Getting to know Sam Bennett

Jason Gregor
April 25 2014 10:18AM

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Sam Bennett will turn 18 one week before the 2014 NHL entry draft. His belated birthday present to himself will be hearing his name called early in the draft, most likely within the top five picks. Bennett told me is 6'1" and 180 pounds, and that he plans to add between 5-10 pounds this summer before he heads to an NHL camp.

I spoke with Bennett yesterday and we discussed his feisty, two-way game, Aaron Ekblad and why he feels more comfortable playing centre rather than on the wing.

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LEARN FROM LANDER

Jason Gregor
April 24 2014 07:50AM

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Moving forward, Craig MacTavish and the Oilers have to ensure they don't develop players in the same fashion that they did Anton Lander. Lander is a perfect example of being put in the NHL too quickly. I think Lander will still be a solid NHL player, but his growth was rushed and that has delayed his development.

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TALKING TIPPETT AND YAKUPOV

Jason Gregor
April 21 2014 09:27AM

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Dave Tippett played 721 NHL games, 483 of them with the Hartford Whalers, and despite what this card insinuates he never won a Cup with the Penguins. Tippett signed with the Penguins in the summer of 1992 after they had won consecutive Stanley Cups.

Tippett was a solid NHL player, mainly a checker, but he's become one of the most respected coaches in the NHL. He's led his team to the playoffs in 8 of this 11 seasons, and he'll guide Canada at the upcoming World Championships.

Tippett and I spoke about his coaching philosophies, communication, advanced stats and more.

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MAJOR OVERHAUL, AGAIN!

Jason Gregor
April 17 2014 10:01AM

Change-ahead

This is not breaking news by any stretch, but by next October the Oilers will have 50% of their opening night roster from this season changed over. With Anton Belov signing a four-year deal to return to the KHL that means three of the Oilers starting D-men  from last October won't be in the lineup this coming October.

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WILL NEXT YEAR BE BETTER?

Jason Gregor
April 14 2014 10:50AM

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The Oilers playoff drought is now eight seasons, tying them for the 2nd longest playoff drought in one city with Boston, 1960-1967, and Washington, 1975-1982. Florida fans hold the record for enduring the longest heartache after watching the Panthers miss for ten consecutive seasons.

Can the Oilers improve by 25 points and be in playoff contention next season?

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