Help on the Fourth Line

Jonathan Willis
August 20 2009 11:15AM

Looking at the Oilers from last season, the most obvious weakness was the team’s penalty-kill, which ranked 27th in the NHL at 77.5%. An increase even to the range of average (16th ranked Vancouver had an 81.4% success rate) would have saved the Oilers 13 goals against last year.

Believe it or not, all of this is a good thing – because fourth-line penalty-killing specialists are cheap and plentiful on the free agent market.

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More fodder for hatred of the East

Jean Lefebvre
August 19 2009 04:53PM

Hockey on the tube

Western Canadian hockey fans, commence grumbling. There's really nothing all that surprising about the TSN broadcast schedule released Wednesday but for those who enjoy complaining about Eastern bias and taking potshots at the so-called Centre of the Universe, you've been well served.

The Flames, Oilers and Canucks will all make 11 appearances on either TSN or TSN2 -- one pre-season tilt plus 10 regular-season matchups. The Ottawa Senators also get the exact same exposure.

The Maple Leafs, meanwhile, will be on the air 19 times -- two tune-ups and 17 regular-season games. Perhaps TSN will be able to coax Brian Burke out of his shell to make an appearance during at least one of those broadcasts.

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Pat Quinn on the Current Roster

Jonathan Willis
August 19 2009 01:00PM

Dan Barnes’ column this morning is (as it often is) a must-read for Oilers fans – in this instance because he gets Pat Quinn saying some things that he (and the organization as a whole) haven’t been saying before.

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Mike Comrie: do over?

Robin Brownlee
August 19 2009 07:52AM


Not once since Mike Comrie left this city after the Edmonton Oilers traded him to the Philadelphia Flyers in December 2003 have I thought to ask him if he'd ever consider playing for the Oilers again.

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Mark Messier on Working for the Oilers

Jonathan Willis
August 18 2009 08:42AM

We talked a few days ago about a report by the New York Post’s Larry Brooks, a report which stated that Messier was interviewed this summer for the coaching position that eventually went to Pat Quinn.

According to Messier, that report wasn’t entirely accurate.

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