analyzed...
And while writing all but a novel about the Oilers' firing of coach Dallas Eakins' this evening, the Edmonton Journal's Terry Jones simply could not afford to not "go there" and wonder whether the installation of GM Craig MacTavish as coach while Oklahoma City Barons coach Todd Nelson slowly but surely takes over = no "Failing For McDavid"--which, sadly enough, might have been the best thing for the Oilers to do:
The trouble with the move is that the “new coach spikes” could effectively result in the Oilers not finishing 30th overall and take themselves out of the Connor McDavid Sweepstakes with Jack Eichel as a consolation prize if somebody else won the draft lottery.
With a generational player (or two) out there, this is not a year to finish 26th instead of 30th. The Oilers already ended up with Sam Gagner instead of Patrick Kane because they went and won the last game of a regular season.
“It’s not in anybody’s DNA in professional sports to talk about that or to try and do that,” said MacTavish. We’re very much trying to turn the performance level of the hockey club around. Certainly our draft status had no bearing on this.”
During the Dallas Stars' 3-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers, as Yahoo Sports' Greg Wyshynski noted, Dallas Stars forward Ryan Garbutt...Oh hell, you know how this goes. Garbutt plus opposing player, this time Oilers forward Taylor Hall, equals knee-on-knee hit. Hall was okay, but still, this hit can be diagrammed with a s-u-s-p-e-n-s-i-o-n on the telestrator:
Damien Cox and Elliotte Friedman had about 70 seconds' worth of time to issue their version of the Satellite Hotstove on Saturday's Hockey Night in Canada broadcast, but they sped-talked their way through the following topics:
1. Cox says questions were surrounding Kaberle-Rangers participation in Kaberle's skate in Toronto today as the New Jersey Devils have had Scott Gomez around for over a month, but he can't travel with them on the road as he's not under contract/can't be paid;
Kaberle is allowed to travel with the team, per an NHL memo, for about 10 days before the team has to sign him or let him go, so the Rangers have to make their decision in another 7 days.
2. Friedman reports that while Taylor Hall remains on the IR with a sprained knee, Hall can at least skate early next week, though his timeline has not changed;
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Tags: alex+ovechkin, chicago+blackhawks, colorado+avalanche, dmitry+kulikov, edmonton+oilers, florida+panthers, luke+schenn, nathan+mackinnon, new+york+rangers, niklas+hjalmarsson, philadelphia+flyers, taylor+hall, tomas+kaberle, washington+capitals
added 9:04am, Watch below as Ference says he was surprised it was a penalty..
Andrew Ference spent the post-game interviews subsequent to his Oilers' 3-2 loss to Vancouver insisting that this hit on Canucks forward Zack Kassian was clean (and Kassian was at least not hurt on the "check to the head" penalty-earning play), but I can't think of a better textbook example of why hits that involve driving UPWARD absolutely must, must, must not only involves fines and suspensions, but must also be eliminated from the game, from general managers and coaches' edicts on down to players no longer tolerating hits in which players do not aim for the center of their opponent's mass and NO HIGHER than their chests. Ever.
I don't think that Ference is a "dirty player," and he may not have intended to hit Kassian in the head, but whether it's Niklas Kronwall, Andrew Ference or Zack Kassian delivering these kinds of hits, they've got to be eliminated from the game. It's 2014. NHL players are talented enough to modify their checking to avoid intentionally or unintentinoally concussing their opponents.
The Edmonton Journal's David Staples believes that the hit will doubtlessly yield a suspension, though he points out that Kassian is generally the kind of player delivering these hits (if Ference is "no choir boy," Kassian is Nelson Muntz)...
The Edmonton Oilers dropped a 3-2 decision to the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday, and as CBS Sports' Adam Gretz notes, Oilers forward Adam Hall left the game after a legal Chris Tanev shove yielded Hall tumbling off the goalpost and into the end boards. Hall left the game, and Sportsnet's "Ref Cam" added a particularly scary in-person perspective to the collision:
The Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons discusses the fates of Eric Staal and Tyler Myers in his weekly notebook, but he also makes a point regarding the Slava Voynov case that...Let's say the New York Post's Larry Brooks examines in greater detail...
Will be an interesting conversation around Lou Marsh time ... If Slava Voynov remains suspended until his Dec. 1 court date, he will have sat out 18 games, making his one of the longest suspensions in NHL history. What makes this so complicated is that he has yet to be formally charged with anything, his salary is counting against the Los Angeles salary cap and in the backdrop of the Ray Rice situation, the NHL is caught in a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t circumstance.
