INSIDE THE OILERS
POSTED ON Sunday, 01.31.2016 / 12:07 PM MT
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The NHL has released details of how today's three-on-three tournament will work. They are as follows:

The 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game will feature a 3-on-3 All-Star Tournament. The new format will divide the All-Star Game into three 20-minute games, with star players from each Division making up the four All-Star teams: Pacific, Central, Atlantic, and Metropolitan. Players are facing off for a winner-take-all $1 million prize.

Each game will be 20 minutes in length. Teams will change ends at the 10-minute mark of each game. Games that are tied after 20 minutes will be decided by a shootout.

The Eastern Conference won the Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition and elected to play the first game today. Accordingly, the Atlantic Division All-Stars (wearing black) will face the Metropolitan Division All-Stars (wearing white) in the first of the two semifinal games, followed by

Central Division All-Stars (wearing black) against the Pacific Division All-Stars (wearing white) in the second semifinal.

Other notable rules include:

  • All NHL Rules apply to each game.
  • Each game will be 20 minutes in length, with two 10-minute periods per game.
  • There will be a hard whistle at the 10-minute mark of each game. At this time, teams and goalies will change ends.
  • Video Review will be used to confirm all goals. NHL Hockey Operations will initiate any potential coach’s challenge reviews.
  • All minor penalties will be one-minute in length. Manpower advantages during these penalties will reflect current NHL Rules, where at no time will a team have less than three players on the ice – this may require a fourth and/or fifth skater to be added.
  • Games that are tied after 20 minutes will be decided by a shootout using current NHL shootout rules.
  • All three games will be officiated by referees Dan O’Rourke and Ian Walsh, and linesman Jonny Murray and Vaughan Rody.
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POSTED ON Saturday, 01.30.2016 / 7:13 PM MT
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Taylor Hall won his heat in the Fastest Skater event at the NHL Skills Competition with a time of 13.654, defeating Ottawa's Erik Karlsson. It was an even race until Karlsson stumbled and got spun around on the final turn, resulting in lost time for the Sens defenceman. Hall didn't expect the format to be the way it was where he had to battle Karlsson directly.

“I didn’t expect that. Kind of find out right before the event. It was still fun to go out there and to see the record being broke. That was pretty cool. He can fly,” Hall said after the competition.

Hall was the only Western Conference skater to win, with the other three heats going to the East. Dylan Larkin also broke Mike Gartner's 20-year-old record of 13.3, coming in at 13.1 in his final full-rink lap. After the Fastest Skater event, East had a 5-1 lead over West.

Overall, Hall had the fourth-fastest time among all skaters.

Hall also passed the puck in the one-timer challenge as part of the relay. He fed pucks to Shea Weber, Drew Doughty and Corey Perry. It took them a shade under 45 seconds to complete the task.

In the Shootout event, Hall did not score on either of his two attempts on Capitals netminder Braden Holtby.

One of the highlights of the night was the Breakaway event, where Brent Burns was dressed in a Chewbacca mask and P.K. Subban dressed up as Jaromir Jagr among other antics.

“I thought that was hilarious. The crowd was amazing tonight and really boosted everyone. Sometimes that breakaway challenge can be a little bit corny but I was laughing the whole time. It was great,” said Hall.
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POSTED ON Saturday, 01.30.2016 / 2:44 PM MT
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers


A newer tradition that has been added to the NHL All-Star Game in recent years is having the players walk the red carpet prior to arrival at the rink for the NHL Skills Competition. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins did it last year in Columbus and Jordan Eberle in 2012 in Ottawa. This time it was Taylor Hall's turn.

“I think it’s a really good experience. Being able to walk the red carpet isn’t something you get to do every day. Trying to soak it all in and have fun,” Hall began, adding that he's really enjoyed his time so far in the Music City.

“Nashville’s a great city. The weather’s been great. A lot of fan support and being able to do stuff like this is pretty cool,” he continued. “Having fun with it.”

Hall's mom, aunt and cousin have all joined him here in Nashville. The Oilers winger added that he's glad he's been able to share this experience with them.

“That’s one of the best thing is having family here and having them experience it.”

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POSTED ON Friday, 01.29.2016 / 1:40 PM MT
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers


Oilers forward Taylor Hall will be taking part in three different events at the Skills Competition on Saturday at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

He will be one of four players for the Western Conference in Fastest Skater and will also be taking part in the Shootout as well as passing pucks in Shooting Accuracy. The other three skating alongside Hall in Fastest Skater will be: Winnipeg's Dustin Byfuglien, Colorado's Matt Duchene and Nashville's Roman Josi.

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POSTED ON Friday, 01.29.2016 / 1:30 PM MT
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Taylor Hall spoke to the media at NHL All-Star Media Day on Friday at Bridgestone Arena. Having just got into Nashville yesterday late afternoon, he hasn't had a whole lot of time but has taken advantage of his time so far.

“It’s something I’m very proud of. Just seeing all the guys, being around here and being recognized for your efforts is fun. I’m going to soak it in,” said Hall, adding that he has family coming in later today.

Hall was asked about the three-on-three format, which is a first for the NHL. Pacific Division, with six forwards, three defencemen and two goaltenders will face off against the Central Division in a 20-minute game where each team will play three skaters aside. The winning team will then play the winner of Atlantic vs. Metropolitan. The winner of the final 20-minute game will split $100,000 between the 11 participants.

“I’m actually really excited to play the three-on-three,” said Hall. “I think it’s going to be a good experience. It’s going to be fast. I don’t know about the other guys, but I’m going to try pretty hard. I’m excited for the whole thing.”

It being Hall's first game where he's actually playing — he was a rookie who just did Skills Competition in Raleigh in 2011 — he's trying to embrace every moment of the weekend.

