EDMONTON OILERS BLOGShttp://www.edmontonoilers.com/rssEDMONTON OILERS BLOGSNHL Enterprises, L.P. (c) 2014 NHL. All Rights Reserveden-usSun, 21 Dec 2014 14:48:19 ESTSaturday audio and videohttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=35080Chris WescottSat, 20 Dec 2014 16:34:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/12/20141219_practice.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3508035080BLOG: Number changeshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=35079Two Oilers have changed their jersey numbers. Tyler Pitlick will now wear number 15. Brad Hunt has switched to 24.Chris WescottSat, 20 Dec 2014 15:51:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/11/20141130_pit.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3507935079BLOG: Saturday practice updateshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=35074The Oilers have taken to the ice at Rexall Place for practice. Freshly recalled Anton Lander could see some work on the power play. Power Play Units: Hall-RNH-Eberle-Purcell-Hunt and Perron-Lander-Yakupov-Schultz-Petry The team is working on zone entry. Nikitin (back) is skating with the team. Forward Lines: Hall-RNH-Purcell Perron-Gordon-Eberle Yakupov-Lander-Pitlick Hendricks-Arcobello-PinizzottoChris WescottSat, 20 Dec 2014 14:27:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/12/644klefbom.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3507435074BLOG: Nurse named to Team Canada rosterhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=35075Oilers top defensive prospect Darnell Nurse, the seventh overall pick in 2013, has been named to Team Canada’s roster for the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship. Nurse has played 19 games for Sault Ste. Marie in the OHL this season, registering 19 points (6-13-19) and 34 penalty minutes. The World Junior Championship will take place from December 26, 2014 to January 5, 2015 in Toronto and Montreal.Chris WescottSat, 20 Dec 2014 13:27:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141004_nurse1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3507535075BLOG: Oilers recall Landerhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=35050The Edmonton Oilers announced today they have recalled centre Anton Lander from the American Hockey League's Oklahoma City Barons. Lander, 23, has registered 27 points (8G, 19A), 16 penalty minutes and a plus five rating in 26 games with the Barons this season. The 6’0”, 186-pound centre has appeared in 94 career NHL games with the Oilers, posting eight points (2G, 6A) and 18 penalty minutes.Edmonton Oilers Press ReleaseFri, 19 Dec 2014 16:00:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/01/CaptainLander_2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3505035050Friday practice updateshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=35044The Oilers have taken to the ice in San Jose for practice. The lineup remains unchanged. Forward Lines: Hall-Nugent-Hopkins-Purcell Perron-Gordon-Eberle Yakupov-Draisaitl-Pitlick Hendricks-Arcobello-Pinizzotto Defensive Pairings: Ference-Petry Klefbom-Fayne Hunt-Schultz Davidson has been assigned to Oklahoma City.Chris WescottFri, 19 Dec 2014 13:39:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/12/20141219_practice.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3504435044BLOG: Oilers assign Davidsonhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=35034The Edmonton Oilers announced today they have assigned defenceman Brandon Davidson to the American Hockey League's Oklahoma City Barons. Davidson, 23, has appeared in four games with the Oilers this season, recording eight hits and three blocked shots. The 6’2”, 214-pound blueliner has posted three points (1G, 2A), 13 penalty minutes and a plus five rating in 14 games with the Barons this season.Edmonton Oilers Press ReleaseFri, 19 Dec 2014 13:00:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/12/20141211_davidson306.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3503435034BLOG: Nelson talks about OKChttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=35007Until this past Monday, Oilers interim head coach Todd Nelson was the only head coach in Oklahoma City Barons history. He gave his thoughts on the franchise announcing today that they would cease operations at the end of the season. “It’s disappointing that things couldn’t work out. The years I’ve been there were outstanding. The people there treat you unbelievable," Nelson began. "My family loved it there and all the players really enjoyed playing there. It’s unfortunate that things didn’t work out, but it’s business.” Nelson touched on the fact that attendance wasn't quite what they had hoped in Oklahoma City. “They were doing an extensive job of trying to get people in the seats and it was getting better but it wasn’t as consistent as they wanted it to be.” He was also asked by the tornadoes, which became a story the past few years, particularly when the Barons had a playoff game postponed in May 2013. “We had a couple of close calls over the years. It’s pretty odd but just a week or so ago some tornadoes touched down. I’m not pretending to be a cagey veteran with the weather but it had an impact on everybody around there.”Marc CiampaThu, 18 Dec 2014 16:07:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2013/09/NelsonOneonOne.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3500735007BLOG: Draisaitl not going to World Juniorshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=35005The Oilers have announced that centre Leon Draisaitl will not be going to the World Juniors. Draisaitl said after morning skate that he was happy with whatever the Oilers decided on the matter. “Either way would be a good thing for me,” he stated. The German centre also added that he would be rooting hard for his squad in the tournament. “Usually the goal for a German team is to stay in the top division and that’s going to be the same this year. I hope they get it done and I’m definitely going to be cheering for them this year.”Marc CiampaThu, 18 Dec 2014 14:37:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141028_draisaitl.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3500535005BLOG: Lines at morning skate in San Josehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=35004The Oilers are on the ice for morning skate in San Jose. Line combinations are: Hall-RNH-Purcell Perron-Arcobello-Eberle Yakupov-Draisaitl-Pitlick Hendricks-Gordon-Gazdic (Pinizzotto) Ference-Petry Klefbom-Fayne Schultz-Hunt Davidson-AulieMarc CiampaThu, 18 Dec 2014 14:25:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/12/64mactpractice.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3500435004Wednesday Audio and Videohttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34995Chris WescottWed, 17 Dec 2014 18:39:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/12/20141217_oilers306.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3499534995BLOG: Gordon could make returnhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34996Boyd Gordon's demeanour is typically all business around the rink, but the veteran centre had reason to smile on Wednesday as it looks like he'll make his return to the #Oilers lineup tomorrow against the San Jose Sharks. Gordon has missed the last five games with a sore back, but he said the ailment has felt better during practice the last few days and he’s optimistic he will be 100% ready to return tomorrow. "I’ve had a good couple days skating with the guys and things feel pretty good, so I’m excited to get back playing," Gordon said post-practice. “Sometimes your body gets a bit run down, and it was one of those situations where I needed to take some time to get (my back) better and close to 100%. It’s felt good the last couple skates and held up pretty well. " Since signing with the Oilers as a free agent in July 2013, the 31-year-old has suited up for 101 games, registering 28 points and leading the team with a 56.4% success rate in the faceoff circle. Gordon also brings the intangibles, like killing penalties, blocking shots and providing a calming, veteran presence to the locker room. “It means a lot, he’s a big part of our team," said Gordon's regular linemate Matt Hendricks. “Obviously one of the best centremen in the league in terms of faceoffs and penalty killing. He’s a great leader in the room and we’ve really missed his presence." Gordon's impending return likely means Hendricks will shift back to the wing after filling the pivot role on the Oilers grinder line. Hendricks, who was previously a semi-regular centreman in Colorado, Washington and Nashville, did quite well back in the dot, winning 56% of his draws.Ryan FranksonWed, 17 Dec 2014 18:36:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/644blockedshot.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3499634996BLOG: Lines at Wednesday's practice in San Josehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34990The Oilers have hit the ice for practice at SAP Center in San Jose. Forward lines based on jersey colour: Hall-RNH-Purcell Perron-Arco-Ebs Yakupov-Draisaitl-Pitlick Gazdic-Hendricks/Gordon-Pinizzotto Interim coaches Craig MacTavish and Todd Nelson are both on the ice running the team through drills. More updates to come.Ryan FranksonWed, 17 Dec 2014 14:39:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/12/20141217_oilers306.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3499034990BLOG: Nugent-Hopkins and Ference on the new coacheshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34946After the game, Andrew Ference and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins both commented on the new coaches behind the bench -- namely Todd Nelson and Craig MacTavish. “It’s a change," said Nugent-Hopkins. "I’m used to seeing Dallas back there for the past year and a half, it’s a little bit different, but I think as the game went on we got used to it. He’s a vocal guy so that really helped.” Ference talked about his perception of the collective thoughts of his teammates as the transition occurs. “I think everyone is trying to put solid games under their belts," Ference remarked. "Not missing their assignments, making sure that we are still concentrating on cleaning up our defensive zone and opportunities against. I think that’s still the focus whether it was last week, this week or whatever week it is. I think that’s always going to be a key for our team is to make sure we are selling our own end.”Marc CiampaWed, 17 Dec 2014 01:12:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/644rnhinterview.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3494634946BLOG: Nelson on having MacT behind the benchhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34945Oilers coach Todd Nelson talked about having General Manager Craig MacTavish behind the bench with him as he coached the Oilers. “It was nice having a guy with that much experience behind the bench with me, being able to consult with each other on different match-ups, line match-ups and strategies. It was a great experience for me.” Overall, Nelson found a lot of positives as he started to get to know the Oilers a little better throughout the game. “I saw a lot of positive things tonight. We have to focus on that and move forward. In overtime, they didn’t have a whole lot of quality chances until that last opportunity and I thought we did a good job in overtime just staying on top of the puck. I think we just have to focus on the good things, correct the things we have to get better at and just keep a positive outlook.”Marc CiampaWed, 17 Dec 2014 00:51:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/12/306nelly.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3494534945BLOG: Lines at morning skate in Arizonahttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34907The Oilers are on the ice for morning skate at the Gila River Arena. Forward lines are the same as last game: Hall - Nugent-Hopkins - Purcell Yakupov - Draisaitl - Eberle Perron - Arcobello - Pitlick Gazdic - Hendricks - Pinizzotto Defence Pairings have changed: Ference-Petry Davidson-Fayne Hunt-SchultzMarc CiampaTue, 16 Dec 2014 13:41:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/12/644mactcoach.