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INSIDE THE OILERS
POSTED ON Wednesday, 26.02.2014 / 1:23 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers are on the Wednesday and the lineup appears unchanged from their previous practic.

The forward lines are as follows, based on jersey colour:

Hall-RNH-Yakupov

Hemsky-Gagner-Eberle

Hendricks-Gordon-Perron

Gazdic-Smyth-Jones/Joensuu

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 25.02.2014 / 4:12 PM
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers
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POSTED ON Tuesday, 25.02.2014 / 4:08 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Oilers Director of Coaching Development and Special Projects Billy Moores is being inducted into the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame as a member of the class of 2014.

"This is a special time of year for the AHHF Selection Committee – we have the opportunity to look over and remember the significant contributions to our sport in Alberta, Canada and beyond," Scott Robinson, executive director of the Hockey Alberta Foundation, said on the organization’s website. "It's our honour to recognize these inductees. Their legacies and accomplishments can now take their place Alberta's hockey history."

Moores was chosen by the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame selection committee to enter as part of the Achievement Category.

Moores played for the Edmonton Oil Kings in the 1960s and went on to be a successful assistant and head coach at the University of Alberta, for the Golden Bears.

This year’s inductees will be formally recognized at the Hockey Alberta Awards Gala ceremony on Friday June 6, at the Westin Hotel in Edmonton.

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 25.02.2014 / 3:21 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Edmonton Oilers General Manager Craig MacTavish spoke to the media today, addressing the impending NHL trade deadline among other topics. Defenceman Justin Schultz’s name came up as he will be a restricted free agent at season’s end.

The plan for Schultz is to look to extend him a serious offer after the deadline concludes.

“I think, with Justin, it will be after the deadline,” MacTavish said. “I’ve had some preliminary conversations with his representation and after the deadline, I think we’ll get down to more serious discussions with Justin.”

As for whether or not MacTavish puts Schultz into the same category as Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, in terms of contract perimeters and talent, the GM said he’s of the same skill level potentially.

“It all depends on the number on the year-to-year part of the contract. If you’re asking me, do I consider Justin Schultz in that skill level, potentially? I do. I think he’s a terrific talent. I think he’s developing and has taken significant steps this year, maybe in the last six weeks, in terms of really establishing himself as a guy that’s got a very high upside.”

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 25.02.2014 / 3:20 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The state of the Oilers this season has had more negatives than positives when it comes to their place in the standings. However, General Manager Craig MacTavish says that lately there have been positive signs for the future of the organization.

“I will say that, as unfortunate as the circumstances that we find ourselves in, I’m optimistic about what I’m seeing and where the culture of the organization is right now, the direction of the organization and the response from the players,” MacTavish said. “I’m generally happy with the overall output of effort from our group and I think there’s… I know there are better times ahead. It’s a shallow sentence at this point right now but the line from the bottom to top is seldom a straight line. We’ve taken some hits this year but I’m pretty happy with where we are right now in the last three or four weeks. There’s been good structural improvement, I think there’s been some good individual growth, we’ve added some competitive players and I think we said and set out to do that at the start of the year and it’s not something that turns over quickly. But I think, when I analyze where we’re at now from where we were at the start of the year, I see some decent signs.”

The Oilers have won five of their last seven games and the three losses before that stretch were decided by one goal each.

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 25.02.2014 / 3:20 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Both Ben Scrivens and Ilya Bryzgalov are unrestricted free agents at the end of the season. The Oilers goaltenders are a topic of serious discussion as to whether or not to re-sign them, due to their recent high level of play.

General Manager Craig MacTavish spoke to the media and addressed the topic of beginning contract talks with one or both of those netminders.

“I think those are discussions that I’ll have or I am having with their representatives and try and determine if there’s a fit,” the general manager said. “I know there’s great opportunity here for goaltenders. They’ve got a great opportunity to compete for a number one job here and that’s valuable to them. The opportunity is there and we’ll see if that’s a fit with our present goaltenders.”

When asked of whether or not the goalie play of Bryzgalov and Scrivens has closed the door on looking at the free agent pool of goaltenders this offseason, MacTavish said no.

“No. I think we’re very active in understanding what the market is for all positions on UFA players.”

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 25.02.2014 / 1:34 PM
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Oilers GM Craig MacTavish spoke to the media about next Wednesday's NHL Trade Deadline. We streamed the press conference live right here on edmontonoilers.com and on the Oilers Mobile App.

Or watch the archive of the live press conference here:

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 25.02.2014 / 1:33 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers are on the ice for Tuesday practice and the lineup appears unchanged from yesterday.

The forward lines are as follows, based on jersey colour:

Hall-RNH-Yakupov
Hemsky-Gagner-Eberle
Hendricks-Gordon-Perron
Gazdic-Smyth-Jones/Joensuu

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POSTED ON Monday, 24.02.2014 / 5:05 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers
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POSTED ON Monday, 24.02.2014 / 4:58 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers unveiled some line changes at practice this morning and Head Coach Dallas Eakins explained the moves in his media availability.

Ales Hemsky skated on the left wing with Sam Gagner and Jordan Eberle on the second line, while David Perron completes the third line with Matt Hendricks and Boyd Gordon.

“It’s been the constant battle this year with the lines whether to put Perron… because Perron is a top six guy for me, Hemmer is a top six guy and we’ve got other guys also that we could… put on Gordon’s line there,” Eakins said. “The more we talked about it over the break, we wanted to get Perron back there. I think he’s more of a better fit with those guys than Hemmer.”

With Perron on the third line, Hemsky flops sides. That’s something Eakins hopes helps Eberle and Gagner, while providing speed and defence to that line.

“The one thing we haven’t done with Hemmer this year is put him over on that left side,” Eakins explained. “He says he’s comfortable over there, he can play anywhere that we want him to. That’s been the great thing about Ales this year, he’s just done what we’ve asked of him. He’s got no problem going over there and we’ll see how it goes. It’s like always, you put your lines together and man, you get three minutes into the game and you’re already shaking them. That’s where we’ll start and we’ll see how it goes.

“What we’re looking from him is to use his speed. He’s been good for us with his habits defensively this year. We want him to continue that with Gags and Eberle but listen, it brings a little bit more speed to the line and hopefully Ales can pick up right from what he did from his last couple games of the Olympics. I didn’t see him play, but I’ve heard that he played very well.”

Click here to read more on Hemsky and todays changes.

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INSIDE THE OILERS