EBERLE SHOOTING THE LIGHTS OUT

Jason Gregor
December 17 2012 02:27PM

After Jordan Eberle tallied 34 goals and 76 points last year, some suggested that would be his career-high. But the statistics that many felt was unattainable was his 18.9 shooting percentage. Eberle tallied 34 goals on 180 shots. Steven Stamkos was the only player to score more goals, 60, and have a higher SH%, 19.8. Curtis Glencross, 26 goals on 110 shots for 23.6 SH % and Jiri Hudler, 25 goals on 127 shots for 19.7 SH% were the only other players with 20+ goals and a higher SH % than Eberle.

We won't know how efficient of a scorer he will be in the NHL until the suits find a way to end the lockout, but in the American League Eberle is scoring at a rate they haven't seen in over a decade.

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POSITIVE VIBES

Jason Gregor
December 14 2012 01:08PM

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was named captain of Canada's World Junior team this morning. It is a huge honour for him, and it will be a great opportunity for him to evolve and grow as a leader. Considering the lockout negotiations are moving slower than a snail, I doubt the Oilers will have to worry about making decision whether to recall him back to the NHL or let him play the entire tournament.

But if that option comes up, it will be a hotly debated topic.

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NHL BUYOUTS TO SAVE SEASON?

Jason Gregor
December 13 2012 09:43AM

We've seen NHL teams buyout players before, but yesterday Larry Brooks had an interesting take on how the NHL could use a "sum-zero amnesty buyout program" that could ensure the owners don't spend more than the 50/50 proposal.

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ARENA AND LOCKOUT MEETINGS

Jason Gregor
December 12 2012 09:45AM

We experience a variety of "worst feelings" throughout our lives, and no milk in the house when a full bowl of delicious cereal is staring you in the face is one of them. Sitting on the throne only to realize you have no toilet paper ranks up there as well, but getting your sporting hopes up and then having them crushed might be the worst.

The good news for Oilers fans is that you're likely immune to this feeling, after suffering through the last six seasons. Every October, and sometimes into November, you've allowed yourself to believe that the playoffs were a possibility. Then over the next three months you watched that dream slowly evaporate into an abyss of losing and heartache.

Today could be one of those days. The NHL and NHLPA are meeting in a secret locale while the Katz Group speaks to city council regaridng the arena deal at 9:30ish this morning.

Is it possible Edmonton fans could see progress on both fronts?

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KRUEGER TALKS HOCKEY

Jason Gregor
December 11 2012 12:26PM

Ralph Krueger was named head coach of the Edmonton Oilers on June 26th. It was a dream come true for the 53-year-old and when I spoke to him that Wednesday, but this 87-day lockout has him waiting patiently impatiently to show the hockey world his plan of attack.

Yesterday I spoke with Krueger and we didn't mention the words HRR, make whole, decertification, Bettman of Fehr. It was a refreshing change of pace. We actually talked hockey. Does he have some line combinations in place? Who will play beside Justin Schultz? Will Nail Yakupov play right wing, or will Krueger try him on the left side.

Krueger had some good insight into what he will do when the lockout ends.

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