EDMONTON OILERS BLOGShttp://www.edmontonoilers.com/rssEDMONTON OILERS BLOGSNHL Enterprises, L.P. (c) 2015 NHL. All Rights Reserveden-usThu, 26 Feb 2015 17:48:15 ESTBLOG: Thursday practice updateshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=37418The Oilers have taken the ice at Rexall Place for practice. They haven't run lines, but Nail Yakupov (groin), Tyler Pitlick (lacerated spleen) and Nikita Nikitin (shoulder) are all practicing. Pitlick and Nikitin are both wearing non-contact yellow.Chris WescottThu, 26 Feb 2015 16:12:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/644scrimmage3.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3741837418BLOG: Update on Yakupovhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=37444Nail Yakupov sat out the game in Minnesota with a groin injury, but was back on the ice today at Rexall Place. The Oilers winger competed in all the drills and participated in the extra conditioning at the end of practice. “I felt pretty good,” Yakupov said. “I pushed as hard as I can. I went out a little earlier to see how my leg was going. I think everything was fine and then I got lucky with that skate at the end. Should be feeling pretty good. We’ll see tomorrow, but I hope I’ll be back in the lineup soon.” Yakupov says he didn’t enjoy watching his team compete without him in Minnesota and hopes he’s ready soon. “That wasn’t a great feeling at all,” Yakupov said. “I don’t like to watch the game from upstairs, but I still was kind of nervous. I wanted my team to get two points and they did, so it was a good feeling.” He may be back sooner than later, possibly even on Saturday against St. Louis. “It looks pretty good, based on what I saw today. He practiced well and we’ll see how it reacts tomorrow,” Oilers Interim Coach Todd Nelson said.Chris WescottThu, 26 Feb 2015 14:52:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/02/20150219_yak1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3744437444BLOG: Marincin’s battle is uphttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=37445The Oilers had a 23-year-old defenceman on the ice in the waning seconds of their 2-1 win over Minnesota on Tuesday night. Martin Marincin helped the Oilers run out the clock and preserve the one-goal victory. Having Marincin on the ice in a crucial moment signifies trust in his game and development in the player. Oilers Interim Coach Todd Nelson says the biggest thing Marincin has improved on lately is his assertiveness when it comes to puck battles in the hard areas. He showed that against Minnesota. “I think, his battle. That’s one thing we’ve always tried to work on with him,” Nelson said. “Last game in the last minute or 40 seconds or whatever he really competed hard and we saw that trend throughout the game. He has a good, long stick and that’s fine, but when it comes to a battle in front of the net and in corners we liked what we saw and that’s why he was out there.”Chris WescottThu, 26 Feb 2015 14:52:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/02/20150218_ph3-644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3744537445BLOG: Bakersfield to remain as Condorshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=37412The Bakersfield Condors announced this evening that their name will remain the Condors when they move into the American Hockey League next season.Marc CiampaWed, 25 Feb 2015 23:02:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/05/20140523_Baks.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3741237412BLOG: Joey Moss to be inducted into Alberta Sports Hall of Famehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=37430Oilers longtime locker room assistant Joey Moss will be inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in the achievement category. The ceremony will take place at the Sheraton Hotel in Red Deer, AB on Friday, May 29. Moss, born with Down syndrome, first joined the Oilers in 1984 when he was brought into the organization by Wayne Gretzky. For years, Moss has served as an inspiration to the citizens of Edmonton and is somewhat of a celebrity. His likeness appears on a mural on 99th street in Edmonton. He has won numerous awards for personal achievement, including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee and the NHL Alumni Association’s Seventh Man Award.Chris WescottWed, 25 Feb 2015 16:30:00 ESThttp://cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2013/09/20130924_JoeyMoss.jpeghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3743037430BLOG: Bob Brown headed to Kamloops Hall of Famehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=37411Oilers amateur scout Bob Brown was announced on Wednesday as an inductee to the Kamloops Sports Hall of Fame. From the official press release: Former Kamloops Blazers general manager Bob Brown heads up the Kamloops Sports Hall of Fame’s class of 2015 in the hall’s 25th anniversary year. Brown oversaw the hockey operations of the most celebrated modern era franchise in major junior hockey history. Brown had the task of pulling it all together, working with a community based board of directors, and a strong network of hockey minds from scouts, to coaches, and players and, away from the ice -- billets, fans, community leaders and sponsors. The result of his leadership and, commitment to excellence produced a dynasty decade of hockey, unparalleled in the city, and, the country by a major junior teams. 1985-1995 is the stuff legends are made of and, Brown is a legend going into the Kamloops Sports Hall of Fame. The Blazers will long be known for equalling the record of three Memorial Cup titles in four years (92, 94, 95) but during Brown’s 10 years, the Blazers won 10 WHL western conference titles appearing in 10 WHL finals winning five league titles, appearing in five Memorial Cup tournaments and winning the three. The Blazers lost six of their first seven games in the first three tournament appearances in ‘86, ‘90 and, ‘92 but after losing its opener in 92, the club reeled off 12 straight wins in the three championship seasons to hold the current M-C record winning streak. Its 13 & 6 tournament record along with its 108 &54 playoff run and, the 484-202-33 regular season record during the dynasty decade resulted in 605 wins, an average of slightly more than 60 per season. The numbers are staggering but just as staggering is the number of players and, coaches who forged pro careers. Most people will remember the names of Hitchcock, Renney and, Hay who were coaches mentored by Brown and, countless great players including current and, future hockey hall of famers, but there have been an untold number who have gone on to become great citizens in their communities, in leadership capacities. Brown’s legacy to Kamloops is immeasurable. His induction will take place April 11th at the 25th Kamloops Sports Hall of Fame Banquet, 6pm in the Grand Hall Ballroom at the TRU Student’s Activity Centre. Sam Lenarduzzi of BC soccer fame will be the guest speaker. Tickets are $45 apiece and will be available at the I-S-C Box office.Wed, 25 Feb 2015 10:54:00 ESThttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3741137411Video and audio from Monday's practicehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=37329Marc CiampaMon, 23 Feb 2015 14:35:00 ESThttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3732937329BLOG: Petry, Pitlick, Nikitin, Lander & Yak injury updateshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=37331Nikita Nikitin and Tyler Pitlick both skated with the team Monday at Rexall Place for the first time since suffering their respective injuries. Both are getting closer to returning. “They skated with us today. There was no contact but it was good to see them on the ice practicing with us. They’re still both a ways away but it’s one of those things where we’ll take it day-by-day with both guys and see how they feel and how they respond after skating with us,” Oilers interim head coach Todd Nelson stated, adding with Pitlick's injury being a lacerated spleen they need to be more cautious. “It’s a process with him. It’s good to see him on the ice skating and we’ll see if it’s mending properly then we’ll go from there,” Nelson continued. “He just needs to try and stay in the best shape possible. He had limited activity right after the injury. But he looked good out there today and it looks like he’s been doing stuff in the gym to maintain his physical fitness.” Pitlick added that he has been feeling much better and was glad to finally get on the ice with his teammates. “Everything’s been feeling good. I haven’t been in any pain in awhile so that part’s going good. I’ve been getting on the ice. Today’s my first practice with the team. I’ve got to wait for my next scan, wait for word that everything is healed up and then start taking my next contact.” Pitlick is hopeful to join the team for their upcoming five-game road trip in early March. “We’re trying to push it up to March 3. So hopefully I can get that scan, go on the road with the guys, do some practices and then by the time we get back from the road maybe get in a game,” Pitlick remarked, adding he's been experiencing some cabin fever wanting to get back out there. “There’s not much you can do for a month. I pretty much sat on the couch and watched TV for a month straight and then started walking on the treadmill a little bit, just easing into it. It’s been boring. I haven’t had much to do. It’s not like a knee where you’re on the table, doing some exercises or getting work done. There’s not much you can do except rest.” Pitlick said that at first, he didn't feel anything after a collision with Lance Bouma lacerated his spleen. “I knew it was a big collision right away because I felt the impact,” he said. “It really didn’t hurt that bad initially. I just kind of felt like I had the wind knocked out of me. I kept skating and had a few more shifts. I felt all right. I just felt like I had something in my stomach. I finished the game and afterwards I went in the training room and got ice for my shoulder. Wasn’t really thinking about my stomach but just kind of asked about it. They checked it out and there was some tenderness there so they wanted to make sure everything was all right before I got on the plane. “It’s a good thing they did because as soon as we got in the cab and headed to the hospital, the pain escalated. It’s a good thing they caught it and I wasn’t on the plane when that happened.” PETRY ALMOST READY Jeff Petry skated again with the team and said he felt like he could be ready to go tomorrow when the Oilers meet the Minnesota Wild. “I’m hoping to be in the lineup against Minny. It was just a shot to the ribs, nothing was broken. Just bruised. It’s pretty sore to rotate but every day’s gotten a lot better and I didn’t have any issues today.” Coach Nelson did add that the team did not have any further updates on Anton Lander's shoulder injury. YAKUPOV UPDATE Nail Yakupov got hurt last game but played the entire contest. Today, he started practice but left early. Coach Nelson said that him leaving practice was precautionary and he will travel with the team to Minnesota. “Last game he tweaked something. He got through the game but we just shut him down (today) for precautionary reasons. He’s making the trip and we’ll see how he is tomorrow.”Marc CiampaMon, 23 Feb 2015 14:04:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/11/20141130_pit.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3733137331BLOG: Oilers practicing on Monday at Rexall Placehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=37325The Oilers are on the ice for practice at Rexall Place this morning, prior to departure for Minnesota for a one-game road trip. Tyler Pitlick and Nikita Nikitin are both on the ice (in yellow non-contact jerseys), skating with the team for the first time since suffering their respective injuries. Line combinations up front are: Pouliot-RNH-Eberle Purcell-Roy-Yakupov Hamilton-Hendricks-Pakarinen Fraser/Gazdic-Gordon-KilnkhammerMarc CiampaMon, 23 Feb 2015 12:08:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644klinkhammerpractie1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3732537325BLOG: Good reviews for Oesterle debuthttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3731322-year-old defenceman Jordan Oesterle made his NHL debut tonight against the Anaheim Ducks. The significance of the moment hit him when he lined up for a faceoff early in the game. “It was on a faceoff,” Oesterle said. “I looked over and there was Corey Perry just standing next to me and I was just like, ‘wow.’” Oesterle played 16:34 for the game, paired with Andrew Ference. “I was really nervous at the beginning but I took a short shift at the beginning and got the nerves out of there. But Ference really helped me by communicating a lot to me and made my game pretty easy,” Oesterle said. Oesterle may have been nervous, but he made an impression on Interim Coach Todd Nelson, who also coached the blueliner in Oklahoma City. “He was excellent,” Nelson said. “I thought for a guy coming in for his first hockey game in the National Hockey League he was really good. He moved his feet, he made some really good decisions with the puck, he handled himself fine in the corners. I think for a first game for a young defenceman, that was a nice game for him.” He’s been touted for his high-end skating abilities and puck-moving prowess, but even Ference was surprised at how much the rookie wanted the puck. “Really, really good,” Ference said of his defensive partner’s debut. “He had great composure, fantastic skating ability, he was so calm. I still remember my first game when I didn’t want to touch the puck and he’s handling it and skating up the ice real well, making great plays. Very impressive.”Chris WescottSat, 21 Feb 2015 22:34:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/02/306172-edmana1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3731337313BLOG: Oilers tinker with lineuphttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=37305The Oilers will ice a different lineup tonight against the Ducks than they did last night in a 4-0 loss to the Wild. Keith Aulie will be taken out of the lineup with Jordan Oesterle making his NHL debut. “I think anytime a player plays their first game, it’s an exciting time,” Nelson said. “We’re facing a very good hockey team and it’s going to be a great challenge for him. But he’s a guy who can skate very well, he moves the puck well and I’m very excited to watch him play tonight.” Luke Gazdic replaces Matt Fraser on the wing. The line combinations are expected as follows: Pouliot-Nugent-Hopkins-Eberle Purcell-Roy-Yakupov Hamilton-Hendricks-Pakarinen Gazdic-Gordon-Klinkhammer Ben Scrivens will start in net for the Oilers. The defensive pairings are expected to be: Klefbom-Schultz Marincin-Fayne Ference-OesterleChris WescottSat, 21 Feb 2015 17:24:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644396-oesterle-okc.