Amongst Simmons' notes:
Now that they’ve won three home games in a row, the heat is off Edmonton coach Dallas Eakins. For now. But had the wins not come in the homestand, the Oilers were preparing to make a coaching change. The man they were already sniffing around: Mark Messier
(have we ever heard that rumor before? Naaaaaaah)
This is why I remain skeptical of the Maple Leafs' ability to work as a functional sports team...
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Tags: brendan+shanahan, dallas+eakins, dave+nonis, edmonton+oilers, kyle+dubas, leon+draisaitl, los+angeles+kings, mark+hunter, mark+messier, slava+voynov, toronto+maple+leafs
Sportsnet's figured out that its Damien Cox and Elliotte Friedman chit-chat is a smorgasbord of rumors and intrigue, and so they've decided to post it online AND to not geo-block it:
So, per Cox and Friedman:
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Tags: buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, edmonton+oilers, eric+staal, hockey+canada, jeff+petry, philadelphia+flyers, ryan+whitney, sam+reinhart, steven+stamkos, tim+leiweke, toronto+maple+leafs
This certainly sucks for Edmonton. From TSN:
Vladimir Tkachev's entry level contract signed with the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday has been ruled ineligible by the National Hockey League.
According to NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, Tkachev wasn't qualified to sign a contract as he is still eligible for June's NHL Entry Draft.
Players who go undrafted are eligible to sign only if they played a full year in North America. While waiting for his transfer, Tkachev played two games with Omsk of the Kontinental Hockey League and spent the remainder of the season with the Moncton Wildcats of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
Tkachev will go back into the draft after this season.
The 18-year-old appeared in three preseason games with the Oilers, posting three assists and a plus three rating.
Update: The Score's Thomas Drance has more on the situation:
Mark Messier's chosen to get into the "business of hockey," but he's not doing so in New York. Via NHL.com, the Edmonton Oilers website's Chris Wescott revealed that Messier's joining the Edmonton Oilers as an advisor:
Mark Messier spoke with the Edmonton media on Tuesday and confirmed that he serves in an advisory role with the Oilers organization.
“Advisor or consultant," Messier said. "I am available for anything that they need me to do or talk about. For example, just coming in today and lending some of my experiences as a captain with the coaches here and the organization. Any kind of way that I can help with the players, with the coaches and with decisions. I just told (Kevin Lowe) and (Craig MacTavish) that I would be available 24/7 for whatever they needed me to do. I am looking forward to taking this into the next generation of these kids and turning it around.”
Messier says he is there to help the management with anything they need. He understands the frustration considering where the team’s performance has fallen in the last several years. But Messier feels the right management is in place and now is the time to stay the course.
Continued, and the Oilers of course posted three Messier stores regarding Wayne Gretzky, the 1984 Oilers' battle with the Calgary Flames and the team's relationship with the community, a photo gallery, and there's a 39-minute video of Messier's "unveiling" ahead of the 20th anniversary of the Oilers' 1984 Cup win.
As Paul noted, the Tampa Bay Lightning went and snagged Sam Gagner from the Edmonton Oilers for Teddy Purcell, sending Purcell's $4.5 million cap hit to Edmonton for Gagner's $4.8 million deal (all figures from Capgeek). Then the Bolts flipped Gagner to the Arizona Coyotes (who were likely looking to replace the behaviorally-challenged Mike Ribeiro), and shuffled B.J. Corombeen's $1.15 million salary off to Arizona as well, receiving all of a sixth-round draft pick in return.
The team did bring in Jason Garrison's $4.6 million cap hit during the first day of the draft, but it looks like the Lightning are trying to do something big, but ESPN's Pierre LeBrun reports that there be cap weirdness afoot:
This stuff happened so quickly that even Capgeek hasn't had a chance to catch up, but the Bolts have a little short of $9 million in cap space now. Who are they going after? Sportsnet's Chris Johnston believes it might be a familiar name...
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Tags: anton+stralman, b.j.+crombeen, christian+ehrhoff, dan+boyle, dominic+moore, edmonton+oilers, jason+garrison, martin+brodeur, matt+niskanen, mattias+ohlund, phoenix+coyotes, sam+gagner, teddy+purcell, tim+thomas, tomas+vokoun
Updated with LeBrun stuff at 6:57 PM:
TSN's Darren Dreger and Bob McKenzie discussed pre-draft trade and free agent discussions in an edition of Insider Trading that lasts for nearly four minutes. TSN usually posts a summation thereof, but if you don't want to wait until 7:30 or 8...
