Showing posts with label Jordan Eberle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jordan Eberle. Show all posts

Monday, November 27, 2017

Get Over It!

Seems like almost daily that the fans of the Edmonton Oilers break down about what could or should have been. Now, I don't know about you, but that type of thinking would wear me down a lot and I would become even more depressed than I already am. Why subject ourselves to what ifs? 

We can't change the past, no matter what. So, why are we dwelling on trades and transactions that are long and over with? I can see the appeal. You see something that's going well and you wish it to be happening here. But, if we rewind the clock, people were happy to ship Hall and Eberle out of town as two examples. 

It was a general consensus that Hall had ran his time down here. People laughed and made jokes about how upset and sour he was to leave here. Taylor Hall was the laughing stock of the Oilers on his exit out of Edmonton and still was up to the start of this season. 

Some, claimed he was a cancer in the dressing room and that's why he was traded. Some, claimed his style of play would have him injured for most of his NHL career as the Oilers were better off not having that style of player here. Some, just thought he was a puck hog. 

No matter what your thoughts were on Taylor Hall at that time, you fast forward to now and you'll find fans missing and craving his goal scoring in Edmonton. You'll find people wanting to turn back time and not make that deal. And now, the same could be said for Jordan Eberle. 

Eberle was a bum in the playoffs, they said. Eberle has no heart and doesn't compete like an Oiler should. Eberle was renamed Eberlazy. Once again, those fans fast forward to today and they don't understand why he was traded. 

I think at times General Manager Peter Chiarelli and his staff actually read too much into the hype the team gets from MSM, bloggers and the casual fan. I firmly believe that the Eberle deal was made to appease the fans and critics. In my mind, it made no sense to trade him at the time he did. It made no sense to give away the goals he produced. But, should have, would have, could have, he's gone now. We have to live with that and accept it. 

Same could be said about Pouliot. He was a bum too right Oiler fans? Yet, here we are, desperately needing his strengths of killing penalties. 

Hindsight is always 20/20, but at the end of the day, decisions get made and love them or hate them, they happened. 

It's time to let it go and get over it. I know I have. 

Written by Brent Huska

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Oilers - 'off season'

My deepest apologies to all our jambalaya followers on my long absence from writing. Needed some badly desperate rest from writing for awhile. In the meantime playing hockey has has been front and center.

Since the draft things have greatly slowed down when it comes to news happening in the Oilers camp. There are some questions that are being asked like 'will the Oilers make a trade to bring in another Centermen for training camp to compete'' or 'Shouldn't Draisaitl be sent back for another year in jr before starting his NHL Entry level contract?' Those are good questions and right now it is all speculation other then a few indicators that you can read from.

I will take some time in my next couple blogs covering those questions and others here at OilersJamabalaya. For the month of July I will take time to break down the Prospects 'In the System' of the Oilers. Those that are on the BUBBLE, PROSPECT or SUSPECT! The last few years I have taken the time to break down what is out there and where the players future lies.

Stick around and be sure to come back to check out my series of blogs as we walk through most of the prospects and where their potential lies and what their possible future holds.

Just for some fun let's look back to my analysis of some players at last years Oilers training Camp and what I wrote here at I will highlight in red a quick thought following …..

Unfortunately for Cam, this could be the beginning of the end. His off ice work while good, has not been great and his progress has been stalled while other potential players are about to supplant him if things don't change ASAP. My take on Abney will be, this is his final year to prove himself. He will either be traded or released at the end of season most likely. In the end, Abney was a great guy but being a great guy doesn't mean anything unless you have the skill set to go with it.

 Was hardly recognizable on the ice these past couple days but is that always a bad thing? It could turn out to be his best chance. Will be in a fight with Lander for that 4th line spot. Is not slotted into OKC's plans in their line combo's currently but that could change drastically should he falter in the opportunities given.
And he did falter.  Another worker on the ice but doesn't have the skill set to remain in a NHL lineup.

A decent showing with skilled players Yakupov and Omark could prove to be his best chance. His outcome from the game in Edmonton Saturday night could either elevate him into the opening night lineup or actually see him with a ticket back to OKC after a few pre-season games. Is currently slotted into the Barons #1 Centre slot and MacT has been very direct that he wants players to play in OKC around the same role they would play should they be playing for the Oilers. Maybe one line higher but no more. Arcobello continues to beat the odds. I am impressed with how well he has done. As much as people like to say his play dropped off as the season went on, they have not been following the facts that his position was changed from center to wing and on third and fourth line roles usually. I am happy with him more in a 2nd or 3rd line center role then players like UFA's Roy and others fans actually were wanting with experience. He is defensively responsible and being small has not affected his play yet. Give him one good size winger with some skill and speed and Arco can be free to do what he does best. I see him as a NHL player who continues to earn his chance. Likely not a long term player in Edmonton but a good stop gap?

