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Drafting for Need at No. 16

At this point we still don’t know whether the Edmonton Oilers will be drafting at No. 16 or whether they will deal the pick to another NHL team for immediate help, with the most likely target in such a deal being a defenceman. What they absolutely shouldn’t do is draft for need.

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Top-10 UFA Countdown: #3 – Cody Franson

Photo Credit: Jake Roth/USA TODAY Sports This is a series counting down the top-10 pending UFAs. It will be posted across the Nation Network over the next month! Enjoy!  When the Nashville Predators acquired Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli in February, everybody thought it was a match made in heaven. After all, the team was…

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Thomas Drance’s NHL Awards Ballot

Photo Credit: Jake Roth/USA TODAY Sports This was my first hockey season as a member of the PHWA, and I had the mixed blessing of casting an NHL Awards ballot. It was an honour, but it was also a heavy burden. After years of slamming NHL awards voters for this, that and the other thing, actually having a ballot this season changed…

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$71.4 Million

It’s a busy time in NHL circles, with the league awards, entry draft and the opening of free agency all shoved together into the span of a week. On Tuesday we got an important piece of news that relates to teams’ summer planning: the salary cap for the 2015-16 season is expected to come in…

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Which Goalie is the best fit?

I’m just about to board my plane to Florida. Couldn’t sleep in the airport, so I’m regretting my red-eye flight decision even more now, but the good news is I’m able to share an interview I had regarding goalies. Evaluating goalies is the most difficult managerial job in hockey. If you chart the success rate…

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FOREPLAY: THE NEXT 48 HOURS

Fans of the Edmonton Oilers will be fist-pumping until they need Tommy John surgery when GM Peter Chiarelli calls Connor McDavid’s name with the first overall pick at the NHL Entry Draft Friday, and rightfully so. That goes without saying.

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Countdown to the draft…

I’m sitting in the Pearson airport in Toronto waiting for my connecting flight to Miami. As I ponder the idiocy of my decision to take the red-eye flight out of Edmonton to get to Florida sooner I’m listening to Toronto sports radio and reading the papers. Two months after the draft lottery people are still…

Telegraphing Svechnikov

View image | gettyimages.com One thing Oilers fans should be gearing up for is for the club to use their second, first round pick. Every year these picks are made “available” by GMs and we get our hopes up for a trade that doesn’t happen. Even though the Oil need NHL players today, we should…

RUGGED FORWARDS IN THE 2015 DRAFT

The Edmonton Oilers spent a metric tonne worth of draft picks last decade on big wingers they hoped would turn into skilled men with size. Almost to a man, these kids were shy on offense, from Brad Winchester in 2000 through Cameron Abney in 2009. Now, with a new management group in place, will the…

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THE NATION AWARD WINNERS

It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for. The red carpet event of the century! Of course I’m talking about the first annual Nation Awards! What are the Nation Awards? Probably the most important award show of our generation, and I’m not kidding.  

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The Lying Time

There’s a cute little phrase that nicely sums up the kind of reporting one hears during intense negotiations. It’s “conflicting reports.” There’s a good reason for that: Information is at a premium and the key people on opposite sides of the discussion have a tendency to put out wildly differing accounts of the status of…