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3730537305BLOG: Klinkhammer signing shores up fourth linehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=37254The Oilers announced a one-year contract extension for Rob Klinkhammer on Friday morning. The 28-year-old winger and Lethbridge, Alberta native has meshed well on a line with Boyd Gordon and Matt Hendricks. Since being acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins in a trade on January 2, Klinkhammer has been more than satisfied with his time in Edmonton. “It’s gone really well here,” Klinkhammer said. “I really enjoy the guys, I like the staff, top to bottom everyone has been great. I like my role here, I think I’ve got good chemistry with my linemates. I like the responsibility that we have so I love it. I signed a one-year extension with them and I’m really happy with the steps the team is taking. I want to be a part of this rebuild and help the team go in the right direction.” General Manager Craig MacTavish gave his assessment of Klinkhammer on Friday, saying that he gives the Oilers a solid fourth line moving into next season. “I just think that he came in and played a role that we needed,” MacTavish said. “He meshed well with Matt Hendricks and Boyd Gordon, which gives us a real good fourth line going into next year. He closed gaps very quickly, he finished every check. So the focus will be on Rob to continue to play the game that way and add some impetuous to our forechecking ability, and he did that. So we wanted to bring him back and put him back in that role and give him that opportunity next year.” Klinkhammer combines surprising speed with his 6-foot-3, 214-pound frame to provide physicality and aggression on the forecheck. In 157 NHL games, Klinkhammer has 41 points (20-21-41).Chris WescottFri, 20 Feb 2015 14:59:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/20150105_Klink1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3725437254BLOG: Update on Jeff Petry talkshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=37252Jeff Petry is maybe the Oilers most high-profile pending free agent. The 27-year-old defenceman has shown steady growth over the last six weeks or so, and with the trade deadline approaching the Oilers have a decision to make. Oilers General Manager Craig MacTavish said today that they’re in conversations with Petry’s camp on a new contract. “I’ll just say this about Jeff, we really challenged him on a one-year contract and he’s clearly met that challenge. His game is at a level I think right now that it hasn’t been at before and I give Jeff a lot of credit for that,” MacTavish said. “As for a contract or what the course of action is going forward, I’ve had many conversations over the last four weeks with Wade Arnott, Jeff’s representative, as you might imagine and they’ve all been constructive conversations but I’m just going to leave it at that and we’ll see what happens going forward.” Petry also acknowledge the two sides are talking, but gave no further update on progress. “They’ve had some communication and talks have started and that’s all I can really say at the moment,” Petry said. “Edmonton has been great to me. Both sides are going to communicate here for the next little bit and see if we can’t find something that works best for both sides.” Petry was taken in the second round, 46th overall, of the 2006 NHL Draft. He has 294 NHL games under his belt with 17 goals and 74 points. He will not play tonight against the Minnesota Wild as he nurses a rib ailment.Chris WescottFri, 20 Feb 2015 14:40:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644edm-nyi.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3725237252BLOG: Oilers “unlikely” to trade Roy, hopeful for dealhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=37251The Oilers acquired Derek Roy in a trade with Nashville on December 29. Since that day, Roy has 12 points (5-7-12) in 23 games for Edmonton, and has made even more of an impact off the stat sheet when it comes to his experience, leadership and positive effect on Nail Yakupov. The pending 31-year-old unrestricted free agent’s status with the Oilers in the future is unclear, but General Manager Craig MacTavish says they’ll begin conversations with his representation. “I think with Derek, we’re in the process of reaching out to him to see what his feeling is in terms of getting into a relationship with us going forward,” MacTavish said after morning skate at Rexall Place. “I think that’s something where there will be some things that will impact that relationship going forward. I think as good of a job as Derek has done and as much as he’s fit in well here, that will be something that will be done at the end of the year.” When it comes to the looming trade deadline on March 2, MacTavish indicated it was unlikely the Oilers would look to move Roy for just any compensation. They value his chemistry with Yakupov and how he’s helped with the young winger’s development, as well as what he brings to the locker room. “In my mind, we wouldn’t trade Derek for a superficial asset,” MacTavish said. “I think it’s very unlikely that he’ll be moved because of the fact that we have considerable interest in him longer term and he has meshed well with Yak and his development and that’s very important to us and the hockey club going forward.”Chris WescottFri, 20 Feb 2015 14:26:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/02/20150219_roy1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3725137251BLOG: Oilers sign Klinkhammer and Hamiltonhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=37264The Oilers announced that they have signed wingers Rob Klinkhammer and Ryan Hamilton to one-year contract extensions.Marc CiampaFri, 20 Feb 2015 12:04:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644klinkhammer1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3726437264BLOG: Oesterle recalled; Lander placed on IRhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=37263The Oilers announced on Friday morning that defenceman Jordan Oesterle has been recalled from the AHL's Oklahoma City Barons and centre Anton Lander has been placed on injured reserve. This is Oesterle's first NHL tour of duty. He has played 49 games this season in his rookie AHL campaign and has six goals and 15 assists for 21 points along with a +5 rating and six penalty minutes. He is second in scoring among Barons defencemen this season.Marc CiampaFri, 20 Feb 2015 11:05:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644396-oesterle-okc.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3726337263BLOG: Yakupov develops ESP before Marincin’s goalhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=37195Martin Marincin wouldn’t be the first choice in the shootout. In fact, Marincin was the Oilers 24th shooter against the Bruins. But when the defenceman tucked the puck under Tuukka Rask for the game-winning tally, there was at least one person in Rexall Place not the least bit surprised. “I got a feeling,” Nail Yakupov said. “I was 100% sure that Marty would score a goal. I didn’t know why, but it was fun.” There are some that think Marincin lost the puck when he reached the crease, but if not it was a slick fake out that fooled Rask. “No, that was really my move,” Marincin joked after the game. “I just tried to make some move and have good luck and it’s in.”Chris WescottThu, 19 Feb 2015 02:46:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/02/20150218_ph3-644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3719537195BLOG: Injury update on Lander and Petryhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=37196The Oilers had to battle the Bruins down two skaters in the third period. Anton Lander left the game with a shoulder injury, while Jeff Petry left with a rib ailment. Interim Coach Todd Nelson gave a brief update after the game, though with no new information, as the pair will be checked out by the medical staff tomorrow. “Shoulder injury,” Nelson said of Lander. “We’ll reevaluate him tomorrow. Petry, we all saw he got the shot off the rib area, so once again, we’ll see how they are tomorrow and we’ll have a more definite outlook to see when they’re going to be back or they’re skating.”Chris WescottThu, 19 Feb 2015 02:46:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/20150129_lander644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3719637196BLOG: Scrivens activated off IR; Fasth on IRhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=37206The Edmonton Oilers announced today they have activated goaltender Ben Scrivens off injured reserve and have placed goaltender Viktor Fasth on the injured reserve list.Edmonton Oilers Press ReleaseWed, 18 Feb 2015 11:25:00 ESThttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3720637206BLOG: Draisaitl named WHL Player of the Weekhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=37125Oilers prospect Leon Draisaitl has been named the WHL's Player of the Week. From the WHL's official press release: ROCKETS’ DRAISAITL NAMED DENNY’S WHL PLAYER OF THE WEEK CALGARY, AB -The Western Hockey League announced today that Kelowna Rockets forward Leon Draisaitl is the Denny’s WHL Player of the Week for the week ending February 15th, 2015. Draisaitl collected nine points (2g-7a), while posting a plus-four rating in four games over the past week to help lead the Rockets to a 3-1-0-0 record over that span. On Monday, February 9th, Draisaitl tallied two assists to lead the Rockets to a 5-2 win over the Prince George Cougars. On Friday, February 13th, Draisaitl collected three assists against the Victoria Royals in a 7-3 victory while also earning first star honours. Draisaitl concluded the week with a four point performance (2g-2a) against the Moose Jaw Warriors on February 14th in which he scored the game-winning goal and added another in a 6-0 shutout victory. A 19-year-old Cologne, Germany native, Draisaitl has gathered 27 points (9g-18a) along with a plus-nine rating in 17 games this season. The 6’1”, 210 lb forward is in his third WHL campaign and first with Kelowna. Draisaitl has amassed 190 points (68g-122a) in 145 career WHL regular season contests and was selected third overall by the Edmonton Oilers in the 2014 NHL Draft.Marc CiampaMon, 16 Feb 2015 17:24:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644draisaitl3.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3712537125Video and audio from Sundayhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=37089Sun, 15 Feb 2015 16:41:00 ESThttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3708937089BLOG: Scrivens injury updatehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=37090Ben Scrivens spoke to Oilers TV's Tom Gazzola after practice on Sunday to talk about his recovery from a hamstring injury. “It’s progressing well. I’m feeling good in practice. It’s getting a little better every day,” Scrivens began. “I’m doing what the doctors and trainers are telling me to do and doing everything I can to get back as quickly as possible.” Scrivens said that the play came about from a fluke incident where he was trying to scramble back to the net in New Jersey to prevent a goal. “I went to play the puck behind the net, it wasn’t a great puck play, I kind of gave it away. Tried to get it to Schultzie and turned it over and a guy try to come and stuff it really quickly. I came out and spread and jammed the post so I was in a full spread and torqued it a little extra. “You kind of feel something but obviously I was good enough to keep going. It tightened up that night and I talked to the trainers and started to get treatment done the next morning.” Coach Nelson added that he expects to see Scrivens back on the team's upcoming three-game homestand which starts Wednesday against Boston.Marc CiampaSun, 15 Feb 2015 16:39:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/12/20141211_scrivensmask644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3709037090BLOG: Injury updates & Klinkhammer's statushttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=37091There was a myriad of injury updates following Sunday's practice. Tom Gazzola spoke with Benoit Pouliot, who played his first game on Saturday after missing five with a foot injury. “I felt good. The foot felt good. It wasn’t really the game I was hoping for but I’ll talk personally. I think I felt okay. In the third I felt a little bit better. The first two periods were slow but after that I gained speed,” said Pouliot. Boyd Gordon and Matt Hendricks both didn't skate on Sunday. For Gordon, interim head coach Todd Nelson termed it a maintenance day. For Hendricks, the hope was a day of complete rest would show some more recovery. “He tried it yesterday (at pre-game warm-up in Ottawa). We thought a day of rest today would be better off. We’ll try it again tomorrow morning,” said Nelson, adding that losing a player like Hendricks hurts the team. “Let’s face it. He’s an emotional guy, he’s a glue guy in the room and he’s a leader. The thing is, any time you lose a guy like that out of your lineup, you’re going to miss him.” Nelson added that Ben Scrivens, who was retroactively placed on IR on Saturday, will not play tomorrow due to his hamstring injury but is a potential for the team's upcoming three-game homestand. “He’s not going to be available for tomorrow. We’re just trying to get him ready for our homestand at