EDMONTON OILERS BLOGShttp://www.edmontonoilers.com/rssEDMONTON OILERS BLOGSNHL Enterprises, L.P. (c) 2014 NHL. All Rights Reserveden-usSat, 25 Oct 2014 19:48:19 EDTBLOG: Draisaitl gets “burden off his back”http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=33017Oilers third-overall pick in 2014 Leon Draisaitl scored his first NHL goal against the Carolina Hurricanes, and it just so happened to be the game-winning tally. That was a big moment for the 18-year-old. “It was really exciting,” Draisaitl said. “That’s something that I think every hockey player as a kid dreams of. To make this happen tonight, with this team, is even more special for sure.” Up until the goal, Head Coach Dallas Eakins says that Draisaitl was just going about his business. The goal was a big lift for the young centre. “I thought he was fine,” Eakins said. “He was playing well, no issues. He was just going about his business. It was good that he stayed with that puck there. He had had a chance real quick and then to get it was obviously a big burden off his back. I don’t know if a kid that age ever in his life has gone that many games with only a point or two. It’s not mandatory for him to have points every night but it’s something that wears on those guys who are used to getting points.” It may not have been the prettiest goal, but that doesn’t matter to Draisaitl. That’s a big moment no matter what it looked like. “I don’t think it matters what kind of goals you score,” he said. “I think the important thing is that the goal is behind the goal line. It definitely wasn’t a pretty one. It was more of a greasy one, but I’ll definitely take it.”Chris WescottSat, 25 Oct 2014 01:23:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141024_oilcanes44.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3301733017BLOG: Oilers continue to show maturityhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=33016The Oilers have won three straight. During this stretch, they’ve battled back from being down and they’ve overcome momentum swings in which the other team has tied the game. Their battle and confidence to face adversity are signs of growth in a team. “It’s maturity, it’s character, it’s a new mix of guys, it’s everything and it’s a mindset that we’ve been able to put in place with our guys and good on them.,” Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. “They’re embracing it, they’re supporting each other. I’ll tell you, after these goals when a team come back or maybe you go down by one I don’t have to say a whole lot on the bench anymore. Excellent job by our players.” Carolina tied the game three times, but the Oilers came away with the 6-3 win.Chris WescottSat, 25 Oct 2014 01:19:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141024_canesoil33.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3301633016Thursday audio and videohttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32973Chris WescottThu, 23 Oct 2014 17:11:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141023_Practice3.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3297332973BLOG: Fourth line contributionshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32979The Oilers line of Matt Hendricks, Boyd Gordon and Jesse Joensuu is an ongoing topic of discussion. Their play has been excellent so far this season. The system that the Oilers coaching staff employs seems to fit their style very well. They’ve been able to contribute with solid defensive play and consistent offensive pressure. “I think we all compliment each other real well,” Hendricks said. “I think the system that we run, that the coaching staff has put in place really helps us. It gives us the ability to skate and pressure teams all over the ice. We don’t sit back at all, we try to make them move the puck as quickly as possible, which causes turnovers. That allows us to jump on it. We talk as a line too and we still think we can be a lot better.” One area the three forwards might want to improve upon is just putting some of those generated chances into the back of the opponent’s net. Aside for a late third period goal in a game against LA that was out of reach and a shorthanded tally, that line has been kept off the board. “It seems like we’re hitting posts every night,” Hendricks said. “Last night, I had a real good chance off Gordo’s rebound late in the third. Niskonen just kind of threw his stick out there and it hit his stick. I think I had an empty net. We don’t really want to worry so much about goals. We want to produce, we want to help the team statistically but we can’t start pressing or trying to do things differently trying to score goals.” Not recording a lot of goals doesn’t mean those players aren’t contributing offensively. The little things they do to create chances and set the Oilers up for offensive zone starts helps the team in the end. “We want everybody to provide offence just the same as we want everybody to provide defence,” Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. “Can some do it better than others? Yeah, absolutely. Their great strength so far this year has been to be able to start in their own zone and then end up in the other team’s zone with chances or shot attempts. It doesn’t matter if you’re getting the attempts in the other zone or if you’re just cycling the puck, hanging onto the puck or winding down the clock. The more that we’re in their zone, the less they’re going to score in ours for sure. Then that equates to the less we have to get to win the game. They’ve been very very effective. All three guys on that line are important to our hockey team, all three guys are critical penalty killers for us. They’re serving a number of purposes. They’re able to get us o-zone time, they’re doing some heavy lifting on draws in our zone, they’re killing penalties and then, at times, they’ve got to go out and play against another team’s top line as well.” Of course that line would like to pot a few goals here and there. But hemming the opponent in their defensive zone has been a solid way to contribute here at the start of the season. “In a lot of games, that can be just as beneficial,” Hendricks said. “We hem them in, force them to ice the puck, we get an offensive zone draw and we can get our young guys out there, our offensive guys. In our opinion, that’s just as good, well not quite as good as good as scoring a goal, but it feels pretty good to do that too because (the offensive guys) are going to have a great opportunity that shift. We know that.”Chris WescottThu, 23 Oct 2014 16:18:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2013/10/Gordon1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3297932979BLOG: Things Oilers want to work onhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32978The Oilers beat the Washington Capitals 3-2 last night. However, they were outshot 34-20 in the game and 13-5 in the third period. There were some things from last night the team wants to adjust ahead of their next game. “The biggest thing for me, and you can’t work on this in practice, is more of a message and you can back it up with some video,” Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. “I thought we had a good first period, I thought we were fine in the second period, but in the third period we started to back up. We started to play that back-up game and oh, you don’t want to do that. We just don’t want to play that way. You can see what happens when you back up and play safe. Safe is going to kill you. We want to play intelligent with the lead. Then a couple of things I didn’t think we did very well is I don’t think we managed the puck very well. Breaking out, I think we had some bad luck on our exchanges. But once we got it and we were roaring through the neutral zone, we want to enter under control unless the team has done a good job. Then we want to get the puck deep. I thought we were a little too over confident that we were going to be able to enter. We turned over some pucks and that ended back in our zone, either chances against or we’ve given up o-zone time. Those were the biggest things for me. After two periods, we played a back-up game and then our puck management.”Chris WescottThu, 23 Oct 2014 16:17:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141022_ph2-644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3297832978BLOG: Oilers still focused on the processhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32977The Oilers feel like a weight has been lifted. They’ve won two straight games after an 0-4-1 start to the season. “It definitely lightens the load a little bit, especially getting that first one when you start out the first five winless,” Defenceman Mark Fayne said. “You’ve got to stay focused. You can’t dwell on the past of even get too happy about past games because there are a lot left.” Even through the tough start, the Oilers were focused on just sticking through the process. That remains unchanged following two wins. “I don’t think the mood has changed a lot in the room,” Winger Matt Hendricks said. “It feels good to get two wins, no doubt. But it’s what we’ve been talking about since day one and we’re going to keep harping to (the media) as well just like the coaches harp to us, it’s about the process. Our record, our wins and losses are going to take care of themselves as long as we continue to pay the right way.”Chris WescottThu, 23 Oct 2014 16:16:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141021_Fayne.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3297732977BLOG: Thursday practice lineuphttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32970The Oilers are on the ice at practice this morning. They are running the same lines and defensive pairings as last night. Hall-RNH-Eberle Pouliot-Arcobello-Yakupov Purcell-Draisaitl-Perron Hendricks-Gordon-Joensuu Defence: Marincin-Fayne Nikitin-Schultz Ference-Petry Extra Skaters: Acton Davidson HuntChris WescottThu, 23 Oct 2014 13:36:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/644camp-rnh.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3297032970BLOG: Oilers fourth line continues to grindhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32954It’s quite impressive how many times the Oilers line of Matt Hendricks, Boyd Gordon and Jesse Joensuu has stuck out positively in games this season. Those three have proven to be defensively responsible, but also create offensive chances consistently. When Head Coach Dallas Eakins thought the line of Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle needed a break from the Alex Ovechkin line of the Washington Capitals, he went his toolshed and let loose the wagon line. “Yeah, it’s awesome,” Eakins said of having the Hendricks, Gordon and Joensuu line in his back pocket. “It was turning into that Nuge’s line was trying hard but they just couldn’t quite get it together. The pucks were bobbling on them, they were a little out of sync I thought. There effort was excellent but then I thought it was time to switch that matchup a little bit and start working Gordo’s line in there, and they love it. They love the challenge. That’s the great thing about our depth now and that’s when you get into people looking at minutes. We have four lines that can all play, and when you have that those minutes start getting very evened out.”Chris WescottThu, 23 Oct 2014 01:38:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/02/Hendricks0221_2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3295432954BLOG: Oilers show maturity in resilient winhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32953The Oilers could have easily packed things in. The Capitals had scored two straight to take the 2-1 lead and they’d eventually outshoot the Oilers 34-20 (13-5 in the third period). But the Oilers didn’t quit. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins made one of the best players in the league, Alex Ovechkin, pay for a costly turnover. Nugent-Hopkins tied the game 20 seconds after the Capitals second goal and Nikita Nikitin netted the winner on the power play later in the second period. The Oilers withstood the onslaught of shots in the third period to close out the win. “They’re maturing, they’re getting some gamesmanship,” Head Coach Dallas Eakins said of his team’s response. “It’s not like there’s a big fire drill going on anymore. It’s just alright, settle in, they scored so let’s get back to it. There’s a lot of different ways to look at a score and react to it. A good example is, let’s say you’re up 2-1 and the team ties it at 2-2. You can react to it like, ‘Oh my god, they just tied it.’ Or the score is still 2-2. What if the score is reversed? You were down 2-1 and you made it 2-2. You would be, ‘Hey! We’re coming, we’re coming.’ “The score is 2-2. You’ve got to handle it better mentally and our guys have had amazing progress in that department.”Chris WescottThu, 23 Oct 2014 01:37:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141022_ph2-644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3295332953BLOG: Oilers thoughts were with Ottawahttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32952The Oilers took the ice at Rexall Place for their game against the Washington Capitals with the tragic events of the day still very much on their minds. “It’s a terrible day,” Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. “I think it’s days like this where everyone is reminded of what is very important and maybe what’s not so important. I know we love this game and our town and we’re all passionate about it. But for me, and all of our organization and I know our city too, it’s one of those days where you just take a step back and remember what is very very important and, in the end, we’re playing a game here.” In Ottawa, an armed attacker shot and fatally wounded a Canadian Forces member at the National War Memorial. It is an event that sticks out to the players on the Oilers roster, who were part of a team-building visit to a military base before the season. “Honestly, that thought did kind of cross my mind,” Goalie Ben Scrivens said. “Normally I try to not think too much outside of just preparing for the game. But on a day like today, we had the honour of doing a little team-building with the Canadian Forces in October. To see what they go through day-in and day-out, I didn’t see the video but from what I saw on twitter it takes a special person to run towards gunfire.” Scrivens continued, “We’ve got to have our hats off, not just tipped, we’ve got to have a lot of respect for our military and people that are putting themselves in harm’s way so that we can live our lives and do what we love to do. It’s a terrible thing what happened today. We have to make sure we have respect for our military and we have support for everybody, not just the family who lost somebody today but anybody who is going through PTSD or guys who are coming home from deployment. Those are the people who sometimes get forgotten.” Captain Andrew Ference spoke of how the tragedy of today hits home. “It’s not just today, but the last two days I think and in Quebec as well,” Ference said. “We were glued to the TV this morning, probably like most of the country. Those guys put themselves in pretty brave situations every day, it’s not just when they get deployed. Obviously, that was evident in the last two days. It makes you sick to your stomach. Obviously, a lot of us have gotten to know some of those guys. It makes it more personal I guess because you can picture it happening to guys here on the base. It’s just sickening that there’s people out there that would do that. Obviously, it’s a sad day for us and for the whole country.” The Oilers held a moment of silence for Cpl. Nathan Cirillo prior to the start of the game. “It’s a good reminder today to make sure that we have those men and women in our thoughts, our actions and making sure we’re doing everything we can to help them,” Scrivens said.Chris WescottThu, 23 Oct 2014 01:36:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141022_anthem.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3295232952Tuesday audio and videohttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32892Chris WescottTue, 21 Oct 2014 18:00:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141021_hall306.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3289232892BLOG: Fayne & Marincin have strong gamehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32900The Oilers planned all along to play Mark Fayne and Martin Marincin against the Tampa Bay Lightning’s top line last night. Them, along with the Oilers trio of Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle, had the responsibility of playing against the dynamic Steven Stamkos and company. They did very well in a 3-2 victory. “I thought we played pretty solid, I thought we limited a lot of their chances,” Fayne said. “Also, you’ve got to get a lot of credit to the forwards, they controlled a lot of the puck. I felt like we had a lot of possession when that line was out there, which is always the best defence when they don’t have the puck.” Fayne was the easy choice for the Oilers. The defenceman got a lot of experience against Stamkos while playing with New Jersey. “He’s one of those tough guys to handle,” Fayne said of Stamkos. “He can change the game on one shift, he’s a tough guy to cover. I don’t think you really can contain him, you just try to limit the amount of chances. Last night we were lucky enough to do that.” The Oilers in the locker room had complete trust in the veteran defenceman and knew the 22-year-old Marincin had it in him as well. “We all knew Fayner could do it from playing against him in New Jersey,” David Perron said. “It was good to see Marty play as good as he did. He was assertive, he uses his body well and we obviously need more of that.” Fayne has been impressed with his new defensive partner, who he says has played well since being recalled from Oklahoma City. “The last two games, I thought he’s been playing great,” Fayne said. “We’re talking a lot at practice, working on some stuff. I think the chemistry is there, I’ve really enjoyed playing with him and I thought last night he had a real good game.”Chris WescottTue, 21 Oct 2014 17:57:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141021_Fayne.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3290032900BLOG: Hall’s pump up was improvised, brought energyhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32899When Taylor Hall lined up for his penalty shot last night he wanted to take his mind off the moment. So the Oilers winger gestured for the fans to get on their feet and make some noise before scoring in the eventual 3-2 win over Tampa Bay. “It’s just kind of one of those things that happened,” Hall said. “It was a split-second decision. It got the crowd going and they gave me some energy for the penalty shot. Throughout the whole game they were loud, they were boisterous and they kept us going so that’s great for the fan base.” For at least one teammate, Hall’s pump up of the crowd was exciting. “That was pretty cool I thought, just to get the crowd into it and then he scored,” David Perron said. “If he didn’t score it might have been a little bit different, it probably would not have mattered in the game. He’s definitely one of our biggest leaders and to see him come through at a big moment like that, and same with (Ryan Nugent-Hopkins) there at the end of the third when we allowed that second goal. It was awesome to see.” For another teammate, it was a nervous moment. Defenceman Mark Fayne said, “I was a little nervous, I hadn’t seen that before. It worked out for him. He said he was just trying to calm himself down and if that’s what it takes, it worked.” Fayne was the player who set up Hall on the play that led to the penalty shot.Chris WescottTue, 21 Oct 2014 17:56:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141020_hall1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3289932899BLOG: Eakins on Draisaitlhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32898Third-overall pick Leon Draisaitl has played six games this season. He has three more games in his nine-game rookie window. The Oilers have not yet made a decision on whether or not they want to assign Draisaitl back to junior or give him more NHL games. “We talk about every one of our players every day,” Eakin said. “That’s the way it is in pro sports. We’re all being evaluated every day. Yes, we’ve talked about Leon but it goes back to the process. There’s a process to this. I think it’s dangerous to lean any way until it’s time to make the decision.” Eakins says Draisaitl has played well so far in his rookie season as he continues to develop as any young player will. “I think he’s played very good for a kid, in a tough league, who’s 18 years-old. We spoke about him last night, I think he’s been well-supported by his linemates, he’s been very very good on our power play and he’s finding his way like any player of that age.”Chris WescottTue, 21 Oct 2014 17:55:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141004_draisaitl.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3289832898BLOG: Tuesday practicehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32884The Oilers are on the ice for an optional skate at Rexall Place. The Oilers on the ice are as follows: Forwards: Arcobello Acton Draisaitl Gazdic Joensuu Perron Yakupov Defencemen: Davidson Hunt Ference Marincin NikitinChris WescottTue, 21 Oct 2014 13:47:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/644camp.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3288432884BLOG: Young stars maturinghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32860The Oilers got a 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning, largely due to the play of their top three forwards. Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle each contributed with at least a point in the win. Hall scored on a penalty shot and Nugent-Hopkins scored the game-winning goal. It’s the maturity of those players and their growth on and off the ice that has impressed their head coach. “Our top guys were our top guys tonight I thought, along with our fourth line guys who played excellent,” Eakins said. “It’s amazing to watch the growth of a player and it’s a special thing. (Watching Hall) mature and watching what he’s turned into already this year, not only for our team on the ice but off the ice is an amazing thing. You see it with others as well, like Nuge. You forget how old he is because he has an older soul. Great night. It was a tight game, evenly matched I thought, and tonight we were able to find a way to win it rather than wind up on the other side.” Hall says it was fun playing with his linemates but the entire team deserves credit for the win. “We had some chances,” Hall said. “Nuge was really skating well, Ebs was making plays and it’s fun to play with those guys when we’re working as a unit like that. Not only our line, but it seemed like every line had a chance every five minutes or a good shift so it’s good to keep the momentum going when every line is going like that.”Chris WescottTue, 21 Oct 2014 01:49:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141020_celly1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3286032860BLOG: Fourth line puts in work againhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32859The Oilers have to be happy with the play of their fourth line so far this season. Matt Hendricks, Boyd Gordon and Jesse Joensuu have shown to be defensively responsible and have flashed an ability to turn the puck the other way and create offensive chances. That continued tonight in the Oilers first win of the season against Tampa Bay. Those three players have even begun earning more ice time as a result of their play. “That line has been excellent for us,” Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. “They’re proving to be a problem for some of our other players. They’ve been playing well and they’re taking minutes. We’re doing everything we can to win the game and those guys have been able to give us some confidence in our game. They’re all students of the game because of their skillsets and they just do almost everything right. We’ve been real impressed with them up to this time and they do a lot of heavy lifting for us and tonight they were excellent.”Chris WescottTue, 21 Oct 2014 01:47:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/644camp-joensuu.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3285932859BLOG: Oilers stop Stamkoshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32858The Oilers said this morning that they had a plan for what they wanted to do against Steven Stamkos and the top line of the Tampa Bay Lightning. That plan was apparently to entrust their young top line with the bulk of the work, while relying on 22-year-old defenceman Martin Marincin and his partner Mark Fayne on the blueline. Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle, Fayne and Marincin were up to the task and played very well in a 3-2 win. “We wanted Fayne and Marincin against them,” Head Coach Dallas Eakins explained. “We thought they’d match up real well size-wise and responsibility-wise. Between Nuge and Hallsy and Ebs, they have to not only want that matchup but they’ve got to enjoy it. For Nuge, I know he was looking forward to it and we had a couple of game plans ready to go depending on how it was going. But early on, I thought Nuge was really engaged and was driving the play out there. I thought he was excellent against that line and Hallsy and Ebs were going as well.” Eakins continued, “We really liked that matchup, we didn’t come off it very often. (Jon Cooper) is an excellent coach over there and he was changing his rotations it seemed almost like trying to get away from it, which if I’m Taylor, Nuge, Ebs, Fayner or Marincin that’s a big compliment when you see that trend happen.” Nugent-Hopkins was impressed with the team’s ability to defend against Stamkos and the Lightning. “He’s a guy who can take advantage,” the centre said. “You give him an inch and he’ll put the puck back in your net. I thought we did a really good job, not just our line but every line that was out there against him and especially the d-men, of not giving him too many opportunities and trying to limit him to the outside shots.”Chris WescottTue, 21 Oct 2014 01:43:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141020_faceoff.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3285832858BLOG: Fasth & Gazdic injury updateshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32854Two players were on the injury report during Head Coach Dallas Eakins’ post-skate press conference. Both Viktor Fasth (groin) and Luke Gazdic (shoulder) got a positive prognosis from their head coach. “Fasth was on the ice, always a good sign,” Eakins said. “It’s not as bad as we thought, which is good. He’ll just go through his process of rehabilitating that. At first he had heard something pop, which usually means six weeks. But everything has come back way better so we’re encouraged by that.” Gazdic is getting closer to returning to action as well. “Luke is on the cusp now of getting closer and closer. He’s not months away, he’s weeks away.”Chris WescottMon, 20 Oct 2014 14:46:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141011_fasth2306.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3285432854Sunday's Video and Audiohttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32823Marc CiampaSun, 19 Oct 2014 15:32:00 EDThttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3282332823BLOG: Gazdic cleared for contacthttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32824Luke Gazdic gave an update on the status of his injury on Sunday after practice, noting that he was cleared for contact a few days ago. "I'm real close," he said. "I'm taking some pretty big contact, doing all those battling drills and feeling strong." When asked about timelines, Gazdic felt that he should be back relatively shortly. "I'd say a couple of weeks away. We'll see how these next few practices go and then re-evaluate here." Gazdic said it was nice to get battling again in practice after many weeks skating in a non-contact jersey. "That practice yesterday, we had a ton of battle drills in the corner. It's great to get into that physical aspect," he said. "It's nice to finally hit somebody."Marc CiampaSun, 19 Oct 2014 15:31:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2013/10/644396gazdic-celly.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3282432824BLOG: Eakins talks about a full weekend of practicehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32825The Oilers have had a couple of days to practice and prepare ahead of a busy week in which they'll play two high-powered Eastern Conference foes Monday and Wednesday in Tampa and Washington followed by the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday. "The things we're doing well are our forecheck and ability to close quickly on our forecheck in the neutral zone," said Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins after practice. "We're also continuing to try and get better in a couple areas. Our power play's come off a little bit. We're not overly worried about it but we worked on that." Eakins added that he also worked a lot on the team's play in its own end. "Our D-zone coverage. That's nonstop with every team in the NHL. Just looking at the goals from last night (in the game between Vancouver and Tampa Bay), that area in front of the net is critical to every team. We spent a couple of days working hard on that. "You need compete drills and battle drills in practice. Our guys worked extremely hard on that yesterday."Marc CiampaSun, 19 Oct 2014 15:30:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/644camp-eakins.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3282532825BLOG: Coach keeps D pairings consistenthttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32826It appears the Oilers wil go with the same six defencemen on Monday that they had Friday against the Canucks. The pairings were: Ference-Petry Marincin-Fayne Nikitin-Schultz That means Brad Hunt will be the odd-man out again. Eakins was asked if he was tempted to put Hunt back in considering the power play has dropped off. "Huntsy's done a great job but we do have to weigh five-on-five play. We feel Nikitin's coming up to speed now. He got hurt in camp and that held him back a little bit but now we feel he can take the minutes on that second power play right now," Eakins remarked. "That leaves Huntsy on the outside but he's ready and waiting for the call."Marc CiampaSun, 19 Oct 2014 15:29:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141013_hunt1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3282632826BLOG: Oilers practice lines Sundayhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32816The Oilers are on the ice for practice at Rexall Place. The forward lines are the same as Saturday in Leduc, but the defence pairings have changed: Hall-RNH-Eberle Pouliot-Arcobello-Yakupov Purcell-Leon-Perron Hendricks-Gordon-Joensuu Acton & Gazdic are rotating in on the fourth line. Defensive pairings: Ference-Petry Marincin-Fayne Nikitin-Schultz Hunt is rotating in.Marc CiampaSun, 19 Oct 2014 13:09:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/644camp-eberle-eakins.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3281632816Saturday Audio and Videohttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32809Chris WescottSat, 18 Oct 2014 16:18:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141018_4thline1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3280932809BLOG: Saturday lines in Leduchttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32804The Oilers are on the ice for practice in Leduc. The forward lines are as follows: Hall-RNH-Eberle Pouliot-Arcobello-Yakupov Purcell-Leon-Perron Hendricks-Gordon-Joensuu Acton & Gazdic are rotating in on the fourth line. Defensive pairings: Ference-Petry Marincin-Schultz Nikitin-Fayne Hunt is rotating in.Chris WescottSat, 18 Oct 2014 13:58:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/20140925123.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3280432804BLOG: Arcobello centres top linehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32754Mark Arcobello will again centre a line with Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle, when the Oilers host the Canucks tonight. Those three players have history dating back to their time together in Oklahoma City during the 2012-13 season. “He’s grown so much as a player since I started playing with him,” Hall said of his centre. “He’s a guy that’s just really consistent out there. You can always expect the same effort out of him. Not saying that in a bad way, he can make plays too with the best of them so it’s fun to play with him.” Arcobello has two goals and an assist in four games this season. Oilers top centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will play on a line with Teddy Purcell and Nail Yakupov.Chris WescottFri, 17 Oct 2014 14:45:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/457084974_sm.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3275432754BLOG: Nurse decision was best for him & organizationhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32753The Oilers announced this morning that they assigned Darnell Nurse to Sault Ste. Marie of the OHL. The seventh-overall pick in the 2013 draft played two games in the NHL this season before returning to junior. Head Coach Dallas Eakins addressed the media after the team’s morning skate and said the decision is what’s best for Nurse and the Oilers. “Obviously, sending Darnell back is a difficult conversation,” Eakins said. “The kid couldn’t do anymore. He played as well as he could but this is what’s best for him and what’s best for our organization in the long run. The best thing for him is to play against his peers right now. We thought he played a really good game against LA. He played well against the Coyotes, but we do have depth at the position. What’s right for him will be right for our organization in the long run. The kid is terribly disappointed. Again, it’s not a fun conversation for everyone. But he will be well served by this decision.” Nurse returns to the team that he played 64 games for last season, scoring 50 points (13-37-50) and recording 91 penalty minutes.Chris WescottFri, 17 Oct 2014 14:40:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141004_nurse1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3275332753BLOG: Marincin returnshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32752It was a bit of a surprise at the end of training camp when the Oilers chose to send defenceman Martin Marincin to Oklahoma City. The 22-year-old spent 44 games with the Oilers last season, drawing praise from coaches and management for how he transitioned to the NHL. But the decision to send Marincin to the AHL was based on his performance in camp, as it took some time for Marincin to hit his stride. We determined, out of training camp, that there were guys that had better camps than him,” Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. “That doesn’t mean he was terrible, that doesn’t mean he was awful or anything like that. But, he was outplayed at training camp by some other players. It was as simple as that.” It was a tough time for Marincin, but the young blueliner went back to OKC on a mission. “It was hard because I was working hard all summer and tried my best at training camp and they sent me down,” Marincin said. “It just happened when I was (doing better). I was working hard in the gym, at practice and in the game and I’m back here.” He continued, “My thing was to go down, work hard and come back to Edmonton soon.” Marincin didn’t have to wait long for his return to Edmonton. He played just one game with the Barons before being recalled by the Oilers on Friday morning. “I’m so excited to be here and play tonight for the Oilers,” he said. “I will be trying my best on the ice and will be solid.”Chris WescottFri, 17 Oct 2014 14:38:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141002_canuckles1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3275232752BLOG: Friday Morning Skate Lineshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32750The Oilers are on the ice for Friday’s pre-game morning skate. The forward lines are as follows: Hall-Arcobello-Eberle Purcell-RNH-Yakupov Pouliot-Draisaitl-Perron Hendricks-Gordon-Joensuu Defensive Pairings: Ference-Petry Nikitin-Schultz Marincin-FayneChris WescottFri, 17 Oct 2014 12:38:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/644scrimmage2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3275032750BLOG: Marincin recalled; Nurse & Pinizzotto assignedhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32731The Oilers announced they have recalled defenceman Martin Marincin from the Oklahoma City Barons and assigned forward Steve Pinizzotto to the Oklahoma City Barons. Defenceman Darnell Nurse has also been assigned to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL. You can read the official Oilers press release in the Mobile App.Marc CiampaFri, 17 Oct 2014 11:37:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141002_canuckles1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3273132731BLOG: Chase joins Team WHL for Super Serieshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32719The WHL announced their roster today for the 2014 SUBWAY® Super Series and it includes an Oilers prospect: Greg Chase, who is currently playing for the Calgary Hitmen. Game 1 of the series goes in Saskatoon on Monday, November 10 and Game 2 Tuesday, November 11 in Brandon. Chase is expected to be in the lineup for both of those games. Team WHL roster for the 2014 SUBWAY® Super Series: GOALTENDERS Eric Comrie (Tri-City Americans / Edmonton, AB) Tristan Jarry (Edmonton Oil Kings / Delta, BC) DEFENCEMEN Madison Bowey (Kelowna Rockets / Winnipeg, MB) Haydn Fleury (Red Deer Rebels / Carlyle, SK) Dillon Heatherington (Swift Current Broncos / Calgary, AB) Joe Hicketts (Victoria Royals / Kamloops, BC) Josh Morrissey (Prince Albert Raiders / Calgary, AB) Travis Sanheim (Calgary Hitmen / Elkhorn, MB) Shea Theodore (Seattle Thunderbirds / Aldergrove, BC) FORWARDS Tyson Baillie (Kelowna Rockets / Fort Saskatchewan, AB) Conner Bleackley (Red Deer Rebels / High River, AB) Greg Chase (Calgary Hitmen / Sherwood Park, AB) Jaedon Descheneau (Kootenay Ice / Edmonton, AB) Jayce Hawryluk (Brandon Wheat Kings / Roblin, MB) Morgan Klimchuck (Regina Pats / Calgary, AB) Nic Petan (Portland Winterhawks / Delta, BC) Brayden Point (Moose Jaw Warriors / Calgary, AB) John Quenneville (Brandon Wheat Kings / Edmonton, AB) Jake Virtanen (Calgary Hitmen / Abbotsford, BC) (Please note: Roster is subject to change and two additional players will be added to Team WHL prior to the event) The schedule for the entire 2014 SUBWAY® Super Series is as follows: Game 1 – Monday, November 10 at Saskatoon, SK Game 2 – Tuesday, November 11 at Brandon, MB Game 3 – Thursday, November 13 at Peterborough, ON Game 4 – Monday, November 17 at Kingston, ON Game 5 – Tuesday, November 18 at Bathurst, NB Game 6 – Thursday, November 20 at Rimouski, QCMarc CiampaThu, 16 Oct 2014 15:11:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/20140913_chase644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3271932719BLOG: Oilers recall Bachman & Pinizzottohttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32687The Oilers have recalled Richard Bachman and Steve Pinizzotto from the Oklahoma City Barons. Bachman has appeared in one game for Oklahoma City this season, making 27 saves in a 3-2 OT loss. Pinizzotto has one assist in one game. Goaltender Viktor Fasth suffered a groin injury last night in LA and has been placed on IR. Bogdan Yakimov has been assigned to OKC.Chris WescottWed, 15 Oct 2014 14:15:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2013/10/bachmansave.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3268732687Monday audio and videohttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32612Chris WescottMon, 13 Oct 2014 22:03:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141013_hunt1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3261232612BLOG: Yakimov recalled; Klefbom to OKChttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32613The Oilers have recalled centre Bogdan Yakimov, 20, from the Oklahoma City Barons. The third-round pick in 2013, has played one AHL game this season. He spent last year with Nizhnekamsk Neftekhimik in the KHL, playing 33 games and scoring 12 points (7-5-12). Yakimov had an impressive pre-season with the Oilers, scoring two points (1-1-2) in five games. He also recorded two goals and an assist in two games with the Oilers Rookies at the 2014 Young Stars Tournament in Penticton. He scored a goal against the University of Alberta Golden Bears for the Rookies as well. The Oilers have assigned defenceman Oscar Klefbom to Oklahoma City.Chris WescottMon, 13 Oct 2014 20:00:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141002.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3261332613BLOG: Defensive changes?http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32616The Oilers are not ready to commit on when Darnell Nurse will make his NHL debut, or if/when Klefbom will enter the lineup as well. “We’ll wait as long as we have to,” Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. “It’s extremely easy to say, ‘put this guy in.’ I think it’s extremely hard to say, ‘take this guy out.’ It’s something that I don’t take lightly. I like to think about it and I’m not there yet with an answer for you.” The Oilers take on Los Angeles tomorrow.Chris WescottMon, 13 Oct 2014 18:54:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141004_nurse1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3261632616BLOG: Injury updatehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32615Three Oilers players did not participate in practice on Monday. Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Teddy Purcell were not on the ice, all dealing with some bumps and bruises. “The three guys not practicing today are all with multiple bang-ups,” Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. “We’ll just assess them day-by-day, but for the three of them it was one of those things where you come in that fit from the summer and we’re not so worried about them being on the ice, we need them to play. So we thought they would benefit from another day of some rest and rehab inside.” The Oilers top-line centre Nugent-Hopkins got into a fight on Saturday in Vancouver, but it wasn’t the only thing that left him banged up. “He took a big hit there right before the fight and took a few whacks as well during the game. He’s kind of bruised up all over,” Eakins said. The status of those players is day-to-day. Eakins said they have discussed calling up a player if one of the forwards couldn’t go tomorrow against Los Angeles, but a decision was not made as of practice.Chris WescottMon, 13 Oct 2014 18:53:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141003_nuge1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3261532615BLOG: Monday lineuphttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32611There are some noticeable absences at the start of practice here in California. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle and Teddy Purcell are not on the ice. The line combinations are as follows: Pouliot-Draisaitl-Yakupov Hall-Arcobello-Klefbom Perron-Gordon-Joensuu Gazdic-Acton-HendricksChris WescottMon, 13 Oct 2014 16:15:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/644camp-joensuu.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3261132611BLOG: Oilers need strong fourth-line play to continuehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32530The Oilers fourth line drew some attention for their play in the home opener on Thursday night. At the beginning of the game, they were the line generating the most time in the offensive zone. As the game continued, the Oilers began to attack in waves with the rest of their forward lines. Despite the loss, the play of the fourth line was one of several bright spots for the Oilers. Matt Hendricks, Boyd Gordon and Jesse Joensuu showed they have the ability to be a difference-making, energy-creating trio. I asked Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins what he thinks their impact could be on tonight’s game in Vancouver, considering that they played “pretty well” against Calgary. My assessment of their play was a little too conservative for the head coach. “You’re hard (on them),” Eakins said. “Pretty well? I thought they were excellent. I like that though, that’s good that you’re hard on them. I thought they played a big, heavy game. I thought that Jesse continued where he left off in training camp. Boyd and Hendy gave us really good games, they turned the tide a couple of times for us in the game with big shifts. They were able to get zone time and then they were able to do some heavy lifting in our zone on those face-offs. Again, it has to be every night for those guys. The one thing I was really encouraged with last game is, with our depth up front, it may have been the first game I’ve coached where all four lines were in the double digits and that bodes well for us over the course of the season.”Chris WescottSat, 11 Oct 2014 17:08:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141002_ph1-644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3253032530BLOG: Eakins message to the teamhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32478The Oilers outplayed the Flames for parts of the game, but lost 5-2. Head Coach Dallas Eakins spoke with the team after the loss, not wanting them to slip into the mindset that past demons were creeping back in. “It was just to breathe,” Eakins said of his messaging. “This is going to take some time, I don’t know how much time but I am worried about our team’s mindset. I don’t want last year and all the years before that have gone on, to turn this into a giant snowball rolling. Here it goes again. If we had played a terrible game, I would have told the team that and that would have been the end of it. I thought we played a good game, they feel that we played a good game. They understand that we made mistakes that cost us the game and we’ve got to rectify those. I didn’t want them in there with their heads down, feeling terrible about the night. There was a ton of good and there’s some learning to be done as well.” Eakins and the players in the locker room were adamant that there were many positives to take from the game. “I’m not going to walk out here and say we played crappy, because we didn’t,” Eakins said. “We made mistakes, we lost the game and that’s totally unacceptable. It’s all about the points. There’s going to be nights where we play like crap and we get the points and I’m going to be very upset with the game but happy to take the points.”Chris WescottFri, 10 Oct 2014 02:03:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/644camp-eakins2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3247832478BLOG: When will the Oilers suit up their young D?http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32477The Oilers elected to sit first-round picks Darnell Nurse and Oscar Klefbom for the season opener. Head Coach Dallas Eakins was asked after the game when the two youngsters will get an opportunity to play. He wasn’t quite ready to make a decision, but says he doesn’t want any player sitting out for long. “We’ll have to discuss it,” Eakins said. “You really don’t want anybody sitting very long. It doesn’t matter what their age is, but certainly at that stage in their development you don’t want them missing a lot of games.”Chris WescottFri, 10 Oct 2014 01:57:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/03/032914klefbom3.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3247732477BLOG: Expectations for Yakupov on his linehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32469Nail Yakupov will skate on a line with Benoit Pouliot and rookie first-round pick Leon Draisaitl. His role tonight will be to help Draisaitl along in his first NHL game, as the two of them developed a friendship over the summer. Yakupov will also be expected to shoot the puck as much as possible, according to Head Coach Dallas Eakins. “I talked to Nail this morning and he’s got to help Leon tonight,” Eakins said. “He’s got to help him through this. We’re looking to have him show some leadership there. Him and Leon have a great relationship so we’re looking for that. Nail has expanded his game. He understands where he’s supposed to be on the ice defensively now, he’s much better at it, I think he’s going to get the puck a lot more with Leon being able to distribute it. Leon is going to be constantly looking to that side because he’s a left-handed shot and Nail is on the right side. We want Nail to attack the net. Nail is always going to pay his best when he’s scoring, when he’s getting his points and when he’s getting his chances. That’s what he wants to do. We want energy, we want responsibility and we want him to be getting his chances. I certainly don’t want that player passing up any shots. He does not need to be nice to Pouliot and Leon. When he has the puck in a shooting area, put it at the net.” Yakupov is eager to skate with his new linemates, particularly Draisaitil who is a playmaker and could benefit the scoring winger. “He moves the puck quick,” Yakupov said of Draisaitl. “He doesn’t like to keep the puck all the time with him. He likes to see open players and open wingers. It’s my job to get open in the offensive zone and just make some shots. I think that’s really important… He’s just an unbelievable playmaker. He moves the puck really well and we’ll see what happens. I think we’re going to play really well.”Chris WescottThu, 09 Oct 2014 15:54:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/644scrimmage3.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3246932469BLOG: What Hunt brings to the Oilershttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32468Defenceman Brad Hunt enters tonight’s lineup against the Calgary Flames, ahead of the first-round youngsters Darnell Nurse and Oscar Klefbom. Head Coach Dallas Eakins says the reasoning was that the Oilers need Hunt’s power play ability. “His ability to move the puck and we need help on our power play,” Eakins said. “When you get down to certain decisions, it sometimes gets down to specialty players. He hasn’t hurt us defensively at all, he’s very smart, he’s not the biggest guy but he understands angles, he’s got a great stick. Again, he doesn’t defend a lot because he moves the puck so well. It goes back to why would you ever want to defend? Let’s have the puck, let’s make the plays so we’re not chasing it around. He certainly brings what we need on our power play. We need more of a ‘shot mentality’, we’ve given the guys the numbers on it, what our goals are every two minutes of a power play, and he brings that. He’s not looking to pass the puck first when he gets it at the point. His first thought is, ‘can I get it to that net?’ That’s why he’s here.” Hunt will be paired with Justin Schultz against the Flames. “He’s an excellent hockey player and he’s got a very bright future in this league so it’s an honour to be able to play with him. It’s going to be fun,” Hunt said. Schultz has played with a lot of different partners in his young career. He hopes to one day find his long-term defensive partner, but for now he’s ready to see what they can do. “It’s difficult to find that chemistry with a partner,” Schultz said. “With some guys, it happens right away. Obviously, I haven’t found that yet. I like playing with all the guys I’ve played with, it’s not a matter of that. Me and Hunt are together tonight, we’re both good offensively and hopefully we’ll have a good game out there.”Chris WescottThu, 09 Oct 2014 15:52:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141006_hunt1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32468324681984 Press Conference Video Coveragehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32425Chris WescottWed, 08 Oct 2014 21:18:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/644396-mess-gretz.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3242532425BLOG: Did the ’84 Oilers know they’d win more?http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32424The 1983-84 Oilers hoisted the first Stanley Cup Championship in franchise history. But did they know they would go on to win three more in the next four years? “I don’t think anyone can tell you you’ll continually win,” Ex-Oilers Head Coach Glen Sather said at Wednesday’s press conference. “There’s so much to go into the team, the spirit inside the team and how it functions, whether you’ve got the right trainers, the right doctors, the right owners, injuries, there’s 1,000 things that happen during the season. You can have the greatest talent in the world and, for some reason if something goes wrong, there’s no guarantee in hockey. “This is a tough league in a tough sport and you can see by the look of all the guys here, how tough they are after going through what they’ve gone through. It takes a lot of hard work.”Chris WescottWed, 08 Oct 2014 21:17:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/644396-83-84EdmOil.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3242432424BLOG: Glen Sather’s influencehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32402Glen Sather coached many Oilers teams, dating back to their days in the WHA. But one of the best teams he put his mark on was the 1983-84 Oilers, who went on to win the franchise’s first Stanley Cup. The entire 1983-84 team is in town for Friday’s reunion ceremony, and they gathered on stage at Rexall Place Wednesday for a media availability. Wayne Gretzky, who scored 118 points that season and 35 in the playoffs, talked about his head coach’s influence on that team. “He was probably harder on us than our parents were,” Gretzky said. “It’s kind of funny when I say to people, ‘When I was 19-years-old, he really pushed me.’” Gretzky continued, “He pushed us. That’s the first thing he did, and we had a respect level for him because the very first phone call he ever made if something bad happened or something wasn’t right, if you called Glen he was going to take care of it. He really became like a father to us, especially the younger guys that were here at 18, 19 or 20. “Then he had this ability to let us live. He had one rule when we were Edmonton Oilers and that was to never embarrass the team. We used to always kid about it because practice would start at around 11 o’clock, the bus would leave around 4 o’clock, those little things never bothered him. He also liked family around. So if your father was in a city, he wanted them on the bus. If your mom or dad were in a different city, he wanted them on the bus. He really made us understand that work ethic is important but family is real important. He was the catalyst of the organization and we wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for his foresight and his vision.” The team finished 57-18-5 that year on their way to a Stanley Cup Championship. The 57 wins is still a franchise record.Chris WescottWed, 08 Oct 2014 20:42:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/644396-mess-gretz.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3240232402BLOG: It was quite easy to gather the ’84 bunchhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32401When the idea to bring the entire 1984 Stanley Cup Champion Oilers together first came about, it might have seemed like a daunting task to reach out to all of the players and staff and convince them to come. But as Paul Coffey says, it was quite easy. “It was a little bit of a no-brainer,” Coffey said. “It’s amazing how some things don’t change over the years. When Wayne asks for something, you usually do it. We were trained that way at an early age. Anytime you have your leader, that is your hardest worker, ask you to do something then you do it.” That of course got a laugh from the players on stage and the media in the crowd at the press conference on Wednesday. Gretzky gave credit to Kevin Lowe, his staff with the Oilers and the team’s equipment manager Barrie Stafford for accomplishing this task. But Gretzky’s influence was definitely there throughout the process. “Gretz called, we’re here and it’s going to be a great time,” Coffey said.Chris WescottWed, 08 Oct 2014 20:41:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/644reunion.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3240132401Video & Audio from Wednesday's practicehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32392Chris WescottWed, 08 Oct 2014 16:10:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/644camp-eberle-eakins.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3239232392BLOG: Eakins on goalie rotationhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32398Head Coach Dallas Eakins confirmed that the Oilers would start goaltender Ben Scrivens in the home opener against Calgary tomorrow night. The team will then turn around and give Viktor Fasth the start in game two. “I’ve talked to both of our goalies,” Eakins said. “They fully understand that they are equals. I warned them that a lot of necessary thought from people not in our dressing goes into what this means. I told them that we are starting our best goalie in game one and we’re starting our best goalie in game two. Viktor is going to come right back in Vancouver.” The Oilers are of the mindset that they have two quality NHL goaltenders. On Tuesday, Eakins said he would love to see both play so well that they split the games right down the middle. Just because one of them starts the home opener, doesn’t mean it has any more significance than the next game.” “We think that game one is of equal importance to game two, to game 12, to 13, to 72 or 80,” Eakins said. “They’re all worth the same. We have two goalies that can certainly handle any one of those 82 games.”Chris WescottWed, 08 Oct 2014 16:08:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/20140926_goal1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3239832398BLOG: Oilers lineup noteshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32397Some lineup notes for the Oilers ahead of tomorrow night’s home opener include the naming of the starting goaltender. Ben Scrivens will get the first start in net tomorrow against Calgary, while Viktor Fasth will start against Vancouver on Saturday. Defenceman Nikita Nikitin (ankle) is cleared to play tomorrow night. Also on the blueline, young defencemen Oscar Klefbom and Darnell Nurse will sit out the first game. Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins said that barring illness, everyone would play. Benoit Pouliot’s (hip flexor) prognosis looks better. Pouliot skated Wednesday morning after missing practice on Tuesday, and says he feels good.Chris WescottWed, 08 Oct 2014 15:55:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/04/20140409_klefbom3.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3239732397BLOG: Pouliot feeling goodhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32396Oilers winger Benoit Pouliot did not skate yesterday, but was on the ice today for practice. Head Coach Dallas Eakins said he was dealing with a hip flexor injury on Tuesday. Pouliot says it was feeling much better today. “I’m feeling good,” Pouliot said. “It’s been a long week, I haven’t really skated that much as I’m trying to stay off of it and trying to heal whatever is going on. But I felt great this morning and hopefully tomorrow I will feel the same way.” Pouliot says he does not know the exact origin of the injury, he’s just trying to make sure it doesn’t affect him much longer. “Just a bad hip. I guess it happened when skating or maybe I got hit, I have no clue. One day it was really sore and I just tried to get it better so it doesn’t keep going for a few games or a few days.”Chris WescottWed, 08 Oct 2014 15:53:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/644pouliot.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3239632396BLOG: Wednesday line combinationshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32389Forward combinations: Hall-RNH-Eberle Pouliot-Arcobello-Purcell Perron-Draisaitl-Yakupov Hendricks-Gordon-Joensuu Acton & Gazdic Defensive combinations: Ference-Petry Nikitin-Fayne Klefbom-Schultz Nurse-Hunt Benoit Pouliot did not skate yesterday (hip flexor) but is on the ice today.Chris WescottWed, 08 Oct 2014 13:28:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/644camp-eberle-eakins.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3238932389BLOG: New numbers for Draisaitl and Nursehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32404Leon Draisaitl and Darnell Nurse will both make their NHL debuts wearing different numbers. Draisaitl has switched to number 29 and Nurse has switched to number 25.Marc CiampaWed, 08 Oct 2014 12:04:00 EDThttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3240432404BLOG: Oilers hoping to split goalie tandemhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32378The Oilers are hoping that when it comes to their goaltenders, they don’t have to choose just one starter. The team feels they have two quality NHL goalies in Ben Scrivens and Viktor Fasth. “I hope they both play well enough that they both play 41 games,” Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. “I hope they both play so well that we just are able to split it. I hope that happens. Will it? I don’t know. Unless something happens and somebody falls off, which could happen, or somebody springs ahead then we will deal with it then. Knowing the two guys and how competitive they are and how supportive they are of each other, I think you’re going to see a real even match and I’m hopeful that they can both do the job.” Scrivens played 21 games for the Oilers last season, posting a 3.01 GAA and .916 save percentage. Fasth played seven games, recording a 2.73 GAA and .914 save percentage.Chris WescottTue, 07 Oct 2014 18:24:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/20140926_goal1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3237832378Tuesday audio and videohttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32356Chris WescottTue, 07 Oct 2014 16:26:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/01/306ference.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3235632356BLOG: Eakins on Alternate Captain choiceshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32370Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins talked about naming Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle the full-time alternate captains for the 2014-15 season. "Andrew (Ference) is second-to-none in the League with his leadership," Eakins said about his captain. "I believe Taylor and Ebs have earned full-time spots." Last season, Matt Hendricks and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins both wore the A at times. Eakins said he had conversations with both players and expects significant leadership from them despite not wearing a letter.Marc CiampaTue, 07 Oct 2014 14:41:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2013/10/potw_week3.