EDMONTON OILERS BLOGShttp://www.edmontonoilers.com/rssEDMONTON OILERS BLOGSNHL Enterprises, L.P. (c) 2015 NHL. All Rights Reserveden-usMon, 05 Oct 2015 21:18:15 EDTVideo and audio from Mondayhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41639edmontonoilers.com staffMon, 05 Oct 2015 17:48:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/644-camp3-gazdic.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4163941639BLOG: Draisaitl decision a tough onehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41667“I thought he was really close.” Leon Draisaitl, the third-overall pick in 2014, nearly made the Oilers roster out of camp this season, according to his general manager. “What we told Leon this morning is that he did everything we asked him to do,” said Peter Chiarelli. Head Coach Todd McLellan also believed the centre was right in the discussion. “He had a really good camp,” said McLellan. “He did a lot of the things we asked him to do at the beginning of the summer with conditioning, moving his big body around, coming to camp prepared to play and compete. He played well in the exhibition season.” While Draisaitl had a chance to stick with Edmonton to begin the 2015-16 season, the organization felt it was in the player and the team’s best interest to have him go to Bakersfield and work on some things. “What we told him was ‘you have to look at the big picture, we have to look at the big picture. You had a good camp. You outplayed some people, there’s no question there. Play ramps up, things change, dynamics of the game change as games progress into the regular season. We want you, when we call you up, to stay here for good. So you’ve got to work on your 200-foot game. Offensively, you can play in the NHL right now. You’ve got to work on the 200-foot game, the little stuff on the defensive side of the puck, whether it’s at wing or centre.’” said Chiarelli. The Oilers GM says Draisaitl will predominantly play centre in Bakersfield, but is pleased he now has the ability to play either wing. “We tried to send him with a good message,” said Chiarelli. By sending Draisaitl to the AHL, the organization is giving him a chance to play more minutes, higher up the depth chart right from opening night. “We want to build a long career for him and we want long-term success for our team and we just feel right now, for both, it’s best that Leon spend a little bit of time in the AHL to start the season,” said McLellan. “It gives our group here an opportunity to get to know each other better… they’re still trying to figure me and us as a staff out and we’re trying to figure them out. I’d rather do that with Leon playing a lot and playing centre down there, having success on the power play, than being in the midst of all that here right now.”Chris WescottMon, 05 Oct 2015 17:46:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/644396draisaitl.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4166741667BLOG: Monday line combinationshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41654The Oilers have hit the ice for their first regular season practice of 2015-16, after finalizing their opening day roster this morning. Line Combinations: Pouliot-RNH-Purcell Hall-McDavid-Slepyshev Korpiksoki-Lander-Yakupov Klinkhammer/Gazdic-Letestu-Hendricks Defence: Klefbom-Schultz Sekera-Fayne Reinhart-Gryba Ference-DavidsonChris WescottMon, 05 Oct 2015 13:28:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/644-mcdavid-letestu.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4165441654Oilers finalize rosterhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41652The Edmonton Oilers announced today they have assigned centre Leon Draisaitl to the American Hockey League’s Bakersfield Condors. The Oilers have finalized their 23-man roster for the start of the 2015-16 NHL season, which includes two goaltenders, eight defencemen and 13 forwards. Both Jordan Eberle and Dillon Simpson are currently injured and not on the Oilers active roster. Goalies (2): Cam Talbot Anders Nilsson Defencemen (8): Andrej Sekera Mark Fayne Griffin Reinhart Justin Schultz Andrew Ference Eric Gryba Oscar Klefbom Brandon Davidson Forwards (13): Taylor Hall Nail Yakupov Rob Klinkhammer Teddy Purcell Luke Gazdic Matt Hendricks Lauri Korpikoski Anton Slepyshev Anton Lander Mark Letestu Benoit Pouliot Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Connor McDavid Injured (2): Jordan Eberle Dillon SimpsonEdmonton Oilers Press ReleaseMon, 05 Oct 2015 12:16:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/644camp-draisaitl-mclellan.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4165241652BLOG: Scrivens clears waivershttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41634UPDATE: Scrivens has cleared waivers and has been assigned to the AHL's Bakersfield Condors. The Oilers have placed goaltender Ben Scrivens on waivers for the purpose of assignment. Scrivens had a 15-26-11 record last season with a 3.16 goals-against average and .890 save percentage in 57 games played. The season before, he was 9-11-0 with a 3.01 GAA and .916 save percentage for Edmonton in 21 games. Overall in 78 games, Scrivens has a 3.12 goals-against average and .898 save percentage with two shutouts and a 24-37-11 record.Marc CiampaMon, 05 Oct 2015 11:59:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/20150925_scrivens644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4163441634BLOG: Nikitin clears waivershttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41633UPDATE: Nikitin has cleared waivers and has been assigned to the AHL's Bakersfield Condors. The Oilers have placed defenceman Nikita Nikitin on waiver for the purpose of assignment. Last season, Nikitin had four goals and 10 points in 42 games with the Oilers with 12 penalty minutes and a -10 rating.Marc CiampaSun, 04 Oct 2015 11:58:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141031_niktinpractice.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4163341633Friday's audio and video from practicehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41612Chris WescottFri, 02 Oct 2015 19:05:00 EDThttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4161241612BLOG: Oilers run battle drills in intense practicehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41615There were a lot of teaching moments on the ice today for the Oilers. Head Coach Todd McLellan directed an intense practice at Rexall Place and ended things with a unique drill. Half the players positioned themselves against the boards with space in between. The other half lined up behind them. When the whistle blew, the players would battle for the puck until they heard the whistle again. They’d rotate partners and engage in another battle at the whistle. This rotated through as the players worked on positioning and battling, through fatigue. “It’s a form of a body position, competitive-type drill that forces you to be athletic and strong when you get fatigued,” said McLellan. “It tests your mental capacity to stick with it. You can line your team up and skate them back and forth forever without pucks and most of them are in well enough condition to handle that. That battle drill is the game, in my opinion. It happens along the boards, you move to your next job. It happens (again) along the boards, you move to your next job. They did a good job of it.” McLellan can’t remember when he first utilized the drill, but admits he likely first saw it as a player. “It was a staple of ours in some of the other places that I’ve coached when our games got away from us and we weren’t nose over the puck. It will become a staple of ours when we need it,” said McLellan. Captain Andrew Ference thinks the essential lessons taught in the drill pay dividends on the ice in games. “The smaller details of your body positioning and where you’re battling from end up making a huge difference in your team,” said Ference. “Obviously, we have a long way to go from our last couple years. Bringing down goals against, being a harder team to play against and those are the lessons for sure.”Chris WescottFri, 02 Oct 2015 16:50:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/644-camp3-mcdavid-hall-purcell.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4161541615BLOG: Bounce-back practice keyhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41614Taylor Hall said last night’s 5-2 loss to Vancouver was the first time this pre-season that things didn’t go according to plan for the Oilers. Head Coach Todd McLellan said he wouldn’t give any of his position groups a passing grade for the night. Today’s practice was the team’s first chance to work towards their bounce back. “We’re trying to define standards and what’s acceptable and unacceptable,” said McLellan. “We have played some good hockey in the exhibition season. We followed it up last night with a game that was, in my opinion, unacceptable in a lot of different areas and that can happen. We’re a team that’s going to learn a lot of lessons as we go. It’s how we respond to them, how we approach the next day, how we as a staff try and structure the day so we can get better. I didn’t think we were at a level we needed to be in a lot of the confined areas of the game and we worked on that today. Yesterday, I was disappointed in the group and today I was proud of the group and it can happen that way. We can have some days where it’s not that good, but we better respond the next day. Hopefully, we got our footing underneath us again and we’re ready to play the proper way in Vancouver tomorrow.” Is it possible to teach that kind of rebound in the pre-season, or does it take time to develop? Well, bad games are going to happen. McLellan says no matter who you are you have bad games. It’s about knowing what you can live with and what needs to be addressed. That may take time to cultivate, but today was a start. “I think defining the standards is what we’re trying to do. What’s acceptable and what isn’t? We’re going to have bad games,” said McLellan. “I know Chicago has won three Stanley Cups in the last six years and they’ve had bad games too. It’s what you do as a team after to get better and how you accept that. We spent good time on video today, pointing out situations, not necessarily systems but just situations, execution situations. Then we parlayed that into time on the ice. When they left (practice) they were tired.”Chris WescottFri, 02 Oct 2015 16:47:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/644-mcdavid-letestu.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4161441614BLOG: Slepyshev’s game shows on tapehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41613The Oilers may have something in 2013 third-round pick Anton Slepyshev. This is the winger’s first season in North America after playing in the KHL, and he has done nothing but impress so far in training camp and pre-season. He has played so well that he is now getting time on a line with skilled players, Connor McDavid and Taylor Hall. With Jordan Eberle out 4-6 weeks with a shoulder injury, Slepyshev has stepped up to help fill the void. Head Coach Todd McLellan agreed with the media that he continues to warrant discussion for the opening night roster. “When I look at his game, and we watched the video again, the video doesn’t lie,” said McLellan. “He did a lot of the things we worked on today in the game (on Thursday night). He’s a young player, but he’s played pro hockey before. You can see it. He’s been around pro players before. It doesn’t matter what league you’re in, you’re just around older players, more mature players and he carries himself well.” McLellan said earlier in camp that Slepyshev was “opening our eyes” to what he can do. The 21-year-old can fill spots up and down the lineup, with the ability to play a faster, skilled game or a slower, heavier game. McLellan says the winger has the ability to change the dynamic of a line, depending on who he is replacing.Chris WescottFri, 02 Oct 2015 16:46:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/20140927_slepyshev1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4161341613BLOG: Friday practice line combinationshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41610The Oilers have taken to the ice at Rexall Place for their Friday morning skate. Line combinations: Hall-McDavid-Slepyshev Pouliot-RNH-Purcell Draisaitl-Lander-Yakupov Korpikoski-Letestu-Hendricks Gazdic and Klinkhammer are rotating in. There are eight defencemen on the ice. Oscar Klefbom (who is a little banged up per Head Coach Todd McLellan) is not among them.Chris WescottFri, 02 Oct 2015 13:23:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/20150930_practice.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4161041610Video and audio from today's practicehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41593edmontonoilers.com staffWed, 30 Sep 2015 19:58:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/20150930_practice.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4159341593BLOG: Draisaitl’s time to step uphttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41601With Jordan Eberle sidelined for 4-6 weeks due to a shoulder injury, it is time for players to step up to fill the void. Second-year forward Leon Draisaitl is one of those expected to get more opportunities in Eberle’s absence. “First of all, obviously, it’s very sad,” said Draisaitl. “Every time you lose a player of that calibre, it hurts your team. Guys are going to have to step up and fill his role. He’s one of our leaders, he’s a tremendous player and we’re all going to have to step up and make sure that we cover for him.” Teddy Purcell moved to the right wing on Eberle’s line with Benoit Pouliot and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins at Wednesday’s practice. Draisaitl moved up to skate on a line with Connor McDavid and Taylor Hall. “Now it’s my job and other guys’ jobs to step in and prove that I can play or we all are ready to play. That’s what I’m here for. Like I said before camp, I’m here to make the team and I’m trying to improve every night,” said Draisaitl. Draisaitl is positioned on the right wing, a spot his head coach likes him in and one the player feels comfortable in, despite being a natural centre. “I really like using my backhand a lot,” said Draisaitl. “I always think it gives me a little more options and I think I can handle my backhand pretty well. I like using it.” The 2014 third-overall pick continues to push forward in his bid to be a full-time NHL player this season. Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan says he won’t get a job by default because of Eberle’s injury. Draisaitl has earned more opportunities in his coach’s eyes. Thursday and Saturday against Vancouver are good tests for the young forward. “I think Leon was in good position to keep pushing even before Jordan’s injury,” said McLellan. “That’s not going to get handed off just because of the injury. He’s had a good camp. He’s shown the ability to play in different positions. Now when we play against this Vancouver team, which I think will be closer to an NHL calibre full-time team, we’ll get a better indication of how he handles that.”Chris WescottWed, 30 Sep 2015 19:57:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/644camp-draisaitl-mclellan.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4160141601BLOG: Eberle on his injuryhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41597Jordan Eberle is out 4-6 weeks due to a shoulder injury he suffered in the first period of last night’s game against the Arizona Coyotes. The hit and collision didn’t seem like anything too violent or anything you’d associate with a long-term injury, but Eberle said right away he was in pain and discomfort. The Oilers forward skated off to the bench, then exited the game for good. “It wasn’t anything big,” Eberle said of the play. “It was just kind of a small hit. I was trying to keep the play alive by reaching in for the puck and kind of just folded my shoulder over. Just got hit right away, knew something was wrong and got back to the bench.” Nobody wants to be injured, that’s for certain. However, Eberle says there’s a benefit to getting an injury out of the way this early on. “Pretty frustrated. You train pretty hard in the off-season to get where you are and you get a setback like this and it definitely sucks,” he said. “There’s definitely a bright side to it. It’s obviously better to do something like this now than maybe later in the season when, hopefully, we’re battling for a playoff spot or in the mix.” Eberle says he hopes to get on the stationary bike soon to stay in shape before being allowed to return to the ice in a few weeks. In Eberle’s place at practice today, Teddy Purcell skated with Benoit Pouliot and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Leon Draisaitl moved up with Taylor Hall and Connor McDavid.Chris WescottWed, 30 Sep 2015 15:53:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/08/20150821_Eberle.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4159741597BLOG: Wednesday line combinations at Royal Glenorahttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41591The Oilers are at the Royal Glenora Club for their Wednesday practice. Forward Lines: Hall-McDavid-Draisaitl Pouliot-RNH-Purcell Korpikoski-Lander-Yakupov (Slepyshev rotating in) Hendricks-Letestu-Klinkhammer (Gazdic rotating in) Absent from practice is Jordan Eberle (shoulder) and Mark Fayne.Chris WescottWed, 30 Sep 2015 13:51:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/644-camp3-purcell.