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NHL Notebook: The Edmonton Oilers’ goaltending tandem, Nike ends partnership with Hockey Canada, and more

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Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
8 months ago
A big story to follow for the Edmonton Oilers this upcoming season will be their goaltending tandem.
Stuart Skinner took the reins from Jack Campbell after the latter was expected to be the guy, and ran with it. He went 29-14-5 in the regular season wth a .913 save percentage and 2.75 GAA while finishing second in Calder voting. Skinner earned a nod as the netminder for the All-Rookie team, and was the guy for all 12 of the Oilers’ playoff games.
There, he had some struggles, but that’s no surprise from a rookie in front of a team whose defensive game diminished.
We all know what happened to Campbell last year, and over at Daily Faceoff, Mike McKenna looked at the crease situation heading into this season.
Reason to be happy: Skinner established himself as a quality NHL netminder during the 2022-23 season, and he’s on a team-friendly contract for the next three years.
Reason to be hopeful: Skinner’s performance during the Stanley Cup Playoffs left something to be desired, but the experience was valuable. He should be better for it. With the Oilers’ firepower, Edmonton simply needs adequate goaltending to win a Stanley Cup. By the end of the 2023-24 season, Skinner should be able to provide that.
Reason to be nervous: Campbell did nothing to improve upon his reputation as an incredibly streaky goaltender during the 2022-23 season: there were some seriously bad moments. And what if Skinner plateaus in his development? Goaltending is still a big question mark.

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Nike out as Hockey Canada sponsor

Nike has stepped away from its partnership with Hockey Canada amid the fallout of its sexual assault scandal.
A partner since 1999, Nike had originally paused its sponsorship in 2022, as did many other significant backers.
Here’s more from Daily Faceoff’s Steven Ellis:
Bauer reinstated its deal with Hockey Canada earlier this month after Katherine Henderson took over as CEO and president of Canada’s top governing hockey body.
The move comes in the wake of the scandal involving 2018 World Junior Championship team members that has been linked to sexual assault allegations. Hockey Canada has been under fire for handling the allegations, with the organization and the London, Ont. police reopening their investigations. A woman alleged she was assaulted by eight team members during a Hockey Canada Foundation gala in 2018.
The organization has held two world juniors, the 2023 women’s World Championship and various other national team events since the case came to light. The 2022 world juniors, in particular, had very few visible sponsors throughout the tournament, while other events have had significantly less than before.
Investigations into the handling of the sexual assault scandal have not been made public. Last week, Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli said on the DFO Rundown that teams are preparing for the results of the investigation and how it could impact their players. So far, no player has been charged.

DeBrincat’s fantasy impact

What will come of Alex DeBrincat’s time in Detroit is nothing short of unknown. He showed well in Chicago and did the same during his year with the Ottawa Senators, he’ll look to continue that with the Red Wings.
On Daily Faceoff, Nick Alberga took a dive into what his impact could be on fantasy hockey:
In DeBrincat, the Red Wings are getting a hired gun. The 25-year-old sniper has hit the 40-goal plateau twice and has potted 25-plus goals in five of his six NHL seasons to-date. In his lone season with the Senators, the former Erie Otter tallied 27 goals and 66 points suiting up in all 82 regular season outings.
The addition of DeBrincat to the top-six should help to boost everyone around him —including the likes of Dylan Larkin, Lucas Raymond, David Perron and Moritz Seider. Now that his contract situation is sorted and he’s where he’s always wanted to be, I wouldn’t be shocked to see him completely go off in Detroit. Even with favourable deployment in Ottawa, the former Blackhawk got off to a very slow start and really didn’t hit his stride until late in the season. Despite that, he still managed to put up very reputable numbers. Because of the ‘off’ year, there’s no question DeBrincat’s fantasy stock has dropped from say a year ago at this time. That said, don’t sleep on him. This guy’s a perennial 40-goal scorer and should be high atop your list of potential bounce-back candidates entering the 2023-24 campaign.
From the Ottawa perspective, until he demonstrates the ability to be consistent, Dominik Kubalik should be looked at as nothing more than a waiver play. Furthermore, the 27-year-old’s coming off a mystifying year. After notching 28 points (12 goals, 16 assists) over his first 35 outings of the season, the winger managed to muster just 17 points (eight goals, nine assists) in 46 games from January 1 onward. Nevertheless, depending on what else Pierre Dorion has up his sleeve this summer, there’s a chance Kubalik could start the year in Ottawa’s top-six. We’ll see.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.

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