home.” Another absence at skate was Rob Klinkhammer. He will likely not play on Monday, but for a different reason. When he landed in Winnipeg, he got news that his wife was in labour. He immediately jumped in a car and drove overnight to Lethbridge. He is still awaiting word on the new addition to his family.Marc CiampaSun, 15 Feb 2015 16:38:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/02/20150206_klinkhammer644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3709137091BLOG: Oilers looking to bounce backhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=37092One day after a disappointing 7-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators, the Oilers were back on the ice in Winnipeg and looking to bounce back. “We had a really good meeting before practice. We had a spirited practice out there and the guys competed hard. That’s the great thing about the game of hockey. We got to wake up this morning, get back in the saddle and try to rectify things,” said Oilers interim head coach Todd Nelson. Nelson added that the way the team played was odd to him considering they had made some great strides throughout the week with three excellent games, particularly against two tough Eastern Conference teams in New York Islanders and Montreal Canadiens. “I wish I could figure it out. I’m sure every coach would like to figure it out because it’s pretty odd, right? Especially when we were trending in the right direction and then we come out with that performance,” Nelson continued. “There were so many things. All 20 guys were culprits. Just our thought process with our system work, making plays, our execution was off. It was one of those games. I think the most important thing now is us moving forward and trying to get back to where we were in Montreal and Long Island.” Benoit Pouliot added that he felt the team could give a lot more than they showed on Saturday. “You don’t want those games to happen too often. Yesterday afternoon was pretty embarrassing. Just the way that we played. We didn’t really try that hard. Intensity was low and they scored seven goals. It showed. We can’t play like this or we’ll be like this every night.” Jordan Eberle did add that despite the loss, the team has been showing positive signs. “We’re definitely playing better as a team, with the exception of last game. Before that, we were really starting to hum,” Eberle began. “When we play bad, we lose. It’s plain and simple but now when we play good and play the right way, we’re winning. That just shows the signs of a good team. We just have to bring that consistent level every night and play the way we know we can.” Eberle expects a battle on Monday night against a Winnipeg team coming off the high of a shootout win in Detroit. “Moving forward to Winnipeg, they’re a good team. They play a lot like Ottawa. They’re big, they’re strong and they’re fast. We know they’re going to come around in our face so we have to play a lot better than we did.”Marc CiampaSun, 15 Feb 2015 16:27:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/02/EDMOTT_DL1_021415.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3709237092BLOG: Oilers are on the ice in Winnipeghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=37088The Oilers are on the ice for practice in Winnipeg this afternoon. Boyd Gordon, Matt Hendricks and Rob Klinkhammer are not skating. Forward Lines: Purcell - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle Hamilton - Roy - Yakupov Pouliot - Lander - Pakarinen Gazdic - Fraser UPDATE: Klinkhammer is in Lethbridge with his wife awaiting the arrival of his child.Marc CiampaSun, 15 Feb 2015 13:11:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/01/306ference.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3708837088BLOG: Pouliot activated; Scrivens to IRhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=37058Oilers have activated forward Benoit Pouliot from the injured reserve list; Place goaltender Ben Scrivens on IR.Marc CiampaSat, 14 Feb 2015 13:58:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644poluiot1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3705837058BLOG: Hendricks, Pouliot taking warm-up in Ottawahttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=37056The Oilers are on the ice for warm-up in Ottawa prior to this afternoon's game. Benoit Pouliot and Matt Hendricks are both out there for the visitors. Luke Gazdic is also on the ice while Matt Fraser is not. Line combinations coming.Marc CiampaSat, 14 Feb 2015 13:36:00 ESThttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3705637056BLOG: Hall on his injury & team performancehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=37028Taylor Hall attended the World’s Longest Hockey Game in Sherwood Park, an event to raise money for the Alberta Cancer Foundation. He signed autographs, took a tour of the facilities and chatted with the players, volunteers and fans. He spoke with Oilers TV about his time there, but also touched on his own health. Hall is out six weeks with a bone injury in his lower leg. He provided the following update. “Not much to say right now, I’m still in a walking boot and I’m still in a slow process right now,” Hall said. “Hopefully, in the next couple of weeks here I can get the boot off, get it moving and get it strong so I can come back as soon as I can.” Hall, in Edmonton, has been watching his team play the past few games and has seen a win in New Jersey, a great effort against the Islanders and a resilient win in Montreal. “The guys are playing so hard, it’s fun to watch,” Hall said. “I’ve said this before, you want to see your team do well when you’re out and it’s almost harder because you want to be a part of that winning atmosphere. The way that they’re working and the way they’re working is great. That’s something they need to continue and hopefully, when I can get back in the lineup, we can continue that.”Chris WescottFri, 13 Feb 2015 21:56:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/12/20141230_ph5644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3702837028BLOG: Hendricks and Pouliot injury updateshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=37019Benoit Pouliot skated with the team for the third straight time as he appeared to be getting closer to a return to the lineup. Coach Nelson said a final decision will be made on Saturday morning to determine if he's ready to play the Senators at 2:00 p.m. local time (12:00 p.m. MST). “When you add a guy like Benny it’s always going to help your team. Tomorrow morning we’ll have another discussion to see where we’re at. There’s a lot of questions up in the air with the lineup tomorrow so we’ll have the rest of the day to think about it and see how guys are. We’ll make decisions tomorrow.” Matt Hendricks did not practice today. He blocked a handful of shots against the Canadiens and at least one of them hurt a little more than usual. “Matty took a puck off the ankle and today was a day where he wasn’t able to go out and practice. If anybody knows Matt, he wants to go out there and play. Tomorrow morning we’ll re-evaluate him and we’ll see if he’s good to go for tomorrow.”Marc CiampaFri, 13 Feb 2015 15:30:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644poluiot1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3701937019BLOG: Oilers riding high of Thursday's winhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=37018After an emotional win on Thursday in Montreal, the Oilers had a very spirited practice at the Canadian Tire Centre in Kanata, near Ottawa. The team was still coming off the high of one of their best victories of the season. “I’m going to enjoy this the rest of the day and tomorrow morning when I wake up we’ll get geared up for Ottawa," said Oilers interim head coach Todd Nelson following practice. "It was a big win for our hockey team. We played well. We stuck with our game plan and today’s a good day for the guys to enjoy themselves.” The practice was brief and to the point, lasting about 30 minutes. “We worked hard. It was short but we can enjoy this. It was a big win for us.” Coach Nelson talked about the importance of the victory, helping to reinforce the message after the team played so well on Tuesday against the Islanders but came away with zero points. “Bouncing back after the Islanders game was huge for us. We played well but didn’t get rewarded. Last night we did. It was a good sign for us. The guys feel good about it. “We have to keep on pushing forward. Last night was one game. It was a big game for us character-wise but we have to keep building on that and moving forward.”Marc CiampaFri, 13 Feb 2015 15:27:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/02/20150212_oilhabswinner644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3701837018BLOG: Oilers at practice in Ottawahttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=37009The Oilers are on the ice for practice at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa ahead of Saturday afternoon's game against the Senators. Benoit Pouliot is on the ice once again, as is Ben Scrivens. Matt Hendricks is not skating. The team did not run lines.Marc CiampaFri, 13 Feb 2015 13:19:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644practiceroad6.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3700937009BLOG: Rimmer announces cancer diagnosis, has surgeryhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36956Bakersfield Condors goaltender Ty Rimmer, 22, has not played a game since January 16, while dealing with health issues. On Wednesday night, Rimmer broke the news on twitter that he was diagnosed with testicular cancer, and underwent surgery to remove the tumour. “Two weeks ago I was diagnosed with testicular cancer. The tumor was surgically removed and I am on my way to a full recovery!,” Rimmer said via his twitter account. “The more awareness we can raise about this, the better! So I would like to encourage all young men to get themselves checked out. This disease can manifest very quickly, and may advance rapidly. So please don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor if you notice anything.” Rimmer, an Edmonton native, is signed to an AHL deal with the Oilers. In the last two seasons, Rimmer has seen action with the Oklahoma City Barons (3 games, 2.65 GAA and .930 save percentage), the Quad City Mallards (39 games, 2.84 GAA and .906 save percentage) and the Bakersfield Condors (25 games, 3.20 GAA and .889 save percentage). “Thank you to my family, friends, doctors and the entire Edmonton Oilers organization for being so supportive during this time!,” he said on twitter. Oilers prospect Brandon Davidson was also diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2012. He has since made a full recovery and is currently playing with the Barons, after making his NHL debut on December 10, 2014 in Anaheim.Chris WescottThu, 12 Feb 2015 12:52:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/20140925tyrimmer.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3695636956BLOG: Oilers morning skate in Montrealhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36982The Oilers are on the ice for morning skate at the Bell Center in Montreal. Benoit Pouliot is on the ice. As is Ben Scrivens, who took the ice early to test out his sore hamstring. After taking some shots in the first drill, Scrivens skated off. Forward lines are: Pouliot/Purcell-RNH-Eberle Hamilton-Roy-Yakupov Hendricks-Gordon-Klinkhammer Gazdic-Lander-PakarinenMarc CiampaThu, 12 Feb 2015 10:56:00 ESThttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3698236982BLOG: Fraser, Bachman not in warm-upshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36913The Oilers are on the ice for warm-ups at Nassau Coliseum in Long Island. Viktor Fasth is the only goaltender on the ice for Edmonton. The designated backup for tonight, Richard Bachman, has likely not made it to the rink on time. Recent call-up Ryan Hamilton is skating on a line with Derek Roy and Nail Yakupov. Matt Fraser is not on the ice for the Oilers.Marc CiampaTue, 10 Feb 2015 18:35:00 ESThttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3691336913BLOG: Oilers recall Bachman & Hamilton; Hall/Pouliot to IRhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36903The Edmonton Oilers announced today they have recalled goaltender Richard Bachman (emergency recall) and winger Ryan Hamilton from the American Hockey League's Oklahoma City Barons. Bachman, 27, has posted a 14-4-3 record in 22 games this season with the Barons, including three shutouts, a 2.30 goals against average and a .921 save percentage. Bachman was also named to the 2015 AHL All Star Game as a member of the Western Conference. The 5’10”, 176-pound goaltender has appeared in three career games for the Oilers, registering a 3.02 goals against average and a .916 save percentage. Hamilton, 29, has registered 29 points (15G, 14A), six penalty minutes and a plus 11 rating in 32 games with the Barons this season. The 6’2”, 219-pound forward has appeared in 14 career NHL games, posting three assists and two penalty minutes and he has also played in two playoff games, notching one assist. The Oilers also announced they have placed forwards Taylor Hall and Benoit Pouliot on the injured reserve list.Edmonton Oilers Press ReleaseTue, 10 Feb 2015 12:00:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2013/10/bachmansave.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3690336903BLOG: Oilers on ice for optional morning skatehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36884The Oilers are on the ice for an optional morning skate in New Jersey. Jeff Petry is on the ice after taking a maintenance day on Sunday. Benoit Pouliot is also on the ice in full gear, skating with the team for the first time since his injury.Marc CiampaMon, 09 Feb 2015 11:23:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644practiceroad6.