The Oilers are on the ice for practice in Leduc. The forward lines are as follows:
Acton & Gazdic are rotating in on the fourth line.
Hunt is rotating in.
Mark Arcobello will again centre a line with Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle, when the Oilers host the Canucks tonight. Those three players have history dating back to their time together in Oklahoma City during the 2012-13 season.
“He’s grown so much as a player since I started playing with him,” Hall said of his centre. “He’s a guy that’s just really consistent out there. You can always expect the same effort out of him. Not saying that in a bad way, he can make plays too with the best of them so it’s fun to play with him.”
Arcobello has two goals and an assist in four games this season.
The Oilers announced this morning that they assigned Darnell Nurse to Sault Ste. Marie of the OHL. The seventh-overall pick in the 2013 draft played two games in the NHL this season before returning to junior.
Head Coach Dallas Eakins addressed the media after the team’s morning skate and said the decision is what’s best for Nurse and the Oilers.
“Obviously, sending Darnell back is a difficult conversation,” Eakins said. “The kid couldn’t do anymore. He played as well as he could but this is what’s best for him and what’s best for our organization in the long run. The best thing for him is to play against his peers right now. We thought he played a really good game against LA. He played well against the Coyotes, but we do have depth at the position. What’s right for him will be right for our organization in the long run. The kid is terribly disappointed. Again, it’s not a fun conversation for everyone. But he will be well served by this decision.”
Nurse returns to the team that he played 64 games for last season, scoring 50 points (13-37-50) and recording 91 penalty minutes.
It was a bit of a surprise at the end of training camp when the Oilers chose to send defenceman Martin Marincin to Oklahoma City. The 22-year-old spent 44 games with the Oilers last season, drawing praise from coaches and management for how he transitioned to the NHL.
But the decision to send Marincin to the AHL was based on his performance in camp, as it took some time for Marincin to hit his stride.
We determined, out of training camp, that there were guys that had better camps than him,” Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. “That doesn’t mean he was terrible, that doesn’t mean he was awful or anything like that. But, he was outplayed at training camp by some other players. It was as simple as that.”
It was a tough time for Marincin, but the young blueliner went back to OKC on a mission.
“It was hard because I was working hard all summer and tried my best at training camp and they sent me down,” Marincin said. “It just happened when I was (doing better). I was working hard in the gym, at practice and in the game and I’m back here.”
He continued, “My thing was to go down, work hard and come back to Edmonton soon.”
Marincin didn’t have to wait long for his return to Edmonton. He played just one game with the Barons before being recalled by the Oilers on Friday morning.
“I’m so excited to be here and play tonight for the Oilers,” he said. “I will be trying my best on the ice and will be solid.”
The Oilers are on the ice for Friday’s pre-game morning skate. The forward lines are as follows:
The Oilers have recalled Richard Bachman and Steve Pinizzotto from the Oklahoma City Barons.
Bachman has appeared in one game for Oklahoma City this season, making 27 saves in a 3-2 OT loss. Pinizzotto has one assist in one game.
The Oilers have recalled centre Bogdan Yakimov, 20, from the Oklahoma City Barons. The third-round pick in 2013, has played one AHL game this season.
He spent last year with Nizhnekamsk Neftekhimik in the KHL, playing 33 games and scoring 12 points (7-5-12). Yakimov had an impressive pre-season with the Oilers, scoring two points (1-1-2) in five games. He also recorded two goals and an assist in two games with the Oilers Rookies at the 2014 Young Stars Tournament in Penticton.
He scored a goal against the University of Alberta Golden Bears for the Rookies as well.
The Oilers have assigned defenceman Oscar Klefbom to Oklahoma City.
The Oilers are not ready to commit on when Darnell Nurse will make his NHL debut, or if/when Klefbom will enter the lineup as well.
“We’ll wait as long as we have to,” Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. “It’s extremely easy to say, ‘put this guy in.’ I think it’s extremely hard to say, ‘take this guy out.’ It’s something that I don’t take lightly. I like to think about it and I’m not there yet with an answer for you.”
The Oilers take on Los Angeles tomorrow.
“The three guys not practicing today are all with multiple bang-ups,” Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. “We’ll just assess them day-by-day, but for the three of them it was one of those things where you come in that fit from the summer and we’re not so worried about them being on the ice, we need them to play. So we thought they would benefit from another day of some rest and rehab inside.”
The Oilers top-line centre Nugent-Hopkins got into a fight on Saturday in Vancouver, but it wasn’t the only thing that left him banged up.
“He took a big hit there right before the fight and took a few whacks as well during the game. He’s kind of bruised up all over,” Eakins said.
The status of those players is day-to-day. Eakins said they have discussed calling up a player if one of the forwards couldn’t go tomorrow against Los Angeles, but a decision was not made as of practice.