Connections between the Oilers and Team North America for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey run deep. Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Peter Chiarelli is a GM for the team, while Todd McLellan is the bench boss for both Edmonton and North America.
Now you can add Oilers Assistant Coach Jay Woodcroft to the list.
The NHLPA and NHL announced today that Jon Cooper (Tampa Bay), Peter DeBoer (San Jose), Dave Tippett (Arizona) and Woodcroft will serve as assistants on Team North America. They will report to Chiarelli, McLellan and Associate GM Stan Bowman.
“We are excited to announce Team North America’s assistant coaches for the World Cup of Hockey 2016,” Chiarelli said in a press release. “Jon, Peter, Dave and Jay are great additions to our staff and their tremendous experience will go a long way in helping our young players have a successful tournament.”
Woodcroft joined McLellan’s staff in Edmonton this off-season and previously served in the same capacity for the San Jose Sharks when McLellan coached there for seven seasons. Woodcroft also spent three seasons in Detroit as an assistant, winning the 2008 Stanley Cup.
Team North America will combine top players under the age of 23 from both Canada and the United States. The squad will compete against Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Team Europe, Russia, Sweden and the U.S. in September of 2016 in Toronto.
Hall - Nugent-Hopkins - Draisaitl
Purcell - Lander - Eberle
Yakupov - Letestu - Pakarinen
Gazdic - Miller - Slepyshev
Nurse - Sekera
Klefbom - Fayne
Davidson - Gryba
At AZ--Hall-RNH-Draisaitl, Purcell-Lander-Eberle, Yak-Letestu-Pakarinen, Gazdic-Miller-Slep, Nurse-Sekera, Klefbom-Fayne, Davidson-Gryba.— Jack Michaels (@EdmontonJack) November 13, 2015
In three games with the Condors, Slepyshev had four penalty minutes and no points. He had one assist in 10 games with the Oilers earlier this season.
Teddy Purcell scored the overtime winner against the Ducks Wednesday night so not surprisingly, he's quite in favour of the NHL's new three-on-three format.
"If we lost that game you could probably say 3-on-3 is tough, but I think it’s exciting," he said. "I think that it’s something different. I don’t think a lot of guys were fans of the shootouts anyways."
Purcell credited goaltender Anders Nilsson keeping the play alive with helping the team get the 4-3 victory.
"They had a 3-on-2 and I just fell behind the play there and Leon (Draisaitl) did a great job of back-checking and breaking it up. Then (Nilsson) made a heads-up play keeping the play alive and then Sekera made a great pass. So it was a lot of things in one to get that breakaway."
Former Oilers captain Shawn Horcoff registered his 500th career NHL point with a goal in the third period. However, Horcoff wasn't too willing to speak about the accomplishment following a loss.
"Maybe when everything is said and done I’ll think back, but right now it’s just another point. It would’ve been a little nicer with a win, but I’ll think about all that stuff later," he said.
Horcoff said the team should have been able to hold onto the multiple leads they had, particularly in the third.
"We had two leads in the third period. That should be enough to win, but we just didn’t get it done defensively. We’ll take the point and move on."
Horcoff had 446 of his career points in Oilers colours (164 goals, 282 assists).
Being the first goaltender to step off the ice at morning skate, Anders Nilsson gets the start in goal tonight for the Oilers.
Forward lines are:
Stay tuned for more, including tonight's starting goaltender.
Hall-RNH-Draisaitl, Pouliot-Letestu-Yak, Purcell-Lander-Eberle, Gazdic-Miller-Pak. Nurse-Sekera, Klefbom-Fayne, Reinhart-Gryba. No Hendricks— Jack Michaels (@EdmontonJack) November 11, 2015
Anaheim Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau was asked about his team's struggles this season in the second period. Anaheim has allowed 21 goals in the middle frame. By contrast, they have only allowed six goals in the first period and seven goals in the third period.
“To me, it’s 90% about line changes," said Boudreau. "That long change, if you don’t make the line changes at the right time you usually get caught and are in trouble. I mean, it’s something we have to work on. Last year and this year we’ve really struggled in the second period but it’s almost now a mental issue that we have to get over and have a great second period and I think we’ll be fine then.”
In terms of goals against, the second period is the best period for the Oilers. They have allowed only 13 goals in the second. Anaheim's best period is the first period with 12 goals for and six goals against. Edmonton's worst period is the opening frame with 11 goals for and 17 against.
“Hopefully it’s not a tentative thing. Hopefully there’s just a couple facets, ‘we’ve got to do this better or we’ve got to do that better’ in the second period and if we do that, we’ll be fine,” Boudreau continued.
“Last game, for example, it was five minutes. We had total control of the game. It was still 2-1 with 4:25 left in the second then we got caught on a long line change, we got caught in a bad D-zone situation and it unraveled. Then we re-grabbed ourself in the third period and came out differently. But we’ve got to be able to do the second period thing as well.”
Peter Chiarelli, along with fellow co-general manager Stan Bowman, has been charged with piecing together the roster for Team North America, which will participate in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
Chiarelli and Bowman will draw from both Canada and the United States, selecting players under the age of 23 (as of October 1, 2016).
In his scouting so far involving the eligible pool of players, Chiarelli says he sees “a lot of variance” with the youth.
The variance allows some players who may not have been seen on the original list to jump into the fray, while some may drop off.
“These guys, they bubble up but then they can bubble down too. It would be nice if we could delay to the very last minute with our team, but we can’t,” said Chiarelli.
Team North America will try to wait as long as they can, however. The Oilers president of hockey operations and general manager says he expects the management team to take up until the March 1 deadline to pick the first 16 and then up until June 1 to name the rest of the roster (total of 20 skaters and three goalies).
Chiarelli was asked if there is more risk for Team North America given the age of the players, to lock in 16.
“There’s a bit of a risk,” said Chiarelli. “I think we’ve got a pretty good idea of the locks and who those 16 are. I think we will have a very good idea at that point. There’s always a risk. I think if you look back on these teams, with the selection base, there are guys who should be on it or who shouldn’t be on it when you look back. I’m sure that will be the case too.”
- BLOG: Thursday practice updates
- Gazdic likely in, Hendricks a question says coach
- McLellan on reuniting Hall-Draisaitl-RNH
- Eberle getting up to speed
- PRACTICE | Tuesday in Anaheim
- PRACTICE RAW | Andrej Sekera
- PRACTICE RAW | Mark Letestu
- PRACTICE RAW | Todd McLellan