EDMONTON OILERS BLOGShttp://www.edmontonoilers.com/rssEDMONTON OILERS BLOGSNHL Enterprises, L.P. (c) 2016 NHL. All Rights Reserveden-usThu, 30 Jun 2016 09:48:16 EDTBLOG: Oilers trade Taylor Hall for Adam Larssonhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=47063The Oilers have acquired 23-year-old defenceman Adam Larsson, in exchange for Taylor Hall. ”I’m pretty shocked right now, but the overall feeling is I’m kind of excited to come to Edmonton," Larsson said, speaking on Oilers Now following the announcement. Larsson has played 274 regular season NHL games since being taken fourth overall in the 2011 NHL Draft. He has 69 points (9-60-69) in those games. He’s played five in the post-season, scoring one goal. In 2015-16, Larsson played 82 games for the New Jersey Devils. He scored three goals and added 15 assists for 18 total points. He had 77 penalty minutes and was +15, which was tied for the team lead. Larsson was 45th overall in the league in time on ice per game at 22:30, which was good for second on the Devils this past season. Larsson is 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, and is a native of Skelleftea, Sweden.Chris WescottWed, 29 Jun 2016 16:30:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/06/20160629_Larsson.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4706347063BLOG: Oilers issue qualifying offer to Musilhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=47034The Oilers have issued a qualifying offer to one of their restricted free agents; defenceman David Musil. Musil, 23, was taken 31st overall in the 2011 NHL Draft. He has played four NHL games in his career, all during the 2014-15 season. In 2015-16, Musil played 67 games for the Bakersfield Condors in the American Hockey League. He recorded 14 points (3-11-14) and 39 penalty minutes. The Edmonton Oilers did not issue a qualifying offers to defenceman Adam Clendening, forwards Luke Gazdic and Kale Kessy, and goaltender Niklas Lundstrom. Earlier Monday, Edmonton signed forward Iiro Pakarinen to a one-year contract.Chris WescottMon, 27 Jun 2016 17:00:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/06/20160627_musil.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4703447034BLOG: Pat Quinn elected to Hall of Famehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=47033The late Oilers head coach Pat Quinn has been posthumously elected into the Builder Category of the Hockey Hall of Fame. The voting took place on Monday at the annual meeting of the selection committee in Toronto. Quinn is joined by former players Eric Lindros, Sergei Makarov and Rogie Vachon as the Class of 2016. Quinn played nine seasons in the NHL, recording 131 points (18-113-131) in 606 regular season games. He then joined the Philadelphia organization as an assistant in 1977. From then on, Quinn spent almost four decades in either a coaching or management position in the NHL or with Hockey Canada. Quinn coached the Oilers during the 2009-10 season, before joining the organization in an advisory role. In 1,400 regular season games as a head coach, Quinn had 684 wins to his name. He also had a 94-89 record in the playoffs. He coached Team Canada to an Olympic gold medal in Salt Lake City in 2002, and gold at the 2004 World Cup. He also won a World Junior Championship with Canada in 2009. Quinn passed away November 23, 2014.Chris WescottMon, 27 Jun 2016 16:25:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/06/20160627_quinn.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4703347033BLOG: Oilers sign Pakarinenhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=47029The Edmonton Oilers have signed winger Iiro Pakarinen to a one-year contract. Pakarinen, 24, registered 13 points (5G, 8A) and eight penalty minutes in 63 games with the Oilers last season. The 6'1", 215-pound forward also appeared in four games with the American Hockey League’s Bakersfield Condors last season, posting three points (1G, 2A) and four penalty minutes. The Loviisa, Finland native has accumulated 16 points (6G, 10A) and 10 penalty minutes in 80 career NHL games.Edmonton Oilers Press ReleaseMon, 27 Jun 2016 15:00:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/06/20160627_pakarinen.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4702947029BLOG: Graham McPhee no stranger to draft dayhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=47024Growing up the son of an NHL general manager means you’re around the sport a lot. It also means you’re probably no stranger to the Draft. Such is the case with Edmonton’s fifth-round pick, Graham McPhee. The son of former Washington Capitals GM George McPhee says he “grew up in the Capitals locker room.” Alex Ovechkin lived with the McPhee family during his rookie season. Being around that kind of atmosphere was helpful for Graham, who hopes to further his hockey career in the NHL some day. “You learn a lot of little things the pros do like unwritten rules and stuff like that,” McPhee said. “All the guys there were extremely kind to me and always welcomed me, which really made me feel good.” When McPhee was a young kid he was one of the draft runners for Washington. And now, McPhee was one of the prospects in the stands waiting on his name to be called. “That was cool being part of past drafts and now, being a player drafted. It’s pretty cool,” he said. Watching prospects get drafted when he was a kid provided a little reward to work toward. “That’s something that always kind of motivated me. Guys that Washington drafted, how happy they were there with their families.” And now, McPhee has experienced it himself and he says it lived up to his expectations. “It’s awesome. It’s an incredible day. It’s something I dreamed of as a kid, to get drafted in the NHL. Now it’s finally becoming a reality and I couldn’t be more proud of being a part of the Edmonton Oilers organization.”Chris WescottSat, 25 Jun 2016 17:50:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/06/20160625_graham.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4702447024BLOG: Chiarelli has productive day of talkshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=47022Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Peter Chiarelli has said all along the team is not on a time crunch to get a deal for a defenceman done by the draft. So when the first round came and went and no deal was stuck, that was OK. Saturday, the remaining rounds went by and the Oilers, although they drafted defencemen, were still without a freshly acquired NHL piece. Once again, that’s alright for Chiarelli and the Oilers because the team’s hockey ops boss still laid some groundwork. “I had some discussions, so I furthered those along,” said Chiarelli. “I thought it was actually a pretty productive day. It didn’t result in a deal, but I thought I had some good talks today.” Despite no deal being made yet, Chiarelli is pleased with the work done in Buffalo. “I had positive discussions this week and if I didn’t have any discussions I’d be a little disappointed. But I had positive discussions and we’ll see where it goes.” When it comes to adding a top-end, right-shot defenceman, it takes time. That’s what Chiarelli says is and has been the plan. Over time, and with more dialogue, high asking prices can come down. Chiarelli continues to say he wants to make a deal because it’s the right one, not for the sake of just making a deal. “I’ve just got to grind away,” he said. “For example, a couple of the discussions I had today the positions had softened. What usually happens is whenever there’s a deadline or a milestone there’s a loosening up. The next one is July 1. We’re in the shopping period, there’s some movement there."Chris WescottSat, 25 Jun 2016 16:14:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/06/20160623_chia2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4702247022BLOG: Oilers take big Finnish d-man, Niemelainenhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=47018With the 63rd-overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, Edmonton took big, Finnish defenceman Markus Niemelainen. “Very proud and excited to be a part of the Oilers organization, and looking forward to see what is coming next,” he said. At 6-foot-6, Niemelainen towerd over much of the competition in the Ontario Hockey League this season. In 65 games for the Saginaw Spirit, Niemelainen recorded 27 points (1-26-27). Niemelainen describes himself as a two-way defenceman, who is more defensively inclined than offensively. However, the Oilers do see a little offensive upside in his game. A tough year for his Saginaw squad perhaps limited production. “It was a tough year in Saginaw,” said Oilers Director of Player Personnel Bob Green said. “He lost his defensive coach early and then they fired the head coach later. It was a tough year for those kids on that team. He’s big, he can skate, he can move the puck. He likes to play the game with a little bit of offensive flare. I don’t think his numbers this year are indicative of his talent level. There’s more there than just a 6-foot-6 shutdown guy.” Toward the end of the pre-draft process it seemed as if Niemelainen’s name was being associated with a second or even first-round pick. So the Oilers were surprised to see him there at 63. “We were,” said Green. There’s potential Niemelainen returns to his home country next year, but it isn’t confirmed. The Oilers just want him to go somewhere to grow his game. “We want him to go somewhere where he’s going to play and develop,” said Green. “We’ll have that discussion with him. He’s got options for sure. We try to let the player determine that. If they need help, we can help but they have plans where they want to go. It’s tough to alter that for them. They have to feel comfortable with it.”Chris WescottSat, 25 Jun 2016 14:22:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/06/20160625_niemelainen3.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4701847018BLOG: Oilers select Bensonhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=47015The Oilers have selected Vancouver Giants winger Tyler Benson with the 32nd-overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft. Benson, an Edmonton native, played just 30 games this season for Vancouver. He scored nine goals and added 19 assists for 28 points as the captain of the Giants. Benson battled through injuries, but has an impressive past resume. He averaged almost five points per game in his final season of Bantam AAA. He recorded 146 points (57-89-146) in just 33 games. His numbers set the Major Bantam Hockey League record for points in a season. He won the league’s MVP in 2012-13. Benson’s brother, Cole, played for the Edmonton Oil Kings.Chris WescottSat, 25 Jun 2016 10:13:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/06/20160617_benson.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4701547015BLOG: Defence deals not deadhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=47012It’s a common thought that big deals happen at the Draft. You get all of the general managers in one room together and expect the trades to start flowing. While that can be true, the Oilers desire to add an NHL defenceman was not dampened by a lack of action on day one. It would only be a problem for Edmonton if the only deals they’ve looked at involved the fourth-overall pick, which they used to select Jesse Puljujarvi. But, as Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli described, the fourth pick was only involved in one serious offer. It was an offer that got close, but never came to be. “I’ve said it’s been difficult to get a defenceman,” said Chiarelli. “We put four in a couple of scenarios that we moved along. At the end, one became very real. It just didn’t happen. Sometimes those things just don’t happen.” Despite that deal not happening, there are more conversations to be had. “It will be a good discussion day tomorrow where if something moves along where it’s to the point we have to execute a deal we’ll do it,” said Chiarelli. “Today there was really only one deal involving the pick. So it doesn’t really change it that much. What happens is you build momentum on these deals and think let’s get it done on draft day, the first day. But it’s not essential it gets done on draft day if it doesn’t involve the pick which is essentially what happened.”Chris WescottSat, 25 Jun 2016 00:17:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/06/642-chiarelli3.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4701247012BLOG: Oilers think Puljujarvi can step in this yearhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=47011When the Oilers dropped to the fourth-overall pick in the NHL Draft Lottery, their GM Peter Chiarelli said he felt that meant not getting an NHL-ready prospect. But, as it would turn out, Columbus chose Pierre-Luc Dubois third, allowing Edmonton to take Jesse Puljujarvi a pick later. Puljujarvi was one of the prospects, along with Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine, some predict will make the jump to the NHL this season. The Oilers own staff believes that too. He's a big-bodied player who played well in Finland's top league, playing against men. Although there's still work to be done by Puljujarvi to get there, the Oilers feel he could contribute right away “That’s what I’ve been told by our staff, and throughout the season — even before we picked him — that these three players we thought had the best opportunity of playing in the National Hockey League next year. A lot of things have to happen before that occurs. He’s got to adjust to his environment in Edmonton, the language barrier is a bit of a thing, he’s going to have to learn some things there and he’s going to have to come to camp and we’re going to have to determine the type of camp he has, how he fits our team and what the best development path is for him. If he’s ready to play, we think he can contribute and we’re doing the right thing organizationally for him and us then he’ll play. But I think we’re talking about something we can’t pin down at this moment. We’ve got to wait and see what happens and we’ve got to take a look at what our team looks like at that point as well.”Chris WescottSat, 25 Jun 2016 00:15:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/06/642-pj4.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4701147011BLOG: Oilers were prepared for all scenarioshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=47010Many expected Jesse Puljujarvi to go third overall in the first round of the Draft, but when Pierre-Luc Dubois’ name was called, that meant he slid to the Oilers at four. It didn’t completely shock Edmonton, who had obviously done extensive legwork to determine a course of action for a variety of scenarios. “It doesn’t take rocket science to figure out who may be available at four,” said Oilers General Manager Peter Chiarelli. “But what we started doing was, at one point, we started to look to move down. While that was happening, we got the sense that maybe Puljujarvi would drop. We kind of backed off. You kind of know what other teams’ needs might be, and while there’s some speculating and it happened that he was available. We’re fortunate. He’s a big, strong kid, a smart player who can shoot the puck. Happy to get him.” The Oilers selected the 6-foot-4, 204-pound winger from Finland. They were prepared for a number of things to happen Friday night, it just turns out they got a prospect who many believed would have been gone. “The staff led by Peter Chiarelli and the rest of the group did a tremendous job because they anticipated a number of different scenarios and we played them out,” said Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan. “One of them was one of those top two or three guys falling to us at number four. Of course, it happened and we were prepared to react and make the pick immediately. It’s interesting how much strategy and stress maybe goes into figuring out what you’re going to do. Are you going to move down? Are you going to trade the pick? And as it turned out, we got a player we coveted and we’re excited about joining our organization. We think he has chance to be a long-time Oiler.”Chris WescottSat, 25 Jun 2016 00:14:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/04/20160430_chiarelli1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4701047010BLOG: Oilers select Puljujarvihttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=47005The Oilers selected Finnish right winger Jesse Puljujarvi fourth overall in the first round of the 2016 NHL Draft. Puljujarvi is 6-foot-3, 203 pounds and ranked third on NHL Central Scouting’s list of European skaters. Puljujarvi played 50 games for Karpat in Finland, scoring 13 goals and adding 15 assists for 28 points. In the playoffs, Puljujarvi tallied four goals and five assists in 10 games. “I’m really happy now. It’s a nice city and a great team. I’m ready to play next year for the Edmonton Oilers,” said Puljujarvi shortly after being drafted. “It’s a good thing to get on a team that has a lot of young players and who are only going to get better and start winning at some point too,” he added, through a translator. Puljujarvi was asked about the potential of playing with last year's first-round pick Connor McDavid. “Connor is a very good player and I hope I play next year with him.” He was also asked about playing in the Finnish League, where he had 13 goals and 28 points in 50 games plus nine more in 10 playoff games. “(I) learned a lot about what it’s like to be a professional hockey player and play with men and have to fight for a spot on the roster.”Chris Wescott & Marc CiampaFri, 24 Jun 2016 19:43:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/06/642-pulju.