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3490734907Video and audio from Mondayhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34861Mon, 15 Dec 2014 21:25:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/12/20141215_macT-644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3486134861BLOG: The Captain gives his thoughtshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34868Oilers captain Andrew Ference spoke Monday about the news of the day -- head coach Dallas Eakins being relieved of his duties. “It’s an awful day, I’m sure, for (MacTavish) to have to do that to a good man,” said Ference. “It’s the human side of the business without a doubt. He’s somebody that I think is an extremely good role model for the guys on this team, getting to know him the last little while. “He’s a good coach that deserved a better fate here.” Ference was asked whether he felt that a new voice would help change things and he put the onus on the players to buy into what any coach is trying to implement. “The responsibility is on us. The Xs and Os can change, you can adjust those and move those around but the general philosophy of how you win at this level, it’s not that different from one successful team to the other. They might approach the game from a systems standpoint differently but from the way they play for each and with each other as a collective group, buying into whatever the coach says and tells you to do is an important thing. “No matter what it is, the most important thing is buying in and doing what you’re told. I think that if you can do that as an individual and contribute your part to the team you’ll collectively have good success. “It takes everybody to do it, to be part of the machine.”Marc CiampaMon, 15 Dec 2014 21:17:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/12/20141205_PRACTICE2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3486834868BLOG: Taylor Hall's thoughts on Monday's newshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34867Oilers winger Taylor Hall spoke to the media shortly after the team arrived in Glendale, Arizona for Tuesday's game against the Coyotes. “It’s a tough day for everyone. It makes everyone look in the mirror. Everyone shares responsibility. We wouldn’t be doing this interview right now if we were winning and doing our jobs the best that we could,” Hall began. “We haven’t been putting wins on the board, that’s fairly obvious. When that happens someone inevitably is going to take the fall and unfortunately that had to be Dallas today.” The left winger was asked how much things change now that Craig MacTavish -- the team's general manager -- steps behind the bench to start. “I think everyone is going to be on watch for sure. It’s going to be very interesting to see how well we play. I have a feeling we’re going to come out real hard and everyone is going to be trying to impress the brass.” Hall talked about feeling like the team let down Coach Eakins. “I feel a lot of pain for him because I know how much he cared about the group and I know how much we cared about him. We didn’t get it done for him and now with Craig — and eventually Todd — being here. Everyone’s gotta play better. Myself included. I haven’t been nearly as good as I can be.”Marc CiampaMon, 15 Dec 2014 21:15:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/11/644hallgene.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3486734867BLOG: Eberle talks Nelson and morehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34869Oilers forward and alternate captain Jordan Eberle talked about the team's new interim head coach Todd Nelson and his history with him. “Todd is a very smart guy. I know he watches all our games in OKC and having him in training camp and having him in the American League for half a season, he knows how to get the most out of players. He’s smart, he’s a very friendly guy off the ice and knows when to get on guys too,” Eberle stated. “Having a new face and MacT back there will change things a bit but at the end of the day it comes down to us. They can only put the guys out there and we have to perform.” Eberle echoed Taylor Hall's thoughts that the team feels responsible for Eakins' job loss. “It’s tough. I think any time you lose your head coach you feel responsible as a team and as a player. It’s obviously not his fault, it’s deeper than that. It goes towards our team and our performance. “We take a lot of responsibility as individuals in this locker room and we definitely feel like we let him down.” Eberle was asked whether it was time to break up the core or even if he felt it would be good to move on. He was very quick to say how much loved being an Oiler and playing in Edmonton. “I love playing in Edmonton. I would never want to leave here. Performance wise, I haven’t played my best and I know everyone in that locker room feels the same way,” he said. “I don’t think we’ve even touched the surface of where we can get to. “The only thing we can do moving forward is play as hard as we can, and improve.”Marc CiampaMon, 15 Dec 2014 21:10:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2012/10/644364eberle.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3486934869BLOG: MacTavish speaks to accountabilityhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34888Oilers General Manager Craig MacTavish addressed his decision to make a change at head coach this morning. In doing so, MacTavish said the blame for the team’s lack of wins does not stop only at the head coaching position. “There’s blood all over my hands in this as well because I put the lineup together and the roster,” MacTavish said. “I’m not here to absolve myself of accountability in the situation that we’re in, nor am I here to solely blame Dallas (Eakins) for the job that he did because in my mind he did a lot of really good things for our group. This group had a long way to go, I think he brought them a significant distance as the bulk and core of this group matures and gets their game to a level of maturity that would allow us to have more success than we’ve had now. It’s just the compounding of the losses that led me to this decision.” MacTavish says the internal review of the organization will continue past this staff change. Every aspect of the organization is still under evaluation including his own position, the general manager said.Chris WescottMon, 15 Dec 2014 17:04:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/12/20141215_macT-644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3488834888BLOG: Decision behind coaching changehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34889With the Oilers entering the week 30th in the league standings with 19 points, the organization decided to make a change at head coach. The Oilers announced that they have relieved Dallas Eakins of his duties and General Manager Craig MacTavish will take over temporarily before handing the reins to Interim Coach Todd Nelson. The decision to make the change was strictly based on team performance and the lack of wins, according to MacTavish. “I really feel the same way now as I did when I hired him,” MacTavish said. “He’s an excellent coach. I was happy with a lot of things. I had no real good reason to do this, outside of performance and that’s really the bottom line that we’re all judged by — the performance level of the hockey club and certainly the record. I would point to those things solely as the reason for this change.” The Oilers, 7-19-5, have lost four-straight games and the growing number of losses sparked the decision. “It’s just the compounding of the losses and the losses have an emotional toll on everybody in the organization, at least they should and in particular the coaching staff,” MacTavish said. “I think that the fact that we weren’t able to get any traction at all after that just led me to believe that the timing was right for a coaching change now.” MacTavish also says that this decision to make the change was his, after careful consultation with senior management. “I have complete autonomy with the hockey club. Obviously, there have been internal discussions between Bob (Nicholson) and myself, but the decision was solely mine. I made the decision based on what I thought was appropriate for the team.” After the transition, Nelson will coach the team on an interim basis until the end of the season.Chris WescottMon, 15 Dec 2014 17:04:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/644camp-eakins.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3488934889BLOG: MacTavish’s messaginghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34887As General Manager Craig MacTavish assumes coaching responsibilities on a short-term basis, he will focus on very straightforward messaging with the players. MacTavish and Interim Coach Todd Nelson will continue to hammer home the message that the Oilers need a strong work ethic and accountability in order to be successful. “For me, as a coach, the core principles have always been execution, competitiveness and hard work,” MacTavish said. “I mentioned those three core pillars of performance 10 days ago. It’s not going to be a complicated message from Todd or I about what the execution is for this group. We’ve got to attend to those three core principles, and they’ve really been the foundation of the great teams here that we’ve had here, certainly not in recent history but in past history. There’s always been a level of accountability, hard work and competitiveness that we really want to see improved.” MacTavish coached the Oilers from 2000-2009.Chris WescottMon, 15 Dec 2014 17:03:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/07/20140724_MacT.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3488734887BLOG: Todd Nelson will become interim coachhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34883Oilers General Manager Craig MacTavish announced today that he has relieved Dallas Eakins of his head coaching duties and would be taking over behind the bench on a short-term basis. Todd Nelson will be joining the staff and the team will eventually transition to him as he becomes the Oilers interim head coach. “(Nelson) will join me as I transition the team and the responsibilities of the team over to Todd,” MacTavish said. “I know the personnel well, so I want to help Todd with that transition. I want to be clear in my messaging to the players. I want to get in and get into the trenches. I think I have a very good idea and understanding of what the dynamic is there, but I want to get my hands on it for a short period of time and then I will transition it back over to Todd. Todd will remain as interim coach for the remainder of the year.” Nelson had three 40-win seasons to start his career in Oklahoma City. He’s made the playoffs in each of his four seasons with the Barons, heading into this year. In 2012 and 2013, he led the Barons to the Western Conference Final. Nelson has the Barons off to an impressive start this season, with a 15-6-2-2 record. They had won eight-straight games at one point and were unbeaten in regulation in 10 straight. “He’s done a terrific job with our minor league team in the American Hockey League,” MacTavish said. “He’s deserving of this opportunity, I want to help him transition this group and… give myself a chance to get my hands on it.” MacTavish did not give a timeline for the transition process. “I will leave at a reasonable time, when I think Todd is completely familiar with the group and with the players,” he said. Gerry Fleming will take over as head coach in Oklahoma City. There are no other changes to the staffs as of now. MacTavish said the team has made no decisions on coaching staff for next season, but Nelson will have the rest of this year to be evaluated.Chris WescottMon, 15 Dec 2014 14:49:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/03/032114nelson1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3488334883BLOG: Tweets from the Press Conferencehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34860"I'd like to thank Dallas and (wife) Ingrid for their commitment to our team and the city of Edmonton." – MacTavish on Eakins — Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) December 15, 2014 "I'd like to thank Dallas and (wife) Ingrid for their commitment to our team and the city of Edmonton." – MacTavish on Eakins — Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) December 15, 2014 MacTavish to serve as interim head coach, Todd Nelson joins #Oilers from @OKCBarons as assistant coach. No other coaching changes. — Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) December 15, 2014 MacTavish will be "transitioning the coaching responsibilities" to Todd Nelson, who will take over as #Oilers HC this season. — Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) December 15, 2014 #Oilers MacTavish: "I feel the same way now as when I hired him... I had no good reason to do this other than performance." — Chris Wescott (@TheChrisWescott) December 15, 2014 "There's blood all over my hands too. I'm not here to absolve myself of responsibility for the situation we're in." – MacTavish — Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) December 15, 2014 "Accountability, hard work and competitiveness" are the three core pillars MacTavish and Nelson will work on as #Oilers coaches. — Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) December 15, 2014 "To think that this was a coaching issue would be naive. It's deeper than that." – MacTavish, #Oilers continue to evaluate organization — Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) December 15, 2014Mon, 15 Dec 2014 13:55:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/12/644-mactavishh.