Kris Russell: Trap or Opportunity?

Jonathan Willis
February 21 2017 11:00AM


One of the larger individual decisions that the Edmonton Oilers have to make in the next few months is whether or not to sign Kris Russell to a contract extension. He is the team’s most prominent player bound for unrestricted free agency and handles key minutes on the blue line.

Before the Oilers make a decision on Russell one way or the other, a particular fact which should not escape their attention: Kris Russell’s reputation this season hinges on a single hot month.

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Did the Oilers miss an opportunity in Michael Stone?

Jonathan Willis
February 21 2017 09:00AM


(Photo credit: Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)

Michael Stone is a 26-year-old right-shot defenceman with 324 games of NHL experience. Last season he put up 36 points; this season he played 20-plus minutes per game in Arizona. He’s also 6’3”, 210 pounds and as a pending free agent carried minimal acquisition risk.

Yesterday the Calgary Flames acquired him for a third-round draft pick, along with a conditional fifth-rounder if he were to re-sign in southern Alberta. Did the Edmonton Oilers miss an opportunity to upgrade their blue line?

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Top to Bottom — Trade Deadline Edition: Atlantic Division

Cam Lewis
February 21 2017 07:00AM

This is a four-part series analyzing where each NHL teams stands heading into the trade deadline based on the context of each division, and the short- and long-term implications of buying or selling with the expansion draft around the corner. 

The Atlantic Division is complete wide open. Every day, depending on who happens to have a game, the standings shuffle up and down, as only a whopping twelve points separates first from last in the division. The Canadiens have a closing window that their general manager will surely try to capitalize on, while the Red Wings, Sabres, and Lightning, have had disappointing seasons and could sell. In the middle are the Senators, who nobody expected to be playing so well, the Leafs who still have their eyes on the future, the Panthers who are finally playing at a high level, and the Bruins who, uh, who knows! 

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Monday Musings: Home ice advantage

Jason Gregor
February 20 2017 01:00PM

The Oilers haven't enjoyed home ice advantage in the first round of a playoff series since 1990. They did have home ice advantage in the third round of the 1991 playoffs, but lost to the Minnesota North Stars in five games, after winning the first two rounds starting on the road in Calgary and Los Angeles.

Edmonton won first round series in 1991, 1992, 1997 and 1998, all without home ice advantage. Then they faced Dallas in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2003 in the first round, losing all four.

In 2006 they went to the Cup Finals and started all four series on the road.

The Oilers haven't opened the playoffs with home ice advantage in 27 seasons, but that could change this year.

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Robin Brownlee
February 20 2017 11:00AM


I can say without any doubt Bill Guerin absolutely loved playing for the Edmonton Oilers, and he felt that way at a time when the glory days of five Stanley Cups were little more than a faded memory. Teammates and fans, in return, felt the same way about Guerin, a speedy power forward from Massachusetts who arrived in Edmonton via the New Jersey Devils in the 1998 trade that sent Jason Arnott the other way.

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