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.
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.
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.
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.
January 09 2013 05:22PM
Driving around Edmonton these days is a lot of fun. Most people are completely over the moon about the return of the the NHL and also believe the Oilers are going to make some noise this season. The radio plays Jason Gregor and hockey talk and of course we're all experts on how to handle the Oilers so conversations bubble and boil in hallways and coffee shops.