JASPER, AB - Oilers prospect Aidan Muir, drafted in the fourth round, 113th overall in last year's NHL Draft, is coming off an incredible season for his Indiana Ice USHL squad.
“We had an amazing time. Right off the bat, we were a little sketchy, started off 0-3-1 and then we got it together. I think it was mostly due to our coaching. Our players were really resilient. Didn’t take no for an answer.”
The Ice certainly did not take no for an answer, going all the way to the league championship, taking the Clark Cup three games to two over Waterloo.
Muir also felt that he made personal strides in the season, scoring 14 goals and adding 41 points in 54 games.
“I learned a lot about how to use my body, optimize my stride, stick handling abilities,” he said, adding that there are still things he can improve upon. “All aspects of my game need to be faster. Skating, stride needs to be longer, harder shot, stuff like that.”
This upcoming season, Muir will be attending the University of Western Michigan. He expanded on the reasons why he decided to go there after being heavily recruited by a number of colleges.
“I visited and it was amazing. Great dorm. The coaching, Andy Murray, he’s one of the reasons I’m here today and hopefully he can help me get to the next level.”
The 6'4" 200 pound winger is up for the next challenge in his hockey career, particularly under the guidance of Murray, who recommended Muir to the Oilers as he alluded to.
“Older teammates, older people. It’s going to be tough but I’m ready for it.”
- ORIENTATION CAMP | Day 4
- RAW - Todd Nelson
- RAW - Leon Draisaitl
- RAW - Aidan Muir
- RAW - Bogdan Yakimov
- ORIENTATION CAMP | Rocky Mountain High
- RAW - Dallas Eakins Interview
- RAW - Jujhar Khaira
- RAW - Greg Chase
- RAW - Mitch Moroz
- RAW - Laurent Brossoit
- Camp Day 2 - Dallas Eakins
- Camp Day 2 - Jujhar Khaira
- Camp Day 2 - Greg Chase
- Camp Day 2 - Mitch Moroz
- Camp Day 2 - Laurent Brossoit
The Oilers today announced jersey numbers for July 1 acquisitions Mark Fayne and Benoit Pouliot. They also announced that Nail Yakupov will be switching from number 64 to number 10. Teddy Purcell, acquired in a trade on June 29, will wear number 16. Pouliot will wear 67 and Fayne will wear 5.
Condors Press Release:
CONDORSTOWN, Calif. - The Bakersfield Condors, owned by the Edmonton Oilers, announced today that Head Coach Troy Mann is leaving the team to accept the head coaching position in the American Hockey League (AHL) with the Hershey Bears. Hershey is the AHL affiliate of the National Hockey League's Washington Capitals.
Mann, 44, earns the promotion after a memorable lone season at the helm of the Condors, posting a 36-30-0-6 record and taking the team into the conference finals for the first time in team history. The Condors went 35-20-0-5 after Thanksgiving to overcome a poor start and post one of the best records in the league for the rest of the season.
The New Brunswick native returns to the AHL, this time as the head coach of the team with which he spent four campaigns, from 2009-13. Mann was an assistant coach with the Bears during that time, winning a Calder Cup in 2010 and helping the club post 180 victories in four seasons.
The 2013-14 Condors season was the first as a head coach for Mann since 2007-08, when he coached the Columbia Inferno. In each of his last two seasons as a head coach, he has guided his ECHL clubs into the third round of the playoffs. He was the first Condors head coach to have played for the team, having spent part of the 2000-01 season with the team.
What Troy says:
"Thank you to Jonathon Fleisig, the Edmonton Oilers, Matt Riley, John Olver and the entire Condors staff for providing me with the opportunity to work in Condorstown. It has been a pleasure to be a part of one of the premier organizations in the ECHL. It is bittersweet to depart, but this is an opportunity that I have been working towards my entire coaching career. I wish the organization nothing but the best moving forward."
What Matthew Riley says:
"Troy is on the fast track. He is a great coach and a great person. We wish we could have had him here longer of course, but we're grateful we could be a part of his journey, and in just one season he has had a tremendous impact on our organization. We wish him and Lori all the best.
"Moving forward," Riley continued, "with the Oilers at the helm, we feel very strongly that we will have a number of good candidates, and ultimately a terrific head coach."
Mann has departed for Pennsylvania and will be introduced formally as head coach of the Bears on Thursday. He will be available to Bakersfield media the week of July 14. Details on a press event that week will be announced at a later date.
Former Oklahoma City Barons captain Bryan Helmer was named as the assistant coach. You can read more here on the Hershey Bears website or here on the Bakersfield Condors site.
