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3/25/15: The Edmonton Oilers took Russian forward Nail Yakupov with the first overall pick a few years ago, capping off a three year run of having the first pick. Those picks were supposed to transform the team into a perennial powerhouse, but Edmonton has simply regressed. Yakupov, himself, has struggled with the NHL game for most of his short career, but he is showing signs of getting his act together. He has played very well this season and seems happier. Hopefully, for the sake of the Oilers, they can finally turn the corner and turn all the talent they have into a great team.
3/18/15: With just a few weeks left in the regular season, the Edmonton Oilers sit comfortably in last place in the Western Conference, and they may want to keep it that way. The 2015 draft class has two 'can't miss' prospects and the Oilers would certainly like to land one of them. But the players are still playing and they should be commended for battling back from a four goal deficit to the Pittsburgh Penguins last week. Though the Oilers ended up losing 6-4, that kind of rally is indicative of a team that is still trying and playing for pride - and draft picks cannot buy that.
3/11/15: The Edmonton Oilers selected Russian forward Nail Yakupov with the first overall pick in 2012. There was instantly expectations that the Oilers would develop into an offensive juggernaut and become one of the best teams in the league within a few years. Almost as quickly, Yakupov struggled, got frustrated, speculated about going back to Russia and developed a strained relationship with the team. The Oilers hung with him and the 21 year old is finally getting comfortable in the NHL. He is playing very well lately and looks to be on the verge of breaking out soon. Even better for Edmonton is that he says now that he wants to stay.
3/4/15: The Edmonton Oilers were not nearly as busy on the day of the trade deadline as many would have expected, particularly for a team that is trying (again) to rebuild. The Oilers had been stalled in negotiations with defenseman Jeff Petry for some time. Rather than risk not getting an extension done before he becomes a free agent in the offseason, the Oilers sent him to Montreal for a second round pick and a conditional fifth round pick in the 2015 draft. That conditional pick moves up a round for each round of the playoffs the Canadiens advance to, with a cap on the third round.
2/25/15: It remains to be seen what type of trade or trades the Edmonton Oilers can pull off over the next week or so before the trade deadline. They already shipped out forward David Perron to Pittsburgh a few weeks ago, getting a defenseman and a draft pick. Their top guys - Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins are probably untouchable and most of the rest of the roster is probably not wanted. Except defenseman Jeff Petry. Petry and the team have recently started extension talks, but that may be too late. So there is still a good chance the Oilers shop him around and try to get a prospect or draft pick.
2/18/15: The Edmonton Oilers are hurting these days, and not just in the standings. Star forward Taylor Hall was placed on the injured reserved list last week and is expected to be out six weeks while nursing an ankle injury. Goaltender Ben Scrivens is also out with an injury, but his leave is for an indefinite period at this point. The Buffalo Sabres got the jump on the Oilers by making a blockbuster trade with the Winnipeg Jets last week. With only two more weeks until the trade deadline, it will be interesting to see if Edmonton starts making moves to restart their rebuilding process.
2/11/15: This may be considered a minor uptick, but the Oilers have gone 4-6 in their last 10 games. While that is certainly not an impressive record, it is much better than their season average, which is about one win for every four games. The Oilers still sit in last place in the Pacific Division (and the Western Conference) and there is no reason to believe that they will not end up there at season's end. What will keep Edmonton in the news is that they do have some talent on the roster that contending teams may find useful for playoff runs. There are only a few more weeks until the trade deadline, so keep an eye out for trades from the Oilers.
2/5/15: Edmonton needs another obstacle to overcome this season because it has simply been too easy for them. So it only makes sense that Nikita Nikitin, one of their better defensemen, will miss significant time due to a shoulder injury. In fact, he is unlikely to play again this season. The injury could not have come at a worse time for Edmonton because Nikitin may have been used as a tradable asset as the Oilers are clearly sellers at this year's trade deadline. Edmonton has already traded David Perron to the Pittsburgh Penguins and more trades are expected as the team tries to accumulate good prospects and draft picks to rebuild.
1/28/15: A two game winning streak is nice for anyone but takes on more meaning when it is improving your total win amount by 20%. That is where the Edmonton Oilers fell as they headed into the All Star break. They won their last two games before the break to improve to 12-26-9, though that is still in last place in the Western Conference and just above Buffalo for last in the league. Do not be surprised if the Oilers get more active on the trade market. They already traded away David Perron and more may be coming as the Oilers try to rebuild next season.
1/21/15: The road has not been kind to the Edmonton Oilers this season. To be fair, home ice has not been too accommodating either, but away games have really flummoxed the team. So Edmonton should be pretty happy that they picked up their third road win of the season last Saturday night in South Florida against the Florida Panthers. The score was tied at two apiece after regulation and overtime, but Nail Yakupov scored the lone goal in the shootout by beating Roberto Luongo with a nice forehand deke. The win snapped the Oilers' 14 game road losing streak and moved Edmonton to 31 points on the season.
1/14/15: Edmonton does not get a lot of wins, so it is nice when they win. It is extra special when they beat one of the best teams in the NHL, which is exactly what they did to the Chicago Blackhawks last week. The Blackhawks simply said they gave one of their 'worst efforts of the season', but that takes away from the hard work that the Oilers put in. The win was their 10th of the season and gets them prepared for a long road trip this week to Tampa on Thursday, Florida Panthers on Saturday and Washington on Tuesday.
1/7/15: About a year and a half ago, David Perron was shipped out of St. Louis (one of the better teams in the NHL) to the Edmonton Oilers (one of the worst teams in the NHL). Perron is a natural scorer and did what he could in Edmonton. But the Oilers are trying to rebuild and figured they could do better in a trade, so they traded him to Pittsburgh last week. The Penguins, of course, are one of the better teams in the NHL, so that is good for Perron. For their part, the Oilers received Rob Klinkhammer and a first round draft pick in 2015. Chances are, that pick will be in the latter half of the first round, but does give Edmonton another piece in which to rebuild.
12/3/14: The tough 2014-15 season continues to be a struggle for the Edmonton Oilers. After losing to both the Nashville Predators and St. Louis Blues last week, their futility against the Western Conference is now up to 0-12 this season. Therefore, all six of the Oilers' wins have been against the Eastern Conference. Not much of a chance that Edmonton can get realigned into the East, considering they are located in Western Canada. The Oilers had a chance to beat the Blues, but ended up falling in overtime. The Oilers are at Winnipeg on Wednesday and have a home and home with San Jose on Sunday (home) and Tuesday.
11/19/14: Maybe the Oilers are rethinking that trade that sent former starting goaltender Devan Dubnyk to Nashville last season. Or maybe not. They are probably better off in the long run Ben Scrivens and company, but Dubnyk did get a bit of revenge on his former team. Now with Arizona, Dubnyk led the Coyotes to a 2-1 win over the Oilers, stopping 33 of 34 shots (had he played like that in Edmonton, then he would still be there). Taylor Hall was back in the lineup after missing a couple weeks with a knee injury and he provided the Oilers lone goal. Edmonton has a couple of interesting home games this week as the New Jersey Devils visit on Friday and the Chicago Blackhawks visit on Saturday.
