It was close, but neither Ryan Nugent-Hopkins or Jordan Eberle walked away from the annual NHL awards show in Las Vegas with an award. Both players placed second in voting for their respective awards; the Calder Trophy and the Lady Byng.What might be considered shocking is that 2 voters placed Nugent-Hopkins as 5th best, and 12 as 4th rookie of the year (as per Dan Tencer). Of course both players are happy just to be nominated, but surely it won’t be too long before players like Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins are awarded something.
In only a matter of days, it seems that the perceived Oiler pick has changed, once again. While the popular opinion had been that the Oilers were looking at taking winger Nail Yakupov with the first overall pick, that soon changed to defenceman Ryan Murray. But now, there are articles and discussions out there that the Oilers are actually coveting Oil King defenceman Griffin Reinhart as the top defenceman at this year’s draft.
It is interesting that Yakupov is the consensus top forward, and yet there is no consensus on the top defenceman and yet it is being speculated that the Oilers may take a defenceman. And when it comes to the coach, it looks like that announcement won’t happen until after the draft.
We’ve know it was coming, but we didn’t know it would take this long. Steve Tambellini made the trip to Sweden seemingly to sign Oscar Klefbom nearly two months ago, but it wasn’t until Tuesday afternoon that the deal was made official. Drafted 19th overall in the 2010 NHL entry draft Oscar Klefbom is now signed to a three year entry level contract with the Oilers and will count against next season’s (if it happens) list of 50 professional contracts.
But don’t get too excited yet Oil Country, Klefbom has another year on his contract with Färjestad of the Swedish Elite League and has always said that he intends to play out his contract.
Who says you can’t go home? Amidst stories that Georges Laraque would like to return to the NHL was the story that Craig MacTavish might be returning to the Oilers.
As the story grew, it was reported by the Vancouver Canucks that MacT was leaving his coaching position with the Canucks’ AHL affiliate team the Chicago Wolves to pursue other opportunities. With that release speculation grew that MacT was taking a management position with the Oilers. And now we have an official press release from the Oilers saying that Craig MacTavish is the new Senior Vice-President of Hockey Operations. There will be more information later this afternoon at a press address.
General Manager Steve Tambellini announced today the Edmonton Oilers have added Craig MacTavish to the club’s Hockey Operations Management team as Senior Vice-President, Hockey Operations.
MacTavish, 53, was the Head Coach of the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League this past season, where he led the Vancouver Canucks’ AHL affiliate to a 42-27-7 record, third best in the conference.
Named the eighth coach in Oilers history on June 22, 2000, MacTavish compiled a career record of 301-252-103 (.537) in 656 regular season games over the course of eight seasons (2000-01 to 2008-09).
MacTavish became the 36th coach in NHL history to win 300-or-more games with a 5-3 win versus the Vancouver Canucks on April 4th at Rexall Place.
He completed his coaching tenure behind the Oilers bench after the 2008-09 season, ranking second among Edmonton coaches in games coached, wins, losses, ties/overtime losses and winning percentage and ranked 36th all-time in NHL history in wins and 41st in games coached.
The former Oilers’ captain has a 17-13 (.567) record in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and became the third coach to lead the Oilers to the Stanley Cup Final.
In 2005-06 MacTavish guided the Oilers to their first trip to the Stanley Cup Final since 1990, as Edmonton fell in seven games to the Carolina Hurricanes. After finishing the regular season in 8th place in the NHL’s Western Conference standings with a 41-28-13 record, MacTavish led the Oilers to within a game of their sixth Stanley Cup. In the post-season the Oilers went 15-9 and defeated the President Trophy winning Detroit Red Wings, the San Jose Sharks and the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim on their way to winning the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl as Western Conference champions.
After departing the Oilers organization following the 2008-09 season, MacTavish earned a master’s degree in business from Queen’s University and spent two years as an analyst for the NHL on TSN.
Hockey and Nashville doesn’t exactly have the same ring as peanut butter and jelly, but just the same, it seems to be working. After the starting years, the reports of poor ticket sales and rumours of the team being moved, Nashville has had its most successful ticket sales and attendance rates ever and in fact sold out a record 25 games this season. Surprisingly Nashville surpassed teams such as New Jersey, Colorado and Dallas with its 97.5% attendance crowds for the season as a whole. While this may give hope to some for Phoenix, Nashville is a different city.
