Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Entries with the tag: edmonton oilers

Afternoon line: Carlyle on Ducks’ penalties

Randy Carlyle is nothing if not blunt:

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: anaheim+ducks, edmonton+oilers, randy+carlyle

Crosby vs. McDavid derby lived up to the hype

The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 in a shootout last night, and the game came down to a pair of shootout goals traded by Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid--and a winner potted by Phil Kessel:

According to Sportsnet's Mark Spector, the Crosby-vs-McDavid game lived up to its massive hype:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: connor+mcdavid, edmonton+oilers, phil+kessel, pittsburgh+penguins, sidney+crosby

Connor McDavid kicks a goal in his own net

Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins scored the easiest goal of his career as Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers accidentally kicked the puck into his own net:

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: connor+mcdavid, edmonton+oilers, evgeni+malkin, pittsburgh+penguins

Crosby vs. McDavid tonight

NHL.com's Tim Campbell reports that tonight's marquee match-up involves Sidney Crosby battling Connor McDavid:

The NHL scoring race will be a certain headline when two of the League's marquee centers, Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers, play against each other at Rogers Place on Friday (9 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, SNW, ROOT, NHL.TV).

McDavid leads the NHL with 74 points (22 goals, 52 assists). Crosby is tied for second with 70 points (League-leading 34 goals, 36 assists).

The game also creates a focus on what's to come.

Crosby, 29, is looking to add to an impressive resume that includes 137 points in 124 Stanley Cup Playoff games and two Cup wins. The defending champion Penguins are tied for second with the Columbus Blue Jackets in the Metropolitan Division with 90 points.

The Oilers have 78 points, two behind the Anaheim Ducks for second in the Pacific Division, and are on course to make the playoffs for the first time since 2006.

Continued

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: connor+mcdavid, edmonton+oilers, sidney+crosby, winnipeg+jets

Is Brent Burns ‘all Hart?’

TSN's Scott Cullen issues "Three Quarter NHL Awards," and his Hart Trophy pick is...intiguging...

HART
Winner
: Brent Burns, D, San Jose
Runners-Up: Sidney Crosby, C, Pittsburgh; Connor McDavid, C, Edmonton

This is a difficult decision. Crosby has been my pick through the first two installments, but as his goal-scoring pace has slowed, it gets more reasonable to consider Burns, a defenceman who is leading the league in shots on goal and has more than a point per game. Furthermore, Burns is on pace for 34 goals, and the last time a defenceman scored that many goals, had better than a point per game and four shots on goal per game was Doug Wilson in 1981-1982 (The only other defenceman to meet those thresholds in a season was some guy by the name of Orr, three times).

This isn’t to take away from Crosby, who is having a great season, and McDavid, who is leading the league in scoring in his second season, but Burns’ season is extraordinary, and we’re far enough down the road that I’ve shifted into Burns’ corner, though it’s admittedly a close race.

Some others to consider: Chicago right winger Patrick Kane, who is suddenly second in the league with 70 points, is probably the best candidate outside the top three. Evgeni Malkin, Nikita Kucherov and Jeff Carter have all been really good, too, but not quite at the same level.

Cullen continues...

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brent+burns, connor+mcdavid, edmonton+oilers, hart+trophy, pittsburgh+penguins, san+jose+sharks, sidney+crosby

Looking forward to McDavid vs. Crosby on Tuesday night

From NHL.com's Nicholas J. Cotsonika:

The way he plays, the way he handles himself, the way he elevates the Edmonton Oilers, it's easy to forget that Connor McDavid is 19 years old. He has played 58 NHL games, because he missed three months because of a broken clavicle as a rookie last season. As good as he is, one of the top players in the NHL already, he's still experiencing new things, still learning, still growing.

McDavid will play against Sidney Crosby for the first time when the Oilers visit the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; ROOT, SNW, NHL.TV). It's No. 97 vs. No. 87, the Next One vs. Sid the Kid, the No. 1 pick of the 2015 NHL Draft vs. the No. 1 pick of the 2005 NHL Draft. And McDavid talks about it like, well, a teenager. He doesn't call him Mr. Crosby, like he did the first time he met him three years ago, according to USA Today, but makes him sound like an old man at age 29.

"It's exciting for me," McDavid said. "He's someone I grew up idolizing, and for me it's going to be pretty cool."

McDavid said he continues to follow Crosby most nights he plays.

"He's the best player in the world, and if you can take anything from his game, obviously that'll help," McDavid said. "Definitely don't pattern yourself after him or anything like that, but you try and learn from things that gave him success."

Continued

added 4:28 PM: Here's the other side, from NHL.com's Wes Crosby:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: connor+mcdavid, edmonton+oilers, pittsburgh+penguins, sidney+crosby

Crosby, McDavid ‘cross over’ to success

From TSN's Frank Seravalli:

The hockey world’s eyes will be focused on Pittsburgh on Tuesday night, watching intently as Connor McDavid faces off against Sidney Crosby for the first time.

The matchup will be billed as the second coming of Gretzky versus Lemieux - and the parallels are certainly there, both with the teams represented and the fact that perhaps the game’s best two players will compete on the same ice.

The pure skill and skating from Crosby and McDavid is easy enough to see. But what may be under appreciated is how McDavid and Crosby generate the speed that clearly sets them apart from the rest of the NHL.

McDavid, now 19, has been compared to Crosby in just about every way imaginable: hockey sense and timing, hand-eye coordination, playmaking ability, and even his deferential off-ice demeanor.

In a league full of elite skaters, though, McDavid is maybe the best since Crosby.

How do McDavid and Crosby literally break away from the pack?

According to Crosby’s skills coach, Darryl Belfry, it is with the use of linear crossovers.

Continued...

