The Shin Pad Assassin

Matt Henderson
August 27 2016 05:48PM

The Oilers went out and acquired Sekera, one of Free Agency’s biggest prizes, in the summer of 2015 for 5.5 million a year over 6 years. That’s a lot of scratch. By about a million and a half he’s the highest paid Oiler defenseman on the roster. Only somewhat ironically, “that’s the price you have to pay” is actually the phrase that applies to signing UFA defensemen with a positive track record. In his first year with the Oilers Andrej Sekera gained a nickname that I think will probably stick with him while he’s here: The Shin Pad Assassin. It’s catchy. It also carries a pretty negative connotation for a player who lived up to reasonable expectations on an unreasonably terrible team.

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Part of The Game

Matt Henderson
August 23 2016 09:00AM

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Two men stand facing each other, possibly with helmets off, adrenaline coursing through their bodies. Gloves hit the ice. Arms reach out. Hands grab onto something, anything. Fists fly for 30 seconds that feel like an eternity before linesmen step in. The crowd cheers louder. The two men skate to the penalty boxes after an obligatory pat on the back. Sticks are tapped along the boards in front of both benches. The game continues on. This is fighting in the NHL.

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Depth Through the Third Line

Matt Henderson
August 16 2016 07:00AM

Every once in a while it’s important to reset, to go back to the beginning and see how far we’ve come. Peter Chiarelli has been hard at work changing the Oilers to fit his image of an NHL club. I haven’t been on board with a number of Chiarelli’s moves throughout his still short stint as Oiler general manager. As an example, I doubt I’ll ever be fully comfortable with the price he paid to acquire the duo of Reinhart and Larsson. I don’t have to. It’s not a requirement for this job. However, if we focus on the mantra of “Balance and Depth” then it’s hard not to see improvement overall and specifically in the bottom six.

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Paging Paigin

Matt Henderson
August 07 2016 07:00PM

The KHL has never been known for being kind to younger players. Even the really highly skilled kids generally have to earn their ice-time the hard way. For that reason it can be really hard to tell how these kids are coming along in their development just by looking at the numbers. As frustrating as this can be from the perspective of a North American fan trying to gauge how a European prospect is doing overseas, it can also lead to happy surprises.

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Moving the Statue

Matt Henderson
August 03 2016 11:00AM

Some time this week the Oilers will remove the Bronze statue of Wayne Gretzky from the north entrance to Rexall Place. After it gets a thorough cleaning the statue will be put up outside the new downtown Rogers Place. Is that weird? Is it wrong?

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