Grows a stache like nobodies business but will that be enough. Will be the 13th or 14th forward going into the season. Plays exactly the game he knows how to play and knows how to use gamesmanship which is extremely important for the role he fills. In the end was not able to bring enough to the table for Edmonton but ends up in San Jose? Hmmm

Hits well, is relentless and has a scoring touch too. Did I mention he is a agitator and likes it too? The Oilers are very high on Chase and have been pleased with what he has shown them this camp so far. Not every jr player gets to play even in a scrimmage let alone game action. If he continues to develop this year back in jr, his path and future looks bright with the Oilers. And his path in jr last year was exceptional and even got the OKC call-up. Will discuss him more in our 'Bubble, Prospect or Suspect' series coming.

Sick skills and looks to really have his shot back. His minor injury last season really hindered his shot. This year I would expect his shooting % goes back up. Will be interesting to see who he is paired with in the early regular season games. Injury to his wrist affected him somewhat this past season and it was noticeable with his accuracy. Likely a bounce back year.

Had his good and bad moments playing in the centre pivot position. It will take time to adjust but Hall is a world class player and at the very worst it is highly likely he will fill the team need better by playing centre for up to 5 games then playing left wing and leaving this team extremely weak down the middle. RNH has confidence in Taylor, why shouldn't we? Taylor is learning what needs to be done in that centre pivot spot from good mentors in his coach Action and RNH himself. If we all recall, he did mention last year if the team did try him at centre he didn't want it to be a 2 or 3 game stint but given some time to really try it out. My guess? He will play a minimum of 10 games at centre and then be evaluated after that. It was a failure and Hall himself seemed relived after they moved him back to wing. IMO the center experiment is over and we won't see Hall in the pivot position again. It does not appear to be his calling card, Imagine his season if he started at LW at the beginning.

Time is running out for Curtis and his injuries have likely been his greatest downfall to really exhibiting what his true value is to the Oilers. His off ice work was said to have improved last development camp but now we missed seeing what progress could have taken place by, no on ice action. If not this year, then the next Curtis will likely be on the outside looking in. Only thing that saves him is a big year in OKC IMO. Well he didn't have the big year but did get resigned for another. Will discuss him more in our 'Bubble, Prospect or Suspect' series coming.

A big tough, determined player that Dallas Eakins really appreciates has brought him to Edmonton on the basis he will push the bottom 6 forwards and or at worst play the power forward role in OKC, Most likely in the end will be a call up for bottom 6 winger role in Edmonton this season. Injuries limited any late season call-up but early on Ryan lacked the speed needed to compete in the NHL. Once again this year may get a cup of coffee in the NHL but that is the most he is likely to get in the NHL.

Will be monitored very closely this year and Oilers want to be cautious with him but are excited about his future with the organization. Debate is on if he reports to OKC or ends up in WHL with Everett. Likely he goes to WHL but some of that decision will be who gets assigned to OKC with other players from camp, bets are he goes to WHL. Didn't have a stellar year in the WHL in points but definitely also struggled through some injury. Progressed as season went on and had a good short stint to end the year in OKC. Looked good at evaluation camp and is ready to prove himself in OKC this year. Will discuss him more in our 'Bubble, Prospect or Suspect' series coming.

Anton is pencilled into a 2nd line role in OKC to open the season but only Lander can change that destiny. Concerns are more about his confidence and Oilers would like to see him less concerned with points and more on just playing the same game, shift in and shift out. If he finds his game in pre-season, he starts in Edmonton, if not, other options are considered. Started weak but produced his best season in the AHL. Got himself in a position to challenge again at this years Oilers camp. Will discuss him more in our 'Bubble, Prospect or Suspect' series coming.

His all around game is coming around but it looks more and more everyday he will have to decide to become a role player in a 4th or 3rd line tops role. Would be great if he accepted he may not have the Hockey sense to be a elite skill guy at pro level. Is pencilled in as 3rd line centre in OKC to start the year. Ended up being flushed, it was only a matter of time. Skill never showed at the minor pro level.

While the last regime was not happy with what they saw in Omark, this new regime is very happy with his potential. Dallas has great respect for his skills and wants to provide a prime opportunity for him to show himself well. It is still a win-win for both sides no matter how this comes down. If Linus can show even just ok, defensively he will get a shot, if he shows what he did in the past without the puck, he won't be in Edmonton past the pre-season games. OKC would be happy with 1 more year of Omark and when the year is completed he is a UFA who can go and try his own luck. I wouldn't count Omark out and don't forget, it's not his toughness that is in question, it is his ability to cover his defensive role. Linus never covered that role well. Was flushed eventually and even Buffalo a team lacking scoring flushed him too. His NHL Career is over just like Schremp. A player with tons of offensive prowess but no defensive ability to know what to do when not with the puck.

Perron is a interesting player. this guy has a lot of Yakupov in him when it comes to life and the game of hockey. He almost eats, breaths and lives hockey. Really love the fact he lines up so perfectly on his off wing just like Yakupov. If these two can have some chemistry, it may provide for some interesting hockey. David has no concerns going to the tough area's of the ice and does not mind some rough play.  Perron appears to really like the red carpet treatment he has received and you can tell by his actions he loves he is in hockey country. Perron was the player by season's end he ended up making MacT look good in his shrewd business deals. MacT landed a couple more later but David really seemed to find his spot here in Edmonton. Was one of the better stories in another bad season of hockey.