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4159141591BLOG: Oilers reduce camp roster by fourhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41587The Edmonton Oilers have reduced their training camp roster by four today, assigning the following players to their American Hockey League affiliate, the Bakersfield Condors: Martin Gernat Mitch Moroz Darnell Nurse Iiro Pakarinen The Oilers training camp roster now includes 28 players (3 goalies, 10 defencemen and 15 forwards).Edmonton Oilers Press ReleaseWed, 30 Sep 2015 12:45:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/07/644nurse1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4158741587BLOG: Eberle out 4-6 weekshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41585The Oilers have announced that winger Jordan Eberle will be out 4-6 weeks with a shoulder injury. Eberle left last night's game against Arizona, in the first period, following a collision against the wall behind the Coyotes net. He did not return. Hear more from Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan following today's practice, on edmontonoilers.com.Chris WescottWed, 30 Sep 2015 12:30:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/20150126_prac1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4158541585Video and audio from today's practicehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41493edmontonoilers.com staffMon, 28 Sep 2015 20:00:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/644-camp3-mcdavid-nilsson.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4149341493BLOG: Monday line combinationshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41522The Oilers have returned to Rexall Place for their Monday practice. Players on the ice this morning: Forwards: Hall-McDavid-Draisaitl Pouliot-RNH-Eberle Yakupov-Lander-Slepyshev Korpikoski-Letestu-Hendricks Klinkhammer is the extra forward. Defence: Nurse Nikitin Klefbom Schultz Davidson Gryba Sekera Fayne Reinhart They haven’t run set pairings.Chris WescottMon, 28 Sep 2015 13:35:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/644-mcdavid-letestu.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4152241522BLOG: Condors training camp starts todayhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41518The Bakersfield Condors training camp opens today at 11:15 a.m. MDT (10:15 a.m. Bakersfield time). The club announced its 33-man camp roster: POSITION – CONTRACT GOALTENDERS (3) Laurent Brossoit (NHL – Edmonton) Eetu Laurikainen (NHL – Edmonton) Ty Rimmer (AHL – Bakersfield) DEFENCE (9) Ben Betker (NHL – Edmonton) Tim Daly (ECHL – Norfolk // AHL tryout) Brad Hunt (NHL – Edmonton) Joey LaLeggia (NHL – Edmonton) Joe Marciano (ECHL – Norfolk // AHL tryout) David Musil (NHL – Edmonton) Jordan Oesterle (NHL – Edmonton) Nick Pageau (AHL – Bakersfield) Charles-Olivier Roussel (ECHL – Norfolk // AHL tryout) FORWARDS (21) C Greg Chase (NHL – Edmonton) C Josh Currie (ECHL – Norfolk // AHL tryout) LW Braden Christoffer (AHL – Bakersfield) RW Matthew Ford (AHL – Bakersfield) LW Ryan Hamilton (NHL – Edmonton) LW Kale Kessy (NHL – Edmonton) LW Jujhar Khaira (NHL – Edmonton) LW Jonathan Lessard (ECHL – Norfolk // AHL tryout) C Alexis Loiseau (AHL – Bakersfield) C Philip McRae (AHL – Bakersfield) RW Andrew Miller (NHL – Edmonton) C Michael Pelech (ECHL – Norfolk // AHL tryout) RW Tyler Pitlick (NHL – Edmonton) RW Kyle Platzer (NHL – Edmonton) RW Alexandre Ranger (ECHL – Norfolk // AHL tryout) C Connor Rankin (AHL – Bakersfield) LW Marc-Olivier Roy (AHL – Bakersfield) C Steven Whitney (ECHL – Norfolk // AHL tryout) LW Josh Winquist (AHL – Bakersfield) C Bogdan Yakimov (NHL – Edmonton) LW Daniil Zharkov (AHL tryout) NOTE: not all players on this roster have arrived to training camp, but will be doing so over the course of the next few daysMarc CiampaMon, 28 Sep 2015 12:26:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/04/20150402_condors2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4151841518BLOG: Four Oilers clear waivershttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41517Four Oilers players cleared waivers this morning: Brad Hunt, Andrew Miller, Ryan Hamilton and Tyler Pitlick. The four of them were sent down to AHL Bakersfield along with eight others on Saturday evening.Marc CiampaMon, 28 Sep 2015 12:23:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/06/20150508_huntmiller644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4151741517BLOG: Zharkov among Condors camp inviteshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41519An interesting name on the Bakersfield Condors camp list is Daniil Zharkov. Zharkov was drafted in the third round by the Oilers, 91st overall, in the 2012 NHL Draft. Zharkov is attending the Condors camp on a pro-tryout basis. Last season, he played with HK Sarov in Russia's VHL and had four goals and nine points in 39 games. He also played with the Nizhny Novgorod junior squad for four games, scoring one goal. The previous season he played in the KHL with Nizhny Novgorod and prior to that he played a pair of seasons with the Belleville Bulls. He could be an interesting player to keep an eye on, having slipped off the radar of Oilers prospects the past several seasons.Marc CiampaMon, 28 Sep 2015 12:20:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2012/06/20120623_zharkov644-2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4151941519BLOG: Oilers prospect named defenceman of the weekhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41514Oilers prospect John Marino of the Tri-City Storm was selected as the CCM Defenceman of the Week in the USHL. He had three assists in his first game -- the only game played in the week -- helping his squad to a 5-1 win over the Omaha Lancers. He assisted on two goals in the opening frame and then had another in third period. It's Marino's first season in the USHL. He's slated to attend Harvard next season.Marc CiampaMon, 28 Sep 2015 11:57:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/07/20150703_Marino.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4151441514BLOG: Group A on the ice for morning skatehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41458The Oilers first group is on the ice for morning skate at Rexall Place before flying to Winnipeg for tonight’s game against the Jets. This is not the roster that will be playing tonight, it will be a mix with Group B. Group A is unchanged from Thursday. Group A Forwards: Hall-McDavid-Draisaitl Pouliot-RNH-Eberle Korpikoski-Lander-Yakupov Klinkhammer-Letestu-Hendricks Gazdic-Miller-Slepyshev Group A Defencemen: Klefbom-Schultz Sekera-Fayne Ference Gryba Nurse-Nikitin Group A Goalies: Scrivens NilssonChris WescottFri, 25 Sep 2015 12:13:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/644-camp3-schultz.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4145841458Video and audio from today's practicehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41448edmontonoilers.com staffThu, 24 Sep 2015 16:44:00 EDThttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4144841448BLOG: Schultz’s strengthshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41455Justin Schultz had a very solid game against the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday night at Rexall Place. The Oilers defenceman scored a goal, played with a bit of a physical edge and made good plays with the puck. Perhaps Schultz’s progress on the ice is a clear indication that his work in the off-season is paying off. Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan says Schultz came into camp ahead of where he was last year from a fitness standpoint, but he’s also impressed with the cerebral side of the blueliner’s game. “From Justin Schultz, in the six days we’ve been on the ice, he’s fit. His numbers are way up from where they were last year. Strong, and that doesn’t mean fit. He’s strong mentally, and confident,” said McLellan. “(He’s) been open, willing to learn and asking questions. He looked like he had good legs last night, and a little bit of a jump in his stride. (He’s) still learning how we want to play and learning some concepts. He’s got a dynamic skill set, that we’re starting to see. A lot of real positive things. He, like the rest of us and the coaching staff and the players, all still have to find our games and polish it up a little bit before the season starts.” McLellan calls Schultz a “very important piece” of the team and likes his “dynamic offensive skills.” The head coach says he would like for Schultz to improve defensively, but he wants that from all his players. There is another thing Schultz can do more of, and that’s shoot the puck. “He’s got a great shot,” said McLellan. “He should be shooting that puck a lot, and we expect him too. It will be in his hands a lot in the offensive zone. Shoot it, we’ll get it back.”Chris WescottThu, 24 Sep 2015 16:24:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/644schultjet.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4145541455BLOG: Oilers to travel with big grouphttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41454The Oilers hit the road tomorrow after their morning skate for two road games in as many nights. They play the Jets in Winnipeg tomorrow and then Minnesota in Saskatoon on Saturday. The Oilers will take with them the healthy players from both Group A and Group B when they travel. It will help the younger players experience life on the road in the NHL, and allow the coaching staff a chance to mix and match players for their game-night rosters. When the Oilers return, they’ll begin to cut down their camp roster. “If you’re in A or B group, you’re going to make the trip,” said Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan. “You’re going to continue to experience life in the NHL. You’re going to fly in a plane. You’re going to see what it’s like to play in Winnipeg, in that environment. Then you’re going to go to Saskatoon and you’re going to continue and be a part of the team and be in meetings. Then when we get back from Saskatoon you’re going to see our group get smaller.”Chris WescottThu, 24 Sep 2015 16:23:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/644-camp-mclellan-chalk.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4145441454BLOG: Hall sees changehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41453Justin Schultz, first star of last night’s 3-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets, may be raising the bar with his on-ice performance and it hasn’t gone unnoticed, especially by his teammate Taylor Hall. “He’s got an amazing skill set. He’s up there with guys that are winning the Norris Trophy and getting 70 points a year. He’s got that same skill set,” said Hall. “He’s a guy that, I think we’re all just seeing this training camp, has taken a lot more initiative on the physical front… He’s standing up for his teammates and when a guy like that does it, it kind of forces you to raise your level to compete. It’s great to see.” Even Oilers rookie Connor McDavid has admired Schultz’s playing style that he’s conveyed thus far in training camp. “You could for sure see that he’s a guy that’s never out of the play. Even if the odd time he gets beat, he can get back right away,” said McDavid. Hall believes that the improvement of play in his teammates, individually and as a whole, may have something to do with the hard-work ethic that fires them up during camp — whether in practice or game mode. “I think we have a different makeup personnel-wise and I think we’re starting to come around on the traits we want to have as a team,” said Hall.Meg TilleyThu, 24 Sep 2015 16:04:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/644-mclellan-hall.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4145341453BLOG: McDavid on finding his footing with the Oilershttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41451Thursday was another day on the ice and although the Oilers are still in training camp mode, they’ve gotten off to a good start in the pre-season with three wins in three games. Throughout camp and the first trio of pre-season games, 2015 first-overall pick Connor McDavid has been taking in his surroundings and soon he’ll get to experience life on the road in the NHL. McDavid will travel with the Oilers to Winnipeg and Saskatoon on Friday and Saturday. “Any time you get a chance to play on the road, it’s a little bit more uncomfortable than playing at home, it’s part of the league and I’ve got to get used to that as well,” said McDavid. While he adapts and prepares for the new experiences that await him, he’s keeping his focus trained on the tasks at hand, finding a rhythm with his teammates during practice and learning under the direction of Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan. “They’re certainly challenging— physically and mentally,” said McDavid. “You’ve got to prepare yourself each and every day for practice. You’ve got to make sure your (focus is) into it, if you’re not you’re going to be looking pretty dumb.”Meg TilleyThu, 24 Sep 2015 15:43:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/20150924_mcdavid1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4145141451BLOG: Thursday lineup - Group Ahttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41449The Oilers first group is on the ice at Rexall Place for Thursday’s practice. Forwards: Hall-McDavid-Draisaitl Pouliot-RNH-Eberle Koropikoski-Lander-Yakupov Klinkhammer-Letestu-Hendricks Gazdic-Miller-Slepyshev Teddy Purcell is still not skating with the team. He is listed as day-to-day with a minor injury. Darnell Nurse is skating with Group A this morning, Griffin Reinhart is not. Defencemen: Klefbom-Schultz Nurse-Nikitin Sekera-Fayne Ference-Gryba Goalies: Talbot, Scrivens and NilssonChris WescottThu, 24 Sep 2015 13:02:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/644-mcdavid-letestu.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4144941449BLOG: Reinhart shows poisehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41433Griffin Reinhart is trying to make an impression on the Oilers coaching staff and he might have made a really good one in Wednesday night’s 3-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets. He didn’t do it by being flashy. The 21-year-old defenceman did it by making the simple, smart plays that help a team be successful. “Very poised. Not a lot of opportunity for us to go and talk to him about ‘what about this play?’ or ‘what about that play?’ He made the right play for a lot of the night,” said Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan. “He doesn’t seem to me… to be getting up there and trying to hit the home run all the time. He’s happy with singles and you win that way. I thought he was good. (The Jets) are a big, heavy, strong team and they’re bigger at home yet, the players that aren’t playing. Griffin handled it well.” Reinhart doesn’t mind getting noticed by not being noticeable. He won’t stick out on the highlight reel, but when you turn to the game tape he played a very solid game. “That’s a compliment to me,” said Reinhart. “I’m not going to come out here like a lot of those flashy guys and a lot of the skilled guys that we have. I contribute in other ways. I think I can play a good, solid game. (Eric) Gryba has helped me out a lot. It’d be nice playing with him or whoever I’m out there with. Just keeping it simple and trying not to play in our end.” Reinhart says he is comfortable on the ice because of his defensive partner. “I think part of that is playing with a veteran defenceman like Gryba,” said Reinhart. “He makes it easy for me with the communication out there. That’s the kind of game I like to play and hopefully I can just keep doing that every day and getting better as well.”Chris WescottThu, 24 Sep 2015 01:28:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/644grif.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4143341433BLOG: Schultz sticks outhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41434Justin Schultz played a pretty complete game in the Oilers 3-2 pre-season win over the Winnipeg Jets. He was physical, moved the puck well on the power play, and even scored on the man advantage. “I thought ‘Schultzy’ was fine,” said Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan. “He moved his legs well, he retrieved pucks well. He was on the ice for the one goal against but I don’t think he had much to do with it. Good on the power play. I liked his game.” One thing Schultz has said he wanted to work on this summer was playing with an edge. He hit the gym to get stronger to help him win more puck battles. Some of that hard work showed tonight. “I felt I rubbed a few guys out and went to the body and didn’t let them into the net,” said Schultz. “It’s something I’ve been working on. It’s only pre-season, but it’s nice to see some improvement there.” Schultz also stood up for his defensive partner, Oscar Klefbom, who was hit hard by JC Lipon early in the game. “It happened so fast. I thought it was a little late, obviously. The whistle blew and then he hit him. He’s my D-partner so I thought I should stick up for him,” said Schultz.Chris WescottThu, 24 Sep 2015 01:28:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/08/20140829_Schultz.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4143441434BLOG: McLellan treating his goalies like pitchershttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41430Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan is treating the team’s goaltending competition like a baseball manager would treat their pitchers in training camp and pre-season. He wants to give Cam Talbot, Ben Scrivens and Anders Nilsson all time in pre-season so they can get into the flow of things. “We’ve got to give them the chance to find the rhythm, feel good in the net, their movement, their motion, get their confidence level up,” said McLellan. “Pitchers usually don’t evolve until well into training camp. We need to get each of these pitchers, or goaltenders, a chance to feel that a little bit. We’ll now go full games. Cam will start tonight and then Ben will get a game and Anders will get a game as well. We’ll go full games unless something is going wrong or injuries, but that’s what the plan is. So by the time we get through to Sunday, each of them has experienced a full game. They’ve had half games now, they’re starting to feel a little bit better in the net and then we’ll just keep working on it.” So Talbot will start against the Jets tonight, while Scrivens and Nilsson will each play one of the games in Winnipeg on Friday and in Saskatoon (vs. Minnesota Wild) on Saturday.Chris WescottWed, 23 Sep 2015 15:45:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/644camp-pakarinen-talbot-schultz.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4143041430BLOG: Wednesday morning skate - Group Ahttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41427The Oilers first group is on the ice for morning skate at Rexall Place. This lineup is not confirmed as the one that will play against the Jets tonight, with Head Coach Todd McLellan saying Tuesday, that the team would blend players from both groups to make their game roster. Lineup for A appears the same as Tuesday. GROUP A FORWARDS: Hall-McDavid-Draisaitl