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4700547005Video and audio from the NHL Draft Thursdayhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46958Thu, 23 Jun 2016 18:58:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/06/642-chychrun-avail.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4695846958BLOG: McAvoy gives credit to older teammateshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46956Charlie McAvoy finished his freshman campaign at Boston University with 25 points (3-22-25) in 37 games. That was good for second in defensive scoring. It was a good transition for the player, who is expected to go in the first round Friday night at the Draft in Buffalo. McAvoy credits his older teammates for helping him jump right in and contribute. “I think it was our upper class,” said McAvoy. “Our upper class and our seniors. You come in as a freshman and you’re not really sure where you fit. Guys like Matt Grzelcyk, Daniel O’Regan, Matt Lane, Mike Moran, Sean Maguire were guys who right away made you feel like part of the family and I can never thank those guys enough for that,” said McAvoy. “That’s really what led to the year we had, was making everyone feel so close.” McAvoy finished sixth on Central Scouting’s list of North American skaters.Chris WescottThu, 23 Jun 2016 18:26:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/06/20160623_mcavoy.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4695646956BLOG: Tkachuk eager to knowhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46954Matthew Tkachuk is a presumptive top-five pick in Friday night’s first round. But the London Knights forward, obviously, doesn’t 100 percent know which team he’ll go to. “It’s exciting,” Tkachuk said. “It’s also exciting just to know where you’re going to play. This whole process, especially since the season has been over, has been pretty crazy. But I’m excited. It’s almost down to the wire.” Tkachuk won’t be completely in the dark on whichever team takes him. The hockey player is also very hockey knowledgable. “I’m a hockey guy, so I pay attention to all of that,” he said. “I guess I’m kind of involved in researching that stuff. But just from watching hockey, you just know. I know what they have, I know what they need, I know what I can bring. It’s just the fact of if it’s going to be a good fit or not.” Tkachuk is certainly in the mix for the Oilers if they select fourth overall. He met with them at the Combine, and also went to visit the city. “I went to Edmonton. I got to sit down with them for a little bit longer than the (Combine) interview.”Chris WescottThu, 23 Jun 2016 17:44:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/05/20160524_MT.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4695446954BLOG: Juolevi on Puljujarvihttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46955They may have played half a world away from each other, but two Finnish prospects are no strangers. London Knights defenceman Olli Juolevi watched his countryman put up a more than solid year for Karpat in Finland. Puljujarvi had 28 points (13-15-28) in 50 games this season. He had four goals and five assists in 10 playoff games. The big right winger has turned plenty of heads among scouts and fans alike, but he also made an impression on Juolevi, who had a big season of his own in North America. “Probably just how much he loves to play hockey," said Juolevi. "You always see him smiling even on the ice. Just a big smile. His skills, the skating, the big body. He’s just a great hockey player.” Juolevi had a 42-point season on London’s back end this year. He is expected to be among the first defencemen off the board in Friday’s first round. Puljujarvi is a presumptive lock in the top five, and almost the consensus third-overall pick.Chris WescottThu, 23 Jun 2016 17:44:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/05/20160523_Juolevi.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4695546955BLOG: McDavid relishes Awards experiencehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46950Connor McDavid won’t be bringing any hardware home from Las Vegas, but the Oilers rookie will still have fond memories of his first NHL Awards experience. McDavid was a finalist for the Calder Memorial Trophy, awarded to the NHL’s top rookie, but Chicago Blackhawks forward Artemi Panarin ultimately claimed the honour. Panarin took the prize with 1258 total vote points, including 88 first-place selections. Philadelphia Flyers defenceman Shayne Gostisbehere received 955 points and 35 first-place votes, while McDavid landed just behind him in third with 858 points and 25 first-place nods. “It doesn’t matter, I’m just happy to be in Vegas,” McDavid said of not winning the award. “It was a good rookie class, so it’s good for (Panarin)… It was just cool to be here and experience this.” The centreman was, however, named to the NHL All-Rookie Team, alongside Panarin, Gostisbehere, Jack Eichel, Colton Parayko and John Gibson. The focus now shifts to next season for McDavid, who is looking forward to being one of the first players to grace the ice at brand new Rogers Place. “I’m excited about being in the new building, it’s going to be beautiful,” he said. “Edmonton fans deserve it, and hopefully we’ll put together a good year for them. They’ve been waiting a long time.”Ryan FranksonWed, 22 Jun 2016 21:50:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/03/20160321_McDavid.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4695046950McDavid named to All-Rookie Teamhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46949The National Hockey League announced today the 2015-16 NHL All-Rookie Team, including the three players voted as finalists for the Calder Memorial Trophy as the League’s top rookie: forwards Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers and Artemi Panarin of the Chicago Blackhawks as well as defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere of the Philadelphia Flyers. Also named to the 2015-16 NHL All-Rookie Team are forward Jack Eichel of the Buffalo Sabres, defenseman Colton Parayko of the St. Louis Blues and goaltender John Gibson of the Anaheim Ducks. Voting was conducted by the Professional Hockey Writers Association at the end of the regular season. Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers McDavid, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, ranked fourth among rookies with 16-32—48 despite appearing in only 45 games due to injury. His average of 1.07 points per game led all rookies and placed third in the entire League. McDavid recorded multiple points in 12 of his 45 outings, highlighted by a five-point game Feb. 11 vs. TOR (2-3—5). At 19 years, 29 days, he became the ninth-youngest player in NHL history to register a five-point performance (as well as the third rookie in Oilers history to achieve the feat). The Richmond Hill, Ont., native is Edmonton’s first All-Rookie Team selection since Justin Schultz in 2012-13.NHL Press ReleaseWed, 22 Jun 2016 21:47:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/04/20160401_McDavid.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4694946949BLOG: Lowe sees success for Las Vegas squadhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46947Oilers Vice Chair Kevin Lowe was asked about the new Las Vegas team, announced by the NHL on Wednesday and his projection of their future success. “I think it’s going to be a home run. Kudos to the National Hockey League for getting there first,” stated Lowe. “They’ve got a beautiful building. I toured it back in February — it’s spectacular. Though not quite as nice as ours,” Lowe chuckled. “They’re going to have all the new bells and whistles, which is night.” Lowe was also asked about the expansion rules surrounding the new team, which include clubs having the option to either protect seven forwards, three defencemen and one goaltender or eight skaters (any combination of defencemen and forwards) and one goaltender. “They’re coming in under the best conditions ever in terms of expansion,” Lowe continued. “They’re probably going to have a strong team right out of the gate. They’ll have a strong fan base. So that’s a recipe for success.” All first- and second-year professionals, as well as all unsigned draft choices, will be exempt from selection and will not be counted toward their club’s applicable protection limits.Marc CiampaWed, 22 Jun 2016 17:07:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/03/20160318_Lowe.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4694746947BLOG: New Vegas team to play in Oilers divisionhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46946The new Las Vegas expansion team was announced on Wednesday to join the NHL in the 2017-18 season. How does this affect the Oilers? The new team will play in the Pacific Division -- the same division as Edmonton. This puts eight teams in the Pacific Division while seven teams remain in the Central Division. The Oilers will now play six of their division foes four times a season (two home, two away) and one team within their division five times (three home, two away or vice versa). Among Central Division teams, they'll play each team three times (either two home, one away or vice versa). Outside of the Conference, they will continue to play each team twice (one home and one away).Marc CiampaWed, 22 Jun 2016 16:31:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/nhl/images/upload/2016/06/Vegas.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4694646946BLOG: Plenty of praise for McDavidhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46918The NHL’s top players and coaches have converged on Las Vegas for the 2016 NHL Awards, which will be doled out on Wednesday. On Tuesday, many of the award finalists spoke to the media and expressed plenty of praise for Oilers rookie Connor McDavid, including his Calder Trophy competition. “He’s an excellent player, very skilled, very smart and very fast on the ice,” said Chicago Blackhawks rookie Artemi Panarin, one of the few freshmen to outscore McDavid, putting up 77 points in 80 games compared to Connor’s 48 in 45. The other finalist is Philadelphia Flyers blueliner Shane Gostisbehere, who said it’s an honour to be up for the Calder with McDavid, considering the tremendous potential of the young centreman. “He’s going to be the face of the NHL for a while now,” said Gostisbehere, who scored 46 points in 64 games. “He’s a great player and it’s fun to watch him.” Los Angeles Kings d-man and Norris Trophy finalist Drew Doughty said he was impressed with McDavid’s ability to make such an impact as a teenager. “He’s just so good,” Doughty said. “He’s a threat every time he has the puck… He’s going to be one of the best players in the league, without a doubt.” McDavid will arrive in Vegas on Tuesday night and hit the red carpet on Wednesday afternoon prior to the Awards at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.Ryan FranksonTue, 21 Jun 2016 17:16:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/04/20160401_McDavid.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4691846918Oilers sign Oesterle to one-year dealhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46912The Edmonton Oilers have signed defenceman Jordan Oesterle to a one-year contract. Oesterle, 23, registered 25 points (4G, 21A) and 10 penalty minutes in 44 games last season with the American Hockey League’s (AHL) Bakersfield Condors. In 2015-16, the 6'0", 182-pound blueliner, appeared in 17 games with the Oilers recording five assists. The Dearborn Heights, Michigan native has accumulated 51 points (13G, 38A) and 20 penalty minutes in 113 career AHL games.Edmonton Oilers Press ReleaseMon, 20 Jun 2016 18:00:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/04/20160406_Oesterle.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4691246912Oilers sign Pitlick to one-year dealhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46893The Edmonton Oilers announced today, they have signed winger Tyler Pitlick to a one-year contract. Pitlick, 24, appeared in 37 games with the American Hockey League's (AHL) Bakersfield Condors last season, posting 21 points (7G, 14A) and four penalty minutes. The Minneapolis, Minnesota native has accumulated 85 points (25G, 57A) and 60 penalty minutes in 196 career AHL games. The 6’0”, 202-pound winger has appeared in 27 career NHL games, accumulating three goals and four penalty minutes. Pitlick was selected by the Oilers in the 2nd round, 31st overall in the 2010 NHL Draft.Edmonton Oilers Press ReleaseFri, 17 Jun 2016 15:00:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/04/20150408_pitlick1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4689346893BLOG: Oilers draft picks sethttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46888The 2016 NHL Draft order has been announced by the League. Edmonton currently holds nine picks in the upcoming draft. The Oilers have the fourth-overall selection in the first round. They choose 32nd overall in the second round. In the third, the Oilers hold their own pick (63rd overall) as well as two via trades. Edmonton has Florida’s 84th-overall selection and the 91st pick from Pittsburgh. They received Florida’s third-round pick in exchange for Teddy Purcell at the 2016 NHL Trade Deadline. The Penguins sent the Oilers their third-round selection in exchange for Justin Schultz. Edmonton has no selection in the fourth round, after trading it to Anaheim with Martin Gernat in exchange for forward Patrick Maroon. The Oilers have the 123rd and 139th-overall (from St. Louis) picks in the fifth round. The Blues’ fifth-round pick came to Edmonton in exchange for goaltender Anders Nilsson. The Oilers close out their draft with the 153rd (sixth round) and 183rd (seventh round) picks. The draft takes place June 24-25 in Buffalo, NY. FIRST ROUND 4th Overall SECOND ROUND 32nd Overall THIRD ROUND 63rd Overall 84th Overall (From FLA) 91st Overall (From PIT) FOURTH ROUND No Selections FIFTH ROUND 123rd Overall 149th Overall (From STL) SIXTH ROUND 153rd Overall SEVENTH ROUND 183rd OverallChris WescottWed, 15 Jun 2016 17:07:00 EDThttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4688846888Video and audio from Friday at the Combinehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46791edmontonoilers.com staffFri, 03 Jun 2016 20:54:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/06/644combine2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4679146791BLOG: Laine still striving to be firsthttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46812Many draft prognosticators have Auston Matthews going first overall to Toronto at the end of this month. Don’t remind Patrik Laine, who is hoping to convince the Leafs he is worthy of that spot. “Sure, of course,” said Laine. “There’s lots of time until to the draft to show the Leafs that I’m worth the first overall. I will do everything I can to make that happen.” Laine concedes that there isn’t much left he can do to swing their decision at this point in the off-season, but he’s still hoping the tape will speak for itself. “I can’t do that much anymore, it’s just interviews and a couple of tests,” he said. “I think I showed my skills this season. I think I’ve done my work on the ice and they can now decide.” Laine won the Jari Kurri Trophy as playoff MVP with Tappara in the Finnish Elite League. He had 17 goals and 33 points in 46 games this season.Chris WescottFri, 03 Jun 2016 18:08:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/04/20160414_laine.