The lines at today’s morning skate give us a hint as to who may be playing where, tonight vs. the New York Rangers. Here is a rundown of who was skating with who.
The first three lines to appear at practice, per Bob Stauffer, are:
We’ll have more updates as the day goes on.
The Edmonton Oilers have placed forward Linus Omark on waivers for the purpose of assignment to the Oklahoma City Barons.
Omark was signed to a one-year contract on August 27.
The forward has played in three games for the Oilers this pre-season and has recorded one point and three shots on net.
21 year-old forward Tyler Pitlick will just not go away. That's a good thing.
Pitlick, drafted 31st overall in 2010, is now in the final year of his entry-level contract and is battling to show the Oilers that he belongs in the NHL and with the club.
Head Coach Dallas Eakins has been ready, waiting with his fingers on the button, to send Pitlick down to the American Hockey League but perhaps that's a bit premature.
The Oilers forward has done nothing but earn more playtime in the pre-season for Edmonton with physical play, scoring opportunities and success on the ice.
"I keep trying to send him down and he keeps playing like that," said Eakins. "Every time I turned around he was running into somebody. I don't know how many hits they credited him for but I think he had probably ten."
Pitlick had six recorded hits on the stat sheet but he also chipped in an assist, two shots and a blocked shot for the Oilers.
"I felt good," said Pitlick. "I had lots of hits and was skating well. I had a few shots and a couple of opportunities where I thought I almost scored… I felt really comfortable out there tonight."
He has been trying to settle down all training camp and now, with a couple of games under his belt, he is finally comfortable with the NHL pre-season game speed.
"I think the nerves have been with me a little bit throughout camp but tonight… I just had to go out there and play because there could be no tomorrow. I could get sent down, but I had a good game."
Pitlick isn't going anywhere yet.
"I grabbed him after the second period and asked him if he wanted to play in the NHL because if he keeps playing like that, it won't be too long until he is," said Eakins. "He needs to keep the fire lit and he bought himself another game tomorrow."
Development from Pitlick is nothing but good news for the Oilers as they continue to look to solidify their depth at every position.
Will Acton is locked in a battle for a centre spot on the Oilers roster and tonight he took a step forward into earning a place.
"I thought Will had a much better game," said Head Coach Dallas Eakins. "A little nastier, which we need from him. He's still battling on those face offs. He's taken great strides in the last couple of years but this is a different level to win those draws."
Acton's confidence when it comes to face-offs has been a strong point for the forward thus far. He won 64% of his draws tonight.
"The thing I like about him is that he fully expects and he is committed to winning every one of them. There's going to be nights when he doesn't, but when he loses them… he takes it personally."
Acton has scored in two-straight pre-season game after tonight's goal and his empty-netter on Saturday.
Tonight's score came on a deflected puck in the slot.
"I just tried to stick to the basics and execute our game plan," said Acton. "I got fortunate with the tip that went in and it's more of a compliment to everyone else who ran their routes and put me in that situation and fortunately it went in."
After a morning in which Eakins described Acton's play as just 'okay', the centre earned points with his performance tonight.
"He was one of the guys that needed to have a good game and he did."
Oilers centre Sam Gagner suffered a broken jaw on Saturday night in a pre-season game against Vancouver.
The forward tweeted a message to the fans including a photo of the aftermath of the high-stick to his face. See below, but I warn you... viewer discretion is advised. Ouch.
The NHL has announced that two suspensions have been levied against the Vancouver Canucks as a result of their 5-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.
On Saturday night, Canucks Zack Kassian was assessed a double minor for a high-stick on Sam Gagner. The play resulted in Gagner breaking his jaw and losing teeth. He will undergo surgery tomorrow.
Kassian has been suspended for the remainder of the pre-season and five regular season games.
Dale Weise delivered a check to the head of Oilers forward Taylor Hall.
The hit will cost Weise a three pre-season game suspension.
The Oilers claim that one of the reasons that they went out and claimed Steve MacIntyre off of waivers was because of what transpired in their pre-season game against the Vancouver Canucks. Vancouver's Zack Kassian caught Sam Gagner in the face with a high-stick, resulting in a broken jaw.
MacIntyre will be one of the Oilers players who will answer the bell when it comes time to protect the young stars on the roster. Kassian had some harsh words to say about the Oilers pick up.
"Perfect," Kassian told the media. "I don't think he can skate, that's the last thing on our mind."
The Oilers and the Canucks play each other five times this season. The first of which is on Saturday October 5.
Steve MacIntyre on Oilers Now | Craig MacTavish talks to the media
MacIntyre was brought in as a deterrent and protection for the young stars on Edmonton's roster.
"Watching the Leafs-Buffalo game last night and what happened to us against Vancouver it shouldn't come as a surprise to anybody that we'd gain some toughness or pick up some toughness," MacTavish. "We've talked about it pretty extensively in the past three or four months. We know the player, we know what he's capable of and we think there was a need here and that's why we picked him up."
When asked if MacIntyre will make an impact right away, MacTavish had this to say:
"I think he's going to make an impact.
"I think you need the deterrent especially with our team. That was further evidenced against Vancouver. They didn't have their most complete lineup so I'm not naive enough to think that their lineup is not going to change but it's a weapon that we didn't have. Now that we have it, we're thankful of that."
MacIntyre was a guest on Oilers Now with Bob Stauffer on 630 CHED this morning and was elated to join the Oilers again, having played with them in the past.
"I haven't talked with (the Oilers head coach) yet," MacIntyre told Stauffer. "I assume my role hasn't changed. I'm not trying to re-invent the wheel. I've been following along the story lines that have been happening there in Edmonton with Vancouver. I've been interested in the whole changing of the guard there with the new coaching staff and I've been an Oilers fan since the time I was little even when I was playing with other teams. I follow them and I'm looking forward to coming in and doing what I can to help win."
MacIntyre understands his role with the Oilers and is ready to fill that void as the new weapon for Edmonton.
"You know as well as I do what my job and my role is to do. It's to take care of those young fellas and the rising stars of the Edmonton Oilers and that's going to be a challenge for me and one I am gratefully accepting."
MacTavish said that the team had been looking for some toughness for quite some time.
"It shouldn't really come as a surprise to anyone that we've picked up some size and toughness. There was a need," he began. "Watching the Buffalo-Leafs game last night and after what happened to us with Vancouver (the Oilers needed a deterrent)."
The GM added that he expects MacIntyre to play five to six minutes a game.
"We know the type of player he is and the type of person he is. We think he's going to fit in well."
Regarding Gagner, MacTavish said that a plate or two will be inserted to repair the broken jaw. There is no current timeline on the centre's return.
Watch some highlights from MacIntyre's first stint with the Oilers
The Edmonton Oilers have claimed Steve MacIntryre off of waivers.
MacIntyre is a ten year veteran out of Brock, Saskatchewan. The six-foot-five, 250 pound winger has played in 91 NHL games, scoring four points (2-2-4) and tallying 175 penalty minutes.
The forward most recently played with the Pittsburgh Penguins American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
MacIntyre played for the Oilers from 2008-2010 and again in 2010-2011.