INSIDE THE OILERS
POSTED ON Monday, 04.4.2016 / 3:01 PM MT
By Meg Tilley - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Two days from now, Oil Country will bid a final farewell to Rexall Place.

As the Oilers prepare to host the Vancouver Canucks, they have been working to regroup from Saturday night’s Battle of Alberta loss and make Wednesday a night to remember.

“It’s something that you’re going to remember for a long time,” said Oilers forward Taylor Hall. “Todd (McLellan) brought it up this morning, Winnipeg was playing their final home game last night and they really brought it, they won 5-1 against a playoff team and their fans were applauding their effort, like they should. That’s what we want to see from our team. It’s incredible what can happen when you play hard in front of these fans, they appreciate it. For us, I think it’s about holding us to a high standard even though we’re not in the playoffs. We owe it to each other.”

Oilers forward Jordan Eberle agrees with his teammate, adding there is a lot of pride in the organization for past and present players and that today’s practice allowed them to regroup for Wednesday.

“Guys are still playing for jobs, they’re playing for pride… they’re playing for a lot of things,” he said. “There should be no reason why that effort shouldn’t come out. We have a chance on Wednesday to feel good about ourselves and to finish well in this rink and give the fans something to cheer about, what they deserve.”

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POSTED ON Monday, 04.4.2016 / 2:25 PM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Todd McLellan was not happy following his team’s 5-0 loss to the Calgary Flames on Saturday night. The frustrating and “embarrassing” effort forced the staff to change tactics on Monday at practice. Instead of focusing on tweaking and teaching, the Oilers skated heavily and participated in high-intensity battle drills.

“Today is a disappointing day, in my opinion, because it was a day that we should have been using to advance our team game, polish things up in certain areas, and it turned into reestablishing a work ethic and holding players accountable for lack of work ethic in a game,” said McLellan. “The staff and the players, we get no enjoyment from that at all. That’s like sitting in front of my two boys at home and disciplining them for their inactions or poor choices. There isn’t a parent in the world who likes doing that, and that wasn’t a fun day. But we had to reestablish that there are some expectations when you put the equipment on to be honest at least.”

The Oilers opened practice with some hard laps around the ice, then participated in a drill where two players skate the length of the ice then shoot the puck. Then, the Oilers wrapped things up with a few battle drills including on where two players fight for the puck and then skate to centre ice, then turn and skate back.

“I was disappointed after reviewing the game again, and obviously the effort and the battle level, but even some of the game management situations,” said the head coach. “1:20 shifts, and then still trying to go on offence and complete disregard for back-checking. The day was spent trying to reestablish boundaries and what is acceptable and what isn’t.”

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POSTED ON Monday, 04.4.2016 / 12:38 PM MT
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POSTED ON Monday, 04.4.2016 / 11:13 AM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers have hit the ice at Rexall Place. Todd McLellan, who promised his team would work hard at practice following a 5-0 loss to Calgary on Saturday, has begun the skate with hard laps around the rink.

The up-tempo practice continued with full-length of the ice skating, followed by some battle drills. Stay tuned for full coverage from Rexall Place.

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POSTED ON Sunday, 04.3.2016 / 3:30 PM MT
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers



The Oilers will host the Vancouver Canucks on April 6 for their final home game in Rexall Place, before moving downtown to Rogers Place in the fall. The post-game farewell ceremony will host more than 100 Oilers alumni in attendance. Each day leading up to that game we are announcing five alumni who are scheduled to attend. Here are today’s five.

Mark Messier is second all-time in NHL history in points with 1,887 behind only Wayne Gretzky and as an Oiler he ranks third behind Gretzky and Jari Kurri with 1,034 points in 851 games. “The Moose” won six Stanley Cups — five in Edmonton — and is the only player to ever captain two different teams to the League’s ultimate prize. Messier won the Conn Smythe trophy as most valuable player in the playoffs in 1984, helping lead the Oilers to their first Stanley Cup.

Rod Phillips called over 3,500 Oilers games in his 37-year career. The number ‘3542’ along with Phillips’ name hangs in the rafters at Rexall Place after he retired as the ‘voice’ of the Edmonton Oilers on May 28th, 2010. Phillips started calling professional games in 1973 in the WHA with the Oilers and then continued with the team in the NHL in 1979. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2003.