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3688436884BLOG: Fayne comments on return to Jerseyhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36883Oilers defenceman Mark Fayne makes his return to New Jersey tonight for the first time since signing with the Oilers in the offseason. He talked about his return: “It’s a little different coming back here, dressing in the away locker room. But, again, it’s good to be back and see some guys but it’s a business trip. You’ve got to have a mindset of no friends out there and get two points.” Read more in our feature story "Fayne Returns Home" in the Oilers mobile app.Marc CiampaMon, 09 Feb 2015 10:20:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/02/644396fayne.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3688336883Sunday's Video and Audio from New Jerseyhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36832Sun, 08 Feb 2015 13:51:00 ESThttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3683236832BLOG: Petry and Pouliot injury updateshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36833Following practice, Coach Nelson gave updates on the status of Jeff Petry and Benoit Pouliot. Neither player skated on Sunday. Nelson wasn't concerned with Petry, saying he expected him to play tomorrow. “It was just a maintenance day with Petey. We spoke about it last night. Guys that were maybe not feeling right should take a day to get better and that’s all that happened with Petey.” The coach added that Pouliot was doubtful for a return to the lineup on Monday. “It’s day-to-day. We’ll see how he is tomorrow morning. He did take the ice briefly yesterday morning just to check it out so we’ll have to wait and see tomorrow.”Marc CiampaSun, 08 Feb 2015 13:48:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644edm-nyi.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3683336833BLOG: Hall heads back to Edmonton for MRIhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36830The Oilers announced on Sunday that Taylor Hall has returned to Edmonton to undergo further assessment on his injured left ankle. Following practice, Coach Todd Nelson explained the reason for sending Hall back. “It wasn’t responded like we wanted it to. He’s going to get an MRI just to make sure that we know what we’re dealing with. Then we’ll go through the process after that,” Nelson stated.Marc CiampaSun, 08 Feb 2015 12:29:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/20150106_ph2-644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3683036830BLOG: Oilers practicing in New Jerseyhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36829The Oilers are practicing in New Jersey at the Devils' practice rink attached to the Prudential Center. Taylor Hall, Benoit Pouliot and Jeff Petry are not skating. Forward lines are the same as last game: Purcell-RNH-Eberle Fraser-Roy-Yakupov Gazdic-Lander-Pakarinen Hendricks-Gordon-KlinkhammerMarc CiampaSun, 08 Feb 2015 12:21:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644practicefayneroad2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3682936829BLOG: Oilers at morning skate in Torontohttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36790The Oilers are on the ice for morning skate in Toronto. The lines up front are the same as yesterday's practice: Purcell-RNH-Eberle Fraser-Roy-Yakupov Gazdic-Lander-Pakarinen Hendricks-Gordon-KlinkhammerMarc CiampaSat, 07 Feb 2015 11:29:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644practiceroadpetry1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3679036790Friday's video and audiohttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36779Marc CiampaFri, 06 Feb 2015 16:39:00 ESThttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3677936779BLOG: Nelson on the team's improvementhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36782Todd Nelson was asked after practice about the team's continued improvement on the ice. After winning just seven of their first 36 games, the club is 7-7-2 in their last 16. “It’s getting better. Every day we go out to practice we stress tempo, execution and compete," Nelson began. "Today’s practice was a good day for us. We had all those elements and the guys worked hard. All we can do is just keep working at it. “Every day we go out there’s been signs of improvement.”Marc CiampaFri, 06 Feb 2015 16:37:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/02/462687192_crop1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3678236782BLOG: Update on Hall and Pouliothttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36783Oilers interim head coach Todd Nelson was asked following practice on Friday about the status of Taylor Hall and Benoit Pouliot since neither player skated with the team. “It’s day-to-day with both guys," said Nelson. "Benoit is probably going to recover a bit quicker than Taylor. They’re both on the trip and I think the first step is get them out for practice and see how they feel.”Marc CiampaFri, 06 Feb 2015 16:37:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644pouliotpracticd1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3678336783BLOG: Marincin a 'strong possibility' for Saturdayhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36784Defenceman Martin Marincin was recalled on Thursday and joined the team today in Toronto. Oilers interim head coach wasn't tipping his hand in terms of what his lineup might look like on Saturday but he did say it was likely Marincin will play. “It’s a strong possibility," he said. "We brought him up here for a reason. We haven’t made a decision on the lineup yet. I wanted to see how he was in practice — I thought he was fine. It gives us options on this trip.”Marc CiampaFri, 06 Feb 2015 16:37:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644396-marincin-okc.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3678436784BLOG: Oilers practicing in Torontohttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36776The Oilers are on the ice for practice in Toronto at the Leafs practice facility. Forward line combinations are: Purcell-RNH-Eberle Fraser-Roy-Yakupov Gazdic-Lander-Pakarinen Hendricks-Gordon-KlinkhammerMarc CiampaFri, 06 Feb 2015 13:02:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644practiceroadrnh1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3677636776Oilers Recall Marincin, Nikitin to IRhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36734The Edmonton Oilers announced today they have recalled defenceman Martin Marincin from the American Hockey League's Oklahoma City Barons. Marincin, 22, has registered seven points (7A) and 20 penalty minutes in 27 games with the Barons this season. The 6’4”, 203-pound blueliner has appeared in 12 games this season with the Oilers, posting one assist and two penalty minutes. The Oilers also announced they have placed defenceman Niki Nikitin on the injured reserve list.Edmonton Oilers Press ReleaseThu, 05 Feb 2015 13:30:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644396-marincin2-okc.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3673436734BLOG: Morning skate updateshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36723Taylor Hall and Benoit Pouliot are absent from Oilers morning skate. Freshly recalled Iiro Pakarinen is on the left side with Derek Roy and Purcell. Line Combinations: Yakupov-RNH-Eberle Pakarinen-Roy-Purcell Fraser-Lander-Gazdic Hendricks-Gordon-Klinkhammer Defensive Pairings: Ference-Petry Klefbom-Schultz Aulie-FayneChris WescottWed, 04 Feb 2015 11:39:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644klinkhammer2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3672336723BLOG: LaLeggia earns player of the month honourshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36690Oilers prospect and University of Denver defenceman Joey LaLeggia has been named the NCHC's Co-Player of the Month for January. In 10 games last month, LaLeggia recorded 10 points (3-7-10), which included two game-winning goals. LaLeggia leads all NCHC defencemen in scoring (22 points), shots on goal (89) and game-winning goals (3), according to a Pioneers press release. LaLeggia was selected by the Oilers in the fifth round of the 2012 NHL draft. The 5-foot-10, 185 pound LaLeggia is a candidate for the Hobey Baker Award. You can vote for him at hobeybaker.com.Chris WescottTue, 03 Feb 2015 21:52:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/06/20140611_Laleggia.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3669036690BLOG: Hall doesn’t want to rush backhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36563Oilers winger Taylor Hall skated with the team Saturday morning in Calgary for the first time since he took a shot off the leg during Monday’s practice, forcing him to miss the last two games. Despite taking to the ice for morning skate, Hall will not return to action for Saturday night’s Battle of Alberta but hopes to return against the Sharks on Monday. On top of skating, he also discussed the injury with the media for the first time on Saturday morning, saying the practice puck struck him in an unlucky spot. “I took a shot right where there’s no protection right above the boot,” he said. “It’s just an unfortunate thing, it hit right on the bone, right on the fibula and bruised it pretty bad. It’s always tough to tell with foot injuries. When you get hit with a puck, sometimes it hurts really bad and goes away 30 seconds later. But this one hung around and I realized I wasn’t going to be able to practice and eventually wasn’t going to be able to play.” Whereas he admitted he may have rushed himself back into the Oilers lineup a bit following his knee injury earlier this season, Hall said he wants to give his leg ample time to heal completely before he returns. “There was a lot of pain on the day I hurt it, and there’s still pain today,” Hall said. “I just want to get it to a point where it’s not going to get worse. I can play through a little bit of pain, but you don’t want it to be so bad that it keeps getting worse and then you’re out of the lineup again.”Ryan FranksonSat, 31 Jan 2015 16:13:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/20150106_ph2-644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3656336563BLOG: Injury updates on Pitlick and Nikitinhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36522The last game Tyler Pitlick played was on New Years Eve in Calgary. Now a month later, the Oilers return to Calgary but Pitlick remains out due to a lacerated spleen. Oilers Interim Coach Todd Nelson gave an update on Pitlick after morning skate. “I just saw him for the first time a couple days ago,” Nelson said. “He says he’s feeling better. He’s starting to do more things, obviously he’s not going to be on the ice, but he’s able to do some things with our trainers to help his injury out. Obviously, he’s still out a while.” Nikita Nikitin injured his shoulder in the third period of the Oilers game against Buffalo on Thursday night. With Nikitin out, Keith Aulie will play in Calgary. Nelson provided an update on the defenceman, who is out indefinitely but does not need surgery at this time. “At this point, he does not,” Nelson said. “We’re looking at 4-6 weeks for him. There’s no surgery with him, it’s just more or less trying to get better.”Chris WescottSat, 31 Jan 2015 15:45:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141031_niktinpractice.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3652236522BLOG: Hall returns as Oilers skate in Calgaryhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36520Taylor Hall (leg) is on the ice for morning skate in Calgary. However, he took a line rush with Matt Hendricks and Rob Klinkhammer, which may indicate he’s not ready to return yet. Stay tuned for more from Interim Coach Todd Nelson. Keith Aulie will play his first game since New Years Eve against Calgary. The lines at morning skate are as follows: Pouliot-Nugent-Hopkins-Eberle Yakupov-Purcell-Roy Gazdic-Lander-Fraser Hall-Hendricks-Gordon-KlinkhammerChris WescottSat, 31 Jan 2015 13:52:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/12/20141220_hall644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3652036520Friday's video and audiohttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36511Marc CiampaFri, 30 Jan 2015 15:41:00 ESThttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3651136511BLOG: Aulie returns to lineuphttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36513Keith Aulie makes his return to the Oilers lineup after missing 11 games since his last outing on December 31 in Calgary. He will be paired with Mark Fayne. “We’ll just put him in the slot where Niki (Nikitin) was. He played with Fayne before so that’s what we’re doing,” said Oilers coach Todd Nelson, adding that Aulie can't change the way he's plays despite his last game being one where he received a game misconduct and subsequent suspension. “He has to play that style. That’s what got him here to the National Hockey League and that’s what’s going to keep him here,” Nelson continued. “He plays an aggressive style. He has to keep things simple out there and just play a good defensive game. In the last game he played, he was playing very well and he’s been working extremely hard in practice. I think his puck skills have definitely improved in the last month or so.” Aulie said he's excited to get back into the lineup. "I've been working hard every day to stay ready," he stated. "As a player you want to play but you can only control what you can control. Come to the rink every day with a hard-working attitude and just be ready for your opportunity."Marc CiampaFri, 30 Jan 2015 15:35:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/11/20141117_aulie3.