Craig MacTavish will be speaking live to the media at 2:00 p.m. MST. You can watch it online at edmontonoilers.com and in the Oilers Mobile App.
UPDATE: The Press Conference is over. You can watch the archive here:
The Edmonton Oilers have traded defenceman Nick Schultz to the Columbus Blue Jackets for a 5th round pick.
Schultz was originally drafted in the 2nd round, 33rd overall, of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft by the Minnesota Wild. Schultz has played three seasons with the Oilers. He played in 60 games this season, finishing with four assists and 24 penalty minutes.
With Schultz gone, the Oilers have just five healthy defencemen on their roster. Philip Larsen cleared waivers this week, Corey Potter was claimed by Boston this morning and Anton Belov is out a couple of weeks with a partially torn oblique.
Shannon Szabados has had a whirlwind couple of weeks that have been full of achievements and fun times for the the Olympic gold medal-winning goaltender.
The Edmonton native and member of the Canadian Women’s Hockey team got a chance to practice with the Oilers this morning, as Viktor Fasth had not yet arrived in town.
There was a twitter campaign yesterday for the Oilers to have Szabados suit up and backup Ben Scrivens against the Ottawa Senators. The team elected to have University of Alberta goaltender Kurtis Mucha on the bench. But after the game, Szabados got a phone call.
“Yesterday was fun,” she said. “I had a little fun on twitter with the fans tweeting me about backing up (Scrivens). Actually, Dallas called me last night after the game and asked me if I had my gear and if I wanted to practice with the guys today.”
Szabados is no stranger to skating with NHL players, but practicing with them in-season was something new.
“It was awesome. I skate with some NHL guys in the summer but obviously, it’s a little different when it’s a team practice in the middle of the season but it’s exciting to be a part of.”
Szabados said she felt very welcome in the locker room and had a great time.
“They’ve been awesome. They brought me right into the room and I’ve skated with a couple of them before. I played with Scrivs in junior, against him, so I knew some of them and with the rest of them, I introduced myself and felt welcome.”
Video: Hemsky | Audio: Hemsky
The Oilers traded longtime winger Ales Hemsky to the Ottawa Senators this morning, for a 5th round pick in 2014 and a 3rd round pick in 2015.
Hemsky played 652 regular season games for the Oilers and scored 477 points (142-335-477), since being taken 13th overall in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. He also scored 17 points (6-11-17) in 30 playoff games.
Hemsky spoke to the media just moments after the team made the trade official and although he expected a move to happen, it was still a strange moment to say goodbye.
“It’s a weird feeling and especially because I’ve been here for so long,” Hemsky said. “I have a lot of great memories and it comes to the end. It’s a weird feeling, but I’m excited for the new challenge and play different hockey.”
He continued, “It’s just a mix of feelings. It’s hard to leave from here because I’ve been here for so long and I was comfortable here. I knew the city and the team and everything. It’s the only team I’ve been playing for so it’s kind of weird. Like I said, I’m ready for the challenge.”
For Hemsky, it was just time to move on. The winger said he was looking for a new challenge and hoped to move on to a team that’s competing for a playoff spot.
“It’s not about the city or the team. I really like the city, I love the guys over here and I like the organization and it’s just more personal. I need a change and it’s a good challenge for me. I’ve been here for so long, in this situation, so I’m happy for the challenge.”
When asked about the legacy that he wished to leave behind in Edmonton, Hemsky said he didn’t know how the fans would choose to remember him but he hoped it was as a hard worker who gave the team his all.
“I don’t know, you’ve got to ask them how they’ll remember me,” he said. “I’ve been here for 12 years and I think I tried with everything I could to help the organization and, like I said, I really appreciate what the people in the city have done for me. Everybody treated me nice and I met so many great people here and I pretty much grew up here and I can’t appreciate enough, the city of Edmonton and this organization.”
Hemsky went out in epic fashion, playing in his final game as an Oiler last night and scoring two goals in a win over the team he’d eventually be traded to. The fans began to chant his name as he was named the game’s first star.