1. McKenzie says that there are 3 teams in the Western Conference (Anaheim, St. Louis +?) and 1 "mystery team" in the Eastern Conference who are talking to the Ottawa Senators about Jason Spezza (who has a no-trade list of 10 teams, incl. Florida, Carolina, Columbus and the Islanders). McKenzie says the Senators want a 1st-round draft pick as part of the compensation package.
2. Dreger says that David Bolland wants "maximum value," and he wants an 8-year deal at $4.9 million to remain with the Leafs. Toronto probably won't give him the term he wants, but Bolland believes he'll be healthy by training camp;
3. Dreger says that the Oilers are looking for a center and a defenseman, and they're willing to trade the 3rd overall pick and/or Sam Gagner in their efforts to improve the team, which may include trading for the Panthers' 1st overall pick;
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Tags: anaheim+ducks, chicago+blackhawks, dale+tallon, dan+boyle, edmonton+oilers, florida+panthers, jason+spezza, joe+thornton, paul+stastny, ryan+kesler, sam+gagner, san+jose+sharks, st.+louis+blues, toronto+maple+leafs, vancouver+canucks
In a bit of a departure from his Monday "Hockey World" entries, the Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson penned two very lengthy Monday-morning columns. The first focuses on the "conensus" top 4 prospects for Friday and Saturday's NHL draft in Aaron Ekblad, Leon Draisaitl, Sam Reinhart and Sam Bennett; the second column focuses on the state of the Edmonton Oilers, via a Q and A with Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish.
Matheson asks some incredibly pointed questions over the course of the lengthy Q and A:
Q: What about [Sam] Gagner? He’s been an Oiler since 2007 and a solid No. 2 centre for most of his time here. Are you trading him? He has two years left at a $4.8-million salary-cap hit ($5-million salary each of the next two seasons) and his no-trade clause doesn’t kick in until July 1.
A: He’s in the same category as everybody else. We’re all trying to improve our teams and our performance.
Q: Sam hasn’t asked for a trade like Ottawa Senators centre Jason Spezza, has he? Spezza wants a change of scenery with one year left on his contract.
The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson kicked off his last regular-season slate of Hockey World columns with individual awards picks, and his pick for the Vezina Trophy is a surprising one:
Vezina Trophy (top goalie)
1. Semyon Varlamov, Colorado.
2. Tuukka Rask, Boston
3. Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay
Had off-ice issues this year which weighed on him but very consistent work. Rask is best Finnish goalie right now, and they’ve got a full stable of good ones around the NHL. Bishop, nursing sore wrist as playoffs loom, is a six-foot-seven giant and a workhorse.
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Tags: antti+niemi, calgary+flames, detroit+red+wings, edmonton+oilers, evander+kane, george+mcphee, henrik+zetterberg, jonathan+ericsson, ken+holland, ryan+smyth, san+jose+sharks, semyon+varlamov, vezina+trophy, washington+capitals, winnipeg+jets
The Edmonton Oilers have made a goalie swap, trading Ilya Bryzgalov to Minnesota and adding Viktor Fasth from Anaheim:
The details of compensation are forthcoming.
The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch offers a smorgasbord of rumor news in his last pre-trade-deadline Sunday missive, but the best way to summarize his statements involves encapsulating the following and letting you read on from there:
TOP 5 SELLERS
- BUFFALO SABRES - GM Tim Murray made a huge move Friday by dealing goaltender Ryan Miller and captain Steve Ott to the St. Louis Blues. He isn’t finished yet, he still has Matt Moulson and anyone else up for grabs.
- EDMONTON OILERS - Craig MacTavish has been trying to make moves all year and he’s made a couple of deals. He’d like to move forward Ales Hemsky and will retain salary. A lot of teams will try to make a bigger deal for winger Jordan Eberle.
- N.Y. ISLANDERS - Losing captain John Tavares to injury gives GM Garth Snow the green light to move left wing Thomas Vanek and defenceman Andy MacDonald. Vanek might be the most sought-after player and MacDonald won’t be far behind.
- NASHVILLE PREDATORS - This might be a bit of a surprise but they are a longshot to make the playoffs. A lot of teams have called about centre David Legwand. He may not be the only one to go. Wouldn’t be surprised to see many gone.
