The Edmonton Oilers have yet to play one game with their full lineup. Mike Smith has only dressed in three games, and he won’t play tomorrow, but he is very close to returning and could be an option for Thursday. Duncan Keith skated today, and was paired with @Cody Ceci for much of the practice. He hasn’t been officially cleared to play, but it seems likely he will be on the ice tomorrow against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Zach Hyman didn’t skate today, but Dave Tippett said he hasn’t been officially ruled out for tomorrow. He has progressed well the past few days and might play tomorrow. I’d say the odds are low, but there is a chance he could face his former team. He really wants to play, but the Oilers need to be cautious with him. They don’t need a shoulder injury to become worse. They need to err on the side of caution. They need Hyman much more in April and May than they do on December 14th against his former team. Slater Koekkoek was also with the main group today, but he is a few days away from being cleared.
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The Hyman injury had Dave Tippett juggling his lines.
@Connor McDavid was with @Leon Draisaitl and @Zack Kassian.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins skated with Jesse Puljujarvi and Warren Foegele.
Ryan McLeod centred @Kailer Yamamoto and @Tyler Benson while Derek Ryan, Devin Shore and Colton Sceviour remained together.
If Hyman doesn’t play those will be the lines for tomorrow.

LEAGUE-WIDE MUSINGS…

— The NHL’s participation in the Olympics will be heavily monitored in the coming weeks. The news any player who tests positive for COVID would need to remain quarantined in China for three to five weeks has caused some concern for both players and owners. Some NHL owners are lukewarm to the idea of one, or possibly more, of their best players missing that long when the NHL returns. It is something to watch. I asked Leon Draisaitl if that guideline would change his decision to play.
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“I don’t think it would change my decision to go. I just hope the rule (three-five week quarantine) isn’t set in stone,” he said. This will be a hot topic amongst the NHLPA and NHL in the coming weeks.
— @Leon Draisaitl and @Connor McDavid lead the league in points with 45. That isn’t a surprise as they’ve been the two highest scoring players in the league since the start of the 2016/2017 season. However, Alex-freaking-Ovechkin is third with 44 points. He is second in the league with 20 goals, not a surprise, but he’s also tied for second in assists with 24. He has more assists this season than he has in each of the previous two years. He only had more than 28 assists three times (36, 38 and 38) in the past decade, yet he’s become a disher this season. It is amazing to watch. As Draisaitl said, “Now he has became a passer too, which is scary.”
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— The Oilers’ five-game losing streak has allowed the rest of the division to catch them, and the Calgary Flames, who are 0-3-1 in their last four. The Flames are also now in COVID protocol and had tonight’s game v. Chicago postponed. Vegas is tied with Edmonton with 32 points and the San Jose Sharks are one back with 31. Edmonton has games in hand, but they need to start winning them. Add in Anaheim, who leads the division with 37 points in 30 games, and the Pacific race is shaping up to be pretty competitive.
— Vancouver has won four in a row under new head coach Bruce Boudreau and now have 26 points. They’ve played more games than everyone except Anaheim, so I’m not ready to say they are back in the race yet, but they have a pulse.
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— @Claude Giroux needs 31 games to reach 1,000 games played with the Philadelphia Flyers. If he stays healthy he could play his 1,000th game on March 12th. The trade deadline is March 21st and Giroux a pending UFA. If the Flyers’ struggles continue he will be a name to watch in trade rumours.
— @Cale Makar has 12 goals in 22 games. He missed three games with an injury, so he is on pace to 43 goals. Only two D-men — Paul Coffey (48 and 40) and Bobby Orr (46) — have scored 40 goals in a season. So 40 goals seems unrealistic, but only eight D-men have scored 30 goals, including Doug Wilson (39), Kevin Hatcher (34), Ray Bourque, Phil Housley and Denis Potvin (31) and Mike Green (30). Right now 30 seems very attainable for Makar. Pay attention: You could be watching one of the best goal-scoring seasons we’ve seen by a D-man in a long time. Only Hatcher (1993) and Green (2009) did it since 1989. What Makar is doing is noteworthy.
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MONTH OF GIVING…

Thank you to all who donated for the Pyramid of Giving and to GS Construction for matching the $7100. Awesome.
DAY 10: One Year Membership from the Farmers Business Network (FBN). The Farmers Business Network is a membership based company working with over 25,000 farms in North America and Australia and over 5000 farms in Canada. Learn more at www.fbn.com.
With your FBN Crop Marketing Subscription you will be provided with:
Access to FBN’s New Digital Marketing Platform
  • See the latest articles written by FBN’s analysts and economists.
  • See FBN’s recommendations and market bias.
  • Daily Podcast – sent via text each morning discussing crop markets in Western Canada
Advisor Support
  • Advisor – You will be paired with your Personal Crop Marketing Advisor (typically within a two hour radius of your farm).
  • Tailored support to build and execute your farms marketing plan
  • A minimum of four business meetings to review and discuss price direction, market influences, and recommendations
  • Farm Specific recommendations, because no two farms are the same
  • Weekly Price Comparisons that highlight bids and premiums in your area
  • Daily and weekly communication via text, phone and email.
Additional Features
  • You will receive grain sampling materials for your farm (bags, pails)
  • We will be invited to our local grain marketing meetings and seminars
  • Also included is a trip to Omaha, Nebraska (December 2022) for FBN’s yearly conference Farm to Farmer (1 Flight and Hotel room included).
As an added bonus to support the Month of Giving, FBN will also provide custom hoodies/hats/lunch kits with your farm logo (Logo and clothing provided in conjunction with 764 Customs in Mundare, AB).
Ryan and his team will also host you to a professional sporting event in Western Canada (NHL, CFL, NLL or Curling). Includes pre-event dinner, tickets and beverages.
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You can bid by listening to TSN 1260 between 2-6 p.m. today and calling 780.444.1260 or text 101260. All money raised will help out the Christmas Bureau. Thanks in advance.

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