Like so many before him, Tyler is about to fall off the face of the hockey world really quick, if he can not be consistent with his play. Almost makes you wonder what happened somewhere. Was there something others knew that made him available at 31st OV at the draft. I think the injuries and confidence is what has stalled his major growth. He still has time to prove himself to the Oilers brass but time is starting to run out. He needs a strong year in OKC if he stands to even have a fighting chance. Will likely only get 1 or 2 pre-season games and then get assigned to OKC. Pitlick is so close but needs to overcome these injuries he keeps falling prey too. Will discuss him more in our 'Bubble, Prospect or Suspect' series coming.

Roy has looked good to date but at scrimmage on a line with speed and against bigger, quicker players he has realized pretty quick, he isn't in the CHL anymore. Marco has performed above expectations and a good showing back in Jr should go a long way into his growth development. There look to be some high praises of his game with oilers brass. Big injury last year slowed down his growth but is looking to make up for lost time this year. Will discuss him more in our 'Bubble, Prospect or Suspect' series coming.

Honestly, upon tweeting about the scrimmages, I was not trying to follow Yakupov very much but anytime he is on the ice, he draws the attention of every fan too him. He has become the newest darling of the fans and girls are going crazy over this cute Russian. His game seems to even have another step since last season and with some confidence behind him the limits are endless. There is no way this organization will be even considering a trade of this player unless something were to breakdown in their relationship. Nail's best game is when he is confident and given opportunities to rise to the occasion. One thing that was noticeable in the scrimmage is his relentless pursuit of the puck when the other team had it. Let's hope that spills over to the early pre-season games and becomes a contagious habit. The relationship with coach did break down and then the off ice things affected IMO the on-ice. Appears ready to make up for a poor sophomore season with training back in Edmonton last July and working out with some of the prospects already.

Some MSM have pencilled him as the 7th or even 8th d-man in the depth chart, not so sure the Coaches and scouts agree. They are very high on his physical battle for pucks, his passing ability and his skating and see him suited well for the NHL. Just too bad his struggles with Visa have been a pain. Was a bust and his physical play summed limited to a every 6th game basis. In the end he cost himself a job in the NHL.

The Oilers are very high on this prospect and will be following his Jr season closely. There are already plans in place to make sure he gets everything he needs to development to the best of his ability. Not sure it's everyone who see's Ben this important but some who are directly involved with him do and he will be given every opportunity to show his A game to this organization. Will discuss him more in our 'Bubble, Prospect or Suspect' series coming.

It is amazing to see the growth in hi game. He is a battler but I don't know if he will ever see much time in the NHL but he continues to defy the odds. At the very worst he is a solid D-man for the AHL. Some of the development staff see nothing but bright future for this young player. Will discuss him more in our 'Bubble, Prospect or Suspect' series coming.

It appears there may be more to Denis coming back to the Oilers then just as a extra d-man. Between his NHL experience, his Russian language and his off ice personality and teachable character, it appears he may be the new mentor they wanted in town with Yakupov to keep the transition smoother with Khabby gone. Don't doubt Khabby's influence that aided Yakupov through the transitions early on. A total fail on Dennis part. Was a step behind and in the end was a gamble that never paid off.

Tyler is a battler and he likely will get over this but right now he is in for a tough season moving forward. He is the first one to tell you his head is not in the game like it was a couple years ago. Turning pro can do that to you against the next elite level of hockey players. I would still give him 2 more seasons to see if he can continue to develop the mental side of the game. There is no concerns with his athleticism or his positioning, it's all upstairs and that takes time to work on. Another rough year but let's discuss him more in our 'Bubble, Prospect or Suspect' series coming.

Jason is one of those Goalies who is adjusting to the new leg pad size. Didn't know about the change this year? Between the top of the knee and the highest point of the leg in the inner groin area, you have have your pad cover 55% of the area. The rule changed this year to 45%. This means Jason lost 1.5 inches on the length of his pad and it will affect the '5 hole' no matter how you look at it. Lots of confidence in Jason being able to run a string of even p to 10 games in a row if needed. Is considered a high quality back up goalie. Another bust and that was not expected. He should have been a capable backup. Maybe the pad change really hurt him? Who knows but his career is likely finished in the NHL.

Next blog will be up this weekend discussing the question Oilers fans everywhere want to hear. Hopefully I may  be able to give a few decent thoughts and inside information to help either answer or stir up those questions many people are asking. Check back soon

In the meantime and in between time that's it for another edition of OilersJamabalaya hockey.

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Monday, May 26, 2014

Are Edmonton's forwards good enough to compete?

My apologies in the delay yet once again in my article's. I am producing at a slower rate then Tamby ran the Oilers. I appreciate the faithful ones who support and continually ask when I will have my next blogs up. While finalizing the final aspects of the Oilers team with forwards today and defencemen and Goalies in the next two article's, I will also be putting out a final 2014 NHL Entry Draft Ranking following the Draft combine.