 Gazdic-Miller-Pitlick GROUP A DEFENCEMEN: Ference-Gryba 
Reinhart-Nikitin GROUP A GOALIES: Nilsson, Scrivens and Talbot.Chris WescottWed, 23 Sep 2015 12:27:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/644-mcdavid-letestu.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4142741427Video and audio from today's practicehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41358edmontonoilers.com staffTue, 22 Sep 2015 19:51:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/644-camp3-fleming.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4135841358BLOG: Griffin Reinhart on the game in Calgaryhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41403Hockey is back in session and Griffin Reinhart is happy to be back in the swing of things. Reinhart, who played the Oilers split-squad pre-season game in Calgary, felt the excitement in the air from both the fans and the players themselves. “Everybody’s excited to get back into hockey season again,” he said. “They’ve waited all summer, it’s finally here and the emotions are high, everybody’s excited, there are a lot of guys trying to make teams and make impressions out there so I think it was expected.” It was a slow start, with more penalties than points on the board, but the Oilers turned the play around after falling behind 1-0 and pulled through to a 3-1 victory. “It was pretty fun. I mean, it’s what’s expected,” said Reinhart. “A lot of physical play out there, everybody’s first game of the year for them, except for some of the younger guys I guess, but it was a fun to get your legs back under you and go from there.” With two pre-season games out of the way for the Oilers, Reinhart felt good about his performance, but knows that there is always room to grow and improve as a player and as a team. “For the guys that were here last year, and guys that are going to be on this team, I think this gives them a good head start to work together,” he said. “But I know, because I’m here right now, I’ve still got a lot to prove and I know there’s a bunch of guys chasing me, so if I’m not playing my best hockey then I wouldn’t be here.”Meg TilleyTue, 22 Sep 2015 18:44:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/306reinhart.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4140341403BLOG: Taylor Hall on the game in Edmontonhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41362Two pre-season games down, six to go. With exciting performances in each city, Edmonton swept the Calgary split-squad games with a 4-2 win on home turf and a 3-1 win in the Scotiabank Saddledome. Each game showed team strengths and weaknesses. Taylor Hall, who stayed and played in Edmonton Monday night, finally had a chance to play with his teammates at a higher calibre of play and with a new coach behind the bench. Leon Draisaitl, who scored the game equalizer at Rexall Place, pulling the Oilers out of their losing funk and setting them on the path to their 4-2 victory, was one player in particular that stood out. “Last year you saw him use his body and really drag guys with him and you saw signs of that, but I think this year he’s starting to really learn how to do that full time and he’s got such a big frame, he can really skate well once he gets going,” said Hall. “He’s a guy that seems a little bit more mature this time around and if he keeps playing well he’s going to be in a good spot. He’s another great kid that we have in our organization that we expect a lot from.” Having already experienced Coach Todd McLellan’s coaching style at the Men’s World Hockey Championships, Hall said that players — and even fans — won’t be left in the dark regarding team work-ethic expectations. “There’s a lot of transparency with how practices have to be with what he expects from certain individuals,” said Hall. “I can’t speak for everyone in the room but it seems like he’s gotten face time with a lot of guys on the team and, like I said before camp, from what I witnessed at the Worlds, he’s going to be very vocal on the bench and you’re going to know where you stand.”Meg TilleyTue, 22 Sep 2015 18:05:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/20150922_raw3061.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4136241362BLOG: Tuesday's line combinations at practicehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41357The Oilers are on the ice for practice this morning at Rexall Place. The forward lines are: Hall-McDavid-Draisaitl Pouliot-RNH-Eberle Korpikoski-Lander-Yakupov Klinkhammer-Letestu-Hendricks Gazdic-Miller-Pitlick Teddy Purcell is not on the ice for the start of practice. Defensive Pairings: Ference-Gryba Klefbom-Schultz Sekera-Fayne Reinhart-Nikitin Darnell Nurse is not on the ice. Goalies: Talbot, Nilsson & ScrivensChris WescottTue, 22 Sep 2015 13:06:00 EDThttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4135741357BLOG: Oilers reduce camp rosterhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41350The Edmonton Oilers have reduced their training camp roster by nine today, assigning the following players: Ethan Bear (Seattle – WHL) Ben Betker (Bakersfield – AHL) Caleb Jones (Portland – WHL) Loik Leveile (Cape Breton – QMJHL) Alexis Loiseau (Bakersfield – AHL) Connor Rankin (Bakersfield – AHL) Ty Rimmer (Bakersfield – AHL) Marco Roy (Bakersfield – AHL) Cole Sanford (Medicine Hat – WHL) The Oilers training camp roster now includes 50 players (5 goalies, 16 defencemen and 29 forwards).Sun, 20 Sep 2015 17:43:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/644-camp3-fleming.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4135041350Video and audio from day four training camphttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41338edmontonoilers.com staffSun, 20 Sep 2015 16:15:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/644-mcdavid-letestu.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4133841338BLOG: Chiarelli’s first impressions of McDavid’s camphttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=413482015 first-overall pick Connor McDavid obviously came into training camp with some big expectations from both the Oilers and the fans. He’s shown that chemistry doesn’t take too long to develop, gelling nicely with his linemates early, especially Taylor Hall. Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Peter Chiarelli spoke to the media on Sunday for the first time since camp opened and had good things to say. “He makes a lot of plays,” said Chiarelli. “His play without the puck has been good. I’ve been very happy with him and that line looks very good, including Ted on the other wing. He makes good plays. He’s fast and he’s had some back-checking and he’s been good with that. Every time he has the puck he makes a good play.” McDavid, unofficially, scored two goals and added an assist in Sunday’s scrimmage in Leduc.Chris WescottSun, 20 Sep 2015 15:53:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/644-camp3-mcdavid-hall-purcell.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4134841348BLOG: Chiarelli on Klefbom signinghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41347The Oilers announced Sunday morning that they locked up defenceman Oscar Klefbom long term. Klefbom, 22, figures greatly into the organization’s plans for the blueline moving forward. He was inked to a seven-year extension. “He’s a big, strong kid. He skates well, he moves the puck well, he defends well,” said Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Peter Chiarelli. “I saw him play in the Worlds and at that high level, he’s a very good player. I know he’s only had 70-something games in the NHL but there’s a lot to like about him, on both sides of the puck.” Chiarelli had some really high praise for the potential of Klefbom and gave an indication of where the Oilers believe is ceiling is. “He’s a top-four D and he’s going to be a top-two D at some point,” said Chiarelli. “He plays a real responsible game and he moves the puck. We project on him but we’re fairly confident on it.” Klefbom has just 77 NHL games under his belt since being taken 19th overall in 2011.Chris WescottSun, 20 Sep 2015 15:26:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/02/20150206_Klefbom8.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4134741347BLOG: Oilers hit the ice on Sundayhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41322The Oilers have taken the ice here in Leduc for their third practice of training camp. Schedule for today is as follows: 10-10:45 a.m. - GROUP A PRACTICE - RINK 1 10:50-11:20 a.m. - GROUP B vs GROUP A - RINK 2 - PERIOD 1 11:20-11:40 a.m. - FLOOD 11:40-12:10 p.m. - GROUP B vs GROUP A - RINK 2 - PERIOD 2 Interviews to follow.Chris WescottSun, 20 Sep 2015 12:15:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/644-camp3-schultz.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4132241322Video and audio from day two on-ice at camphttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41302edmontonoilers.com staffSat, 19 Sep 2015 16:22:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/644camp-talbot.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4130241302BLOG: It’s all in the number three for Schultzhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41329The summer skate is over and the fall season is around the corner. Day three for training camp and already the roster has scrimmaged — scrimmaged hard — and has had the chance to play the league’s new 3-on-3-overtime format. “It’s going to be fun. There’s a lot of room out there, and with the guys we have especially, it’s going to be something I think we take advantage of,” said Justin Schultz. Now that the Oilers are back at it, Schultz is happy to be getting back into real game-like situations. “It was good, it’s what you’d expect for the first kind of scrimmage for everyone there. It was tough, we had a practice before and went out there, so it was a long day but it was good,” he said. Within the group setting, Schultz is also focusing on his own game, looking to improve in areas that will increase his skill and benefit the team in the long run. “I’m going to try to get a lot more shots off this year, get the puck towards the net and get it through screens,” he said.Meg TilleySat, 19 Sep 2015 16:19:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644jultz.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4132941329BLOG: New town, new team but same go-getter attitude for Cam Talbothttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41328According to Cam Talbot, as a player in the NHL, you have to have an attitude where you just want to push yourself to be better and better, day in and day out. It sounds like a promising attribute for the newly acquired goalie, whose time with the Edmonton Oilers is just beginning. “Different jersey, different guys but same feel, same energy I think,” he said. “Just real excited to get in here and get to know a lot more of the guys and good to see kind of what the teams going to look like in the future. “ This is not his first rodeo. Suiting up in an Oilers jersey and dawning his newly painted goalie mask to match, Talbot looked forward to gearing up for training camp. “You’re always fighting for something in this league and you’re always trying to push yourself to be better and I think that’s one of the characteristics you have to have in order to make it in this league.”Meg TilleySat, 19 Sep 2015 15:43:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/306talbot.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4132841328BLOG: Group B starts things off for day 3http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41325Group B is the first to skate this morning with Group A doing off-ice training. The groups appear to be the same as Friday morning. Schedule for today is as follows: 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM - GROUP B PRACTICE 10:50 AM - 11:20 AM - GROUP B vs. GROUP A - PERIOD 1 11:20 AM - 11:40 AM - FLOOD 11:40 AM - 12:10 PM - GROUP B vs. GROUP A - PERIOD 2 12:25 PM - 1:10 PM - GROUP A PRACTICE 12:45 PM - 1:45 PM - GROUP C PRACTICE The lines for Group B are the same as yesterday: Pouliot-RNH-Eberle Slepyshev-Yakimov-Klinkhammer Korpikoski-Letestu-Hendricks Gazdic-Khaira-Pakarinen (McRae) Defensive Pairings: Klefbom-Schultz Reinhart-Gryba Nurse-Musil (Simpson)Chris WescottSat, 19 Sep 2015 12:18:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/644camp-pakarinen-talbot-schultz.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4132541325Video and audio from the first day on-ice at camphttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41290edmontonoilers.com staffFri, 18 Sep 2015 21:08:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/644-camp-draisaitl-mcdavid.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4129041290BLOG: McLellan on line combinationshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41300Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan rolled out some tentative lines for his team on Friday, at Leduc Recreation Centre. First-overall pick Connor McDavid skated between Taylor Hall and Teddy Purcell. He said it was a decision partially based on chemistry of two of those linemates but also Purcell as a third complementary player. Also influencing that combination is that McLellan seems very comfortable to roll with Benoit Pouliot, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle as his other top line. “I’m not sure it can work, I hope it can work. But I know that Pouliot, Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle had a good finish to last year when they were together,” said McLellan. “There’s some familiarity there. They played well at both ends of the rink for the most part and I like that. I think that Connor and Taylor have had a little bit of chemistry throughout their summer and that might help. And Teddy has the ability to shoot the puck and we forget him using his size and that can be a factor on that line.” McLellan says this is an opportunity for Purcell to step up and he needs to “take advantage of it.” Another line the Oilers tested out today was one that has Leon Draisaitl centring Anton Lander and Nail Yakupov. That’s a lot of fire power and McLellan almost went out of his way to remind the media they’re a group to watch. “The interesting line for me is that Draisaitl-Lander-Yakupov line. If we can get them gelling and playing the right way, they can be very dangerous. That’s a goal of ours anyway,” said McLellan. The Oilers coach also reminded everyone that the lines the team uses in Leduc aren’t finalized. “What we all have to understand is those lines are very fluid,” said McLellan. “We didn’t even scrimmage today. There’s really no evaluation tool to see if they had chemistry or not. It was a lot about concepts and setting standards more than anything. Later on, that will happen.”Chris WescottFri, 18 Sep 2015 21:07:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/644-camp-draisaitl-mcdavid.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4130041300BLOG: Purcell no stranger to high-profile linemateshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41296Oilers winger Teddy Purcell shouldn’t be a surprising player to see skating next to Taylor Hall and Connor McDavid. He’s played that role before on a different team. In Tampa Bay, Purcell put up good point totals skating with Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis. “I like to consider myself a complementary player,” said Purcell. “They’re obviously very tough to play with because they’re very demanding. But at the same time, if you keep it simple and make the right play it usually works out. I learned a lot from ‘Stammer’ and ‘Marty’ and (Vincent Lecavalier) that sometimes you try to force it a lot and that’s not the right play too. If you play the right way, usually it opens up. When the guys are that skilled, eventually it goes in.” Hall and McDavid are two extremely skilled forwards who are expected to lead the way offensively for the Oilers. Both are first-overall picks. “It’s nice for your confidence that the coach has that trust in you to try you out with those guys,” said Purcell. “Going to take it day by day and build off day one.” In 2010-11, Purcell recorded 51 points in 81 games for the Lightning. He followed it up with a 65-point season in 2011-12. He’s shown he can be a good fit on top lines. Keeping up with the speed and skill of Hall and McDavid might still take some getting used to. “My groins are a little tight,” Purcell joked. “But I worked enough this summer that, once you get the groove and get to game speed, I think I’ll be fine.”Chris WescottFri, 18 Sep 2015 16:26:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/12/20141228_practice.