Come hell or high water, come what may from dumb and dumber, somewhere in my lifetime the supreme talents that are The Nuge, Taylor Hall, Ebs and The Yak will grace our city. Their individual performances, injuries and struggles are well documented and this season is up and down like a yo-yo.


Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is vital for the future in many ways. A savant on the powerplay, he’s also a center on a team that is building from the flank. A rusty start to his season in OKC gave way to some nice games from the Nuge, but he got roughed up a little last night.

  • Edmonton Sun’s Terry Jones via twitter: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins took a stick to the face. Getting dental work. No lost teeth. Pushed back. Dimple appears to be fine, girls.

More from Jones this morning:

  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in yellow no contact jersey at practice. Two front teeth pushed back. One side tooth chipped. Will play Sunday.

The Nuge is an exceptional talent, one of the best teenage passers I’ve ever seen and his goal scoring ability is underrated–or at least as underrated as it can be for a #1 overall selection.


The straw that stirs the drink is off to Edmonton tomorrow in order to gain clearance to play in OKC soon. This article tell us Hall could be in action by this time next weekend. I’m of the belief that a so-so start for the Barons will turn around in a heartbeat once Hall arrives in town. Taylor Hall was becoming a difference maker in the NHL last season, God only knows what he’ll be able to do in the AHL.

An item we saw last night–attempted intimidation of Justin Schultz by Houston–will need to be monitored in regard to Hall. As he’s already shown, #4 isn’t the type to look for others to fight his battles and the last thing the club needs is another Hall injury. I suspect the big men–Colten Teubert ("One Punch" after last night’s tilt), Dane Byers and maybe Cameron Abney may see more playing time.

Taylor Hall is a joy to watch play hockey. The possibility of his return is terrific news.


He got nicked a little in practice yesterday (what the hell, Oilers?) but played last evening, as any good soldier would in an important game. Eberle’s a heart and soul guy despite the lack of a physical game, and his offense was just coming around when this little blip appeared on the radar. Hopefully he’s back scoring goals soon, and the good news is that he hasn’t missed any game action.


Nail Yakupov keeps sailing past all expectations. This morning, he scored 2 goals in KHL game #11, meaning he’s got 8 goals in the world’s best league in those 11 contests. This is quickly becoming a ridiculous season, and I can’t wait to see this kid in a regular season game with the other Oiler kids.



One of the best things in life is knowing something is going to be very good and then having that something exceed even your own wild expectations. We can’t say with complete authority that these four young men are going to be "special" together, but all of the elements are there.

Add in Jeff Petry, Justin Schultz, Oscar Klefbom and if the goaltending can stand up to severe testing, the Edmonton Oilers are going to be "must-see" entertainment for the next decade.

  • I would add to the “Soldier” label that none of the big four have done so much for their Country as Eberle has for Canada. Wearing the Maple Leaf, Eberle served Canadian Hockey beyond all expectations.

    As for the Sailor, I would have stuck with “Spy”. How can you pass up the Russian angle there? πŸ˜‰

  • Lowetide

    The actual rhyme is “tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief.” The book altered the original children’s verse.

    Also, I like “sailing” beyond expectations. Nail’s personality isn’t really “Spy” like either. He’s more “life of the party” from what we read.

  • The Soup Fascist

    Please tell me that it is safe to say Hall’s shoulder is 100% healed – or as close to 100% as it will get. I would hate to think anyone in the organization is doing anything but taking every precaution.

  • bazmagoo

    Can’t wait to see this team grow together, hopefully the players don’t cave this month because I’d like to think the owners will cave when the Winter Classic is on the line. I’m firmly on the players side, I think the negotiating tactics of the NHL are absolutely ridiculous. Personally I think the players stance has been very reasonable, and it’s pretty obvious they are being bullied.

    Is it just me, or should Bettman be shown the door? I know a lot of staunch hockey guys who are angry this has happened again, and if they are threatening to take their entertainment dollars elsewhere I can only imagine how lethargic the southern US teams fan bases are going to be when hockey returns.

    Will have the opportunity to see OKC in Abbotsford in a few weeks time, really excited to see Justin Schultz play live! Of course, along with Ebs, RNH, and Hallsy.