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3237032370BLOG: Eakins on injury status of Pouliot, Nikitinhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32369Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins spoke to the media after practice on Tuesday and commented on the status of Benoit Pouliot -- who did not skate -- and defenceman Nikita Nikitin. Eakins said that Pouliot did not skate today due to a hip flexor but that he's probably for Thursday. Nikitin did skate but his status for Thursday remains up in the air. He has been out with an ankle injury.Marc CiampaTue, 07 Oct 2014 14:39:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/644pouliot.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3236932369BLOG: Oilers name alternate captainshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32363The Oilers have named the team's two alternate captains for the 2014-15 season: Jordan Eberle Taylor Hall Eberle and Hall will serve as full-time alternate captains for the team. Read more in the Oilers Press Release.Marc CiampaTue, 07 Oct 2014 13:51:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/644-alternates.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3236332363BLOG: Oilers power play unitshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32367The Oilers are practicing the power play, with the same units as Sunday with the exception of Will Acton in place of Benoit Pouliot on the first power play unit in front of the net. Skating with Acton is Nugent-Hopkins, Hall, Eberle and Schultz. On the second unit: David Perron, Leon Draisaitl, Teddy Purcell, Nail Yakupov and Brad Hunt.Marc CiampaTue, 07 Oct 2014 13:47:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/644camp-eberle-eakins.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3236732367BLOG: Line combos and D pairings Tuesdayhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32366The Oilers are on the ice for practice at Rexall Place today. On defence, Nikita Nikitin is back skating with the team and taking a regular rotation: Oilers D pairings this morning: Hunt-J Schultz, Ference-Petry, Nikitin-Fayne, Klefbom-Nurse — Bob Stauffer (@Bob_Stauffer) October 7, 2014 The forward units are coloured for power play and Benoit Pouliot is currently not on the ice. Check back for further updates. Will Acton is in Benoit Pouliot's spot as net presence on 1st unit PP — Bob Stauffer (@Bob_Stauffer) October 7, 2014Marc CiampaTue, 07 Oct 2014 13:38:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/644scrimmage2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3236632366BLOG: EAD announces Delta as hotel partnerhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32334Chris WescottMon, 06 Oct 2014 17:23:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141006.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3233432334BLOG: Four players clear waivershttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32331Keith Aulie, Anton Lander, Steve Pinizzotto and Tyler Pitlick have cleared waivers. They have been assigned to the Oklahoma City Barons.Chris WescottMon, 06 Oct 2014 12:16:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/04/20140406_pinizzotto.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3233132331Sunday News, Video & Audiohttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32310edmontonoilers.com staffSun, 05 Oct 2014 19:19:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/306mact.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3231032310BLOG: Eakins on Draisaitlhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32324Selected third-overall in this year’s draft, Leon Draisaitl is set to begin his rookie season in Edmonton. Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins spoke on Sunday about what he expects from Draisaitl and what his observations were of the 18-year-old. “I think his size, he’s not going to get pushed around on the ice, that’s for sure,” Eakins said. “The other thing was his ability to make NHL plays and seem calm to do it. I think he showed us all flashes of what he’s capable of. The challenge for a player coming out of junior is to be able to do it every night. That should be part of the process for him, but that should be his goal that he’s going to have a positive impact on the game every night. Is he going to have hiccups along the way? Absolutely. He’s a teenager. We’re ready to help him right away and, in the end, he was better than our other options right now.”Chris WescottSun, 05 Oct 2014 19:17:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141004_draisaitl.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3232432324BLOG: Pitlick on waivers is a risk MacTavish was willing to takehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32323Tyler Pitlick had some successful moments this pre-season. He had a game-changing shift at Winnipeg, he earned time with skilled players like Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and a big check by the winger knocked Bo Horvat out of the game against the Canucks and turned up the intensity. But the Oilers placed Pitlick on waivers Sunday morning, with the purpose of assignment to Oklahoma City. The decision is a risk, but one that MacTavish says the team was willing to make when they went through their personnel for the opening night roster. Pitlick was joined by Steve Pinizzotto, Keith Aulie and Anton Lander on waivers. “I think we can debate on the effectiveness of Tyler Pitlick,” MacTavish said. “I think Tyler is at a position right now that we wish he would have been at a year or a year and a half ago. He’s turned himself into a professional. I think that it ended up with Tyler, as well as Pinizzotto, were two difficult decisions. It got down to a positional bias and I thought the 13th forward here would be best served by being a centreman and it was a risk I was willing to take.” Will Acton is currently the 13th forward the Oilers elected to keep. The team stressed that the moves were not permanent, with the evaluation process ongoing.Chris WescottSun, 05 Oct 2014 19:16:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/20140903_pitlick2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3232332323BLOG: MacTavish on Marincin decisionhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32302It was a bit of a surprise to see Martin Marincin’s name on the list of players assigned to Oklahoma City this morning. The 22-year-old played 44 games with the Oilers last season and, at times, was arguably the team’s best defenceman. But Marincin struggled to hit his stride in camp and that, coupled with the club wanting to give Darnell Nurse and Brad Hunt their earned opportunity, led to the Oilers making a tough decision. “I think, throughout training camp, there was a lot of competition for defencemen and I think you’re looking at different areas of strength and a bit of a different mix than having Marty,” General Manager Craig MacTavish said. “Marty is very good and played very well for us last year. Sending Marty down was one of those difficult decisions. It’s not a decision we can’t unwind in a very short period of time. I think, from my perspective, the decision was at what point do we give Brad Hunt the opportunity? At what point do we keep Darnell here and give him some games to see where his development is. “I think we can all agree that Darnell is just going to continue to get better and better with this experience. Brad Hunt is a guy that we all like for his ability to provide offence. Does Marty Marincin do some things better than Brad Hunt? Absolutely. But Brad Hunt definitely does some things that can help us in an area of need. That’s difficult for Marty, but it is his third year of his entry level deal, it’s the last year that we have to try and test-drive a couple of other players before we have to make a clear decision, because quite clearly if we were going to have to put Marty on waivers we likely would have lost him.”Chris WescottSun, 05 Oct 2014 19:15:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/03/marincin-edm-vs-ott-644-x-396.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3230232302BLOG: MacT & Eakins address media on Sunday's moveshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32308Oilers General Manager Craig MacTavish will be addressing the media shortly regarding Sunday's roster moves, which reduced the team by eight players. If you missed the press conference, you can listen to the archive in the Oilers mobile app. Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins will be speaking to the media shortly and you can watch that in the app.Marc CiampaSun, 05 Oct 2014 13:59:00 EDThttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3230832308BLOG: Oilers lines on Sundayhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32299The Oilers forward lines at practice this morning are as follows: Hall-RNH-Eberle Pouliot-Draisaitl-Yakupov Perron-Arcobello-Purcell Hendricks-Gordon-JoensuuChris WescottSun, 05 Oct 2014 13:34:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/644scrimmage3.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3229932299BLOG: Oilers reduce roster by eighthttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32298The Oilers have reduced their training camp roster by eight this morning. Jujhar Khaira, Bogdan Yakimov and Martin Marincin have been assigned to Oklahoma City. Kevin Westgarth has been released from his PTO. Earlier, Keith Aulie, Anton Lander, Steve Pinizzotto and Tyler Pitlick were placed on waivers with the purpose of assignment to OKC.Chris WescottSun, 05 Oct 2014 13:26:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141002_canuckles1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3229832298BLOG: Oilers place four on waivershttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32297The Edmonton Oilers have placed four players on waivers this morning. Anton Lander, Keith Aulie, Tyler Pitlick and Steve Pinizzotto have all been placed on waivers for purpose of assignment to Oklahoma City.Chris WescottSun, 05 Oct 2014 13:21:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2013/10/Lander3.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3229732297BLOG: Oilers place Bachman on waivershttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32232The Edmonton Oilers announced today, they have placed goaltender Richard Bachman on waivers for the purpose of assignment to the American Hockey League’s Oklahoma City Barons. The Oilers training camp roster now includes 34 players (2 goalies, 11 defencemen and 21 forwards).Edmonton Oilers Press ReleaseFri, 03 Oct 2014 12:01:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2013/10/bachmansave.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3223232232BLOG: Nurse plays most physical game yethttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32231Oilers 2013 seventh-overall pick Darnell Nurse played his second solid game in a row and was a physical presence on the ice. In fact, Head Coach Dallas Eakins says it was his most physical game yet. “He has to play physical, that’s why we drafted him,” Eakins said. “He competes that hard, he’s physical and he can make plays. That was probably the most physical game I’ve seen him play and I think he felt like he had a little swagger too, because he was jumping. Which is good for a guy of that age to be able to keep it rolling two nights in a row.” Nurse said tonight was all about showing what he can do. “It was a combination of everything,” Nurse said. “It’s getting to that point where the final cuts are getting made so I’m just trying to go out there and show everything I can do. It’s something I can definitely do on a nightly basis, it’s just tonight it showed the most.”Chris WescottFri, 03 Oct 2014 01:14:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2013/12/Nurse2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3223132231BLOG: Nikitin updatehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32230Oilers veteran defenceman and off-season acquisition Nikita Nikitin went down with an ankle injury in Thursday night’s game against the Canucks. He’s not expected to miss significant time. “Twisted his ankle,” Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins said after the game. “We don’t expect it to be one of those longterm ones that guys get. They threw a boot on him as a precaution but we’re hopeful right now that it’s just going to be a week, two weeks tops.”Chris WescottFri, 03 Oct 2014 01:12:00 EDThttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3223032230BLOG: Pitlick said physical play is contagioushttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32229Oilers winger Tyler Pitlick knocked Canucks Bo Horvat out of the game in the opening two minutes with a huge open-ice check. The intensity of the game took off from there. The 22-year-old said the he and the team feeds off the physicality of each other. “I think it’s contagious when anyone is being physical,” Pitlick said. “One guy lays a hit and everyone is like, ‘alright, let’s do that too.’ “Things get rolling and it’s contagious for sure.” Pitlick was asked if he senses more pressure to perform and be physical now that pre-season is coming to a close. “Every night is do or die. But it’s like that in the beginning of camp too. If you go out there and lay an egg, you might be sent home right away. There’s definitely more pressure as the pre-season winds down.”Chris WescottFri, 03 Oct 2014 01:11:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/20140903_pitlick2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3222932229BLOG: Joensuu hard on himself but Eakins impressedhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32228Jesse Joensuu had an assist on the Oilers only goal and, according to his head coach, played a good game. But that didn’t stop the big Finnish forward from being hard on himself for taking three penalties. “I took two bad penalties,” Joensuu said. “I should have kept my stick down on the last one. I knew that it was going to come rushing into me so I thought that I’d be ready, but I can’t take that penalty.” Joensuu taking it hard had Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins singing his praises. “I love when the player is hard on himself and I thought he played pretty good,” Eakins said. “I’m willing to overlook those penalties and I thought he played another big man’s game. He’s got real confidence with the puck right now and that’s something he didn’t have a whole lot of last year. He’s making plays and using his body well. We’ll overlook those penalties tonight. We know they won’t come up in the regular season, he’s just trying to play so aggressive right now. But that’s music to my ears that he’s being hard on himself, but he was good for me.”Chris WescottFri, 03 Oct 2014 01:07:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141001_1gh.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3222832228BLOG: Perron updatehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32181David Perron was injured after being on the receiving end of a hit in last night’s win over Arizona. Perron struggled to exit the ice, then returned to the game later in the second. However, he would not return for the third period due to a rib injury. This morning, Perron was absent at practice, presumably still nursing that injury. Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins provided an update, saying Perron tried to give it a whirl on the ice but the coaches pulled him off. “He’s just got some sore ribs,” Eakins said. “He came out, we were going to keep him off the ice but he wanted to get in there. Then he got out there and I could see that he was in pain shooting the puck. I’m fairly certain David has made our team, so we just had him go off the ice and get a good workout in.”Chris WescottThu, 02 Oct 2014 14:53:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/03/644perron.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3218132181BLOG: Eakins sees hard work paying off for Purcellhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32180Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins talked about one of the newest Oilers and his contributions so far at training camp. Teddy Purcell was acquired in a trade from the Tampa Bay Lightning in June. Eakins says Purcell is coming along and the performance is catching up to the effort. “Last game, I started to see it,” Eakins said. “I felt for him because he had worked extremely hard in practice. He jumped in, our pace of practice is way up, with it being much shorter. Our guys were going and he was doing his damnedest to help drive the pace. He was working extremely hard, and usually when your players are doing that it starts to creep into their game. That’s what happens. He wasn’t getting rewarded in the games but I thought he had the pace and he can certainly make a play. This guy has got really soft hands, he can find people, I think he’s going to be a danger on one of our power play units and he’s going to be a great compliment to guys who can shoot the puck. We’ve got a lot of time for Teddy and I think he’ll fit into our group quite nicely moving forward.”Chris WescottThu, 02 Oct 2014 14:52:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/644scrimmage2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3218032180BLOG: Early group Thursday morninghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32173The early group of Oilers on the ice on Thursday morning was as follows: Jordan Eberle Mark Arcobello Boyd Gordon Jujhar Khaira Luke Gazdic David Musil Jeff Petry Andrew Ference Justin Schultz Those players are not expected to suit up tonight against the Canucks.Chris WescottThu, 02 Oct 2014 11:36:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/01/306ference.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3217332173BLOG: Pinizzotto, Joensuu and Pitlick show wellhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32188Three Oilers, all in contention for a fourth-line winger spot with the team, showed very well in the team’s 3-2 pre-season win over Arizona. Jesse Joensuu, Steve Pinizzotto and Tyler Pitlick did exactly what their head coach wants them to do on the ice. “Just what those guys did tonight, all three of them,” Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. “They were all skating, they were all playing a big man’s game. They finished every check, they were able to keep cycles alive, they were able to retrieve pucks on the forecheck and tonight they ended up driving the game. You need that out of those players. It seemed like everyone played well as a group and they had great energy, not only on the bench or on the ice but in the room as well.” Joensuu scored two goals, both assisted by Pinizzotto. Joensuu had six hits, while Pinizzotto had four on the same line. Pitlick drew a couple of penalties and added three shots and four assists. The competition seems like it’s not over yet, with all three players doing their job and doing it well tonight. “It was a huge shock for me to come here, but I knew what this team needed and I think that’s my game,” Pinizzotto said. “I’ve just got to bring energy to the highly effective players. The first-line guys build energy off that, the crowd builds off that and all it takes is one big hit to get everyone going. I can be a pretty effective player with this team if I can get the confidence under my belt and I just try to get better every day.” Joensuu said after the game that he is more prepared for a camp battle now than he was as a younger player. “I’m not good that I wouldn’t have to play good in training camp,” he said. “I feel now that I’m older, it is easier to perform than when I was on my entry-level deal it felt like those were the most important games of the whole season. I think I tried too hard then and now it’s easier.”Chris WescottThu, 02 Oct 2014 00:56:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141001_6441.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3218832188BLOG: Young D play well, Marincin makes a statementhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32187Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins had said before in camp that Martin Marincin had yet to hit his stride. Marincin, who played 44 games with the Oilers last season, was clearly in a battle for his position on the team. Eakins says the 22-year-old made a statement in the team’s 3-2 win over the Coyotes on Wednesday night. “I thought Marty Marincin really upped his game. He had, I thought, struggled a little bit but he firmly put his stamp tonight that he is very interested in staying here and reclaiming his spot.” It wasn’t only Marincin making impressions. Former first-round picks Oscar Klefbom and Darnell Nurse each had solid games. Nurse, who was selected seventh overall in 2013, showed “flashes of what he can do.” “I think his game, compared to last year, is much better,” Eakins said. “He’s a little more settled back there. The difference for him this year is our defence is better. It’s a different battle set up. All three guys played well for me.”Chris WescottThu, 02 Oct 2014 00:55:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/01/Marincin_Journey.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3218732187BLOG: Draisaitl flashes his skillshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32186The reaction in the press box of Rexall Place was unanimous. Leon Draisaitl, the third-overall pick in this year’s draft, is playing himself into that second-line centre spot to start the season. The big, talented 18-year-old hit a couple of posts, and was making plays all over the ice. After scoring 105 points last season in the WHL with Prince Albert, his offensive skills are coming to light here at the NHL level. But it is Draisaitl’s willingness to learn that stuck out to his head coach. “He showed some great flashes of what he can do,” Dallas Eakins said after the game. “There were some learning points in the game as well. The one really good thing is our young players are not shy on the bench, they’re asking questions, and he was doing that when he wasn’t sure. He showed some flashes.”Chris WescottThu, 02 Oct 2014 00:53:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141001_ph2-306.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3218632186BLOG: Both Petry and Ference progressinghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32157Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins provided some updates on injured defencemen Andrew Ference and Jeff Petry. Ference injured his right arm in the pre-season game against Chicago, while Petry has been nursing a shoulder wound. Both appear to be getting better. “Petry continues to get better, which is a good sign,” Eakins said. “He’s out there, he doesn’t have any pain shooting the puck anymore so he’s moving along nicely, which we like. Ference was out there. He rubbed some dirt on that injury, it’s sore still, not ready to play but he’s able to get through the practice part.”Chris WescottWed, 01 Oct 2014 15:10:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/gallery/2014/03/414403_1395546702237.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3215732157BLOG: Tkachev releasedhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32149Vladimir Tkachev has been released from his ATO with the Oilers and will return to the Moncton Wildcats of the QMJHL.Chris WescottWed, 01 Oct 2014 12:27:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/644tkachev.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3214932149BLOG: MacTavish comments on Tkachev's contracthttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32106Oilers General Manager Craig MacTavish commented on the NHL ruling Vladimir Tkachev's contract inelligible this evening. "There's a subsection in the CBA that defines prior season. When we looked at it, it looked like Vlad fulfilled all the criteria to sign a Standard Player's Contract," MacTavish began. "He went through the draft -- 30 teams had a chance to draft him -- and he played the prior season in North America, which he did in Moncton. "But when you go down two paragraphs further, in another subsection of article 8, it defines 'prior season' as a complete season. Vlad had played some games in the KHL and that went unnoticed." MacTavish added that he felt bad for Tkachev, who had three points in his three NHL games, handling himself well against some tough competition. "I feel bad for the player because he played so well and he was so excited to be offered an NHL contract," MacTavish remarked. The unfortunate part for the Oilers was there was no way that he could have signed with Edmonton or any other NHL team, for that matter. "We didn't miss a deadline or miss an opportunity to sign him but we thought we had the opportunity," the GM stated. Tkachev's agent also thought that there was an opportunity for Tkachev to sign with an NHL club. "I spoke with the agent and he read the clause and then stopped reading after it looked like he was eligible."Marc CiampaTue, 30 Sep 2014 20:22:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/07/644mactjuly1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3210632106BLOG: Tkachev's contract ruled inelligiblehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32123The Oilers announced Tuesday afternoon that Vladimir Tkachev's contract has been ruled ineligible by the National Hockey League.Marc CiampaTue, 30 Sep 2014 19:30:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/644-edm-van2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3212332123Tuesday audio and videohttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32093Chris WescottTue, 30 Sep 2014 17:31:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/644scrimmage3.