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3651336513BLOG: Team showing plenty of improvementhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36512The Oilers return to Calgary for the first time since December 31. Oilers head coach Todd Nelson talked about the team's growth since then. “We’ve grown since that time as a team. Every day we’re trying to make ourselves better and I think we’re improving in certain aspects. We talked about going hard to the net, shooting the puck more, competing harder. We’re seeing improvements with that. We’re striving to have our team do it for 60 minutes consistently. That’s our goal.” The Oilers have picked up points in three of its last four games. “Everyone’s excited to play Saturday night in Calgary. It’s always a fun time. We’re ready to try to keep things going. We’re on a bit of a run here, collected a few points over the last four or five games. It’s a good test for our hockey team.” Matt Hendricks talked about how the team's better practice habits have helped contribute to their upswing. “I think our practice habits have improved dramatically in terms of the work ethic. The attitude at practice every day is much improved. I think we’re seeing some results on the ice,” Hendricks began. “We wanted to be a team that outworked (other teams) and it just hasn’t worked out. Nelly’s put us in a position for practice where if you don’t do it you’ll be left behind.”Marc CiampaFri, 30 Jan 2015 15:31:00 ESThttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3651236512BLOG: Oilers practicing in Leduchttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36508The Oilers are on the ice for practice in Leduc prior to departure for Calgary. Taylor Hall is again absent. As is Nikita Nikitin. Forward lines are the same as last game: Pouliot-RNH-Eberle Purcell-Yakupov-Roy Gazdic-Lander-Fraser Hendricks-Gordon-Klinkhammer Defence pairings: Klefbom-Petry Aulie-Fayne Ference-SchultzMarc CiampaFri, 30 Jan 2015 13:35:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2013/12/644leducpractice.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3650836508BLOG: Oilers hope proximity “enhances development”http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36494The Oilers were part of a major announcement involving the American Hockey League on Thursday in San Jose, CA. As part of a “monumental shift in geography” five teams well relocate to California, forming a Pacific Division. Anaheim will purchase the Norfolk Admirals AHL franchise and move them to San Diego. Calgary’s affiliate will move from Glens Falls, NY to Stockton. The Los Angeles Kings will relocate Manchester to Ontario, CA while the Sharks will bring Worcester home to San Jose. The Oilers will move their Oklahoma City franchise to Bakersfield. Having all five teams geographically close to one another makes for easier travel and development gains, according to Vice Chair of Oilers Entertainment Group Kevin Lowe. “We’re really excited,” Lowe said. “It’s been a few years coming. From a development standpoint, we had a good experience in Oklahoma City. Great city, great people. Not as many went to the game as we would have liked, but in terms of the location of Bakersfield it has the potential to be a great hockey market, a great American Hockey League market. It already has had great success in the ECHL. The geography of it and where it’s located, relative to the other franchises, is a big plus for us.” Development is the primary objective, and it’s something Lowe feels will benefit under this new arrangement. “It’s really going to enhance our development,” Lowe said. “The Canadian teams are a little further away. We won’t have the luxury of driving down the coast to see our American League team but we know that the players are really going to benefit from the proximity of the teams. Presently, we’re in Oklahoma City and it’s a wonderful city and we really enjoyed being there but our closest opponent was a six-hour bus ride away and the rest of the teams were pretty much a flight away so this is really going to enhance development for our players. The big thing in development in hockey, and I guess it’s the same in other sports, is to have practice time. When you’re flying around all the time across the country, you eliminate practice days. We anticipate possibly somewhere between 20-25 extra practice days, and in a season that’s roughly 180 days that’s a big percentage of time for the development of these young players.” The Oilers organization feels they’ve build a solid foundation for development in OKC. They say their emphasis on that part of hockey operations remains firm in Bakersfield. “I think the same recipe with a little extra spice,” Lowe said. “There’s no question we firmly believe drafting and developing will be our lifeblood and we really feel things have gone well in Oklahoma City in terms of the development part of it. We’re working on the drafting part. Simply the geography, at this point, we anticipate the players will have perhaps as many as 25 additional practice days that they didn’t have in Oklahoma City. That in itself is a huge bonus for the hockey club.” Lowe told me there haven’t been additional hirings or moves involving personnel in Bakersfield or for development as of now. “We’re just sorting all that out,” Lowe said. “It’s been in discussion for a long time in terms of us formally making a statement that we wouldn’t be going back to Oklahoma City. That just happened recently so now we’ve got to sort of get everything aligned. We have to find a place for our east coast team. We have ECHL coaches, American Hockey League coaches and staff so we have to figure all that out in the next little while.”Chris WescottThu, 29 Jan 2015 18:29:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644lowe-ahl.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3649436494BLOG: New division brings rivalrieshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36493What can add to the success of minor league franchises is the availability of a nearby rival. With the American Hockey League’s new Pacific Division, five teams will enter California, giving the league some competitive battles looming in the future. Three California NHL clubs, Anaheim, Los Angeles and San Jose, now have their affiliates in close enough proximity to help grow fan excitement. For the Oilers and Calgary Flames, it is also an opportunity to ignite a new Battle of Alberta— AHL edition. “The fact that Calgary’s farm team (is close by), who we haven’t played a lot in recent years, our team will be playing them now,” Vice Chair of Oilers Entertainment Group Kevin Lowe said. “That’s going to benefit (the players) and you’re going to have a high-level rivalry with the three California teams who have been successful in the NHL. Usually, that means that they’ve had good success in terms of their player deployment and player development. We have our hands full but we’ll be ready for the challenge. Ultimately, it will benefit in terms of the improvement in our players.” Lowe also spoke to the geographic proximity of the teams benefiting development, due to less practice days taken up by long travel.Chris WescottThu, 29 Jan 2015 18:28:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/oilersflames.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3649336493BLOG: Bakersfield hopes to continue entertaining promoshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36492The Bakersfield ECHL franchise has been featured across the internet and on national and international news outlets due to their unique promotions and in-game entertainment. From Gettysburg Address, Seinfeld or Hobbit themed jerseys to cemetery headstone giveaways, the Condors in the ECHL have been anything but mundane. Throughout their relationship with the Oilers, having been purchased by the NHL club a year ago, Bakersfield has maintained autonomy when it comes to their unique entertainment. “The Oilers have given us the autonomy to do things and the Oilers purchased us because of some of the things we do,” Bakersfield’s President Matthew Riley said. Now that Bakersfield will house the Oilers AHL affiliate, as part of the league’s new Pacific Division, the antics don’t have to stop. “We want to be able to continue to do what we’ve done in the past and now just do it at a higher level, just one step away,” Riley said. “I’ll just say now we’re going to have more fun.” The Oilers hope it doesn’t change much either. “We hope it doesn’t change,” Vice Chair of Oilers Entertainment Group Kevin Lowe said. “Matt Riley, who has been with the Condors and runs the business operations, has been there for 17 years. He’s a bright guy and really understands and respects the game of hockey. We’re going to encourage Matt to keep doing what he’s doing. Our fans who happen to be in California, Oilers fans, who want to see the American Hockey League team, go to Bakersfield. You never know what you’re going to see.” In addition to providing family fun, Bakersfield will now see an increased emphasis on developing young future NHL players. “We’re certainly focused on family entertainment and being involved in the community and those will remain our focuses and now bringing this accelerate level of play to the ice where nine out of 10 who play in the NHL played in the AHL,” Riley said. “Now the fans will get to connect and see those guys on TV and say, ‘Hey, I knew that player.’” Riley couldn’t help but smile. “It’s pretty thrilling.”Chris WescottThu, 29 Jan 2015 18:25:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/06/20140618_RileyBillLB.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3649236492BLOG: AHL announces new Pacific Divisionhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36429The AHL will be making a major announcement on Thursday at 1:30 p.m. MST. You can watch it live on edmontonoilers.com and also check the website and Oilers TV all afternoon for regular coverage with our head writer Chris Wescott on location.Marc CiampaThu, 29 Jan 2015 03:28:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/flames/images/upload/2015/01/1495383_390501097798274_1150149874796594344_o644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3642936429BLOG: Draisaitl returns to Rexall Placehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36433Oilers prospect Leon Draisaitl makes his return to Rexall Place tonight when his new team, the Kelowna Rockets, takes on the Edmonton Oil Kings. Prior to the game, Draisiatl met with the local media to talk about his time with the Rockets. “It is an adjustment, of course," Draisaitl said about going back to Major Junior. "It’s a total different game in my opinion. You have more time, more room and obviously don’t really feel the pace as it is in the NHL. It’s definitely a slight adjustment.” After six points in his first five games with the Rockets, Draisaitl has put up six more in his last three and has a +4 rating in those three games. Overall, Draisaitl has four goals and 12 points in eight games with an even plus/minus. “It’s never easy to just join a brand new team and try to fit in. But all the guys, the staff, the coaches, they made it really easy on me and I’m thankful for that,” he said. “So far it’s been a lot of fun.” The Rockets sit in first place in the entire league with 37 wins and 77 points in 48 games. “We have three, almost four, lines that can all be scoring and be reliable out there. That’s really important for a long playoff run,” Draisaitl stated, noting that he's been happy to be honing his skills in the WHL at the moment. “It’s definitely not a bad move. For me personally, it was (for) the best. I can work on my skill, develop as a player and work on all the little things,” he continued. “I’m definitely happy that it worked out that way.” Draisaitl still keeps in touch with Oilers management, players and coaches. “I’ve talked to the management, I’ve talked to the coaches and all that stuff. We have a plan on what I’ll be working on, what my expectations are and what I’m trying to follow,” he said, adding what those items of his game are that he is expected to be working on. “The complete game, face-offs, the little things. My skating, my total skill. It’s just something I want to improve and get better at.”Marc CiampaWed, 28 Jan 2015 19:28:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644drai2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3643336433Video and audio from Wednesdayhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36426Marc CiampaWed, 28 Jan 2015 16:37:00 ESThttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3642636426BLOG: Hall day-to-day with bone bruisehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36427Taylor Hall was absent from Oilers practice on Wednesday after missing Tuesday’s morning skate and game against the Minnesota Wild as well. The left-winger took a shot off the lower leg right above the skate during Monday’s practice. The injury will continue to be evaluated each day. “He’s still day-to-day,” Coach Todd Nelson said. “It’s a bone bruise, and we’ll see how it reacts for him tomorrow.” Hall is in a three-way tie for the Oilers scoring lead with linemates Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, accumulating 11 goals and 18 assists for 29 points in 41 games. Hall missed six games earlier this season with a sprained MCL.Ryan FranksonWed, 28 Jan 2015 16:35:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/20150106_ph2-644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3642736427BLOG: Oilers getting physicalhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36428Thanks to a late third period goal from Charlie Coyle, the Oilers were unfortunately on the wrong side of a 2-1 decision against the Minnesota Wild last night at Rexall Place. But Edmonton certainly forced their opponents to earn the victory the hard way, delivering a number of punishing body-checks over the course of the game. Nail Yakupov crushed Nate Prosser behind the Wild net on a strong, clean forecheck, knocking the defenceman out of the game. Jeff Petry also delivered the hit of the night in the middle frame, lining up and clobbering Mikael Granlund with his rear end, sending the Minnesota forward hard into the boards near their bench. The Oilers blueliner said it’s all about taking advantage of those physical opportunities when they’re there, but not shifting his mentality away from being a responsible defender. “I want to continue to incorporate (physical play), but I also don’t want to go around looking for it and end up getting out of position,” Petry said. “That hit last night, he tried to beat me wide and I was able to get good position on him and able to play the body. My goal is just to play a physical game when the opportunity is there.” As game went on and the intensity picked up, the Oilers also found themselves in a few post-whistle scrums with the Wild. Petry said interim head coach Todd Nelson has stressed the importance of Oilers players sticking up for each other in those situations and playing with a pack mentality. “It’s something he really believes in and he’s passed that message along to us,” Petry said. “If there’s one in there, we all have to get in there.”Ryan FranksonWed, 28 Jan 2015 16:34:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644edm-nyi.