Let's get to the point of this article today. The Edmonton Oilers forwards that are locked, loaded and ready to go for 2014/2015? Ok, maybe their not ready but at least let's discuss where they are currently are at and where this team could be headed with what they actually have sitting in the wings. As we walk through the list of players at forward there are some given players that are likely to be going nowhere. How will they make the changes and will an important part be sent away? Only MacT really knows but that next move will either move this team forward or it will cost MacT his job in the future.

First let's be realistic about who is staying regardless of offers and who potentially could be dealt away. As we walk through the skilled forwards, the idea is to fairly analyze their place on this team with logic and deduction.

Hall; 6'1, 201 lbs
The cornerstone of this franchise and a player who can be relied on 90% of the time. Taylor is going nowhere and it's likely will be the captain in a year or two. He may not have a no-trade clause but unofficially there IS a no-trade clause on Hall within the Oilers organization, You win with players like this. Wait till he finally makes the post-season, players like Hall are money in the bank.

Nugent-Hopkins; 6'1, 180 lbs
Has been competing against the best in the game at every level and beyond his years experience for his whole hockey playing career. Took a big learning curve this year defensively but considering he takes on the others teams best defencemen and forward checking lines, he only stands to get better each year. On a team that has very little centre depth, other teams know that and that has been the mistake the Oilers have had. Very little centre position support. Coming off an off-season last year where he was recovering from shoulder surgery, this off-season is all about strength and conditioning. Get a good second line center (or even 1st line if possible) and watch RNH blossom. You don't find a centre of his skill set and hockey IQ often. Is untouchable unless they can fetch better in a trade and we all know in today's NHL, those trades don't happen.

Eberle; 6'0, 185 lbs
Jordan Eberle is as clutch as you can get. This boy has been waiting and itching to play a playoff game of importance for some time. Loves the city and loves the organization but as close as he is to Hall and company, he could potentially be the piece of the puzzle who can actually fetch something back in return. Don't want him gone but somebody with skill needs to go to bring in what this team needs.

Yakupov; 5'11, 189 lbs
Another player of incredibly high skill but needs to be played according to his strengths. Some like to say his trade value is diminished but don't believe the lies. They are only opinions and several team scouts will tell you, Nail has game. His last 15 games he was turning the corner on his back checking and defensive awareness without the puck. His +/- was virtually 0 during that same time span. (which is almost never mentioned) Fans and media like to really run with a story and in Edmonton, Nail became the favourite whipping boy. Nail is going nowhere unless there is a way to pick up Florida's 1st rounder with him in the deal. (likely will not happen). Don't believe the talk he is too small for this game. Nail is strong on the puck and fights hard for it in battles. Not an easy player to knock over and knows how to dish it out occasionally as well.

Perron; 6'0, 200 lbs
A player with his feisty attitude and jam for the net is not traded away. Unless there was an internal problem, he stays. Maybe a situation where they bring in a top 2 defender or a top 2 centre but we all know Perron would not fetch that type of player so time for speculation of being traded is out of order.

Gagner; 5'11, 202 lbs
Gagner must have been traded at least 15 times by media and fans in the last 2 years. This guy has more lives then a cat. I think the problem is less how good he is and more how he just doesn't compliment what this team needs. If he were to play with two thick bodies and quick wingers who could score maybe this would be a different discussion but right now, that's not the case. Can't see Gagner lasting much longer in Edmonton as their 2nd line centre. If they trade Eberle or Yakupov he could move to right wing (where he played with Cogliano his rookie year mostly) but if one of the other wingers are not traded, it will likely be Gagner who is finding a new city to call home.

None of the other Oilers forwards on the roster are what you could consider top 6 forwards on a NHL team. They may be able to fill in occasionally but as regular top 6 forwards, the Oilers only potentially have the 6 mentioned above. Other forwards on this team will be role players only.

So having said all that, who is in the system that could be a player in the future that the Oilers could use as a legitimate NHL forward? Below I have rated the % chance of them making a solid NHL Career.


Chase; 6'0, 205 lbs
Chase produced some incredible numbers this past season. He has shown to have soft hands to go with his pesky side of the game. We know he is the type of player who will be in the scrums and try to get under the skin of his opponents. A player that was selected in the Oilers last round and looked good at training camp as well. His 1st year in the minor pro level will be the true test, if he can bring that level of play to the next level of hockey. His top end potential is maybe as a third line but more then likely will be a 4th line player should he pan out. I think many of us are rooting for a incredible career for this young prospect. I rate him at a 60% chance of succeeding.

Moroz; 6'2, 211 lbs
No one expected the Oilers to take Mitch so high in the draft but when his fellow OilKing was selected just in front of him the Oilers wanted big, tough and some resemblance of skill and they took the chance on him. He has looked good for the role this year and for many parts of the year has carried his team. The bigger question will be can he carry the game the same way in OKC like he did with the OilKings because he will be playing against the big boys in the AHL and they likely won't be so easy to dominate physically. He has good fight in his game, only time will tell. I like him and he stands a 70% chance of succeeding

Khaira; 6'3, 210 lbs
A big player who can guard and protect the puck well. I am concerned about his foot speed but has appeared to be a solid player in the making. He is a interesting player when it comes to development. This will be very a test year for him. He is a centre but IMO, I think he needs moved to the wing to stand a good NHL shot. Give him a 40% chance of succeeding at the NHL level.

