INSIDE THE OILERS
POSTED ON Tuesday, 04.03.2014 / 10:32 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

When the Edmonton Oilers pulled the trigger on a trade with the Calgary Flames on November 8, to bring 20-year-old goalie prospect Laurent Brossoit into the organization, General Manager Craig MacTavish was happy the team had a younger netminder, with the potential to be a number one, on board. MacTavish said that was a position they did not have the quality depth in that they were looking for.

With the moves the Oilers made in the last two days, re-signing Ben Scrivens and trading for Viktor Fasth, MacTavish feels very pleased with the depth in goal moving forward.

“He’s got a real good record in this league,” MacTavish said of Fasth, who was acquired in a trade with Anaheim. “This year was a little bit of a setback from some injury standpoints but it just gives us certainty going into our next year with our goaltending. I think anyone who tells you they’re sure about the performance of their goaltenders based on a relatively small sample size, is not likely accurate. But we have two really good options next year and it will be a competitive position, as it always is. When I was driving into the office today, I thought that if we could stabilize our goaltending for next year and check that box off, that was my objective going in.”

With Fasth’s first start presumably happening soon, the Oilers will have had six goalies play a game for the team this season. MacTavish acknowledged that there is a much higher comfort level with the state of the Oilers net now, than there was at the beginning of the season.

“We really defaulted to Devan (Dubnyk) at the start of the year,” the general manager said. “He was deserving of that opportunity for a number of reasons. I don’t know that I wasn’t sure that he was going to be able to handle it. It’s a big difference being a number ‘1A’ and going to a number one. Whether you can handle that workload or not is a big challenge. I didn’t have any certainty that he was going to be able to do it but there was a real rational explanation of why we did it.

“From that point forward, I’m more happy with the goaltending depth that we have in the organization right now. Laurent Brossoit is performing fine in his first year so he’s given us a piece, a legitimate 20 year-old, that has an opportunity to grow into a number one goalie. We’ve got good depth, in my mind, at the position here in Edmonton for next year. (Richard) Bachman has played very well too, as well, this year. I’m happy with where the goaltending is going into next year.”

Checking off the ‘to do’ list item of acquiring quality goalie depth is something that MacTavish and the Oilers were looking to accomplish and they believe they’ve done so with their recent moves.

“I think it’s important. It allows us to really focus our attention and our energies in other areas now, of which there are significant deficiencies quite obviously. We’ll focus… on other areas and other facets of our game, outside of goaltending. For me, it’s a comfort that really, I didn’t have going into this year. I felt we had a legitimate chance to have success at the position but I wasn’t as comfortable as I am now. But I think that’s an important box to check off.”

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 04.03.2014 / 10:31 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Edmonton Oilers General Manager Craig MacTavish took to the podium at Rexall Place, shortly before the team’s home game against the Ottawa Senators tonight. One of the topics of his meeting with the media was the state of the market as the NHL trade deadline is tomorrow.

MacTavish says that, right now, the market is ‘undervalued’ for the type of UFA that the Oilers have on roster. This prompted the Oilers to wait until tomorrow to make any more moves regarding trades, despite pulling two moves involving goaltenders this morning.

“The market price feels undervalued for rentals, at this point,” MacTavish said. “I don’t know where that’s going to go tomorrow but I’m a guy that is very much of the belief of a bird in hand is worth two in the bush. If we had the opportunity to do something that I thought was fair and legitimate, then we would have done it today. But we’re going to be pushed to the deadline tomorrow and when that happens, there’s a certain amount of risk at stake and right now we’re prepared to take the risk rather than settle for what’s been offered so far. I think this is, from talking to quite a few of my colleagues, that this is fairly standard practice right now.”

As for making a bigger trade, possibly with players under contract instead of free agents to be, MacTavish said there has been conversations but there may be more value in making those trades at a later day and not tomorrow.

“Well, we’ve been proposing some of those ideas in some of the phone calls I’ve had but I really think, my instinct tells me, that those deals will be better served down the road than they will be tomorrow with some of our players… Not that we’d turn our back on a hockey deal, there are some very significant adds that we’d like to make to this team. We have some pieces that we’d been willing to give up to acquire those additions but my instincts say that’s unlikely for tomorrow.”

Now that the Oilers have solidified their goalie tandem for next season, MacTavish says the team will set out looking to acquire assets for their UFAs, prior to tomorrow’s deadline.