We have been busy interviewing the key players in the deal. Check our list below for content, including audio, video and editorial.
- Pouliot eager to add to Oilers roster
- Fayne had early interest from Oilers
- Aulie looking for opportunity with Oilers
- Fresh start for newest Oiler Teddy Purcell
- Craig MacTavish Press Conference
- IN FOCUS | Free Agent Frenzy
- Interviews: Pouliot | Fayne | Aulie
- NHL.com takes a look at the signings of Fayne and Pouliot
- HIGHLIGHT REEL: Benoit Pouliot
- HIGHLIGHT REEL: Keith Aulie
- HIGHLIGHT REEL: Mark Fayne
- Benoit Pouliot talks with edmontonoilers.com's Chris Wescott
- Keith Aulie talks with edmontonoilers.com's Chris Wescott
- Mark Fayne talks with edmontonoilers.com's Chris Wescott
The Edmonton Oilers announced today, they have agreed to terms with left winger Luke Gazdic on a two-year contract.
Gazdic, 24, recorded four points (2G, 2A) and 127 penalty minutes in 67 games last season. His 15 fighting majors tied him for third in the NHL. Gazdic also scored his first National Hockey League goal on his first shift, in his first NHL game on October 1st, 2013 against the Winnipeg Jets.
The 6’3”, 240-pound forward spent four seasons with the American Hockey League’s Texas Stars, prior to joining the Oilers in 2013-14. Gazdic posted 55 points (27G, 28A) and 447 penalty minutes in 256 AHL games.
Gazdic was Dallas’ 6th round selection, 172nd overall, in the 2007 NHL Draft.
PHILADELPHIA - Holding the third pick overall, the Oilers can't definitely say who they are going to take at the 2014 NHL Draft but even if they could, MacTavish said that there's still a lot to decide before they step up to the stage on Friday night.
- RAW | MacTavish Media Avail
- WATCH | Top Prospects Clinic Feature
- RAW | Draisaitl
- RAW | Dal Colle
- RAW | Bennett
"There’s six pending scenarios that we could be presented with in terms of packages of players. Couple of players we’re going to have to decide between. We’re still content to do our homework in terms of character assessment. It’s very unusual that we’re down to the last 24 hours before the draft and not completely sure which way we’ll go in terms of certain scenarios. That tells you that these players are very equally rated."
The one defenceman at the top of the draft class is Aaron Ekblad, though he's expected to go first overall. The other top players are all centres, which suits MacTavish just fine.
"A lot has been said about our need on defence, which is clear. But it doesn’t trump our need at centre. An argument could be made that centre is our most needed position. Someone who’s got some size and who can play some big minutes in that division and that conference.
"We’ve got more defence coming and more depth on defence. I think it’s an open question on what our greatest need is."
PHILADELPHIA - Oilers GM Craig MacTavish is hoping to find a good bargain in this year's crop of free agents.
"There are a couple still available," he started.
"Who are the Grabovski’s of this year that Washington picked up last year. They paid less for a guy like Grabovski and added a good element to their team. Those are some of the guys we’re going to be trying to find as this period and process goes on."
Grabovski, who was bought out by the Maple Leafs last summer, had 13 goals and 35 points in 58 games for the Capitals. He was on a one-year, $3 million deal.
MacTavish hoped to snag one of those value-type players for his blueline.
"There are a few of those (who are) puck-moving defencemen, I think. And Nikitin certainly fits into that category (as a puck-moving defenceman)."
MacTavish was pretty clear on what the team is looking for.
"We need one more defenceman, ideally, and possibly a forward or two."
“It’s not a revelation that UFAs are expensive," said MacTavish, who signed Nikitin to a two-year deal at $4.5 million per year. "We felt that we very much needed to upgrade our defence. I’ve been talking about that for a long time. We had a great need at that position and we had an opportunity to land a defenceman that we think will fit very nicely into our top four. He’s a very versatile defenceman. The term was attractive to both the player and us. It buys time for us to develop our young defencemen appropriately, whether that’s sending them back to junior if they’re not ready or putting them in the American Hockey League.
"It made sense on a lot of fronts to pay the price that we paid and we look forward to getting the player in here at training camp."
MacTavish was asked if the interview process that is now in place — where teams can contact free-agents-to-be a handful of days before free agency hits on July 1 — is driving up the price. He said it did not.
"The price was always exorbitant. The mistakes that we’ve made — and a lot of teams have made in the past, in this regard — is undervalue what the price is going to be to land the player. Ultimately, you want the player and we were in a pretty enviable position to pay the price. It gives us a little bit of protection as we proceed in this UFA market, knowing that we have a piece which helps us achieve our fundamental objective."