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3486034860BLOG: Dallas Eakins Relieved of Dutieshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34859The Oilers have relieved Dallas Eakins of his head coaching duties. GM Craig MacTavish will address the media at 11:45am MT. The press conference will be streamed live on the Oilers mobile app. Click the "radio" button in the top right corner of the main page. More info to follow...Mon, 15 Dec 2014 12:31:00 ESThttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3485934859BLOG: Oilers recall Hunthttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34848The Edmonton Oilers announced today they have recalled defenceman Brad Hunt from the American Hockey League's Oklahoma City Barons. Hunt, 26, has appeared in six games with the Oilers this season, posting his first National Hockey League goal on October 11th against the Vancouver Canucks. The 5'9", 187-pound defenceman has registered 22 points (7G, 15A), six penalty minutes and a plus seven rating in 17 games with Oklahoma City this season.Edmonton Oilers Press ReleaseSun, 14 Dec 2014 13:24:00 ESThttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3484834848Saturday's video and audiohttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34792Marc CiampaSat, 13 Dec 2014 14:12:00 ESThttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3479234792BLOG: New looks on the power playhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34797The Oilers are trying some new looks down the middle on their power play with Matt Hendricks setting up in front of the net on one unit and Tyler Pitlick on the other. Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins talked about continuing to find the right mix. “We continue to search for goals (on the power play) and we’ll keep changing it, adjusting it, hammering on it,” he began. “Hendy (Matt Hendricks) will not leave the front of that net when the puck’s up on the point. He’s good on retrievals. He’s heavy on pucks, we’ve got to have that. What happens on your power play usually is when a guy like that goes on it, there’s usually someone with skill who moves off or moves to another unit. It’s where we’re at now. We have to have somebody in front of the net.” The head coach added that he felt that losing Boyd Gordon's faceoff ability -- he remains out with a back injury -- puts the team in a tough position. “When you get into these situations, boy do you miss Boyd Gordon and the value that he brings our team in the faceoff circle.” With Pitlick in front of the net on the other unit, Eakins is taking a page out of the AHL's Oklahoma City Barons. “Pitter is going to be our bumper up there. He was doing it in Oklahoma City. We were chatting with (Barons head coach Todd Nelson) down there and he was real efficient there.” While Pitlick has not been a centre for most of his pro career, Eakins does like his faceoff ability. “He has centre in his background and can win face-offs as well. We’ll put him in that role on that unit.” Pitlick played centre for a good number of shifts on Friday against Anaheim. “I only moved him there for a shift or two and he did so well that I just let it run, I kept going with him. I thought he looked really good there. Is that a long-term approach for him? Probably not, at this level. But he was one of the guys for me last night that was going. He was playing and he was being physical. He’s in the mindset right now, whatever we ask him to do he just nods his head. You end up having a lot of time for players like that.”Marc CiampaSat, 13 Dec 2014 14:08:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/gallery/2014/03/414403_1395546702237.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3479734797BLOG: Oilers not skating on Sundayhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34796Like last Sunday, the Oilers are not skating tomorrow morning. With the team coming off four games in six days and the Rangers playing tonight (and also not skating tomorrow), Coach Eakins felt that fresh legs were important for the club. "You see that first period last night, we're pooched. Fourth game in six nights. With a win last night and better execution you wouldn't have seen us today. I would have liked to keep them right away from the rink to get them some rest but we needed touches. We had to go back on that power play again. We got that done today and now we need them to rest," Eakins stated.Marc CiampaSat, 13 Dec 2014 14:00:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/12/644fasth.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3479634796BLOG: Pitlick reunited with Arcobellohttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34795Tyler Pitlick will be on a line with Mark Arcobello and David Perron on Sunday night against the New York Rangers. For Pitlick, he's skating with a couple of players he's familiar with. He skated with Perron in his first game up with the Oilers back on December 1 and played with Arcobello in Oklahoma City. "I think it’ll be great," said Pitlick of his new linemates. "Me and Arco played together my first year in OKC pretty much the whole year. And on and off throughout the years that he was there. He was up and down quite a bit. "I’m familiar with him and we’re kind of familiar with each other. We can trust each other so I think it’ll be good to have that factor," Pitlick continued. "Me and Perron played together that first game and I thought we played well together getting pucks in deep, playing a simple game and letting the forecheck take care of the work." Arcobello added that he was looking forward to playing with Pitlick. "He plays hard every game. He’s got good speed and size and likes to throw the body. It’s nice to have him on the forecheck. He’ll chip it in and press a lot of those D. It’s going to be good."Marc CiampaSat, 13 Dec 2014 13:36:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/11/20141130_pit.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3479534795BLOG: Oilers on the ice Saturday for practicehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34787The Oilers are on the ice for practice this morning at Rexall Place. Line combinations are: Hall-RNH-Purcell Yakupov-Draisaitl-Eberle Perron-Arcobello-Pitlick Gazdic-Hendricks-PinizzottoMarc CiampaSat, 13 Dec 2014 12:17:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/12/644klefbom.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3478734787BLOG: Unleash the slap shothttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34761The Oilers need to get more pucks to the net, especially on the power play. They also want more slap shots to head towards the net than wristers. Head Coach Dallas Eakins spoke about hat and the Oilers need for players like Justin Schultz to become that shot presence from the blueline. “Justin’s first thought is get the puck to the net and we’re all for that. But we have asked him to start teeing it up because he can shoot it,” Eakins said. Eakins says the Oilers don’t have that feared heavy shot from the point like the Predators have in Shea Weber, so it falls on the rest of the players just to shoot it. “Do we have a guy that’s got a huge gun like some teams have a d-man back there that everybody in the league knows… it’s coming? We really don’t really have a guy like that,” Eakins said. “That being said, I’m not sure who can’t shoot the puck with these sticks. Everybody can gun it, you just have to be committed to, ‘I’m shooting the puck here and that’s it.’” “If you have a chance to shoot it, I’d much rather you tickle the rafters with your stick and gun it than just wrist it through.”Chris WescottFri, 12 Dec 2014 15:13:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/08/20140829_Schultz.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3476134761BLOG: Pitlick ready for this chancehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34760The Oilers recalled 23-year-old Tyler Pitlick because he was playing well in Oklahoma City and deserved another look in the NHL. So far, the young winger hasn’t looked out of place, playing with more skilled players like Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. “He’s bringing us some physical play,” Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. “He can certainly skate and get in on the forecheck. We’re hoping that his touches on the puck get a little cleaner. He’ll certainly go to the net and we feel that’s how he can compliment Nuge and Hallsy, by doing that. There are going to be times where we pop up another forward there on that line as well, depending on if there is a timeout coming or something like that. Pitter has come in, he’s worked hard. He’s had some chances before, maybe they were a little bit premature but he seems a little more ready for this one.” Pitlick has played five games for the Oilers this season, and has 19 hits.Chris WescottFri, 12 Dec 2014 15:11:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/03/Pitlick032614.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3476034760BLOG: Oilers transfer Joensuuhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34754The Edmonton Oilers have transferred forward Jesse Joensuu to Bern of the Swiss Elite League. Joensuu, 27, played in 20 games this season for the Oilers. He recorded two goals, two assists and 14 penalty minutes.Chris WescottFri, 12 Dec 2014 12:00:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141002_ph1-644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3475434754BLOG: Determination drives Davidsonhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34715There aren't very many roads to the NHL that have been bumpier than the one traveled by Oilers defenceman Brandon Davidson. The team has yet to announce whether the 23-year-old will make his NHL debut tonight on the road against the Anaheim Ducks, but if he does, it will be the culmination of a tumultuous few years that included a cancer scare and an off-season groin injury earlier this year that caused him to miss training camp. "For a lot of my life, things have come harder for me, but I've always battled through and here I am ready to go," Davidson said following the team's pre-game meetings in Anaheim. With Nikita Nikitin (back) placed on IR on Monday, the Oilers recalled Davidson on Tuesday and he joined the team in California. The Oilers selected Davidson in the sixth round of the 2010 NHL Draft, and he followed that up with 100 points and a +21 rating in 141 games during his final two Western Hockey League seasons with the Regina Pats, before graduating to the pro level. Hockey took a backseat for Davidson in October 2012, however, as he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. He battled through successful surgery and chemotherapy, worked his way back to game shape and ended up finishing the season with the AHL's Oklahoma City Barons. Fully recovered, he spent all of 2013-14 with the Barons and put up 13 points in 68 games. Poised for a competitive NHL training camp, Davidson had another setback during his summer training as he suffered a groin injury that prevented him from on-ice action until he debuted with the Barons in November. He's been stellar since, putting up three points and a +5 rating in 14 games, for the most part playing on an OKC defence pairing with veteran Brad Hunt. "Less is more for me," Davidson said. "I play a simple game, a strong game. I feel like some stability on the back end would help the team, and that's all I want to do is help. I'm not going to change anything or reinvent the wheel. I'm just going to play hard."​Ryan FranksonWed, 10 Dec 2014 16:24:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/12/20141209_davidson.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3471534715Oilers recall Davidsonhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34647The Edmonton Oilers announced today they have recalled defenceman Brandon Davidson from the American Hockey League's Oklahoma City Barons. Davidson, 23, has recorded three points (1G, 2A), 13 penalty minutes and a plus five rating in 14 games with the Barons this season. The 6’2”, 214-pound defenceman has registered 21 points (8G, 13A) and 85 penalty minutes in 109 career AHL games.Edmonton Oilers Press ReleaseTue, 09 Dec 2014 15:26:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2013/09/DavidsonDark.