BLOGS
POSTED ON Monday, 06.29.2015 / 4:24 PM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Former Oilers defenceman Chris Pronger has been inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame. Pronger joins Nicklas Lidstrom, Sergei Fedorov and Phil Housley as the four players in the Class of 2015.

On August 2, 2005, Pronger was traded to Edmonton for Eric Brewer, Doug Lynch and Jeff Woywitka.

Pronger played just one season for the Oilers in 2005-06, recording 56 points (12-44-56) and 74 penalty minutes. In the Oilers ’06 Cup run, Pronger posted 21 points (5-16-21) in 24 games.

The 6-foot-6, 210-pound defenceman has played 1,167 NHL games in his career for the Oilers, the Hartford Whalers, St. Louis Blues, Anaheim Ducks and Philadelphia Flyers. Pronger won the Stanley Cup with the Ducks in 2007.

Pronger, 40, won the 1997 World Championship with Canada. He is also a two-time Olympic gold medalist and won gold at the 1993 World Junior Championship.

Pronger was a workhorse, averaging more than 30 minutes per game in two seasons with the Blues and more than 25 minutes per game every season from 1998-99 to 2009-10.

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POSTED ON Saturday, 06.27.2015 / 5:03 PM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers made Caleb Jones the 117th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft. Sports run in the family.

His father, Popeye Jones is a retired NBA player. His older brothers play hockey and one of them, Seth, was the fourth overall pick of the Nashville Predators in the 2013 NHL Draft.

Needless to say, they’re a competitive bunch. Caleb enjoyed the thought of maybe one day playing against Seth. What is the first thing he’d do?

“Ask him to fight probably,” Jones laughed. “No, but it will be good. We’ve always had battles. Even in basketball, 1-on-1, or on the ice when we were just practicing together. Maybe seeing him on the other side of the blue line one day would be pretty fun.”

Caleb compares his style of play to Seth.

“I think I play a bit like my brother,” said the 6-foot-0, 194-pound defenceman. “I think we’re both two-way defencemen. I think I’m more of a physical and aggressive player than he is but I say, in sense of the whole entire game, we’re pretty alike.”

Seth helps his younger brother train in the off-season.

“He’s been really big for me,” said Caleb. “I’ve trained with him the past three summers and he’s really pushed me. He’s consistent with his work ethic every day. It has really taught me what it takes to get to the next level and be a pro.”

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POSTED ON Saturday, 06.27.2015 / 4:38 PM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Cam Talbot says the Oilers expressed interest in him as soon as the season ended. That interest got real serious on Saturday, with the Oilers eventually trading three draft picks to the New York Rangers to acquire the 27-year-old goaltender.

“I was excited to come to a team that has so much potential and upside right now,” said Talbot. “They’re kind of rebuilding and retooling. It’s going to be an exciting time and I’m very excited to be a part of it.”

Talbot has watched the Oilers very closely over the last few months. He watched as they made Bob Nicholson CEO of Oilers Entertainment Group, added Peter Chiarelli as President of Hockey Operations and General Manager, and then when they hired Todd McLellan as their new Head Coach.

“I’ve definitely been paying attention to all those changes because, as soon as our season ended, I knew Edmonton was one of the teams that was interested,” said Talbot. “When you hear that, you start to notice all the changes they’re making and it feels like they’ve made a lot of great changes for the organization. They’re definitely heading in the right direction. I’m definitely excited to be a part of it.”

Talbot has also paid attention to the Connor McDavid sweepstakes. He’s excited to join this year’s number one overall pick.

“I know the hype but I haven’t really had a chance to see him play,” said Talbot. “With all the hype, it’s going to be an exciting time. From what I hear, he’s going to be a generational player. Any time you can get a player like that and throw him into the mix with all the other skilled forwards that are on this team it’s going to be a pretty good combination of skill and talent up front. I’m really excited to be a part of this team and the process moving forward.”