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: connor+mcdavid, edmonton+oilers, pittsburgh+penguins, sidney+crosby

Friedman: Oilers will sign Kris Russell shortly

From Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman:

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: edmonton+oilers, kris+russell

Nail Yakupov traded to St. Louis

(Oct. 7, 2016) – St. Louis Blues President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today the Blues have acquired 2012 first overall pick Nail Yakupov (YA-kuh-pawv, NAY-uhl) from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for forward Zach Pochiro and a conditional 2017 third round draft pick. 

Yakupov, 23, dressed in 60 regular season games with the Oilers last season, posting 23 points, including eight goals and 15 assists.  Overall, the 5’11, 195-pound forward has appeared in four NHL seasons, accumulating 111 points, including 50 goals and 61 assists, in 252 career regular season games.

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: edmonton+oilers, nail+yakupov, st.+louis+blues

Friedman chronicles ‘the 23 minutes that shook the hockey world’

Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman penned an absolutely fantastic feature article discussing the trio of moves that shook the hockey world on June 29th, 2016, and his article's more than worth your time:

Did they know? Did Marc Bergevin, Peter Chiarelli, David Poile, Ray Shero and Steven Stamkos know they were going to set the NHL on its ear one early summer afternoon?

“We knew what we were doing but had no idea what everyone else was up to,” New Jersey GM Shero said last weekend. “You know this is going to get out, so we’re trying to get hold of Adam Larsson. All of a sudden, you hear the other moves, and you’re like, ‘Holy (Bleep).’”

“July 1 is a landslide, but you expect it,” said Chiarelli, Edmonton’s President of Hockey Operations and GM. “The last thing you’re thinking about is someone else’s deal. We had the TV on, and the moves came across the ticker. I did a double-take. Wow.”

“In my world, none of that other stuff mattered,” laughed Poile, Nashville’s President of Hockey Operations and GM. “I still don’t know the order of the three moves.”

At 2:34 p.m. ET on Wednesday July 29 — seven minutes after intense speculation about Taylor Hall hit Twitter — his trade to the Devils for Larsson was a reality. It’s almost impossible to believe there could be a bigger one-for-one deal in the same afternoon, but 17 minutes later came an absolute blockbuster: Shea Weber for P.K. Subban.

Then, at 2:57 p.m., word came that #Stammergeddon was over. Steven Stamkos stayed in Tampa.

Friedman continues...

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: adam+larsson, david+poile, edmonton+oilers, marc+bergevin, montreal+canadiens, nashville+predators, new+jersey+devils, peter+chiarelli, pk+subban, pk+subban, ray+shero, shea+weber, steven+stamkos, tampa+bay+lightning, taylor+hall

Recalling the Wayne Gretzky trade

From NHL.com's Dave Stubbs:

The trade that most thought could never happen was made on this date 28 years ago.

Wayne Gretzky, the captain and the heart and soul of the dynastic Edmonton Oilers, was traded on Aug. 9, 1988, sent to the Los Angeles Kings along with center Mike Krushelnyski and defenseman Marty McSorley. Coming to the Oilers in return were center Jimmy Carson, first-round draft choice Martin Gelinas, first-round picks in 1989, 1991 and 1993, and $15 million.

The trade, which caused chaos in Edmonton and left all of Canada in disbelief, redefined player movement throughout sports.

Every trade made in its wake, no matter how monstrous or unthinkable, could now be explained logically: "Well, if Wayne Gretzky can be traded, anyone can be traded."

None of that, though, made the day of the trade any less surreal.

Continued with commentary and videos...

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: edmonton+oilers, los+angeles+kings, martin+gelinas, marty+mcsorley, wayne+gretzky

Gretzky (statue) gets a touch-up before move to Oilers’ new rink

From the Canadian Press:

He stands nine feet two inches tall and hasn’t aged a bit, but the statue of hockey great Wayne Gretzky could use a waxing and a bath.

The 430-kilogram bronze statue of No. 99 holding the Stanley Cup over his head has been on display at Rexall Place for the past 27 years, but with a move to a new arena in the near future he’s taken a road trip down south to where he was created.

"Yes it’s a facelift," laughed Don Begg, a bronzesmith with Studio West in Cochrane, west of Calgary, who worked on casting the statue back in 1989 after it was sculpted by John Weaver.

"Actually he still looks pretty good to me. We’ve examined him over and he’s really in good shape but everything needs a little bit of tender loving care after 27 years."

Continued

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: edmonton+oilers, wayne+gretzky

Oilers will name a captain prior to start of 16-17 season

From EdmontonOilers.com's Chris Westcott:

The Oilers went through the 2015-16 season without a player wearing the “C” on their chest. They instead elected to go with multiple alternate captains, including Andrew Ference, Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Matt Hendricks was among a few other players to don the “A” at various points of the season.

Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan confirmed with the media on Wednesday at the Mark Spector Golf Classic that the club will have a captain on opening night, when the team hosts Calgary on October 12.

“Will we have a captain? Yeah, we will,” said McLellan.

When pressed on who it might be, McLellan simply repeated himself.

“We will have a captain.”

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: edmonton+oilers, todd+mclellan

Friedman: Why not PK for Hall instead?

Leading off a 1 AM-posted edition of "30 Thoughts" (I guess it's been that kind of day for Elliotte Friedman, too):

On a crazy day where Steven Stamkos signing in Tampa Bay could arguably be the third-biggest hockey story, the most unanswered question has to be: “Why couldn’t Montreal and Edmonton work out a Taylor Hall-P.K. Subban deal?”