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3464734647BLOG: Oilers get win, now it's back to workhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34629The Oilers were happy with their 2-1 win over the Sharks on Sunday night. The win snapped a mentally exhausting 11-game losing streak. It also gave the Oilers their first victory over a Western Conference team this season. “It’s a big step in the right direction,” David Perron said. “It’s nice playing that way, like we did in Winnipeg mostly and same here. It’s nice to get the result. It shows everyone in the room that when you do the right stuff on the ice for the most part of the 60 minutes you’ll get rewarded after.” Now comes the real challenge. The Oilers look to continue their better play moving forward. Now with their first win in quite some time and points in four of their last five games, the team seems to be finding a formula. “At the end of the day, I thought we executed pretty well,” Ben Scrivens said. “That’s got to be our expectation now of how we have to play. Minimize the mistakes. We made a couple, but they weren’t as often and as egregious as they’ve been in the past. I thought early in the season we probably deserved a better fate in a couple of games. I thought we were playing well early on. In the last little while, we got away from that. This last game against Winnipeg and the one tonight are two good ones we can build off of. It’s one or two games. It doesn’t mean a lot if we’re not going to stick to it. That’s got to be our challenge now— to make sure we go with that type of effort and execution going forward.” Eight of their 11-straight losses were decided by one goal and Sunday night’s win was by one score as well. The Oilers will get back to work with an emphasis on finding more offence to help keep the wins coming. “We go through that streak and I think eight of those were one-goal games. There’s a tipping point there,” Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. “We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. We won by a goal and we played a responsible game, but that’s how we have to play every night. We have to play with that responsibility and we’re still looking for more offence. We’ve got to find some more offence and some more finish. Does it allow you to enjoy your night and part of your day tomorrow? Absolutely, but we’re not going to have a parade over this. We’re going to get right back to business and go play this same team, which is an extremely hard team to play. They’re well coached, they’re organized and they’ve got such a veteran core there that they’re hard to beat.”Chris WescottMon, 08 Dec 2014 00:50:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141022_oilerswin.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3462934629BLOG: Barons set franchise recordhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34582The Oilers American Hockey League affiliate won their single-season franchise record eighth consecutive game on Saturday night. The Oklahoma City Barons took down Milwaukee by a score of 5-3 to stretch their unbeaten streak to 10 straight games (9-0-0-1). Oklahoma City has 32 standing points, good for third in the Western Conference and first in the West Division.Chris WescottSun, 07 Dec 2014 02:07:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/12/20141205_cellybarons.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3458234582Saturday's video and audiohttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34587Marc CiampaSat, 06 Dec 2014 15:56:00 ESThttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3458734587BLOG: Shaking off one-goal losseshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34590The Oilers have lost 11 straight games, eight of those being by just one goal. Four have been decided in overtime. The team is right there, they just haven’t been able to finish off games. Oilers winger Luke Gazdic says that’s why the team has been working on upping their battle level. “I think our battle level, our compete level needs to come up for sure,” Gazdic said. “All these games, out of the 11 that we’ve lost, eight of them have been one-goal games and four have been in overtime. That’s something you can’t really practice. That’s just got to be a compete level and a battle level that we have to switch on. We’ll be looking to get after that for sure.” It’s been a mental struggle, but the Oilers believe that if they can refine little things in their game and up the compete, they can turn some of those one-goal games into two points. “I think it’s been tough mentally in this stretch here. It’s just things we have to work on and finding a way to win here. We’ve been close, but at the end of the day a loss is a loss, whether you lose by five or you lose by one. We’re still finding a way to lose games but we have to find a way to turn that around and find a way to win it. That’s what we’ve got to do.”Chris WescottSat, 06 Dec 2014 15:46:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/12/20141205_practice3.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3459034590BLOG: Tough stretch loomshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34589The Oilers will try to end their losing streak starting on Sunday, but that task gets tougher considering their next opponents. Edmonton hosts the Sharks Sunday, then heads to California for a back-to-back road swing against the Sharks and Ducks. They then return home to host the Ducks again with one day in between. The California teams always bring a physical matchup, but the Oilers are just focused on getting that first win to shake off this difficult stretch. “First of all, we’ve got to get a win here,” Oilers winger Luke Gazdic said. “I think that’s the most important part. We’ve been working hard the last couple of days on different things. We know what kind of teams they are. They’re big and heavy, you hear that word heavy all the time but we’ve got to bring it and we’re looking to get a couple of points against San Jose here tomorrow.”Chris WescottSat, 06 Dec 2014 15:45:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/11/20141115_gazdic1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3458934589BLOG: Saturday practice updateshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34583The Oilers have taken the ice for practice at Rexall Place. Hall-RNH-Pitlick Yakupov-Draisaitl-Eberle Perron-…-Purcell Gazdic-Arcobello-Joensuu Gordon, Hendricks and Nikitin are all absent, having missed yesterday’s practice as well.Chris WescottSat, 06 Dec 2014 13:40:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/644scrimmage3.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3458334583BLOG: Barons remain hot, stretch streak to 7http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34555The Oklahoma City Barons remain unbeaten in their last nine games, a franchise record (8-0-0-1), and have not lost since November 14. Andrew Miller scored two goals to lead the Barons to a franchise record-tying seventh straight win, a 4-1 decision against the Grand Rapids Griffins. The Barons (13-4-2-2) are third in the American Hockey League's Western Conference with 30 standings points. Among their leaders in scoring are Jason Williams (8-15-23), Brad Hunt (5-13-18), Anton Lander (5-12-17) and Ryan Hamilton (9-7-16). The Barons will try to stay hot with a game Saturday night in Milwaukee.Chris WescottFri, 05 Dec 2014 23:13:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/12/20141205_cellybarons.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3455534555Friday audio and videohttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34564Chris WescottFri, 05 Dec 2014 17:05:00 ESThttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3456434564BLOG: Oilers skate hard on Fridayhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34568The Oilers worked on their conditioning today at practice, skating sets of lines. “It’s on the calendar,” Head Coach Dallas Eakins explained. “When we sit down at the start of the year, I sit down with our strength staff and our exercise physiologist and we break the season down into places where we’re going to do some hard work. Then there are parts of the season where we pull right off. We haven’t had a stretch so far where we’ve been able to get some extra work in. The conditioning day was on the calendar, and it ended up being a little tougher because of our numbers out there. Usually you have eight D or an extra forward or a couple of extra forwards out there. With the bare minimum of four lines and six D, it taxes them fairly quickly.” Boyd Gordon, Matt Hendricks and Nikita Nikitin were not skating, which gave the team less numbers to skate with. In addition to their conditioning, the Oilers ran battle drills all practice. “Our practice showed today that we’re upping our compete level, upping our intensity and upping our work ethic,” Jordan Eberle said. “Like we’ve spoken about before, it’s not on the coach, not on the GM, it’s on us in here and we know that. We’ve addressed that in the locker room, guy to guy and we’ll be better.”Chris WescottFri, 05 Dec 2014 17:04:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/12/20141205_practice1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3456834568BLOG: Reaction to MacTavish’s press conferencehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34566Oilers players and Head Coach Dallas Eakins reacted to General Manager Craig MacTavish’s press conference on Friday. Andrew Ference: “It’s exactly what we’ve been saying. It does start with us in the room. We all have to be accountable, not only to each other and to this team but, the accountability has to come from yourself. As players, we all know that everybody has a role in what’s been going on, we all have a role to be better and to improve our game. All of us have different facets to work on and improve on, which collectively will make us more successful.” Taylor Hall: “I think it just puts a little more pressure internally. Whenever your GM has to speak to the public and speak to the media, that’s usually not a good thing. For us, we’re looking forward to defending him and playing well for him because for a lot of us, he brought us in here, he’s believed in us and we’ve got to play better.” Dallas Eakins: “I spoke to the team this morning… It’s the worst day. There are days when the GM may come in and talk to the players himself and that’s a bad day. But the worst day is when my boss and the players’ boss has to come in here and get pelted with bullets and questions about the team. That responsibility falls on me, my staff and the players in that room. It’s something that I take personally and certainly all of our players should be taking it very personally.”Chris WescottFri, 05 Dec 2014 16:59:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/04/6343mactavh.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3456634566BLOG: Eakins on what his focus ishttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34567As Dallas Eakins, in just his second NHL season as a head coach, continues to try and evolve, he has created personal goals and benchmarks for his development. However, with the Oilers recent 11-game losing streak and the heartbreaking string of close losses, Eakins has put more of a focus on keeping an eye on the mental aspect of the team. “It’s always a moving target,” Eakins said of what he’d like to improve in his coaching style. “You have a plan going into the start of the season and benchmarks you want to move forward on. Those haven’t changed a whole lot. What has changed is our last month of hockey, being on the wrong end of a bunch of one-goal games and one ugly night at home especially. Then the target changes and those benchmarks you wanted at the start of the season are still there, they’re still on the list but you’re trying to get the players out of this so you can get back on track and keep putting in the necessary building blocks to become a playoff team. That stunts the process a little bit when you get into these things.” He continued, “Right now, our main concern and my main concern is the mental part of the game for our players. You take that last game in Winnipeg and those rip your heart out. You’ve played a textbook game on the road and there’s a goal late with whatever was left on the clock. I know it wasn’t much because I could hear it ticking down. That puts your whole group back in the funk of, what’s it going to take? What’s it going to take? We played well enough to win. That’s the biggest adjustment now, trying to get them through it.”Chris WescottFri, 05 Dec 2014 16:59:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/11/644eakins.