- CALGARY FLAMES - Interim GM Brian Burke hasn’t made any bold moves since he took over but you can expect him to be busy. The club would like to keep UFA Mike Cammalleri but it’s doubtful he’ll stay. There are options for buyers.
Garrioch goes from there, listing his top 5 buyers, discussing Markov to Edmonton(?), the Stars' situation, news from Long Island, New York City, San Jose, Calgary, etc...
And this is just me, but if Garth Snow wants a top prospect, a 1st rounder and a 2nd rounder for Thomas Vanek, I may have considered that before Vanek confirmed that he wanted to test the maret...But now that he embarrassed himself and the Austrian Olympic team by going out and getting blotto with some teammates prior to battling Slovenia, I wouldn't touch him with a ten-foot pole.
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Tags: ales+hemsky, andrew+macdonald, buffalo+sabres, calgary+flames, craig+mactavish, david+legwand, edmonton+oilers, garth+snow, matt+moulson, mike+cammalleri, nashville+predators, new+york+islanders, thomas+vanek
TSN's Darren Dreger, Bob McKenzie and Pierre LeBrun offered a slate of scoops on the latest episode of TSN's Insider Trading, and ESPN's Pierre LeBrun's GM's meetings blog entry (it's a blog entry, not a blog, Mr. LeBrun), and the gents covered oodles of issues, starting with Nail Yakupov...
Is there any chance Nail Yakupov ends up being traded out of Edmonton?
Dreger: Not this year. The Oilers have no intentions of trading him. What they need from him, given the fact that he's played 65 NHL games, is to figure it out. He needs to start being a better defensive player, he needs to mature a little bit, work on the issues in his game and be ready for the time when Ales Hemsky is traded by the Oilers so he can take a more predominant role. As for the Igor Larionov story, Craig MacTavish spoke to him and there are no issues there.
And they continue, discussing Vernon Fiddler's future in Dallas, a possible Hiller-to-Nashville scenario, the Florida Panthers,' "Almost Everyone Must Go" sale, P.K. Subban's contract status, and, as you might expect, Steven Stamkos' situation:
Updated with more from Larionov at 2:57 AM: The Twitter world is going a little crazy over the following Tweets from ESPN's Craig Custance:
You can imagine that the Oilers' press corps is weighing in, with the Edmonton Journal's David Staples offering the following...
Take this for what you will. The New York Post's Larry Brooks suggests that the Edmonton Oilers and New York Rangers may be pursuing a trade because the Rangers have come up short on offense minus the concussed Rick Nash:
The Oilers dispatched a scouting expedition featuring their president of hockey operations Kevin Lowe, general manager Craig MacTavish and special adviser Mark Messier to the Garden on Monday for the Rangers’ 2-1 defeat to the Ducks.
Edmonton, which has opened 3-10-2 under first-year coach Dallas Eakins, is believed to be accepting offers for veteran winger Ales Hemsky while also exploring the market for second-year winger Nail Yakupov, the first overall selection in the 2012 Entry Draft.
Even if interested in Hemsky, the Blueshirts would have to maneuver to get under the cap in order to accommodate the 30-year-old. Hemsky is on the final year of a contract worth a $5 million cap charge and is eligible for unrestricted free agency in July.
Welcome to the morning after! A recap of the games from the night before and quick hit hockey news.
In Case You Missed It
New York Rangers at New York Islanders
Twenty-four hours after their home opener the Rangers were on the road again. This time just a short trip to the neighbors the Islanders.
After losing at home long time starting goaltender Henrik Lundqvist sat out last night while rookie netminder Cam Talbot got the start.
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Tags: anaheim+ducks, chicago+blackhawks, edmonton+oilers, lundqvist+sits+in+win, montreal+canadiens, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+sports+daily, phoenix+coyotes, st.+louis+blues, teemu+selanne+stick+to+face, toronto+maple+leafs, winnipeg+jets
Montreal Canadiens winger Lars Eller suggested that the Edmonton Oilers were "like a junior team" prior to Tuesday night's game between Montreal and Edmonton, and it backfired in a big way, with the Oilers taking the bulletin board material and running with it en route to a 4-3 win over the Canadiens.
The Globe and Mail's Sean Gordon took note of the trash-talking and its result...