11/12/14: The Edmonton Oilers are turning into a cautionary tale of how not to build an organization. The Oilers have struggled for years, but the plan was to be terrible and rebuild with high draft picks. They got the terrible part down, got the draft picks, but have been unable to turn talent into wins. They have had a roller coaster season: lost first five games. Won next four, currently on a four game losing streak. Such inconsistency both heightens hopes and fuels speculation that the team will make some moves - such as a major trade or replacing the coaching staff.
11/5/14: The Edmonton Oilers started this season looking a lot like the team that finished in the bottom of the Western Conference in 2013-14. But something happened and it started to click. The Oilers erased their 0-4-1 start and rattled off four consecutive wins to pull to .500. While that will not get a team into the playoffs, it certainly gives Oilers fans something to be excited about and helps the team build confidence. Goalie Ben Scrivens has been playing well and may have earned the starting job over Viktor Fasth. Edmonton is on a big road trip this week and will face Philadelphia, Boston, Buffalo and the New York Rangers.
10/29/14: Break up the Oilers! After starting the season 0-4-1, the Oilers won three in a row. And not just that, these were wins against two quality opponents. First, the Oilers took down the highly-regarded Tampa Bay Lightning. Taylor Hall's penalty shot goal may have been the stuff of highlight reels, but getting the first win out of the way is the headline. Then they beat the Washington Capitals, who may well be one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. Now that they know they can win in this league, perhaps the Oilers are on their way to righting the ship at last.
10/22/14: Prior to their game last week, L.A. Kings head coach Darryl Sutter complemented the Oilers Taylor Hall, calling him 'arguably the best left winger in the NHL'. The sentiment is nice but the result of the game was a big win by the Kings. The Oilers are certainly struggling these days, and the culprit is familiar: goaltending. It did not help that goalie Viktor Fasth left that game with an injury, leaving Ben Scrivens to handle most of the duties. The losses put in to focus why the team did not pursue a top level goaltender in the offseason. In any case, the Oilers may still be near the bottom, but hopefully the offense will realize their talent and make them an interesting team.
10/15/14: Well, that did not take long. One game into the regular season and Oilers fans are already showing their displeasure. The team opened up the season with a lackluster effort in a 5-2 loss to the rival Calgary Flames. The fans, it seems, have had enough of rebuilding, and want to see a win now. that prompted fans to throw their replica jerseys on the ice. The Oilers have stockpiled talent for several years but have not been able to turn that into wins. If it helps out, the Oilers have 81 more games to go and plenty of time to put this loss out of their memory.
10/8/14: It remains to be seen how serious this injury is, but forward David Perron suffered a rib injury last week against the Arizona Coyotes and left the game. Perron is a very talented, if inconsistent, power forward. He has also been in the league for several years, mostly with the St. Louis Blues. He can provide veteran leadership to a young and raw team. The rib injury is in addition to a hip problem. Perron scored 28 goals last season, and losing him could really be a blow to the team as they look to improve upon their last place finish last season.
10/1/14: Handicapping the Edmonton Oilers for the upcoming season is only slightly easier than guessing how many grains of sand are on Clearwater Beach. There is no question that the team is absolutely loaded with raw talent. There is also very little debate that poor upper management and a lot of turnover in the coaching ranks has hindered the team. Considering the struggles the team has had, particularly defensively, over the past few years, and that they play in the Western Conference, many expect little from this group. At least this season there is some stability in the coaching, and perhaps it is the time for Edmonton to make their move.
9/24/14: The center position has become an absolute must in the Western Conference over the past few years - the same way that the quarterback position in football has evolved into needing an elite talent to win. Many Western Conference teams have paid big bucks over the summer to get strong number one and two centers. The Oilers realize this. They have Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Boyd Gordon as number one and two, but are looking to see who will be numbers three and four. The Oilers have several candidates, but need a couple guys to step up during training camp and take the position.
9/17/14: The Oilers may be getting one of their own native sons soon. The team announced an entry level deal with prospect Greg Chase for a three year tenure. Chase was a seventh round pick of the team in the 2013 draft. He appeared in five games for the Oiler's AHL affiliate Oklahoma City Barons last season with one goal. No, this is not a move that will affect the team tomorrow, but could be a good deal down the line as the 19 year old develops. The Oilers should be improved this season, but chances are they are only going to be as good as their goaltending, so here is hoping that Ben Scrivens holds up.
8/28/14: Is this the year that everyone in Edmonton has been looking forward to - the year where the Oilers finally break through and realize their potential. The team has had numerous high draft picks (including three consecutive number one overall picks) over the past several years. Of course they have missed the playoffs for eight years in a row. But we could see some real improvement this season. The Oilers have the same coach as last season in Dallas Eakins and the players finally have some stability in their scheme. It still may take a year or two to develop, but at least there is a path to improve.
8/21/14: If an Edmonton Oilers fan is not optimistic about the upcoming NHL season, well, that is understandable. The team has missed the playoffs for the past eight years and would have to do something very special not to make it nine. However, there are rays of hope for improvement. The goaltending simply has to be improved with Viktor Fasth and Ben Scrivens because it cannot be much worse. All of those top picks that were rushed into the NHL have another year of experience as well. Also, they get to have the same coach for a change, so at least there is some consistency with game planning.
8/14/14: While the headlines made some sort of bad pun about Dallas going to Dallas, there seems to be truth to the report that Edmonton Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins visited the Dallas Cowboys training camp a couple of weeks ago. Eakins was interested in how a large coaching staff works together, knowing that hockey coaching staffs are growing as well. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett obliged and the two spent time together helping each other out. Edmonton has had some turnover in the coaching ranks, so getting a good idea of how to handle change and diversity could benefit the Oilers next season.
8/7/14: The Edmonton Oilers were on the cutting edge of new age hockey numbers nearly 40 years ago when Wayne Gretzky bucked tradition and went with number 99. That number is now retired throughout the NHL for the greatest player to ever live. But the Oilers also had number 77 with Paul Coffey. So no one really batted an eye when Nail Yakupov took number 64 (even though that number is generally associated with offensive linemen and not hockey players. But now that Shawn Horcoff is gone, Yakupov has switched to number 10. It may not help, but at least it is a more anonymous number.
7/31/14: For all the big-time offensive prospects the Oilers have brought in over the past five years, they have largely ignored the defense. They have added a few nice pieces on occasion, such as Justin Schultz and Nikita Nikitin, but still - by their own admission - lack a top two defender. Oilers GM Craig MacTavish has said this is priority for the organization. Perhaps there will some organic improvement this season since many of their prospects are gaining experience. But since free agency is all but over, the team may need to make a big trade in order to get that top defenseman for the upcoming season.