“I think we want to continue to focus on bringing in as many assets as we can from our UFA players. I’ve been very upfront about that in my conversations with (the media) in the past. We all know the position we’re in. Unfortunately, we’re here again in this position but we’re going to try to make the best of this current position that we’re in.”

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 04.03.2014 / 4:31 PM
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers have announced that goaltender Kurtis Mucha will be backing up tonight. He has been signed by the team to a one-day tryout contract.

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 04.03.2014 / 3:45 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Fasth Acquired | Bryz Video | Bryz Audio | Bryzgalov Press Release | Deadline Central

The Edmonton Oilers acquired Anaheim Ducks goaltender Viktor Fasth in a trade today. The 31-year-old netminder says it was a strange feeling being told the news before stepping on the ice with his former team this morning.

“It’s part of this job but it’s a weird feeling,” Fasth said. “I’m looking forward to and I’m excited to join the Oilers. I’m looking forward to play hockey.”

After he found out the news, Fasth went straight to Ducks Goalie Coach Dwayne Roloson for some information on his soon-to-be new home. Roloson played for the Oilers from 2006-2009.

“(Nothing) other than playing there a couple of times,” Fasth said of what he knew of Edmonton. “I talked to (Roloson) quickly before practice today and he said it’s a great organization and there’s great guys working around the team. It sounds great so I’m looking forward to joining the team and I’m real excited.”

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 04.03.2014 / 2:49 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Fasth Acquired | Bryz Video | Bryz Audio | Bryzgalov Press Release | Deadline Central

The Edmonton Oilers parted ways with goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov today, one day before the NHL trade deadline. The Oilers signed Bryzgalov to a one-year contract in November and turned that investment into a fourth-round pick, acquired from the Minnesota Wild in the trade.

Bryzgalov talked to the Edmonton media following the news of his being traded to the Wild.

“It was a great opportunity for me to play here,” Bryzgalov said. “I was very excited to be a part of the organization. I met lots of great new people here and I can’t say enough good words about the fans and people who live in this city. I really enjoyed my time here.”

Bryzgalov finished the season playing 20 games and recording a 3.01 goals against average and .908 save percentage.

“It was, in the beginning, very good and then a couple of games it was off. That’s probably because of missing training camp and other stuff. I think my last couple of games was… very, very good and very sharp and it was very good.”

The netminder now heads to ‘the hockey state’ to compete on a Minnesota club that’s currently 7th in the Western Conference.

“It’s a new challenge, a great opportunity and a team battling for the playoffs. I’m glad I have the opportunity to be on a playoff team and battling for a playoff spot and I hope we’re going to make it in the playoffs and make lots of damage out there while competing for the Stanley Cup. It’s a great opportunity.”

Bryzgalov continued, “I will go and do everything in my power to… give the team the best chance to win.”

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 04.03.2014 / 2:32 PM

Edmonton Oilers have acquired goaltender Viktor Fasth for a 5th round draft choice in 2014 and a 3rd round draft choice in 2015. Fasth, a 31-year-old Swedish netminder, has played five games this season for the Ducks and has posted a goals against average of 2.95 and a save percentage of .885.

During the 2012-2013 season, Fasth played 25 games for Anaheim and had a 2.18 goals against average and .921 save percentage. He has also spent time with Norfolk in the American Hockey League.

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 04.03.2014 / 2:02 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers have traded goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for a 2014 fourth round pick.

Bryzgalov was signed by the Oilers on November 8, to a one-year contract. He has played in 20 games this season, with a 3.01 goals against average and a .908 save percentage.

>> For more on what is expected to be a busy NHL Trade Deadline, visit our special section, presented by Sportsnet

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 04.03.2014 / 12:44 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers have placed defenceman Corey Potter on waivers, this morning.

Potter has played in 16 games for the Oilers this season, with five assists and 21 penalty minutes. Potter is the second Oilers defenceman to be placed on waivers in the last two days. Philip Larsen was given that designation yesterday.

Larsen cleared this morning and was assigned to Oklahoma City.

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 04.03.2014 / 12:07 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

In addition to Corey Potter being placed on waivers this morning, there was more news announced on twitter. Head Coach Dallas Eakins tweeted that tonight, Ben Scrivens will start in net and Nail Yakupov makes his return to the Oilers lineup after missing one game with a foot injury.

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POSTED ON Monday, 03.03.2014 / 3:05 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers
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INSIDE THE OILERS