The Oilers sure could’ve used Subban. We knew they were talking last week. Montreal initially asked for Leon Draisaitl, the No. 4 pick at Friday’s draft and more. That “more” included either Oscar Klefbom and Darnell Nurse, plus something else. I can’t nail down what that “something else” was, but it was not insignificant. It was a big price to pay, and Edmonton did not want to do that.

According to several sources, there was another possibility — without Draisaitl. Was Hall there? I can’t say for sure. But I do think he’s got fans in the Montreal organization. So, why didn’t it happen?

Here’s a quote from a GM on a different team: “How much are you paying Connor McDavid in two years? If you’re budgeting for $10M-11M, that’s $19M-$20M for him and Subban. Can you do it under this tighter cap?”

I would suspect that’s the reason.

With McDavid’s next contract potentially massive, Peter Chiarelli looked elsewhere. The Hall-for-Adam Larsson deal saves Edmonton more than $1.8M in cap room. No doubt that’s why it was a one-for-one trade. New Jersey GM Ray Shero could say, “I’m adding salary, I’m not giving up anything else.” He took a hard line.

Continued

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: adam+larsson, edmonton+oilers, leon+draisaitl, montreal+canadiens, new+jersey+devils, oscar+klefbom, pk+subban, pk+subban, steven+stamkos, taylor+hall

Matheson on Barrie, Yakupov, Tkachuk the younger and much more

Among the Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson's "Short Shifts," after a Hockey World spent selling Milan Lucic and Justin Faulk as "fits" for the Edmonton Oilers:

• The Avs probably look at [Justin] Faulk’s contract and say that’s Tyson Barrie’s comparable, and not a cent more. They have a good point. The restricted free-agent Barrie is probably looking for north of $5 million per, so they’ll trade him.

• [Gary] Unger played 914 straight games in the NHL, second longest consecutive-game streak, but his body was damaged after he finished playing.

“I’ve had both my knees and hips replaced,” said Unger. “Not wear and tear so much. I fell off a motorcycle, with Andy Moog in Penticton. Now they’ve fixed my knees and I’m not bow-legged anymore. Now they’re straight and my whole skating stance is really different.”

• We keep forgetting that the Oilers will almost surely trade Yakupov at the draft, and here’s what was proposed at the trade deadline: Yak to New Jersey for their No. 7 D-man Eric Gelinas. Gelinas was subsequently traded to Colorado for a third-round draft pick. Yak’s a good kid, works hard. Is that all he’s worth?

• Most NHL scouts praise winger Matthew Tkachuk’s underrated passing ability, especially on the power play, as much as his shooting skills. Plus, he was a leader on the London Knights and only 18.

Matheson continues at extended length...

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: colorado+avalanche, edmonton+oilers, justin+faulk, nail+yakupov, tyson+barrie

Oilers coach Todd McLellan fumes after loss to Flames

Edmonton Oilers coach Todd McLellan had some strong words to share after the Oilers' 5-0 loss to Calgary on Saturday night:

 

Reporter: "After an embarrassing and humiliating result, and to what extent, given the circumstances, to what extent are you concerned that it might be replicated in a game on Wednesday that the fans are coming to celebrate?"

Todd McLellan: "Well, I'll answer the first part of your question: I don't know if there's a number big enough or how to describe how disappointing that result is. We've been together for 200 days, and, um, talked a lot about competing, and working hard, and holding your hand, and showing up, and we get that. And that's the exact kind of crap we're trying to eradicate from this group.

"So you work hard, you climb and you climb and you at least get some foundation and you give it all back in one night. And we were out-shot, we were out-hit, out-scored, we were out-faceoffed, out penalty-killed, our shift length was terrible, they played four games in six nights and we're going to go for 55-second shifts?"

"We turned a puck over 1:10 into a shift and cheated on a change...We had a change for a center that happened to be two zones away...I don't know how it could happen."

"I guess when you sum it all up like that, that's really disappointing, isn't it? And that's the exact attitude and bullshit that we're trying to eliminate here. And we see it after 200 days. Disappointing...But at least the good news is we know where to go and practice, because we've got to establish a work ethic this week."

Reporter: "And how important is it for this team to give--this town--a game to celebrate..."

McLellan: "Well It's damn important, after that crap? Damn, damn important that there's an effort. Forget about the win and the loss, but just the effort. That's frickin' embarrassing."

"That pretty much sums it up, eh, we can go now..."

Reporter: "What do you have planned for practice?"

McLellan: "Well, unfortunately we have another, uh, a, Players' Association day. They took it today, I guess they'll get back-to-back days, but we'll work on Monday. Goodnight."

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: calgary+flames, edmonton+oilers, todd+mclellan

Oilers lose Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ‘long-term’ due to hand injury

From Sportsnet's Scott Lewis:

The Edmonton Oilers‘ win over the Florida Panthers Monday did not come without a loss.

Centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins suffered a significant hand injury and will be out of the lineup long-term, head coach Todd McLellan announced following the game.

Nugent-Hopkins left the game in the second period and did not return.

The 22-year-old has eight goals and 22 assists in 46 games this season.