7/24/14: The Oilers have not had a textbook rebuild, and perhaps that is why they have continued to struggle year after year. The team officially began their rebuild in the 2009-10 season, or five years ago. While they have added nice pieces like Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, they still have not managed to show marked improvement. Perhaps some of the problem is that they never committed to the original rebuild. Every player from that first season is playing elsewhere or out of the league. Heading into the next season, the Oilers have missed the playoffs for eight consecutive seasons, meaning they may need to rebuild again.
7/17/14: The Oilers resigned goaltender Richard Bachman to a one year deal, giving them three goalies on the roster. Bachman spent most of last season at Edmonton's minor league affiliate, Oklahoma City, of the AHL. It is likely to be more of the same as the Oilers seem to have Victor Fasth and Ben Scrivens penciled in for the big league club. Scrivens is a particularly interesting candidate for the starting job as he had a couple monster games where he stopped over 50 shots. Not only does that show his skill, but also shines a light on the Oilers' most glaring weakness, which is defense.
7/10/14: Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins is out to change the perception of the team. He worries that they are considered an offensive team, which he does not believe they are. He is also concerned about spreading out the offensive production. He does not want a team that relies on 'four players' to generate points. He envisions a better balanced team that can work well in the defensive zone and gets scoring contributions from everyone. That may take longer than he has to do, but he was not the one who put this roster together, unfortunately for him.
6/26/14: Upgrading the defense has to be a key priority of the Oilers this offseason. While simply adding one player will not solve their defensive woes, it is a step in the right direction. According to reports, the Oilers have been granted permission to negotiate with Nikita Nikitin of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Nikitin is a defenseman's defenseman. He is huge, has a big shot and rarely scores. But he blocks a lot of shots (72 last season) and can handle a lot of ice time. He may not be the flashiest name available, but would be a very good signing for the Oilers.
6/19/14: In a case of stating the obvious, the Oilers admit they are looking for help on defense this offseason. A year ago, there was speculation that the Oilers wanted Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn. Get ready for that speculation to heat up again. Edmonton has a lot of talent on offense, but the defense is a major liability. Coburn would help out, particularly on the penalty kill, if the Oilers can somehow get him. The Oilers have seemed primed to be a great team for a while now. If they can ever get the defense to catch up with their offense, then this could be a Stanley Cub organization again.
6/12/14: With free agency and the NHL draft around the corner, it is probably a good time to look at some needs of the Edmonton Oilers. First and foremost, the team needs a true number one goaltender. The Oilers ended the season with Viktor Fasth and Ben Scrivens through trades. Both are adequate, but there may be an upgrade available. Ryan Miller is set to be a free agent after he was unsuccessfully rented by St. Louis for three months. He certainly would cost quite a bit, but has shown to be worth it. The market for him has fallen some, so maybe he is a possibility.
6/12/14: With free agency and the NHL draft around the corner, it is probably a good time to look at some needs of the Edmonton Oilers. First and foremost, the team needs a true number one goaltender. The Oilers ended the season with Viktor Fasth and Ben Scrivens through trades. Both are adequate, but there may be an upgrade available. Ryan Miller is set to be a free agent after he was unsuccessfully rented by St. Louis for three months. He certainly would cost quite a bit, but has shown to be worth it. The market for him has fallen some, so maybe he is a possibility.
6/6/14: The Edmonton Oilers are again at a crossroads for the future of their organization. Many expected the Oilers to have finally broken through to the playoffs, or at least make a run for the postseason by now after having three consecutive number one overall draft picks in recent years. That has not happened and Oilers are again trying to figure out what to do. They have another high draft pick in this draft, but no second or third round pick. They may elect to trade down this time and get some depth for the roster rather than try to pick the next superstar.
5/29/14: The NHL Entry Draft is next month and once again, the Edmonton Oilers are selecting near the top. This year, they drew the #3 spot, which is a pretty good place to be. Edmonton has a lot of needs, but first and foremost has to be on defense. Aaron Ekblad is the top rated defenseman, and some would say the best overall prospect. Of course both the Florida Panthers and Buffalo Sabres stand in the Oilers' way right now. Panthers' GM Dale Tallon says that he is open for business, so it may be possible for the Oilers to move up the first overall spot to get Ekblad. That would be four #1 overall picks in the last six years, which also means that it is time to get out of the cellar.
5/22/14: In every offseason, each NHL team must do what they can to keep other teams from poaching the free agents that they want to keep. That is simply life in any major professional sports league. But the Oilers have it even tougher because they seem to be fighting to keep their players from going to Russia and playing in the KHL. Defenseman Denis Grebeshkov announced he was going to play for the Vityaz Podolk last week. He is the third player from the Oilers' 2013-14 roster to announce a move to the KHL, joining forward Roman Horak and defenseman Anton Belov.
5/15/14: No mistake about it, the Edmonton Oilers had a disaster of a 2013-14 season. The team was expected to compete (finally) in the ultra-competitive Western Conference. A legitimate expectation after having so many recent #1 overall picks. That did not happen and the Oilers will pick at the top of the draft (again). They have signed 6'5 center Bogdan Yakimov to an entry level deal, and perhaps that will help them be tougher on the ice. Of course, he is still very young, and may take a few more years to get to the NHL before he gets his shot.
5/8/14: Any way you cut it, the Oilers are just not getting it done. Considering they had three consecutive number one overall draft picks in recent years, they should be better than last in the Western Conference. There are a lot of holes to fill, but Ray Ferraro has an interesting proposition. He suggests the Oilers trade star Jordan Eberle to the St. Louis Blues for Patrick Berglund. Berglund is a more complete player, and capable of putting up 20 goals and playing some defense. Eberle would give the Blues the scoring sniper they need. On paper, it looks like a good deal for both sides. We'll see if anything happens in the offseason.
5/1/14: It has become an annual ritual in Edmonton over the last few years, that is, picking at the top of the draft. While it is nice to have a very high draft pick (in the Oilers' case, they had three consecutive number one overall picks), that generally means that the team is in poor shape and needs some serious help. The Oilers will pick third in June and they need defense, defense, and some more defense. Of course, there is a chance they could land big (6'1, 209 pounds) center Leon Draisaitl, and that may be too good of a chance to pass up.
4/24/14: The Oilers had the number one overall pick for three consecutive years and they loaded up on top tier talent. The two forwards they took have played pretty well. That defenseman from two years ago (Nail Yakupov) has not. There are actually many rumors that the Oilers are trying to trade him. But the Oilers are very likely to have another top lottery pick this year and they will need to make it count. Their primary issue is landing an elite defenseman. Justin Schultz is very good, but needs some help. Maybe they would benefit from not getting the best scoring defenseman, and just get a great defensive minded defenseman.