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4681246812BLOG: Green assesses top forwards and Dhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46790There are a number of players that the Oilers could potentially draft in the fourth spot. Oilers Director of Player Personnel Bob Green talked about a few of them. Among the defencemen who will be available, Green was asked about Olli Juolevi, Mikhail Sergachev and Jakob Chycrun. “Those three guys, they’re all good. They’re all a little bit different one way or the other. Physically, they’re good-sized kids. Juolevi is going to get bigger and stronger. Sergachev and Chycrun are big, strong kids already but they all move the puck really well. Sergachev may have a little bit more offence in him but Juolevi put up good numbers, as did Chycrun. They’re three really good defencemen.” Up front, Jesse Puljujarvi and Matthew Tkachuk are two potential options who may be available at number four. Green talked about both. “They’re high-end skilled guys. The biggest difference is probably size. Puljujarvi is a big kid and is strong. That’s a big part of his game, puck protection and everything else. Matthew (Tkachuk) is a really smart, clever player with the puck. He sees the ice very well and thinks ahead of the play an does a good job complementing Mitch Marner and Christian Dvorak this year. We watched him play last year with Auston Matthews and he did the same thing with him.”Marc CiampaFri, 03 Jun 2016 14:01:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/05/20160525_Juolevi2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4679046790BLOG: Bob Green on the quality of 2016's drafthttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46789Oilers director of player personnel Bob Green was asked to give his thoughts on the talent level of the 2016 NHL Draft while at the NHL Scouting Combine in Buffalo. “We’ve liked the draft right from the very beginning," Green enthused. "Obviously, the top end is very good. Everybody’s going to get a good player in the first round. There’s depth to it. You know that some of the kids later on are going to turn into players, you’ve just got to figure out which one it is.” Green specifically talked about the four spot, which is being universally regarded as one of the very top spots in the second tier of prospects with Auston Matthews, Patrik Laine and perhaps Jesse Puljujarvi in the top tier. “There’s some good forwards there (and) there’s some good defencemen there. They’re just good players. You want to take the best one at that point in the draft, for sure. We like the guys there. There’s a mix of positions: centre, left wing, D. There’s a nice combination of players and we like all of them.” Whether the player the Oilers select is ready to step into the NHL right away next season won't be a determining factor based on who the team selects, but Green talked about what precisely is the factor which does decide whether a player can play right away. “There’s things in their game that probably means they’re going to have to go back and play another year of junior or college. It usually boils down to their size and strength. A lot of them are good enough to play in the NHL, it’s a matter of whether or not they’re big enough and strong enough to compete with men yet.”Marc CiampaFri, 03 Jun 2016 13:56:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/05/20160524_MT.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4678946789BLOG: Oilers at Combine to learn morehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46788The Edmonton Oilers have been in Buffalo, New York all week for the NHL Scouting Combine. They've been interviewing prospects -- 85 of them to be exact -- in anticipation of the NHL Draft later this month. Oilers Director of Player Personnel Bob Green, who helps head up the scouting department, was asked about some of the benefits of this event. “Just putting a face to the name of the player that you’ve been watching all year,” Green began. “We don’t get a chance to meet these kids during the course of the season. We’ve had our area scouts out and they’ve interviewed these kids during the year but it gives us a chance to meet these guys and talk to them.” After a week's worth of interviews with all 30 NHL teams, the prospects will undergo a grueling physical test on Saturday (we'll have full coverage here on edmontonoilers.com). Green was asked about the importance of the interviewing and the physical aspect. “It’s all important. We want to watch them work out as well. We have people here doing that. And just get a sense of what kind of shape they’re in. What type of body they have. Their ability to put on weight and muscle and just to get a sense of how big they can be.” Following draft week, the scouting staff will get together leading up to the June 24 draft and reassess their rankings. “We’ll continue to stay in touch. We’ll take a look at this past week and we’ll talk about these guys and see what we like, what we didn’t like and see how it’s going to affect where we have them ranked.” Green did add that what goes on at the Combine will be a factor but not necessarily the determining factor on which player the team takes. “You’ve gotta be careful. You can’t put too much stock into this. It’s just another part of the bigger picture of watching them.”Marc CiampaFri, 03 Jun 2016 13:46:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/10/20151027_Bear3.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4678846788BLOG: Nugent-Hopkins named to Team North Americahttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46732Team North America announced today that Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is one of seven players that have been added to its roster for the World Cup of Hockey 2016. The top hockey players from Canada and the United States who are 23 or under as of Oct. 1, 2016 are available for selection exclusively by Team North America. Nugent-Hopkins, 23, has appeared in 55 games with the Oilers this season, posting 34 points (12G, 22A) and 34 penalty minutes. The Burnaby, BC native has represented Canada several times internationally, most recently at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship where Team Canada placed fourth that year. Named to Team North America are: G John Gibson, Anaheim Ducks G Connor Hellebuyck, Manitoba Moose – Winnipeg Jets hold NHL rights G Matt Murray, Pittsburgh Penguins D Aaron Ekblad, Florida Panthers D Shayne Gostisbehere, Philadelphia Flyers D Seth Jones, Columbus Blue Jackets D Ryan Murray, Columbus Blue Jackets D Colton Parayko, St. Louis Blues D Morgan Rielly, Toronto Maple Leafs D Jacob Trouba, Winnipeg Jets F Sean Couturier, Philadelphia Flyers F Jonathan Drouin, Tampa Bay Lightning F Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres F Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames F Dylan Larkin, Detroit Red Wings F Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche F Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers F J.T. Miller, New York Rangers F Auston Matthews, Switzerland F Sean Monahan, Calgary Flames F Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Edmonton Oilers F Brandon Saad, Columbus Blue Jackets F Mark Scheifele, Winnipeg JetsMeg TilleyFri, 27 May 2016 18:16:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/04/20160415_RNH.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4673246732BLOG: Oilers prospect wins Clark Cuphttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46672John Marino, taken 154th overall in the 2015 NHL Draft by the Oilers, enjoyed a championship first season in the USHL with the Tri-City Storm. Marino tallied 30 points (5-25-30) in 56 games for the Storm. The 19-year-old defenceman also added two assists in 11 playoff games as his team captured the Clark Cup. The Storm swept Dubuque 3-0, closing out the series with a 4-1 win. The Clark Cup is awarded annually to the USHL Playoff champions. Marino was 13th amongst USHL defencemen in scoring this season. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound blueliner is a Harvard commit.Chris WescottSat, 21 May 2016 13:18:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/05/20160522_marino2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4667246672BLOG: Oilers sign Kassianhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46667The Edmonton Oilers announced today, they have signed winger Zack Kassian to a one-year contract. Kassian, 25, appeared in 36 games with the Oilers last season, posting eight points (3G, 5A) and 114 penalty minutes. The 6’3”, 217-pound winger has appeared in 234 career NHL games, accumulating 74 points (38G, 36A) and 421 penalty minutes. He has also played in eight playoff games, posting six penalty minutes. The Windsor, Ontario native was selected by the Buffalo Sabres in the 1st round, 13th overall in the 2009 NHL Draft. Kassian was a Memorial Cup Champion in 2010 with the Ontario Hockey League’s Windsor Spitfires, along with current Oilers forward Taylor Hall.Edmonton Oilers Press ReleaseThu, 19 May 2016 14:00:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/02/20160216_Kassian_Twitter.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4666746667BLOG: Nicholson re-electedhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46665Oilers Entertainment Group CEO and Vice Chair Bob Nicholson has been re-elected as the International Ice Hockey Federation’s Vice President for the Americas. This will be Nicholson’s second term as vice president. “It’s an absolute privilege to represent the International Ice Hockey Federation again. We have to make sure young boys and girls play and that we put programs together whether you’re a large or small nation in a healthy and safe environment,” Nicholson told the media after the election. Nicholson received a unanimous decision.Chris WescottThu, 19 May 2016 12:42:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/20140912_nicholson.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4666546665BLOG: Oilers prospect named WHL Player of the Weekhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46627Oilers prospect Ethan Bear may have been eliminated from the playoffs by Brandon, but recognition for his impressive season continues. The Seattle Thunderbirds defenceman was named the WHL Player of the Week for the week ending May 15. Bear had five points in three games and was +3 in the 2016 WHL Championship series against Brandon. He led all WHL blueliners in post-season scoring with 22 points (8-14-22) in 18 games. During the regular season, Bear posted 65 points (19-46-65) in 69 games. Bear, 18, was selected in the fifth round, 124th overall in the 2015 NHL Draft.Chris WescottMon, 16 May 2016 16:57:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/04/20150427_bear1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4662746627BLOG: End of the road for Bear and Thunderbirdshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46594It was a hard fought battle that in the end saw the Brandon Wheat Kings come away with an 8-4 win over the Seattle Thunderbirds, taking Game 5 of the WHL Championship to win the Ed Chynoweth Cup. The Wheat Kings won the best-of-seven series 4-1 after the Thunderbirds forced Game 5 with a 6-1 win in Game 4. Brandon took a 1-0 lead 3:15 into the first but Seattle scored the equalizer five minutes later. After 20 minutes of play, the Wheat Kings had a 2-1 lead. The second period would see the Thunderbirds take the lead for the first time in the game. After Brandon took a two goal lead 1:33 into the middle frame, Seattle came back and tied the game 3-3 with two goals in 31 seconds. The Thunderbirds took a 4-3 lead just after the midway mark of the second, but the Wheat Kings tied the game 4-4 at 18:47. The third period would see Brandon regain the lead and earn the win, ending Seattle’s bid for the WHL Championship. Oilers defensive prospect Ethan Bear had one assist in the final game and finished the playoff run recording eight goals, 14 assists for 22 points in 18 games and was +11.Meg TilleySat, 14 May 2016 13:13:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/04/20160422_bear.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4659446594BLOG: Bearing downhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46585Down 3-0 in the best-of-seven series, Game 4 was a do or die situation for the Seattle Thunderbirds Wednesday night. Though the Brandon Wheat Kings looked poised to take it, the Thunderbirds weren’t going down without a fight, shocking the Wheat Kings in a thunderous 6-1 victory. The Thunderbirds took a 1-0 lead 7:54 into the first period. By the end of the second, they had a commanding 3-0 lead over the Wheat Kings. But Seattle wasn’t prepared to rest their wings any time soon. The Thunderbirds flew into the third, extending their lead to 5-0 with Ryan Gropp’s second goal of the night and another from Donovan Neuls on the power play. Oilers defensive prospect Ethan Bear capped off the night, scoring on a slap shot during a five-on-three power play to make it a 6-0 game, adding to his already two assists from the night. Wheat Kings Jayce Hawryluk ended Seattle’s shutout, scoring with just over two minutes remaining in the game. In 17 playoff games Bear has recorded eight goals and 13 assists for 21 points and is +12. The Thunderbirds must win Game 5 on Friday to send the series back to Brandon for Game 6.Meg TilleyThu, 12 May 2016 13:14:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/05/20160512_Bear.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4658546585BLOG: Marino makes Clark Cup Final debuthttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46584Oilers defensive prospect John Marino is on the hunt with the USHL Tri-City Storm as they attempt to win the team’s first Clark Cup. The Storm overcame a 2-1 first period deficit to defeat the Waterloo Black Hawks 5-3 on home ice in Game 5 of the western conference final series and make their second Clark Cup Final appearance in team history. Marino was drafted by the Oilers in round 6, 154th overall, of the 2015 NHL Draft. This season the blueliner recorded five goals and 25 assists for 30 points in 56 games with the Storm. The best-of-five series will kick-off on Friday in Dubuque, Iowa, where Tri-City will face off against the Dubuque Fighting Saints.Meg TilleyWed, 11 May 2016 14:44:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/05/20160511_Marino.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4658446584BLOG: Bear with assist as team pushed to brinkhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46560A third consecutive 3-2 overtime loss has pushed the Seattle Thunderbirds to the brink of elimination against the Brandon Wheat Kings. Oilers prospect Ethan Bear assisted on the second Seattle goal, which came 13:05 into the opening period to give the T-Birds a 2-1 lead at the time. The goal came 38 seconds after Alexander True scored to tie the game up for Seattle. The Thunderbirds would remain in the lead until 11:22 remained in the third. Edmontonian John Quenneville scored his second of the game to make it a 2-2 contest. 2:59 into overtime, Reid Duke scored to give the Wheat Kings the victory. Bear’s assist gave him seven goals and 11 assists for 18 points in 16 playoff games. The 18-year-old defenceman leads all WHL blueliners in playoff scoring and is tied for eighth overall in points.Marc CiampaWed, 11 May 2016 01:21:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/04/20150427_bear1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4656046560BLOG: Chiarelli likes Russell’s size & strengthhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46550While Oilers fans were still conversing about the team landing coveted NCAA undrafted free agent Drake Caggiula, the organization was wrapping up another two-year entry level contract. Edmonton signed Patrick Russell out of St. Cloud State University. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound forward recorded 41 points in 41 games for his college team this past season. “He’s a late bloomer, but he’s a big, strong kid and I call him a strong cycle player and he’s got really good hands and good net-front,” said Oilers GM Peter Chiareli on Oilers Now Monday. “We don’t have a lot of that in the pipeline. He’s a ’93 birth, so he’s close to playing. His footspeed has to get up to speed a little more, but strong, strong on the puck and big, strong and good release. He scored 20 this year at St. Cloud, which is no easy feat. We were on him a little bit last year and he had a real good year this year. Fortunate to get him and happy to have him.”Chris WescottMon, 09 May 2016 17:19:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/05/20160509_russell1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4655046550BLOG: Caggiula a Gallagher/Marchand-type?http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46549The Oilers signed University of North Dakota standout Drake Caggiula to a two-year entry level contract this weekend, after he spoke and visited with numerous teams. “Drake is a good prospect,” Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Peter Chiarelli said on Oilers Now with Bob Stauffer Monday. “He’s one of those guys who will play. He’s very smart. He’s got good speed. But the reason why he’ll play, because he’s 5-10, 185 and that is a bit of an obstacle for him, is his hockey sense and grit. When you combine those two ingredients with skill, these guys find a way to play. No accident that I would suspect there were 29 teams after this player.” The forward put up 51 points in 39 games as a senior and was named the most outstanding player at the NCAA’s Frozen Four tournament as UND won a national title. “We’re happy he chose us,” said Chiarelli. Although there is excitement with the prospect, Chiarelli says there’s still a learning curve as he enters the professional ranks. “He’s got to learn the pro game, he’s got to learn to temper his aggression,” said Chiarelli. “You may ask, why we’d get someone to temper their aggression? Well, if he gets aggressive for an undersized guy he’s going to get hurt. He’s been real big in big games. Happy to get him. He’s still got some work to do, but he enjoyed his visit with us, enjoyed our plan we were pitching so we look at him like a free draft choice.” Caggiula has compared his style of play to the likes of Minnesota’s Zach Parise, Boston’s Brad Marchand and Montreal’s Brendan Gallagher. Chiarelli can see that. “Smaller guys have a lower centre of gravity than other guys, so if they have the strength to protect the puck then they actually can be quite good at it,” Chiarelli explained. “I would put Drake in that category. That was one of the things we noticed in Drake. There’s a number of players who put up numbers in college, but how he controlled the play by protecting the puck and with speed was something that’s hard to find. I don’t know if he’s as much of a pest as those other two, but he is aggressive, he likes to go after bigger guys, he’s hard on the forecheck, he likes to hit. I haven’t seen that pest in him but you never know what might come out.”Chris WescottMon, 09 May 2016 17:16:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/05/20160508_caggiula2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4654946549BLOG: Caggiula earns two team awardshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46546Drake Caggiula, who signed a two-year entry level contract with the Oilers Saturday earned two team awards from the University of North Dakota. Caggiula was named UND’s most valuable player, earning the Jeff Anderson Scholarship Award. Caggiula scored 25 goals and added 25 assists for 51 points in 39 games as a senior in 2015-16. The forward was instrumental in UND’s national title run. He scored two goals in each of UND’s Frozen Four games and was named the NCAA Frozen Four's Most Outstanding Player. In addition to the MVP honours, Caggiula took home the team’s Plus/Minus Award. He led the nation with a school record 46-rating.Chris WescottMon, 09 May 2016 14:05:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/05/20160508_caggiula.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4654646546BLOG: Oilers sign Russellhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46513The Edmonton Oilers have signed forward Patrick Russell to a two-year entry level contract. Russell, 23, appeared in 41 games this season with the St. Cloud State Huskies in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC), posting 41 points (20G, 21A), 14 penalty minutes and a plus 24 rating. He set career highs in goals (20), assists (21) and points (41) in his second season with the Huskies. Russell received several accolades in his time with St. Cloud State, including being named to the 2015 All-NCHC Academic Team and to the 2015 All-NCHC Rookie Team. The 6’1”, 205-pound forward has accumulated 66 points (30G, 36A) and 26 penalty minutes in 81 career games with St. Cloud State.Edmonton Oilers Press ReleaseMon, 09 May 2016 12:00:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/05/20160509_Russell.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4651346513BLOG: Bear scores in Game 2 losshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46540The Seattle Thunderbirds find themselves down 2-0 in their WHL Final series with Brandon following a 3-2 loss Saturday night. Both of the losses for Seattle have come in overtime. Oilers defensive prospect Ethan Bear tallied what would have been the game-winning goal had Seattle been able to hold on. Bear made it 2-1 for the T-Birds at 10:30 of the third, on the power play. Brandon got the equalizer from Tyler Coulter at 14:40 of the final frame, sending things to overtime. In OT, Jayce Hawrluk potted the winner for Brandon to put his team up 2-0 as the series shifts to Seattle. Game 3 is Tuesday. Bear finished Game 2 -2 with a goal. The 18-year-old defenceman, taken 124th overall by the Oilers in the 2015 NHL Draft, has seven goals and 10 assists in 15 post-season games for the Thunderbirds.Chris WescottSat, 07 May 2016 23:49:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/04/20160422_bear.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4654046540BLOG: Oilers sign Caggiulahttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46538The Oilers have landed a highly-regarded NCAA free agent, agreeing to terms with forward Drake Caggiula on a two-year, entry-level contract. Caggiula played four years at the University of North Dakota, scoring 25 goals and adding 26 assists as a senior this year, finishing second in team scoring behind Vancouver Canucks prospect Brock Boeser. The talented and speedy 21-year-old is a 5-foot-10, 185-pound Pickering, ON native who helped UND capture the NCAA title last month, scoring two goals in their 5-1 national championship win over Quinnipiac. He was an assistant captain with the team and was lauded for his leadership, character and competitiveness.Chris WescottSat, 07 May 2016 14:00:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/05/20160506_Caggiula1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4653846538BLOG: Bear has one point in Game 1 losshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46535Oilers defensive prospect Ethan Bear recorded an assist in the Seattle Thunderbirds’ 3-2 overtime loss to Brandon in Game 1 of the WHL Final. Brandon’s Reid Duke scored at 17:36 of the first on the power play to give the home team a 1-0 lead. Seattle scored shorthanded at 8:55 of the second to tie the game at one. In the third, Ryan Gropp scored a power-play goal, assisted by Keegan Kolesar and Bear to give Seattle their first lead of the night. Brandon tied things up shortly after with a goal from Nolan Patrick, which sent the game to overtime. In OT, Tanner Kaspick scored to lift Brandon to victory and give them a 1-0 series lead. Bear, taken 124th overall in the 2015 NHL Draft, has 16 points (6-10-16) in 14 playoff games for the Thunderbirds. Game 2 takes place Saturday in Brandon.Chris WescottSat, 07 May 2016 00:28:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/04/20160422_bear.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4653546535BLOG: Matt Hendricks named USA captainhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46524Just call him Captain America. Oilers winger Matt Hendricks will don the “C” as captain for the 2016 United States Men’s National Team for the 2016 IIHF World Championship. This is the second year in a row that Hendricks has earned this honour. He captained the Americans to a bronze finish in 2015. Columbus’ Nick Foligno and Arizona’s Connor Murphy have been named alternate captains for USA. Hendricks is joined by fellow Oilers winger Patrick Maroon as the two Edmonton representatives for Team USA. In total, eight Oilers players are taking part in the 2016 tournament in Russia, and the preliminary round begins Friday, May 6. We will have full coverage of the tournament on edmontonoilers.com.Chris WescottWed, 04 May 2016 18:28:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/05/644usaswiss.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4652446524BLOG: McDavid voted Calder finalisthttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46454The NHL announced today that Oilers forward Connor McDavid is a finalist for the 2015-16 Calder Trophy. Awarded "to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition in the NHL," McDavid is one of three finalists alongside Chicago Blackhawks Artemi Panarin and Philadelphia Flyers Shayne Gostisbehere. Though the Oilers centreman missed half of the season due to a shoulder injury that sidelined him for 12 weeks, he finished the season recording 16 goals and 32 assists for 48 points in 45 games. McDavid recorded multiple points in 12 of his 45 outings, highlighted by a five-point (2G, 3A) game on February 11 against the Toronto Maple Leafs. His average of 1.07 points-per-game led all rookies and ranked third in the entire League.Meg TilleyMon, 02 May 2016 20:02:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/04/20160401_McDavid.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4645446454BLOG: Bouchard looks to avoid eliminationhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46485On Friday, Oilers goalie prospect Keven Bouchard stopped 34 of 35 shots in Moncton’s 2-1 win over Royn-Noranda in the QMJHL Semi Final. The Game 5 win extended the series, with Moncton now trailing the Huskies 3-2. Bouchard’s Wildcats hope to once again stave off elimination this afternoon in Moncton. Should the Wildcats win, Game 7 is on the road Tuesday evening.Chris WescottSun, 01 May 2016 12:58:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/04/20160418_bouchard.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4648546485BLOG: Oilers hold fourth-overall pickhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46448The Edmonton Oilers now hold the fourth-overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, following Saturday night’s NHL Draft Lottery. Of the 14 teams to miss the playoffs, the Oilers came into the night owning the second best odds at winning the first-overall pick. They had a 13.5% chance. The Toronto Maple Leafs had the best odds at 20.0% and they secured the first-overall pick. The top 14 is as follows: 1. Maple Leafs 2. Jets 3. Columbus 4. Oilers 5. Canucks 6. Flames 7. Coyotes 8. Sabres 9. Canadiens 10. Avalanche 11. Devils 12. Senators 13. Hurricanes 14. BruinsChris WescottSat, 30 Apr 2016 20:15:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/02/20160228_chiarellistill.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4644846448BLOG: Bear scores two in thriller, Bouchard stronghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46445Two Oilers prospects are participating in the 2016 CHL Playoffs. Defenceman Ethan Bear is skating for Seattle in the WHL Playoffs, while goaltender Keven Bouchard is starting for Moncton in the QMJHL Playoffs. It was a thriller for Bear and the Thunderbirds Wednesday night. Kelowna had a 4-2 lead in the third period, but Bear and his teammates rallied to tie and send it to overtime. It would take until 7:52 of the second overtime for the game-winning goal to be scored by Matthew Wedman, completing the Western Conference Final series sweep for Seattle. The Thunderbirds outshot the Rockets 76-32. Bear scored with 1:15 left in the third period to pull Seattle within one, and assisted on the equalizer with 2.7 seconds left, sending the game to overtime. Bear’s third-period goal was his second of the night as he turned in a three-point performance. Bear finished the game with two goals and an assist, and the Seattle blueliner now has 15 points in 13 playoff games. Seattle advances to the WHL Final, where they will play either Brandon or Red Deer. Brandon leads the Eastern Conference Final series 3-1 with Game 5 on Friday. Also on Wednesday night, Bouchard put forth a valiant effort in net, however Moncton fell 1-0 to the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. Bouchard made 28 saves on 29 shots in the loss. Moncton falls behind 3-1 in the semi final series and will need a road win on Friday to avoid elimination.Chris WescottThu, 28 Apr 2016 13:04:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/04/20150427_bear1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4644546445BLOG: Bear keeps rollinghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46440Two Oilers prospects are participating in the 2016 CHL Playoffs. Defenceman Ethan Bear is skating for Seattle in the WHL Playoffs, while goaltender Keven Bouchard is starting for Moncton in the QMJHL Playoffs. Bear and the Thunderbirds kept it rolling Tuesday night with a 3-1 win over the Kelowna Rockets in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final. Seattle took a 3-0 series lead over their opponent and will try and close them out on Wednesday. Bear scored a goal 58 seconds into the third period to give Seattle a 2-1 lead. The defenceman, taken 124th overall in the 2015 NHL Draft, is second on Seattle in scored with 12 points (4-8-12) points in 12 post-season games. In the QMJHL, Bouchard made 37 saves as his team fell to Rouyn-Noranda 5-1 in Game 3 of their semi final series. Bouchard and Moncton fall behind 2-1 to the Huskies in the series. Game 4 is Wednesday in Moncton.Chris WescottWed, 27 Apr 2016 12:30:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/04/20160427_bear1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4644046440BLOG: McLellan offspring carving pathhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46414Congratulations to Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan’s son Tyson McLellan. The 20-year-old is one of three freshmen who officially signed their national letters of intent last week to join the University of Denver Pioneers hockey team for the 2016-17 season. “These young men are great additions to our program and we’re thrilled they’ve decided to come to Denver,” Denver’s hockey coach Jim Montgomery told denverpioneers.com. “Tyson is an extremely intelligent forward that will fit in well with the culture we’ve created here and will be able to play solid, Denver-style hockey right away for us.” Tyson played his 2015-16 season with the Madison Capitals in the USHL where he recorded 10 goals and 15 assists for 25 points in 46 games. Prior to being acquired by Madison, the 5-foot-9, 170-pound centre spent two seasons with the Waterloo Black Hawks.Meg TilleyMon, 25 Apr 2016 17:35:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/04/20160425_McLellan.