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INSIDE THE OILERS
POSTED ON Friday, 08.11.2013 / 9:23 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

AUDIO: Oilers GM Craig MacTavish | VIDEO: Bryzgalov Highlight Reel
BLOGS: MacT comments | Smid comments | Brossoit excited | Bryzgalov | Pair acquired

Ladislav Smid has patrolled the blue line in an Oilers sweater since the 2006-2007 season. He is every bit an Edmonton Oiler.

That's why it came as a shock to the defenceman when he was told he had been traded to the team's cross-provincial rivals, the Calgary Flames.

"Obviously there's mixed feelings," Smid said in a phone interview. "I just learned about an hour ago and at first I was in shock. But I had a good talk with (Craig MacTavish) and Jay Feaster and it sounds like Calgary was excited to get me and I'm also excited. I can see that Calgary is doing good and they're always working hard. I'm just excited to join their team and make them a bit better."

Smid, 27, and goaltender Olivier Roy were traded by the Oilers to the Flames in exchange for two young prospects in Roman Horak and goaltender Laurent Brossoit. He holds no hard feelings towards the organization but understands that he will miss the city of Edmonton almost as much as his teammates.

"It's hard. This was my eighth year with the Oilers and I've made a lot of friends on our team and it's hard to say bye. It's not just the team I'm going to be sad about, it's also the city. I have a lot of friends there and my wife is from there and her family is from there. I know Calgary is not very far but it's kind of weird. I've never been through this during the season and it's a weird feeling but I am really excited to be a part of the Calgary Flames now."

Smid is now heading towards the opposite end of a rivalry dubbed, 'The Battle of Alberta'. He laughed when asked how that will be to suit up against his former team in such a heated match.

"It's weird. You look at the Battle of Alberta and there's hatred for the other team but now I'm on the other side. I guess I have to change my mindset and now I am part of the Calgary Flames so I am going to enjoy the Battle of Alberta. It's always fun, the fans are always into it and now I'm with Calgary. Hopefully we can win as many Battle of Albertas as we can."

The blueliner says that over the course of his career in Edmonton, including 457 career games and 63 points (10-53-63), he has made his fair share of memories but none stand out above the rest.

"There are so many memories like my first game or my first goal and a lot of meaningful games for the Oilers. I couldn't pick one. It's been a great joy to be a part of the Oilers. It's been a fun ride, a lot of fun. I've got a lot of good memories and a lot of friendships. Hopefully I can keep a few of them. I couldn't pick just one memory."

He leaves Edmonton with this message to the fans and the team:

"I appreciate all of the support of the fans, they were incredible and some of the best fans in the NHL. It's for sure a top class organization in the NHL. They supported me throughout my career, they brought me up from when I was 20-years old and they gave me an opportunity in the NHL. I really appreciate that and will never forget it."

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POSTED ON Friday, 08.11.2013 / 9:21 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

AUDIO: Oilers GM Craig MacTavish | VIDEO: Bryzgalov Highlight Reel
BLOGS: MacT comments | Smid comments | Brossoit excited | Bryzgalov | Pair acquired

The Oilers acquired goaltender Laurent Brossoit in a trade tonight and the former Edmonton Oil Kings backstop is excited to return to familiar territory.

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POSTED ON Friday, 08.11.2013 / 7:30 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

AUDIO: Oilers GM Craig MacTavish | VIDEO: Bryzgalov Highlight Reel
BLOGS: MacT comments | Smid comments | Brossoit excited | Bryzgalov | Pair acquired

The Edmonton Oilers have reached a verbal agreement in place with goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov on a one-year contract. The agreement is pending the completion of the Oilers and Flames trade from earlier this evening.

The backstop won the 2007 Stanley Cup with Anaheim and earned a Bronze Medal in the 2002 Winter Olympics with Team Russia.

He has played in 425 NHL games, with a win-loss record of 208-149-45. He has a career NHL goals against average of 2.55 and a save percentage of .913. The goaltender has 30 career NHL shutouts.

In the playoffs, Bryzgalov has posted a record of 17-19 and has three post-season shutouts and a goals against of 2.81 and save percentage of .908.

The Togliatti, Russia native was selected in round two, 44th overall, in 2000 by Anaheim.

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POSTED ON Friday, 08.11.2013 / 7:20 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

AUDIO: Oilers GM Craig MacTavish | VIDEO: Bryzgalov Highlight Reel
BLOGS: MacT comments | Smid comments | Brossoit excited | Bryzgalov | Pair acquired

The Edmonton Oilers have traded defenceman Ladislav Smid and goaltender Olivier Roy to the Calgary Flames for goaltender Laurent Brossoit and forward Roman Horak.

Brossoit is a 20-year-old prospect who played his junior hockey with the Edmonton Oil Kings in the WHL. The net minder played in 49 games in 2012-13 for the Oil Kings, posting a 2.25 goals against and a .917 save percentage.