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4129641296BLOG: McDavid a quick studyhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41295Connor McDavid took to the ice this morning to skate with his potential Oilers linemates for the first time in training camp. McDavid centred Taylor Hall and Teddy Purcell. “It was fun,” said McDavid. “It’s always fun to get out there and skate with your new team or any new guys and get a feel for everything that’s going on.” Hall came away impressed with how quickly McDavid was able to pick up on what Head Coach Todd McLellan was teaching. Hall says McLellan gave the team a lot to soak in, including two video sessions. “A lot of information on the first day, but he seems to take it in really well,” said Hall. “That’s a good thing for a hockey player and an 18-year-old, when it doesn’t seem to frazzle them much when a lot is going on. The quicker that he can process that stuff and get playing, it’s going to be good for him.”Chris WescottFri, 18 Sep 2015 16:23:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/20150911_EDMVAN1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4129541295BLOG: Group B takes the icehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41292Group B is on the ice for the Oilers. Cam Talbot and Laurent Brossoit are between the pipes. Line combinations: Pouliot-RNH-Eberle Klinkhammer-Yakimov-Slepyshev Korpikoski-Letestu-Hendricks Gazdic-Khaira-Pakarinen (McRae rotating) Defensive pairings: Klefbom-Schultz Reinhart-Gryba Nurse-Musil (Simpson rotating)Chris WescottFri, 18 Sep 2015 15:18:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/644camp-eberle.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4129241292BLOG: First group takes to the icehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41286The first group here at Oilers Camp has taken the ice at the Leduc Recreation Centre. Ben Scrivens and Anders Nilsson are the two goaltenders. Connor McDavid centres a line with Taylor Hall and Teddy Purcell to start. Other lines include: Lander-Draisaitl-Yakupov Ford-Platzer-Kessy Pitlick-Miller-Hamilton On defence, the team is going with: Sekera-Fayne Ference-Nikitin Hunt-Oesterle (Davidson rotating in) Stay tuned for more updates.Chris WescottFri, 18 Sep 2015 13:29:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/644scrimmage2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4128641286Camp opens, audio and videohttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41269Chris WescottThu, 17 Sep 2015 19:44:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/20150917_mclellan1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4126941269BLOG: Andrej Sekera sets the record straighthttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41282Andrej Sekera is preparing for his first year playing with the Oilers and he wants you to know that he’s not concerned about his position on the ice. “I’m here to play hockey. Whatever the coach will give me I will do. If it’s PK, PP, I don’t really care, you know, I’m here to win a hockey game and that’s what matters for me,” he said. That’s not to say that Sekera doesn’t care entirely, because he does, his passion to find the right team is evident in the selection strategy he had when deciding where it is he wanted to play. “I saw the change up top — two guys who are very successful at what they do. Then I looked at the roster, a lot of talent, a lot of youth, so they are building something very nice here. I think that if they can be guided in the right direction, this could be very successful, so I would like to be a part of it.” The six-foot tall defenseman took his time in analyzing the offers before deciding to sign a six-year deal with the Oilers. “It takes you a couple of minutes to look at the roster, where the offers came from. You know you want to look (ahead) a couple of years, see what might change, what might not, who will be there, who will not be there. I felt the most comfortable with Edmonton.” Now that he’s settled into the city and made connections out of the arena, his focus is to get on the ice and do the same. “The city is nice. I’m here to play I’m not here because of the city,” said Sekera. “You know a little bit of snow never hurts, they have nice summers obviously, nice areas — a lot of green stuff, a lot of rivers — a lot of small places to go and eat, and stuff like that, so it’s actually pretty nice. People are friendly, and as far as the teammates, everybody has been very helpful and very nice to me so I cannot say anything bad about them. I’m really happy to be here and I’m looking forward to this year with the group of guys we have down there.” Sekera may be a little bit older and a little bit wiser than a number of the youthful players looking to make an impact with the team dynamics, but he’s confident that once training begins and the season is underway, the Oilers will find their rhythm. “I think it’s all about understanding each other, (each other’s) habits and especially the system we’re going to play. So as soon as we are on the same page I think we will be fine. It’s about working five guys together not one together, so as long as we all get comfortable with each other, with the system, I think we will be fine,” he said.Meg TilleyThu, 17 Sep 2015 19:43:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/07/20150701_sekera1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4128241282BLOG: Mark Letestu on getting back to the gamehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41280Oilers after becoming a free agent on the first of July. But now, as the Edmonton Oilers get back to the grind — starting with fitness testing — and gear up for training camp, Letestu is readily focused on what lies ahead. “This is kind of the unofficial kick-off now,” he said. “To me it’s kind of the last loose ends to tie up before we get to work, which starts tomorrow, which I know myself included and probably speaking for some of the guys, we’re excited to get going.” The atmosphere for the Oilers centre may be new — new city, new team, mixed with newfound fan excitement — but his readiness for camp and the tasks and strategies they’ll be working on hasn’t wavered. “The expectations and the anticipation for the season, you know, we’re ready to go. It’s time to start and get going and start developing some team chemistry and things that make a team successful,” said Letestu.Meg TilleyThu, 17 Sep 2015 18:40:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/07/644letestu-white.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4128041280BLOG: McLellan’s preparation for first camp with Oilershttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41278After seven seasons with the San Jose Sharks, training camp preparation was more familiar to Todd McLellan than it is in Edmonton. With it being his first season with the Oilers, and with so many new pieces to the team, it will take some time to get used to. “It’s different,” said McLellan. “There’s no doubt about it, it’s different. The environment is different, the players are different. The hockey principles we want to put in place are the same. That part, I’m comfortable with. Everything else is a new experience for the players and the coaches. The pace of moving forward with your program won’t happen as quick as having an established team. For lack of a better analogy, if we’re in first grade now we can’t skip second and get to third. We’ve got to take our time and make sure we’ve got the fundamentals of first grade down and go from there. It will be a little bit slower than maybe what we’re used to, but needed.”Chris WescottThu, 17 Sep 2015 16:07:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/05/20150519_mclellan644-1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4127841278BLOG: McLellan to demand higher pacehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41276A higher pace of practice is what Todd McLellan wants to institute in Edmonton. “I know I would like to have some get-up-and-go in practice,” said the head coach. “I’ll even talk to the players about moving from drill to drill and not wasting time. The old ‘at the practice and lining them up’, and we will do some of it, but lining them up to just skate them to get their conditioning level up, I think if you have to do that on a consistent basis, you haven’t had tempo in practice, you haven’t had the intensity in practice. I like to be quick, precise, get on and get off, or at least allow them time at the end or before to work on their individual skills.” That pace starts in training camp. However, there is a fine line between high-tempo drills and going too fast during the teaching process. “That’s a tricky thing,” said McLellan. “Our language, our approach to the game, isn’t a lot different than most teams but players are used to certain ways and certain habits. Some are really good and some we have to break. We need to take the time to slow things down to make sure that happens. With that being said, we want a high level of pace in our practices. We want some intensity that’s high. I don’t like standing around and waiting. But there is a fine line right now between going too fast and skipping over the details. I think we’ll try and avoid that.” As for the installation of McLellan’s systems and philosophies, he expects that to take time as well. “There’s only so many ways you can play the game,” he said. “Sometimes our language will be different. Sometimes we’ll confuse them because of it. It will take some time for us to get them to clearly understand what our language is. I think they’ll pick it up quick. We have to do a fairly good job of teaching it. We can’t skip over any details… But I think they’ll get it. I really believe they will.”Chris WescottThu, 17 Sep 2015 16:06:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/06/20150630_mclellan.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4127641276BLOG: Getting mentally strongerhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41277In Todd McLellan’s mind, it’s not a matter of changing culture. Often times when new coaches come in, they’ll make changes to habits and style and give speeches meant to inspire their team to change a culture in the hopes it leads to more wins. McLellan doesn’t like that word. For the Oilers new head coach, it’s about internally becoming mentally stronger in order to push through the downs and turn games around when it’s not going your way. That’s how you climb the standings. “That word ‘culture’ is a dangerous word in my opinion,” said McLellan. “I don’t even know what it means anymore. We throw that around like a word that’s so common. I know here that we’re going to have to get mentally stronger. Our point where we succumb to the score of the opposition has to get pushed a lot further, a lot longer. That will be addressed with the players and that we’ll have to continue to push and continue to push. I’m saying that knowing there’s going to be some tough times. There will be some days when it’s not going so well and I’ll be really interested to see the group during those moments.”Chris WescottThu, 17 Sep 2015 16:06:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/07/644mclellan-1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4127741277BLOG: McLellan’s timeline for camp decisionshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41275Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan surely has a timeframe in mind for when he wants to have camp decisions made and a roster formed. However, it’s going to take time. That in mind, sooner is still better. “The quicker the better, for myself as a coach and for our staff,” said McLellan. “We’ve got a lot of new players here that we need to get to know and we’ve got to figure them out fairly quickly. We’ve got to look for chemistry and the fewer people in camp, the better. We also have a number of (pre-season) games to play. We’ve made a number of commitments to some young men that have made commitments to us to come here and we have to give them the opportunity. The sooner the better but, with that being said, fair.” McLellan says fans and media will be able to make assumptions fairly quickly on line combinations and the direction the roster is going. “We’ll have a break in camp very quick where it becomes somewhat evident of what our plans are, as far as divvying up teams between NHL and the AHL,” said McLellan. “That doesn’t mean we’ll be set in stone. There will be players that move from the B Group into the A Group, if you want to call it that, on a regular basis, on a daily basis, so we can see them interact. It will give us an opportunity to begin to put our game in place well before that last week of opening day.” As for line combinations and defensive pairings, the organization has a rough template but it’s fluid. “Obviously, we have lines and pairings that we’re going to start training camp with,” McLellan said. “We’ve tried to do as much homework as we can and look at chemistry issues and who plays well in situations but that will change rapidly. Everybody will arrive at camp and I’m counting on them to be prepared and be in good shape and ready to go but that doesn’t always happen. Players will earn more ice time and others will lose ice time as it goes along. And we’ll look for chemistry.”Chris WescottThu, 17 Sep 2015 15:58:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/20150917_mclellan1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4127541275BLOG: Scrivens on acquisitions & competitionhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41271This off-season, the Oilers new hockey operations boss, Peter Chiarelli, was hard at work adding to and re-shaping the team’s roster. On the blueline, he added NHL veterans Andrej Sekera and Eric Gryba. He also traded for talented young d-man Griffin Reinhart. He also added to the forward crop and traded for goaltender Cam Talbot. Ben Scrivens commented on the additions not only on the blueline but also up front and in net, believing the competition will make the team better. “The organization tried to get better every way that they could,” said Scrivens. “They didn’t leave many stones unturned about possibilities to improve the team. Bringing in more defencemen, guys with NHL experience, high draft picks, it’s going to create competition on the backend. Obviously, we’ve made acquisitions and trades and signings at every position. When you have a subpar season as a team, as a whole, one of the best ways to try and remedy that is to create competition for jobs coming into the next year. I think the organization did that at all three positions and I think that’s intentionally done to make us a better team.”Chris WescottThu, 17 Sep 2015 14:14:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/644scrivenspractice.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4127141271BLOG: Scrivens feels mentally refreshedhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41270Sometimes, in order to move on, you’ve got to reset. For Oilers goaltender Ben Scrivens, this off-season was just as much about a mental reboot as it was getting physically ready for a new season. “It was a good summer for me,” said Scrivens. “Mentally, it was probably the best thing for me to refresh. I’m coming in and I feel really good right now. My confidence is up. I’ve had a great summer off the ice and on the ice. It was just a matter of analyzing the season a little bit, both personally with what I did well and didn’t do well and seeing what I could change. Obviously, there were tough lessons that I learned last year. I’ve talked about it earlier, just trying to do too much, which comes when you care about the results. Sometimes, it leads you down the wrong path where now you’re worried about things that are out of your control. It was good to mentally re-focus and get back to a similar training plan I’ve had for the better part of my pro career.” Scrivens finished last season with a .890 save percentage and 3.16 goals-against average in 57 games for the Oilers. He’s hoping to soon get back to his form from his time with the Los Angeles Kings in 2013-14, in which he posted a .931 save percentage and 1.97 GAA. On the ice this summer, Scrivens went back to work as he does every off-season. “A lot of goalie sessions when I could, skating well and skating as often as I could and obviously, a lot of time in the gym getting lean and getting stronger,” he said.Chris WescottThu, 17 Sep 2015 14:05:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/12/20141211_scrivensmask644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4127041270Oilers trim rosterhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41268The Edmonton Oilers have reduced their training camp roster by seven today, assigning the following players: Keven Bouchard (Baie-Comeau – QMJHL) Rihards Bukarts (Brandon – WHL) Kevin Davis (Everett – WHL) Cole Linaker (Kelowna – WHL) Jordan Papirny (Brandon – WHL) Tyler Soy (Victoria – WHL) Colton Waltz (Brandon – WHL) The Oilers training camp roster now includes 59 players (6 goalies, 20 defencemen and 33 forwards).Edmonton Oilers Press ReleaseThu, 17 Sep 2015 00:50:00 EDThttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4126841268BLOG: Draisaitl finishes Rookie Camp stronghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41267Leon Draisaitl finished tied for the tournament lead in points (five) at the 2015 Young Stars Classic in Penticton, B.C. He followed up those three games with a four-point night (1-3-4) against the University of Alberta Golden Bears on Wednesday at Rexall Place. The third-overall pick in 2014 shouldn’t be a surprising name to spot high up on the stat sheet. His high-end scoring and playmaking ability make him a top prospect in the Oilers system. This Rookie Camp allowed him to show the Oilers brass a glimpse of his offensive talents. “I think it’s always important,” Draisaitl said of putting up points. “I think every player has his role. I would consider myself as an offensive guy so I expect myself to produce offensively and I think (Wednesday night) the whole team did a great job of that.” Draisaitl will battle for a spot on the Oilers roster out of training camp, starting Friday. Oilers Rookies Head Coach Gerry Fleming might not be expecting the big, German centre to spend much time down in the American Hockey League with Bakersfield if he continues anything close to his scoring pace in pre-season. “Leon had a good Rookie Camp here,” said Fleming. “He did the things that we expected him to do. Hopefully he can just take that and keep adding to what he has to do at the big camp to stay.” Overall, Draisaitl seemed pleased with his performance with the prospects. Nine points in four games will probably put a smile on your face. “It’s been pretty good I think so far,” said Draisaitl. “Obviously, the first couple games are always a little tough. It takes a little while for you to get your feet wet and get your legs under you. But so far, it’s been pretty good. I think the most important thing is it’s getting better from game to game.”Chris WescottThu, 17 Sep 2015 00:36:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/644396draisaitl.