"It can be anything, you know? They play a little bit like a junior team, I think, sometimes. They take a lot of risks, a lot of chances, they’re a little all over the place. There’s not a lot of structure, always, in their game,” quoth Eller.
After the Oilers beat the Habs a few hours later, Edmonton coach Dallas Eakins said of Eller: “he might as well have sent me a fruit basket and a bottle of wine.”
“We thank Lars Eller for his comments before the game. Awesome,” Eakins said.
Montreal counterpart Michel Therrien gravely intoned that Eller’s remarks were “unacceptable” and that “he’s a young player, he’ll learn from this.”
But Gordon suggests that the Oilers were lucky to win, and that the Habs were unlucky losers...
The Ottawa Sun is reporting that the final chapter of the Dany Heatley trade demand saga has finally come to an end. Sens owner Eugene Melnyk had filed a grievance against Heatley and his agent J.P. Barry, which was being defended by the NHLPA, aleging financial losses from Heatley's refusal to waive his no trade clause to accept a trade the club had worked out to the Edmonton Oilers. The grievance, filed in 2009, had been moving towards arbitration prior to the settlement.
Upset that he shelled out more than $14 million to Heatley in a span of $12 months, the Sun was first to report in November 2009 that Melnyk was trying to get a portion of his money back from the bonus that was paid.
Sources say Melnyk contends in the paperwork filed at the NHL’s New York headquarters, that Heatley’s camp — including agents J.P. Barry — gave the Senators permission to speak with the Oilers and the two-time, 50-goal scorer should have accepted the deal to Edmonton.
It’s believed Melnyk not only claimed the decision by Heatley to kill the deal cost him $4 million, it also hurt the club’s ability to sell season tickets because of the uncertainty in the Senators camp.
How are the Edmonton Oilers reacting to their poor goaltending to start the season?
Bob McKenzie: Devan Dubnyk's sub-par performance on Saturday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs does not have Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish pushing the panic button, but it does have him reaching for the telephone.
As early as Sunday, MacTavish has been working the phones and working them hard to determine the market for goaltenders. They are looking at every possibility, from Anaheim's Jonas Hiller to Buffalo's Ryan Miller to Brian Elliott in St. Louis to Michal Neuvirth in Washington and beyond.
The Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons always offers up a juicy Sunday notebook, but sometimes the best parts are one-liners. The thrusts of today's column involve the tiff between Jake Gardner and Randy Carlyle, Steve Yzerman's take on fighting and the Toronto Raptors' wooing of the 2016 NBA All-Star Game, but these quips piqued my interest:
Welcome to the Edmonton Oilers, Dallas Eakins. That 4-2 lead ended up as a 5-4 defeat on opening night. Old Oilers habits don’t die easily ... There is a tension around the Philadelphia Flyers that belies the early schedule. When they lost their home opener to the Leafs in a game they had no business losing, there was a sense around their dressing room and management staff that there is already deep concern about this group.
The $10 million Phil Kessel will be paid next season is the highest single-season salary in Leafs history. The previous high: Mats Sundin at $9 million. Kessel’s salary-cap hit comes in at $8 million beginning next season ... For those who keep track of such important matters, Kessel will be paid $40,650 per period next season. If he plays all 82 games, that is ... The day after the frightening George Parros incident in Montreal, the NHL sent out a memo to teams asking them to de-emphasize fighting on their arena scoreboards. The tone of the memo: Let’s try and tone things down, people
October is finally here! Pumpkin spice everything is returning everywhere and hockey is back! No lockout (other than the US Government) and NHL games that matter in October. Every morning here on Kukla's Korner (well the main page at least until my own little spot has been carved out and is ready) I will give you a recap as to the games that happened last night (in some cases while you were sleeping), some highlights on hockey news, and end with a line up as to who will be playing tonight.