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3456734567BLOG: MacTavish on coachinghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34565"I’m not naive enough to think there isn’t going to have to be personnel change here over time.” In an address to the media, Oilers General Manager Craig MacTavish admits that he sees personnel changes in the future, but one at head coach isn’t on his list. “We could bring in a fifth coach to deliver the same message to this group,” MacTavish said. “The thing that gives me optimism is that I’m hearing the same messaging from the players that I haven’t heard in the last number of years. The players are holding themselves accountable. I think you have to credit the current coaching staff for that, in getting the message through.” MacTavish says, despite the win-loss record, he sees the evolution of Head Coach Dallas Eakins and that the messaging is still on point. “When we asked Dallas to commit to us 18 months ago, he had plenty of opportunity and for obvious reasons,” MacTavish said. “He’s a sharp guy and as a very sought after coach at the time. I’ve seen, I felt at that time, as I do now, that he is a good role model for our players. He’s a passionate guy about the game and he’s evolving as a coach. Your question is where he’s evolved and I think with the way he deals with this situation, I think with his resiliency as a coach, I think it’s no easy feat to have the record that we’ve had at this time and still, in my mind, have the support of the whole group in there.” That being said, much like the rest of the organization, coaching will still be under observation as the Oilers continue to evaluate every aspect of the club’s operations in an attempt to turn the team’s fortunes around. “Coaching is under scrutiny, make no mistake about that,” MacTavish said. “Coaching is under scrutiny but, in my mind to make a coaching change, we’ve changed assistant coaches, we’ve brought in co-coaches, former head coaches… Those coaches were all delivering the same message and we need a higher level of execution. I feel our team is evolving to a point where the expectation internally with our players is that they do have to execute at a higher level and that gives me optimism that this thing is going to move forward.”Chris WescottFri, 05 Dec 2014 15:38:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/644camp-eberle-eakins.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3456534565BLOG: Friday practice updateshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34563Matt Hendricks, Boyd Gordon and Nikita Nikitin are absent from practice. The team is running lines at the end of practice.Chris WescottFri, 05 Dec 2014 14:32:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141023_practice2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3456334563BLOG: Organization is under “intense scrutiny”http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34541Oilers General Manager Craig MacTavish addressed the media on Friday to give his thoughts on the team’s performance this season and the direction of the organization. MacTavish confirmed that the whole organization is under internal scrutiny and is being evaluated. This comes after a 6-15-5 start to the season. “Everything in our organization currently, as you might imagine, is being evaluated and has been since we took over,” MacTavish said. “There has been, in the 18 or 19 months since I’ve been on the job, intense evaluation of a lot of aspects of our organization.” Along with coaching, drafting and development are two areas the Oilers are reviewing. “The long-term objective here, as I said last year, is to draft and develop players and all those aspects of our organization are under intense scrutiny,” MacTavish said. “We’ve worked hard in the last number of years to improve our processes , in terms of our drafting. There is still a lot of scrutiny with the way that we draft players and our development. We’ve piled a lot of resources into the development and we eventually think that they’re going to provide a better player through the door so we can improve.”Chris WescottFri, 05 Dec 2014 14:22:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/07/644mactjuly1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3454134541BLOG: MacTavish on adding centrehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34536For some time, the consensus has been that the Oilers would like to add some quality NHL depth to their centre group. At the beginning of the season, Head Coach Dallas Eakins said the Oilers had just two NHL centres on their roster and were waiting for the younger players in their system to develop. Oilers General Manager Craig MacTavish spoke with the media on Friday morning and addressed that position. He says the market asking price has been to high to acquire what they’ve needed. “I’m left with alternatives,” MacTavish said. “What are my alternatives? It would be foolish not to have tried to find another centreman to come in here. Based on the asking price, we’re not in a position to pay the asset ask for a positional bias right now. We’re not in that position. We just don’t have the number of assets that we can go out and deploy. There are four or five players that would bring us significant value.” By giving up the players or assets of significant value, a move could leave the team with another hole. MacTavish said, “We solve one problem and we create another. I just haven’t been in a position where I’ve had that opportunity to bring in another centreman. There is no quick or easy fix to some of these positional gaps. There have been a lot of open boxes when we go over our lineup, year in and year out, that we’re trying to fill. There still are some open boxes, but there are less open boxes. But there is no quick fix to filling that second line centre (position). If we could find the player at the right price, would it move us forward? Absolutely, but there is no quick fix to it that I’ve found.”Chris WescottFri, 05 Dec 2014 13:53:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141028_draistop5.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3453634536BLOG: MacTavish to address media Friday at 9 a.m.http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34501Oilers General Manager Craig MacTavish will address the media on Friday morning to take questions from the media. From the team's media release: Edmonton Oilers General Manager Craig MacTavish will host a media availability tomorrow, December 5th at 9:00 a.m. at Rexall Place. MacTavish will address the Oilers performance through 26 games and take questions from the media. We will have the press conference LIVE on edmontonoilers.com and in the Oilers Mobile App beginning at 9:00 a.m. MSTMarc CiampaThu, 04 Dec 2014 20:59:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/20140915_mact306.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3450134501BLOG: Line combos at Wednesday's morning skatehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34445The Oilers are on the ice for morning skate at MTS Centre in Winnipeg. Based on jersey colours, forward lines appear to be: Hall-RNH-Pitlick Yakupov-Draisaitl-Eberle Perron-Gordon-Purcell Gazdic-Arcobello-Pinizzotto (Joensuu) Defence: Ference-Schultz Nikitin-Fayne Klefbom-PetryMarc CiampaWed, 03 Dec 2014 12:33:00 ESThttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3444534445BLOG: Nurse on being invited to selection camphttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34413As expected, Oilers prospect Darnell Nurse received an invite to Canada’s world junior team selection camp. The seventh-overall pick in 2013 and captain of the OHL’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds is excited about the opportunity. “There’s a lot of excitement going on, especially around the rink and in this town,” Nurse said Tuesday, on Oilers Now. “For me, it’s a really exciting moment and I can’t wait to really get everything going and get to the camp. I’m fully aware that I’m capable of playing at that level and it’s going to be a task for me to go out and prove it each day.” Last year, Nurse was left off Canada’s roster, which was a disappointing experience for the 19-year-old defenceman. Nurse is determined to not let that happen again. “It was definitely an eye-opener, not having an opportunity to play on the team last year,” Nurse said. “I just went back and worked on my own game and things I can change in order to not be in the same situation when this time came around this year. It’s really just been a focus of mine to do things on the ice a lot more simple and not put myself in as risky of situations as I have in the past and it’s helped me to this point, not only in junior but especially at the beginning of the year when I had the opportunity to stay up and play a few games. It’s a continued process to really keep my game refined and play smart, simple plays as well as being able to contribute at both ends of the ice.”Chris WescottTue, 02 Dec 2014 18:05:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/08/644nurse.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3441334413BLOG: Nurse’s thoughts on Oilers struggleshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34412The Oilers have lost 10-straight games, a tough pill for everyone in the organization to swallow. Darnell Nurse, the Oilers seventh-overall pick in 2013, has been watching the team from Sault Ste. Marie, where he captains the OHL’s Greyhounds. “You never want to see that happen,” Nurse said on Oilers Now. “They have the right pieces in place and the right coaches and things like that to turn this thing around. You have to have all the faith in the organization that they’ll be able to do that. Obviously, there are still friends and guys I’ve grown relationships with on the team. You hope for nothing but the best but my main focus remains here in Sault Ste. Marie as we try to make a run for it this year.” Nurse also expressed his support for Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins, having learned from him in training camp and played for him in two NHL games this season. “He was a great help to me and in helping me refine my game and the things I need to work on to play at that level,” Nurse said. “He’s a great coach and someone who really helped me in order to help me find my way to play in the NHL games.”Chris WescottTue, 02 Dec 2014 18:04:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/04/20140410nurse1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3441234412BLOG: Ference sounds offhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34372Frustrations follow losses, and the Oilers have dropped 10 straight games. Captain Andrew Ference had some heated words about the performance of the team through the stretch and the mistakes being made. “It shouldn’t be such a chore to come here and pay attention to what you’re supposed to do and work hard and have pride in being in the NHL and putting on a jersey. That should be the easy part,” Ference said. “To come here and have to eke pride out of guys to get out there and pay attention and do details and cover the same details over and over over again, it’s not right. I think it was touched on last game. Like (Ben Scrivens) said, you can’t play like that in the NHL and win. It’s 100% unacceptable.” The Oilers struck first tonight against the Coyotes, but allowed five-straight goals in the eventual 5-2 loss. Ference added, “It’s unacceptable. “We’re not a team that is in a position to let our guard down and just go out there and expect it to be easy or expect another team to lie down because we have a penalty or they’re down by a goal. That’s the way we went out and played. Like we’re in some position of excellence where we can just go out there and float around. It’s the same mistakes, it’s not learning from mistakes and it costs us games over and over again.” Head Coach Dallas Eakins confirmed the frustrations in the room, but declined further comment. “We’ve seen it along the way, since I’ve been here. It’s been just over a year,” Eakins said. “There is always that going on internally and I will not speak about it out here. I don’t think it’s fair to any player to do that.”Chris WescottTue, 02 Dec 2014 01:23:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/gallery/2013/12/386888_1388545465385.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3437234372BLOG: Nurse invited to selection camphttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34362Hockey Canada has announced their list of players invited to Canada’s National Junior Team selection camp, in advance of the World Juniors. Oilers prospect Darnell Nurse is on the list. Nurse, the seventh overall pick in 2013, has played in 16 games for the OHL’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds this year. He had 16 points (6-10-16), 30 penalty minutes and is +2. The Hamilton, Ontario native skated for Canada at the 2012 and 2013 U18 World Junior Championships.Chris WescottMon, 01 Dec 2014 11:15:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141004_nurse1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3436234362Pitlick recalledhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34360The Edmonton Oilers announced today they have recalled winger Tyler Pitlick from the American Hockey League's Oklahoma City Barons. Pitlick, 23, has registered nine points (3G, 6A) and eight penalty minutes in 14 games with the Barons this season.Edmonton Oilers Press ReleaseSun, 30 Nov 2014 18:30:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/20140903_pitlick2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3436034360Sunday Audio and Videohttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34354Chris WescottSun, 30 Nov 2014 17:16:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/644blockedshot.