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4126741267BLOG: Fleming has reason to be pleased after Rookie Camphttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41266If Oilers Rookie Camp taught us anything it’s that the organization has great top-level prospects in Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Darnell Nurse. It also taught us that the depth, particularly among AHL-bound players, packs a scoring punch. Josh Winquist finished the 2015 Young Stars Classic with the tournament lead in points (five) and goals (four). He added another goal on Wednesday night against the University of Alberta Golden Bears. Perhaps Winquist can carry this momentum down to Bakersfield. He did have a 93-point season in the WHL back in 2013-14. Fellow AHL contracted teammates Braden Christoffer and Alexis Loiseau also put up points for the Oilers Rookies. Christoffer scored three goals in as many games in Penticton and added an assist. Christoffer had two helpers against the Bears. Loiseau recorded two goals and two assists in two Young Stars games. He added a goal on Wednesday night. Add turning-pro prospect Kyle Platzer amongst names to watch who had strong camps. Bakersfield Condors Head Coach Gerry Fleming, who also led the Oilers Rookies, says it makes him excited to see the players perform well and even surprise. “It sure does,” said Fleming on Wednesday morning. “You’ve got to understand too that they’re going against junior (and college) guys and it will be a different set of competition when they get to the American Hockey League, with bigger and more-experienced guys. But for them to play the way they have in this (camp), I’d rather see that than them not perform to the way they’re supposed to. We expected it from them and they responded the way they should have.”Chris WescottThu, 17 Sep 2015 00:34:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/20150912_christoffer1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4126641266BLOG: Wednesday's line combinationshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41263The Oilers Rookies are on the ice for morning skate at Rexall Place. Here is their projected lineup for tonight’s game against the University of Alberta Golden Bears based on this morning’s line combinations. Slepyshev-McDavid-Sanford Christoffer-Draisaitl-Winquist Linaker-Loiseau-Bukarts Rankin-Platzer-Chase Roy and Soy are skating, but not expected to play. Defensive Pairings: Nurse-LaLeggia Jones-Bear Betker-LeveilleChris WescottWed, 16 Sep 2015 12:19:00 EDThttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4126341263Tuesday Audio and Video from Royal Glenorahttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41224Chris WescottTue, 15 Sep 2015 17:03:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/20150915_practice6441.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4122441224BLOG: Chase is day-to-dayhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41226After getting banged up in Saturday’s Young Stars tournament game against Calgary, Greg Chase was a late scratch on Monday against Winnipeg. One game remains for the Oilers Rookies and that is tomorrow night against the University of Alberta Golden Bears. Chase, like many of the prospects, most looks forward to this game. “I think for us, the last couple of years I’ve played, it’s definitely been the hardest game that we’ve played out of the four rookie tournament games,” said Chase. “They’re the best team in the country for however many years and they’re a fun team to play against. It’s always a fun environment. They’re a well-structured team, it’s a good test for us every year and it’s always a fun one to be a part of.” A good sign for Chase to play tomorrow is that he skated and participated fully today as the team practiced at Royal Glenora. Chase wouldn’t commit to a yes-or-no answer when asked if he’d play tomorrow. “We’ll just reevaluate in the morning,” said Chase. “I felt good out there and we’ll see what they want to do.”Chris WescottTue, 15 Sep 2015 17:00:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/07/644chase.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4122641226Audio and Video from Sunday's Practicehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41204Chris WescottSun, 13 Sep 2015 17:27:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/20150912_christoffer3.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4120441204BLOG: Marco Roy puts past behind him in pursuit of proshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41162Marco Roy isn’t dwelling on the past. He’s not worried about prior injuries, which served as an obstacle to his junior production. He’s not worried about not getting an NHL contract at the end of his junior career. The former second-round pick of the Oilers in 2013 is just focused on what he can control and that is the present. “I think I’m here to have fun, play hard and compete every shift,” said the 20-year-old centre, who is skating for the Oilers in the 2015 Young Stars Tournament in Penticton, B.C. “In the end, I’m here to be a better player and add more experience in hockey. I’m just here to win and compete.” Roy played just 39 games in 2013-14 for the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada in the QMJHL. A change of scenery was supposed to help him put the injuries in the past and gain valuable experience. He was moved to the 2015 Memorial Cup host team, Quebec. Roy posted 50 points, including 26 goals, in 59 games for the Remparts in the regular season. He added 11 points in 14 playoff games and five points (1-4-5) in five games during the Memorial Cup tournament. “I had a lot of injuries and stuff,” Roy said of his final junior season. “I think I finished strong at the Memorial Cup and I’m happy to have played in this tournament. It’s good for me. I had a lot of fun in that tournament.” But Roy brushes all last year aside. His focus is clear. “I think I’m ready to play in the pros.” The Oilers did not sign Roy to an entry level contract and he re-entered the draft. After he wasn’t selected, the centre was brought back to the Oilers system, but this time with a professional contract. Roy signed an AHL deal with the Bakersfield Condors, the Oilers primary development team. The Condors look forward to seeing if Roy can live up to his second-round potential. “Marco is a skilled guy, a goal scorer, so he’s got to go out there and let his skills take over, dominate the game and have confidence with the puck and make plays,” said Condors Head Coach Gerry Fleming. “He’s a playmaker and that’s what we expect from him.” Roy is suiting up for the Oilers here in Penticton with the hopes of leaving an impression on the Oilers and the Condors. He wants to prove he can be a professional hockey player and can be successful. In order to be successful in that endeavour, Roy is putting all of his injuries and past obstacles to rest. “Right now I’m feeling 100 percent and I had a really good summer of training, like three months of training. I added weight, so I’m stronger,” said Roy. “I think mentally I am ready. Everything I had in the past is behind me. Right now, I am focusing on playing in the NHL one day and proving to everybody that I can play there.”Chris WescottSat, 12 Sep 2015 22:15:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/08/20150810_roy.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4116241162Video, photos & more: first day of camphttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41173edmontonoilers.com staffThu, 10 Sep 2015 20:36:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/20150910_fitness1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4117341173BLOG: McDavid talks World Cuphttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41180On Wednesday, Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Peter Chiarelli was announced as a manager of Team North America for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. Together with Chicago’s Stan Bowman, Chiarelli will build a roster of under-23 players from both Canada and the United States. One of those players eligible to be selected is 2015 first-overall pick and Oilers centre Connor McDavid. “That would be a tremendous honour,” said the 18-year-old rookie. “It would be a great experience to play in that and play against the world’s best.” The World Cup of Hockey will feature eight teams competing for an international championship. Team Canada, Team Czech Republic, Team Finland, Team Russia, Team Sweden, Team USA, Team Europe and Team North America will compete in the tournament put together by the NHL, NHLPA and IIHF. Two groups of four will compete in three tournament games in a round-robin format. The top two finishers in each group will advance to a single semifinal and then the two surviving teams will play a best-of-three final series. “It’s really unique,” said McDavid. “It’s a great format and something people aren’t necessarily used to and that’s a good thing. It’s good to mix it up. I know a lot of people are having a tough time understanding the whole this team and that team, the under-23 and that kind of thing. It can be confusing but it’s a great format and should be a great tournament.” McDavid has already represented his home country Canada in his young career. He won gold at the 2015 World Junior Championship. While Team North America isn’t carrying the banner of one country, international play is a special career achievement. Should Chiarelli select him, McDavid would be honoured to compete with some of the best under-23 players in the game and against the best in hockey. “Any time you get to play internationally, it’s so special,” said McDavid. “Any time you get to put on the maple leaf, it’s something that you never forget and you’ll do anything you can to get back to that situation. I think if I was chosen and lucky enough to play on (the North American) team, I think everyone and myself included feel the same way, we’d be proud to be the young guns and we certainly want to represent well.” Chiarelli said yesterday that if eligible Oilers players like McDavid or Ryan Nugent-Hopkins get selected it will be invaluable experience for the youngsters, but he expects them to remain focused on their NHL seasons for now. “I mean I think you’d have to ask them but I think their priorities are helping out the Oilers… It’s nice to know that you’re being watched and judged by a terrific team like a World Cup team but first and foremost you help out your NHL team and let the chips fall where they may,” said Chiarelli.Chris WescottThu, 10 Sep 2015 17:51:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/07/20150703_McDavid6.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4118041180BLOG: Draisaitl not worried about potential transitionhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41178The Oilers centre position isn’t so much a log jam, but spots are limited. With rookie Connor McDavid and fellow first-overall pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins likely to man the top two lines, free-agent acquisition Mark Letestu is likely the fourth middle man. That leaves the third-line spot up for grabs, but considering his performance at the NHL level last season, veteran Anton Lander will not give it up lightly. This has led most to believe second-year player Leon Draisaitl’s best path to the roster out of training camp is on the wing. “I’ve played the wing before. I know what it takes to play on the wing,” said Draisaitl. “I think it shouldn’t be too big of an adjustment for me.” Draisaitl, 19, says he hasn’t begun practicing on the wing but is ready to make the shift if that’s what it takes to begin the season with the Oilers. That’s his ultimate goal, whatever it takes. “I think you have to be decent around the boards,” Draisaitl said of the differences between centre and wing. “You have to know what your options are on the breakout or if there’s a scrum on the half-wall or wherever it is. The timing is a little bit different from wing to centre, and obviously in the d-zone, I would say you almost don’t work as much as the centre down low with the defencemen. I think those are the biggest adjustments.” Draisaitl, taken third overall in the 2014 Draft, saw his offensive confidence skyrocket with Kelowna in the second half of the season. He finished his WHL season with 53 points in 32 games. That came after 37 games with the Oilers to start the year.Chris WescottThu, 10 Sep 2015 16:50:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/07/644drai.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4117841178BLOG: Oilers ‘Big Three’ ready to compete in Pentictonhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41176When you look at the Oilers Rookie roster for their Young Stars Tournament in Penticton, B.C. the first three names that stick out are Connor McDavid, Darnell Nurse and Leon Draisaitl. All three come with the stardom associated with being a high first-round pick and the potential to be key contributors to the Oilers very soon. For McDavid, this will be his first Young Stars Tournament, having been taken first overall in the 2015 NHL Draft at the end of June. “I’ve heard it’s a very fun tournament,” said McDavid. “It’s always a good time, it’s very competitive and, obviously, it’s a nice part of Canada. It will be good to spend some time out there as well.” As a seasoned Penticton veteran, having played in the tournament in 2013 and 2014, Nurse is looking forward to the increase in tempo from his off-season training. “It’s always good to get out there,” said Nurse. “Obviously, you don’t play many games in the summer that have high tempos. It will be good to go out there and get my legs under me. I look forward to playing with these guys.” Draisaitl wasn’t surprised to see his name on the roster this season. After being selected third overall in 2013, the big German centre got a taste of NHL hockey with the Oilers but finished his season in junior. Draisaitl is eager for the experience this tournament gives him and looks to not only compete but to win. “We all go there to win the tournament,” he said. “That’s what it’s all about. Guys want to make the team and guys want to impress, but at the same time we’re still a team. We want to win and we want to win every game. I think we’re all going in with that mindset.” All three Oilers games in Penticton will be broadcast live on edmontonoilers.com.Chris WescottThu, 10 Sep 2015 16:45:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/07/644nurse1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4117641176BLOG: McDavid takes to the ice in Edmontonhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41132It was a whirlwind morning at the Royal Glenora Club today as the Oilers geared up for their informal skate. Among a sea of faces, one in particular stood out among the rest: Connor McDavid. He’s finally here. Making his way to the rink, McDavid was all smiles while catching up with and meeting his teammates. “It’s been really good,” he said. “It was fun today being around the guys and getting to meet some new faces and that, so it’s been good.” After a few skill-set drills, the group split into two and got down to business, scrimmaging for the remainder of their ice-time. “It’s exciting,” said McDavid. “It was a quick summer, went by pretty fast but I couldn’t be happier to get out to Edmonton and get everything going.” It didn’t take long for the six-foot-one centre to find his groove, flying past his opponents to be the first to score, making a stark reminder to everyone as to why he's here and maybe, in an effort to prove why he's already ranked number 36 on the list of top 50 players in the NHL. He hasn't played a single NHL game yet and McDavid's already been placed in the spotlight. Even Steven Stamkos, a fellow competitor, believes McDavid is more skilled than he was at that age. “That’s obviously one of the nicest compliments but I don’t think that’s really true,” said McDavid. “I skated with him all summer long, but I don’t really think that’s true.”Meg TilleyTue, 08 Sep 2015 19:25:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/307mcdavid.