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4641446414BLOG: Bear & Bouchard each get winshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46410Ethan Bear and the Seattle Thunderbirds went up 2-0 in their Western Conference Final series against Kelowna, courtesy of a 3-2 win Saturday night. Bear, a fifth-round pick in 2015, finished the game with an assist to give him a total of 11 points in 11 games this post-season (3-8-11). The defenceman has recorded at least a point in five of his last six games. Seattle heads home to host Kelowna for Game 3 on Tuesday. In the QMJHL, Oilers prospect Keven Bouchard recorded the win in Game 2 of his series. The Moncton Wildcats goaltender stopped 17 shots in a 5-4 win over Rouyn-Noranda. The bounce-back game for Moncton tied the series at 1-1. Game 3 is Tuesday in Moncton.Chris WescottSun, 24 Apr 2016 00:47:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/04/20160414_prospects1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4641046410BLOG: Seattle & Bear go up 1-0http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46409Oilers defensive prospect Ethan Bear recorded an assist on the game’s opening goal as the Seattle Thunderbirds beat Kelowna 2-1 in Game 1 of the WHL Western Conference Final. Bear passed the puck to Mathew Barzal and the Thunderbirds forward took it toward the net and sniped the game’s opening goal at 18:34 of the second period, on the power play. Although the Rockets would score at 19:38 of the third, it was too little too late for the home team, and Bear and the visiting ‘Birds were able to hang on and take a 1-0 series lead. Bear now has 10 points (3-7-10) in 10 games this post-season. He was taken 124th overall in the 2015 NHL Draft. Seattle tries to go up 2-0 on Saturday. Meanwhile, in QMJHL action, Oilers goalie prospect Keven Bouchard suffered a 4-1 loss in his playoff series. The Moncton goalie made 23 saves on 27 shots, however Rouyn-Noranda took Game 1 of the semi-final series. The two teams meet again Saturday.Chris WescottSat, 23 Apr 2016 00:53:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/10/20151028_Bear.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4640946409BLOG: Oilers prospects continue to advancehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46404The dust has finally settled on Round 2 of the Western Hockey League playoffs. Oilers defensive prospect Ethan Bear and the Seattle Thunderbirds will face-off against the Kelowna Rockets in the Western Conference Championship. Bear has recorded three goals and added six assists for nine points in nine playoff games. Defending their 2015 WHL Playoff Championship title, the Rockets look to make the advance once more, this time without Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl in their lineup. The Rockets alumnus was a pivotal piece in their ranks during the 2015 WHL playoffs, scoring 10 goals and adding 18 assists for 28 points in 19 games. Meanwhile, Oilers goaltending prospect Keven Bouchard and the Moncton Wildcats will take on the Rouyn-Noranda in the QMJHL semi final series.Meg TilleyWed, 20 Apr 2016 16:12:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/10/20151027_Bear2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4640446404Condors exit interviews audio & videohttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46356edmontonoilers.com staffTue, 19 Apr 2016 17:06:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/02/20160217_Condors3.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4635646356BLOG: Evaluation of the Russian forwardshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46387A pair of Russian forwards spent part of the 2015-16 season down in the American Hockey League with the Oilers affiliate. Anton Slepyshev and Bogdan Yakimov each played over 35 games for the Bakersfield Condors. Slepyshev opened the season in Edmonton (11 games, one assist), but was assigned down to Bakersfield. It took him some time to adjust to his new surroundings in his first North American season. The winger seemed to find his groove in the month of March. He had a stretch of games in which he recorded three goals and four assists for seven points in seven games. He finished the season with 21 points, including 13 goals, in 49 games for the Condors. “I think Slepy got better as the year went on and I think you’ll see more offence from him next year,” said Condors Coach Gerry Fleming, who spoke with Bob Stauffer on Oilers Now Tuesday. “It’s always tough when you don’t understand the language, different culture, the game is a little bit different here with just the size of the ice and the way the philosophies are. It took him a little while to adapt to that but I think there were signs toward the end of the year that he does have that club in his bag and he’s got a good skill-set. He’s big, he just needed time to get comfortable.” Yakimov had much more of a rollercoaster season that saw him return to the KHL for 11 games and then the playoffs before returning to Bakersfield to finish out the year. He finished his 2015-16 AHL campaign with 15 points (5-10-15) in 36 games. This came a year following a promising first North American season in which a strong rookie camp put him right in the thick of the top end of the Oilers prospect pool. The return to Russia could be seen as a bump in his development road, but his return was encouraging for the Condors and the Oilers. “Double-edged sword there,” said Fleming. “He thinks that going back helped him not only physically but mentally. He says it’s a different game, they play a little bit differently. Maybe a little more skill-set is required so maybe you have to be focused on that. He came back and kudos to him for coming back and trying to help us. He was good on draws for us down the stretch. Obviously, we’d like to see a little more offence from him but it wasn’t from lack of trying, that’s for sure.”Chris WescottTue, 19 Apr 2016 17:02:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/02/20160217_Slepyshev.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4638746387BLOG: Fleming gives insight on young defencehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46386The Bakersfield Condors rolled out a largely young and inexperienced lineup this season, especially on defence. The Oilers American Hockey League affiliate played host to several young blueliners in either their first or first few professional seasons. Condors Head Coach Gerry Fleming provided his breakdown of some of those young players when he spoke to Bob Stauffer on Oilers Now Tuesday. Joey LaLeggia enjoyed a fruitful career at the University of Denver. The 23-year-old played five games as a pro last season when his collegiate career ended, but this was his first full year in the AHL. The defenceman had to spend time playing forward several games due to injuries and call-ups, but the Condors and Oilers are pleased with his progression. He finished the season with 27 points (8-19-27) in 63 games. “I think Joey got better as the year went on,” said Fleming. “He’s a good player with the puck, but he expanded on that. He was walking the line a little bit more, he had more poise with the puck and his defensive game got better and better. There’s still areas in his defensive game, because he’s a little bit of a smaller guy he’s got to get a little bit stronger but overall we liked his progression and like where he’s at right now.” Another former collegiate defenceman enjoyed a very promising second pro season in the eyes of his coach. “Dillon Simpson, I thought overall, was probably our most consistent d-man all year long,” said Fleming. “I don’t know where to begin. There’s so many improvements in his game that have happened not only this year but last year as well. He doesn’t make many mistakes. He’s low maintenance, he’s a good leader and he assumed that responsibility this year. I think more time for Dillon and hopefully he gets some games up and down next year to see where he’s at. He was great for us all year long.” Simpson spent four years at the University of North Dakota. The 2011 fourth-round pick finished this season with 20 points (4-16-20) in 57 games. Jordan Oesterle is a name very familiar to Oilers fans, as he spent 17 games with the big club this season and drew much praise from the Edmonton staff. The second-year pro posted 25 points (4-21-25) in 44 AHL games with the Condors and returned to them late in the season. “Before he left he was playing a really high level of hockey at this level, and he came back and picked up right where he left off,” Fleming said of the college free-agent signing out of Western Michigan. “He was a big part of our push down the stretch here especially over the last weekend.” The Oilers invested a first and second-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft to acquire 2012 fourth-overall pick Griffin Reinhart. While he spent half his season with the Oilers, Fleming and the Condors did get a chance to work with the blueliner for 30 games. There were positive signs upon his late-season return to the AHL. “Griff, when he came back, I thought he played a lot heavier,” said Fleming. “There was times we’d show him the importance of that aspect of his game and being consistent with it. I thought when he came down he played a lot more physical.” Another year of development has paid dividends with some of the Oilers defensive prospects. “There were some good signs,” said Fleming.Chris WescottTue, 19 Apr 2016 17:00:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/01/20160127_Oesterle7.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4638646386BLOG: Success and disappointmenthttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46384The Bakersfield Condors would like to be sitting in a playoff spot right about now, but unfortunately they fell just short of that goal. But for their bigger goal and the bigger picture, there were successes this season. As the American Hockey League affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers, the Condors main purpose is to develop the NHL club’s young prospects and prepare them for life in the NHL. The staff down in California takes great pride when they are able to tell a player they’ve gotten the call-up. “Ultimately, that’s our job is to prepare these guys to play in the NHL,” said Condors Head Coach Gerry Fleming. “We had pretty much all of our guys at some point or a majority of our guys play in the NHL and contribute or perform well up there. That speaks volumes to the reception they receive down here. People don’t understand that coming to these games and watching these guys develop is a big part of what we’re trying to accomplish here. In that respect, it was a positive thing. But at the end of the day, you’d always like to make the playoffs, and I think that experience of going into the playoffs and learning how to win and playing those games is a huge part of their development.” Players like Darnell Nurse and Leon Draisaitl began the year on the farm, but earned call-ups and stuck with the Oilers the rest of the way, taking advantage of an opportunity that presented itself with injuries to the parent club. Prospects like Jujhar Khaira and Jordan Oesterle took advantage of their opportunities as well and were able to turn heads on the Oilers first-year coaching staff. Laurent Brossoit earned time in the NHL after an All-Star campaign down in the AHL. That being said, all of the call-ups this season left the Condors fighting for their playoff lives and struggling to piece together a full roster. But that’s the life of an AHL team, and through the disappointment there were successes. “I don’t think it’s a question of frustration,” said Fleming. “I am disappointed for the guys because they do put the sacrifice in and the hard work and the time and details that need to go into getting into the playoffs. But at the end of the day, their ultimate goal is to play in the NHL and contribute to that team and to further their careers. They all want to play in the NHL. At the end of the day, we’re here to service the Edmonton Oilers. They want us to make the playoffs because it is a big part of their development. To see the amount of guys we had move up and progress in their careers was rewarding.”Chris WescottTue, 19 Apr 2016 15:31:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/04/20160419_fleming1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4638446384BLOG: Bouchard advanceshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46360Oilers goalie prospect Keven Bouchard and the Moncton Wildcats clinched their QMJHL quarter final series against Gatineau 4-2 with a 7-2 victory in Game 6 Monday night. The 20-year-old netminder stopped 22 of 24 shots Monday, helping the Wildcats secure victory and advance to the semi final. Bouchard finished the series playing 352:21, while posting a 2.55 GAA and .907 save percentage in six games. Bouchard was selected 183rd overall in the seventh round of the 2014 NHL Draft.Chris WescottTue, 19 Apr 2016 01:01:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/04/20160418_bouchard.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4636046360BLOG: LaLeggia pleased with improvementhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46363Reflecting on his first professional season, Bakersfield Condors defenceman Joey LaLeggia is pleased with his growth. “There’s a lot of learning that had to be done this year,” he said. “There was an adjustment period but I do like the way I finished the season. I think I made a lot of strides and I’m excited going into next year.” A season of up and downs for the Oilers AHL affiliate team saw LaLeggia’s versatility challenged, stepping out of his comfort zone to take on the role of wingman when needed. “I think everyone’s goal is to come in here and play in the NHL and to become the best player they can possibly be,” said LaLeggia. “I didn’t get to play in the NHL [this season] but… I am very happy with the strides I made in my game this year.” Heading into the off-season, the blueliner said he plans to alter his fitness regime slightly. “I think I need to lift a little more weights than usual… but without doing so much that I lose my speed and my quickness.”Meg TilleyMon, 18 Apr 2016 16:57:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/04/20160418_laleggia.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4636346363BLOG: Hunt sees growth in Condorshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46342With the Bakersfield Condors season now come to a close, defenceman Brad Hunt said that in looking back, he’s been impressed with the growth he’s seen in his younger teammates. “It’s good to see the first and second-year guys come in and you see them develop throughout the year,” said Hunt. “It’s awesome to see guys like Joey [LaLeggia] and [Jujhar Khaira] take the steps towards the right direction, even Oesterle getting up [to Edmonton] and playing as well as he did.” The veteran player, recalled by the Oilers for seven games this season, recorded 13 goals and 28 assists for 41 points in 57 games with the Condors. The blueliner is now preparing himself mentally for the next stretch as he navigates his unrestricted free agent title with an open mind. “Just [going to] wait and see what happens,” said Hunt. “That’s the business part of it. I’ve never been in this position before, I’ve always been a restricted free agent, now I’m an unrestricted free agent. But I was treated very well within the Edmonton organization and I’ve got to thank them for the opportunity that they’ve given me over the past three years. It’s something that I’ll never forget.”Meg TilleyMon, 18 Apr 2016 16:38:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/04/20160418_Hunt.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4634246342BLOG: Condors miss playoffshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46341It’s the first time in five consecutive seasons that the Oilers AHL affiliate Bakersfield Condors will not take part in the post-season run for the Calder Cup. “It’s a frustrating way to go out,” admits Condors forward Jujhar Khaira. “It’s pretty sad but I think at the same time it’s good to see, our team’s pretty young here and it’s good to see where everybody’s at, and next year, I think everybody’s going to come in with confidence and we’ll see what happens.” Although their season ended Saturday, the Condors finished on a high note with a three-game win streak and a 31-28-7-2 record. “Obviously, we wanted to make the playoffs but I think that the team made some good strides at the end there that went in those last three games, that’s for the fans,” said Condors defenceman Brad Hunt. “They showed us support all year and it was a great atmosphere in there and that’s a tribute to the fans.”Meg TilleyMon, 18 Apr 2016 16:13:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/02/20160217_Condors2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4634146341BLOG: Khaira reflects on seasonhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46340Another season of hockey has come and gone for the Bakersfield Condors. As Saturday saw the Oilers AHL affiliate wrap up their 2015-16 season on Saturday with a win against the Grand Rapids Griffins, Monday was one filled with departures and goals for next season. “It was a lot of fun,” said Condors forward Jujhar Khaira. “I thought the fans out here were great, the weather’s great for sure, I had a lot of fun. Just playing with that kind of crowd and that kind of excitement it was a lot of fun. Khaira, who was recalled by the Oilers this season for 15 games this season, recorded 10 goals and 17 assists for 27 points in 49 games with Bakersfield. “It was a good year,” he said. “I had a lot more confidence this year than last year, just going to take the same thing, go into the summer and have a strong summer, then come back and even have more confidence.”Meg TilleyMon, 18 Apr 2016 15:52:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/02/20160214_Khaira4.