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3435434354BLOG: Good to get awayhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34358The Oilers took yesterday off and used their practice today to refocus ahead of tomorrow’s game against the Coyotes. “After a trip, it’s always nice to just get home, unwind for a bit and get back at it,” Mark Fayne said. “It was good having a day yesterday to kind of regroup,” Boyd Gordon added. “We had a good skate today and to get that little bit of extra rest for the game tomorrow. We need to come out ready and have a good 60-minute game.” After two tough overtime losses on the road, the players were happy to get some rest and a chance to reset before they play again. “It’s tough, especially with the streak we’re on now,” Fayne said. “We thought we played two strong games and definitely could have won both of them. Right now, you can’t dwell on that. You’ve just got to keep moving forward because there is still a lot of hockey left and I think we have a lot of good hockey left too.”Chris WescottSun, 30 Nov 2014 17:14:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/11/20141128_postoilblue.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3435834358BLOG: Decision to place Joensuu on waivershttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34357The Oilers placed winger Jesse Joensuu on waivers this morning for the purpose of assignment. The decision to do so was based on the pressure coming from the minors. Players in Oklahoma City are pushing for a chance in the NHL. “It’s a hard decision,” Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. “The thing you can never forget is we have players here, but we have a whole bunch of players in Oklahoma City that are improving and getting better. Some of those players now are ready for another look, or their first look. Unfortunately, rightly or wrongly, Jesse gets caught in the crosshairs there. Jesse went on waivers today, it gives him the chance to be picked up by 29 other teams and if he doesn’t get picked up then we’ll decide what to do with him tomorrow, once we see what happens.” The OKC Barons have won five games in a row, and have earned points in their last seven.Chris WescottSun, 30 Nov 2014 17:13:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141002_ph1-644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3435734357BLOG: Oilers looking for consistencyhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34355The Oilers probably played one of their best games of the season against the Nashville Predators on Thursday night. Despite outshooting their opponent 37-25, the Oilers fell in overtime. They played well again against St. Louis that next night, but fell again in overtime. The Oilers watched two leads disappear in that 4-3 loss to the Blues.The team is hoping to have more consistency with the way they play moving forward. “We’d like way more consistency,” Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. “I thought we had that game in Nashville. We’ve talked a lot about that game and that’s the game we want to play 5-on-5, with a little more finish. Our power play has to step up in certain games like that. Then going into St. Louis, that’s the challenge in this league to be able to bring that game every night. It’s a difficult thing to do but it’s a necessity. What you run into is you’ve played, you’ve played a hard game the night before, there’s been some guys play some heavy minutes and now you have to do it again against a team that’s been sitting there waiting for you for a few days. You can’t run into the excuse in this league that we’ve played back-to-back and we’re just going to grind out a point. You have to find a way to get both.”Chris WescottSun, 30 Nov 2014 17:12:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/11/459664602_fullSize1.gifhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3435534355BLOG: Power play woes are lack of executionhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34356The Oilers were 0-for-4 on the power play against Nashville on Thursday night, in a 1-0 overtime loss to the Predators. They weren’t awarded a power play on Friday night, in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Blues. Overall, Edmonton’s man advantage is 28th in the NHL at 12%. Head Coach Dallas Eakins says the lack of power play success is just a lack of execution. Despite numerous setups and an increase in shot volume, the team hasn’t been able to convert. “It’s execution,” Eakins said. “I think we’ve tried every setup possible here now. We’ve had every entry possible. Our shot volume is good, compared to the other teams in the league. Our entries are good, compared to the other teams in the league, but we haven’t had the finish. We have to be willing to be ready for that one chance you might get to put the puck in the net. It comes down to execution. Our shot volume, our ability to enter the zone, the different setups are no different than the other teams in the league. But in the end, that power play always comes down to execution and we’ll continue to try to work on it everyday.”Chris WescottSun, 30 Nov 2014 17:12:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/644camp-eakins.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3435634356BLOG: Sunday practice lines & updateshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34352The Oilers are on the ice at the Royal Glenora Club for practice. The team has not run line rushes yet, but by sock colour the lines are: Hall-RNH-Eberle Perron-Draisaitl-(Aulie) Yakupov-Arcobello-Purcell Gazdic-Gordon-Pinizzotto Hendricks (leg) not skating Defensive Pairings: Ference-Schultz Klefbom-Petry Nikitin-FayneChris WescottSun, 30 Nov 2014 13:11:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/11/644fasth.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3435234352BLOG: Joensuu placed on waivershttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34327Jesse Joensuu was placed on waivers on Sunday morning for the purpose of assignment to Oklahoma City. The Oilers will know by 10:00 a.m. Monday morning (Mountain Time) whether Joensuu has cleared.Sun, 30 Nov 2014 12:14:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141001_1gh.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3432734327BLOG: Oilers assign Martin Marincin to OKChttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34326The Oilers announced on Sunday morning that they have assigned defenceman Martin Marincin to the Oklahoma City Barons. That leaves seven defencemen on the team currently: Jeff Petry Andrew Ference Justin Schultz Nikita Nikitin Mark Fayne Keith Aulie Oscar KlefbomSun, 30 Nov 2014 12:11:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141002_canuckles1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3432634326BLOG: Perron faces former 'mateshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34288Oilers winger David Perron returns to his old stomping grounds on Friday, as he played the first six seasons of his career in St. Louis. The 26-year-old put up 198 points in 340 games with the Blues before he was dealt to Edmonton in July 2013 in a trade that sent Magnus Paajarvi to St. Louis. Perron played in St. Louis against his old team just once last season, so the nostalgia of being back in the Show Me State still has an effect on him. "It's only the second time, so yeah it is (special)," he said Friday morning at the team hotel. "Just seeing the baseball stadium driving in yesterday and all those little things, it's pretty fun. I think I'll be a little bit less nervous than I was the first time around. It'd be nice to get two points." Perron is currently tied for fourth in team scoring this season with two goals and eight assists and said he feels his game has progressed lately, including some chemistry playing with Luke Gazdic and Leon Draisaitl Thursday in Nashville. He's looking to return to his 2013-14 form that saw him tied for the team lead in goals with 28 and set a career high in points with 57. "I really liked my game yesterday," said Perron, whose off-season training was hampered by a hip injury. "I played with (Gazdic) yesterday and I expected it to be more a simpler night, a more hard-working night, and it paid off for us. It was a real good performance and he almost scored when I hit him in the slot."​Ryan FranksonFri, 28 Nov 2014 14:54:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/03/Perron031214.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3428834288BLOG: Perron on trade rumourshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34269Trades are a part of the business of hockey. Players understand that in the media and amongst fans, trade rumours can circulate involving their name. David Perron has been a subject of such rumours as of late. The Oilers winger brushes it off and tries to stay focused on one day at a time. "It's just the way it goes,” Perron said. “One more day in the NHL and we keep going. There's always rumours, and obviously it's been more and more the last little while. I'm just trying to stay focused on this team and stay positive." The Oilers acquired Perron in a trade with St. Louis on July 10, 2013.Chris WescottThu, 27 Nov 2014 15:02:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/11/644perron.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3426934269BLOG: Garbutt suspended for hit on Hallhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34259Dallas Stars forward Ryan Garbutt was suspended by the NHL for two games on Thursday for his hit on Taylor Hall. From the NHL's press release: NEW YORK (Nov. 27, 2014) – Dallas Stars forward Ryan Garbutt has been suspended for two games, without pay, for kneeing Edmonton Oilers forward Taylor Hall during NHL Game No. 319 in Dallas on Tuesday, Nov. 25, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today. The incident occurred at 12:17 of the third period. Garbutt was assessed a minor penalty for tripping. Garbutt is considered a repeat offender under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, will forfeit $43,902.44. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.Marc CiampaThu, 27 Nov 2014 14:56:00 ESThttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3425934259BLOG: Lines at morning skate in Nashvillehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34256The Oilers are on the ice for morning skate in Nashville with some changes up front and on the blueline: Forward lines: Hall-RNH-Eberle Yakupov-Arcobello-Purcell Perron-Draisaitl-Joensuu Hendricks-Gordon-Pinizzotto Defence pairings: Aulie-Ference Nikitin-Fayne Klefbom-Petry It appears both Justin Schultz and Martin Marincin will be healthy scratches. Jesse Joensuu draws in with Luke Gazdic coming out.Marc CiampaThu, 27 Nov 2014 12:42:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/02/JSCHULTZ6440226.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3425634256BLOG: Hall hits goal milestonehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34172The Oilers did not get the win they desperately needed to open their road trip on Tuesday night in Dallas, losing 3-2 to the Stars, but Taylor Hall did reach a milestone in the game, scoring his 100th career goal. With Edmonton trailing 3-1 early in the third period, Jordan Eberle found Hall with a brilliant no-look pass from behind the Dallas net, and #4 made no mistake, beating Kari Lehtonen far side to close the team within a goal. The 23-year-old hit the century mark in his 262nd career game, to go along with 138 assists. "I'm very proud of Taylor Hall," Head Coach Dallas Eakins said post-game. "He's growing, he's turning into a leader right in front of us. You could argue that he's the best left-winger in the game." Hall is the third player from the 2010 NHL Draft to join the 100-goal club, as Tyler Seguin (110) and Jeff Skinner (102) have also hit the milestone. The Oilers star only took 262 games to reach 100 goals, however, while Seguin is at 305 and Skinner has played 275. Hall's 238 points are tops in the draft class.Ryan FranksonWed, 26 Nov 2014 01:00:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141002_hall2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3417234172BLOG: Warriors to retire Smyth's numberhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34188The Western Hockey League's Moose Jaw Warriors announced Tuesday they will retire Ryan Smyth's jersey number later this season. Smyth's #28 will be raised to the rafters on Feb. 6, 2015, as he joins Kelly Buchberger, Mike Keane and Theo Fleury as the only Warriors to have their numbers retired. "On behalf of the Moose Jaw Warriors Board of Directors, Management, Coaches, Players, Staff, and our fans, we would like to congratulate Ryan Smyth on the retiring of his Warriors number," Warriors Governor and President Chad Taylor said in a release. "Ryan played the game with heart, determination and character, all of which are what we feel best describes what it takes to be a Moose Jaw Warrior." Smyth was drafted by the Warriors in the second round (21st overall) during the 1991 WHL Bantam Draft. He went on to play for Moose Jaw from 1992 to 1995, and in 188 regular season games he scored 110 goals and 224 total points, putting him 12th on the Warriors all-time scoring list. Smyth was drafted by the Oilers from Moose Jaw in 1994 (sixth overall) following a season that saw him score 50 goals and 105 points in 72 games.Ryan FranksonTue, 25 Nov 2014 16:49:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/11/644ryansmyth.