Attendance and the remarkable popularity transformation are only a small piece of Nashville’s story though. And so after years of trying to make it to Nashville for a game, that’s just what I did in March of 2012. I crossed Nashville off of my list of NHL arenas making it #15 but following no particular rhyme, reason or order save for perhaps the time of year and the NHL schedule itself. But it may just be a city I travel to again.
While Canadian summers are known to be short, Canadians like Jordan Eberle try to make the most of the time we are given. After the Oilers missed the post season, again, Eberle was selected to play in the Worlds for Canada. But even there Eberle saw an early exit. Now according to Greg Harder of the Regina Leader Post Eberle has a busy summer ahead of him raising money through golf in him home town of Regina.
Eberle enjoyed home-course advantage Thursday when he took part in the sixth annual Shooting Stars Foundation golf gala at the Royal Regina Golf Club. Eberle has a vested interest in the event after joining forces last year with Shooting Stars, a local charitable organization founded by former NHLers Jamie Heward and Mike Sillinger. The trio invited a handful of other NHL players and local celebrities to take part in the two-day event, concluding today with the Sticks on Rose street hockey tournament.
It’s a busy time for Eberle, who is also slated to be back in Regina on July 11-12 for the first-ever Eberle and Friends Golf Classic, in support of the Hospitals of Regina Foundation.
“Being a Regina boy, it’s nice to give back,” said Eberle, who now resides in Calgary. “I still have lots of family here and I try to get back as much as I can. Hewie and Silly are guys I looked up to growing up. They followed the same path as me as far as playing for the (WHL’s Regina) Pats and then moving on to the NHL. To actually be a part of (Shooting Stars) is kind of a no-brainer.”
The Edmonton Oilers have agreed to terms with GM Steve Tambellini, but they are not saying for how much longer. At least not yet. In a Wednesday morning press release the team merely says:
President of Hockey Operations Kevin Lowe announced today the Edmonton Oilers have agreed to terms on a new contract for General Manager Steve Tambellini.
Kevin Lowe says, “Three years ago we asked Steve to begin a rebuild which we all know hasn’t been easy. However, Oilers fans can take some consolation in the fact that Steve and his staff have acquired some amazing talent which will most definitely be the cornerstone to future sustained success for the Edmonton Oilers.”
He can play left wing, right wing and even goal if that’s what you need from him joked Nail Yakupov in his first media availability in Edmonton on Monday afternoon. In fact there were a lot of jokes from the feisty winger who has otherwise been known for his odd World Juniors post game scrums. In the short amount of time that he was in Calgary for the World Juniors, I could never get within arms reach through all of the other media and I certainly couldn’t get much of a sense from Yakupov. Except for the fact that he is an extremely confident young man who is passionate about playing hockey and especially for his home country of Russia that is. But after hearing Yakupov speak in a more relaxed setting I get the sense that this is exactly the kind of attitude the Oilers need to add to their dressing room.
Nail Yakupov has landed in Edmonton and the Oilers were a the airport to greet the top prospect. As with previous first overall picks Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Yakupov will get another chance to sit down and talk to Oilers brass as well as have dinner at the home of the owner, Daryl Katz. Unlike visits with Hall and Nugent-Hopkins, Yakupov will not have a lengthy discussion with the Oilers’ head coach. With Yakupov’s main concern being to prove that he is first overall material I wouldn’t expect the lack of a head coach in place to be much of a distraction for the young Russian winger.
As reported by NHL.com writer Mike Morreale top ranked prospect Nail Yakupov has been living up to the hype, and maybe then some.
Edmonton Oilers head amateur scout, Stu MacGregor, whose team holds the No. 1 choice at the draft for the third straight year, said he was impressed with Yakupov’s workout.
“He extended himself and put himself out there and gave everything he had,” MacGregor told NHL.com. “I think that Nail wants to be No. 1 and he wants to prove he’s No. 1, so he knows what’s at stake and he’s pushing himself to be the best he can be.”
In addition to the bike tests, Yakupov was put through tests that included the standing long jump, vertical jump, curl-ups, grip strength, bench press, push-ups, and push/pull strength. He bench-pressed 150 pounds nine times, and totaled 29 pushups, four more than the average number last year.
He also lasted 12:25 on the VO2 Max test, which measures the maximum capacity of an individual’s body to transport and use oxygen during incremental exercise. During his 30-second spin on the Wingate Cycle Ergometer, Yakupov maintained top speed to the very end, grunting his way through the final five seconds of the exercise.
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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