September 24 2014 11:15AM
Earlier this month, I joined a fantasy hockey league (Oilers Nation) and drafted the "Oakland Seals" roster that will sink like a stone (my goalies may already be in the AHL). Fantasy hockey is a big damn deal, and the magazines and websites that project stats are myriad. Although I've never played fantasy hockey before this season, I'm absolutely certain Scott Cullen's numbers are the best. Why? He's reasonable.
September 24 2014 10:00AM
One prospect was taken in the second round, the other in the seventh. Just one year later, the seventh-round selection has an NHL entry-level deal, the praise of his coach and is looking at a final junior season that may involve the World Junior Championships. The other remains unsigned and coming off an injury-plagued season.
Greg Chase and Marco Roy were separated by five rounds, but in reality they were much closer in quality.
September 22 2014 05:30PM
If everything breaks right the Edmonton Oilers will sign Vladimir Tkachev to a contract later this week. I believe it's a quality move, a real innovation—no matter the outcome of the player's career. Why? NHL teams only have so many ways to procure useful talent, and badly need to exercise all of them. Oilers history has many players acquired in unusual ways.
September 19 2014 10:45PM
Even the most avid hockey fan loses the script when it comes to prospects and injuries. A player is drafted, and we track the stats but forget the injuries. The cumulative effect of those injuries often means a top prospect is not what he was supposed to be five years on. We remember Marc Pouliot as a failed prospect, but do we remember all of the injuries and lost games in those vital development years? I suspect the answer is no.
As the fall arrives and Tyler Pitlick looks to make the NHL for good, it's worth remembering the injuries, and discussing their impact.
September 18 2014 07:15PM
We're off and running with Oilers news out of training camp, and coach Dallas Eakins had some home truths for the microphones today. Issue one: "We have two NHL centermen!" Ahem. What does that mean? Opportunity!