In case you missed it
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Tags: anaheim+ducks, buffalo+sabres, chicago+blackhawks, colorado+avalanche, detroit+red+wings, edmonton+oilers, montreal+canadiens, nhl+recap, oilers+assistant+captains+2013-14, philadelphia+flyers, stanley+cup+banner+2013, tampa+bay+lightning+captain, toronto+maples+leafs, washington+captials, winnipeg+jets
ESPN's Scott Burnside's relieving Pierre LeBrun in the "rumblings" department today, offering "ramblings" instead. Among them:
Like most people, we’re fascinated to see how the Daniel Alfredsson experiment turns out in Detroit. But the one thing that we still can’t get over is that the NHL decided not to act on Alfredsson’s blunt acknowledgement that his previous contract with the Ottawa Senators was, in fact, a blatant attempt to circumvent the salary cap under the previous collective bargaining agreement. Alfredsson told reporters before training camp that when the four-year deal was signed neither side expected Alfredsson would play in the contract’s final year -- worth only $1 million in real money even though the cap hit was $4.875 million annually. It was exactly that kind of wink, wink, nudge, nudge deal that the league had been warning teams about for years -- Alfredsson made $7 million in each of the first two years of the pact -- and which ultimately cost the New Jersey Devils mightily in their first attempt at a contract for the erstwhile Ilya Kovalchuk. The so-called cheat deals were, in theory, eliminated by new parameters put on contracts in the new collective bargaining agreement and the league’s position is that they are going to look forward instead of back. Good news for the Senators, but maybe in the spirit of CBA détente, the league should forgive the Devils the first round draft pick they must forfeit next spring for having done no worse than what Alfredsson admitted the Senators did in his case.
I'm curious as to why the Flames aren't being dinged for allowing Miikka Kiprusoff to retire early, too, but that's just me...
From Jeremy Rutherford:
The Blues and Magnus Paajarvi, who was acquired in the trade with Edmonton for David Perron, has agreed to a two-year, $2.4 million deal ($1.2 annual average value) with the club.
I was really hoping to wait and save this mind dump for a more opportune time. That time being after the 1st game of the year and the steaming pile of Oil is doing their best to secure the 2012 1st overall selection. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to differentiate a Calgary Flames fan from an Edmonton Oiler fan. Please let me give the causal observer a run down on the differences.
It has been years coming, but it has finally happened. The Edmonton Oilers’ (second) first round draft pick in 2004, and ex-prospect Robbie Schremp has packed his bags for Europe. Schremp will be playing for MODO of the Swedish Elite League.
The Sunday night crowd in Fort McMurray was large for Team Canada’s second consecutive night of split squad action. The newly renovated Casman Cenre was unsurprisingly sold out. Not many hockey fans can pass up a live game of this caliber on an August night. The city of Fort McMurray currently hosts an AJHL team, the Oil Barons and I often wonder if they might support a WHL team some day.
“Today is the best day of my life!” Proclaimed Noah, a young Edmonton Journal contest winner. His prize, a chance to watch the Team Canada U20 game from the pressbox, a behind the scenes tour and memories to last a lifetime. “We got to meet Ryan Smyth!” The contest winner, with his youthful smile and energy went on. There were two winners of this contest, and thankfully only one broke my heart when he told me that he was not an Oilers fan. The list of teams he does cheer for was long, and one team pains me too much to even type. Each winner was dressed in a team Canada hockey sweater signed by the players at this camp, one red and the other white.These of course were far from the only youths in attendance at this event and it is wonderful to see so many who still dream of playing hockey at it’s highest levels and not for the contracts, but for the sheer love of the game.
From Jim Matheson at the Edmonton Journal:
Edmonton Oilers’ winger Gilbert Brule, who has scored in the last two games, won’t play against the almost unbeatable Vancouver Canucks Friday night after being injured in the Oilers 2-1 win over the New York Islanders Thursday at Rexall Place.
“He’s got a bruised abdomen or chest. He’s had some tests and we anticipate everything will be fine. I haven’t looked at the video to know what play it was, but there was contact with somebody,” said Oilers coach Tom Renney.
Brule, who didn’t play here on Boxing Day either because of a stomach virus, played almost 13 minutes over 21 shifts as the Oilers ended a seven-game losing streak against the Islanders. That included five minutes in the final period, on a line with Andrew Cogliano and Dustin Penner. He banged a loose puck past Islanders’ goalie Nathan Lawson 3 1/2 minutes into the game. But, he won’t play tonight against the Canucks, who haven’t lost a game in regulation in their last 14 starts.
Click here for more on the Oilers.
from Ryan Kennedy at TheHockeyNews.com:
Before the 2010-11 campaign began, I talked to numerous NHL personalities about what the ‘C’ meant these days and Rivet was one of the focuses. Teammate Jason Pominville told me that when Rivet arrived in 2008, he was a rarity on the team: a veteran willing to be vocal in the dressing room. The players took to him right away and voted him in as captain.
