From Mike Johnston at Sportsnet:
The Oklahoma City Barons, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers, announced Thursday it will cease operations at the end of the 2014-15 season.
The decision comes after the Barons were unable to complete a new affiliation agreement with the Oilers. The Barons have been the Oilers’ AHL affiliate since the 2010-11 AHL season.
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The Edmonton Oilers made yet another mercy pull Monday. This time was different though, it wasn't one of the goaltenders that were a decided improvement on Devon Dubnyk last season, (are we so sure that was a drastic improvement now?) no it was head coach Dallas Eakins who was mercifully pulled from this season and it's losses.
It took only 51 seconds for centreman Andrew Koep to find the back of the net, giving the Edmonton Oil Kings a 1-0 lead over the Moose Jaw Warriors and Santa's Annonumous thousands and thousands of bears.
The Edmonton Oilers are bad, really bad, so bad that they are quite literally the laughing stock of the NHL. But it shouldn’t be that way. They should be able to block shots, they should be able to play together as a team but the most glaring issue with the team seems to be their ability to stick together, to play together, and to be a team.
Jason Gregor from TSN 1260 and Oilers Nation has penned a very telling piece on the team’s struggles:
They don't play for another. They don't protect one another. They aren't willing to do whatever it takes to win for each other. And when a team doesn't have that, they are doomed.
The players have to be unified, even if the other team has more talent. If they don't believe in each other and aren't willing to defend one another this team will never win. They will never become competitive.
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Taylor Hall is out. Again. But of course, early in the season. This injury is not a statement about Taylor Hall’s health, athleticism or work ethic; this is about the Edmonton Oiler’s ability to fill in their roster.
The Edmonton Oilers sent another five players to their AHL affiliate team the Oklahoma City Barons Monday. Sent down were Martin Gernat (D), Curtis Hamilton (LW), Kale Kessey (LW), Iiro Pakarinen (RW), and Jason Williams (C). Why is this good news? It means that the Oilers feel confident enough in their defence that there is no need to rush Martin Gernat through the system and have him play in the NHL just quite yet.
The reigning Memorial Cup champions, the Edmonton Oil Kings packed the house at Rexall Place with a record breaking 11,024 in attendance, the most ever recorded for a home opener. Led by a handful of veterans, and a new WHL head coach the Oil Kings opened their 2014-15 season with a 4-2 victory over the visiting Kootenay Ice.
Edmonton Oiler’s head coach Dallas Eakins addressed the media Thursday afternoon expressing his concern that at this point, the team only has two NHL centremen. Finally, a coach that sees it and says it like it is. It’s not that the team doesn’t have a few options down the centre, but most are young and inexperienced and likely to gain more from another year of seasoning in the AHL with the Oklahoma City Barons than another year of struggles and losses with the Oilers.
The Edmonton Oil Kings had a prime opportunity, they could have taken the WHL best of 7 series in 6 games, and won the championship at home. Instead, the Oil Kings let an early 3 goal lead slip away, losing in overtime. Now, the series shifts to game seven in Portland, where the Winterhawks will be ready.
For the third year in a row, the Edmonton Oil Kings have taken the WHL Eastern Conference by storm. Breezing through their first 3 playoff rounds, the Oil Kings have looked stronger than ever. But ultimately, the Oil Kings face their toughest competition, the Portland Winterhawks. Again. The teams have split the first two matchups with neither team having much success at the Memorial Cup, so this year is it’s anyone’s series.
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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