Roy; 6'0, 175 lbs
A highly skilled forward with not lots of size and more then likely will be used in a trade somewhere down the line but isn't that why you want your stables full of players who can bring back some assets down the road? Possibly stands a 40% chance of succeeding at the NHL level.

Slepyshev; 6'2, 194 lbs
Will just be glad when he actually signs with the Oilers. A very good talent, just not sure if his game will translate well to the smaller ice surface and game of the NHL. Likely will be coming over for the 2015/2016 season after he fulfills his contract with his KHL team. I see him as another player that could be potentially offered in a trade to sweeten a package. Has a 50% chance of making a NHL Career.

Yakimov; 6'5, 202 lbs
A player many people are high on in this organization, including MacT himself. I see his top end potential as a 3rd line centre but he will need to improve his foot speed. Likes going strong to the net so that can be a benefit to a team like the Oilers who lack that from too many forwards. Potentially a long term fix at our 3rd or 4th line centre role. I give Yakimov a 70% chance of a successful NHL career.

While there are other forwards in their system, I rate their chances below 40% chance of actually making it to the big show for more then a cup of coffee.

I predict with little available in the system as we can see, 2 of the 6 mentioned current Oiler forwards will be moved out and replaced this season. Who? Some combination of Gagner, Yakupov and or Eberle. It's all hypothetical but simple deduction tells you something is about to break and not to far away!

In the meantime, and in between time, that's it for another edition of Oilers hockey!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Barring Any Other Hiccup, This Is Opening Night

The Gagner injury has really messed up plans for the Edmonton Oilers opening night roster. They currently need to fill another big void at center and have only three options. 

Lander, Arcobello and Acton are the three guys who the Oilers are going to have to choose from. There is no other players in the system remotely close to ready. 

Oh shit...

Another (insane) option is to have Jordan Eberle try center like Hall did. Eberle did say the other day that he could try center as he's played it when he was younger. I don't like that idea for the fact your two best wingers are now playing center. We need those guys on the wings, not patrolling center ice. 


Both Weiss and Kassian will have hearings with the NHL for their actions during last nights game. Hall almost had his head taken off by Weiss and Gagner took a high stick and had his jaw broken by Kassian. Both instances went on with no on ice retaliation and it sounds like Gagner will be out for 4-8 weeks. He's having surgery to put his jaw back together. 


Darnell Nurse had been making coach Eakins (and the fans) think twice about sending him back to juniors. Nurse has progressively been better as each day passes, and its apparent he's actually being considered to stay. I think he's been better than N. Schultz, Grebeshkov, Fedun, Larsen, Belov and the hurt Potter (based on last seasons play). 

I'd like to see him stick. At least give him a few games of real NHL duty to see how he does. I don't think he's going home just yet, but I'm not sure the Oilers want to too many chances with the waiver wire with other players. 



Smyth Hall Hemsky
Perron Gordon Eberle
Omark Lander Yakupov
Jones Acton Brown
Joensuu Eager

Ference J. Schultz
Petry Smid
Nurse N. Schultz
Grebeshkov Belov


*starting lines in bold*


Monday, September 9, 2013

A Look At What Could Be Opening Night 2013-14

Hello Jambalya readers, as you know the hockey season is coming, and there will be tons of talk like, "how will Eakins help this team?", and "will we be over .500?".

But, I'm not writing this to talk about that, I'm writing this, to talk about who could be the opening day lineup for the 2013-14 season.

Forward line guesses

1st line guess

LW Perron C Hall RW Eberle

LW David Perron, Perron's skill will fit nice with Hall and Eberle who are already highly skilled forwards.

C Taylor Hall, This line has Hall at centre because of the fact Hopkins could be hurt for 10 games or so, (give or take) Hall is also at centre on this line because Eberle is a first line player and he has more chemistry with Hallsy than Gagner. Yes, I do know Hallsy is not very good away from the puck, but he has outstanding speed that will help him with back checking.

RW Jordan Eberle, Eberle is a good little forward that has great skills that would blend well with anyone especially with Hall and Perron in this case.

2nd line guess

LW Hemsky C Gagner  RW Yakupov

LW Ales Hemsky is another highly skilled forward who will hopefully bring leadership to Yakupov and if he can pass more, he might be valuable in the long run on this line.

C Sam Gagner I don't think has the defensive game to play 1st line minutes, so thats why I slot him here. He will finally have the contract stuff off his back and hopefully plays well because of it. 

RW Nail Yakupov, His shot, his skating, and his puck skills will hopefully work well with Hemsky this season. Hopefully they can find some offensive chemistry.

