The Oilers are on the ice for practice at the Pepsi Center in Colorado. It is an optional practice and Tyler Pitlick and Taylor Hall are not skating.
Pouliot - RNH - Eberle
Purcell - Roy - Yakupov
Perron - Draisaitl - Fraser
Hendricks - Gordon - Pinizzotto/Gazdic
Optional practice in Denver today. No Hall, Pitlick. Pouliot close. Aulie skating, waiting to hear from league. pic.twitter.com/XvHBBaTB6j— Jack Michaels (@EdmontonJack) January 1, 2015
Oilers forward Derek Roy talked about his injury scare on Tuesday against the Kings.
In his debut with the Oilers, Roy assisted on a Matt Hendricks goal on his second shift of the game and on his third shift, a skate stepped on his ankle, cutting him open.
"I knew something was up but I wanted to keep playing. (The trainer) said no, I have to come off," said Roy. "I didn't know it was bleeding."
After missing the rest of the first period, Roy was out there to start the second. He was cut for four stitches.
"It's tender and sore," he said, but indicated he doesn't expect it to be an issue tonight against the Flames.
Since Craig MacTavish and Todd Nelson took over the Oilers bench, Justin Schultz has recorded four points in his last five games. The offensive side of his game appears to be coming around and that’s what MacTavish says is most noticeable.
“My assessment of Justin is he’s doing what he does well much better now than he has,” the Oilers general manager said. “There are still deficiencies in his game. There are plenty of examples of that. But I’m pleased with the way he’s jumping up to open ice and his contributions offensively. There was a period this year where he was ineffective offensively and ineffective defensively and that’s a bad combination, but he’s playing with much more urgency in his game offensively, which is the strength of his game.”
Schultz has played 35 games this season, recording 15 points (3-12-15) and four penalty minutes.
Tonight will be Todd Nelson’s first game as interim coach without Craig MacTavish on the bench. The Oilers GM says it was the right time to step back and let Nelson take the reins.
“I just feel like the transition is the right time now,” MacTavish said. “Coaching is not a place for two captains and I think Todd has directed the team and changed the lines the last couple of games. I offer to support him as best I can but it’s time for him and I’m comfortable now that he’s got a familiarization with the personnel and I think it’s time for him to put his mark on what he can do with this hockey club.”
Nelson said the transition period helped him feel more comfortable with the personnel but he’s ready to take the next step.
Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish stepped in front of the media on Tuesday to recap yesterday’s moves, which included claiming Matt Fraser off waivers from Boston. MacTavish hinted that the club has had interest in the winger for quite some time, and their familiarity with his production in the minors sealed the decision to snag him.
“Our guys have had a lot of interest in Matt over the years,” MacTavish said. “He’s had some success against Todd that’s been well-documented over the last 16 hours or so. I remember when I was coaching in the American Hockey League and he was playing in Texas, he had success against us too. He gives us an element that we don’t have in abundance and that’s a shot. We’ll see if he can get some traction here.”
The Oilers are on the ice for Tuesday's morning skate. The line combinations are as follows:
The defensive pairings:
Leon Draisaitl, who missed yesterday's practice due to illness, is on the ice.
The Oilers newest centre, Derek Roy, will wear number 8 for the Oilers.
Derek Roy will wear #8 with the #Oilers.— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) December 30, 2014
The Edmonton Oilers announced today they have acquired centre Derek Roy from the Nashville Predators, in exchange for centre Mark Arcobello.
Roy, 31, has appeared in 26 games for the Predators this season, posting 10 points (1G, 9A) and two penalty minutes.
The native of Ottawa, Ontario, has spent time with the Buffalo Sabres, Dallas Stars, Vancouver Canucks, St. Louis Blues and Nashville Predators through 11 NHL seasons, accumulating 502 points (178G, 324A) and 369 penalty minutes in 692 career NHL games.
The 5’9”, 184-pound centre has also appeared in 49 career playoff games, recording 27 points (7G, 20A) and 36 penalty minutes.
Roy also represented Canada internationally at the 2008 and 2009 World Hockey Championships, registering 18 points (9G, 9A) and 10 penalty minutes in 18 games.
Matt Fraser was excited when he was informed that the Oilers were claiming him off waivers on Monday morning. It’s a chance for a fresh start with a team the Red Deer, Alberta native is very familiar with.
“It’s exciting. It’s been a whirlwind 24 hours. Being from Red Deer, you grow up watching the Oilers and Flames. You’re almost immersed in that battle of Alberta. To be able to go there and be a part of it is certainly exciting,” Fraser said.
Fraser is also familiar with some faces in the Oilers locker room, having played with Luke Gazdic and against Todd Nelson in the minors.
“It’s certainly nice. It’s nice to come in and have that familiarity and know the familiar face there again,” Fraser said by phone on Monday. “It’s nice to be back in the Western Conference and be close to home. Having played against Todd Nelson and some of those guys, it certainly helps to know you’re not walking in all alone. It gives you a little bit more confidence.”
Familiar faces or not, Fraser is just happy to be joining a team who wanted him.
“First and foremost, it was just nice to have the opportunity to be claimed by someone,” he said. “To be put on waivers is not a great feeling and no one likes that feeling. But, at the end of the day, the Oilers took a chance with me and I’m certainly excited about it and excited about the opportunity.”
Fraser says Gazdic was his mentor when he first came into the AHL.