It happened without fanfare, it happened without a big public address, but it happened just the same. The NHL season is cancelled for the foreseeable future and the players are locked out. For some, that means nothing but more uncertainty. Do they pack up their families, pull kinds out of school and chase a paycheck in Europe, do they spend a year away from their families if they can find a team to play for? Not every player will be able to find a team, and certainly not every player will feel comfortable with the risks of taking less pay and the risk of getting injured and forfeiting their NHL salary if the season can be salvaged.
For the Oilers, several players on entry level contracts (ELC) have been assigned to play in the AHL with the Oklahoma City Barons, some have accepted that they will not be playing hockey unless the NHL starts up again, and of course a few are making their way to various leagues in Europe.
Oilers beat Blue Jackets 6-3 in rare afternoon victory
It is official, the last place team has been determined and for the first time in three years, it’s not the Edmonton Oilers. Of course speaking to some Columbus fans in the stands, they believe that they will not be lucky enough to actually draft first overall. To that I say, you just never know.
This Oilers win also means that the Oilers are no longer the worst Canadian team, at least for now, and because they are now tied for 71 points with the Montreal Canadiens and the New York Islanders.
Edmonton Oilers’ defenceman Ladislav Smid has never been thought of as an offensive defenceman, but his 3 goals this season are another reason for people to take note. There is of course also Smid’s (at times) league leading number of blocked shots and team leading number of hits to discuss, but goals from a stay at home defenceman are what doesn’t quite fit the trend.
Acquired as a part of the Chris Pronger to Anaheim trade, Smid’sdevelopemnt has been slow but steady and now Smid has been named one of the league’s most underrated defencemen by Ryan Kennedy of the Hockey News online and in their trade deadline paper edition. To that I have two things to say; finally and it’s about time.
Oilers beat Blue Jackets 6-3
“They don’t ask how, it’s just how many” Ryan Jones reminded Sportsnet’s Gene Principe following his first multiple goal night in the NHL. Remarkably, Jones also earned his first hat-trick in a game that also saw scoring from defenceman Ladislav Smid.
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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