“It was nice. It worked out pretty well, the last game, to have it like that and to hear the people like that. I talked to a lot of people and like I said, they treated me very well and I have a lot of respect for the city.”
Hemsky can now ride off to face a new challenge with the knowledge that he left his mark on a team and a city.
Video: Hemsky | Audio: Hemsky
The Edmonton Oilers announced today they have acquired a 5th round draft selection in 2014 NHL Draft as well as a 3rd round draft selection in the 2015 NHL Draft from the Ottawa Senators, in exchange for winger Ales Hemsky.
Hemsky, 30, has recorded 477 points (142G, 335A) in 652 career NHL games. The Pardubice, Czech Republic native also registered 17 points (6G, 11A) in 30 career playoff games with the Oilers.
We streamed Hemsky's interview with the media live. Watch the archive right here:
Fasth is scheduled to arrive in Edmonton this afternoon and Shannon Szabados is skating as the second goalie in practice.
The Edmonton Oilers placed defenceman Corey Potter on waivers yesterday and this morning, news came down that the Boston Bruins have claimed him.
#NHLBruins claim defenceman Corey Potter off waivers.— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) March 5, 2014
Potter played 16 games for the Oilers this season, recording five assists and 21 penalty minutes.
The Edmonton Oilers announced today that newly acquired goaltender Viktor Fasth will wear number 35.
Newly-acquired goalie Viktor Fasth will wear #35 with the #Oilers.— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) March 5, 2014
With newly acquired goaltender Viktor Fasth not scheduled to arrive until later today, the Oilers will suit up a special visitor as their second goalie for practice at Rexall Place today.
Canada's Olympic women's gold medal goalie Shannon Szabados will practice with the team this morning.
Szabados is an Edmonton native and was the first female to play in several leagues, including the WHL and the AJHL.
Szabados has two Olympic gold medals after winning in Vancouver in 2010 and in Sochi, Russia in February.
24-year-old Sherwood Park native Kurtis Mucha was having just a regular day when he got a call that would change his plans for tonight.
Little did Mucha know that the Edmonton Oilers would soon trade goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov to the Minnesota Wild for a 4th round pick, giving the team a need for an emergency backup for their game against the Ottawa Senators.
Mucha, the goaltender for the University of Alberta Golden Bears, would be that guy.
“It was just a normal day for me,” Mucha said. “I actually had a dentist appointment at 8:30 and went to class at 11. That’s when I got the call from Ian Herbers, my coach there, and he said the Oilers had stuff in the works and if a trade happened, I was probably going to get to back up. Lo and behold, I ended up getting on the bench there so it was pretty cool.”
Mucha is no stranger to ‘getting the call’. The Boston Bruins needed an extra goalie for practice during their trip to Edmonton earlier this season and called upon the young netminder for help. However, putting on the orange and blue and sitting on the bench during an NHL game was something special.
“Really special,” Mucha said. “I just kind of, soaked it all in. These guys got a game to win so you just kind of stay out of their way and not to get to be too much of a distraction and let them do their job. But I tried to interact with them as well and kind of help on the bench and keep them alert and stuff like that.”
Having taken shots from the Bruins before, the warmup skate didn’t quite phase him, however it was the end of the game where things set in for Mucha.
“Just at the end of the game, when everybody in the crowd is cheering in a full barn of 17,000 people, or whatever it is, it’s pretty surreal to kind of look around and just take it all in. It was pretty cool.”
Head Coach Dallas Eakins says the team welcomed Mucha with open arms and helped make it a special day for him.
“I welcomed him,” Eakins said. “I said, don’t be shy in the dressing room and use all parts of it. When you get somebody in the room like that, they just go sit in their stall. They don’t move very far. They’re usually very intimidated but we’ve got good guys in our room and they welcomed him with open arms. I didn’t go out for warmup but I’m sure he had the butterflies going in that net for sure.”