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: edmonton+oilers, ryan+nugent-hopkins, todd+mclellan

Saturday Headlines include injury talk and a wrinkle on shrinking goalie equipment

Sportsnet's Damien Cox and Elliotte Friedman discussed Patrick Marleau being on the trade market, the KHL deciding to make its players available for the World Cup of Hockey, WIlliam Nylander playing well in the AHL for Toronto, Connor McDavid's surgery (no torn labrum or separated shoulder), Pavel Datsyuk returning next Friday or Saturday, Zach Parise's likely status as being out for the month, and according to Friedman, per an NHL competition committee debate, the NHL is considering asking goalies to wear player-sized jerseys and have their chest protectors fit underneath:

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: connor+mcdavid, detroit+red+wings, edmonton+oilers, minnesota+wild, patrick+marleau, pavel+datsyuk, san+jose+sharks, william+nylander, world+cup+of+hockey, zach+parise

Oilers lose Connor McDavid to shoulder injury

The Edmonton Oilers lost Connor McDavid to a shoulder injury on Tuesday, and the news is bad:

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: connor+mcdavid, edmonton+oilers

Allen offers ‘overreactions’ to early-season trends

Among the items that USA Today's Kevin Allen believes are overreactions levied far too early in the 2015-16 NHL season:

Coach Bruce Boudreau is on the hot seat in Anaheim C’mon folks. This is a parity league, and even quality teams struggle on occasion. You wouldn’t even pay attention to their 0-2-1 stretch if this was the middle of January. The Ducks are in a scoring slump, probably caused by players trying to find chemistry with new teammates. Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry don’t have a point. Do you think the NHL has magically discovered how to stop that duo after a decade of domination? The Ducks are a contender. They have the necessary ingredients to make it happen. Boudreau will be judged by what happens next spring, not what happens in the first three games of the season.

The 1-3 Penguins are already in a world of hurt Let’s take a step back here and remember that the three teams that have defeated the Penguins are a combined 11-1, including the white-hot Canadiens. We know that Crosby is eventually going to score plenty, and the Pittsburgh power play will likely end up as one of the league’s best. The Penguins have given up an average of two goals per game in the four games. They would be thrilled with that goals-against average  for an entire season. This is another team that is trying to figure out how to best use new personnel. It’s too early to assess where the Penguins are going this season.

Connor McDavid has been slow to adjust Now you understand why general manager Peter Chiarelli tried to tamp down the hype over this future superstar. Although McDavid has an overflowing amount of skill, he’s still an 18-year-old trying to find his way against the world’s best players. The lack of points (one goal) is not a shock to the Oilers. They understood that even budding superstars need time to sort out what works and what doesn’t. His point total will grow significantly as he gains experience. Don’t forget that he is not playing with a Stanley Cup contender. He is surrounded by players still exploring their own games. If you have watched McDavid in his first four games, you can see his potential dominance bubbling just below the surface. He always seems like he’s a half-second from a breakaway.

Allen continues

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: anaheim+ducks, bruce+boudreau, connor+mcdavid, corey+perry, edmonton+oilers, peter+chiarelli, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+getzlaf, sidney+crosby

On the subtleties of analytics

This is a superb, superb answer to an "advanced stats" question from ESPN's Craig Custance's Friday Insider entry/mailbag feature:

As I try to be more of an advanced stats believer, I find myself with more questions than answers. First, how does a team get better at advanced stats? Is it putting more pucks on net? I'm pretty sure every hockey player ever has given that as an answer. But seriously, what would fix your team’s problem? Is it a certain style of play? If it is, then one could argue that once a team wins the Stanley Cup with a different style, we’d see that be the new "in" thing.

Judeman5000

Thornton, Colorado

Judeman,

Good to hear from you, my friend. There’s a lot to tackle in this question. First, there are definitely things coaches can do to improve their team’s possession analytics, but whether or not it leads to wins is up for debate.

For instance, I remember talking to Dallas Eakins last year after he was fired from Edmonton and they made systematic changes that resulted in improved analytics.

“Very, very subtle changes,” he said at the time. “But they were paying off.”

And the numbers suggest that zone entries impact the possession numbers, so if teams make a concerted effort to carry the puck in rather than dump it in, that would theoretically improve the analytics.

To me, the analytics we see are more useful for roster construction. If I’m trying to improve the possession numbers, I’m doing it through roster improvements. I’m focusing on defensemen who can quickly close the gap on players in the neutral zone to force a dump in. I’m focusing on defensemen who are also great skaters who can quickly get the puck and get it out of the zone to start the rush the other way. All things being equal, I’d like a goalie who can play the puck to help those defensemen.

But to your last point, there is more than one way to win in the NHL. The Tampa Bay Lightning play a different brand of hockey and are built differently than, say, the Los Angeles Kings when they were at the top of their game. Possession numbers aren’t the end-all, be-all, they’re just part of the equation.

Custance continues...

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dallas+eakins, edmonton+oilers, los+angeles+kings, tampa+bay+lightning

Wyshynski posits a superb profile of Connor McDavid

From Yahoo Sports' Greg Wyshynski:

[Connor] McDavid hates losing.

Hates it. Which is a problem when you’re drafted to a team that, well, loses a lot.

They lost again on opening night in front of all those fans in all those McDavid jerseys, 4-2 to the St. Louis Blues. The power play sucked, going 0-for-5, to the point where coach Todd McLellan blamed it for the loss. McDavid played nearly five minutes with the man advantage, more than any forward outside of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, but ended the game with no shots on goal and only three shot attempts.

“It’s obviously disappointing. We needed it to come up big tonight, and it didn’t again, so it’s something we gotta work on,” said McDavid after the game.

His voice barely rose from a whisper in the Oilers’ locker room, and he wore the disappointment on his face. The fans came to see the Connor McDavid Show, and it was postponed: no points, no shots and a game-worst minus-3.

His coach pulled as many positives as he could.

“Against a heavy, strong, well-prepared defensive team, I saw him skating through the neutral zone with more pace and speed, creating some opportunities. Unfortunately for us, that line was on the ice for some goals against,” said McLellan. “He’s getting better every night. I don’t know how much pressure he’s feeling. I think I do. But I don’t really know how much he’s carrying with him. I’m sure that he feels that a large chunk of our 0-4 record falls on his shoulders.”

Continued

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: connor+mcdavid, edmonton+oilers, todd+mclellan

Oilers in trouble again

From the Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson:

While the Edmonton Oilers look better in losing this October, optics aren’t as important as statistics.