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4113241132BLOG: Gazdic and Letestu on McDavidhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41133Connor McDavid was ready to set the pace at the Oilers informal skate at Royal Glenora Club. Though he was eager to get the puck moving he left a wake of impressions on his teammates. “I was with him at the BioSteel Camp in Toronto…so I got first glimpse of him there but skating on a line with him in a scrimmage is incredible,” said Oilers teammate Luke Gazdic. “I found out right from the first shift that if you give him the puck you better get on your horse cause he’ll be 100 feet ahead of you if you don’t catch up. When you give him that puck you better get open cause there’s a good chance he’s going to find you. Obviously everyone knows he’s special talent but he’s also a special kid and just a nice down to earth kid and that translates onto the ice.” Through an onslaught of skill-testing drills, McDavid moved effortlessly among his teammates, but his time to shine came when the group divided into scrimmage mode. “He kind of came as advertised,” said Mark Letestu. “You can see his speed right away. Obviously we’re just playing around out here, we’re not quite ramped up to full game speed. But skill-wise, he comes as advertised, it’s pretty special to watch.” Now in Edmonton, McDavid has had a chance to get his bearings before ramping up again for training camp, having temporarily moved-in with Gazdic and fellow teammate Taylor Hall, until the start of camp. “[Gazdic]’s an awesome guy,” said McDavid. “I got to know him a little bit better at BioSteel Camp as well [as Hall], you know, just being with him the past day, he’s taking care of me pretty good, last nights dinner was pretty good. He’s a guy everyone likes, I think.” Gazdic, who’s been playing in the NHL for three years now, but has been playing professionally since he was 19, understands what it’s like to acquire a professional role at such a young age. “I’d like to be a calming influence and someone that, when we go back to the house, he can kind of turn that hockey world off and just be a regular kid and talk about anything else other than hockey and getting his mind off of it a little bit, because I know he’s going through a lot of stuff right here going into camp,” said Gazdic. “He’s only been there a couple nights with me but we cooked a little bit last night and I’m sure he’s liking the experience of being on his own, but he’s just a normal kid that people don’t take into account all the time that he’s 18 years old, and he talks ways above his age, and a lot more mature than he actually is.”Meg TilleyTue, 08 Sep 2015 19:23:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/306gazdic.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4113341133BLOG: McLellan on Ferencehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41106At the start of each new season, the question of who will maintain or assume the status of captain can sometimes be a touchy subject. Some feel as though that with the dawn of restructure, changes should be made, while others believe loyalty trumps all else. According to Oilers head coach Todd McLellan, the subject of who can fill, or continue to fill the role, as captain is tricky, especially when you haven’t had the chance to really see how a player acts both on and off the ice. “It’s virtually impossible for me as an individual to make a call on the leadership group and tactics that are in play here right now because I haven’t experienced the team as a whole,” said McLellan. In speaking with Oilers radio analyst and host, Bob Stauffer, McLellan tried to shed some light on the incredibly challenging task that will be at hand. “I haven’t experienced a lot of the individuals and the way they carry themselves, the way they react to certain situations,” said McLellan. “Are they verbal leaders? Physical leaders? Are they both? How do they react in successful situations? How do they react to failure? How do they interact with their teammates — I can’t answer any of those questions as a coach right now. I’ve been privy to a lot of conversations where we talked about individuals and their ability to do those things but I know myself and the staff wants to see how it evolves.” Edmonton Oilers current team captain, Andrew Ference, has bolstered a much-loved reputation among his teammates and community, something that McLellan is very aware of. “Andrew Ference is our captain right now and he’s done a tremendous job of it,” he said. “He is a quality individual, he stands for everything you need to have as a professional. He’s well conditioned, he’s well prepared, he’s got a strong belief system — so those are pretty good qualities right now in that individual.” Whether a change is made or not, McLellan respects the relationships that are already in place and isn’t looking to make any hasty decisions. “We need to take it day by day. I sat and talked to Andrew about that situation, I felt that my relationship with him at that time was really strong and you have to have that as a coach-captain situation.”Meg TilleyThu, 03 Sep 2015 19:01:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/05/20150519_mclellan644-1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4110641106BLOG: McLellan prepares for training camphttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41105Progress always involves risk. That was the message that Edmonton Oilers head coach, Todd McLellan, told Bob Stauffer, host of Oilers Now on 630 CHED, when they chatted, Wednesday. Taking chances and trying something new will likely be what the Oilers training camp will be about, according McLellan. “We’re moving guys around and we haven’t even seen them play yet!” said McLellan. According to the newly acquired head coach, figuring out their lines will be a starting point. “It’s an opportunity to see if there’s any chemistry amongst each other,” he said. “Then we’ve got to look how we’re going to roll the lines out, who’s going to play against Kopitar, who’s going to play against David Backes, those types of situations. Which line can we afford to grant more risk to? Obviously we need to improve defensively as a team but we still need to score goals — and how much risk are we going to grant certain lines? “When you look at all those situations and you put your lines together, we could be 30 minutes into day one in Leduc and we’ll already be in our minds saying, ‘You know what, I don’t think this is going to quite work.’ We have to give it a chance to give players an opportunity to try and have some success with each other.” Finally together in Edmonton, McLellan and the coaching staff are down to business, focussing on how they’ll tackle the team’s training camp in Leduc. “It was our first night as a staff altogether in Edmonton,” he said. “We had a good productive meeting there, laid our training camp and expectations of each other.” McLellan says that preparation and planning will be key for the coaching staff, who although are eager to see how their strategies pan out on the ice, are first and foremost working on how what it will look like. “Fortunately we’ve got very good erasers here!”Meg TilleyThu, 03 Sep 2015 18:57:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/07/644mclellan-1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4110541105BLOG: Oilers affiliate heads outdoorshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41085The American Hockey League announced today that the Oilers affiliate, the Bakersfield Condors, will play the Stockton Heat in a regular-season outdoor game on Friday, December 18. The game will take place at Raley Field in West Sacramento, California. Stockton is the affiliate of the Calgary Flames, bringing the Battle of Alberta to the California outdoor hockey scene. 2015-16 marks the first season the Condors will serve as the primary developmental affiliate of the Oilers. They had previously competed in the ECHL. This will be the eighth outdoor game in AHL history and first in the state of California. “This event will be a special showcase for our Pacific Division in its inaugural season,” AHL President and CEO David Andrews said in a press release. “We look forward to this celebration of hockey outdoors and to sharing the experience with the terrific hockey fans in Northern California.” The first AHL outdoor game took place in Syracuse, NY on February 20, 2010. This will be the first time an Oilers affiliate has played in an outdoor game. Raley Field is home of the Sacramento River Cats minor league baseball team, the AAA affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. It seats 10,624 with additional hillside seating in the outfield. The Condors begin their AHL era on October 9, against the Grand Rapids Griffins. The Griffins are the Detroit Red Wings affiliate and are coached by former Oilers Interim Coach Todd Nelson. The Condors will be led by Gerry Fleming.Chris WescottWed, 02 Sep 2015 14:01:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/20150902_raleyfield.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4108541085BLOG: Rookie Showcase is one more stop for McDavidhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41051Day-two of the NHLPA Rookie Showcase kicked-off in Toronto, Tuesday. The showcase featured 39 prospects and rookies from 26 of the NHL’s 30 teams, including Edmonton Oilers 2015 NHL Draft number one pick Connor McDavid. With the season within reach, this year’s batch of prospects and rookies are eager to get moving, especially McDavid. “I’m anxious to get [to Edmonton] and get everything going,” he said. “I’ve been thinking about it for a long time now, I’ve been preparing for it even longer, so I’m just looking forward to getting down there and getting started.” Having signed hundreds of memorabilia items, — helmets, sticks and jerseys — McDavid held up a trading card with a familiar face staring back at him. “Obviously as a kid you collect hockey cards,” said McDavid. “To be on Upper Deck’s Rookie Card this week, it’s very special.” The Rookie Showcase, now in its seventh year, is one more stop before training camp is underway, and though the six-foot-one centre can’t wait to hit the ice with his teammates, he also isn’t naïve to the differences the professional league will hold both on and off the ice. “Just the size and the speed of the game,” he said. “The offence…just how to handle yourself and how to be a true professional I think. It’s all an adjustment for sure but on ice I would say just the size and the speed.” With so much fan excitement already surrounding the 18-year-old, McDavid says his goal and focus for training is to not disappoint. “Just make an impression on the staff — the coaching staff, the management team and hopefully my future teammates — just the kind of person I am, the kind of player I am, that I’m willing to compete and work hard.”Meg TilleyTue, 01 Sep 2015 18:14:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/09/306mcdavid.pnghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4105141051BLOG: Ference’s approach to McDavidhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41030Oilers Captain Andrew Ference has been around the league for some time. The veteran of over 900 NHL games has played with and against some of the league’s brightest stars. The Oilers will bring in one of the next crop of those expected star players in Connor McDavid. The 2015 first-overall pick is highly touted by the hockey community and has been since he was a young boy. The 18-year-old centre will come to Edmonton with expectations and pressure placed on him by the media and the fans, but it’s nothing new to him. As one of the leaders of the Oilers, Ference will undoubtedly provide counsel to the youngster. One of the things he wants McDavid to do is just have fun. “There are some things you can relate to (with McDavid),” said Ference. “Obviously, your first year in the league. There are some things with him that not too many of us are going to be able to relate to. He’s dealt with things with tremendous maturity. He’s been incredibly impressive. Honestly, for the most part, it’s the off the ice stuff. It’s the day-to-day stuff and how to handle yourself, how to make sure that you have somewhat of a normal life outside of the rink and what not. To have that getaway from all that attention, from all that kind of spotlight. I think that’s the biggest thing. He’s a great kid. He’s a very nice man. He’s mature, he’s got his focus on the game. Give him an opportunity to be normal and have fun. Have fun with not only hockey but have fun growing up and living this life and making sure he’s doing things he gets fulfilment out of as well.” The pressures of being a rookie in the NHL are great enough. Perhaps Ference is onto something with his advice. Everybody needs an escape.Chris WescottTue, 25 Aug 2015 16:31:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/07/20150703_McDavid6.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4103041030BLOG: Ference ready to stop talking excitementhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41029Andrew Ference has followed along with his team very closely this summer. The entire league has. Perhaps no team in the NHL has seen such an overhaul in personnel both on and off the ice. The additions and changes have been talked about a lot this summer and so much so that Ference is ready to stop talking and start doing. “You talk, talk, talk, talk and it gets kind of old to be honest,” said Ference. “There is always optimism. With every single team I’ve been on, this time of year brings optimism. There has to be action and there has to be legitimate change in the way we’ve done things.” Ference’s call for action stems from his desire to win and do so in Edmonton. Yakupov, who is also skating in the same camp had a similar sentiment last week talking about needing every player to come together and work hard. The players are on the same page. “Everybody has to dig deeper and be a little bit more prepared,” said Ference. “That has to be throughout the entire organization. It can’t just be one or two guys having a better year. I think all of us really have to dig deep and not just talk about how we want it to change but really go out there and put some solid action behind it.” Personnel changes alone don’t win championships. How those pieces come together and compete this season and in the future will determine the success of the club.Chris WescottTue, 25 Aug 2015 16:30:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/08/20150825_ference644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4102941029BLOG: Talbot impresses Ferencehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=41028Everyone knows Cam Talbot has a small NHL sample size. The former New York Rangers goaltender played in the shadow of Henrik Lundqvist under the lights of the big city. When Lundqvist went down due to a vascular injury last season, Talbot was forced to step in and he did so extremely well. He went 16-4-3 in Lundqvist’s absence and posted a 2.16 goals-against average and .929 save percentage. His performance led teams around the NHL to take notice. It also made him Edmonton’s top goaltending target this off-season. They managed to acquire the 27-year-old at the draft in a trade with the Rangers. Oilers defenceman and captain Andrew Ference was one of the players to come away impressed by Talbot’s performance last season. “I think like most guys in the league, you see Lundqvist go down and he played great,” said Ference. “For the first few games, you’re watching on TV and you’re kind of waiting for him to bend a bit. Obviously, when you’ve got a guy like Lundqvist you’re not going to see a lot of whoever is backing him up. When he kept playing well it was like, OK, he’s legit. He did really well for that team. He came in in pressure situations and big games to try and fill shoes like Lundqvist’s is not easy. I think it’s what really impressed everyone around the league about him.” Talbot will compete for number one status in Edmonton this seasonChris WescottTue, 25 Aug 2015 16:29:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/06/644talbot2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4102841028BLOG: Yak talks changeshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=40980Here at edmontonoilers.com, we have documented what has been an off-season of change for the Oilers organization. From the promotion of Bob Nicholson to CEO of Oilers Entertainment Group, to the hiring of Peter Chiarelli as President of Hockey Operations and General Manager. There will be a group of new coaches behind the bench this season, led by veteran Head Coach Todd McLellan. Trades and free agent signings have reshaped the roster, and don’t forget the addition of first-overall pick and expected impact centre Connor McDavid. The ride has been fun for the fans and fun for the media to cover. It’s no surprise the league has taken notice of the Oilers improvements, but imagine being a player in the system. Oilers winger Nail Yakupov has kept a watchful eye on the additions. Yakupov, who is in Edmonton at the Perry Pearn’s 3-on-3 Hockey Camp this week, spoke to Oilers TV about the changes to the coaching staff and front office. “These (coaches) have been working for San Jose for many years and they’ve been playing in the playoffs. They know how to play in the playoffs. They’ve coached guys like Joe Thornton and (Joe) Pavelski and other guys… Brent Burns. It’s a good opportunity,” said Yakupov. “The GM won a Cup in Boston, right? So, it’s always good to have those types of guys.” Like so many others, Yakupov is optimistic that the changes will help the club moving forward. But he also recognizes that the players will have to come together and prove themselves on the ice. “I hope and everyone is hoping (the additions) are going to bring something special to our team and make our team better again,” said Yakupov. “We have to just play. Something could happen every day. You never know. I’m just happy for another season and happy to get back. I can’t wait to play and see all the guys.” When the Oilers return to camp, they do so with the goal of turning these organizational moves into real results. “The Oilers organization wants to do their best to make the team better,” said Yakupov. “It’s all about the team and we’ve got to stick with it. We’ve got to be together and show how we’re going to play. We’re getting older every year and the bad ways should stop one day.”Chris WescottTue, 18 Aug 2015 16:18:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/08/20150818_YakupovTEST.