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POSTED ON Saturday, 06.27.2015 / 10:11 AM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers traded defenceman Martin Marincin to the Toronto Maple Leafs, in exchange for the 107th pick in the 2015 NHL Draft and forward Brad Ross.

Ross, an Edmonton native, was taken 43rd overall in the 2010 NHL Draft. He played 32 games for the Leafs AHL affiliate, the Toronto Marlies, this past season. Ross recorded eight points an 62 penalty minutes.

The Oilers then moved the 107th overall pick and forward Travis Ewanyk to the Ottawa Senators, in exchange for defenceman Eric Gryba.

Gryba, 27, was taken in the third round of the 2006 NHL Draft. He has played 165 NHL games, registering four goals and 25 points, 187 penalty minutes and a +17 rating. He is a 6’4’’. 225-pound right-shot defenceman.

GRYBA'S Career Regular Season Statistics
Season Team GP G A P +/- PIM PP SH GW S S%
2003-2004 Saskatoon Contacts-SMHL 39 1 10 11 89
2004-2005 Saskatoon AAA Contacts-SMHL 32 11 29 40 83
2005-2006 Green Bay Gamblers-USHL 56 3 12 15 13 205 0 0 0
2006-2007 Boston University Terriers-H-East 38 1 3 4 76
2007-2008 Boston University Terriers-H-East 32 1 1 2 54
2008-2009 Boston University Terriers-H-East 45 0 6 6 106
2009-2010 Boston University Terriers-H-East 38 4 6 10 118
2009-2010 Binghamton Senators-AHL 6 1 0 1 2 2 0 0 0
2010-2011 Binghamton Senators-AHL 66 3 4 7 7 133 0 0 1 49 6.1
2011-2012 Binghamton Senators-AHL 73 5 15 20 -13 95 0 0 2 98 5.1
2012-2013 Senators 33 2 4 6 -3 26 0 0 0 51 3.9
2012-2013 Binghamton Senators-AHL 38 5 6 11 28 75 3 0 2 68 7.4
2013-2014 Senators 57 2 9 11 9 64 0 0 0 57 3.5
2014-2015 Senators 75 0 12 12 11 97 0 0 0 64 0.0
NHL Totals 165 4 25 29 17 187 0 0 0 172 2.3
GRYBA'S Career Playoff Statistics
Season Team GP G A P +/- PIM PP SH GW S S%
2003-2004 Saskatoon Contacts-SMHL 10 4 8 12 20
2004-2005 Saskatoon AAA Contacts-SMHL 11 5 7 12 22
2005-2006 Green Bay Gamblers-USHL 3 1 1 2 -5 27 0 0 0
2006-2007 Boston University Terriers-H-East
2007-2008 Boston University Terriers-H-East
2010-2011 Binghamton Senators-AHL 10 0 1 1 3 26 0 0 0
2012-2013 Senators 4 0 0 0 0 17 0 0 0 2 0.0
2014-2015 Senators 6 0 0 0 -2 14 0 0 0 5 0.0
NHL Totals 10 0 0 0 -2 31 0 0 0 7 0.0

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POSTED ON Saturday, 06.27.2015 / 8:52 AM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

In their second trade of the 2015 NHL Draft, the Oilers got the goaltender they’ve been searching for. Edmonton flipped the 57th, 79th and 184th overall picks to the NY Rangers, in exchange for Cam Talbot and the 209th selection.

Following last night’s first round, Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli said there were a couple goaltenders available via trade and that Edmonton would continue to have discussions. Those talks heated up about five picks into the second round when Chiarelli approached the Rangers table and took their GM Glen Sather aside for a talk.

Following that chat, Oilers Assistant GM Bill Scott later approached the table and he, along with a representative of the Rangers, submitted the trade card.