It’s nice to say there’s no shame in losing close to St. Louis (twice) and Nashville (shutout) in the first four games — two teams that scaled the 100-point plateau last year — we’re back to the same, tired moral victory storyline.

Four games, four losses with the other one to a weaker Dallas team, where they showed up in name only.

Last time we looked, the Blues and the Predators were part of the same league as the Oilers. The Oilers can’t petition the NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to have them play in some higher league. There isn’t one, unless you’re talking the National Heavenly League where the dearly departed Jean Beliveau and Rocket Richard and Terry Sawchuk might be playing for their new teams.

Continued

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: edmonton+oilers

Building the Oilers, on and off the ice

From ESPN's Craig Custance:

Completion of the new arena going up in Edmonton is still more than 300 days away, but there's a level of activity going on right now that suggests opening night is barreling in frantically.

Everywhere you look, there is someone hard at work: a guy rolling paint on a wall, sparks flying as someone else works near a giant metal beam, guys spraying purple insulation on the outside, others muscling their way through a job with handsaws. A smashed can of drained energy drink lies on the floor, giving the impression that some arena construction worker downed it, smashed it and got back to work.

It's all starting to take shape at this mammoth, state-of-the-art arena.

"This is Peter's office," says a guide giving a tour of Rogers Place, the Edmonton Oilers future home starting next season, replacing the aged Rexall Place. "This is Todd's office."

The future workplace of Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli and coach Todd McLellan are nothing more than studded-out walls, but at this relentless construction pace, there will be drywall and family photos up before the tour is completed.

It's remarkable, really: the pace. The plans. The vision of Oilers owner Daryl Katz. The giant oval dressing room. The attached practice rink. The parking for players and staff that will go under the ice. The 25 acres of land in downtown Edmonton being transformed into the Ice District at just about the same time the team is supposed to be transformed from an annual loser into one that can do great things.

The off-ice plan looks flawless.

Continued

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: darryl+katz, edmonton+oilers, peter+chiarelli, todd+mclellan

‘McDavid mania,’ 3-on-3 OT and Stamkos’ contract status among stories to watch this upcoming season

According to the Canadian Press's Joshua Clipperton, there are five stories of particular note to follow during the upcoming NHL season:

2. McDavid Mania: Connor McDavid is the most hyped rookie to enter the NHL since Sidney Crosby back in 2005. The 18-year-old was taken first overall by the Edmonton Oilers at June's draft and is viewed as the league's next superstar. He joins a franchise that hasn't made the playoffs since losing Game 7 of the 2006 Stanley Cup final, but has a stable of young talent that includes Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. How much of an impact will McDavid, the odds-on favourite to win the Calder Trophy as the top rookie, have with Edmonton in Year 1?

3. New overtime format, coach's challenges: Vancouver Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom called his experience with 3-on-3 overtime in the AHL last season "a gong show," but it will be interesting to see how NHL teams adapt to the new format. Will coaches deploy two forwards and a defenceman, or three forwards? Playing 3-on-3 should open up more scoring chances and result in fewer shootouts. Another change for this season is the coach's ability to challenge officials' calls on plays involving offside and goaltender interference that result in goals.

4. Will Stamkos get a contract extension? Steven Stamkos is entering the final season of a $37.5-million US, five-year contract he signed in 2011 with the Tampa Bay Lightning. The two sides are negotiating, but have yet to put pen to paper on a new deal. Stamkos is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2016. The captain of the Lightning has said he wants to remain with the club, but he has also had issues with how he fits into head coach Jon Cooper's system. Stamkos and the Lightning have eight months to get a new deal done before he's scheduled to hit free agency. The longer it drags on, the more of a distraction his status will become.

Clipperton continues...


 

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: connor+mcdavid, edmonton+oilers, jacob+markstrom, overtime, steven+stamkos, tampa+bay+lightning, vancouver+canucks

On Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ importance to the Edmonton Oilers

From Sportsnet's Mark Spector:

It’s the middle of August, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins already knows what it’s going to be like for an Edmonton Oiler this coming season. At a media availability at an Oilers hockey school, almost every question asked of Nugent-Hopkins riffed off of the incoming star Connor McDavid.

“A big thing for me coming into the league was how much different it is on the defensive side of things compared to junior. If anything, I’m going to try to help him out with that side of things,” Nugent-Hopkins said. “He’s a pretty gifted offensive guy, so I don’t think he’ll have any problem with that.”

RNH was a No. 1 overall pick himself, back in 2011. “It seems like a long time ago, but these four years, they’ve gone by pretty fast. It’s hard to believe I’m going into my fifth year.”

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: connor+mcdavid, edmonton+oilers, ryan+nugent-hopkins

Oh boy, off-season power rankings!

I have little time for power rankings, but for those of you who are interested in such lists, Sportsnet's Luke Fox penned a list of rankings based upon NHL teams' offseason moves or the lack thereof:

1. Edmonton Oilers: Any off-season that begins with Connor McDavid should be half decent. But it's what happened before the draft (but after the lottery) — securing a bona fide GM in Peter Chiarelli and head coach in Todd McLellan — that should give the Oilers faithful the most hope. Chiarelli wasted no time addressing the team's weaknesses in net (Cam Talbot) and along the blueline (Andrej Sekera). Mark Letestu is a wise depth signing, and playing hardball with Justin Schultz shows the new-look Oilers are to be taken seriously. Also: Their new alternate sweaters look sick.

Previous: 28

2. Dallas Stars: Trader Jim went after it again, this time landing Patrick Sharp from the Blackhawks, goalie Antti Niemi from San Jose, and inking Johnny Oduya in free agency. An already loaded offence just got scarier. “We have as good a team on paper as anybody in the league," says Tyler Seguin.

