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INSIDE THE OILERS
POSTED ON Wednesday, 02.07.2014 / 1:52 PM
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers
Bakersfield Condors head coach Troy Mann took a job today with the AHL's Hershey Bears (affiliate of the Washington Capitals) as head coach.

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.
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POSTED ON Tuesday, 01.07.2014 / 4:26 PM
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers
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POSTED ON Tuesday, 01.07.2014 / 4:25 PM
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

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.

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 01.07.2014 / 4:01 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

A scary situation led a young Keith Aulie to heroics. Aulie had to pull his trapped father out of icy waters on a December day a few years ago.

Watch this video on the Oilers free agent signing.

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 01.07.2014 / 1:24 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers have agreed to terms with 6-foot-6, 228 pound defenceman Keith Aulie on a one-year contract.

Aulie was the 116th overall selection in the 2007 NHL Draft by the Calgary Flames. He has played 136 NHL games in his career, scoring 13 points (4-9-13).

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 01.07.2014 / 12:25 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers have signed winger Benoit Pouliot to a five-year deal.

“Edmonton was really interested in me and I was interested in them,” Pouliot said on TSN. “It didn’t take long to get the deal done.”

Pouliot, 27, spent last season with the Eastern Conference Champion New York Rangers and scored 36 points (15-21-36) in 80 games. In the playoffs, Pouliot added 10 points (5-5-10) in 25 games.

Pouliot was the fourth overall pick in 2005. He has played 371 career regular season games in the NHL with 160 points (76-84-160).

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 01.07.2014 / 12:24 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers have signed defenceman Mark Fayne to a four-year contract.

Fayne, 27, was the 155th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Draft by the New Jersey Devils. In 242 career NHL games, Fayne has 48 points (13-35-48) and 99 penalty minutes.

Last season Fayne played 72 games for the Devils and had 11 points (4-7-11) and 30 penalty minutes.

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 01.07.2014 / 12:14 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers have signed two players at the start of free agency. The club has signed defenceman Mark Fayne to a four-year contract and winger Benoit Pouliot to a five-year deal.

Stay tuned for more.

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POSTED ON Saturday, 28.06.2014 / 4:37 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers added long-time NHL coach Craig Ramsay as an assistant coach a few weeks ago. Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins told 630 CHED that another hire could be approaching but he is undecided on which way he would like to go. Eakins says the team is considering hiring a younger coach to help connect better with the young players on the roster.

“It’s something that we’re kicking around,” Eakins said. “We do have a spot that we can fill, if we would like to. The conversation now is that we have two unbelievably experienced coaches with Keith (Acton) and Craig. Now if we do decide to add another one do we look for another experienced one or is it better off to go with somebody maybe a little younger who is more in touch with the players. I think that’s an important thing to look at too.”

Should the Oilers fill another coaching spot Eakins says it will not be on the bench, which makes it difficult to do the hiring now with bench positions still open around the league.

“It’s something right now where it’s tough to even start considering people because everyone I do talk to here at the draft, they all have their hat in the ring and are looking to fill a spot on somebody else’s bench right now. I understand that. The role that we’re looking for is going to be somebody that’s not on the bench. A lot of guys aren’t real enthused about that while there are still spots open around the league on the bench and I totally understand that. I’m just going to wait until the other teams fill their benches, see what’s available and then it gives me some more time to kick around which way we go with this.”

Once the open jobs around the NHL are fewer in number the Oilers can re-focus on what type of coach they want to bring in, if any.

“Do we want a younger guy that can maybe connect a little bit better with the players or have another heavily experienced coach that could have a little disconnect with the generation of our players,” Eakins said.

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POSTED ON Saturday, 28.06.2014 / 4:29 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Edmonton Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins was familiar with Leon Draisaitl before the club made him the third overall pick in this year’s draft.

“I already spent time with him at the interview at the combine and we had dinner with him this week and got a good feel for the kid,” Eakins said Saturday on 630 CHED. “We were excited that he was sitting there when we were picking. It’s a need for our team for the future, a centre of his size and of his skill set. We’ve filled a hole in our organization and hopefully he will be able to play very soon.”

The Oilers hope the big, skilled centre is ready to make the jump to the NHL sooner rather than later. But Eakins says the team won’t rush his graduation if he’s not ready. Eakins himself refuses to place high expectations on the rookie.

“I have no expectations and I think it is a dangerous thing to put any expectations on the kid. He’ll come into our development camp, which is more of an orientation. He’ll come in and get to know the other players. he on-ice stuff isn’t that important. It’s more to get them up and going with their summer training. Then we’ll see where he is in training camp. This is a very young player and we don’t want to rush him, we don’t want to put the weight of the market or high expectations on him. We want to just see where he’s at when he does get playing against NHL players.”

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INSIDE THE OILERS BLOG