The Edmonton Oil Kings can add another checkmark to their season. This year's teddy bear toss was on a Friday night in the blistering cold in Edmonton, -30 C or -22 F and that's before the wind chill, but the hockey faithful braved the weather and bundled up to support the home team and raise some money and donations for the 630 Santa's Anonymous charity. When the final count came in, 10,128 teddy bears of various shapes and sizes were thrown to the ice. According to the Oil Kings, this was the first time in Oil Kings' history that the team collected more bears than there were fans in the stands. To add to those totals, during the jersey auctions and raffles held at the game, $19, 675 were raised for children in need throughout the city.
Who cares about draft picks anymore? Honestly. If you are in Edmonton, you have seen enough of highly touted draft picks. You have seen enough “HOPE” (Hall Omark Paajarvi Eberle) and can look back at how that turned out. Omark is having a fantastic season in Oklahoma City, but is still not helping the NHL team while he’s there. Paajarvi is struggling to crack the St. Luis Blues team, Hall has been off to a slow start, and Jordan Eberle leads the team in points… with a whopping 15 points in 20 games. And so with that, Oilers’ GM Craig MacTavish had no choice but to address the media, the fans and the city Thursday. What he had to say seemed honest, but it wasn’t a message the fans are excited to hear.
The Edmonton Oilers are still struggling to find their identity as a team and they are still looking for their missing pieces. While some of those missing pieces may just have to come through trades, others could already be in the system. A glaring need for the team right now are power forwards, forwards who can play the puck, score goals and stand up to anyone else on the ice. While the Oilers brass and fans are looking to the trade market, and other teams for the ideal fit player, the team is also working to develop their own fixes. One of the possibilities for the team is Mitch Moroz, currently with the Edmonton Oil Kings of the WHL.
For the second day in a row, the headlines are still focussing on Lars Eller’s comments Tuesday night. Yes from Tuesday night. Today is Thursday. At this point, is this just a matter of people looking for something to be upset about; simply looking for controversy? Yes, yes it is.
The Edmonton Oilers added 8 forwards and only 2 defencemen to their list of prospects this summer. The first of course was Darnell Nurse, but the second, added with far less fanfare was Ben Betker of the Everett Silvertips.
Drafted as a centreman, now playing the wing, 21 year old Tyler Pitlick will make his NHL debut Tuesday night in Montreal as the Canadiens host the Edmonton Oilers. Pitlick has had some unfortunate injuries, and has not had career numbers during his time in the AHL, but due to even more unfortunate Oiler injuries to Ryan Smyth and Taylor Hall, Pitlick has been called up.
He’s back. The Nuge makes his long awaited, much anticipated, healthy return to the Edmonton Oilers’ lineup Monday night against the New Jersey Devils. No one, not one person could be more relieved than Taylor Hall, not even Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Hall has had a good run playing first line centre, but it’s not a role the young winger relishes, nor is it something that Hall could master during his short span to start the season.
Year after year, Edmonton Oiler fans have been told to look to the future. Now that there is an entertaining, competitive team iced every night, you might think that the message might be different. But there are still a few holes the Oilers need to fill, a few players the team could use. A trade would of course be ideal, but with the ever changing salary cap ceiling, teams have to at least attempt to develop their own players to fill in the gaps. The ever elusive power forward, able to keep up with the fast moving top six would top the required list for most people, and so the interest in prospects such as Mitch Moroz of the Edmonton Oil Kings and Greg Chase of the Calgary Hitmen is high. Luckily for these players, they are off a good start this season.
Before their home opener at Rexall Place Tuesday night, the Oilers put together a string of highlight reel material to celebrate the return of the Jets not only to the NHL but also to Edmonton. If you weren't at the Edmonton home opener, you couldn't see this until now. Enjoy!
New NHL coach Dallas Eakins knows that he has a lot to prove this season. And the fans, media and Oilers’ management are not going to let him forget that. We’ve already heard about the food changes for the media, and the off-season letters to the players but now we start to hear about what is happening during the season, behind the scenes in the locker room. The key message is personal accountability, and personal responsibility, so some things don’t change. What has changed is that Eakins is trying to give this responsibility a physical thing.
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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