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3642836428BLOG: Oilers on the ice Wednesday at Rexall Placehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36425The Oilers are back on the ice for practice today following last night’s 2-1 defeat against the Minnesota Wild. After missing last night’s game, Taylor Hall is absent today as well. The left-winger took a shot off the lower leg during Monday’s practice and Coach Todd Nelson said on Tuesday the injury didn’t react how the team wanted it to overnight, hence why he was kept out of the lineup vs. the Wild. Forward lines: Pouliot-RNH-Eberle Yakupov-Roy-Purcell Gazdic-Lander-Fraser Hendricks-Gordon-Klinkhammer Defence pairings: Klefbom-Petry Nikitin-Fayne Ference-Schultz Aulie Goalies: Fasth ScrivensRyan FranksonWed, 28 Jan 2015 13:36:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644practice1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3642536425BLOG: Monday updateshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36300With Ryan Nugent-Hopkins still absent (All Star Break), the line combinations are as follows: Hall-Gordon-Eberle Pouliot-Roy-Yakupov Fraser-Lander-Purcell Gazdic-Hendricks-Klinkhammer Taylor Hall left the ice early with an apparent injury but he has since returned.Chris WescottMon, 26 Jan 2015 18:35:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644oilpractice2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3630036300BLOG: Take a break or keep rolling?http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36364On January 20, the Oilers hard fought efforts brought them a shootout win over the Capitals in Washington, D.C. It was a win the players were genuinely proud of, with they way they stuck together, came back and pulled it out in the end. So when faced with an All Star break immediately following a rush of good vibes, would the players welcome the break or wish they could keep going? “It always creeps in your mind a bit, but it was a good break for everybody,” Interim Coach Todd Nelson said. “The guys seemed recharged and energized and, like I said before, I liked the way our practice went. Sometimes your first practice back after time off gets really sloppy but today was not that case. It was a pretty good day.” The Oilers returned to Edmonton on Monday for their first practice since the morning of their win in D.C. Some of the players had wished they could have played some more before the time away, but all of them are feeling refreshed. “I was talking to my dad on the way home (after the Capitals game) and I wasn’t really ready for a break,” Jordan Eberle said. “It was more that we were excited. Hockey is really fun again. When you’re winning games, that’s how it is. But that being said, you get to take a breath, you get a little bit of a mental break and you can come back here with some jump. Hopefully, we can pick up where we left off.” Benoit Pouliot was in the group of players who welcomed the time away, despite riding high after the win. “I think it was nice for everyone,” Pouliot said of the break. “I don’t think it will break up anything. The whole league is in the same situation as us. I think everyone enjoyed their four or five days off and now we’re back on the ice today. I don’t think it’s going to mess anything up. We’ll just be back tomorrow against Minny and be ready.”Chris WescottMon, 26 Jan 2015 18:34:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644oilpractice.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3636436364BLOG: Oilers have good practice in return to Rexallhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36365In their first practice back at Rexall Place since the All Star break, the Oilers felt they put forth a good effort. The message to the players when they first hit the ice was to focus on continuing to make gains through good practice habits. “Once again, focus on the practice,” Interim Coach Todd Nelson said. “We wanted to have good execution, have a high tempo and that’s what we saw today. I was happy with it.” “I think the message today was to get back to what we were doing,” Benoit Pouliot said. “We played well in Washington and the game before that too so we’ve just got to get back to it and get our legs going. It’s been a good four or five days since we’ve been on the ice. Practice was good, quick and intense. We’ll be ready for tomorrow.” The lone negative from practice today was when Taylor Hall left the ice with an apparent leg injury after getting hit with a puck. He returned to test it out but then left again. Nelson says he fully expects Hall to be fine and play tomorrow against Minnesota.Chris WescottMon, 26 Jan 2015 18:34:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644oilpractice3.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3636536365BLOG: Building momentumhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36366Jordan Eberle feels there are differences in the way this team is playing now versus the beginning of the season or previous years. Under Interim Coach Todd Nelson, the Oilers are 5-4-2 in the last 11 games and have played some competitive hockey. “I think more than anything, we’re more confident about our game,” Eberle said. “We’re playing better as a five-man unit. I think systematically, from a viewer standpoint too, I know a lot of people came up to me during the break and said, ‘you guys look like a team. You’re playing as a unit together.’” Eberle says the Oilers have an opportunity to finish out the season strong and potentially generate positive momentum heading into next season. “We’re starting to find an identity here,” Eberle said. “I think we’re starting to play a little bit better and with a couple of results the last little bit, if we can finish the season strong then I really like where we are heading into next season. It’s really an opportunity for us to keep playing well and feel confident about what we’ve got going next year.”Chris WescottMon, 26 Jan 2015 18:34:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/20150126_prac1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3636636366BLOG: RNH speaks after the gamehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36338Oilers centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins spoke with us following the event to talk about his experience at his first-ever all-star game. “It was great. They put on such a great event here in Columbus. The support that they had through the whole thing was amazing. Definitely something I won’t forget for a long time,” he began. Nugent-Hopkins added that as a fan of hockey, he had a good time watching some of the League's best display their skills. “It was a lot of fun. It was fun to watch some of these guys out there. Some guys were going a little bit harder than others and it was definitely good to see.” The 21-year-old had a hand in two of Team Foligno's first three goals. He had an assist on the first goal of the game, scored by Radim Vrbata, and set up Kevin Shattenkirk a couple shifts later for an easy tap-in. “It was a quick start for us. The first time I touched the puck, Vrbata was streaking for a breakaway and I just had to give it to him. That was a nice one. Then Shatty (Shattenkirk) was just wide open in front of the net.” Out of the entire weekend, not surprisingly, it was the game itself that Nugent-Hopkins enjoyed the most. “I think tonight was definitely the highlight of the weekend for me, just actually getting into the game situation. I know it’s not a serious game or anything but guys were out there having fun and making plays and stuff. Tonight was definitely the highlight.”Marc CiampaSun, 25 Jan 2015 21:12:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644rnhgame.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3633836338BLOG: Team Toews beats Team Foligno 17-12http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36331Team Toews defeated Team Foligno by a score of 17-12 at the NHL All-Star Game in Columbus on Sunday. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins finished with 13:07 of icetime for Team Foligno. He had two assists -- both in the first period -- plus two shots on goal and was -2 on the day. Stay tuned for post-game reaction.Marc CiampaSun, 25 Jan 2015 19:52:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/bruins/images/upload/2015/01/600x400_012515_TavaresBergeron.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3633136331BLOG: Update after two periodshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36325After two periods, Team Toews leads Team Foligno 11-8. Team Foligno holds a 35-32 edge in shots. Team Toews scored seven goals on 16 shots in the middle frame. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had two assists in the first period. Through two periods, he is even in plus/minus, 50% in the faceoff dot and 9:42 of icetime. RNH leads all skaters with an average shift length of 1:37 (tied with Radim Vrbata).Marc CiampaSun, 25 Jan 2015 18:59:00 ESThttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3632536325BLOG: Nuge's second assisthttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36324Marc CiampaSun, 25 Jan 2015 17:56:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644396-nugey.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3632436324BLOG: Nugent-Hopkins assists on opening goalhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36318Ryan Nugent-Hopkins made a great pass to send Radim Vrbata in alone on a breakaway, giving Team Foligno an early 1-0 lead in the NHL All-Star Game.Marc CiampaSun, 25 Jan 2015 17:36:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644nugeassist.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3631836318BLOG: Keep tabs on Nugent-Hopkins during the gamehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36311Marc CiampaSun, 25 Jan 2015 17:04:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644396-allstar.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3631136311BLOG: Nugent-Hopkins skating with Vrbata, Girgensonshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36310In warm-up prior to the NHL All-Star Game in Columbus, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins skated on a line with Vancouver's Radim Vrbata and Buffalo's Zemgus Girgensons.Marc CiampaSun, 25 Jan 2015 16:52:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/flyers/images/upload/2015/01/AllStar_Locker_DL.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3631036310BLOG: RNH talks about his Skills experiencehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36305While he wasn't an extremely active participant, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins remarked that he had a good time at his first-ever NHL All-Star Skills Competition. “It was good. It was a lot of fun. I didn’t have too much going on out there so it was a lot of watching guys show off all their talents,” he said after the event. When asked what his own personal highlight was, he talked about Shea Weber's 108 mile-per-hour slap shot which came after Weber missed the net at 101. “It started off with the 101 that missed the net and kind of took people off guard there a little bit then came back with 108 so it was definitely a hard shot.” Nugent-Hopkins added that his former World Junior Hockey Championship teammate Jonathan Drouin got the fastest time and he was happy for him. “It was good seeing Drouin with the fastest skater time. He was flying there, too. It was fun to be a part of and fun to watch.” Nugent-Hopkins did take part in the Skills Challenge Relay where he had to saucer the puck into four different nets. He nailed the first two nets before hitting the post on the third a few times. “It was pretty tough. I think it was more of a mental game. On that third net for me, I started to miss a few then it got in my head a little bit. after that, though, it was a lot of fun. It’s something I’d like to try with nobody watching and no pressure.”Marc CiampaSat, 24 Jan 2015 22:18:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644skillls.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3630536305BLOG: RNH's group finishes relay in 2:19.793http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36270Marc CiampaSat, 24 Jan 2015 20:41:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644396-rnh-foligno.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3627036270BLOG: RNH helps give Team Foligno Accuracy winhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36269Marc CiampaSat, 24 Jan 2015 20:28:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/blackhawks/images/upload/2015/01/150124-asg-kane-skills.