Previous: 19

3. Buffalo Sabres: Landing franchise pivot Jack Eichel in the draft immediately puts the Sabres in the upper ranks here, but the trades for Robin Lehner and Ryan O'Reilly have instilled faith that GM Tim Murray — aggressive in pursuit of his targets even if he doesn't always land them (McDavid, Babcock) — is rebuilding the right way. Nice opportunity for Dan Bylsma to get his coaching career back on track with low expectations.

Previous: 30

Fox continues, and if there was any doubt that these rankings are arbitrary...

20. Detroit Red Wings: Bad news: Try as they did, the Red Wings lost Mike Babcock. Good news: They had coach Jeff Blashill waiting in the, er, wings (sorry). Re-signing Gustav Nyquist for a fair price and hiring help from veterans Mike Green (too expensive at $6 million per season) and Brad Richards shows fans that the playoff aspirations won't die with Babcock's departure.

Previous: 12

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andrej+sekera, antti+niemi, brad+richards, buffalo+sabres, cam+talbot, dallas+stars, detroit+red+wings, edmonton+oilers, jack+eichel, johnny+oduya, mike+babcock, mike+green, patrick+sharp, peter+chiarelli, robin+lehner, ryan+o'reilly, todd+mclellan

Oilers sign Andrej Sekera to 6-year, $33 million deal

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andrej+sekera, edmonton+oilers, mark+letestu

Brooks: Hawks no dynasty

The New York Post's Larry Brooks argues that the Chicago Blackhawks may be a dominant team, but are no dynasty:

The Blackhawks are a historically excellent team produced by a model hockey operation. Their three-in-six in the hard cap era is a noteworthy accomplishment. Sharp management is the constant linking this cap era with everything that came before it. That and Scotty Bowman, who keeps finding rings the way kids find Easter eggs.

But the rush to canonize these Blackhawks and include them with the dynastic Canadiens, Islanders and Oilers is foolish. Three-in-six is something, all right, but it isn’t four straight, five straight, four-in-five, or 19 straight series.

It’s the same as the Red Wings’ three-in-six from 1997-2002, better than the Devils’ three-in-nine from 1995-2003, one more than the Avalanche’s two-in-six from 1996-2001, and though those teams didn’t have to deal with the cap, they did have to deal with one another — and a perennially powerful Dallas team — at the top.

And I would take all of those teams over this Blackhawks squad in a fantasy tournament, just as I would take the Red Wings that went four-for-six from 1950-1955 in hypothetical all-time matchups.

It’s a double-edged blade. Just as the cap has made it more exponentially more difficult to keep a powerful team intact, it has also diluted the opposition. The bar just isn’t set as high. No great team, by the way, has ever faced less of a challenge than the five-time, 1956-60 champion Canadiens once Detroit ownership exiled Ted Lindsay in the summer of 1957.

Brooks continues...

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, colorado+avalanche, dallas+stars, detroit+red+wings, edmonton+oilers, montreal+canadiens, new+jersey+devils, new+york+islanders

Blackhawks ‘more than a dynasty?’

USA Today's Kevin Allen makes quite the assertion this evening...

We don't have to debate whether the Chicago Blackhawks are a dynasty because Gary Bettman made them one by commissioner's decree. He referred to them as a "dynasty" in his remarks leading up to presenting the Stanley Cup to Jonathan Toews after the Blackhawks won the Cup with a 2-0 triumph against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final.

"I don't know what (dynasty) means," Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane said. "We've got three in six years. I know that's pretty good."

That makes the Blackhawks the most decorated team in the post-salary cap era, and deserving to be called one of the top teams in NHL history.

Their current run doesn't measure up statistically to the great Montreal Canadiens teams from 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Toe Blake coached the Canadiens to five consecutive Stanley Cups from 1956-60. Scotty Bowman, who is an adviser for the Blackhawks, guided the Canadiens to four consecutive titles from 1976-79. The Canadiens had a 16-3 record in those four Stanley Cup Finals. Now Scotty's son, Stan, has been general manager of the three Stanley Cup winners in Chicago.

Chicago's run also isn't as lengthy as the New York Islanders run of four consecutive championships from 1980-83. The Edmonton Oilers also have their own distinction by winning five Stanley Cups over seven seasons from 1984 to 1990.

But the Blackhawks are now in the conversation to be called one of the great teams because they have won three titles at a time when the league is in a period of undeniable competitive balance. The statistical difference between the No. 1 team in the league and the No. 16 isn't as pronounced as it once was.

Allen continues...

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, edmonton+oilers, gary+bettman, montreal+canadiens, new+york+islanders, patrick+kane, scotty+bowman

Saturday Headlines discuss coaches’ moves and Dubnyk

On Hockey Night in Canada, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman discussed the post-Babcock coaching dominoes (Todd Nelson of Edmonton "free to look around," Don Sweeney meeting with Claude Julien to discuss "personnel and style of play," Dan Bylsma's status, Ken Hitchcock's future) and Devan Dubnyk's desire to re-sign with the Wild:

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: boston+bruins, claude+julien, devan+dubnyk, don+sweeney, edmonton+oilers, ken+hitchcock, minnesota+wild, st.+louis+blues, todd+nelson

Pre-trade deadline ‘headlines’ from Cox and Friedman

added 9:31pm, Watch the segment below...


Two days prior to the trade deadline, Sportsnet's Damien Cox and Elliotte Friedman dished trade-related "headlines" during the 2nd intermission of Hockey Night in Canada's Saturday broadcast.

Cox stated that the Maple Leafs may be the most active team at the deadline. They're listening to offers for Jonathan Bernier, emphasis on "listening," but there are teams like San Jose, Dallas perhaps (given that Kari Lehtonen continues to struggle); Olli Jokinen, Korbinian Holzer and David Booth are also possible moves.