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4098040980BLOG: Yakupov on McDavidhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=40979If you don’t get the hype surrounding Oilers 2015 first-overall pick, Connor McDavid, then just check out the film. The potential and talent of McDavid is well-known in hockey circles and has been for years. It has Oilers players like Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins already voicing their excitement about their new teammate, before training camp even opens. Nail Yakupov is the latest Oilers player to speak to the media about McDavid. “Everyone talks about McDavid,” said Yakupov. “It’s kind of been crazy, especially in this city. I think it’s really good for us too. He’s a really good player and I think it will help us to be better.” About the possibility of playing on a line with McDavid, Yakupov takes a wait-and-see approach. “That wouldn’t be bad,” he said. “We still have some time. Have to be ready for the season, have to be ready for camp. It’s all the coaches’ decision on where I’m going to play. It’s all about them. Our goal is just to be strong, play hard and make some good fitness testing. Just get going in the exhibition and get ready to go for the start of the season.” Yakupov was asked about having two former first-overall picks leading the charge up the middle for the Oilers. McDavid and Nugent-Hopkins certainly bring some star power and potential to the position. “We have real good centres. Both of them. They are really good and they are really smart and they’ll be some of the best centres in the league, especially on our team,” said Yakupov. “It’s not all about just a couple guys and not about the one guy. We have a team and we have another 20 guys who are going to play hard and make some things happen on our team.”Chris WescottTue, 18 Aug 2015 16:14:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/08/20150818_yak1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4097940979BLOG: Power play improvementhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=40986The Oilers finished 19th in the NHL last season on the man advantage (17.7%). Their conversion rate on the power play drastically improved from the first half of the season, where they were operating at just 14% before the All-Star Break. Following the break, Edmonton improved to 23.6% and sat fourth in the league during that time. Oilers centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins sees improvement on the power play this upcoming season, given the strides made last season and additions to the coaching staff and the roster. One of those key additions should be 2015 first-overall pick Connor McDavid, who has the high-end offensive capabilities that can boost a power play. “I think, as the year went on and near the end of the season, we really picked up our power play,” said Nugent-Hopkins. “We started scoring and just had the confidence to go out there and get the job done. For whatever reason, that was something we were lacking at the start of the year. With a guy like (McDavid) coming in too, that will ignite us a little more hopefully. We should be a team with a really strong power play and we’ve got to get back to that.” Oilers new Head Coach Todd McLellan has a history of coaching productive power plays. With San Jose the last seven seasons, only once were the Sharks ranked outside the top 10, and twice McLellan’s Sharks were second in the league on the man advantage (2010-11 and 2011-12). San Jose’s Power Play Under McLellan: 2009-10: 4th (21.0%) 2010-11: 2nd (23.5%) 2011-12: 2nd (21.1%) 2012-13: 7th (20.1%) 2013-14: 20th (17.2%) 2014-15: 6th (21.6%)Chris WescottThu, 13 Aug 2015 17:53:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/03/20150316_ph2-644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4098640986BLOG: Depth up the middlehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=40985For years, the Oilers have been looking to add depth up the middle. Heading into the 2015-16 season, it would appear they are the deepest they have been at centre in quite some time. Heading into his fifth professional season, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is a huge part of the centre group in Edmonton. The addition of 2015 first-overall pick Connor McDavid has added excitement and potential. Adding free-agent signing Mark Letestu has bolstered the depth and veteran leadership. The development of 2014 third-overall pick Leon Draisaitl and the emergence of Anton Lander as a legitimate NHL option have also given the Oilers things to look forward to. “I think this is probably our best year for centremen depth, that I’ve been a part of,” said Nugent-Hopkins. “We still have young guys, which is always good. With Mark coming in, I think he’ll be a really good leader for us and show us the way. There’s going to be competition amongst ourselves and I think that’s going to make us better.” Nugent-Hopkins looks forward to the day when they can roll numerous offensive lines against opponents. Given the added depth at centre, that day is closing in. “Having two or three lines that other teams have to worry about on the offensive side of things makes such a big difference,” said Nugent-Hopkins. “It spreads everything around a lot more and I think the best teams in the league are deep on the offensive side of things and also on defence. When we get the right depth and we find that on our team, it’s going to be a big change for us.”Chris WescottThu, 13 Aug 2015 17:52:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644rnhh.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4098540985BLOG: Four years inhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=40984Four years into his professional career, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is ready to take the next step. He’s been thrust into a key roll on the Oilers since entering the league as the first-overall pick in 2011. The 2014-15 season saw Nugent-Hopkins post a career-high 24 goals. He also tied a career high in points with 56 in 76 games. At Oilers Hockey School in Leduc on Thursday, the centre reflected on the improvements he’s made in his game, particularly this past season. “I think I was better at finding the balance between the offensive side and defensive side,” said Nugent-Hopkins. “If you worry too much about one or the other, it might hurt the other one. But I think if you play solid at both ends of the rink you create more offence for everybody on the ice. I think I started to find that a bit better last year. I think a big thing in this league is just being consistent. That’s something that I want to keep working on and try to keep the same mentality and the same work ethic every night.” Nugent-Hopkins has also put on more muscle. The centre says he weighed about 175 pounds at the draft, but is currently around 195.​Chris WescottThu, 13 Aug 2015 17:50:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/03/465725824_fullSize(1).jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4098440984BLOG: Condors ink Roy to AHL dealhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=40934The Oilers American Hockey League affiliate, the Bakersfield Condors, have inked 2013 second-round pick (56th overall) Marc-Olivier Roy to an AHL contract. The term of the contract was not released. Marco Roy finished out his QMJHL career with the Quebec Remparts in 2014-15 after three seasons with the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada. In 229 regular season games in the QMJHL, Roy compiled 86 goals and 106 assists for 192 points. In the playoffs, Roy recorded 56 points (19-37-56) in 60 games. For the 2015 Memorial Cup hosts (Quebec), Roy scored a goal and added four assets in five games. Roy is a 20-year-old 6-foot-0, 183-pound forward from Boisbriand, QC.Chris WescottTue, 11 Aug 2015 14:00:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/08/20150810_roy.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4093440934BLOG: Nurse looks to "earn a job"http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=40951Oilers Hockey School presented by Rogers hosted another special guest this week as the kids were treated with a visit from Oilers defenceman Darnell Nurse. Nurse is in Edmonton to watch the start of the 2015 FIBA Americas Women’s Basketball Championship as his sister Kia takes to the court for Canada, and he jumped at the chance to drop by Oilers Hockey School while he was in town. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound d-man also spoke about the upcoming Oilers training camp and how he feels about the battle on the back end that lays ahead. “I am just going to get myself ready to go out there and earn a job,” he said. “It’s something that I am expecting myself to do, but at the same time, it’s going to take a lot of work. And I’ve got to put that work in.” Nurse’s OHL playoff run with the Soo Greyhounds this past spring got cut short in the semifinal round thanks to Connor McDavid and the Erie Otters, but that meant he got to join the Oilers AHL affiliate Oklahoma City Barons on their playoff run in May. Nurse said that extra experience with the AHL club was hugely beneficial as he gets ready to become a full-time pro in 2015-16. “Any opportunity you have to get out there and play definitely helps. But it was good to help me gauge myself and things I need to work on. I have another year under my belt. I know what to expect and I know what to expect from myself.” Nurse appeared in two games with the Oilers at the beginning of the 2014-15 NHL season, before reporting back to the OHL with the Greyhounds where he made 36 regular season appearances, tallying 10 goals and 23 assists. He tacked on three goals and five assists during the Soo's post-season run and contributed four assists during his short four-game stint in the AHL playoffs with OKC. Nurse also led Hockey Canada to a gold medal at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship and earned tournament MVP honours in the process. Nurse’s next action in Oilers silks will be at the Young Stars Classic taking place in Penticton in mid-September.Cait MacPhailFri, 07 Aug 2015 17:06:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/07/644nurse1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4095140951BLOG: Nurse in town cheering on sister Kiahttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=40950Darnell Nurse is pulling double duty during his trip to Edmonton this weekend. The defenceman was wearing his Oilers hat/helmet on Friday as a special guest at Hockey School in St. Albert, and on Sunday he’ll be in big brother mode at the Saville Sports Centre cheering on sister Kia and the Canadian women’s basketball team in their first game at the FIBA Americas Championship. “It’s a pretty good lineup for the weekend,” Nurse said between on-ice sessions at Oilers Hockey School. “It’s an opportunity to get into the community and come to the Hockey School, and obviously (Kia) is here so I want to watch her play.” Kia has stolen the Nurse family spotlight this summer, leading Canada to a gold-medal performance at the Pan Am Games in Toronto with a remarkable 33 points in the championship game against the United States. The 19-year-old, who was picked as Canada’s flag-bearer for the Pan Am closing ceremonies, will look to continue her hot streak in Edmonton as the national team looks to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. And it hasn’t just been national team success for Kia in 2015. Despite being a first-year player, she was also starter at the University of Connecticut this past season and helped the Huskies capture the NCAA championship. Darnell and Kia are children of Richard and Cathy Nurse, who played pro football in the CFL and Canadian university basketball for McMaster, respectively. Their older sister Tamika also played at the NCAA level. That must mean Darnell has some basketball skills in his blood too, right? “No, none… I wish,” he laughed. “I can jump, but putting a ball in the hoop is a lot harder than it looks.” Nurse said the family plays two-on-two games when they’re all home together, but when was the last time he and Kia squared off one-on-one? “When I knew I could beat her, so probably when we were like eight years old,” he laughed. “After that I knew I had no chance. I gave up on that dream.” Nurse’s pursuit of his dream to become a full-time NHL blueliner will continue at Oilers training camp in September, but for this weekend he’ll support Kia’s dream of becoming an Olympian. The FIBA Americas Championship runs Aug. 9-16 at the Saville Centre. Tickets are available on-site and through Ticketmaster. Canada opens its round-robin schedule Sunday at 6:30pm MT vs. Puerto Rico.Ryan FranksonFri, 07 Aug 2015 17:05:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/08/644nurse.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4095040950BLOG: Szabados visits Oilers Hockey Schoolhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=40753Oilers Hockey School presented by Rogers had another special guest stop by on Wednesday as the kids were treated with a visit from two-time Olympic gold medalist and Canadian National Women’s Hockey Team goaltender Shannon Szabados. Edmonton native Szabados spoke of the privilege of giving back to the community where she grew up playing hockey. “It’s nice to be home for the summer and I take any chance I get to come back to the rink, especially when it’s camps like these,” she said. “These camps were my favourite and always the highlights of my summer, so it’s nice to be able to help out and give back to the community in this way,” After four seasons of collegiate men’s hockey with MacEwan and NAIT, Szabados just finished her second season with the Columbus Cottonmouths of the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL). She’s back in her hometown for the summer and talked about the minor pro experience so far. “It’s been amazing. I didn’t quite know what to expect when I first went down there because it is so far south, but I’d say the majority of the league is Canadian. So I have played with and against a lot of the guys down there and that made the transition easier,” she said. “And as far the fans go, it’s been unbelievable. We have a lot of die-hard fans down there. The hockey is great and I am getting ice time and starting to feel more comfortable.” As far her career progression goes, Szabados feels like she is right where she belongs following a 15-9-1 campaign with a 3.12 GAA and .907 save percentage. “I think any hockey player’s goal is to play the highest level possible and I think right now the (SPHL) is a good fit for me.” Being a local product, Szabados also spoke fondly of when she got to suit up and participate in an Oilers practice on March 5, 2014. “That was so awesome and such an honour. Some of the kids were actually asking about that today,” she said. “The Oilers organization has been so great to me, so I feel it’s important to come out and help whenever I can. I was born and raised in Edmonton and will definitely always be an Oilers girl at heart.” Szabados backstopped the Canadian National Women’s Hockey Team to two consecutive gold medals at the 2010 Vancouver & 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games.Cait MacPhailWed, 22 Jul 2015 19:39:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/07/644shannon.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4075340753BLOG: Gazdic looks ahead to 2015-16http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=40738Oilers forward Luke Gazdic was in Edmonton on Tuesday making a guest appearance at Oilers Hockey School and sharing some of his thoughts about the upcoming season. Gazdic expressed excitement as a result of the flurry of off-season changes the club has gone through recently, and what it could all mean moving forward. “There’s definitely a lot of big changes happening, and there is a buzz in the city that I haven’t really felt since I’ve been here,” he said. "With the way things have gone over the last few years, I think change is to be expected and with change comes a lot of expectation. So it’s something that I know a lot of guys, including myself, are really looking forward to.” With the off-season additions of fellow checking-line forwards Mark Letestu and Lauri Korpikoski, Gazdic is well aware the team make-up is bound to be different heading into the 2015-16 season. And given that notion of higher expectations, he knows what challenges lay ahead when it comes to the battle to make the lineup. “It’s always been my mindset that I am coming in to earn a roster spot, and I have had that same mindset since my first pro camp, so it’s nothing new for me. I know I am going to come into camp in the best shape possible and give myself every chance to be an effective player in the lineup.” The 6'4” left-winger has made 107 appearances with the Oilers over the last two seasons, tallying four goals, three assists and racking up 127 penalty minutes with 22 fights.Cait MacPhailTue, 21 Jul 2015 18:25:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/07/644gazdic3.