Anson Carter was traded to the Oilers from Boston in November 2000 and played three seasons in Edmonton. Carter had 69 goals and 157 points in 211 games as an Oiler. In 12 NHL seasons, Carter had 202 goals and 421 points in 674 games but is perhaps best known for scoring the game-winning goal in overtime at the 2003 IIHF World Championship to give Canada the gold medal.

Boyd Devereaux was drafted by the Oilers in the first round, sixth overall in 1996. He played three seasons with the Oilers, scoring 15 goals and 46 points in 175 games before moving on to the Detroit Red Wings. He went on to play 11 seasons and 627 games, scoring 67 goals and 179 points.

Cory Cross played three seasons with the Oilers from 2002 to 2006 including the best season of his NHL career in 2003-04 when he had seven goals and 21 points in 68 games with a +9 rating. The Lloydmisnter, AB native and University of Alberta grad played 659 career NHL games with 34 goals and 131 points.

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POSTED ON Saturday, 04.2.2016 / 3:30 PM MT
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers



The Oilers will host the Vancouver Canucks on April 6 for their final home game in Rexall Place, before moving downtown to Rogers Place in the fall. The post-game farewell ceremony will host more than 100 Oilers alumni in attendance. Each day leading up to that game we are announcing five alumni who are scheduled to attend. Here are today’s five.

Oilers legend Paul Coffey’s number seven is up in the rafters at Rexall Place for a very good reason. In 532 games as an Oiler, he scored 209 goals and 669 points, including an astounding 48 goals and 138 points in 1985-86. The 48 goals is an NHL record for defencemen in one season and the 138 points is second all-time only behind Bobby Orr’s 139. In fact, Orr and Coffey are the only two defencemen in the list of top-10 seasons by a blueliner with each appearing five times. Coffey won three Stanley Cups with the Oilers, racking up 103 points in 94 playoff games including 37 in 18 games in 1985 — an NHL record which stands to this day. He was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1987 where he won one more Cup in 1991.

Brett Callighen joined the Oilers in 1976-77 and spent three seasons in the WHA and three seasons in the NHL. His best season was 1978-79 when he had 31 goals and 70 points in 71 games playing on a line with Wayne Gretzky and Blair MacDonald. Callighen, who had his career cut short due to an eye injury, had 145 points in 160 career NHL games, all with the Oilers. Over his entire Oilers career he had 290 points and 116 goals in 340 games.

Pat Price was one of the original NHL Oilers, joining the team in 1979-80 after being acquired from the New York Islanders. In Edmonton, the defenceman enjoyed two of the best seasons of his NHL career with a career-high 11 goals in 1979-80 and 32 points in 59 games in 1980-81. In his NHL career, the rough-and-tumble playmaker Price amassed 1456 penalty minutes and 218 assists in 726 games. He also added 43 goals and 12 points in 74 playoff games.

Scott Thornton was acquired by the Oilers in 1991 in a seven-player trade that saw Glenn Anderson, Grant Fuhr and Craig Berube go to Toronto and Thornton, Luke Richardson, Vincent Damphousse and Peter Ing arrive in Edmonton. At 20 years old at the time of the trade, Thornton spent the next five seasons in the Oilers organization. He played 209 games with the Oilers with 53 points before being traded to Montreal in 1996 in exchange for Andrei Kovalenko. Thornton had a successful NHL career with 285 points in 941 games spanning 17 seasons and six teams.

Mathieu Garon is perhaps best known for his improbable success with the Oilers in the shootout in the 2007-08 season. The goaltender stopped 30 of 32 shots to go 10-0 in the shootout, pacing the Oilers to 15 shootout wins that season — an NHL record which still stands today. Garon’s 10 shootout wins in one season is also tied for best all-time in NHL history for one goaltender. He had 26 wins that year with a 2.66 goals-against average. Overall, Garon played 341 career NHL games for six teams with 144 wins and a 2.82 GAA.

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POSTED ON Friday, 04.1.2016 / 4:18 PM MT
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POSTED ON Friday, 04.1.2016 / 4:14 PM MT
By Meg Tilley - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

For a second straight month, and third this season, Oilers forward Connor McDavid has been named the NHL Rookie of the Month.

In March, McDavid led all rookies with 11 assists and 16 points in 15 games, including a seven-game point streak.

“Obviously, he’s had a good month, he’s had a good year so far,” said Oilers forward Jordan Eberle. “I don’t think I can say much to what’s already been said. He’s a dynamic player. When he’s on the ice he create chances, he creates offence and like I said before, it’s scary that he’s only 19 and he’s only going to get better.”

Since returning on February 2, after a broken clavicle sidelined the centre for 12 weeks (37 games), McDavid has made a dynamic return, making up for lost time, and has recorded 45 points in 42 games this season.

“It’s not like he came here a project by any means. He was an exceptional player as soon as he stepped on the ice and put on our jersey,” said Oilers forward Taylor Hall.

“But in saying that, to be able to [produce] month after month and game after game, especially when maybe teams weren’t playing their first d-pairing and their first line against him at the start of the year, they certainly are now every shift. So for him to play at this level it’s been fun to watch and it’s been great to see for the future of our team. Not only that I think he’s grown off the ice just as far as taking on a bigger role. He’s the youngest guy on our team but a lot of guys look up to him.”

Prior to his injury, the first-overall NHL draft pick had received Rookie of the Month for October.

Though the recognition names one individual, McDavid, humbled, sees it more as a nod to his teammates.

“I definitely take a lot of pride in it,” he said. “It’s something that I’m very happy about. It’s mostly a credit to my teammates and everyone around me. Everyone’s been playing pretty well and when everyone does that, personal success goes along with it. Definitely a credit to them.”

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POSTED ON Friday, 04.1.2016 / 3:30 PM MT
By Meg Tilley - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers



The Oilers will host the Vancouver Canucks on April 6 for their final home game in Rexall Place, before moving downtown to Rogers Place in the fall. The post-game farewell ceremony will host more than 100 Oilers alumni in attendance. Each day leading up to that game we are announcing five alumni who are scheduled to attend. Here are today’s five.

In 1982, Ken Linseman was traded to the Hartford Whalers from the Philadelphia Flyers, who in turn shuttled him on to the Oilers on the same day. In Edmonton, Linseman skated on a line with Glenn Anderson and Mark Messier. The trio, forming an effective line, along with the rest of the squad, clicked in a big way, dethroning the New York Islanders as reigning league champs in 1984 to win their first Stanley Cup. In two seasons with the Oilers, “The Rat” scored 51 goals and added 91 assists for 142 points in 144 games, as well as 29 points in 37 playoff games.

Shayne Corson was traded to the Oilers from the Montreal Canadiens in the summer of 1992. He spent three full seasons with Edmonton, filling a large leadership role and eventually becoming the team's captain. His biggest offensive season came in 1993-94, as he recorded 25 goals and 29 assists for 54 points in 64 games.

Doug Hicks made an impressive reputation for himself as an “iron man” early in his NHL career. He was claimed by the Oilers in the 1979 Expansion Draft and played two full seasons with the team before he was traded halfway through the 1981-82 season. In 186 games, Hicks recorded 17 goals and 67 assists for 84 points, and he also played in 12 post-season games.

Bernie Nicholls was known as an explosive scorer who accumulated over 1,200 career points while playing for six NHL teams. He made a dynamic impact early in his NHL career and continued to be a multi-faceted contributor to his teams. Early in the 1991-92 season, Nicholls was acquired by the Oilers from the New York Rangers in exchange for Mark Messier. Although injuries limited his participation to 49 games during his first regular season with Edmonton, he made up for lost time with 19 points in 16 playoff games in the post-season. In 95 Oilers games, Nicholls recorded 28 goals and 61 assists for 89 points.

Kevin Primeau’s first stint as an Oiler came in 1977 when he had a tryout with the team after his high-level amateur hockey career at the University of Alberta was over. He made enough of an impact with the team they he was signed to a free agent contract in March. He played out the remainder of the season with the team, collecting his first professional point, an assist, and played in two more games in the post-season. After moving on from the team, Primeau returned to the Oilers for the 1991-92 NHL season as an assistant coach and remained in that role for six seasons.

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POSTED ON Friday, 04.1.2016 / 12:38 PM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers have hit the ice at Royal Glenora Club and have a pretty full house. Once again, injured players Adam Pardy, Eric Gryba and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins are participating.

Forward lines for first drill are:

Maroon-McDavid-Eberle
Hall-Draisaitl-Yakupov
Korpikoski-Letestu-Kassian
Hendricks-Lander-Cracknell

Nugent-Hopkins rotating in with the dark blue jerseys in top six. Luke Gazdic and Iiro Pakarinen also participating.

Defensive pairings:

Sekera-Fayne
Reinhart-Oesterle
Pardy-Nurse
Clendening-Nikitin

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INSIDE THE OILERS BLOG