Cox wondered whether the Maple Leafs would trade Joffrey Lupul to the Habs, and there is only "very lukewarm interest" there, and the Clarkson deal was going to be more complicated, but the Blue Jackets and Leafs were unable to consummate a larger deal, so they swapped Horton for Clarkson.

According to Friedman, Patrick Sharp was not asked for a list of 10 teams to which he would accept a trade within 48 hours of the trade deadline, and because that list wasn't asked for before 3 PM on Saturday, he's going nowhere; he also reports that Mats Zuccarello and the Rangers are at contract loggerheads, and the Rangers offered 6 years at $4.5 million on average, so he's being shopped, but the Rangers are not allowing would-be suitors to discuss a contract with Zuccarello before making trade offers;

Jeff Petry's not playing tonight for Edmonton and Montreal, Anaheim and St. Louis have been rumored; Friedman wonders if the Blues have considered moving Vladimir Sobotka to help the team despite Sobotka's status as a KHL'er;

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: antoine+vermette, buffalo+sabres, calgary+flames, chicago+blackhawks, chris+stewart, columbus+blue+jackets, curtis+glencross, david+booth, david+clarkson, edmonton+oilers, jeff+petry, joffrey+lupul, jonathan+bernier, keith+yandle, korbinian+holzer, mark+pysyk, mats+zuccarello, nathan+horton, new+york+rangers, olli+jokinen, patrick+sharp, phoenix+coyotes, st.+louis+blues, ted+nolan, tim+murray, toronto+maple+leafs, vladimir+sobotka

Matheson: Jeff Petry’s days as an Oiler are numbered

Here's some surprising news from the Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson:

If you were holding out any last-ditch hope for a new deal for free-agent Edmonton Oilers defenceman Jeff Petry — arguably their best blue-liner this season — before the National Hockey League trade deadline on March 2, forget it.

“We have had no contract negotiations with the Oilers and we’ve expressed that to Jeff,” said his agent Wade Arnott, who also represents Oilers defenceman Justin Schultz. “We expect Jeff will be dealt by the deadline.”

So, Petry has six or fewer games left in the orange and blue before the deadline. In Winnipeg Monday, at home to Boston, Minnesota and Anaheim this upcoming week, in Minnesota Feb. 24, then at Rexall against St. Louis Feb. 28.

He has played 292 games but he won’t get to 300 as an Oiler.

...

Sources say teams have already started calling Arnott to see if Petry might want to sign with them before he goes the free-agent route July 1. If so, the Oilers could conceivably get something more than, say, a second-round draft pick or a younger defenceman in a trade.

Continued...

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: edmonton+oilers, jeff+petry

Garrioch talks Habs, Briere on the move, Petry and Flyers’ possible blueline sale

The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch has made a helluva case for Antoine Vermette as the league's most useful player available at the trade deadline (in no small part because the Arizona Coyotes forward used to be a Senator), and Vermette's far from chopped liver, but these parts of his Sunday rumor column are more interesting than Vermette talk or discussion of Team Canada WJC coach Benoit Groulx's future:

Montreal GM Marc Bergevin has been working the phones to try to get help up front. Yes, the Habs have had a great first half, but they'd still like to get a little more size among their forwards for a long playoff run. They waived blue-liner Bryan Allen and his $3.5-million contract. He was sent to the club's AHL affiliate in Hamilton and the Habs are hopeful someone will deal for him ... If a team is looking for experience, a possible option is Colorado C Daniel Briere. A UFA with a $4-million cap hit, he's being used in a fourth-line role by the Avs. Briere, 36, could be a nice fit for a team in the East and the Avs wouldn't want much more than a draft pick in return. The Islanders could use a guy like Briere. They have little experience ... A possible fit for the Wings: Oilers' D Jeff Petry. Detroit GM Ken Holland was on Edmonton radio last week and indicated he needs a right shot. Petry is a UFA and a Michigan native.

Ryan Kesler's also from Michigan, and the Wings were supposedly in trade talks for him, too, but that didn't happen. A player's Michigan ties haven't fared into the Wings,' "We want to trade for guy over the other one" decision-making process since the Jimmy Carson trade.

Flyers GM Ron Hextall is getting antsy to make deals. Philly has virtually no shot at making the playoffs, coach Craig Berube is on the hot-seat and Hextall wouldn't mind clearing out cash. While the Flyers would like to move blue-liners Nick Schultz, Carlo Colaiacovo and Michael Del Zotto, the guy teams really covet is Braydon Coburn. With a $4.5-million cap hit through 2016-17, Coburn is highly regarded and could bring a good return. There's also interest in centre Brayden Schenn, who has a cap hit of $2.75 million through next season.

Garrioch continues...

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: braydon+coburn, carlo+colaiacovo, colorado+avalanche, craig+berube, daniel+briere, detroit+red+wings, edmonton+oilers, jeff+petry, marc+bergevin, michael+del+zotto, montreal+canadiens, nick+schultz, philadelphia+flyers, ron+hextall

Friedman’s ‘Healines’ include Gretzky-Oilers news, ASG format and more

Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman delivered his "headlines" sans partner-in-scoops Damien Cox on Saturday evening, and it certainly wasn't the same without Cox's astute jabs, but Friedman delivered a jam-packed set of news and notes, starting with Leon Draisaitl's return to Major Junior hockey

Continuing with this regarding Wayne Gretzky's possible involvement with the Oilers going forward, as noted by Sportsnet's Rory Boylen...

“There was a rumour he would go back and be offered ‘would you like to work in hockey ops, would you like to work in business ops,’” Friedman said. “I reached out to him by email, his response was that is not true.”

