Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins is returning for his second season at the helm and his players are grateful for the consistency.
“That’s a really nice way to go into the year,” Taylor Hall said. “Like I said at the end of the year, there is no awkward handshake at the start.”
Without having to start over, the Oilers have the opportunity to just hit the ground running.
“It’s a business-like attitude and let’s get this thing going. Dallas feels very comfortable in that way and I think all of us players, over the course of 82 games last year, got to know what Dallas expects from us. Now we can hit the ground running at camp.”
The odds of winning the first overall selection in the NHL Draft for the 14 non-playoff teams will be adjusted “to more appropriately reflect the current state of competitive balance in the league.”
This means the 10 highest-finishing non-playoff teams will receive higher lottery odds than before and the four lowest finishing teams will receive lower odds.
The following is the revised list of odds:
(Fewest Pts. to Most) New Draft Lottery Odds Odds Under Former Allocation
1 20.0% 25.0%
2 13.5% 18.8%
3 11.5% 14.2%
4 9.5% 10.7%
5 8.5% 8.1%
6 7.5% 6.2%
7 6.5% 4.7%
8 6.0% 3.6%
9 5.0% 2.7%
10 3.5% 2.1%
11 3.0% 1.5%
12 2.5% 1.1%
13 2.0% 0.8%
14 1.0% 0.5%
Wayne Gretzky is familiar with NHL fans everywhere. But it is Edmonton where the fans are different from the rest.
Gretzky said the difference between Edmonton fans and other NHL fans is that the Oilers group made the players of the 1984 Stanley Cup Championship team feel very welcome.
“The difference with fans in Edmonton is you feel like you know the fans and they’re your friends,” Gretzky said via Skype at a press conference on Tuesday.
Gretzky says that seeing the people of Edmonton and all of their old friends is something the ’84 players are looking forward to the most with their reunion on October 10.
“The fans and the people in Edmonton always made it comfortable for the players.”
Oilers greats Kevin Lowe and Wayne Gretzky spoke to the media and a group of fans on Tuesday as the ’84 team reunion was announced. Both players reminisced about just how unselfish that team was and how it helped them become one of the best teams in NHL history and hoist the cup.
“The season started with Lee Fogolin unselfishly giving up the captaincy for Wayne,” Lowe said. “It was really the beginning of an unselfish year for the team.”
“All the records and all of the personal accolades didn’t matter to anyone, particularly those players. It was about winning the Stanley Cup.”
Gretzky said the team rallied, using the lessons learned from their loss to the New York Islanders the year before to eventually defeat the familiar opponent in the ’84 Final.
“It’s a really special group,” Gretzky said. “We beat a really great hockey club, a dynasty team that taught us how to win from the previous year.”
“When anyone scored, we all felt like we all scored. We were such and unselfish group.”
The Oilers announced on Tuesday that the entire 1984 Stanley Cup Champion team will be in Edmonton on October 10, for a reunion in support of the Stollery Children’s Hospital.
“This will be the first time that the group has been together in Edmonton since hoisting that cup in 1984.” Oilers Vice President of Communications Tim Shipton said.
The Oilers are welcoming fans to purchase tickets and enjoy, “a magical evening of story telling and laughs.”
It was a magical season and a team unlike any other. Those players on the roster are hoping to relive that magic with the fans that supported them so well throughout their cup run.
"The entire city played a part in making us champions. It’s only fitting we invite fans back to where the magic happened." Kevin Lowe.”
The entire roster of the 1984 Stanley Cup Champion Edmonton Oilers will be in town on October 10, for a reunion benefiting the Stollery Children’s Hospital. Gretzky addressed the media and a group of fans at the announcement press conference on Tuesday.
Gretzky said that it is his hope that the players from their championship team have some impact on the current Oilers, who open their season at home on October 9, against the Calgary Flames.
“Hopefully this will be a rub off on the new team with us being there for the home opener and having the excitement of the fans,” Gretzky said.
The 1984 Oilers created a legacy that has lasted in the city of Edmonton and the NHL for years.
“Hopefully we can pass that legacy onto the new players.”
Oilers winger Nail Yakupov is one of the many pros taking part in the Perry Pearn 3 vs. 3 Hockey Camp. Now a few weeks into training here in Edmonton, Yakupov says he is feeling refreshed and ready for training camp.
After making his way to Edmonton from Russia, Yakupov has had the opportunity to work out with the Oilers trainers and skate with teammates and prospects.
“I’m refreshed and just waiting for the season. I’m having a pretty good time here and just having fun this summer. There are a lot of things to do here before the season, especially when you’re waiting for training camp,” he said.
Travis Ewanyk and Yakupov were the Oilers representatives at the hockey camp on Monday, though more current players and prospects are expected to participate later this week.
Oilers winger Nail Yakupov was on the ice at the Perry Pearn 3 vs. 3 Hockey Camp on Monday. When asked what area of his game or fitness Yakupov focused on this summer, the 20-year-old said there wasn’t just one.
“Just kind of everything,” he said. “I can’t say I have one spot where I should work on. But I am trying to get bigger, be stronger, be faster and get some conditioning going and at the same time work on my hands, my shot and everything. It’s all together.”
After dealing with some adversity and injuries last season, Yakupov is looking to bounce back to his rookie-season form when he scored 17 goals and 31 points in 48 games.
The NHL Scouting Combine will be held at the First Niagara Center and HarborCenter in Buffalo, NY for the next two years.
The event gathers around 100 of the top NHL draft prospects in one place for interviews with teams as well as medical and physical testing. HarborCenter is set to open in the fall. It houses two full-size NHL rinks.
The Scouting Combine had been held in Toronto since 1999.
Edmontonoilers.com and Oilers TV will continue to provide exclusive and in-depth coverage of the annual event.
With the additions made by the Oilers through free agency and trades, there is some more optimism in advance of the 2014-15 season. That optimism is felt by Jordan Eberle, who attended the Oilers Hockey School presented by Rogers on Tuesday in Leduc.
“We’ve added some great pieces with Teddy Purcell, Benoit Pouliot, Mark Fayne, Nikita Nikitin and Keith Aulie,” Eberle said. “I like it and I think the thing that sticks out to me is the size that we’ve added, especially on the backend. Those guys are all 6-3 and above and obviously there’s some bigger skilled guys up front. I think anytime you get into August you start getting a little antsy to get back to training camp and that’s how I feel right now. Especially with the additions we’ve added I think you have no reason not to go into the season with positivity.”
It wasn’t only skill the Oilers added but size and maybe more importantly NHL experience.
“I think that’s huge,” Eberle said. “I think you’ve got guys who know how to win and have been there… and I think we all want to play here too. I look forward to this year too.”