3rd line guess

RW Omark C Gordon LW Smyth

LW Ryan Smyth, Captan Canada, gritty, heart and soul and finally Symtty, these are all words associated with Ryan Symth, and coming in to probably his last season, I have him playing 3rd and 4th line minutes mainly because he is old and just here to finish his contract.

C Boyd Gordon, Maybe a bit of an overpayment, but still a good signing. Gordon is a good player that is two way.

RW Linus Omark, He was signed recently and it could be because the Oil want three scoring lines, or just for depth. Any such way, I have him here to add some scoring on this line.

4th line guess

RW Jones C Lander LW Joensuu

LW Jesse Joensuu, He was a first round pick, Lowetide says he is "very similar player to Temmu Hartikanien" which means he is a big grinder who will chip in a few goals, but is pretty slow.

C Anton Lander, He is a a good PK player which with Horcoff gone, he fills. He will chip in maybe 9 goals. He is a bubble player.

RW Ryan Jones, Jones cheats for offense and will probably be talked to by coach Eakins over the season. But I have him slotted here because he is a NHL player compared to others who might fill this role.

Other players that could be in on opening day.

Andrew Miller, Will Acton, Ryan Hamilton and Mike Brown.

Player to watch on offence: Taylor Hall who had 50 points last season and I Think will have 70 - 80 points this year keep your eye on him.

Defence pairing guesses

1 pair guess

LD Smid RD Petry

LD Ladislav Smid, He is a good heart and soul player who will block shots. Sometimes he will make a dumb play, but he's been improving every year. He is a good shutdown guy who logs PK mins and also can be trusted late in a game.

RD Jeff Petry, He was not as good as some people would have thought last season, but I think he will bounce back and not score on his own net vs the Wings and cost us a game (yes i'm still hurt over a regular season game.)

2 pair guess

LD Ference RD J.Schultz.

LD Andrew Ference, Ference was a good signing. Maybe not because of his contract, but because he is a solid veteran D man and will help J.Schultz when it comes down to those tough times.

RD Justin Schultz, Schultz is our best defence if not now then in the very near future. He had a pretty good season with points (27 points) but, I think he is going to get more. If he really wants to be good this season, he will need to improve without the puck.

3rd pair guess

LD N.Schultz RD Belov

LD Nick Schultz, He is a defensive defence man who should bounce back after a lackluster season. If he doesn't improve, I wouldn't doubt it if the Oilers look to move him. 

RD Anton Belov, Some say he was the best D man in the KHL last year. He has some grit to him and will be good guy to keep your eye on. Not sure how he will adapt to the smaller ice surface though. Should be interesting.

Other D man that could be in on opening night

Phillip Larson, Oscar Klefbom and Denis Grebeshkov


Starting goalie:

Deven Dubnyk, He had an up and down season last year. He won us some games and he lost us some games. One thing I do notice is that he usally lets in one bad goal every game. Duby is the postion I am most worried about. He is 27 years old he has never had a better save % better than 2.57. But saying that, he was on the terrible Oilers team. All and all this is the season where we find out if he is an average goalie or above average goalie.

Backup goalie

Jason LaBarbera, Jason is a proven backup who might actually challenge Dubnyk if he faulters. Chances are that doesn't happen, but if they do, LaBarbera would love to step in. 

Remember, this all could change if RNH comes back early or if more injuries happen from now until the regular season starts. but if nothing does change, these are my opening night lines.

This was written by NHL rumors guy AKA Noah Fuchs

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Oilers Hockey Battle at Hawrelak Park

On twitter right now, Oilers hotshots Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall are talking trash about setting up a shinny game for 4pm today at Hawrelak park. I can only Imagine this will draw a fairly large crowd. They have mentioned names like Nail Yakupov, Ryan Whitney, Nugent-Hopkins and newcomer Justin Schultz participating. We can only imagine most of the team showing up to play in this "unorganized" pick up game.

So if your not busy today around 4pm, head down to Hawrelak park and snap some photos. Your going to experience what hockey is all about. Just pure, fun hockey. Wish I could be there.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

NHL Lockout is Affecting the Oilers in 3 Good Ways

Please stand by while greedy people fight.

If there is a sliver lining for this NHL lockout, it's that the Edmonton Oilers have three things in this NHL lockout going for them!

Number one;

Letting Taylor Hall have more time to recover, because if the NHL season would have started on time, he might have been rushed in a little bit to fast then he would have liked.

Number two;

Developing their farm team by getting their players that will hopefully be in Edmonton someday to hang out and play with some of the great young faces of the Edmonton Oilers. Hopefully most of the kids playing in OKC will be playing someday with guys like Ebs, Hallsy and RNH on the Oilers. This is great experience to have them "gel" ahead of time.

Justin: Thanks for signing me

Steve: No problem. It's fun locking out people after I sign them. Yakupov, Hallsy, Eberle and now you.

Number three;

Getting Schultz time in the AHL so it's not as big of a step from college to the NHL. That's a big leap and if I may say my thoughts on him, what a player he is turning out to be. He's better than anyone could have thought, even with the high expectations people had on him.