But it wouldn’t be entirely accurate to say Gretzky won’t be a part of the Oilers.

Added Friedman: “And then (Gretzky) had a great line, he said ‘But we have talked a lot about putting a Gretzky’s inside the new arena.’ I think the one thing we can report is you can expect to see the restaurant there.”

And Friedman addressed Martin Brodeur's future with the Blues (to some extent), he discussed Claude Giroux and Mikael Backlund's injuries, the All-Star Game's format as "very similar" to the player draft (cars included), and he also nixed talk of a Jhonas Enroth to Minnesota deal.

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: edmonton+oilers, jhonas+enroth, leon+draisaitl, martin+brodeur, wayne+gretzky

Cox, Friedman dish NCAA-to-CHL rumors, diving chatter, trade talk and more

This Saturday, Damien Cox and Elliotte Friedman got six minutes' worth of time to discuss hockey headlines, and they stated that:

  • Boston University forward and top 2015 draft prospect Jack Eichel may or may not bolt from NCAA hockey to join a Canadian Hockey League team, with the Saint John Sea Dogs owning his rights. Cox points out that Charlie Coyle, Adam Tambellini and Sonny Milano have all committed to NCAA teams and then joined CHL teams instead, so it is possible that Eichel may be on the move after he plays for Team USA at the World Junior Championships--and BC goalie Thatcher Demko might also exit stage CHL;

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: boston+bruins, dallas+eakins, doug+armstrong, edmonton+oilers, jack+eichel, james+neal, mike+fisher, nashville+predators, reilly+smith, st.+louis+blues, tj+oshie, torey+krug, toronto+maple+leafs

Intriguing observations from the ‘Hockey World’ and ‘Three Periods’

The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson's main Hockey World column is a good read, discussing the post-firing life of coaches who rebounded in their own ways in Tom Renney and Rick Bowness, but his "Short Shifts" are probably more pertinent:

- St. Louis Blues phenom Vladimir Tarasenko, who just turned 23, has 20 goals on the year, but he might have scored 30 if he had shot more. He’s got 113 shots but that only puts him seventh behind Ovechkin, Karlsson, Seguin, Giroux, Pavelski and Pacioretty. “He could be more selfish,” said an NHL pro scout, marvelling at the Russian youngster’s release. Tarasenko, who may get to the $5-million to $6-million per season range in a new contract this summer, has 16 even-strength goals, second only to Tyler Seguin’s 17. “Twenty goals before Christmas? That’s special,” said teammate Steve Ott.

...

- If Vincent Lecavalier is playing right wing with Zac Rinaldo and French rookie Pierre-Edouard Bellemare in Philly, this is the end of the line for him, no?

- It should be noted that Roberto Luongo has a much better (2.35) goals-against average and way higher (.925) save percentage than Ryan Miller (.267) and .900 in Vancouver right now, but Miller has 16 wins. His team gives him way more run support than Luongo’s (11 wins) in Florida. Miller’s numbers are five-alarm stuff, but he is in the first year of a three-year, $18-million deal and he’s 34, not, say, 28.

This is probably true of more general managers (and coaches) than not, too:

-New Jersey Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello is almost always around his team, home and away, but he knows exactly what’s going on with his farm team and their prospects. “He gets tapes of the games and the practices,” said former Devils defenceman Mark Fayne.

Matheson continues, and while we're doing short quips and quotes, Yahoo Sports' Nicholas J. Cotsonika penned a superb "Three Periods" column discussing the Blue Jackets' resurgence and Patrik Elias' pluck, but the "Third Period" sticks:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bill+daly, bob+hartley, buffalo+sabres, calgary+flames, dallas+eakins, edmonton+oilers, florida+panthers, las+vegas, lou+lamoriello, new+jersey+devils, philadelphia+flyers, roberto+luongo, ryan+miller, st.+louis+blues, toronto+maple+leafs, vincent+lecavalier, vladimir+tarasenko

Should the Oilers have simply ‘failed for McDavid’ instead?

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.”

Continued

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: connor+mcdavid, craig+mactavish, dallas+eakins, edmonton+oilers

Garbutt knees Hall

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:

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dallas+stars, edmonton+oilers, ryan+garbutt, taylor+hall

Summarizing Cox and Friedman’s comments from Saturday’s ‘mini Hotstove’

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;

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  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

Andrew Ference’s hit on Zack Kassian may not have been ‘dirty,’ but it can’t be tolerated

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)...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andrew+ference, edmonton+oilers, vancouver+canucks, zack+kassian

Edmonton’s Taylor Hall takes a scary tumble

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:

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+tanev, edmonton+oilers, taylor+hall, vancouver+canucks

Simmons on Voynov, the Oilers, Draisaitl, etc.

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...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  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

The Cox-Friedman-stove debuts online

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:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  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

Oilers lose prospect Vladimir Tkachev due to technicality

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:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: edmonton+oilers

Mark Messier joins Oilers ‘in an advisory role’

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.

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: edmonton+oilers, mark+messier

Fayne and Pouliot to Edmonton

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: benoit+pouliot, edmonton+oilers, mark+fayne

Tampa Bay keeps wheeling and dealing

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.

Then, while some of you were sleeping, the Lightning made another trade, sending (per Sportsnet) Nate Thompson and his $1.6 million cap hit to Anaheim for a 6th-round pick.

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...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  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

Summarizing the latest edition of Insider Trading (and LeBrun)

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;

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  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

A pointedly blunt Q and A with Oilers GM Craig MacTavish

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.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: craig+mactavish, edmonton+oilers, jason+spezza, justin+schultz, ottawa+senators, sam+gagner

 1 2 3 >       Next »

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts