BLOGS
POSTED ON Sunday, 03.22.2015 / 10:42 AM MT
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers have placed Ryan Hamilton on waivers for the purpose of assignment.

From the team's official press release:

The Edmonton Oilers announced today they have placed winger Ryan Hamilton on waivers for the purpose of assignment.

Hamilton, 29, appeared in 16 games for the Oilers registering two points (1G, 1A), including his first career National Hockey League goal on February 10th against the New York Islanders.

The 6-2’, 219-pound forward has registered 29 points (15G, 14A) and six penalty minutes in 32 games with the Barons this season.
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POSTED ON Wednesday, 03.18.2015 / 11:42 AM MT
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The NHL has suspended Leafs forward Nazem Kadri four games for his hit to the head of Oilers winger Matt Fraser.

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POSTED ON Sunday, 03.15.2015 / 2:16 PM MT
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

VIDEO: PRACTICE: Sunday at Rexall Place | RAW: Todd Nelson | RAW: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
AUDIO: Todd Nelson | Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

Prior to practice on Sunday, Taylor Hall skated on his own and then helped warm up the goaltenders. Coach Nelson said that he will skate with the team for the first time on Monday at morning skate prior to the game against the Leafs.

“He’s going to skate with us tomorrow. We’ll see how he feels,” said Nelson.

The coach was also asked if, when Hall returns, he'll assume his usual spot on the right side half boards on the power play, considering how well the team has played with the man advantage since Hall's been injured (28.1%, #1 in the NHL). Nelson said he didn't want to jump to any conclusions for a decision that will be made down the road.

“A lot of things can happen over the next few games with personnel, guys get injured and what-not. I like where Nuge is right now and we’ll try to make it fit, if everybody is healthy, with Taylor on one of the two units.”

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POSTED ON Sunday, 03.15.2015 / 2:09 PM MT
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Since Todd Nelson took over behind the Oilers bench as interim head coach, the team's power play has been outstanding. The team had a 12.0% overall power play success rating (and 4.7% on the road) with only 13 total goals scored (2 on the road).

“I think at the start of the year we were getting a lot of chances and we just couldn’t score. You start holding on to the puck too long and that really hurt us. Now lately, we go out there with a lot of confidence, feeling like we’re going to score. Putting a lot of pucks on the net, working hard and winning battles,” said Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on the team's much-improved play with the man advantage.

Since Nelson, the team's power play has been running along at a 25.0% clip with 23 goals on 92 opportunities. The best power play in the entire NHL -- the Detroit Red Wings -- are at 25.3%. On the road, that power play has been 29.5%.

“I think the personnel, the units that we have, they’re working well together," said Nelson. "Our challenge from our staff is to outwork their penalty kill. I think Craig Ramsay’s done a great job of preparing them but the message is to keep it simple, get pucks going to the net, get traffic and try to outwork their penalty kill.”

The power play has gotten even better since the all-star break. In that six-week stretch, the Oilers have the best power play in the entire NHL by a significant margin at 28.1%. On the road, it's even better at 34.2%.

It's all the more amazing when it's considered that they have accomplished this all without Taylor Hall, the team's usual leading power-play point-getter who was injured coming out of the break.

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POSTED ON Sunday, 03.15.2015 / 10:44 AM MT
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

VIDEO: PRACTICE: Sunday at Rexall Place | RAW: Todd Nelson | RAW: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
AUDIO: Todd Nelson | Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
The Oilers are on the ice for practice at Rexall Place after returning late Friday night from their five-game road trip through the Northeastern U.S.

Tyler Pitlick is on the ice wearing a non-contact yellow jersey. The forward lines are:

Pouliot - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle
Purcell - Roy - Yakupov
Hendricks - Lander - Fraser
Gazdic/Hamilton - Gordon - Klinkhammer

There are seven defencemen on the ice: Nikitin, Ference, Klefbom, Marincin, Schultz, Aulie and Fayne.
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POSTED ON Wednesday, 02.25.2015 / 9:02 PM MT
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Bakersfield Condors announced this evening that their name will remain the Condors when they move into the American Hockey League next season.