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3626936269BLOG: RNH on the World Cup Under-24 teamhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36201The NHL announced on Saturday that there will be a World Cup in 2016. One of the teams that will be in the tournament is an Under-24 team of North American players competing as a unit. If the event was held in the fall of 2016, Nugent-Hopkins would be eligible to play on this team. “I think it gives a good opportunity to a lot of the guys. There’s a lot of great players out there. If you give as many players a chance to play in that tournament as possible, it’s a good thing,” Nugent-Hopkins said, adding that he would prefer to play for Canada but would be happy to simply attend the tournament in any form that may take. “It’s definitely fun representing Canada, putting the sweater on your back. It’ll be a lot of fun playing in that tournament no matter who you’re playing for.” As for how a 23-and-under team would do, he was optimistic. “I think they’d be the underdog for sure but there’s a lot of great players who are under 23 in the league. I think they’d have a good shot.”Marc CiampaSat, 24 Jan 2015 14:07:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2012/12/5_NugentHopkins2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3620136201BLOG: RNH participating in three Skills eventshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36255Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will be participating in three different events at the NHL Skills Competition tonight. He will be passing the puck in the Accuracy Shooting competition and also will be participating for Team Foligno in the NHL Skills Challenge Relay, trying to pass the puck into the mini-nets (arguably the most difficult task in the relay). Finally, he will take part in the shootout at the end of the Skills Competition.Marc CiampaSat, 24 Jan 2015 12:18:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644rnhasg2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3625536255BLOG: Nugent-Hopkins goes to Team Folignohttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36231Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was chosen as the second last pick at the NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft, going to Team Foligno. He was selected there by a fan vote over Filip Forsberg. In an interesting twist, the last two players picked both got a free car, instead of only the last player as initially announced. “I thought I had a good chance of going last. I said the one spot I didn’t want to go was second last because you wait the whole time and still don’t get a car but it worked out for me. It was a nice little surprise,” Nugent-Hopkins said after the event. Nick Foligno, the captain of Team Foligno, was glad to have Nugent-Hopkins on his team. “Great player. I was excited to get him. I’m glad the fans voted in my favour for it,” he said. “He’s an awesome player, really talented kid and young guy. Happy to see him get the car as well. I think he’s really going to enjoy his time here for sure.” Foligno added he feels that Nugent-Hopkins has a lot more all-star games in his future. As for the car, RNH said he hasn't yet decided who will get it. “I’m still not sure. I’ll have to talk to them all, have a little group meeting and then find out,” he said. He also noted that he was glad to be wearing the black all-star jersey. “I’m happy, personally, I like the black one a little bit more than the white one so it’s nice that I get to be repping that for the next few days. I think they went with something a little unique.”Marc CiampaFri, 23 Jan 2015 21:30:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644-foligno.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3623136231BLOG: Nugent-Hopkins talks all-star memorieshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36199Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was asked at All-Star Media Day in Columbus Friday afternoon about some of his own personal favourite memories when it comes to the annual event. “I remember Kane wearing the glasses and the cape, coming down and shooting (in the Skills Competition). Same with Ovechkin. Nothing too specific other than those two things,” he said. “It’s definitely an honour to be here. It’s exciting for sure. Meeting some players I’ve watched for years is pretty cool for me. I’m just a young guy so seeing the experience some of these guys have is really cool for me.”Marc CiampaFri, 23 Jan 2015 15:30:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/nhl/images/upload/2009/01/Ovechkin_Breakaway_Skills67.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3619936199BLOG: RNH doesn't expect to go early tonighthttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36197Oilers centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins doesn't expect to go early in the Fantasy Draft tonight as All-Star festivities kick off. The 21-year-old pivot said that didn't matter, however. “Just being here is for sure a big honour. The fantasy draft is just a fun part of the event. No matter where you get picked, I don’t think anybody’s going to be mad about it,” he said. “I think I’ll go pretty low tonight. I’ll be one of the last guys picked, I think. And if I am, I wouldn’t mind going last and getting the car. We’ll see. It’s all going to be a lot of fun and we’ll see how that goes.” The last player chosen in the Fantasy Draft wins a car. Nugent-Hopkins said he hasn't really thought about who might get the vehicle if he wins it. “It’ll probably go back home to one of my family members. We’ll see. They’ll have to fight for it.”Marc CiampaFri, 23 Jan 2015 15:26:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644rnhasg.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3619736197BLOG: Nuge looking to meet some fellow all-starshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36198Having just got in last night, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins hasn't had a lot of time to mingle with his fellow all-stars but he's definitely looking forward to. When asked who he was looking most forward to meeting, he was quick to answer. “Jonathan Toews," he said. "I’ve watched him for a long time now. The only other time I got to meet him is when I was in Bantam, we played in the Western Championships and it was in Winnipeg. He actually dropped the puck to start the final game. “I’ve been playing against him for a few years. He’s definitely a guy that I’ve looked up to in the past.”Marc CiampaFri, 23 Jan 2015 15:18:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644rnhasg2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3619836198BLOG: Lagesson commits to UMasshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36138The Oilers selected William Lagesson with the 91st pick in the 2014 draft. Now the defenceman has selected his next career stop. Lagesson has committed to play college hockey at the University of Massachusetts. Lagesson, playing in his first USHL season, has 12 points (1-11-12) in 25 games for the Dubuque Fighting Saints. He leads all their defencemen in scoring. Lagesson played for Sweden at the 2015 World Junior Championship.Chris WescottTue, 20 Jan 2015 18:13:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644lagesson2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3613836138BLOG: Bob Green comments on promotionhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36134Bob Green talked about being named as the team's Director of Player Personnel on Tuesday morning. “It means a lot. It’s exciting. It’s a huge challenge. That’s what makes it so rewarding. I’m just excited to get going and move forward,” said Green. As part of his duties, he'll be overseeing not only everything on the amateur side of things with scouting, but also pro scouting. Green talked about having a lot on his plate. “It’s a lot. I’ll spend lot of time with the amateur draft. A lot more than I’ve had in the past. And with pro scouting as well. It’s a bigger umbrella for me. It covers a big area in the organization,” Green continued. “It’s great to have a strong voice and that’s what makes it so exciting.” The former Oil Kings GM was also asked about working with Stu MacGregor, head amateur scout, and Morey Gare, head pro scout. “It should be good. I’ll concentrate more on the amateur draft for sure. I’ve known Stu for a long time and we’ve worked well together. With Morey, things are going to keep moving on the same as they have in the past, concentrating a lot on preparing for the trade deadline, unrestricted free agency and those things. Continue to evaluate other teams’ players and prospects as well. Nothing’s really going to change a whole lot there.” He did add that there will be -- and already are -- changes implemented in terms of how the team scouts amateur players in the hopes of getting more results in the later rounds. “We’ve made some subtle changes in how we’re going about things with the amateur guys, keeping guys in their own territory. It’s something we started a little bit this year, having the guys concentrate more on their areas. We’re going to keep them in their areas for the rest of the year, hoping that’ll give us a lot more information on some of the later picks and kids that are slower to develop, late bloomers and that type of thing.”Marc CiampaTue, 20 Jan 2015 15:25:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2013/08/20130814_green644v2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3613436134BLOG: Oilers Monday practice updateshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36091The Oilers are on the ice for practice just outside of Washington, D.C. Line Combinations: Hall-RNH-Eberle Pouliot-Roy-Yakupov Fraser-Lander-Purcell Hendricks-Gordon-Klinkhammer-GazdicChris WescottMon, 19 Jan 2015 17:15:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/20150119_practice.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3609136091BLOG: Hall doing the little thingshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36102Taylor Hall is battling through a bit of a goal-scoring slump right now, only finding the back of the net once in his last 12 games after he scored twice and had three points against the Dallas Stars on Dec. 21. He does have seven assists during this past dozen, however, and continues to lead the team with 29 points. Coach Todd Nelson said Monday post-practice he has been impressed with Hall’s commitment to the team game and believe the goals will begin to pile up again as long as he stays committed and determined. “I like Taylor’s game right now,” Nelson said. “He’s doing a lot of little things that maybe go unnoticed. He’s conforming to the team philosophy, playing the way that we want him to play and working hard at it. I’m not concerned with goals. I think those will come if he sticks with what we want to do.” Hall’s commitment to the team philosophy and system is a reflection of his growth as a player, Nelson said. The bench boss got to know the 23-year-old quite well during the 2012-13 work stoppage when Hall scored 34 points in 26 games as a member of Nelson’s OKC Barons in the AHL. “That’s maybe growth with him,” Nelson said. “It shows signs of maturity. From when I coached him in Oklahoma City, I see a lot of maturing in his game.” Hall was +1 with two shots on goal during Edmonton’s 3-2 win over Washington on Oct. 22 at Rexall Place and has one goal in three career games against the Caps.Ryan FranksonMon, 19 Jan 2015 17:14:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/20150106_ph2-644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3610236102BLOG: Gordon & Hendricks back in D.C.http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36099The last stop on the current Oilers road trip is a homecoming for a couple of veterans and linemates, as Matt Hendricks and Boyd Gordon each played for the Washington Capitals earlier in their careers. Hendricks suited up for the Caps for three seasons between 2010 and 2013, while Gordon played in Washington a little earlier, starting his NHL career there in 2003 and spending seven years with the organization. Hendricks and Gordon both played on the 2010-11 Caps squad that finished first in the Eastern Conference during the regular season but bowed out to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second round of the playoffs. Following a strong WHL career with the Red Deer Rebels, Gordon was selected in the first round (17th overall) by the Caps and spent his first three seasons up and down between the NHL and AHL before becoming a full-time big leaguer in 2006-07. He set a career high in points that year with 29 and appeared in 36 post-season games during his tenure with Washington. “It’s good to be back,” Gordon said following Monday’s Oilers practice at the Caps facility in Arlington, Virginia. Since it’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the United States, many hockey fans took advantage of the holiday to watch the Caps and Oilers practice, so Gordon was frequently approached by locals who welcomed him back to the city. “I played here quite a while and met a lot of great people and teammates. Any time I come back it’s always pretty special for me. I really enjoyed my time here, really nice city. There’s a lot of great history, which is something I enjoyed while I was here.” Hendricks also had his most productive offensive season as a member of the Caps, as he put up 25 points in 2010-11. He too built a nice post-season resumé, appearing in 28 playoffs games. And while Hendricks didn’t play quite as along in Washington as Gordon, he echoed his teammates sentiments about their former city. “It was a great time playing here, great fan base and great organization,” Hendricks said. “I played on some real good teams, teams that challenged in the playoffs, and made a lot of great friends. I had my kids here, they were born in Virginia over at the hospital, so it brings back a lot of great memories. It’s a great place to live.” Both Oilers also agreed they’d like to close out the trip with a W against their old squad.Ryan FranksonMon, 19 Jan 2015 16:26:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644gordon-edm-col.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3609936099BLOG: Oilers prepare for 'deep draft'http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36078The 2015 NHL Draft has been speculated by many to be the deepest since the 2003 Draft mined the likes of Shea Weber, Jeff Carter, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Anze Kopitar among many others. Oilers GM Craig MacTavish talked about the importance of the draft for the club. “It’s an extremely important draft. The primary focal point of our organization right now is in preparation for this upcoming draft. We now have Pittsburgh’s first-round pick. We have two first round picks. We’re going to get an early pick in the second round so that’s going to be a pick that we’ve got to utilize very well. And then we’ve got two third-round draft choices. It’s essential that we do very well at this year’s draft.” In addition to being deep, at the high-end the talent is extremely highly touted with Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel. “They’re both generational players. I’ve seen Jack play at BU. I’ve seen Connor McDavid play before, going into this tournament. Both players really accounted for themselves well against older, tougher competition. And that’s really a good measure.” MacTavish was recently at the World Junior Hockey Championships when both 17-year-olds McDavid and Eichel were among their respective teams' best players in a tournament normally dominated by 19 year olds. “It’ll probably be the last time we have an opportunity to see both those players competing on the same ice surface. Both players, any team would be ecstatic to get. There were many, many good players that were in that tournament as well. Lawson Crouse is another guy for Canada that did very well. Noah Hanifin’s gotten a lot of notoriety at Boston College. Pavel Zacha, Czech-born player who plays for Sarnia, Mitch Marner in London. There are a lot of high-end players in the draft. “From what I’ve been told by Stu MacGregor and Bob Green it’s a very deep draft.”Marc CiampaSun, 18 Jan 2015 19:20:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/nhl/images/upload/2014/12/123114EichelMcDavid.