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3418834188BLOG: Horcoff & Hemsky reunitedhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34187When Ales Hemsky arrived for his first Dallas Stars training camp this year, there was one very familiar face in the room as he was reunited with fellow former Oilers forward Shawn Horcoff. While Hemsky was dealt from Edmonton to Ottawa at the 2014 trade deadline and signed with Dallas in the off-season, Horcoff was traded to the Lone Star State following the 2012-13 season. The former Oilers captain said Tuesday he was quite excited to see his old linemate join him with the Stars. "He's going to be a big part of this team for the next few years," said Horcoff, adding that Hemsky brings the Stars an additional scoring threat to complement their big guns Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Jason Spezza. "When he's going, it brings that second element for us on offence and there's too many other teams who are able to do that." Horcoff said he was consulted by Stars GM Jim Nill before the team decided to pursue signing Hemsky via free agency. "We had lots of conversations about him," he said. "I believe in him. I've played, obviously, lots of hockey with him. He's always been a guy who doesn't shy away from being first in on the puck and going to all the hard areas. He wants to win and those are the kind of guys we're trying to get around here."Ryan FranksonTue, 25 Nov 2014 16:47:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2013/07/20130704_horcoff644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3418734187BLOG: Hemsky heating up, on verge of 500th pointhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34186After a slow start to the season, former Oilers winger Ales Hemsky is finding his groove as a member of the Dallas Stars. The 31-year-old Czech spent his first 11 NHL seasons in Oil Country before being dealt to the Ottawa Senators at the 2014 trade deadline and signing with Dallas during the off-season. Edmonton drafted Hemsky 13th overall in 2001 and the crafty RW went on to score 477 points in 652 games with the Oilers, plus 17 more in 24 games during the team's 2006 playoff run. Hemsky picked up an assist in his first game with the Stars on October 9, but then endured a 14-game point drought before chipping in with four helpers in the team's last five games. He had his first multi-point game with his new team on November 20, recording a pair of assists in a 3-1 win over Arizona. "I've been playing with (Jason) Spezza again the last four or five games… things have been going better and hopefully we can build from that," he said following Tuesday's morning skate. "I'm just trying to get better every day and help the team." Since the Oilers had already played the Senators twice prior to last season's trade deadline, this will be Hemsky's first game against his former squad. "It'll be probably weird, but probably better to play first here than in Edmonton," said Hemsky, who's also one point away from 500 in his NHL career. "I've been having a lot of chances, but none have gone in. Hopefully tonight I can get one."Ryan FranksonTue, 25 Nov 2014 16:45:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/11/20141125_hemsky.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3418634186BLOG: Gazdic ready to get physicalhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34185There will be no easing his way back into NHL action for Oilers winger Luke Gazdic. The 25-year-old will make his season debut tonight in Dallas after off-season shoulder surgery delayed the start of his 2014-15 campaign. As a former Stars prospect, Gazdic is familiar with Dallas' marquee body-bangers Antoine Roussel and Ryan Garbutt, and fully expects to collide with them at some point tonight in his return to action. "I know them both well and have played with both of them," Gazdic said of his former teammates with the AHL's Texas Stars. "They're both pretty hard-nosed players who only play with one gear, so I wouldn't expect them to play with any less whether I'm in the lineup or not." Gazdic will make his season debut on a line with rookie centre Leon Draisaitl and third-year winger Nail Yakupov. Draisaitl was on the receiving end of a hit from behind courtesy Chicago Blackhawks veteran defenceman Michal Rosival last game, and Gazdic said those incidents won't happen again without consequences as long he's on the ice. "I can't see too many guys wanting to take an extra shot at him," said Gazdic, who had one fight (vs. Toronto's Frazer McLaren) during his five-game AHL conditioning stint earlier this season. "I'm sure I'll have his back tonight."Ryan FranksonTue, 25 Nov 2014 16:43:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/11/20141115_gazdicice.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3418534185BLOG: Oilers provide thoughts on Pat Quinnhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34129Oilers Vice Chairman Bob Nicholson spoke about Pat Quinn on Monday, who passed away on Sunday. "On behalf of the Oilers, and especially myself and my wife Lorna, we'll never forget all the great summers we had together," Nicholson began. "(Pat) will always be one of my best friends. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Quinn family." Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins and winger Jordan Eberle also gave their thoughts on the passing of Quinn. “It’s a sad day with the passing of a great coach, Pat Quinn. A guy that I looked up to and has been somewhat of a mentor over the years. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family,” Eakins remarked. Jordan Eberle won a Gold Medal with Quinn at the World Junior Hockey Championship and World Under-17s. "Pat was a guy I have fond memories of," said Eberle. "I had him in the World Juniors in 2008 and the World Under-17. I remember being 17 years old and he was our coach and walking in scared to talk to him because of the presence that he was. "The way he conducted himself he had a lot of respect for sure. It's tough to see him go. Condolences to his family and the organization here he was a big part of, too."Marc CiampaMon, 24 Nov 2014 17:03:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/11/306nicholson.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3412934129Monday's video and audiohttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34125Marc CiampaMon, 24 Nov 2014 15:14:00 ESThttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3412534125BLOG: Fasth gives his thoughts on Chabothttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34130Viktor Fasth also provided his thoughts on goaltending coach Freddie Chabot being relieved of his duties on Monday following practice in Leduc. "It's a tough day," said Fasth. "We have to play better and it feels like we let Freddie down. We've got to do better than we've done so far, from me and the whole team. We've got to be better. "We lost a lot of games lately here and I don't think anybody is happy with their performance."Marc CiampaMon, 24 Nov 2014 15:10:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141011_fasth2306.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3413034130BLOG: Perron addresses trade rumourshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34128David Perron spoke to the media after practice on Monday in Leduc, addressing trade rumours out in the media with his name front and centre. "I think everyone's aware of it and obviously my name popped up but it doesn't matter," he said. "I'm actually glad in a way that it's me because I know I can handle it and I'll work through it. We want to make this thing right here and Edmonton. "I think everyone in the room is aware that when we have the kind of record, stuff can happen. It's not something we want. We want to go on this road trip and have a real good performance and turn this thing around."Marc CiampaMon, 24 Nov 2014 14:57:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/306perron.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3412834128BLOG: Eakins' thoughts on Chabothttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34127Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins provided his thoughts on the dismissal of goaltending coach Freddie Chabot following practice Monday in Leduc: "It's the nature of the business. Sometimes it's not always right but sometimes it's necessary. We wish Freddie well. He's a hard-working guy. We believe he'll land on two feet and we're thankful for his service to our organization." Eakins also spoke about Dustin Schwartz, who replaces Chabot as goaltending coach. "It's just to the point where we've been struggling at the position and we felt that we needed to do a correction there," he said. "Right or wrong, it's the nature of the beast and not always fair but I'm taking it personally, our players are taking it personally and our goaltenders are taking it personally."Marc CiampaMon, 24 Nov 2014 14:47:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/306eakins-1019.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3412734127BLOG: Scrivens provides thoughts on Chabot, Schwartzhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34126Following practice on Monday in Leduc, Oilers goaltender Ben Scrivens met with the media and spoke about goaltending coach Fred Chabot getting relieved of his duties. "It's a terrible day," Scrivens began. "Vik and I, we both feel terribly about what's happened. Neither of us will come out here and say we're pleased with our performances so far this season. As an individual, I've got to elevate my game and I thought I was working hard to do that and still feel I'm on the right path but it's unfortunate." Scrivens felt responsible for what ended up happening to Chabot. "I take it personally that Freddie took responsibility for the work that Vik and I had done," he continued. "Whether it's fair or not, it's something that happened. For Vik and I we've got to keep working hard and got to stop some pucks." The Oilers goalie also has a history with new goalie coach Dustin Schwartz, dating back to his days with the Spruce Grove Saints. "He's a great guy," said Scrivens. "Great man, great husband and father. Good character guy. Works extremely hard. I had the pleasure of working with him during the summer a couple of times. He's a real student of the game but demands a high level of execution and work ethic. I'm excited to be working with Schwartzie but obviously not thrilled for Freddie that it had to end up like this."Marc CiampaMon, 24 Nov 2014 14:33:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/11/20141124_scrivens306.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3412634126BLOG: Chabot relieved of duties; Schwartz replacing himhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34100Oilers have relieved goaltender coach Frederic Chabot of his duties; Dustin Schwartz will replace Chabot. Schwartz is the Edmonton Oil Kings goaltending coach. Bob Stauffer expands more on Dustin Schwartz and his training as a goaltending coach in our regular Monday Morning Inbox feature. You can view that within the Oilers mobile app.Mon, 24 Nov 2014 12:14:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/20140926_goal1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3410034100BLOG: Oilers lines at practice on Mondayhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34102The Oilers are on the ice for practice in Leduc prior to departure for Dallas this afternoon to open a three-game road trip. Forward Lines: Hall-RNH-Eberle Perron-Arcobello-Purcell Joensuu(Gazdic)-Draisaitl-Yakupov Hendricks-Gordon-Pinizzotto Defence: Ference - Petry Marincin - Fayne Aulie (Nikitin) - SchultzMarc CiampaMon, 24 Nov 2014 12:13:00 ESThttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3410234102BLOG: Oilers hold themselves accountablehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34088A 7-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks had the Oilers players frustrated in the locker room, but they aren’t pointing fingers at anyone but themselves. “It’s on us,” Taylor Hall said. “It’s our fault as players and we’re going to have to make up for that.” Andrew Ference said, “I think all we ask of each other is to play to the potential of what we know each guy can bring. You set the bar at a certain level and you have to meet it. You have to get up to that level, whether they scored a goal or not. Get over it. That didn’t happen. I think the play dipped after they scored the first goal. It took way too long to recover from that. That’s just every guy having the mental ability to shake it off and get back after business.” Ryan Nugent-Hopkins added, “It’s all on us. Nobody can control the game except us. We go out there every night and we’re the ones competing out there. It’s all on the players in here and we’ve just got to find a way to motivate ourselves to get back on track and push forward.” “Everyone has to take ownership,” Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. “You can keep talking about it or you can do it.”Chris WescottSun, 23 Nov 2014 02:01:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/11/20141122_ph2-306.