This article is written by Noah Fuchs.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

High Skill Isn't All You Need / OKC Barons Need Some Help

What nice Jerseys eh!
The OKC Barons have lots of skill on their team brought about by the work stoppage and there has been HUGE expectations for this team early on.

In my opinion, they really haven't hit their stride with Taylor Hall (coming off injury), Jordan Eberle, RNH, and Justin Schultz. At this point, they should be better. There are reasons for this and its not all because of their young guns not putting up the points. Schultz is leading the league in scoring with Eberle trailing not far behind.

The Barons biggest weakness is defensive depth. Especially with the veteran defensemen. I think, because of the hype of the young guns, the forward depth players have been passengers instead of adding secondary scoring. Even the young guns have on occasion, made some errors defensively which is bound to happen. The only cure being more experience.

Hopefully we will see the trio of Hall, Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins on Rexall ice soon. But when its all said and done in OKC, this team is doing well. But they could still do more with all their talent.

I hope they make some kind of AHL trade for more experienced D.


Saturday, October 6, 2012

The NHL Lockout Provides Oklahoma City With A Boost

Oklahoma City
Everyone knows that with the lingering NHL lockout that's going on, the Edmonton Oilers have sent down a couple of their young stars to Oklahoma City to play with the Barons.

Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Justin Schultz, Anton Lander and when ready and healed, Taylor Hall are going to be in the OKC Barons lineup.

This is a once in a lifetime (probably not now with Bettman still in charge) opportunity for the people of Oklahoma City to come out and watch some very good NHL talent play right in their own back yard.

Jordan Eberle was a Lady Byng finalist this year. He piled up the numbers while playing a gentleman's game. He's classy through and though. To have him around your community is something to cherish and embrace. He's a great ambassador of the game.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was a finalist for the Calder trophy which is awarded to the NHL's top rookie. Some say he should have won. Who better to be a part of your hockey club to show what hard work really is than RNH? His work ethic will rub off on the rest.

When he's ready to play again in a couple of weeks, Taylor Hall is going to bring leadership to the team like they have never seen before. He oozes a winning attitude and no doubt, he will help bring the team to new heights in their quest to winning the Calder Cup.

Let's not forget the fact they still have Oilers prospect Magnus Paajarvi on the team. He's a year older and another year wiser. I'm expecting a big year from him too before he can make the jump to the Oilers.

Oklahoma City is extremely lucky to be getting these guys. Coach Nelson was given an NHL top line to have at his disposal. I can guarantee he isn't going to squander this. You can hear it in his voice, he's excited.
Not only are the OKC Barons going to flourish because of the NHL lockout, so will the ECHL affiliate, the Stockton Thunder. With the Barons gaining a few new players, that means they are taking spots from guys up there. Those guys will go down to Stockton until a spot becomes available with the Barons.

Goaltender Tyler Bunz and at least 3 other players will be sent to the Stockton to play in the ECHL with the Thunder. It could even be more.

The ripple effect has begun. Enjoy this Oklahoma City, it won't last forever.


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Edmonton Oilers Young Stars Head To Oklahoma City

The Edmonton Oilers assigned several players down to Oklahoma City today to play with the Barons during the NHL lockout. This is great news for Barons fans.

Here is the official press release from the Oilers;

"Edmonton Oilers General Manager Steve Tambellini announced today the club has assigned the following players to Oklahoma City of the American Hockey League.

Cameron Abney
Mark Arcobello
Tyler Bunz
Dane Byers
Philippe Cornet
Yann Danis
Brandon Davidson
Jordan Eberle
Taylor Fedun
Curtis Hamilton
Teemu Hartikainen
Tanner House
Anton Lander
Martin Marincin
Ryan Martindale
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
Magnus Paajarvi
Kristians Pelss
Tyler Pitlick
Alex Plante
Toni Rajala
Olivier Roy
Justin Schultz
Colten Teubert
Antti Tyrvainen
Chris VandeVelde

Tambellini also announced defenceman David Musil has been assigned to the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League and forward Nail Yakupov has been assigned to the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League


Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Future Is Getting Locked Up

After the huge Taylor Hall signing yesterday, - he signed a 7 year extension at $6 million per year - we are all waiting for the next announcement.

Jordan Eberle is the next one to be signed long term by the Oilers and it's good timing to be doing this now with the new CBA negotiations going on right now.

It's possible Eberle will get about the same type of deal that Hall has. I have heard it could be a little less than Hall's coming in around $5.5 million a year over 6 years. But we won't know till the deal is done.

These two contracts will setup the future for the rest of the Oilers. Don't expect Nugent-Hopkins or Yakupov to ever get paid more than Hall is now. That's the benchmark going forward and rightfully so. The kid is future captain.

Even if all 4 players have roughly the same contracts, the Oilers should be OK down the road with staying within the cap space.

I like the Hall signing and I'll like the Eberle one as well once it's done.

The future of this team gets better every single day we wake up. Get ready Oil Country. Our time is near...


Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Edmonton Oilers... Destination #1? Schultz Says So!

The past is the past for the Oilers now. Long gone are the days of not wanting to be in Edmonton to play hockey with the Oil.