    • The Soup Fascist

      Ideology aside, I think the logic that the Winter Classic is the tipping point in this mess is flawed. The revenues from this game would be … Maybe $10 million. Players cumulative salaries are well over $1.6 billion dollars should the season be scrapped.

      You could argue it would be a black eye for the league but I am unsure how much more bush this league could look?

      The premise that the players have the league over an economic barrel at any point is illogical. The percentage of net income at stake for individual players is drastically higher than any owner in this league.

      While you have the comfort of righteousness in your stand vs ownership, frankly it costs you 0 dollars (I assume). Explain to the older / fringe guys who will never draw another NHL paycheque how wonderful it is to be morally superior to the fat cat owners. At some point the players will put pragmatism over principle. They have no choice.

  • bazmagoo

    I’m by no means a Horcoff fan by any stretch, I think he’s a 3rd line centre on a good team, but I’ve never blamed him for that contract. What kind of an idiot would turn down a $27.5 million dollar contract, or whatever number the total contact was?

    That contract boils down to management incompetence, which is what a lot of the NHL’s problems boil down too in my opinion.

      • 24% body fat

        Can agree with this. But he is paid to do a job (arguably what it is). I believe he was paid to be a first line center. You can agree that he may have done this earlier or not. When you are paid to do a job and it is not being done than there is going to be criticisms. And while he is not to blame for his contract he is to blame for his criticism.

        • The Oilers Shot Clock

          As recent as last year, he kinda still is our first line center. He filled a role we shouldnt have asked him to fill. And then we paid him. He had one of the most opportunistic seasons in NHL history.

  • bazmagoo

    It’s certainly hard to sympathize with players who are making an average of $2.5 million per year or whatever the NHL average is. But a contract is a contract.

    I worked for a company once who tried to screw me out off a $2500 bonus by changing the terms of my contract after I had met the terms of the bonus structure. Did I work for them much longer? Of course not, why would I work with someone who doesn’t honour the contracts they give out?

    Obviously not an apples to apples comparison, but I don’t blame the players for taking a stand on the issue of current contracts. Going down to a 50/50 split is probably better for the growth of the league (hopefully to 32 teams at some stage), but I don’t believe the players should cave on giving any money back on their current contracts or any of their free agent negotiating ability. Even if it’s with this make whole proposal the NHL is throwing out there. The players are not responsible for accepting their contracts, the owners/management are responsible for offering them and should honour them!

    Outside of the 50/50 revenue split, the only thing that I think is fair in the NHL proposal is the elimination of the contracts where one season you can get paid $10 million and the last season get paid $1 million or some variation of that. Obvious circumvention of the cap system, and this should be eliminated. Personally I think they should just make it very simple. Every year the cost per year should be the same. $20 million dollar contract over 4 years, $5 million per year. Not just in cap space, but in actual dollars.

  • Czar

    Gagner could be the beggar man,come contract time he’s beggin for a long term deal.Khabi’s stole a pay check the last couple years, not the thief we expected in goal.

  • The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33

    With horcoff’s lazy eye, he must be at least part pirate. Therefore he can either be the thief or the begarrrrrrrr man.

  • DSF

    I suppose I am a Horcoff apologist.

    The last time the Oilers saw the Cup in their sights, Horcoff battled the best the league had to offer and came out on top.

    He was the backbone of that run, along with Pronger, arguably more so quietly shutting down top elite centres, was outstanding, and perhaps was signed for too long. The context of how contracts were being done for excellent players at that time should be remembered.

    If he had good shoulders, I think he would be in the same conversation as Jordan Stall, playing the best opposition and still getting decent points. Injury sidelines many good players, unpredictably, see Crosby/Pronger.

    It is always easier to overload the good employees who are cooperative than deal with the bad employees who are the problem. Horcoff is not the worry for the Oilers, never has been.

  • Reg Dunlop

    Originally I had hoped for a long lockout as it would allow more development time in the AHL. But, I am reconsidering. Having RNH, Schultz and Ebs face the thuggary unprotected in the AHL could result in substantial injury while these elite talents deserve to face elite thuggary while unprotected in Oiler silks. How many snot-bubbles will little Nuge have to blow before oil management clue in and get a few gronks to ride shotgun?