He has played in three games for the Flames' ECHL affiliate this season, posting two shutouts and making 40 saves with a perfect goals against of 0.00 and save percentage of 1.000. He has also played in two games in the American Hockey League for the Abbotsford Heat, with a 5.72 goals against average and .824 save percentage.

He was drafted in the sixth round, 164th overall, in 2011.

Horak was originally drafted in the fifth young, 127th overall, in 2009 by the New York Rangers. The centre has played 13 games in the AHL this season, scoring seven points (2-5-7).

In 82 NHL games, the 22-year-old has tallied 18 points (5-13-18).

Smid has served on the Oilers blue line since the 2006-2007 season. He has played in 457 games for the Oilers, scoring ten goals and adding 53 assists. He was the former 9th overall pick in 2004 by Anaheim.

Roy has served time in the past few seasons for the Oilers minor league affiliates.

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POSTED ON Friday, 08.11.2013 / 3:28 PM
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers
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POSTED ON Friday, 08.11.2013 / 3:25 PM
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers
The Oilers practiced on Friday at Penn University in Philadelphia.

Lines (based on jersey colour):

Perron-RNH-Eberle (dark blue)
Hemsky-Hall-Gagner (light blue)
Joensuu-Acton/Gordon-Arcobello (black)
Gazdic-Smyth-Yakupov/Jones (white)

Defencemen (orange): Petry, Belov, Smid, Ference, N.Schultz, Larsen, Fedun

Justin Schultz skated on his own prior to practice.

There were two lines which had four players on it. Gazdic, Smyth, Jones and Yakupov were wearing white jerseys and Acton, Joensuu, Gordon and Arcobello were wearing black.

Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins said that we shouldn't read too much into the lines.

"I’m undecided because I don’t know if Joensuu or Perron are going to play. I was concerned with getting those guys on a line and we might have to reshuffle the deck quickly in the morning if those guys can’t play," stated Eakins.  

The head coach also said that there wasn't much to having Yakupov on the fourth line with three others.

"I wouldn’t read anything into that."
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POSTED ON Friday, 08.11.2013 / 3:20 PM
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers assigned forwards Ben Eager and Linus Omark to Oklahoma City this morning. Eakins stressed that the moves were mainly as a result of the team getting forwards back and healthy.

“Those moves today were strictly numbers. We had to clear roster spots for guys potentially coming back in,” Eakins began. “First, Ben Eager went down with a great frame of mind. He went down and played well. He was named as part of the captains in Oklahoma City which says volumes to me.”

Eager played seven games and had one assist in his time with the big club.

“He came up and played solid for us. I have no reservations about having Ben Eager in our lineup. The problem is, we have an influx of forwards right now and we have to sort that out. We can only carry so many players.”

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POSTED ON Friday, 08.11.2013 / 2:56 PM
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

David Perron joined the Oilers for practice at PENN University in Philadelphia on Friday. He skated on a line with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle but it’s not yet known whether he will play.

“We'll see how he is. Joensuu is in the same boat. I put them on lines today being hopeful that they'll be able to,” said Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins after practice.

Joensuu skated with Mark Arcobello and Boyd Gordon (with Will Acton subbing in at centre as well).

“I’m feeling better. Worked hard for a few days there in Sherwood Park,” said Perron. “We'll see how it goes later today and make a decision for tomorrow.”

Perron has missed his last four games. After initially missing the team’s game against Toronto with an illness, a neck injury got aggravated and he has been out for the past three as a result of that.

Joensuu has missed 10 games in a row with a back injury. He initially tried to come back from the injury early and ended up out of the lineup again. It has been frustrating for the Finnish winger.

“It's tough any time you get hurt. It's one of the most annoying and toughest things in hockey,” Joensuu began. “Me and the trainers have been working on (getting 100%). I don't know if it's tomorrow but if it's tomorrow I'm pretty excited.”

Regarding Anton Belov, Eakins said the blueliner was also close.

"We have to see how his knee is feeling in the morning and the call will be made on that one (at that time)."

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POSTED ON Friday, 08.11.2013 / 12:01 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers have assigned forwards Ben Eager and Linus Omark to the AHL's Oklahoma City Barons, the team announced today.

Omark played one game on his call up to the Oilers, and finished last night's contest with no points in 9:04 of ice time.

Eager has played in seven games for the Oilers this season, with one assist.

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POSTED ON Thursday, 07.11.2013 / 8:41 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Oilers forward David Perron has traveled to Philadelphia to meet the team tomorrow at practice.

Perron has missed four games due to pain in his neck.

The winger is fourth on the team in scoring with nine points (2-7-9) through 13 games.

The Oilers play the Flyers in Philadelphia on Saturday at 11 a.m. MT.

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INSIDE THE OILERS