Two seasons later, I wonder about the optics of him being relegated to the sidelines. What does it mean for the leader of the team not to be on the bench during a game, imparting his wisdom to the youth or stabilizing a dicey situation? Maybe the Sabres are mature enough now that they can stand on their own without Rivet, but it doesn’t seem like a good situation to me.
The trend in the NHL recently has been for captains to be younger and often super-skilled. You’re never going to see Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews or Shea Weber benched. But based on the fact Toronto has eight legitimate NHL defensemen at its disposal right now, would it be crazy to think Phaneuf would be a healthy scratch one of these days if he continues to give the puck away or miss assignments?
Click here for more.
I hope everyone is enjoying the hockey season and are gearing up for the upcoming holiday season! Remember the holidays mean the World Junior Hockey Championships are just around the corner, beginning on Boxing Day!
Now, some news and notes from various European leagues.
On the subject of the World Juniors, Team Sweden is hoping that the Edmonton Oilers will release Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson for the tournament. The Swedish rookie has collected 9 points in 25 games this year, while currently riding a three game point streak. However, the Oilers have already stated that they have no plans for releasing the talented winger for the tournament. On the bright side for Sweden, they do have the Ottawa Senators blue chip goalie prospect; Robin Lehner on their training camp roster, as well as the Phoenix Coyotes young defensive phenom; Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: alexander+radulov, boston+bruins, edmonton+oilers, evgeni+nabokov, jakub+stepanek, magnus+paajarvi-svensson, miroslav+satan, montreal+canadiens, nashville+predators, oliver+ekman-larsson, ottawa+senators, owen+nolan, patrick+thoresen, philadelphia+flyers, phoenix+coyotes, robin+lehner
From various sources, the Edmonton Oilers have dealt a 6th round pick to the Chicago Blackhawks for soon-to-be RFA center Colin Fraser.
Per CNIC’s Eliotte Friedman’s tweet, former Rangers coach Tom Renney is now the Edmonton Oilers’ head coach, with former coach Pat Quinn being named as a senior advisor.
Sheldon Souray will be back in the Edmonton Oilers lineup Tuesday night vs. the St. Louis Blues after missing 25 games with a separated left shoulder.
Souray injured himself on October 13 vs. the Canucks and has been out ever since.
Hoping to send a message to his team, head coach Craig MacTavish will have a new look to his lineup tonight then the Edmonton Oilers host the St. Louis Blues.
Forwards Jarret Stoll and Raffi Torres will be watching the game from the press box, while Liam Reddox will be penciled in for his first career NHL game.
from the Edmonton Sun,
Understandably he looked like a kid delighted to be playing his first hockey game.
In a sense Fernando Pisani was.
Only a few months ago the Edmonton Oilers forward was struggling with ulcerative colitis.
He couldn’t keep any food down, struggled to walk up a flight of steps and needed to make constant trips to the bathroom….
“I feel like I’ve come a long way,” Pisani said. “I was really nervous and excited before the game and I was looking forward to getting back on the ice, just being on the bench and on the ice with all the guys. Those are the things that you miss when you’re not playing, being on the ice with the team.”
from TerryJones of the Edmonton Sun,
While the Oilers moved out of last place and into a tie with the Calgary Flames with the win last night, Brian Burke’s quote still looks good.
“We’re going to take three draft picks back and given Kevin’s recent performance I expect them to be excellent picks,” said Burke after Lowe signed restricted free agent Penner and sacrificed a first-, second- and third-round draft pick in a very good draft year. If the Oilers stay where they are in the standings, Burke will be picking very early indeed.
Then there’s the flip side of it.
When Lowe traded Mrs. Pronger and her husband to the Ducks two years ago, the Oilers ended up with Anaheim’s first-round draft pick. As the Stanley Cup champion Ducks struggle, the Oilers could be picking a lot earlier than they expected.
more on the Oilers…
from the Edmonton Journal,
The cavalry’s coming.
One of the Edmonton Oilers’ horses, Fernando Pisani, could be back playing within the week, maybe tugging on a jersey when the team is in California to play the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings.
And captain Ethan Moreau may be riding to the rescue around Christmas. He’s been told he still has to wear a cast on his broken left foot for two more weeks.
Finally, some light at the end of the tunnel for the Oilers, who’ve been going without their valuable third-line veterans, who usually eat up 15 to 18 minutes a night.
from Sean McCormick of Sportsnet,
But this young, impressionable Oiler ship needs a rudder right now, and Moreau’s leg is still in a cast. His return is still weeks, if not months away, and it’s time the Oilers considered appointing a deserving veteran to the post of interim team captain. That veteran is Shawn Horcoff, who, in all likelihood was the second best candidate for the job when the vacant C went to Moreau at the conclusion of training camp.