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4634046340BLOG: Bear and Seattle advancehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46337Oilers prospect and Seattle Thunderbirds defenceman Ethan Bear is moving on in the WHL Playoffs. Seattle beat Everett 3-2 in Game 5 to take the series 4-1. The Thunderbirds will now head to the Western Conference Final to face either Kelowna or Victoria. Kelowna leads that series 3-2. Bear finished Game 5 +2 with no points. He has three goals and six assists for nine points in nine games this post-season. The defenceman was selected in the fifth round, 124th overall, by the Oilers in the 2015 NHL Draft.Chris WescottSun, 17 Apr 2016 01:13:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/10/20151027_Bear.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4633746337BLOG: Bear named third star, Bouchard wins againhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46336A pair of Oilers prospects are participating in the junior playoffs. Ethan Bear and Seattle are taking on Everett in the WHL, while Keven Bouchard and Moncton are playing Gatineau in the QMJHL. Bear was named third star of the game Friday as the Thunderbirds beat the Silvertips in Game 4 of their WHL Playoffs second-round series. The defenceman finished the game +1 with one assist. He recorded the second assist on the game’s opening goal. Bear has nine points (3-6-9) in eight playoff games this post-season. He has one goal and four assists in four games this series. He was selected in the fifth round, 124th overall, by the Oilers in the 2015 NHL Draft. Seattle has won three straight games since dropping the series opener and looks to eliminate Everett tonight. Meanwhile, Bouchard and his Wildcats also picked up a win Friday. The goaltender made 24 saves on 28 shots in a 6-4 win over the Olympiques. Moncton was spurred to victory by a five-goal third period. In that third, Bouchard allowed just one goal in the final 20 minutes as Moncton trailed 3-1 heading into the frame. Bouchard and the Wildcats lead the series 3-2 and look to close it out Monday on the road. The goalie was taken 183rd overall in the seventh round of the 2014 NHL Draft.Chris WescottSat, 16 Apr 2016 13:53:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/03/20160316_Bear2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4633646336BLOG: Dan Marr talks top prospectshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46349Director of Central Scouting Dan Marr was a guest of Bob Stauffer on Oilers Now Thursday and talked about Central Scouting’s final draft rankings and some of the top prospects in the upcoming 2016 NHL Draft. Marr gave his insights on the top three skaters, ranked one, two and three atop the European skaters list: Auston Matthews (Zurich), Patrik Laine (Tappara) and Jesse Puljujarvi (Karpat). “They’ve been frontrunners right from the get-go, and I would say all of them have exceeded the projections that were in place for them,” said Marr. All three have their individual positive traits, but Matthews is considered the cream of the crop. “Auston Mathews is clear-cut, the best prospect available for this 2016 Draft,” said Marr. “Laine and Puljujarvi, they’ve each made individual cases for themselves to be part of the discussion but they’re just not going to supplant Auston Matthews right now. The teams picking in the top five or six of the draft are going to come away with a future star for their team down the road.” Laine and Puljujarvi are different from Matthews and each other. Laine exhibits dynamic offensive ability in contrast to the power-forward game of Puljujarvi. “It’s like a Brett Hull release, and you’re always wondering because you know Brett Hull has the shot, why is he open on the play? Laine can deliver that,” said Marr. “(Puljujarvi) can rely on his physical attritbutes a little bit more. Not the same skill set, but we’re talking really minuscule differences between these players here. I just think Laine right now has a little bit more dynamic game he brings to the table. Puljujarvi might have what you’d call the more up-and-down game.” All three of these players could make an immediate impact at the NHL level, given the right situation. “All three are capable to go to a team and make the team out of training camp,” said Marr. “Whether they’re in a position to play in the National Hockey League during the season is up to the players and the teams.”Chris WescottThu, 14 Apr 2016 17:31:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/04/20160414_laine.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4634946349BLOG: Bear and Bouchard post big nightshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46345A pair of Oilers prospects had big nights in their respective junior playoffs series on Wednesday. Oilers defensive prospect Ethan Bear and the Seattle Thunderbirds have edged ahead of the Everett Silvertips in their WHL Playoffs series. Seattle is now up 2-1 in the series, following a 5-0 blanking of the Tips in Game 3 on Wednesday. Bear was named the game’s First Star after scoring a goal, adding an assist and finishing +3 on the night. Bear’s goal, a snipe from the high slot, at 9:14 of the second period put Seattle up 2-0. Bear also assisted on the game’s opening goal, which served as the game winner. The series stays in Everett for Game 4 on Friday, as Seattle looks to push their opponent to the brink of elimination. Bear was taken 124th overall in the fifth round of the 2015 NHL Draft. Oilers draft pick Keven Bouchard is among the top goalie performers in the QMJHL playoffs. The Moncton goaltender is 6-3 in the playoffs and has a .919 save percentage. Bouchard was named the first star of the game Wednesday night as he made 31 saves in a 2-1 overtime win over Gatineau. Their quarter final series is tied 2-2, and continues Friday in Moncton. Bouchard was selected by the Oilers in the seventh round, 183rd overall, of the 2014 NHL Draft.Chris WescottThu, 14 Apr 2016 12:51:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/04/20160414_prospects1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4634546345BLOG: NHL releases final draft rankingshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46289The NHL has released their final rankings for the 2016 NHL Draft, which will be held in Buffalo, NY June 24-25. NHL Central Scouting Bureau released its final ballot of draft-eligible skaters, and forward Auston Matthews tops that list. Director of Central Scouting Dan Marr says Matthews is “an extraordinary prospect with NHL size, speed and smarts combined with an exceptional work ethic and a relentless compete level.” Matthews, a Scottsdale, AZ native, skated for Zurich in Switzerland this past season, leading his team in goals with 24 (24-22-46). Matthews ranks at the top of the European skaters list, followed by Finnish wingers Patrik Laine (Tappara) and Jesse Puljujarvi (Karpat). Laine is a 6-foot-3, 200-pound winger who scored 17 goals and had 33 points in 46 games for Tappara in Finland. He was a part of the Finland team that won gold at the 2016 World Junior Championship. Puljujarvi was also on that Finnish team. The 6-foot-3, 201-pound right winger had 28 points (13-15-28) in 50 games for Karpat. Atop the final rankings for North American skaters is Cape Breton left winger Pierre-Luc Dubois. The next two are London’s Matthew Tkachuk and Alexander Nylander. Dubois scored 42 goals and finished his season with 99 points and 112 penalty minutes for the QMJHL’s Screaming Eagles. He is a big left-shot winger at 6-foot-3 and 202 pounds. Tkachuk played for the OHL’s Knights, potting 30 goals and adding 77 assists for 107 points in 57 games this season. He comes from a hockey family, as the son of long-time NHL winger Keith Tkachuk and the brother of 2018 draft-eligible Brady Tkachuk. Nylander, a winger, played 2015-16 with the Mississauga Steelheads of the Ontario Hockey League. The son of long-time NHL player Michael Nylander and brother of Toronto prospect William Nylander finished the year with 75 points (28-47-75) in 57 games. The final rankings feature the top 210 skaters and 30 goaltenders from the U.S. and Canada, as well as the top 150 skaters and 15 goaltenders from Europe. The 2016 NHL Draft Lottery will be held on April 30.Chris WescottTue, 12 Apr 2016 14:39:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/04/20160412_matthews.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4628946289BLOG: Oilers well-represented at IIHF Worldshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46310Hockey Canada announced today their first 18 players and the Oilers will be well-represented at the IIHF World Championships next month. Forwards Connor McDavid and Taylor Hall will be joined by goaltender Cam Talbot on Team Canada. The Oilers have also confirmed over the last two days that forwards Patrick Maroon and Matt Hendricks will skate for Team USA, while defenceman Andrej Sekera will represent Slovakia and centre Leon Draisaitl will play for Germany.Chris WescottMon, 11 Apr 2016 17:00:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/05/644iihf-hall3.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4631046310BLOG: McDavid “close to being the guy”http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46308Todd McLellan echoed his players’ comments from yesterday when he spoke to the media wrapping up the 2015-16 season. Almost every player interviewed applauded the leadership of rookie centre Connor McDavid at locker room clean-out day at Rexall Place. When the Oilers head coach took to the podium, he too spoke highly of young McDavid’s ability to lead. McLellan was asked if McDavid is ready to be a captain at the NHL level and he said he’s close. “Connor was a tremendous leader this year in his short time with us,” said McLellan. “His presence alone when he walks into the room, and he knows it, he exudes confidence, he carries himself properly. I think leaders attract people. You want to be in his corner, you want to be around him, and when leaders attract people they care about people too and Connor has that going. He’s still 19 years old. I think he’s close to being the guy and ready for it. We’ll talk more over the summer with that. He’ll need a very good supporting crew around him, and we’ll see what our team looks like in the fall to determine whether or not that’s the right thing for our group.”Chris WescottMon, 11 Apr 2016 16:31:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/04/20160401_McDavid.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4630846308BLOG: Injuries an issuehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46306The Oilers had 360-plus man games lost due to injury this season, many of them to major role players on the team. Oscar Klefbom missed 52 games, Connor McDavid’s outstanding rookie season was cut short by 37 games. Eric Gryba, Brandon Davidson and Benoit Pouliot all got hurt down the stretch, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was also plagued by injuries. The injury bug made it difficult on the Oilers coaching staff when it came to evaluating their roster. Injuries and health of the roster is something the Oilers will look at moving forward. “One of the disappointing things, amongst others, was the fact that we just couldn’t get or stay healthy and we have to look at that as well. We have to look at why. Did we rest enough? Were we over-aggressive in some practice situations, did nutrition or our work off the ice, did any of that cause injuries?” said Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan. “We never really had our group together and got it to roll a little bit, but I think we saw snippets enough to know individuals and how they react and respond in certain situations.”Chris WescottMon, 11 Apr 2016 16:30:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/20150926_ph2-644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4630646306Oilers assign fourhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46282The Edmonton Oilers have assigned defencemen Darnell Nurse, Jordan Oesterle and Griffin Reinhart, as well as goaltender Laurent Brossoit to the American Hockey League's Bakersfield Condors. Nurse, 21, appeared in 69 games with Edmonton this season, registering 10 points (3G, 7A) and 60 penalty minutes. The Hamilton, Ontario native has posted one assist and seven penalty minutes in six games with the Condors this season. Oesterle, 23, appeared in 17 games with the Oilers this season, posting five assists. The Dearborn Heights, Michigan native played in 42 games with the Condors this season, registering 23 points (3G, 20A) and eight penalty minutes. Reinhart, 22, played in 29 games with the Oilers this season, recording one assist and 20 penalty minutes. The North Vancouver, British Columbia native has accumulated nine points (2G, 7A) and 14 penalty minutes in 27 games with Bakersfield this season. Brossoit, 23, appeared in five games this season with the Oilers, posting a 3.61 goals against average and a .873 save percentage. The Surrey, British Columbia native has played in 28 games with Bakersfield this season, recording a 15-9-3 record with a 2.69 goals against average and a .919 save percentage.Edmonton Oilers Press ReleaseMon, 11 Apr 2016 15:00:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/02/20160217_Condors.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4628246282BLOG: The heart of “The Core”http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46304Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins — recently labelled as “The Core” — have been a long-standing trio that have remained with the Oilers organization since the start of their NHL careers. “Those three are, they wear the Oilers logo on their heart more than anybody does here,” said Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan. “They’ve been through a lot, they’ve played in front of the fans. They drive home after their meetings yesterday or meetings with you and they feel it. It cuts deep to them. They want to perform and give the city the best they have.” Hall and Eberle have been with the team since 2010, while Nugent-Hopkins joined the Oilers in 2011. In those six years, neither has experienced a post-season run but McLellan said it’s not for lack of trying. “They’re disappointed, they’re emotional about it but they want to win as much as anybody does,” he said. “I watched Jordan and Taylor, unfortunately Nuge wasn’t there, win at the World Championships (last year), and yea it’s a different environment, a different world, but they know how to win. They knew how to do it there, they knew how to do it for a month straight.” But McLellan is also quick to point out that the path to team success can’t all fall on these three to carry the team forward. “They need a little bit of help from us as a staff, from the organization and they need to accept a little more responsibility,” he said. “But if we think those three are just going to be the solution to the problem we’re dreaming because it’s the whole organization, the scouts, the coaches… And then anybody else that sits next to them in the locker room — everybody has to improve.”Meg TilleyMon, 11 Apr 2016 14:50:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/04/20160411_HallEbsRNH.