September 15 2014 10:46AM
The Oilers rookies wrap up their rookie tournament in Penticton this afternoon before flying back to Edmonton to prepare for Wednesday's tilt vs. the U of A Golden Bears at Clare Drake Arena.The veterans partake in medicals on Thursday, step on the ice Friday and Saturday before the first preseason games on Sunday vs. the Flames.
The Oilers and Flames will play two games this coming Sunday, one in each city, but before the games begin here are some notes prior to the start of the Oilers 35th NHL season.
September 15 2014 07:30AM
It’s certainly fair to argue about the quality of the top-end guys, but the depth on the Oilers' blue line is unquestionably the best it’s been in some years. The team has six NHL veterans signed to one-way contracts, and Martin Marincin all but inked into a spot on the roster.
Given those numbers, how can two of the team’s most exceptional prospects – Darnell Nurse and Oscar Klefbom – possibly crack the roster? Craig MacTavish was recently asked by TSN’s Bob McKenzie whether those guys had a shot at making the team, and Edmonton’s general manager made it abundantly clear what would need to happen for either of them to be in the opening night roster.
September 14 2014 01:04PM
Over two Oilers’ rookie contests I’ve listened to a pair of interviews with general manager Craig MacTavish and one with head coach Dallas Eakins. In each of those interviews, they were asked to name an under-the-radar player who had impressed them favourably in the tournament to-date.
In all three cases, Jordan Oesterle was mentioned in answer.
September 14 2014 10:20AM
At some point in the next 10 months, the Edmonton Oilers are going to make a decision on Nail Yakupov's future. Ideally, the young Russian scores 20+ goals, matures as a player and Dallas Eakins does the same as a coach, and the Oilers have a sniper for 10 years or more. It would be folly to suggest that outcome is guaranteed, and the future with this player and the organization has some uncertainty.