The advantages of coming here are at a high.

Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Magnus Paajarvi, Nail Yakupov, Anton Lander, Teemu Hartikainen, Jeff Petry, Oscar Klefbom, Martin Marincin, Devan Dubnyk, Tyler Bunz.

Now the Oilers have free agent Justin Schultz to add to the list.

I'd hope and expect the Oilers to land a few more good players to compliment the kids listed above. With all this youth and excitement, I have no doubt the Oilers will be Stanley Cup challengers sooner, rather than later.

Our door is open in Oil Country... we welcome those who want to join the fun.



Friday, June 15, 2012

The Edmonton Oilers... Destination #1? Schultz Says So!

The past is the past for the Oilers now. Long gone are the days of not wanting to be in Edmonton to play hockey with the Oil.

The advantages of coming here are at a high.

Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Magnus Paajarvi, Nail Yakupov, Anton Lander, Teemu Hartikainen, Jeff Petry, Oscar Klefbom, Martin Marincin, Devan Dubnyk, Tyler Bunz.

Now the Oilers have free agent Justin Schultz to add to the list.

I'd hope and expect the Oilers to land a few more good players to compliment the kids listed above. With all this youth and excitement, I have no doubt the Oilers will be Stanley Cup challengers sooner, rather than later.

Our door is open in Oil Country... we welcome those who want to join the fun.



Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bickering Amongst Teammates Leads To...

It's been reported that there was some bickering on the Oilers bench the other night. Captain Shawn Horcoff fully admitted this and it should be no surprise that this happened. Losing sucks. I'd be pissed off too.

The big question should be, who was doing the bickering and over what?

So many things went wrong during that game (and previous games), it would be hard to pin point it and where it started. I personally, hope it was the young guys on the team like Hall and Eberle that were giving the tongue lashing to the vets. I see it on so many different levels that the kids are going to sub plant the vets sooner rather than later as the leadership corps. For most of the veterans, their time here is almost up.

If it was the vets (like Horcoff, Belanger, Jones, etc) that had the beef with the kids, then I have an issue with that. If anybody with a decent amount of NHL experience on the team had the drive to win like Taylor Hall does, this team could make the playoffs now. But they don't.

On a couple of occasions we seen Hall try and make a save to try and stop an empty net goal. He was never successful in stopping the puck either time, but admiration from Oilers fans and alike grew. We seen right there how bad he wants to win. He'd do anything for the W. That screams leader to me. Give the kid a letter ASAP.

Then we have mr. clutch, Jordan Eberle. He wants to score the big goals. He wants the puck on his stick. He wants to win. Two more guys like him on the team and the Oilers are Stanley Cup champs. Forget mr. clutch. I'd love it if by next season he wore the C and we could officially call him Captain Clutch. He's that good.

But back to what I started with...

I sure do hope it was the kids chirping the vets. The kids are leading this team and they deserve respect. The vets IMO have no room to speak. They've as a collective unit, have sucked.

A new era isn't just coming, it's here.


-written by Smokin' Ray Burnt-

Thursday, February 9, 2012


That's the headline that should be on every website, newspaper, any other media outlet and most importantly, from the lips of the Oilers management.

Last season the Oilers management made a decision that they knew full well, was going to be extremely unpopular. With approx. 20 games remaining and they're prized 1st overall pick freshly on the shelf with a sprained ankle, Tambellini and company SHUTDOWN Taylor Hall, rather then risk any further injury that could jeopardize the future of the Oilers and Hall. It was brave, bold and something no Oilers fan has come to expect, SMART.

Which brings me to here and now. When drafted anyone and their dog would tell you, "He's too small to play with men."

Well after bringing the Oilers faithful and most of the NHL out of there chairs on a nightly basis for half the season, maybe we are now seeing that he may have been too small. His HOF hockey sense and vision were almost enough to overcome his waffer thin body, but after suffering one and then two, shoulder injuries it makes no sense to me to bring him back into the lineup.

The Future...
The 'Nuge has nothing left to prove when it comes to his abilities. Anyone with an ounce of intelligence can clearly see he was the rookie of the year. None of the other rookies captivated the league the way 'Nuge did. Besides, the Oilers have how many Hall of Famers...6....and how many Calder Trophy winners....0. Sure it would be nice, but if Gretz, Mess, Andy, Kurri, Coff and Fuhrsy didn't need it to be great then the 'Nuge doesn't either.

This is also a great chance to both reward Anton Lander for being the good soldier on the 4th line all season, and to see just exactly what he has to offer if given top six minutes and PP time......and Paajarvi too for pete's sake! I mean why not give them a shot with Ebs or Hall???!!!

In the end the Oilers should do the right thing for their and Ryan's future. Here's what should be said...

"Ryan we are shutting you down for the season. Heal up, rehab the shit out of that shoulder, hit the gym and come to camp ready to go at 178-182lbs. See you in September."

So come on Tambo, K-Lowe, or Katz, make that same BOLD, BRAVE, UNPOPULAR, and most impotantly, SMART decesion again. Hopefully it's the last time it will have to be made.


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