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4073840738BLOG: Gazdic helps out at Hockey Schoolhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=40736The annual Oilers Hockey School presented by Rogers kicked off this week at Servus Credit Union Place in St. Albert, and the kids in attendance were treated with a special guest visit from Oilers winger Luke Gazdic on Tuesday. Gazdic took part in some on-ice training sessions with a few lucky groups of seven to 15-year-olds and spoke about the privilege of being able to participate in the event. “I am just happy to be here and happy to help,” he said. "I did camps like this when I was younger and for me it was always nice to see pro athletes come in. It’s awesome to be able to give back in this setting and help young kids develop their skill sets.". This year’s Oilers Hockey School runs from July 19 to August 7 at Servus Credit Union Place in St. Albert and August 9-14 at Leduc Recreation Centre. Special guest appearances continue this week with Olympic gold medallist Shannon Szabados, former Oilers goaltender Jeff Deslauriers and both current and former Edmonton Oil Kings WHL players. Current Oilers players will also be visiting in the coming weeks.Cait MacPhailTue, 21 Jul 2015 17:33:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/07/644gazdic1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4073640736BLOG: Norfolk Admirals name Eric Veilleux head coachhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=40729The Oilers ECHL affiliate Norfolk Admirals named Eric Veilleux as head coach for the upcoming season. From the Admirals press release: ADMIRALS NAME FORMER ASSISTANT ERIC VEILLEUX HEAD COACH FOR 2015-16 NORFOLK, Va. - The Norfolk Admirals, the Oilers ECHL affiliate, announce today that the team has named Eric Veilleux head coach for the upcoming season. The Admirals have also named Ben Boudreau as assistant coach to serve alongside Veilleux. Edmonton Oilers Assistant General Manager Bill Scott says, "We are thrilled to announce Eric Veilleux will join our organization as Head Coach of our ECHL affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals. Eric has an outstanding coaching history as a Head Coach in the QMJHL, where he not only had successful teams, but he developed individual players and prepared them for professional hockey." Veilleux, 43, makes his professional head coaching debut after nine seasons at the helm in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) and one as assistant coach of the Admirals in 2014-15. Veilleux led the Shawinigan Cataractes to a Memorial Cup championship as the host in 2012 before moving on to Norfolk in 2014 following two seasons as bench boss of Baie-Comeau Drakkar. The Quebec City native compiled a 347-208-45 record and led his teams to the postseason in all nine campaigns during his QMJHL tenure. A 5-foot-7, 148-pound forward in his playing days, Veilleux skated in 601 career games in three leagues and three different countries. He made 517 combined appearances in the AHL with the Cornwall Aces, Hershey Bears, Kentucky Thoroughblades, and Lowell Lock Monsters. He skated in nine games in the Finnish SM-Liiga during the 1998-99 season, but returned to the United States for the 1999-2000 campaign in which he played 73 contests for the Manitoba Moose of the International Hockey League (IHL). Veilleux concluded his professional career in 2001, retiring with 106 goals, 174 assists, 280 points, and 850 penalty minutes. Boudreau, 30, comes to Hampton Roads for his second season as a coach in professional hockey. The St. Catharine's, Ontario local was an assistant coach for the Bakersfield Condors in 2014-15 after a two-year playing career. The Norfolk Admirals open the 2015-16 regular season at home versus the Wheeling Nailers on October 16 at 7:30 p.m. Admirals' 10-pack tickets for the 2015-16 season are on sale and start at $125. Visit the Admirals Administrative Office at Scope or click on the 'Tickets' tab at NorfolkAdmirals.com to purchase. Season tickets are available for purchase as well and begin at $400. Call 757-640-1212 for more information.Marc CiampaTue, 21 Jul 2015 13:01:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/07/644veilleux1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4072940729BLOG: Gerry Fleming named Condors head coachhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=40728The Bakersfield Condors have named Gerry Fleming as the head coach of their squad as it enters its first season in the AHL. From the official Condors press release: GERRY FLEMING NAMED HEAD COACH OF THE BAKERSFIELD CONDORS J-F Houle and Tony Borgford to serve as assistant coaches; staff announced CONDORSTOWN, Calif. - The Bakersfield Condors, of the American Hockey League (AHL) and owned by the Edmonton Oilers, announced today that Gerry Fleming has been named the team's head coach. In addition, Jean-François (J-F) Houle and Tony Borgford have been named assistant coaches. Oilers Assistant General Manager Bill Scott will serve as the Condors general manager. Other members of the hockey operations staff announced were Head Athletic Trainer Josh Bennett, Head Equipment Manager Al Oman, and Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Patrick Love. WHAT OILERS ASSISTANT GM BILL SCOTT SAYS: "We are thrilled to announce our hockey operations staff, led by Head Coach Gerry Fleming, who will be a tremendous leader in Bakersfield. Gerry's attention to detail and ability to develop our young players made him a natural fit to return as head coach, By adding JF Houle as assistant coach and with the return of Assistant Coach Tony Borgford, we believe we have a tremendous coaching staff ready to take the Condors to the next level." GERRY FLEMING (48 years old, from Montreal, Quebec) Replaced Todd Nelson as head coach in Oklahoma City (AHL) last season on December15, 2014 and posted a 26-21-3-1 (.549) record, leading the Barons to their fifth straight postseason appearance. Took the Barons to the second round after sweeping San Antonio in the Calder Cup Playoffs before falling in Game 7 to the eventual Western Conference Champions, Utica Comets. Served as an assistant coach for the Oilers AHL team since 2008-09, both in Springfield (2008-10) and Oklahoma City (2010-2014), prior to taking over as head coach last season. Spent eight seasons as a head coach in the ECHL from 2000-2008, with Tallahassee and most notably with the Florida Everblades from 2001-2008. Posted an overall record of 282-162-60 (.619) with Florida including back-to-back Kelly Cup Finals appearances in 2004 and 2005. Began his coaching career as an assistant coach in the AHL with Fredericton (1998-99) and Quebec (1999-2000) under current Montreal Canadiens Head Coach Michel Therrien. As a player, played seven seasons in the AHL with Fredericton and earned a call-up to Montreal on two occasions which totaled 11 games in the NHL. J-F HOULE (40 years old, from Charlesbourg, Quebec) Head coach of the 2014-15 ECHL Bakersfield Condors Compiled four consecutive 40-win seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) with Lewiston and Blainville-Boisbriand Previously an assistant coach at his alma mater, Clarkson (NY) University, from 2003-2010. As a player, he played under Fleming twice. Once, in Fredericton in 1998-99 where Fleming was an assistant coach. Second, in 2000-01, where he captained Fleming's team in Tallahassee. TONY BORGFORD (40 years old, from Regina, Saskatchewan) Joined the Oilers organization last season as an assistant coach with the Oklahoma City Barons. Worked three seasons with the NHL's Winnipeg Jets as a video coordinator/coach from 2011-2014. Was a video coordinator with the Atlanta Thrashers for eight seasons, from 1999 until the team relocated to Winnipeg in 2011. Played four seasons at Mercyhurst (Penn.) College from 1995-1999 ABOUT THE HOCKEY OPS STAFF Al Oman (Head Equipment Manager) enters his 4th season with the Oilers organization. Josh Bennett, ATC (Head Athletic Trainer) enters his 3rd season and Patrick Love (Head Strength and Conditioning Coach) enters his 2nd campaign. Oman, originally from Florida, becomes the head equipment manager after serving as an assistant with the Barons. Bennett, from Maine, holds a Master's degree in Physical Education from Winthrop University. Love holds a Master's degree in Wellness Management - Exercise Science from the University of Central Oklahoma. STAFF TO BE FORMALLY INTRODUCED NEXT WEEK - DETAILS TO FOLLOW Fleming, Houle, and Borgford will be formally introduced to the public and media next week. Details on the event will follow. BE A PART OF HISTORY!! - CONDORS OPENING NIGHT SATURDAY, OCT. 10 Join the Condors on their historic move to the American Hockey League in 2015-16. Become a ticket member and enjoy all of the great benefits by contacting the Condors at 324-PUCK (7825) or click here for more information.Marc CiampaTue, 21 Jul 2015 12:01:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/07/644-fleming.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4072840728BLOG: Sather’s swaggerhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=40716His smirk is legendary. Former Oilers Head Coach and General Manager Glen Sather always had a confidence about him. That just so happened to be what the Hall of Famer passed on to his teams as well. The Oilers of the 80’s are a perfect example. “He really instilled a belief in us,” said former Oilers defenceman Kevin Lowe. “A concept to believe that you’re good, to believe that you can be the best. I think back to the early days playing the likes of the Montreal Canadiens, the Philadelphia Flyers, the Boston Bruins, the New York Islanders, and he really emphasized that, ‘you guys can be every bit as good as these guys. You can be as good as the great, legendary Canadiens, and you will be.’ “It’s one thing to say that you can, but he always had a great deal of swagger and confidence and when he said, ‘you will be,’ we believed it.”Chris WescottMon, 20 Jul 2015 17:26:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/07/20150720_Sather1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4071640716BLOG: Long time cominghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=40715It was only a matter of time before Glen Sather saw his name raised into the rafters in Edmonton. The long-time player, coach and general manager will see his banner raised in Rexall Place at a game against the Rangers on December 11. The wait was due to Sather’s tenure in New York as GM. He stepped down from that post on July 1. “Never in doubt,” said Vice Chair of Oilers Entertainment Group Kevin Lowe. “There was a question of timing, but we’re certainly glad we waited this long because we think it’s that much more fitting. The last year of Rexall and the last year of the Oilers and Oil Kings in this building. I certainly don’t want to say last but not least, but… none of this would have happened without Glen Sather. It’s very fitting that he’ll be the final great moment of Rexall Place.” The Oilers will be moving into their new downtown home at Rogers Place following this season. Sather will be the final banner raised at Rexall. Lowe spoke with Sather before the club announced the decision. “(He was) humble as you would expect and very honoured. Rightfully so. It’s been a long time, and for no other reason than we’ve had a bit of a mandate in terms of people doing their jobs,” said Lowe. “Now he’s not a general manager anymore, we can honour all the great things that he did.”Chris WescottMon, 20 Jul 2015 17:24:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/07/20150720_lowe306.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4071540715BLOG: Sather’s impact on Lowehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=40714Kevin Lowe was playing for the Quebec Remparts in the QMJHL when he first met Glen Sather. Little did he know that the two would be seeing a lot more of each other over the coming years. “For me personally, it was the year before I was drafted by the Oilers,” said Lowe. “I was being recruited by some of the WHA teams and I had a chance to meet with him in Quebec City on the bench during a practice. He had read in the paper I was thinking of signing with the Birmingham Bulls or the Quebec Nordiques and he said, ‘why would you want to sign with those teams, why wouldn’t you want to come out to Edmonton?’ And that was the first time I spoke with him.” Lowe was taken 21st overall in 1979, joining the Oilers that rookie season. In the following years, Sather made an impact on the young defenceman that has stuck with him until today. “Everything, for me personally,” Lowe said of what Sather meant to his career. “The support he gave me as a player and the encouragement he gave me in my later stages as a player to keep my eye on the long-term objectives, in terms of coaching and managing. When he brought me back from the Rangers, he brought me back with a contract that allowed me to play for another year and then to get into coaching afterwards. I don’t know if anybody else has ever signed a contract like that. Then when the EIG took over, Glen went to New York and they asked me to be manager. I asked his advice and he said, ‘there are three jobs in hockey. There’s playing, there’s coaching and there’s managing. Playing is the best and coaching is the second best and managing is the third best.’” Sather will see his name raised into the rafters on December 11, as the Oilers honour the long-time player, coach and general manager. Sather becomes the ninth Oiler to have a banner raised by the team, joining Gretzky, Messier, Coffey, Anderson, Kurri, Hamilton, Fuhr and longtime radio broadcaster Rod Phillips.Chris WescottMon, 20 Jul 2015 17:23:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/07/20150720_Sather2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4071440714BLOG: Davidson ready to face tough challengehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=40693On Thursday, the Oilers agreed to terms with 23-year-old Brandon Davidson on a one-year contract. After 12 games with the club last season, the defenceman's natural progression and development suggest he’s ready for more in 2015-16. “Things were pretty smooth sailing I think,” Davidson told Bob Stauffer on Oilers Now. “With my situation and how things went last year, I think that this was reasonable and I’m glad that I’m able to stay on with the organization. I know I’ve had a taste there now and I feel like I’m ready more than ever. I’m real excited and can’t wait for the challenge ahead of me.” His road to the NHL is lined with obstacles. The organization made it a point of emphasis to bolster their depth on the blueline this off-season. The competition is much stronger than a year ago. Edmonton traded for both Griffin Reinhart and Eric Gryba at the draft. General Manager Peter Chiarelli has said he expects both to be in Edmonton this season. There is also the competition with 2013 seventh-overall pick Darnell Nurse for a spot. And of course, you have the incumbent defencemen from last season as well as free agent signing Andrej Sekera. It will be a tough task for a young defenceman like Davidson to unseat some of that competition. But he’s faced adversity before and the 2010 sixth-round pick won’t go down without a fight. “I feel like I’ve done everything that I’ve been asked and I keep proving over and over again that I belong and that I can do this,” said Davidson. “For me, I know there’s a big challenge ahead of me, especially with what happened at the draft and Darnell Nurse might be ready as well. I know there’s a huge challenge ahead of me but I’ve been facing challenges my whole life and this is just another one. Hopefully I can break this one down too.” Davidson has gotten bigger and stronger the last few years and last season he was a very important piece of the Oklahoma City Barons defence. Davidson was reliable enough that the coaches put him on the ice for big minutes and big responsibilities. He became more physical this past season, and it showed in his one-on-one battles with opposing players. Davidson says he would like to get a little quicker heading into the upcoming season. If Davidson is to make the Oilers roster out of training camp, beginning the year as the seventh defenceman may be his best bet. “That’s very fair,” said Davidson. “That’s my goal right now, to get my foot in that door and if that’s that seventh spot then I’m going to relish that and run with that. Any chance I can be there and stay there, I’m going to take it, make the best of it and work my way to through the ranks kind of thing.” After signing on with the Oilers for another year, Davidson couldn’t be more happy to at least have that opportunity. “I’m really excited. I can’t wait to get started this season. I want to start and finish with the Oilers and that’s the goal.”Chris WescottThu, 16 Jul 2015 18:33:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/03/20150327_davidson2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=4069340693