4/17/14: It is the end of an era in Edmonton, as long-time Oiler Ryan Smyth announced his retirement. Smyth played 19 season in the NHL, most of it with the Oilers - he played the second most games as an Oiler in franchise history. He was taken sixth overall in 1994 draft and played his first 12 seasons with Edmonton. It was an emotional moment when he was traded to the New York Islanders ins 2007. But Smyth returned to Edmonton in 2011. The outpouring of accolades from the team and former players has already started, and is well-deserved. Good luck to Ryan in his post-playing career.
4/10/14: When your team has lost any chance of making the playoffs and the big hope is to not finish in last place overall, the most you can hope for is that your guys continue to play hard, even if there is not much to play for. Well, give the Oilers an 'A' for effort. The season was lost a long time ago and there are sure to be changes in the organization and roster before next season. But they did battle back in Phoenix, scoring with less than a minute left to tie the game. Then Sam Gagner pulled one of the most amazing dekes in history to beat Phoenix in a shootout. The Oilers could have easily packed it in, but they are still competing.
4/3/14: The Oilers had three number one overall picks in the NHL draft for three straight years (2010-2012). They added a lot of offensive talent and are expected to make 'the leap' from developing team to contender at some point. That will not be this season. One big concern has been goaltending, but the trade for Ben Scrivens is paying off. Scrivens set a record by recording a 59 shot shutout soon after being acquired. He took on 51 shots last week against Anaheim and only let in three. Goaltending may not be the issue anymore in Edmonton, but they have to stop allowing so many shots per game. By contrast, the St. Louis Blues average about 26 shots against per game.
3/27/14: There is no place the Oilers can go but up from here. Many thought that the Oilers were in line to make 'the leap' this season. They have three number one overall picks on the roster, and another highly sought after young defenseman. But they never gelled the way it was planned and the goal tending situation in Edmonton has been a puzzle all season. The recent addition of Ben Scrivens may improve that area next season, but the team, as a whole, must play better defense and team hockey if they are going to climb out of the cellar next season.
3/20/14: Let's just consider this a lost season for the Oilers and move on. This current campaign has been difficult to absorb, especially since the Oilers have so much talent on the ice. The recent trade for goaltender Ben Scrivens looks like a good move, but the Oilers need to be better defensively if they want to improve. There is also a good chance that 2012 first overall pick Nail Yapukov will not be back with the team next season. Nail has loads of talent, but seems to need a different motivational strategy than the Oilers are using. If nothing else, Edmonton should have a pretty good pick in the draft, possibly first overall again.
3/13/14: The goaltending carousel continued in Edmonton at the tradeline as the Oilers shipped out Ilya Bryzgalov, whom they signed during the season to help Devin Dubnyk. DD was sent to Nashville earlier in the year, and was traded for the second time this season at the trade deadline. The Oilers also acquired Viktor Fasth at the deadline from Anaheim. This comes a little over a month after Edmonton traded for Ben Scrivens from the Kings. Fasth could not make his first practice after the trade, so the Oilers brought in the starting goalie from Team Canada's women's team.
3/6/14: Edmonton made a bold step by trading for the relatively unknown and unproven Ben Scrivens (from the L.A. Kings) a couple of months ago, and now have signed him to a two year extension. Scrivens got his chance in the NHL when Kings starter Jonathan Quick went down with an injury for an extended time. Scrivens played well enough in relief, and now is the full time back up in Edmonton. He did have the monstrous 59 save shutout over San Jose, which has become his calling card. With the new deal, the Oilers may be poised to make him the feature goal tender next season.
2/27/14: It has been a forgetful year for the Oilers so far, but they did head into the Olympic break with a head of steam. The Oilers won five of their last seven games before the break and now claim to be refreshed heading into the final quarter of the season. While the Oilers are still last in Pacific Division with 47 points, forward Nail Yakupov had six points in those games and seems to have found his way a bit better in the NHL. He claims that he and the team had a great break and refreshed with a new mentality. They are a longshot to make the playoffs this season, but can hopefully build on their struggles in the future.
2/20/14: Considering the overwhelming offensive talent on the Oilers, it is hard to believe that the team only has three Olympians. Of course, considering the overwhelming offensive talent on the Oilers, it is hard to believe that they are among the worst teams in the league. Only Ales Hemsky (Czech Republic), Anton Belov (Russia), and Martin Marincin (Slovakia) are playing in Sochi right now. Of the three, Belov has one goal and Hemsky has one assist. They are a combined -4 in the tournament. Hopefully, the Oilers can properly develop their talent and guys like Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will be playing at the next Olympics.
2/13/14: The first trade deadline of the season passed and there was next to no activity. The NHL put a freeze on trades during the Olympics, and the regular trade deadline will be in March. Many teams may be trying to stash players in the minors during the Olympics to reduce their salary cap hit, so that may explain why there was little movement. One trade that may happen after the break is the Oilers sending Sam Gagner to the Kings. The sides reportedly have discussed a transaction, and the Oilers could get Kyle Clifford in return. That seems low for the Oilers, but perhaps there are other conditions or players involved.
2/6/14: Here is a great one for all the Edmonton Oilers fans out there. We will bypass the usual 'Oilers are struggling' narrative this time. Goalie Ben Scrivens pitched a 59 save shut out last week. That is an amazing number of save over 60 minutes, and most teams take two to two and a half games to get to 59 shots. Regardless, Scrivens stood tall for the entire game against the San Jose Sharks. The Oilers need that kind of goaltending to move forward, so maybe they have found their goalie of the future. If they can give him some defensive help, then this could be a great team next season.
1/30/14: A six game losing streak is generally bad for the standings and morale. Two of them is a downright disaster. The Oilers snapped their second such streak last week with a big 5-1 win over the Nashville Predators. Newly acquired goalie Ben Scrivens got the win with 34 saves and a whole host of players ended up on the score sheet - which is what many people would have expected before the season started. Ryan Smyth, Justin Schultz, Jordan Eberle, and Ryan Nugent Hopkins each had a goad and an assist on the night. The team certainly has the offensive talent, and now needs to put it all together more consistently.
1/23/14: The Oilers continue to make goaltending changes, presumably in an attempt to get out of the Western Conference cellar. Edmonton traded away Devan Dubnyk to Nashville then promptly acquired Ben Scrivens from the Los Angeles Kings. The Predators have been looking for a more sustainable replacement and back up to Pekka Rinne, who is still out with a major hip injury. L.A. found they had a surplus of quality goalies. Scrivens will likely earn more playing time in Edmonton and may end up being the starter. Dubnyk has not been good this season, but then again, has not had much help from the team in front of him.