Talbot has a small sample size in the NHL, but he has posted good numbers. During the 2013-14 season, Talbot posted a record of 12-6-1 with a 1.64 goals-against average and .941 save percentage. He added three shutouts. This season, Talbot played 36 games and had a record of 21-9-4. He posted a 2.21 GAA, a .926 save percentage and five shutouts.

Talbot, 27, made his NHL debut on October 24, 2013 against Philadelphia. He made 25 saves on 27 shots for a .926 save percentage. His first NHL shutout came four games later against Montreal.

Talbot is listed as 6’3’’ and 195 pounds. He is a native of Caledonia, Ontario.

Career Regular Season Statistics
Season Team GP W L T OT SO GA SA Sv% GAA Min
2005-2006 Hamilton Red Wings-OPJHL 35 21 13 1 1 87 2.55 2,046
2006-2007 Hamilton Red Wings-OPJHL 28 19 5 2 1 57 2.08 1,644
2007-2008 University Of Alabama In Huntsville-CHA 13 1 10 0 0 45 322 4.63 583
2008-2009 University Of Alabama In Huntsville-CHA 24 2 16 3 1 65 700 2.95 1,320
2009-2010 University Of Alabama In Huntsville-CHA 33 12 18 3 1 85 2.61 1,958
2009-2010 Hartford Wolf Pack-AHL 1 0 0 0 0 3 11 .727 9.70 19
2010-2011 Connecticut Whale-AHL 22 11 9 2 2 62 570 .902 2.84 1,308
2010-2011 Greenville Road Warriors-ECHL 2 1 0 1 0 5 63 .921 2.46 122
2011-2012 Connecticut Whale-AHL 33 14 15 1 4 81 935 .913 2.61 1,865
2012-2013 Connecticut Whale-AHL 55 25 28 1 2 136 1,668 .918 2.63 3,105
2013-2014 Rangers 21 12 6 - 1 3 33 560 .941 1.64 1,211
2013-2014 Hartford Wolf Pack-AHL 5 4 0 1 0 13 171 .924 2.49 314
2014-2015 Rangers 36 21 9 - 4 5 77 1,038 .926 2.21 2,095
NHL Totals 57 33 15 0 5 8 110 1,598 .931 2.00 3,306
Career Playoff Statistics
Season Team GP W L SO GA SA Sv% GAA Min
2005-2006 Hamilton Red Wings-OPJHL 14 8 6 1 52 3.46 903
2006-2007 Hamilton Red Wings-OPJHL 19 13 6 0 51 2.46 1,243
2010-2011 Connecticut Whale-AHL 1 0 1 0 2 24 .917 3.13 38
2011-2012 Connecticut Whale-AHL 9 5 4 2 20 327 .939 2.10 571
2013-2014 Rangers 2 0 1 0 2 13 .846 2.61 46
NHL Totals 2 0 1 0 2 13 .846 2.59 46

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POSTED ON Friday, 06.26.2015 / 7:10 PM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

SUNRISE, FL - Connor McDavid has had a long wait since the Draft Lottery in April. But when the Oilers called his name, selecting him first overall tonight at the BB&T Center, he couldn’t be happier.

McDavid has been monitoring the Oilers changes over the last couple months, including the promotion of Bob Nicholson to CEO, the hiring of Peter Chiarelli as President of Hockey Operations and General Manager, as well as Todd McLellan being named Head Coach.

“Not to say any of the other guys did a bad job or anything, it’s just a great change,” said McDavid. “Mr. McLellan and Mr. Chiarelli are great hockey minds. Obviously, Mr. Nicholson has come in and done such a great job. It’s an exciting time to be an Oiler. I know the fans are excited and they should be. It will be a great time.”

McDavid says those changes and their effect on the fan base are among the things that get him the most pumped to join Edmonton.

“I think just the change and the excitement of the fans and the long list of great players that have played there. There is so much to be excited about to be an Edmonton Oiler. I’m just thrilled.”

McDavid is also eager to join his teammates, like fellow first-overall picks Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov.