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POSTED ON Monday, 02.23.2015 / 12:35 PM MT
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers
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POSTED ON Monday, 02.23.2015 / 12:04 PM MT
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Nikita Nikitin and Tyler Pitlick both skated with the team Monday at Rexall Place for the first time since suffering their respective injuries. Both are getting closer to returning.

“They skated with us today. There was no contact but it was good to see them on the ice practicing with us. They’re still both a ways away but it’s one of those things where we’ll take it day-by-day with both guys and see how they feel and how they respond after skating with us,” Oilers interim head coach Todd Nelson stated, adding with Pitlick's injury being a lacerated spleen they need to be more cautious.

“It’s a process with him. It’s good to see him on the ice skating and we’ll see if it’s mending properly then we’ll go from there,” Nelson continued. “He just needs to try and stay in the best shape possible. He had limited activity right after the injury. But he looked good out there today and it looks like he’s been doing stuff in the gym to maintain his physical fitness.”

Pitlick added that he has been feeling much better and was glad to finally get on the ice with his teammates.

“Everything’s been feeling good. I haven’t been in any pain in awhile so that part’s going good. I’ve been getting on the ice. Today’s my first practice with the team. I’ve got to wait for my next scan, wait for word that everything is healed up and then start taking my next contact.”

Pitlick is hopeful to join the team for their upcoming five-game road trip in early March.

“We’re trying to push it up to March 3. So hopefully I can get that scan, go on the road with the guys, do some practices and then by the time we get back from the road maybe get in a game,” Pitlick remarked, adding he's been experiencing some cabin fever wanting to get back out there.

“There’s not much you can do for a month. I pretty much sat on the couch and watched TV for a month straight and then started walking on the treadmill a little bit, just easing into it. It’s been boring. I haven’t had much to do. It’s not like a knee where you’re on the table, doing some exercises or getting work done. There’s not much you can do except rest.”

Pitlick said that at first, he didn't feel anything after a collision with Lance Bouma lacerated his spleen.

“I knew it was a big collision right away because I felt the impact,” he said. “It really didn’t hurt that bad initially. I just kind of felt like I had the wind knocked out of me. I kept skating and had a few more shifts. I felt all right. I just felt like I had something in my stomach. I finished the game and afterwards I went in the training room and got ice for my shoulder. Wasn’t really thinking about my stomach but just kind of asked about it. They checked it out and there was some tenderness there so they wanted to make sure everything was all right before I got on the plane.

“It’s a good thing they did because as soon as we got in the cab and headed to the hospital, the pain escalated. It’s a good thing they caught it and I wasn’t on the plane when that happened.”

PETRY ALMOST READY

Jeff Petry skated again with the team and said he felt like he could be ready to go tomorrow when the Oilers meet the Minnesota Wild.

“I’m hoping to be in the lineup against Minny. It was just a shot to the ribs, nothing was broken. Just bruised. It’s pretty sore to rotate but every day’s gotten a lot better and I didn’t have any issues today.”

Coach Nelson did add that the team did not have any further updates on Anton Lander's shoulder injury.

YAKUPOV UPDATE

Nail Yakupov got hurt last game but played the entire contest. Today, he started practice but left early. Coach Nelson said that him leaving practice was precautionary and he will travel with the team to Minnesota.

“Last game he tweaked something. He got through the game but we just shut him down (today) for precautionary reasons. He’s making the trip and we’ll see how he is tomorrow.”

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POSTED ON Monday, 02.23.2015 / 10:08 AM MT
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers
The Oilers are on the ice for practice at Rexall Place this morning, prior to departure for Minnesota for a one-game road trip.

Tyler Pitlick and Nikita Nikitin are both on the ice (in yellow non-contact jerseys), skating with the team for the first time since suffering their respective injuries.

Line combinations up front are:

Pouliot-RNH-Eberle
Purcell-Roy-Yakupov
Hamilton-Hendricks-Pakarinen
Fraser/Gazdic-Gordon-Kilnkhammer
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POSTED ON Friday, 02.20.2015 / 10:04 AM MT
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers announced that they have signed wingers Rob Klinkhammer and Ryan Hamilton to one-year contract extensions.

Click here to read more in the official press release.
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