GDB -3.0: Catch McLellan's Eye

Jason Gregor
October 04 2016 01:03PM


We are getting down to crunch time. The Oilers who are battling for jobs have three games to make a final strong impression for Todd McLellan. Some of them will play well and still be sent to the AHL, simply due to numbers, but these games are the final chance to ensure McLellan knows their strengths.

Eric Gryba is battling for a contract. Anton Lander is vying to keep a spot in the NHL. Nail Yakupov wants to keep his spot in the top-nine, while Jesse Puljujarvi,Griffin Reinhart, Tyler Pitlick, Dillon Simpson and Anton Slepyshev are hoping to earn a spot on the 23-man roster.

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Monday Musings: Now it gets interesting

Jason Gregor
October 03 2016 01:00PM


The Oilers have three preseason games remaining, and those vying for a roster spot will likely have two, maybe three, games left to secure a roster spot.

Who is on the bubble?

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GDB -5.0: Nugent-Hopkins makes preseason debut

Jason Gregor
September 30 2016 01:06PM



Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will play his first preseason game tonight. He joined the Oilers on Tuesday after a five day break after playing six games at the World Cup. He feels stronger and quicker than last season and he's looking forward to regaining the form he had in 2014 and 2015.

After back-to-back 56 points seasons, Nugent-Hopkins' totals dipped to 34 last season. He only played 55 games due to injuries, but after a great first 13 games, RNH struggled mightily before breaking his hand in Florida on January 18th.

He had five goals and 11 points in his first 13 games. He was playing great, but then Connor McDavid got injured and Taylor Hall moved to a line with Leon Draisait, and RNH only scored three goals in his next 33 games before being injured in Florida.

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Adam Larsson: Defensive stalwart

Jason Gregor
September 30 2016 07:00AM

Adam Larsson was drafted fourth overall in 2011. He played 65 games with the Devils as an 18-year-old rookie in 2011/2012. He then split the next two season between the AHL (66 games) and the NHL (63 games), before becoming an NHL regular again the past two seasons.

The Oilers acquired him this summer in exchange for Taylor Hall. General Manager Peter Chiarelli made the deal because he felt the Oilers needed a legitimate right-shot defender. Larsson is a proven defender. He's played tough minutes the past two seasons and done well. He arrived in Edmonton in late August to find a place, get comfortable with the city and to get acquainted with his new teammates.

I sat down with Larsson earlier this week to find out a little more about him. 

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I miss you Dad

Jason Gregor
September 29 2016 09:03AM

On my 14th birthday my father drove me into Edmonton for my learner’s test. I passed and when we walked to the car he tossed me the keys. I couldn’t believe it. I’d never driven in the city, I’d only practiced on the tractor at the farm. “You got your learners for a reason,” he said with a smile and if he was nervous when we pulled away he never showed it. I still remember the route we took back to the farm that day. We stopped at the A&W on 82 avenue just east of 75th street. It is no longer there, but every time I drive by it I think of him.

Two years later, I turned 16 and my father rode with me into Edmonton, me behind the wheel, so I could take my driving test. I passed and when we walked out to the parking lot, me grinning like a Cheshire cat, he patted my shoulder and said, “Good job” with a big grin on his face.

When you live on a farm getting your license is a big deal. It is a massive dose of independence because you drive to hockey practice alone, or to high school or you pick up your younger sister. Up until his death my father was always around for big moments in my life.

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