1/16/14: It always seems to be one step forward and two steps back for the Oilers. Edmonton, of course, has a tremendously talented core of young players. They had the number one overall pick for three consecutive years, and even landed defenseman Justin Schmidt after he refused to join Anaheim (that has not worked out for him so far). But little victories are big for a young team. The Oilers rallied back against the mighty Pittsburgh Penguins for an upset victory last week. That is the kind of win that can boost confidence and get a young team going. The season may be essentially over for the Oilers, but if they continue to improve, then they have a great future ahead.
1/9/14: Edmonton just cannot seem to buy a win this season. The Oilers lost again to the Anaheim Ducks in Anaheim last week, and it was as demoralizing as it gets. Ducks defenseman Ben LoveJoy set a franchise record for fastest two goals by a defenseman, beating Ilya Bryzgalov with the same shot from the same location twice in a row. The good news, if there is any, is that former first overall pick Nail Yakupov scored in consecutive games and looks to be playing harder. Head coach Dallas Eakin has benched the star youngster a couple times this season, and maybe Nail is finally getting the message on what he needs to do to be on the ice and be successful.
1/2/14: Sure, it is not Ray Bourque going back to Boston or even Jerome Iginla going back to Calgary, but the Oilers are looking at Ilya Bryzgalov as the starter against his former team - the Philadelphia Flyers. Bryzgalov is trying to come back to prominence after two terrible years in Philly and being out of the league for a while. He caught on with the Oilers a couple months ago and is trying to show that he can be a top flight goaltender again. He can certainly help the Oilers, but the Oilers could help themselves by playing better defense and more disciplined offense, in the meantime.
12/26/13: Edmonton is languishing in last place in the both the Pacific Division and Western Conference, and are only ahead of the Buffalo Sabres in the NHL. That tends to happen when an organization ignores defense and goaltending for years and only gets the splashy big name forward. That, and six game losing streaks don't help either. But the Oilers snapped their drought with a win over Winnipeg in a nasty game earlier this week. After Nail Yakupov made it 6-2 with under four minutes to play, a brawl broke out that featured too much stick play.
12/19/13: Edmonton has suffered with mediocre goaltending for some time now, so it is interesting that the team felt they had enough depth to trade away a goalie. However, with Ilya Bryzgalov ready to return to action, it appears they felt they could part with one, and so they dealt Jason LaBarbera to the Chicago Blackhawks for future considerations. LaBarbera, 33, will go to the Rockfor IceHogs and Antti Raanta and Kent Simpson will stay with the Hawks for now. The move does save the Oilers some money as they got rid of a $1 million per year contract.
12/12/13: It is sad that the Edmonton Oilers are among the most disappointing teams this season. They seem to have a lot of pieces in place to become a top notch team, but cannot seem to get everything together. The 2-1 overtime loss to the Flames last week was particularly hard to swallow. It gave the Flames a three point lead over the Oilers for last place in the Pacific Division. If there is some good news, it is that Oilers forward Taylor Hall was named the #2 star for the week in the NHL. They have talent, they just need to put it all together.
12/5/13: Edmonton has had defensive and goaltending problems all season, so they are going in a different route. The Oilers called up goalie Ilya Bryzgalov and he got his first start against the Nashville Predators on Thanksgiving night. Bryzgalov is a very accomplished goalie, having won the Stanley Cup (with Anaheim, 2006-07), a bronze medal in the 2002 Winter Olympics, and a silver medal in the 2000 World Juniors. He signed a monstrous nine year, $51 million deal with the Flyers in 2011, but lost his confidence a few months later. The Flyers bought him out after only two seasons, making him a free agent, and available for the Oilers.
11/28/13: Finally some happy news out of Edmonton. The Oilers, as everyone knows, have struggled mightily this season. That seems hard to believe with all the talent on the team (though they could use some help on the defensive side, including goal tending). They broke a five game losing streak with a win against Calgary last week, and have not looked back. The Oilers are on a three game winning streak now and are playing with more confidence than they have all season. It is too soon to tell if this is the turn-around they need, but it is a welcome site for Oilers fans.
11/21/13: it has been a long time since the Battle of Alberta really meant something in the NHL. Older fans may remember when Edmonton and Calgary were elite teams who were legitimate Stanley Cup contenders, though that was a couple decades ago. The rivals met again last week with each trying to break five game losing streaks. Edmonton rallyied from an 0-2 deficit in the third period with four unanswered goals to get a the big win and take some attention away from their poor start. Edmonton is still in the cellar in the Pacific division, but a win like this may just be the springboard they need to save the season.
11/14/13: The long season in Edmonton keeps getting longer. The Oilers committed themselves to a youth movement several years ago and collected number one picks like they were going out of style. No one can argue that the team does not have offensive talent, but they are lacking on defense and goaltending. Rumors have it that the team is considering trading Jordan Ellerbe to the Flyers for some defensive help. They also signed former Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov who hopefully will give the team a little boost in the net and possibly a few more notches in the win column.
11/7/13: The Oilers' struggles continue and the team now finds itself in last place in the Western Conference with only three wins. Thankfully Buffalo has been worse (and is already in firesale mode) to keep them out of the cellar of the entire league. Former first overall pick Nail Yakupov is experiencing a sophomore slump and has been a healthy scratch a couple of times. Some good news may be on the way with Taylor Hall possibly returning soon. Head coach Dallas Eakins called out his team's lack of confidence following a 5-0 loss to the Red Wings last week. It can't last forever, and this team simply has too much talent not to break out soon.
10/31/13: Its been a tough go of it for the Oilers this season so far. The team has already endured a five game losing streak and is last in the Western Conference. The road to the playoffs and redemption just got harder with word that leading scorer Taylor Hall will miss four weeks with a knee injury. Meanwhile, the optimism that surrounds three consecutive number one overall picks is quickly fading and the team may trade Nail Yakupov, possibly for defense or goaltending help. Right now, the Oilers are struggling, but there is so much talent that they can turn it around at any time.
10/24/13: When the Oilers selected Nail Yakupov with the first overall selection in the 2012, he was considered a can't miss prospect, and arguably the best since Sidney Crosby. That has not panned out in Edmonton as hoped. He scored 17 goals in his rookie season but that was mostly on the second and third line. He has fallen out of favor with new Edmonton head coach Dallas Eakins and was a healthy scratch twice already this season. There are rumors floating around that the Oilers and Buffalo Sabres may trade, with Tomas Vanek or Ryan Miller going to Edmonton. That kind of deal makes sense on paper and we'll see if something pans out.
10/17/13: When the Oilers selected Russian defenseman Nail Yakupov with the first overall pick in the 2012 draft (their third number one selection in a row), many figured that he would be able to provide offensive support from the point. He is not a noted defensive specialist, but is an offensive threat in a league that prizes offensive defenseman. In fact, he did tie for the rookie scoring league last season with 31 points which included 17 goals. However, he has no point through four games this season and coach Dallas Eakins scratched him against the Maple Leafs. He will be fine once he gets his stride back, and that could come at any time.