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3408834088BLOG: Eakins on the pressurehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34087After a 7-1 loss, the pressure to turn things around is on full blast. Head Coach Dallas Eakins said he’s ready to take it on. “I face it head-on,” he said. “If I wasn’t up to the task I wouldn’t be here, I would go do something else or I would have taken another line of work. For me, we’ll get out of the rink tonight, probably won’t sleep much, spend the day with my family and then it’s going to be right back to work to try and get the group past this to refocus and get a refresher for our team and get ready for Dallas. If we’re going to sit and cry over the losses then we’re never ever going to get out of it. The feeling sorry for ourselves, that doesn’t work. The pain I feel is for our organization and our city. That’s what I feel. That’s what helps you focus to get onto the next one.”Chris WescottSun, 23 Nov 2014 02:00:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/644camp-eakins2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3408734087BLOG: A disappointing homestandhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34086The Oilers lost their sixth-straight game tonight, their fifth straight at home. The Oilers players were notably frustrated with how they closed out their homestand. “It was a good opportunity for us to have five games at home,” Ryan Nugent-Hopkins said. “We didn’t take advantage of it. We thought tonight really ended off the way we’ve been playing the last few games. It’s unacceptable. You can’t go down 3-0 in this league. It’s impossible to come back against a team like that. We’ve done it in the past little while a few times now. It can’t happen and we have to move forward onto the road trip.”Chris WescottSun, 23 Nov 2014 01:59:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/11/20141113_nuge.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3408634086BLOG: Pouliot out indefinitely with broken foothttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34069Benoit Pouliot left the ice after taking a shot off the skate. He has been ruled out indefinitely with a broken foot. “I don’t know how long he’ll be out for, but usually that is sidelined for awhile," Head Coach Dallas Eakins said after the game.Chris WescottSat, 22 Nov 2014 01:00:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/11/20141121_ph1-604.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3406934069BLOG: Lines at morning skate Fridayhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34047Oilers lines at morning skate: Pouliot-RNH-Eberle Hall-Draisaitl-Purcell Perron-Arcobello-Yakupov Hendricks-Gordon-Pinizzotto On defence: Ference-Schultz Nikitin-Fayne Marincin-Petry Viktor Fasth starts in goal.Marc CiampaFri, 21 Nov 2014 12:54:00 ESThttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3404734047Thursday audio and videohttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34026Chris WescottThu, 20 Nov 2014 18:52:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141028_draisaitl.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3402634026BLOG: Oilers test drive new lineshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34034The Oilers test drove some new forward lines at practice today with one of them being Taylor Hall and Teddy Purcell centred by Leon Draisaitl. Jordan Eberle was absent from practice as well, leading to some more shuffling. “We’re taking a look,” Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. “We’re taking a look at the power plays as well. We shook those up, kind of the same setups just with moving pieces. We’ll at least try and start with that. We had a couple of guys having a maintenance day, a couple of guys that had different things flare up during the game so we’ll see how they are too.” The Oilers players got the message when they saw the different lines they’d be running at practice. “Anytime they do what we call, ‘getting the bingo balls out,’ it means that something has gone awry and something is not right,” Hall said. “When you’re winning and when you’re playing well, you’re scoring lots of goals and the lines don’t change. That’s a message to us that we have to get better and we have to find some consistency with our lineup.”Chris WescottThu, 20 Nov 2014 18:50:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141020_hall1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3403434034BLOG: Draisaitl playing with Hallhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34033If the lines that were run this morning at practice were any indication, Leon Draisaitl will have the opportunity to play with Taylor Hall. It’s an opportunity that the young rookie centre should be excited about. As a playmaking centre, Hall could be his best friend offensively. “Taylor has been through that experience not too long ago,” Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. “His experience will definitely help Leon. We also think that Leon is a very good distributor of the puck and he’s going to be able to step right in there with Taylor and give him the puck. I thought Teddy last night played a really good game and Teddy can certainly do both, he can find people and he can also shoot the puck. We feel, at least looking at it on paper with what each guy brings, they compliment each other.”Chris WescottThu, 20 Nov 2014 18:49:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141028_draisaitl.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3403334033BLOG: Chase traded in WHLhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34032Oilers prospect Greg Chase has been traded from the Calgary Hitmen to the Victoria Royals of the WHL, in exchange for Calgary Flames prospect Keegan Kanzig. Chase, taken in the seventh round of the 2013 draft, played 15 games for Calgary this season. He recorded 15 points (2-13-15) and 20 penalty minutes.Chris WescottThu, 20 Nov 2014 17:56:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/20140913_chase644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3403234032BLOG: Barons trade Holmberghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34031The Oilers traded Will Acton to Vancouver for Kellan Lain on Thursday. In a separate AHL deal, the Oklahoma City Barons traded Mitch Holmberg to the Utica Comets, the Canucks affiliate. Holmberg played in eight games for the ECHL’s Bakersfield Condors this season, scoring one point.Chris WescottThu, 20 Nov 2014 17:54:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/04/Holmberg.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3403134031BLOG: Thursday practice updateshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=34001The Oilers have taken the ice for Thursday’s practice at Rexall Place. The power play units have been changed: Hall-Draisaitl-Purcell-Perron-Schultz Pouliot-RNH-Arcobello-Yakupov-Petry Jordan Eberle and Nikita Nikitin are absent from practice. The Oilers lines appear to be as follows: Pouliot-RNH-Joensuu Hall-Draisaitl-Purcell Perron-Arcobello-Yakupov Hendricks-Gordon-Pinizzotto (Gazdic)Chris WescottThu, 20 Nov 2014 14:38:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/644scrimmage2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3400134001Tuesday audio and videohttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=33894Chris WescottTue, 18 Nov 2014 16:57:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/11/20141118_practice.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3389433894BLOG: Pinizzotto gets “another look”http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=33899The Oilers recalled Steve Pinizzotto from the Oklahoma City Barons yesterday. Through six games, Pinizzotto recorded six assists, 40 penalty minutes and was +3. “Word is he’s been playing well in OKC and when guys play well they’re promoted,” Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. “He is deserving of another look.” There is no word yet from the Oilers on if Pinizzotto will play tomorrow night against Vancouver. The Oilers are going over the lineup today. But if Pinizzotto gets in, he hopes to continue doing what he does best and that’s stir things up with his aggression and physicality. “It’s great, it’s another opportunity,” Pinizzotto said. “I came here to kind of do my job and cause a little bit of aggression, intensity and try to bring it to the lineup. Maybe I can give the guys a little bit of a boost, be hard on the forecheck and try to go offensively. We’ll see what happens.” The Oilers know just what he can bring to the table, should he suit up. “He’s going to bring a little bit of grit,” Eakins said. “He can skate, he plays a real simple game, he played some good games for us last year, he has a real good training camp, was right in the mix for a job there and has gone and kept it up in OKC. He fits into what a number of our guys have been doing well this year.”Chris WescottTue, 18 Nov 2014 16:28:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/11/20141117_pinizzotto.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3389933899BLOG: Practices faster than last seasonhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=33897Last season, the Oilers spent a good chunk of their time at the white board during practice. It was part of the process set forth by Head Coach Dallas Eakins and his staff. Now that a lot of the teaching and fundamentals are covered, the team spends less time at the board and more sweating it out on the ice. “That’s the biggest thing changing from last year to this year in practice,” Eakins said. “We spent a ton of time at the board trying to correct the fundamental mistakes of what we were doing in the drill or explaining the drill and what the critical point is. We’ve been now set up with, right from the start of training camp, where we did a lot of teaching through camp and our guys understand the critical aspects of the fundamentals. We’re still working on them, but our practices are now pedal to the metal. They’re quick, they’re fast and, I don’t know if you were watching today, they’re exhausting for some guys. It’s the process of a team that’s trying to grow. You have to teach first and now the mandate is to play fast and to play quick. We need to continue to get better at that.”Chris WescottTue, 18 Nov 2014 16:27:00 ESThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/644camp-eakins.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3389733897BLOG: Time to turn up the volumehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=33898The Oilers have shown they can play with teams, but they’re still trying to find a way to win with consistency. Head Coach Dallas Eakins says it’s time for the team to turn the dial up a notch and take that next step towards yielding results. “It’s time for us to turn up the volume a little bit,” Eakins said. “We’ve been talking about it a lot lately and not being OK with being close. I think that was the next step for our club after the season we had last year. It was that we’ve got to be in the game, the chances have to be close, we have to be close in the game and feel that we’re playing well. Now, we’re certainly worthy of the points. If I was to compare last year to this year, last year our volume was at two and we needed to get it to eight to win. The volume is now at six or seven and we need to get it to eight. That’s the mandate from inside the room and from us as coaches that, to a man, we need to turn the volume up a little bit. Whether it’s a little bit more intelligence, a little bit more work or a little bit more of reading the critical time of the game, whatever that is to turn the volume up a notch or two is going to take us over into getting the points. Playing well and being close, that’s not good enough anymore.”Chris WescottTue, 18 Nov 2014 16:27:00 ESThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/11/644hendricks.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3389833898BLOG: Tuesday practice lineuphttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=33891The Oilers have taken the ice for practice at the Royal Glenora Club. Line combinations: Hall-RNH-Eberle Pouliot-Draisaitl-Purcell (Pinizzotto) Perron-Arcobello-Yakupov Hendricks-Gordon-Joensuu (Gazdic) The Oilers are mixing up the defensive pairings as practice continues.Chris WescottTue, 18 Nov 2014 13:41:00 ESThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141028_draisaitl.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3389133891