The concept of an interim captain is not unheard of around the NHL, nor is it unheard of on the Edmonton Oilers, who are lacking many things right now, not the least of which is a healthy leader in chief.
from the Edmonton Sun,
“I like to think that every one of my teammates has that heart and the drive and that desire to do it,” said Horcoff. “A lot of times it’s just realizing you have to change your game a little bit, get a little more gritty.
“I think every player in here has it in them. Whether they bring it every night or not is a different story. Sometimes you just have to get to the front of the net and get a crappy goal. And win your battles in the corner. If you lose a puck in the corner, win a battle to get it back.
“That’s how hockey’s played.”
via the Edmonton Sun,
The Hockey Night in Canada tilt with the Chicago Blackhawks is military appreciation night, with fans being encouraged to turn their seats over to service men and women in Edmonton.
So far, close to 6,000 fans have returned their tickets for use by local soldiers.
“It was an incredibly good idea and a great job by our fans giving up their tickets,” said head coach Craig MacTavish. “Seeing the fatigues in the lower bowl ... if you don’t get inspired by something like that you must not have a heart.”
from the Vancouver Sun,
Apparently, the Oilers are rebuilding. Rebuilding with a payroll nudging the $50.3-million salary cap. Rebuilding without any of the first three Oiler draft picks in 2008 that Lowe surrendered to sign Penner, who had produced three goals in 20 games before facing the Vancouver Canucks Tuesday night. Rebuilding after stating all summer the objective was to win now, although Edmonton is last in the Western Conference.
“We’re a young hockey team right now,” Lowe said Monday on an Oilers’ radio show. “There’s no question we’re back into a rebuilding situation.
from the Edmonton Journal,
The Oilogosphere—the numerous Edmonton Oilers sites, blogs and boards on the Internet—is the place where Oilers fans increasingly meet to discuss the merits of various players, not to mention delving into that most fundamental of all hockey questions: Who is hotter, Ethan (Chopper) Moreau or Craig (The Silver Fox) MacTavish?
Each day, thousands of fans get their news and make their opinions known on the Oilogosphere, just as surely as they go to the newspaper to read stories and phone in to talk radio shows.
from the Toronto Star,
They are the games that get fans talking. The ones circled on the calendar as soon as the schedule comes out. The game that proves your team is – once and for all – better than your team’s bitter rival, until at least the two meet again.
Like when the Leafs face the Ottawa Senators in the Battle of Ontario or when Calgary faces their provincial rivals in Edmonton.
If you could pit one rivalry against another, which one would come out on top?
Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: calgary+flames, edmonton+oilers, ottawa+senators, rivalries, toronto+maple+leafs
From the Edmonton Journal,
Dustin Penner has been setting up shop in front of the net when the Oilers have had the man advantage, but he hasn’t been able to bang one in. He has one goal in his last 10 games.
“We need those to start going in for us,” MacTavish said. “We need that efficiency around the net.”
“It’s a matter of getting more hungry for the pucks, more tenacious,” said Penner. “You just have to have the mentality that the next shot is going in, that you’re due.”
from the Edmonton Sun,
“It’s our job to do that, tonight I didn’t,” he said, adding he’s been fighting it a bit lately. “I’m trying to force myself to make a save, I have to relax and let the puck come to me. I’m not reading the play as well as I normally do.”
MacTavish has a team that has to rely on its goaltender, so expect him to go with the hot hand from here on in. And right now, it ain’t Roloson.
“We can’t win right now with average goaltending, I don’t think there’s many teams that can, and in my estimation tonight he was average,” said the coach.
“He’s not playing at the level that he has played. That’s obvious. But the one thing he’s got going for him is a bunch of mental toughness and a bunch of battle.”
more on the Oilers…
from All Things Avs by Adrian Dater,
- Calgary is going to implode soon. I’ve talked to a few former Flames and they say there is just plain bad chemistry in their locker room. I don’t see Mike Keenan changing that much.
- Edmonton is terrible. Dustin Penner is a nice player, but Kevin Lowe grossly overpaid for him, in his retaliation move against Brian Burke and the Ducks over Chris Pronger.
more NHL bits plus Adrian wonders where are all the Avs fans?