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4630446304BLOG: Factoring in the fanshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46303With the Oilers season wrapped up and the players gone their separate ways, the coaches will sit down and re-evaluate much of the year. While strategy, skill, positioning, player growth and player changes are all hot topics, what many fans may not realize is that the fan-base will be a big piece that’s factored into the coaches conversation. “The knowledge-base of the fan and media here in Edmonton is exceptional,” said Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan. “They understand hockey, they get it, and you guys see it like we do.” After his first full season as Edmonton’s head coach, McLellan said they have now had the time to analyze where the room for improvement lies, what can be adjusted and what can be changed. “[Fans] sure don’t want to hear the word ‘rebuild’ and ‘patience’ and I’m not using that,” he said. “I think they want to hear that they’re considered in the evaluation. So we have to start with them. We have to make sure that at least we’re giving them an honest effort. Most of the nights we did. “They want to know that there’s hope. That we’re going the right direction. I think they want to know that there’s some stability, most of them would like to know what’s going to happen today.” Though McLellan said they’re unable to answer all of these questions right away the staff are aware of what it is the fans don’t — and won’t — hear. “But [fans] sure don’t want to hear ‘rebuild’ or ‘patience,’ because I don’t want to hear it anymore and I’ve only been here a year.”Meg TilleyMon, 11 Apr 2016 14:18:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/04/20160405_Fans2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4630346303Full Coverage from the Year-End Availabilityhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46272edmontonoilers.com staffSun, 10 Apr 2016 17:09:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/02/20160228_chiarellistill.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4627246272BLOG: Chiarelli provides update on Klefbomhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46279Oilers defenceman Oscar Klefbom saw his season cut very short due to two separate injuries. A knuckle ailment, which was expected to need a quick recovery, turned into an infection and the blueliner missed 52 games. Oilers General Manager Peter Chiarelli provided a fairly in-depth update on Klefbom, who could be back skating soon. “It was a frustrating thing, and it was almost like the perfect storm as far as kind of two successive infections and really, a cut on his knuckle resulted in an infection in his ankle and there have been some players going through the same thing right now,” said Chiarelli. “Timeline, I think if we were in the playoffs he would have been available. I basically just shut him down. I said, ‘Klef, enough. You’re probably trying too hard to come back,” and it was aggravating it a little bit. He’s going to get the proper equipment. We’ve been looking at getting the proper skate, customized, and the silver lining is he’s in terrific shape. I would anticipate him back skating in a month’s time.” Chiarelli confirmed there is no tendon or ligament damage, so Klefbom should be hitting the off-season hard in a few weeks’ time.Chris WescottSun, 10 Apr 2016 17:05:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/03/20160301_Klefbom.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4627946279BLOG: The Corehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46278“It’s out of my hands now, the season’s done, the games have been played out so whatever happens, happens,” said Oilers forward Taylor Hall. After the Oilers finished the season with a 31-43-8 record, questions about the possible movement of key players — also referred to as “The Core” — are on the rise. “My message is still the same,” said Hall. “I’d love to be here, it’s home for me now. You see some really good pieces on our team that you want to be with going forward, so it’s still the same.” A season of overcoming obstacles saw Oilers players succumb to unexpected injuries that prevented the team from forming a constant flow for the team on the ice. “I think late November we were still right there in the playoffs,” Hall said. “If we would have ran together three or four we would have been right there. Klefbom went down, we had some injuries that were unfortunate. In saying that, every team goes through injuries all season and unfortunately for us it was two of our biggest guys, so maybe not a true judgement of our team.” Though the Oilers compensated in areas they could afford, recalling players from the minors to fill the positions where necessary, Hall says that the summer still holds much of the unknown. “You never know what’s going to happen,” said Hall. “I think now that the season’s done it’s kind of out of your hands and you conduct your summer the way you usually would. I’m looking forward to going over to the World’s and experiencing Team Canada and everything that has to offer. I’m excited for that, it’s been a tough year but there’s also some positive.”Meg TilleySun, 10 Apr 2016 16:51:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/04/20160410_Hall.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4627846278BLOG: Yakupov’s summer planshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46276Oilers forward Nail Yakupov is steering his focus this summer on his fitness and zoning in on anywhere he sees room for improvement. “I’m just going to train, train hard, work hard, improve some things and keep looking forward,” he said. “I love this city and the team that I play with.” After an unfavourable season that saw the forward succumb to an ankle injury in November that sidelined him for eight weeks, Yakupov regained his momentum on the ice. “I’m trying to enjoy the life and try and enjoy the game and have fun with my teammates, who I play with,” he said. “It’s my favourite game, it’s the only sport I play, I want to push hard — everything. I want to give everything, I want to leave everything on the ice, but sometimes it’s been a really tough time and I really got the opportunity to play. Last couple of weeks have been pretty good… I just try to have some fun.”Meg TilleySun, 10 Apr 2016 15:46:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/04/20160410_Yakupov.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4627646276BLOG: Eberle reflects on seasonhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46275As the 2015-16 season comes to a close, the Oilers regrouped once more at Rexall Place to speak to the media about their upcoming summers. Oilers forward Jordan Eberle was just such a player that reflected on the season that played out for Edmonton this year. “No one likes losing. We’re all professionals, we’re competitive people, it’s not fun being out of the playoffs and having to sit at home and watch other teams fight for something that you ultimately want to win,” he said matter-of-factly. “I think, when you look back on this season, we’ve definitely made improvements, I know… we’re nowhere near where we need to be but I think, when you look back on our goals-against average, our goals differential, our specialties, we have made improvements and that’s definitely a positive sign. But ultimately, like I said we’re not where we want to be.” A season that did not see the team finish in a favourable position stirs questions about player changes that may be made in the summer, to which Ederle admitted that changes are inevitable in a business such as this. “There’s always going to be questions, as with any team, I don’t think it’s really different from any other years. It’s always going to be the same, who’s going to be back and whose not,” he said. “I think when you’re finishing 29th there’s always going to be changes. With that being said, there’s changes throughout every lineup coming in, but ultimately that’s out of the player’s control really. All they can do is play on the way the left and deal with what happens in the summer.”Meg TilleySun, 10 Apr 2016 15:17:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/04/642-eberle.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4627546275BLOG: Hendricks sees leader in McDavidhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46274Connor McDavid came to the Edmonton Oilers with big outside expectations, and even bigger internal ones. The rookie first-overall pick posted 48 points in an injury-shortened 45-game season. He impressed his teammates, even the veteran ones, with how he carried himself through his first NHL season. “Great person,” said Matt Hendricks. “You couldn’t ask any more of him in that regard, for sure, and I don’t know if you could ask any more of him as a player either. He came into our group this year, into a struggling group, as a young player with a lot of expectations and overwhelmed a lot of us. He’s a heck of a player and a heck of a player to be around and I’m real fortunate to be able to play and enjoy his rookie season with him.” The players have consistently voiced their pleasure and surprise about his leadership in the room as well. Taylor Hall a week ago said although McDavid is the youngest player in the room, a lot of players look up to him. When asked if McDavid could be a captain some day, Hendricks had no hesitations. “Absolutely. Absolutely, he could be.” “That’s not a question for me, but you’ve seen players at his age wear the ‘C’ after their first year or so, but I have no doubt in my mind he’d excel at it,” Hendricks said.Chris WescottSun, 10 Apr 2016 14:42:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/04/20160401_McDavid.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4627446274BLOG: Room for improvementhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46273The Oilers finished this season 29th in the NHL, and of course that means plenty of room for improvement for the club that has not made the playoffs since 2006. Patrick Maroon, who was acquired by the Oilers at the NHL Trade Deadline, knows a thing or two about playing meaningful hockey late into and following the regular season, coming from the Anaheim Ducks. “It’s very frustrating,” Maroon said. “This is kind of weird for me because the past four years I’ve been in the playoffs and playing almost until June every year. Now, leading up to it, you’re kind of like ‘God, I wish I could play, go play that 28 games that you have a chance to win,’ There’s a lot of room for improvement with this team and for us to get there we’ve got to ask ourselves if we can play that 28 games right now against Anaheim, the LAs and all that. I don’t think we’re ready as a team, but I think we’re on the right path.” Anaheim is among the best in the NHL this season, playoff bound for the fourth straight season. When asked what the biggest difference between Anaheim and Edmonton was, Maroon talked about youth and culture. “We have a really young team here, so it’s a different culture,” said Maroon. “In Anaheim, we had a lot of older veterans, a lot of older guys so it’s obviously a lot different. That being said, there’s room for improvement everywhere, on the ice, off the ice and being leaders. The coaching staff does a great job of preparing all of us and making sure we’re ready and focused to go out there every game.”Chris WescottSun, 10 Apr 2016 14:41:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/04/20160410_MAROON.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4627346273BLOG: Watch Chiarelli & McLellan live around 2 PMhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46261Oilers head coach Todd McLellan and General Manager/President of Hockey Operations Peter Chiarelli will both address the media today. You can watch it live right here on the Oilers Mobile App at approximately 2:00 p.m. MDT.edmontonoilers.com staffSun, 10 Apr 2016 13:32:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/12/644mclellan-post.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4626146261Video & audio from Friday's practice in Leduchttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46247edmontonoilers.com staffFri, 08 Apr 2016 18:47:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/02/20160224_practice2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4624746247BLOG: Maroon looks to lock down spot for goodhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46240Patrick Maroon has something good going for him. He’s carved out a spot high in the Oilers lineup, playing on Connor McDavid’s wing. “Obviously, there’s an opportunity here for me to grow as a player, grow as a leader,” said Maroon. “Playing with Connor too is an opportunity for me to succeed in this league and an opportunity to put up some good numbers.” Putting up good numbers is something Maroon has done since being acquired from the Anaheim Ducks at the NHL Trade Deadline. Maroon has 13 points, including seven goals, in just 15 games for the Oil. “He’s one of those unique players that can play physical and tough and have the size, but still complement high-end skill players, whether it’s finishing or making plays. That’s what’s really unique about him,” said Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan. “He’s got a lot of experience from Anaheim, doing that with (Corey) Perry and (Ryan) Getzlaf. I think that he has the opportunity to have a really healthy, long career here with us. His summer is going to be extremely important. I think he’s beginning to realize this would be a real good landing spot for him long-term so that’s a great thing.” For Maroon, he wants to keep his good situation going. He didn’t like the way things ended in Anaheim, in terms of his demotion down the lineup. His focus going into the summer is locking that spot down with hard work. “If the opportunity is there and I’m on the left side with 97 then I’ve just got to run with it. I can’t look back,” said Maroon. “I’ve got to perform, I have to be ready and that’s just playing good and performing and putting the numbers up you’d like to put up. If you don’t do that then you’ll see yourself drop pretty far in the lineup. I don’t want that to happen again. It happened in Anaheim, and I don’t want that. I want to be a role player on this team moving forward. It’s a big summer for me. I can come here and prove to them I want it. You can always improve on things.” “It didn’t work last year in Anaheim, so what is he going to change, what is he going to do different that he can keep that spot?That will be the challenge,” said McLellan. “I think he’s a great kid. He fits our team well. He’s got an energy, a passion and a smile all the time, he takes every moment to heart and wins and losses affect him emotionally. We need more of that around here.”Chris WescottFri, 08 Apr 2016 18:45:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/03/20160303_OilersFlyers.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4624046240BLOG: Nurse bounces back from scary incidenthttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46239Some may have been surprised to see Darnell Nurse skating with the team Friday morning. The Oilers defenceman took a puck to the throat in the Oilers win over Vancouver on Wednesday. He left the game and did not return, taken to the hospital as a precaution and to determine the extent of the damage. And yet, there he was taking his normal rotation with Adam Pardy as the Oilers skated in Leduc. “He worked hard. He didn’t show any indication of suffering from anything,” said Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan. “The doctors have, from what I understand, cleared him so if he’s ready to play, we’ll play him. He is a tough customer and I think that’s part of what makes him an attractive player. That’s a real good characteristic to have.” Nurse’s throat was swollen after the incident and his voice was a little raspier than normal on Friday, but he looked ready to play when the Oilers wrap up the season on Saturday in Vancouver. Nurse is just happy he wasn’t seriously injured, as taking a puck to the upper body, face and neck area is no laughing matter. “It is scary because you feel like you could eat your Adam’s apple,” said Nurse. “You get hit in areas like that and it’s kind of scary. You just want to make sure you can breathe and, obviously, the medical staff we have with the team and the medical staff at the hospital helped me out a lot. I’m lucky. It could have been a lot worse than it was and I’m fortunate to come out just a little swollen with a couple of vocal cords messed up.”Chris WescottFri, 08 Apr 2016 17:40:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/03/20160323_nurse.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4623946239BLOG: McLellan on Farewell Rexall Placehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46253Wednesday night saw 160+ Oilers alumni and current Oilers staff and players recognized and join in on the Farewell Rexall Place celebrations. Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan was one such individual that was greeted by a roaring — almost deafening — applause when he stepped out onto the carpeted runway that lead to his spot that was positioned around centre ice. “I was a [small] piece of that ceremony and that’s just the way you look at it,” he said. “It’s never about me, it’s never about the coaches and in fact it’s not even about this year’s team. That night, that was about the building in the past. I was lucky enough to be part of it. I am truly honoured to be an Oiler.” Though McLellan said he didn’t necessarily notice the difference between the applause for one member versus another, he was certainly one to experience the intense passion the fans exhibited throughout the building. “It was a goosebumps moment because of the building and the people that were around me,” he said. “And the fans showing their appreciation, I sat in that chair and I looked around, I tried to find an empty seat and you couldn’t. And I think that speaks volumes of the fans. It’s as much about them as it is about the 150-200 coaches and players that were out on the ice.Meg TilleyFri, 08 Apr 2016 16:53:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/10/20151007_McLellan.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4625346253BLOG: Pouliot practiceshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46252Oilers forward Benoit Pouliot joined his teammates on the ice in Leduc, Friday, after a month-long hiatus due to a shoulder injury he sustained. “He’s not playing, he won’t play in Vancouver so his year is basically over,” said Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound winger, who injured his shoulder in a game against the New York Islanders on February 28, wanted to enjoy one last skate with his team before the end of the season. “He wanted to get back on the skates and see what it was like to handle the puck and shoot it a little bit with his injury,” said McLellan. “Obviously, he has improved to the point where he could do that but he’s certainly not ready to play.”Meg TilleyFri, 08 Apr 2016 16:22:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/11/306pouliot.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4625246252BLOG: Hall joins Team Canadahttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46251Oilers forward Taylor Hall confirmed today that he will join Team Canada for the 2016 IIHF World Championship in Russia this May. “It should be fun, I heard it’s a great city,” Hall said. “I had so much fun playing last year and it was a really good finish to the year that was disappointing team-wise. But I went over there and had a lot of success on the team and we won Gold and had just kind of made hockey what hockey is when you’re winning and you’re having fun like that, [I’m] so hoping for that same feeling this time.” Last year, Team Canada made it all the way to the gold medal game, cruising to a 6-1 victory over Russia. In 10 games, Hall record seven goals and five assists for 12 points in the tournament. It’s likely Hall will reunite with some familiar faces that graced the Canada team last year, something that he says he looks forward to. “That’s one the best parts is seeing different guys,” he said. “Learning from different players, getting to know different coaches and different systems and obviously showing yourself to hockey Canada.”Meg TilleyFri, 08 Apr 2016 15:55:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/03/20160325_hall1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4625146251BLOG: Visit our Farewell Rexall Place Pagehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46249The best way to relive all of the events and videos from Wednesday night's historic final game at Rexall Place as well as take a look back at the storied history of the building is to visit our Farewell Rexall Place page at edmontonoilers.com. You can also view the panoramic image of the buliding at anthem time. If you were at the game, try and find yourself!Marc CiampaFri, 08 Apr 2016 15:41:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/04/642-panoramic.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4624946249BLOG: Friday practice updates in Leduchttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46236The Oilers have hit the ice for their final practice of the 2015-16 season, at Leduc Recreation Centre. Darnell Nurse, who left Wednesday night’s game after taking a puck to the throat, is on the ice with the team. Benoit Pouliot, who has been out with a shoulder injury since March 1, is on the ice as well. The bottom six rotated through the first drills, but the top six have been as follows: Maroon-McDavid-Eberle Hall-RNH-Pakarinen Per Bob Stauffer, the bottom six is likely as follows: Korpikoski-Draisaitl-Yakupov Hendricks-Letestu-Kassian Gazdic-Lander-Cracknell are also skating. Defensive Pairings: Sekera-Fayne Nurse-Pardy Reinhart-Oesterle Nikitin-ClendeningChris WescottFri, 08 Apr 2016 13:31:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/03/20160321_practice.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4623646236BLOG: Farewell from The Great Onehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46215“First of all I just want to thank everyone for a wonderful night,” said Oilers alumnus Wayne Gretzky. As one of 160+ Oilers alumni, The Great One was all smiles as he took in the sight of a full Rexall Place bowl. With too many memories to count, Gretzky was focused on living in the moment and saying farewell to an arena he called his home for 10 seasons. “[Thank you to] The Oilers and all the players that came back and of course all the fans. Mark [Messier] and I were talking earlier — I don’t think there’s any other city where the fans would still be sitting here, I wish we could get out and play for them but we can’t do that anymore.”Meg TilleyThu, 07 Apr 2016 00:23:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/04/20160405_Gretzky.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4621546215BLOG: Cole and the first Cuphttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46214“The Edmonton Oilers have won the Stanley Cup!” Iconic words said by Hockey Night in Canada Announcer Bob Cole. The man responsible for announcing the Oilers first-ever Stanley Cup win, Cole was present at the Farewell Rexall Ceremony to share in festivities. “I kind of fell in love with this group, these young Oilers, in ’83,” he said. “When they got all the way to the Stanley Cup Final in Long Island, it was a dynasty for the Islanders, and [the Oilers] lost in four games. I remember walking out with Wayne and Glenn and Paul and all the guys and everybody was just in silence, they were just bruised and tired and worn out.” Cole witnessed (and announced) the Oilers heartbreak Cup loss but ever more exhilarating win the following year in 1984. “I really fell in love with this team,” he said. “And we got together again the next year and they won their first Stanley Cup, the first of four that were won here (the fifth was won in Boston), in this old building that we’re saying goodbye to.”Meg TilleyThu, 07 Apr 2016 00:13:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/04/20160406_rexallfinal642.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4621446214BLOG: The Original Oilerhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46213Oilers alumnus Rusty Patenaude made his mark as the first Oiler to score 100 goals in an Oilers jersey. “I just feel very fortunate being a part of this organization,” he said. “It’s been a classy organization… and I can see nothing but great things for the Oilers and their new building and I’m just proud to be part of them.” The “Original Oiler” played four seasons with Edmonton in the World Hockey Association and said he’ll never forget his time spent in Oil Country. “Edmonton was a home that felt like a home away from home. People just endorsed you and the fans were so passionate, they just make you feel like you were something every night.Meg TilleyWed, 06 Apr 2016 23:46:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/04/20160406_rexallfinal642.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4621346213BLOG: Ranford in Rexallhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46212Bill Ranford joined the Oilers in 1987 after he was traded from the Boston Bruins. “I was living in Red Deer so I was a big Oilers fan so it was a huge honour for me,” he admits. Needless to say, it’s a move the Oilers alumnus will never regret, having gone on to win two Stanley Cups with the team and make a lifetime of memories. “It was a little overwhelming for me with the likes of Wayne Gretzky, Jari Kurri, Mark Messier and the legendary Grant Fuhr, it was a real honour for me,” he said. “I was excited about it and I spent 10 years here and this is a big family here. This is an incredible night and the fans here I can’t thank them enough.”Meg TilleyWed, 06 Apr 2016 23:39:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/04/20160406_rexallfinal642.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4621246212BLOG: An Oilers Firsthttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46211Blair “BJ” MacDonald is one of many Oilers alumni present at the Farewell Rexall Place ceremony. MacDonald was the first Oiler to score a goal for the newly minted NHL team in October 1979 against the Detroit Red Wings. “I had to be one of the luckiest guys in hockey having the chance to play with Gretz in my first year, we were a little bit of the underdogs,” said MacDonald. “We came into the league and that first game here, I think the lead-up, the buzz in the city, and the warm up and the electricity in the building of that first game and we were lucky enough to pull off a win against an original six team, Detroit, it was just a great night.” It was the first of many more to come and one that MacDonald says he’ll never forget.Meg TilleyWed, 06 Apr 2016 23:29:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/04/20160406_rexallfinal642.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4621146211BLOG: Excitement on Churchill Squarehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46208“It’s a really good day to be the Mayor of Edmonton,” Don Iveson beamed, as he addressed the crowd at Churchill Square earlier this afternoon. Nearly 100 Oilers alumni joined the Farewell Rexall Place celebrations beginning at City Hall, where they were recognized and applauded by thousands of cheering fans. The pavement of Churchill Square could barely be recognized, as fans flooded the area in orange, blue, and white, with the hopes to catch a glimpse of some of their hockey heroes. “It felt almost like a Stanley Cup parade,” Georges Laraque commented on the excitement, “This shows why we have the best fans in the world.” Mark Messier agreed, “This looks familiar to 1984.” “I remember coming to city hall and having the big gathering here, and thanking the fans, and here we are again in another big crowd — wow, what a powerful day today for so many people in the organization, in the city, and obviously the players.” Ryan Smyth also addressed the crowd after receiving an extensive applause. “It’s a bittersweet day… there’s a lot of memories, a lot of history in that building. But, in the same breath, there’s another one just a few blocks around the corner here, that many new memories are going to be made in.” “Thank you to the fans, the media and the City of Edmonton.”Kelli GustafsonWed, 06 Apr 2016 16:10:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/04/642-churchillsquare.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4620846208BLOG: Messier’s memorieshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46207It seems as though the Oilers alumni continue to echo one another’s sentiments. “Good, sad, happy — all the emotions that will be coming tonight for everybody a lot of people that put the uniform on, a lot of people that work for the team, a lot of fans that have been here from day one when it first opened, it will be quite an evening,” said Oilers alumnus Mark Messier. One of 160+ alumni in attendance today, Messier was in awe of the number in attendance and how the building itself has made its mark in the heart of Oil Country. “It’s amazing how a building can take on a life of it’s own,” he said. “All the great moments that were played here, one after another, I’ve seen my first concert here — Fleetwood Mac — back in the early ’70’s. Think about all the different — not only the hockey games — but all the other emotions and events that [have] happened here too. It’s going to be a powerful night for the city of Edmonton.” A sold-out arena will see the Oilers host the Vancouver Canucks for the very last time at Rexall Place, as they close out the night with a final farewell ceremony that will feel like a blast from the past. “I never thought — like many people — that the NHL would come to Edmonton,” said Messier. “And as a hockey player growing up, I never thought that I would ever have a chance to play in my hometown in the NHL. Both those things happened, and of course, being able to win and [be] part of the team that’s won five Stanley Cups in my hometown, it doesn’t get much better than that. So for me personally, it’s been a long journey seeing this rink built in the early ’70’s and all the moments in-between.”Meg TilleyWed, 06 Apr 2016 15:39:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/11/Messier.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4620746207BLOG: Appreciating the past, embracing the futurehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46206“It will be emotional tonight,” said Oilers alumnus Jari Kurri, looking around and taking in his fellow alumni that surround him. As Oil Country prepares to say their final farewell to the building that’s housed the Oilers since 1974, Kurri is right, it will be a very emotional night. “A lot of good memories. There were a lot of records being made in this building, but the first that always comes to my mind is that first Stanley Cup and not knowing what’s going to happen and how everybody reacted — the players, the fans, the city,” said Kurri. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001, the Finnish winger spent 10 seasons with the Oilers, winning five Stanley Cups with the team. “Coming from Europe, I had no clue how much it meant with winning,” he admits. “I was shocked. People were hugging each other who they didn’t even know who they were. People were driving through the city in the cars and people were all over the place celebrating on the roof and everywhere. It was so much fun.” As the Oilers host the Vancouver Canucks for their final game at Rexall Place, Kurri said it’s sad to leave it all behind but he looks forward to the Oilers future at Rogers Place. “Life goes on and everybody is looking forward to the next new building. It’s going to be unbelievable.”Meg TilleyWed, 06 Apr 2016 15:14:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2011/01/20110104_kurri-644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4620646206BLOG: Looking back with Zukhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=46205Long before the Oilers made Northlands Coliseum their home, and even prior to their NHL merge in 1979, they called Edmonton Gardens their home and were playing in the World Hockey Association. It was there that Oilers alumnus Wayne Zuk remembers a specific moment between he and teammate Val Fonteyne. “[Val] was 38 years old and I was 23 years old and we’re playing on the same team and I’ll never forget, Brian Shaw was our coach at the time, and prior to the warmup he says ‘Val, you’re going to shadow Bobby Hull tonight, and Wayne, you’re going to shadow Bobby Hull tonight,’” he said. “We couldn’t figure out why it would take two of us to shadow Hull. And the answer to that question was, well, that’s because we could only stay on the ice for about a minute maximum and Hull stayed on three, four minutes as a shift. We figured out later we needed two guys to shadow him.” It’s one of many memories Zuk says he’ll never forget and is grateful for the opportunity to be present for Oil Country’s final farewell to Rexall Place. “The Oilers have gone above and beyond, I think, in hosting this event,” he said. “Even reaching back to guys who are older, who’ve never played in the NHL and were WHA guys — the fact that they would invite us and have us be a part of this event, speaks to how classy they are.”Meg TilleyWed, 06 Apr 2016 14:51:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2016/04/20160406_WHA.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4620546205