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3209332093BLOG: Oilers sign Tkachev; assign fivehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32095The Oilers announced on Tuesday that they have signed forward Vladimir Tkachev to a three-year entry-level contract. They also announced the assignment of five players, reducing their training camp roster to 38 (22 forwards, 12 defencemen, 4 goaltenders): Travis Ewanyk (Oklahoma City - AHL) Mitch Moroz (Oklahoma City – AHL) Jordan Oesterle (Oklahoma City – AHL) Dillon Simpson (Oklahoma City – AHL) Andrew Miller has been placed on waivers for the purpose of assignment to the Oklahoma City Barons. Check the Oilers Mobile App for more details on these two news stories.Marc CiampaTue, 30 Sep 2014 15:25:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/20140918_trainingcamp644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3209532095BLOG: Tuesday line combinationshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32090Tuesday's line combinations for the first group are as follows: Hall-RNH-Yakupov Perron-Draisaitl-Eberle Pouliot-Gordon-Purcell Defencemen: Marincin Klefbom Aulie Fayne Nikitin Schultz The second group hit the ice as follows: Forwards: Tkachev-Yakimov-Westgarth Hendricks-Khaira-Pitlick Pinizzotto-Acton-Joensuu Gazdic-Arcobello-Lander Defencemen: Hunt Nurse Musil PetryChris WescottTue, 30 Sep 2014 13:42:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/644scrimmage2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3209032090BLOG: Hunt ‘excellent’ against Winnipeghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32072The Oilers may have a blueline battle brewing. Brad Hunt, 26, was a Second-Team AHL All Star last season. He scored 50 points (11-39-50) in 66 games with the Oklahoma City Barons. He played three games on a call up with the Oilers. Now Hunt is making an impression on the Edmonton staff. “You cheer for guys like Hunt,” Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. “He loves playing hockey and he can play, that kid can play. He’s shooting on the power play, he’s ready to tee it up. He’s not deferring to others, he knows when to move the puck, he knows when to jump in the play and he turned out to be an excellent partner for Darnell. I thought Darnell was good, I thought Hunt was excellent.” Hunt scored nine power play goals last season in OKC. Barons Head Coach Todd Nelson called him the team’s, “top power play guy.” The power play is just one tool in Hunt’s arsenal, but it’s up to him to keep playing well if he wants to stick. “That would be in his back pocket for sure. He can do it. He’s going to have to push his way in with 5-on-5 play, but tonight Hunt showed that he can play at this level of play right now.Chris WescottTue, 30 Sep 2014 01:36:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/02/BradHunt5.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3207232072BLOG: Pitlick’s performancehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32071Tyler Pitlick had a great opportunity to prove himself to the Oilers coaching staff against Winnipeg. The 22-year-old was put on a line with Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Pitlick scored a goal, that was eventually disallowed. He played 17:32, including just over six minutes on the power play and some time on the penalty kill. He finished the night with one shot on goal and four hits. “It was fun to play with him,” Hall said. “It seemed like he was comfortable playing his game and that’s how you want to make guys feel when they come on a line with you. We had a few chances. There was a lot of power play time tonight so it was a bit tough to really shore our game, but for the most part I felt he played well.” Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins also felt Pitlick played well. “I thought he played good,” Eakins said. “We talked about it this morning that it was a bit of a reward for him. He was a factor in our last game (against Winnipeg) and he did his job tonight. He went up and down the wing, supported those guys, we got him a little power play time too to see how he could handle it. We thought he had a good game.”Chris WescottTue, 30 Sep 2014 01:34:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/20140903_pitlick2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3207132071BLOG: Oilers will keep players who earn spotshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32061There are several battles for roster spots amongst Oilers players right now. One of the positions, seemingly up for grabs, would be right up the middle. Aside from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Boyd Gordon, the Oilers are still looking to solidify their lineup at centre. Third-overall pick Leon Draisaitl is one of the possibilities and he’s shown flashes of his playmaking skills in the pre-season so far. 2013 third-round pick Bogdan Yakimov has come in and impressed from the opening face-off in Penticton, BC at the Young Stars Tournament. Mark Arcobello and Anton Lander have NHL experience are locked in that same battle. So far, it looks like the rookies are pushing to get noticed and when asked on Monday if the Oilers would hesitate in starting the season with two rookies at centre, Head Coach Dallas Eakins says there wouldn’t be any. “I don’t want to speak for my boss, but we’ve had the talks and I don’t think we’d hesitate at all,” he said. “But we are looking to go with the guys who have earned their spots in camp… You don’t want to play safe all of the time. Safe is okay, he doesn’t need waivers so send him down, keep this guy and see what happens. We want to go with the guys who have earned the spots. Is there a danger with that in waivers? Absolutely. But that’s where the battle is. Eakins stressed that there is still a battle to be played out here, but whoever has earned a spot will stay with the club. “There is still lots of time here and I’m not sure that they’ve outplayed those guys, but there are certainly all of these guys in the mix. No one has stepped up way ahead of each other yet. It will be real interesting here over the next few games to see who’s going to step up. My real honest answer, and I will be honest, I don’t think there will be any hesitation. We’ll take the guys who have played well, played the best and who we think are going to help us win our first game.”Chris WescottMon, 29 Sep 2014 13:57:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/20140924_yakimox644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3206132061BLOG: Oilers reduce roster, send five to OKChttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32058The Oilers have assigned Curtis Hamilton, Kale Kessy, Iiro Pakarinen, Jason Williams and Martin Gernat to the Oklahoma City Barons. Stay tuned for more coverage from Monday’s practice.Chris WescottMon, 29 Sep 2014 13:12:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/01/hamilton010814.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3205832058BLOG: Ference x-rays negativehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=32051Oilers Captain Andrew Ference left tonight’s game with an arm injury and did not return. Head Coach Dallas Eakins provided an update on the defenceman after the game. “Ference update, he was courageous and blocked shots,” Eakins said. “We need lots of that, more of it. We took him out as a precaution. X-rays are negative, he’ll be fine.”Chris WescottSun, 28 Sep 2014 21:42:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/gallery/2013/12/386888_1388545465385.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3205132051BLOG: Bob Nicholson inducted into B.C. Sports HOFhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31970Oilers Entertainment Group Vice-Chairman Bob Nicholson has been inducted into the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame. Born and raised in B.C. (Vancouver and Penticton), Nicholson is being elected into the builder category of the hall of fame. Nicholson led the Hockey Canada program since 1998. He oversaw all operations for international competitions that Canada participated in. During his time with Hockey Canada, the nation took home 76 medals in those competitions- 44 of them were gold. Nicholson was introduced in his new role in June. As Vice-Chairman of Oilers Entertainment Group, Nicholson is a voice for all facets of the organization, from business to hockey operations. Members of the Oilers organization likened the arrival of Nicholson to the signing of a superstar free agent.Chris WescottFri, 26 Sep 2014 00:27:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/06/20140613_NICHOLSON306.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3197031970BLOG: Oilers assign Rimmer to OKChttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31969The Oilers have assigned Ty Rimmer to the Oklahoma City Barons of the American Hockey League.Chris WescottThu, 25 Sep 2014 16:38:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/20140925tyrimmer.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3196931969Video and Audio from camp in Leduc Thursdayhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31922edmontonoilers.com staffThu, 25 Sep 2014 15:34:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/644scrimmage3.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3192231922BLOG: Oilers showing Eskies pridehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31938Oilers management, coaches, trainers and players are showing their Edmonton Eskimos pride in advance of their game against Saskatchewan tomorrow. Nearly every Oiler is wearing an Eskimos hat, although there are just a few questionable life choices (Roughriders hats).Chris WescottThu, 25 Sep 2014 13:51:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/201409241234.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3193831938BLOG: First group line combinationshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31936The Oilers are on the ice in Leduc and the first group is as follows: Forward Lines: Hall-Arcobello-Purcell Hendricks-Gordon-Joensuu Pakarinen-Lander-Pinizzotto Moroz-Khaira-Perron R. Hamilton-Acton-Westgarth Defensive Pairings: Ference-Simpson Nikitin-Fayne Hunt-Musil Goalies: Scrivens/FasthChris WescottThu, 25 Sep 2014 13:42:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/20140925_1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3193631936BLOG: Yakupov “energetic"http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31926The stat sheet doesn’t record “energy level” but by watching Oilers winger Nail Yakupov, it was clear that he was trying to make things happen on the ice. Head Coach Dallas Eakins was pleased with the things Yakupov brought to the game tonight. “I thought that line was one pass away from making something happen,” Eakins said. “Pucks were bobbling on him, there were some that went into his feet but I thought he was skating, I thought he was trying. He was energetic on the bench so I thought he had a good game.”Chris WescottWed, 24 Sep 2014 23:57:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/644scrimmage3.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3192631926BLOG: Hamilton switched to top line, plays wellhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31925The Oilers top line started as Nail Yakupov and Jordan Eberle centred by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. But as the game wore on, Head Coach Dallas Eakins tinkered with the lineup, and third-line winger Curtis Hamilton got bumped to the top with Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins. Hamilton, a second-round pick in 2010, showed he’s a hard worker and played well in his promotion. After battling adversity with knee injuries, Hamilton deserved the opportunity. “He needs it,” Eakins said. “You cheer for kids like that because he’s been hurt a lot, he comes in, he’s worked hard over the summer and that’s another one where it’s like, ‘alright, let’s throw him up there with two very good NHL players and see how he responds.’” “When we shook (the lineup), I felt like everybody started to respond a little bit and I’m sure that’s exciting for Curtis to be able to play with those two guys.”Chris WescottWed, 24 Sep 2014 23:56:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/01/hamilton010814.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3192531925