10/10/13: It took three games, but the Oilers got their first win of the season with a 5-4 shootout win over the New Jersey Devils. Both Jordan Eberle and David Perron schooled goaltending legend Martin Brodeur in the shootout, with Eberle roofing a backhander like he was in a skills competition. The Oilers trailed 3-0 at the start of the third period but pushed through four goals in the final frame of regulation. The win put the Oilers at 1-2 on the season and should put the league on notice that this team can score at will.
10/3/13: This has to be the year the Oilers break through and get back to the playoffs. The team has been rebuilding for a number of years and has assembled an incredibly strong core of young talent. Many thought last year would be the time, but that did not happen. The Oilers have a new coach in Dallas Eakins and most of their young stars now have three or more years of experience. If the Oilers cannot break through this season then there may be a major reshuffling of the organization at season's end. However, they are talented and have played enough games that they should take the next step this season.
9/26/13: The Oilers put their chips to the middle of the table with their young stars, the latest being signing Ryan Hopkins-Nugent to a seven year extension. The team has been very aggressive in getting their first round picks over the past few years into long-term commitments. If those guys, like RHN, Jordan Eberle, and Taylor Hall, continue to develop, then the Oilers are set for the next half decade or longer. If they struggle, then the Oilers will languish for years. The team is stacked with talent, but let's see if some stability in coaching will help them out for the long haul.
9/19/13: For all their young talent, the Edmonton Oilers have not been able to make it to the next level and get to the postseason for several years. The team has been unstable at the coaching level, with new head coach Dallas Eakins being the fifth coach in six years. Eakins is selling a new philosophy in Edmonton; one of grit and accountability. Eakins apparently wants to get away from the finesse image many people have of the team. This is probably a good philosophy for the team to embrace. They have the talent and age to be a dynasty, but need to develop toughness and aggressiveness.
9/12/13: It is no secret that the Edmonton Oilers have an embarrassment of riches in terms of top tier young talent. That is particularly true on the offensive side, considering they have young players like Jordan Eberle, David Perron, and Hopkins Nugent. Even their young defensemen are offensive, like Nail Yakupov and Justin Schultz. They could stand to use a true defensive defenseman. Enter Darnell Nurse. Nurse was their first round pick in the 2013 draft and has been compared to a young Chris Pronger. He is a few years away from joining the NHL club, but should be a big asset when he gets called up.
9/4/13: Early reports are that Sam Gagner will be named the 14th captain of the Edmonton Oilers - a lineage that includes legends such as Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier. Gagner is an unconventional choice. He is not an established team veteran (only 24 years old) and is not one of the team's young superstars. He does have strong leadership skills and six years in the league though. This may be a good choice for the Oilers. Too often, teams name their best player the captain, whether or not he has the leadership qualities that are needed for the job. It is better to name a true leader the captain and let the superstars just do their job.
8/29/13: This has to be the year the Oilers break out. Yes they have had some turmoil with a new management team and new coaches, but the team simply has too much talent to continue to muddle through the season. They have three number one picks on the roster who all have some playing experience now. There is some veteran leadership in place as well. Going into this season, if there is one team ready to break out, then it has to be the Edmonton Oilers, and they should make the playoffs rather go golfing in May.
8/22/13: Another week, and another take on the awkward position that Alex Hemsky finds himself in. Hemsky never has fulfilled on his potential. He has been good, but not dominant. He has also been injured a lot, leading to a lot of frustratrion for fans and team management. He is entering the final year of his contract, but the Oilers are having a tough time finding a trade partner. The Oilers want to go forward with Taylor Hall, Jordan Elberle, and Ryan Nugent Hopkins, but are saddled with Hemsky, at least in the short term. Here is hoping both parties can get what they want, and a new beginning for a talented young player.
8/15/13: The Oilers will never forget Wayne Gretzky. He put the team on the map and led them to four Stanley Cups in his time there - including knocking off the Islanders who were a dynasty in the early 1980's. But it was 25 years ago this week (August 9, 1988) when the Oilers shocked the league by trading away the greatest player of all time. Hockey exploded in popularity in Los Angeles and other non-traditional markets, salaries increased across the board, and the league expanded to the now 30 teams. All of this was a result of The Trade. To ease the pain, the Oilers did win the Stanley Cup the following year without Gretzky.
8/8/13: The Oilers own the rights to forward Linus Omark, but it does not look like they want him back and they are not trying to trade him. Omark played for the Oilers in past years, but went to Sweden during the lockout and did not return to the team. He now wants to return to the NHL - but that is easier said than done. The Oilers recently acquired forward David Perron from the St. Louis Blues, and he has the same position and skill set as Omark. The smart money is on the Oilers trading his rights, or more likely, that Omark will spend at least another year in Europe.
8/1/13: The ongoing saga of Ales Hemsky in Edmonton remains. It is no secret that the Oilers would like to get him off the roster, even if their front office publicly denies that. The fact is that Hemsky has not fit in well in Edmonton and has a $5 million cap hit this season. The Oilers, meanwhile, only have $2 million to spare. The most recent rumors are Hemsky going to Ottawa to replace Daniel Alfredsson. While that is still just speculation, it could be a good fit for a guy with talent and a team that currently does not want him.
7/25/13: It is no secret that the Oilers are trying to part with Ales Hemsky. Unfortunately for the Oilers, there is no market for him right now as teams are trying to accommodate the salary cap. Therefore, Hemsky will likely be with the Oilers, at least for part of the season. Hemsky has a $5.5 million salary and $5 million cap hit. Hemsky has talent, but he has been on a losing Edmonton team for the past seven years and even new coach Craig MacTavish understands that prolonged losing can have an affect on a player. Chances are that he will start the season with the Oilers, but will be moved midway through the season as teams prep for the playoffs.
7/11/13: The Oilers must feel that they need more offense, even though they have several excellent young players like Jordan Eberle and Nugent Hopkins to put up points. In any event, they made a trade with the St. Louis Blues and acquired 25 year old winger David Perron for 22 year old winger Magnus Paajarvi and a second round pick in next year's draft. Perron is a gifted offensive player, though he struggled to score just like the rest of the Blues. His career high is 21 goals, and that was in only 57 games as he missed time with concussions. He is signed for three more years at a cap hit of well under $4 million per year.
7/4/13: For the first time since 2009 the Edmonton Oilers did not have the first overall (and subsequent first in each round) pick. The Oilers somehow managed to win the NHL Draft Lottery three years in a row, and selected talent like Mike Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov. The Oilers have not made those top picks pan out, yet. But they should in time. All of their talent is very young and should make Edmonton a contender for several years. This year, the Oilers selected defenseman Darnell Nurse with the seventh overall pick. Nurse is a tough defenseman who stands 6'3, 185 pounds, and will only benefit from adding muscle and weight.