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3607836078BLOG: MacTavish speaks on Bob Greenhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36076Today, Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish confirmed the rumours swirling around that Bob Green has been promoted to the position of Director of Player Personnel for the club. “These are things that normally are done internally but there’s been quite a bit of information that Bob Green has taken over as Director of Player Personnel for the Edmonton Oilers. He’s going to oversee all aspects of our scouting department,” MacTavish began. “This is really a confirmation of some of the rumours that have been out there. When I go to the rink and run into scouts of other teams who are asking me about this, I felt it was time to reveal some of this information. Other than that, it’s really our policy and my policy to keep these changes as internal as we can. But this is an effort to really fortify the horse power of our amateur and pro scouting staff.” Green has an impressive resume which includes building an Edmonton Oil Kings squad that made the WHL Finals three years in a row with two Memorial Cup appearances and one Memorial Cup victory. “He’s been working in our organization now for a few years with the Oil Kings highly successfully, getting a lot of attention for building a Memorial Cup team. Then he took a full-time job with the Edmonton Oilers last year and has been on the job for just over a year now. We’ve been really impressed by the detail of his work. He knows how to build a team and is on side with our preference to get bigger, stronger and faster athletes.” Heading into a very important draft for the Oilers with two first rounders, a high second-round pick and two third rounders in the deepest draft since 2003, MacTavish felt it was important to have someone in this role who works well within the group. “He’s shown he can work with this group and do an excellent job. Those qualities were obvious to me and the rest of the management in the organization. Bob’s going to do a really good job for us in this capacity.”Marc CiampaSun, 18 Jan 2015 17:32:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2013/08/20130814_green644v2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3607636076BLOG: MacT on the success in Oklahoma Cityhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36079The Oklahoma City Barons have skyrocketed up the standings to first place in the entire AHL. They have 58 points in 40 games, with a record of 27-9-2-2. “I think there’s got to be a lot of credit given to Gerry Fleming and Tony (Borgford) and Kelly Buchberger too as well,” said Oilers GM Craig MacTavish. “It speaks to the tradition and culture here which was really been started through Bill Scott, who now works for us, and Todd Nelson. It’s a very close-knit group of players. We’ve got a really good mix of veterans who help set the bar for the youth. And we’ve got a good mix of youth. Bogdan Yakimov last night was exceptional. JJ Khaira, Mitch Moroz is down here. That’s to really complement a really good, young D-core.” MacTavish added that he feels the future is in teams having a mobile blueline and the Oilers are very well prepared for that with the young, mobile defence in Oklahoma City. “Defencemen that can move the puck, move their feet, get the puck up ice. Dillon Simpson, Jordan Oesterle, David Musil, Gernat, Brandon Davidson who we’ve seen and Marty Marincin who everybody knows. There’s a lot of guys on the back-end who have potentially bright futures in the NHL.” Having better calibre of players at the NHL level has helped improve player development. “We’ve been talking about adding more competitive people and more size to our lineup. I’m seeing the evolution of a lot of that. It takes time to draft these players, bring them in and develop them, develop them the right way. I feel like our organization up top is strong enough, deep enough and growing up top so we have the time to put these guys and leave them down here at the American League level where development best occurs. We’re seeing that firsthand.”Marc CiampaSun, 18 Jan 2015 17:12:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/12/20141206_baronsroad11.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3607936079BLOG: Oilers hold scout meetings in OKChttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36077For the first time, the Oilers held their annual mid-season amateur scout meetings in Oklahoma City. Oilers GM Craig MacTavish talked about the decision to hold the meetings here. “I think it works out really well with our minor league team down here,” he said. “Obviously, that’s the main impetus behind getting everyone down here. And the amateur scouts very seldom get to see American Hockey League play. It’s another brand of hockey and it’s good information for them and a good meeting place for us all.” It worked out perfectly that the Barons had three games in three days to help frame the meetings.Marc CiampaSun, 18 Jan 2015 17:11:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/nhl/images/upload/2015/01/mcdavid_010915_big2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3607736077BLOG: Friday practice updateshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=35974Chris WescottFri, 16 Jan 2015 17:43:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/20150116_prac.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3597435974BLOG: Oilers work in tight quartershttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36013The Oilers worked on a drill Friday that’s familiar to those who watched Todd Nelson coach in the American Hockey League. The team pushed the two nets to either side of the centre circle and worked on 3-on-3 battles in tight quarters. The thought process behind the drill is to get the puck off your stick quickly and decisively and score as much as you can in a short period of time. “It’s like a game, you don’t have much time,” Benoit Pouliot said. “At the same time, it’s a fun drill for the guys to have fun and try to score the most goals possible. I’ve done that drill a couple of times on other teams too and it’s just good for your quick passing and quick release. You have 2-3 seconds with the puck in the offensive zone too so you have to make a quick decision.” Practicing quick decisions with passing and shooting could help the Oilers bolster their offence, which hasn’t produced at a satisfying level to the players. “It’s just in tight and bearing down on goals,” Luke Gazdic said about the drill. “We need to get some more goals for a team that’s known for its offence. We haven’t been scoring a lot lately. The production has mainly been from one player (Benoit Pouliot) the last couple of games. It’s nice because it also lightens the mood a little bit. It’s fun. It’s a tough drill but it has a purpose and it’s nice to get stuff like that in.” “It’s fun,” Oscar Klefbom added. “We did that a lot together in OKC. It’s a fun drill. The puck is going to go fast out there and it’s good for the forwards just to have a quick release and their head up all the time.” How did the players fare in Nelson’s drill? “I thought they did fine and moved the puck quick and shot when they had to,” the Oilers interim coach said. “It’s amazing that defence in that drill always seem to do better than forwards just because they check more in a game, so they’re used to the checking aspect, and then when they get a chance to shoot they like to shoot the puck. It was good. I thought the guys moved the puck quick and shot when they had to.”Chris WescottFri, 16 Jan 2015 16:31:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644practicefayneroad2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3601336013BLOG: Gordon hits 600-game milestonehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=36012“It’s a fantastic accomplishment.” Oilers bench boss Todd Nelson summed it up perfectly when asked about veteran centreman Boyd Gordon playing in his 600th career NHL game last night in Tampa. After stints in Washington and Phoenix, the 31-year-old Saskatchewan native has endeared himself to the Oilers organization and their fans for his work ethic and unsung hero mentality. “Gordo’s carved out a very nice career for himself,” Coach Nelson added. “He really plays a good, hard game and is always in the trenches. He’s a guy that goes in the faceoff dot for key draws and carries the lion’s share of the penalty kill. He’s a guy that tries to do things right every time and be consistent.” Always humble and typically a man of few words, Gordon said he feels lucky to be in the NHL and relishes each day at the rink. “It’s something I'm proud of and it was definitely a special night for me,” he said. “You just want to keep playing games and play for as long as you can. It’s a privilege to play in this league. Any time you get an opportunity to play in the NHL, it’s something you want to treasure.” Gordon has done 600 games the hard way too, considering his top performance traits are winning faceoffs, blocking shots, marking opposing teams’ top players and killing penalties. He scored 81 points in his final WHL season with the Red Deer Rebels in 2002-03, but became a faceoff-winning, shutdown specialist in the NHL. “I put up some points in junior, but when you’re a pro you have to figure out what you’re good at and what your niche is, and and I think I found that,” said Gordon, who credits his father, as well as his Rebels coach Brent Sutter, for teaching him the game and how to develop his faceoff prowess. Gordon ranks second in the NHL in blocked shots by a forward this season with 53 (Ryan Getzlaf has 57), sits eighth in the league in faceoff success at 56.5% and sixth in total faceoff wins with 843. He’s also scored five goals this year and has a career-high 12.5% shooting success rate.Ryan FranksonFri, 16 Jan 2015 16:30:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/11/644gordonedm.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3601236012BLOG: Nelson hopes to follow Cooper’s pathhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=35940When Oilers interim Head Coach Todd Nelson glances over to the Tampa Bay Lightning bench during tonight’s game, he’ll see a former American Hockey League colleague guiding the opposing squad in Jon Cooper. Nelson and Cooper share quite a few similarities. Both grew up in small Western Canadian cities (Nelson in Prince Albert, SK and Cooper in Prince George, BC). Both have worked their way up through the minor league coaching ranks, and both were mid-season NHL head coaching replacements. Cooper guided the AHL's Norfolk Admirals and Syracuse Crunch from 2010 to 2013, while Nelson was bench boss of the Oklahoma City Barons. He took the reins of the Lightning in March 2013 when Guy Boucher was relieved of his duties and proceeded to lead the team to a 101-point 2013-14 campaign. Tampa Bay is also off to a strong start this year with a 27-14-4 record. Many of the prospects Cooper coached in the AHL have turned into impact players with the NHL club, like Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Brett Connolly. Nelson said his goal is to enjoy similar success with the Oilers and see some of the guys he’s helped develop in OKC grow into NHL regulars. “Jon’s done a fantastic job here,” Nelson said. “He has his team playing well. They’re an explosive team. It’s a situation where I'm going to relish the fact that we get to coach against each other. Hopefully in the future, we as an Oilers team can accomplish what Tampa Bay is accomplishing right now.”Ryan FranksonThu, 15 Jan 2015 14:33:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/12/20141228_3.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3594035940BLOG: Purcell faces former ‘mateshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=35939Tonight’s Oilers vs. Lightning game marks a bit of a homecoming for winger Teddy Purcell, who spent the last four and a half seasons playing in Tampa before he was dealt to Edmonton in the Sam Gagner trade this past summer. The 29-year-old from St. John’s, Newfoundland started his NHL career with the LA Kings but was traded to Tampa during the 2009-10 campaign. Purcell played 310 regular season and 22 playoff games with the Lightning, scoring 203 regular season points and 18 more in the post-season. “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited,” said Purcell, who ranks fourth in Oilers scoring this year with 19 points. “It’s nice to come back and see some familiar faces. It’s a little different, but I’m excited to play tonight. We had a lot of successful seasons here, and I give a lot of thanks to this organization for giving me the chance to become an every-day NHL player.” Purcell said he got a chance to meet former teammate Steven Stamkos for lunch yesterday and also visited his former Tampa home, which is now occupied by current Lightning forward Brian Boyle, who’s in his first season with the Florida squad.Ryan FranksonThu, 15 Jan 2015 14:32:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141018_purcelloil2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3593935939