September 17 2014 12:16PM
The first time I watched the Oilers rookies battle the U of A Golden Bears was in 1993. Jason Arnott was a rookie and my brother was a free agent invitee to training camp. He played with Arnott for the first few days of camp, and I vividly remember him calling me at home after the second day of training camp and talking about his experience.
He told me Arnott was going to be an excellent player. He was big, strong, had a great shot and played with an edge. Arnott went on to score 33 goals as a rookie, so his scouting report was pretty accurate.
My brother grew up a diehard Mark Messier fan, so wearing the Oilers jersey, even against the Bears was a fun experience for him.
September 16 2014 07:47AM
Taylor Hall enters his 5th NHL season as one of the most dangerous scorers in the NHL, but the 22-year-old spent the summer analyzing his game in hopes of becoming even more dominant this season.
How much better can he be? According to the first overall pick in 2010, he can improve significantly.
"I believe that I’m far from a finished product," responded Hall when I asked him where he feels his game is at. He spent the summer getting stronger, but also watching video from last season and picking out aspects of his game that he wants to improve.
September 15 2014 10:46AM
The Oilers rookies wrap up their rookie tournament in Penticton this afternoon before flying back to Edmonton to prepare for Wednesday's tilt vs. the U of A Golden Bears at Clare Drake Arena.The veterans partake in medicals on Thursday, step on the ice Friday and Saturday before the first preseason games on Sunday vs. the Flames.
The Oilers and Flames will play two games this coming Sunday, one in each city, but before the games begin here are some notes prior to the start of the Oilers 35th NHL season.
September 11 2014 09:54AM
No team angers the majority of Oilersnation readers more than the Vancouver Canucks. How I wish the Oilers were actually competitive during the past eight seasons, because an Oilers/Canucks playoff series, or even meaningful games down the stretch, would have pushed the animosity to extraordinary levels.
Alas, it never occurred, and in fact the Oilers and Canucks have only been in the postseason together three times during the past 20 NHL seasons; 1992, 2001 and 2003. I'll be surprised if it happens this season, but is this the year the Oilers finish ahead of the Canucks for the first time since 2006?
September 09 2014 01:10PM
Our western conference preview stops in Calgary to look at the rebuilding Flames. They lost their leading goal scorer, Mike Cammalleri to New Jersey, and once again the biggest concern will be goal scoring.
The Flames played the most 5x5 minutes of any team in the NHL last year, but they only scored 136 goals and gave up 172. The only teams who were outscored at 5x5, but made the playoffs, were Philadelphia (144-150) and Montreal (130-135).
The Flames have to improve 5x5 if they have any hopes of making the postseason.