6/20/13: The Oilers have decided on (another) a head coach, and this time it is Dallas Eakins. Eakins may not be a household name, but he is highly regarded in the coaching ranks. His last job was with the Toronto Marlies of the AHL. He led the Marlies to the 2012 Calder Cup, which is the championship of that league. His first message is that everyone must be in perfect condition. He expects his team to be able to play with full energy, even through multiple overtimes. He has landed in a great spot. Edmonton is filled with big-time talent, but they are still young and raw. He has the chance to shape them into a dynasty.
6/13/13: Professional sports are designed to give the worst franchises opportunities to rebuild by providing them with higher draft picks. The Oilers, who were terrible for several years, hit the jackpot by landing the top spot in the NHL draft three seasons in a row. They turned those picks into a very young, but talented team - one that should grow together and be competitive for many years. However, they have not been as strong on coaching. The team fired Ralph Krueger after 48 games and is close to hiring a new coach. Dallas Eakins be their fourth coach in five years, with only Tom Renney coaching for more than one season.
5/9/13: By many standards, the Edmonton Oilers under performed this season. The Oilers finished at 19-22-7, good for 45 points and a third place finish in the Northwest Division. They were a full 10 points out of the last playoff spot and only edged out their bitter rivals, the Calgary Flames, by three points. Edmonton has a veritable cornucopia of offensive talent, which has been well-documented. What they do not have is grit. They need a true defensive defenseman and a couple big grinders on offense to transform from a finesse team to a contender. They could also use an upgrade in net - perhaps Jaro Halak in the offseason.
3/28/13: The Oilers had the bad fortune to catch the St. Louis Blues fully rested and mostly healthy last Saturday. The Blues had three days off, which they spent at an Alberta ski resort for a little R&R. It showed on the ice, as Blues goalie Jaro Halak and the St. Louis defense was impenetrable, allowing only 19 shots and zero goals. The Oilers play a much flashier style of hockey, but had no answers to the tight defense, even with all of their offensive talent. After high hopes for the team, this season may be chalked up to experience and growing pains for the young Oilers.
3/21/13: It has taken a couple of months, but the Edmonton Oilers are starting to play like the team we thought they may be. They have registered at least one point in their last four games, and have clawed their way back to a 500 record (11 wins). Surprisingly, the Oilers are now in the playoff hunt for the first time in years. That means that the Oilers could be in a shopping mood over the few weeks. Edmonton does not need another scorer, but they could use a solid defenseman to pick up 20 minutes a night and provide some grit for the team.
3/7/13: The Oilers remain an enigma. Or perhaps, too much was expected of them going into this season with a roster full of first round picks and young super talents. In any case, Edmonton is tied for third in the Northwest Division with Calgary and Colorado with an 8-9-4 record. Perhaps the record is not a surprise, considering how young the team is, but the goal scoring has not been as prolific as expected. The Oilers rank 24th out of 30 team in goals with only 49, which is less than three per game. But Oilers fans should not give up. This may be a training year for a team that should be very competitive for a long time.
2/28/13: The Oilers are turning into a disappointment this season. The team is absolutely stacked with talent due their amazing good fortune in the draft lottery the past three seasons. The Oilers won the first overall pick for three straight years and turned those picks into some of the best young talent in the league like Jordan Eberle and Nail Yakupov. But so far this season, the team has struggled to score goals. A lot of this may just be growing pains. Expect the team to improve in the second half of the year and be competitive for many years to come.
2/21/13: The kidsare hanging in there. Through 13 games, the young Oilers are 5-5-3, good for a .500 record, 13 points, and third place in the Northwest Division. The team is still not scoring like most expected them to. Considering all the young playmaking talent, the Oilers should have more than 29 goals (just over 2 goals/game average). This is a team that should be putting up at least four goals per night, while phrases like "Hall to Eberle, GOAL!!!" should be part of the NHL lexicon for years to come. The team will come around, but it would benefit them to get some playoff experience this year.
2/14/13: Edmonton currently sits at 5-4-3, good for 13 points and second place in the Northwest Division. They are three points behind the Canucks and tied with the Minnesota Wild. Surprisingly, the Oilers have only scored 28 goals, or just over two per game. With all the offensive talent on the team, they should be putting the puck in the net far more often. But Oilers fans should not worry yet. The team has time to get their timing down and make a playoff run. Also, this should be a team to watch for the next several years, as they have all the makings of being one of the most exciting offensive teams with so much young talent.
2/7/13: In the 21 years since the Oilers last won the Stanley Cup, they have only been to the playoffs nine times. The fan base is always supportive, but they are hungry. Especially after the team has been fairly awful for the past few years. But the three consecutive No. 1 overall picks, plus defenseman Justin Schultz has put Edmonton back on the map. So far they are 4-3-3 this year, good for second place in the Northwest Division and just one point behind Vancouver. They have scored 24 goals and given up 27. Expect scoring to go up from 2.4 per game as the team finds its bearings. Playoffs are almost certain.
1/24/13: Great news for the wonderful city of Edmonton…The city and the Oilers have reached an agreement to build a $480 million arena, which will keep the team where it belongs for decades to come. The team and city had been in a contentious battle over a new facility for some time, and it looked like the team would move - possibly to Seattle. But this agreement ends that speculation. And at a good time too. The Oilers are rife with ultra-talented youngsters who have the chance to become an NHL dynasty. Great news all around, as the final result is what it certainly should be.
11/29/12: Great news for Oilers fans and the Oilers franchise. Taylor Hall is playing again, and Edmonton will eventually need him along with Jordan Eberle, Ryan Hopkins-Nugent, and Nail Yakupov. Hall injured his shoulder and ended his season prematurely. But Hall looks like he will be quick to return to form. Hall was a little behind the play, which is to be expected. But the talented winger did score a goal in his first shift. Hall claims that he felt fine after the game, so expect him to be back in game form in the very near future.
11/22/12: Eric Cole had some choice comments in reaction to Roman Hamerlik's rant against NHLPA head Donald Fehr's negotiation tactics. Hamerlik essentially said that Fehr needs to go if they lose the season. That the players should vote whether to accept a CBA proposal or not, and to end the lockout. Cole was not pleased with a fellow player breaking rank, and wants to protect future generations of NHL players. Therefore the hard-line tactics are warranted. At this point, fans may not care either way, they just want NHL hockey to return, regardless of who is the winner and who is the loser.
11/15/12: First overall pick Nail Yakupov is back in North America as the captain of his hometown Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk. Neftekhimik is playing a team comprised of Ontario League All-Stars in Victoria and Vancouver next week. Yakupov is still very young, not even 20 years old yet. But he has scored 14 points in 13 games for his team while improving his size and strength. The Oilers have high expectations for the youngster, who may join the Oilers NHL team once the lockout ends. Justin Schultz is likewise playing well, leading the AHL with 6 goals and 9 assists for 15 points in his first 10 games as a pro (playing for the Oklahoma City Barons of the AHL.