“I was a big fan of those guys when they were drafted,” said McDavid. “I followed them a little bit so of course I’ve watched the Oilers a little bit here and there whenever I can. I try to get to bed a little earlier than that but I was an Oiler fan for sure.”

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POSTED ON Friday, 06.26.2015 / 7:09 PM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

SUNRISE, FL - The overwhelming thought amongst those in the hockey world is that Connor McDavid is ready to play in the NHL next season. The Oilers selected the highly talented centre first overall this year.

If McDavid expects to compete at the high level he’s capable of when he makes that leap, he says he needs to beef up.

“You’ve got to get a lot bigger and a lot stronger and faster and all that,” said McDavid. “You’re playing against men now. It’s a big jump. I have a big summer ahead of me for sure.”

McDavid was named the OHL and CHL Player of the Year this season, and recorded 120 points (44-76-120) in 47 games for the Erie Otters.

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POSTED ON Friday, 06.26.2015 / 7:08 PM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

SUNRISE, FL - Since he was playing midget in Toronto, Connor McDavid has had high expectations. He was granted exceptional status by Hockey Canada and has played above his age group right up to junior, where he has had a highlight-filled career with the Erie Otters.

He has dealt with the outside pressure his whole career and that won’t stop him from working to be the best player he can be.

“My expectations for myself exceed any of those that are put on me,” said McDavid. “It’s something that I can’t really worry about. I’ve just got to make sure I’m playing my game and doing all that because if I meet my expectations the chances are I’ll meet your guys’ as well.”

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POSTED ON Friday, 06.26.2015 / 12:40 PM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

It’s no secret the Oilers are exploring the goalie market ahead of tonight’s NHL Draft. With Robin Lehner being traded to Buffalo today for a first-round pick, it stands to reason that the Oilers could possibly do the same for another available netminder. However, Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Peter Chiarelli says that’s not going to happen.

“There are goalies that are available now today because of the enticement of the first-round pick but we’re not trading that pick for a goalie so it may not happen today then,” said Chiarelli.

“There is still a lot of goaltenders. For me, it’s about improving the D. We’ve improved our coaching and we’re going to try and improve our goaltending. We’re in on a few of these goalies. We’re in on some free agent goalies. We want to do the right thing but we don’t want to overspend either.”

While the Oilers won’t part with a first-round pick for a goaltender, a defenceman could still be in play. But the depth of this draft means the Oilers would rather hang onto the 16th overall pick.

“I’ve been entertaining some offers,” said Chiarelli. “We’ve had some good amateur meetings the last few days. There is going to be a really good player there. It would have to take something pretty good for me to move that pick.”

Chiarelli said he’d like to come away with two blueliners before the season: a puck mover and more of a defensive guy.

“If we can get both that would be great,” said Chiarelli. “I know we have some of those traits in the existing D. They’re going to play a better defensive game, they are going to know how to defend better. There are true defenders out there, there are puck movers, there are two-way guys. What’s interesting to me in this whole exercise is there are a lot of players that are coming out of woods here and I think that’s probably because we have cap space and roster spots. There are interesting names out there and I believe there will be more interesting names. Types of D, I’d probably like one of both if I could. If we can only get one of them that’s fine for now. As I said, I’d like to try and improve the defensive core and I’d like to continue to try and do that.”

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POSTED ON Thursday, 06.25.2015 / 4:42 PM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Connor McDavid, the top prospect in the 2015 NHL Draft, spends a lot of time talking to the media. He’s asked a lot of questions, some that get repetitive. There is one question above all others he can’t escape.



“The question I probably hate the most is ‘how do you deal with the pressure?’ I think I’ve heard that question over 100 times, probably more than that this year,” said McDavid. “I don’t know. It’s just a question that is a little bit difficult to answer. It’s something everyone wants to know I guess.”

So how does McDavid answer that question now?

“I’ve been dealing with (the pressure) for a while now and I’m pretty used to it,” he said.

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