ANTICIPATION

Lowetide
January 12 2013 06:16AM

Oiler fans have been following the team's players all season long, and now they finally come together for the sprint that is the 2012-13 season. This month is going to fly by, with "news by the minute" that will include callups, injury news, trades and talk of the next captain. Lets begin with what might happen this week.

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KRUEGER: WE WILL PLAY WITH A HIGH PACE

Jason Gregor
January 11 2013 09:19AM

The Edmonton Oilers roster will have five new faces this year. Tom Gilbert, Anton Lander, Magnus Paajarvi, Andy Sutton (injured) and Tom Renney will be replaced by Nail Yakupov, Teemu Hartikainen, Nick Schultz and Justin Schultz, while the most important new face could be head coach Ralph Krueger.

Krueger inherits a young roster full of potential but also some veterans who underachieved last season. Many pundits and oddsmakers outside of Edmonton feel the Oilers are on the verge of a major breakout. Vegas gave them a mind-blowing 14-1 odds to win the Stanley Cup, while Sports Illustrated has them ranked #3 in their preseason rankings. Keep in mind those rankings change every week and are based on a belief the Oilers should get off to a quick start due to 12 players already being in game shape.

Krueger will be have to balance calming those expectations, while ensuring his team learns to compete every night and understand the sacrifice it takes to win regularly in the NHL.

It won't be easy.

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NATION PROFILE: RANDY GREGG

Lowetide
January 11 2013 07:07AM

Randy Gregg played just over 450 regular season games for the Edmonton Oilers, and another 130 in the playoffs. Those games represent the 'golden era' for the Edmonton Oilers: 6 Cup finals, 5 Stanleys. And the Oilers almost didn't get him.

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LONE RANGER

Lowetide
January 10 2013 05:22PM

How many transactions do you think we'll see between the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (soon!) and opening night? My guess is several, and some of them might involve the Oilers.

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Nail Yakupov and The Puck

Andrey Osadchenko
January 10 2013 08:34AM

Ever since Nail Yakupov was projected to go first overall at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, he was a media darling. He with candid and well-spoken with Russian media and tried his best to do the same for North American media with the little command of English language he had.

And he succeeded. Think of his famous post-game interview after the semifinal game in Calgary at the 2012 World Juniors. Nail gives broken English a new meaning, and yet you are drawn to the nonsense he’s saying. Because it’s not the words you’re listening to – it’s the emotion.

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