Many Oilers fans have waited patiently for this day, and it has finally arrived. Anton Lander has arrived in Edmonton and is settling in. The welcomed Swedish invasion is reaching its new level and will hopefully continue with the addition of Oscar Klefbom soon enough.
Speaking with the media on Tuesday, the first Swede to make the Oilers, Magnus Pääjärvi was eager to speak of his good friend Lander who Pääjärvi of course eagerly anticipates playing with once again.
With the tragic loss of the entire Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team today in Russia, hockey fans are reminded how small the hockey world is. While this tragedy occured half a world away, the pain still hits close to home. Several ex-NHLers as well as NHL hopeful prospects were lost in this morning’s crash but all were sons, brothers, fathers and friends.
Edmonton Oilers’ assistant coach Steve Smith remembers playing against Brad McCrimmon in the battle of Alberta, as well as playing for McCrimmon in Calgary, and spoke with inews880 today, describing McCrimmon as a “class act.”
Philanthropist and optometrist Dr. Brent Saik is no stranger to the game of hockey. In fact, it is this do-gooder who is behind the World’s Longest Hockey Game at Saiker’s Acres just east of Edmonton near Sherwood Park, Alberta. This 10 day long marathon game takes place outside in the blistering Alberta February cold. You want to sign up to play right now don’t you? Dr. Saik has organized and run this event not once, but now four record breaking times. The most recent game was held February 2011 and has raised more than the $1,000,000 goal. According to the website, the event has unofficially raised $1,124,475.03 for revolutionary cancer fighting tools in Edmonton. What kind of score would a game like that end with? How about 2067 to 2005.
With NHL training camps just around the corner, hopes are high and everyone looks to their crystal and magic 8 balls to make their predictions for the coming season. Fans, media and players alike have ideas on what to expect. If there is any point in the season to be full of hope and optimism, surely that time is now. After all, the team hasn’t lost any games, no one has been a healthy scratch, and the IR list should be blank.*
*darn you Ryan Whitney!
On Wednesday August 31st, Gene Principe and Robin Brownlee had a very long interview with former Oiler prospect Jason Bonsignore. I needed a few days to digest what Bonsignore had said and to look for the other side. Robin Brownlee stated that “I’ve e-mailed John Rosasco, VP of public relations with the New York Rangers, told him about the interview with Bonsignore, provided a link to the audio on the TEAM 1260 site and offered to have Glen Sather offer his version of events, if he so desires. I’m waiting to hear back.” I would very much like to hear what Sather has to say as a rebuttal.
With many thanks to our Swedish Oiler fan Martin Lundén, there is an update on newly drafted Oiler Oscar Klefbom. As you may recall, Klefbom was selected 19th overall with the pick acquired from Los Angeles in exchange for winger Dustin Penner on trade deadline day.
Klefbom has made some fans concerned by stating that he intends to play out his contract with Färjestads BK of the Swedish Elite league, but seem to forget that Klefbom is also excited at the prospect of playing with so many Swedes in the Oilers’ lineup. Unfortunately for Klefbom, he has run into some injury issues as of late, and Martin Lundén brings us some clarity.
Drafted in the first round, fourth overall, Jason Bonsignore was a top pick of the 1994 NHL entry draft. He played one game with the Oilers in 1994-95 and the rest of the season was with his OHL team, the Sudbury Wolves. The following year, Bonsignore played 20 games with the Oilers 18 in the OHL and 12 in the AHL with the Cape Breton Oilers. That was the last Bonsignore would play in the NHL for the Edmonton Oilers.
Often touted as a bust, Bonsignore’s story has gone untold. All that most fans know is what they saw, another first round Edmonton Oilers draft pick just didn’t make the cut. Surely it was the scouting staff not doing their job. Or was it? In an extremely candid interview with Gene Principe and Robin Brownlee on the Jason Gregor show of the Team 1260 on Wednesday August 31st, Bonsignore told his tale and changed many opinions along the way. The twitter response was instant and so positive towards the interview that I wanted to share it with those inside as well as outside of Edmonton.
The Edmonton Oilers had more than their fair share of injuries last season, and it seems for some that luck continued through the off-season.
Oilers defenseman Ryan Whitney has re-tweaked his ankle in Boston earlier this month and according to Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal is “sick of not playing.”
Excellent Swedish Oilers fan and hockey blogger Martin Lundén has found another Linus Omark summer interview. Omark is known for his confidence and honesty despite the fact that most of what we learn from the Swede with finesse is from Swedish media.
Omark: Obviously I’m happy I’ve got to play my first NHL-game and played rather good from time to time and showed I have the capacity to play in this league. Sure, it’s been a pretty big change in life to first move from Sweden to Russia onward to the NHL. Now, it is the first time I live alone as I had Harju with me when I played in Russia. On the ice the difference is the smaller rinks and the fact you don’t have the same amount of time to do stuff. But apart from that the biggest difference is to live outside the rink…
Finding August lacking in hockey just a little too much? You’re not alone. The Edmonton Oil Kings have started their fifth training camp today and are inviting WHL and hockey fans in general to put on some socks and shoes, maybe grab a sweater and step out of the sun.
About Oil Patch
Lisa McRitchie is a fairly new writer, online at least, but makes up for inexperience with passion for the game of hockey and memories of Mrs. Leskiw’s English AP class; who knew they would pay off one day.
Oil Patch focuses on the Edmonton Oilers, the Edmonton Oil Kings, The Oklahoma City Barons and Team Canada Hockey with game coverage, news updates, speculation and interviews.
Although the Oilers have had a difficult past decade… or three, here at Oil Patch, the future looks bright.
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