11/8/12: Since Edmonton has a wealth of young blue chip talent, the expectations over the next several years are sky-high, and rightfully so. The Oilers probably have enough raw talent alone to make the playoffs (whenever NHL hockey returns), but are not steeled enough to be a true contender yet. Naturally, there is a lot of speculation about goal tending, and the possibility of acquiring Roberto Luongo from the Canucks. While Luongo is considered to be a top goaltender, he is aging. He also has a reputation of folding in clutch situations. Of course no trades are going on during the lockout, but this is a story to keep an eye on.
11/1/12: Now that the Islanders have settled on a new home for the next quarter century, the next arena issue to be solved is Edmonton. The City walked away from a deal to construct a new venue and retail center when owner Daryl Katz tried to get more money out of the tax payers. When the Islanders move, the Rexal Center will be the second oldest arena in the league. The implication for Oilers fans is that the team may move, and Seattle looks like the ideal landing spot. Seattle is constructing a new arena and is looking to attract an NHL and/or NBA team.
10/18/12: As the lockout drags on, hockey hotbed Oklahoma City is a surprise winner. The Oilers' young guns are in OKC to play for Edmonton's AHL affiliate, the Oklahoma City Barons. Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent Hopkins are already with the team and claim they are excited just to be playing hockey. Taylor Hall, the third member of the dynamic trio, will join them shortly. Playing at a lower level at least has them playing, but they should be in Edmonton and beginning their rise as Western Conference powerhouse. With any luck, the lockout will end soon, and the threesome will be back in Alberta to terrorize the Flames.
10/4/12: Bigger than the lockout, the news (and paranoia) in Edmonton is that the team may relocate to Seattle. Owner Daryl Katz visited the Emerald City, which is building an arena, to get the lay of the land. Katz wants a new arena for the Oilers, who have 24 month remaining on thier lease. The City of Edmonton was set to build one, but recent alterations to the design have held that up. Hopefully, Katz' trip was just a negotiating ploy, and the Oilers will remain in Edmonton (Canada), where they belong, and in time to usher in a new era of exciting hockey with their young and talented squad.
8/16/12: The Flames are said to be shopping defenseman Jay Bowmeester around the league. The level of interest around the league is really known only the team, but there have been reports that the Red Wings, Flyers, Predators, and even the hated Oilers are interested. There are a few hurdles to clear before any trade is possible. JBo has a no-trade clause (like most Flames defensemen, unexplicably) which he would have to waive. He also comes with a hefty price tag that someone would have to take on. With a new CBA looming and the likelyhood that the salary cap will decrease, not many teams are willing to make a move right now.
8/2/12: The Edmonton Oilers may have struggled for the past several years, but the strategy to rebuild the team is nearing completion. Bolstered by owning the #1 overall pick for the past three drafts, the Oilers legitimately look like a team that could contend and even win the Stanley Cup for the next decade. Not many teams can match the raw talent of Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, Ryan Hopkins-Nugent, and Nail Yakupov. Add in defensemen Jeff Petry and Justin Schultz, and this could be the core of an explosive and dynamic team for the next several years.
7/26/12: The Oilers signed #1 overall draft pick Nail Yakupov to a standard entry level contract. Unlike other Russian prospects, there is little doubt that Yakupov wants to play in North America and in the NHL. Several other Russian draft picks have opted to develop further in Russia (in the Kontinental Hockey League, or KHL) before coming to North America, or have simply stayed in Russia for their entire careers. Young players can earn more in the KHL than with the standard three-year entry level NHL deal, but veterans seeking second or third contracts tend to make more in the NHL and make more for their careers.
5/23/12: The Edmonton Oilers (finally) announced they will not renew the contract head coach Tom Renny this past week, a move that was anticipated for quite some time. Renny was 55-87-22 in two seasons, but those two seasons were truly rebuilding campaigns featuring a slew of talented (but green) players who may not have been ready for the rigors of the NHL. The announcement, predictably, sent the interwebs in Alberta screaming, with rampant speculation of who the next coach of the Oilers will be. One persistent rumor is that the team will hire Brent Sutter, who spent the last few seasons behind the bench of archrival Calgary.
5/16/12:The Oilers have steadily improvd over the past few years through a focused effort of developing very young and raw talent culled from high draft picks and excellent scouting. The results so far have been slow to realize, as the team missed the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season. But the talent is there and will only improve over time. Edmonton's front office, for their part, must put some muscle around their blue chippers. The young core is gifted but lacks size. If the Oilers can add a few grinders, this may be the last time the Oilers are playing golf in May for many years.
5/11/12: The Oilers have a head-start on their cross-providence rival Calagary Flames, at least in the rebu
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Next 20 Games
|Oct 8, 2015||Edmonton Oilers vs St. Louis Blues|
|Oct 10, 2015||Edmonton Oilers vs Nashville Predators|
|Oct 13, 2015||Edmonton Oilers vs Dallas Stars|
|Oct 15, 2015||St. Louis Blues vs Edmonton Oilers|
|Oct 17, 2015||Edmonton Oilers vs Calgary Flames|
|Oct 18, 2015||Edmonton Oilers vs Vancouver Canucks|
Scores and Schedule
|Apr 9, 2015||San Jose Sharks - Edmonton Oilers||3 - 1|
|Apr 7, 2015||Los Angeles Kings - Edmonton Oilers||2 - 4|
|Apr 4, 2015||Calgary Flames - Edmonton Oilers||4 - 0|
|Apr 1, 2015||Edmonton Oilers - Anaheim Ducks||1 - 5|
|Mar 30, 2015||Edmonton Oilers - Colorado Avalanche||4 - 1|
|Mar 27, 2015||Dallas Stars - Edmonton Oilers||0 - 4|
|Mar 25, 2015||Colorado Avalanche - Edmonton Oilers||3 - 4|
|Mar 23, 2015||Winnipeg Jets - Edmonton Oilers||4 - 1|
|Mar 21, 2015||Philadelphia Flyers - Edmonton Oilers||4 - 5|
|Mar 16, 2015||Toronto Maple Leafs - Edmonton Oilers||1 - 4|
|Mar 13, 2015||Edmonton Oilers - Columbus Blue Jackets||4 - 5|
|Mar 12, 2015||Edmonton Oilers - Pittsburgh Penguins||4 - 6|
|Mar 9, 2015||Edmonton Oilers - Detroit Red Wings||2 - 5|
|Mar 8, 2015||Edmonton Oilers - Carolina Hurricanes||4 - 7|
|Mar 6, 2015||Edmonton Oilers - Chicago Blackhawks||1 - 2|
|Mar 3, 2015||Los Angeles Kings - Edmonton Oilers||5 - 2|
|Feb 28, 2015||St. Louis Blues - Edmonton Oilers||2 - 1|