“I always remember Wayne Gretzky saying — I don’t remember how many all-star games he went to — but he always said it was such a great experience and he was honoured to be around guys. I feel the same way. It’s really fun to be here and I’m proud.”

Hall is also excited to get to spend some time in Nashville. A very underrated NHL city, "Nash Vegas" is known for its live music and vibrant nightlife.

“Just hitting the town a bit last night, seeing what the whole vibe is, it’s been fun. When you hear the game is in Nashville you get excited about that. It’s certainly a lot different than other cities. From what I’ve seen so far, they’re putting on a great event so it’s fun.”

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 01.27.2016 / 10:17 AM MT
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers have claimed defenceman Adam Clendening off waivers from the Anaheim Ducks.

Clendening did not play a game for the Ducks after being acquired on January 15 along with David Perron in exchange for Carl Hagelin. Earlier this season he played six games for the AHL's Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and had three assists. He also played nine games for the Pittsburgh Penguins and had one assist.

He's played 30 career NHL games between Pittsburgh, Vancouver and Chicago with a goal and four assists for five points and a +5 rating.

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 01.26.2016 / 4:24 PM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Connor McDavid is down with the American Hockey League’s Bakersfield Condors on conditioning loan from the Oilers during the NHL All-Star Break. While McDavid will not play any games for the Condors, he is getting more practice time in as he works his way back from the broken clavicle that has kept him away from the game since November 3.

McDavid has been cleared for full contact and that’s part of the reason he’s skating down with the Condors as he tries to expose himself to that side of the game more.

“Just take a couple of hits I think,” McDavid said. “I’m not sure how hard they’re going to be because it’s practice, but just take some bumps and get some contact and kind of test it out. I’ve been doing that for a little bit, but as you get closer you just want to feel confident in it.”

It’s a bit of an odd situation to be participating in the Oilers Skills Competition one minute, talking to the media in Edmonton the next and then packing your gear for a trip to Bakersfield the next, just for a week of practices. But that’s what McDavid is doing now, and in addition to getting extra reps on the ice with the Condors, McDavid is happy to see some familiar faces.

“I’ve been doing that a little bit, traveling with the team and practicing,” he said. “It’s a little of a different situation here, to travel so far just to get a couple practices in, but it’s good. I really like the guys down here. I know them very well just from development camp and all that. It’s good to see some of those guys again.”

McDavid is familiar with several faces on the Condors from the Oilers rookie camp and pre-season.

“I like these guys a lot. I’ve gotten to know them pretty good and to see some familiar faces I haven’t seen in a while is good.”

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POSTED ON Sunday, 01.24.2016 / 2:34 PM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Condorstown becomes Connortown this week with the Oilers 2015 first-overall pick heading to Bakersfield, CA to skate with the Condors during the NHL All-Star Break. McDavid will not play any games this week for the Condors, but instead will skate with them and take more contact as he tries to come back from the broken clavicle that has kept him out of games since November 3.

“Management and I kind of came together and agreed that I’ll go to Bakersfield and go down there and skate and keep practicing. It’s a long break between now and then,” said McDavid.

The rookie centre has been cleared for full contact and hopes that with another week of intense practices he will be ready to play on February 2, when the Oilers host the Columbus Blue Jackets at Rexall Place.

“It will be good to be in Bakersfield and to skate with those guys and have some high-intensity battles and some good battles and stuff like that.”

The Condors play Tuesday, Friday and Saturday this week. They are at home until Saturday, giving McDavid plenty of ice time in Bakersfield.

“The practices are a little bit more intense, with a lot of battling and stuff like that,” said McDavid. “It will be good to be involved in that and hopefully come back feeling good and ready to go for the 2nd. Obviously, with this long break, it’s not ideal to go and sit around for eight days and try to come back and feel good. I think it’s a good opportunity for me to feel good and be ready to go when I come back.”

McDavid has already been training with some contact, but that turns up a notch this week.

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POSTED ON Sunday, 01.24.2016 / 2:33 PM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Connor McDavid was one of a few players who got to take in their first Oilers Skills Competition presented by Rogers. The rookie participated in the 3-on-3 game, the shootout and accuracy challenges. He went 4-for-6 in the accuracy shooting, and saw a wicked shootout move fall short, in which he tried to bat the puck in out of midair.

“Obviously, it’s a great event,” said McDavid. “The fans were great out there. It’s fun to do these kinds of events for the fans. I think the guys enjoyed it as well.”

Skating at Rexall Place in front of a sold-out crowd was a nice change of pace for McDavid, who has been recovering from a broken clavicle since November 3.

“I couldn’t be more excited to come back and today was a little bit of a tease almost,” said McDavid. “It was dressed up like a game, the fans were there, everyone is acting like it’s a game, so it was almost like a tease. It’s exciting to be back on the ice with the guys and the fans, and I’m excited about it.”

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POSTED ON Sunday, 01.24.2016 / 11:04 AM MT

The Edmonton Oilers announced today, they have assigned defenceman Brad Hunt and Griffin Reinhart, as well as winger Zack Kassian to the American Hockey League’s Bakersfield Condors.

Hunt, 27, has registered 23 points (6G, 17A) and eight penalty minutes in 26 games with the Condors this season.

The Maple Ridge, British Columbia native has appeared in seven games with the Oilers, posting two penalty minutes.

Reinhart, 21, has appeared in 14 games with Bakersfield this season, registering five points (1G, 4A) and 12 penalty minutes.

The North Vancouver, British Columbia native has posted one assist and eight penalty minutes in 13 games with the Oilers this season.

Kassian, 25, has appeared in four games with Bakersfield this season, recording one goal and six penalty minutes.

The Windsor, Ontario native has two points (1G, 1A) and 18 penalty minutes in six games with the Oilers this season.

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