The Edmonton Oilers open their pre-season, officially, with two split squad games tonight. Both games start at 7pm MST but one is in Edmonton against the Minnesota Wild and the other in Saskatoon against the Chicago Blackhawks. The people of Saskatoon are in for a real treat, two of the biggest draws for the Edmonton Oilers will be starting their seasons in the SK and not Rexall Place.
The Edmonton Oilers are faced with new challenges this year, as well as returning old ones. The old challenges include goaltending and defence while the new challenges include who will play centre when it looks like the Oilers are well stocked.
For many Edmonton Oilers’ fans, the pre-season has truly begun once the annual Joey Moss Cup game rolls around.
Joey Moss is a constant fixture in the Oilers’ dressing room and face of the Edmonton Oilers. Players have come and gone, but Joey Moss has remained. Moss joined the Oilers in 1986 thanks to Wayne Gretzky, who was at the time dating Joey’s sister, Vicki Moss. Every year the Edmonton Oilers play an inter-squad game in Joey’s honour, raising funds for various charities and allowing Oilers’ fans a chance to see many of the Oilers’ prospects, players and camp invitees.
Today is a big day for the Edmonton Oilers because today is the first day of training camp. There are a few Oilers and prospects that are not on the ice due to various injuries and it is also captain Shawn Horcoff’s birthday. If nothing else, truly this has to be the surest sign that the hockey season is days away. The Oilers’ today were divided into 3 teams, A, B and C to take part in various on-ice drills. With so many people at camp on day one, including the injured, the Oilers’ brass will have their work cut out for them to start making cuts.
The talk of the town of late has been the health concerns of defenceman Ryan Whitney and winger Ales Hemsky. Robin Brownlee posted an article on Oilers Nation titled “Hemsky and Whitney: Not Ready Yet.” The title of that piece should say it all. What that of course did was generate a lot of discussion. Whitney has been out since December and Hemsky since March.
“Every game against Calgary is a big game” Philippe Cornet wearing an ‘A’ told Edmonton Oilers’ Tom Gazzola from the bench prior to the game. I find it interesting that the Oilers’ prospects buy into the Alberta rivalry so soon, in fact before they even reach the big club. However, I couldn’t have said it better myself. I don’t care if it’s Calgary firemen vs. Edmonton in a chili cook-off contest, in my world, Edmonton needs to win every time. So, imagine how that carries forward at least for me when it comes to the Oilers versus the Flames, even the baby Oilers. That is why I went to bed with a broken heart Wednesday night.
The Edmonton Oilers in a word, dominated the Vancouver Canucks prospects Sunday night, but that was to be expected. With the season finishes the Oilers have had through the past few years they have had the opportunity to accumulate a number of high quality draft picks and fortunately, those draft picks look good.
Had the Oilers struggled against the prospects of the Vancouver Canucks and the Winnipeg Jets, Oilers fans may have had ample cause for concern. Instead, for the first time in 15 years I can tell you that the Oilers have been the Winnipeg Jets, even if it is at the Young Stars tournament in Penticton B.C.
After sustaining what appeared to be a broken nose, and what many fans feared may end up being a concussion on Sunday night during the Young Star’s Tournament in Penticton B.C., Colten Teubert has been sent home to Edmonton. Keeping optimistic and lively, Teubert tweeted “My post hockey modeling career might be in trouble at this rate but who cares! #livinthedream.”
Love him or hate him, Craig MacTavish was a huge piece of Edmonton Oilers’ history; both as a player and a coach. MacT was of course the last player in the NHL to choose not to wear a helmet and is my personal hero for tugging the tongue out of Harvey the Hounds mouth. I will note that that tongue is now strongly reinforced and would require scissors for removal.
On Monday September 12th, Mark Spector was able to catch up with the head coach of the Chicago Wolves, the Vancouver Canucks AHL team in Penticton B.C.
With a few Europeans who would have been especially touched by the loss of the KHL Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team on the ice for the Edmonton Oilers versus Vancouver Canucks prospects game, in Anton Lander and his former Timra teammate Sebastian Erixon, the Oilers’ first game of the rookie tournament in Penticton began with a moment of silence. Because this was also the 10th anniversary of the September 11th tragedy in New York, there was also a mention of those lost. This was such a solemn start to such excitement for so many hockey fans. The popularity of this tournament has grown so much so that fans didn’t have to watch grainy jumpy feeds online on their computers or streamed through their PS3s. Instead, this game was shown in all of its high definition glory on Sportsnet. Well for this game at least.
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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