The CHLPA is still in it's infancy and the loudest cry is for a better scholarship program. To those involved with the CHLPA the amount of time a player has to choose to take the scholarship money is too short. In the WHL it is the September of the year after the player's final year of WHL eligibility. While I cannot say that I am for or against the idea of a players union for the CHL players, I can say that I want to know more. But, it is excellent news to hear that so many players are taking advantage of available scholarship money this year.
Western Hockey League Commissioner Ron Robison announced today that a total of 301 WHL graduate players have been awarded WHL Scholarships for the 2012-13 academic year.
The WHL Scholarship recipients are enrolled as full-time students in 68 different post-secondary institutions throughout North America.
This season 183 of the 301 WHL Scholarship recipients are furthering their education while playing elite hockey in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Association. In Western Canada 125 of these student athletes are playing in the Canada West University Conference, including Mount Royal University which joined the Canada West Conference for the 2012-13 season, and have combined their WHL Scholarship with additional financial assistance from their University to receive Western Canada’s Premier Hockey Scholarship.
I may be the only person thinking this, but the Oilers re-signing centreman Sam Gagner may have been one of the bigger “meh” moves of the summer. Yes, Gagner has played 366 NHL games and is only 23 (in August). Yes, Gagner also had an 8 point night last season. But what of his not just cold, but ice cold 20 plus game streak?
It was once again an early spring garbage bag day for the Edmonton Oilers and another basement season to be discussed. As the players came to speak to the media the message appeared clear the veterans seem more accepting of how the season went perhaps due to so many years of mediocrity while youngsters like Taylor Hall are extremely disappointed with this season and have not accepted this as their fate.
Oilers lose 3-1 to Stars
Some games it looks as though there is no way that the Oilers will finish in the bottom three of the NHL, and then there are games where bottom three looks to be the reality. This was one of the latter.
The Edmonton Oilers certainly had a hot streak to start the 2011-12 season, but of course the team isn’t ready to keep up that kind of pace. With injuries and the numbers achieved by the goaltending duo coming back down to Earth, few Oilers maintained their offensive streaks. For example Sam Gagner went ICE cold and Ales Hemsky didn’t actually get going until the second half of the season.
When looking at the past month for both players they have proven that they are difference makers and contributors. But the problem is, can they sustain that?
Oilers beat the Flames 6-1
It has been a very long time coming. It was October 17th, 2008 the last time the Oilers left the Calgary Saddledome with a win in their pocket. Since that game, the Oilers have been 0-9-1 in Calgary.
Oilers lose 4-2 to Red Wings
At least Sam Gagner has been on fire lately. With two goals from Gagner, the Oilers may have been shutout by the hockey giant Red Wings. But, thankfully for the Oilers, Gagner has been incredible lately. Incredible enough to make many forget then he only had 5 goals up until a week ago. Now, he has 12.
The Edmonton Oilers have received plenty of league wide attention for the past few years, but it was never for a good or positive reason. But, that’s what 2 consecutive last place finishes will do.
Slowly, things have been changing. Monday’s game in the “centre of the universe” also known as Tornonto Ontario drew a media storm to not only the game, but also the morning skate. After all, these were the same Oilers who had been riding a winning streak and who featured a player who had scored more points in a single game than many players score in a month.
Oilers beat Red Wings 5-4 in a shootout
It was a classic third period collapse that nearly led to the Oilers demise on a Hockey Night in Canada game against the league leading Detroit Red Wings. What started as another “Gagner is God game” soon became further evidence that the Oilers need to find scoring depth. Not even the return of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to the line-up seemed to be enough to spur the Oilers onto their third consecutive win. But, a buzzer beater of a third period goal by the other clutch player, Jordan Eberle once again turned the game around.
To earn a single point in an NHL game is a feat that many hockey players never accomplish. To notch 2 points is a good game. But 8 points in a single game? 8 in the current era of the NHL is a miracle. Before Thursday night in Edmonton 8 points in a single game hadn’t been accomplished since 1989.
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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