This week in Oil Country the Oilers set off on a road trip, so what a great time for news of the proposed arena project to be released. According to a phone survey by the city of Edmonton, the majority of Edmontonians are in favour of a new downtown arena complex. I know that this is a hot topic for some, so I don't want to turn this into a argument. I will still say that I am very pleased to read that so many are in support. Can you just imagine how cool the Oilers museum that would be a part of this complex would be? It would be like an Oilers specific Hall of Fame and then some.
Andrew Cogliano's face is for the most part healing, but that lip of his is not. Cogliano has a cyst in his mouth due to the trauma his face has suffered since November 9th in North Carolina and Joni Pitkanen's high stick. Cogliano has had a surgery already to work on this issue, but needs further invasive work. This has not stopped the man though; Cogliano has not missed a game in a while. In fact, Cogliano has now played 288 straight Oilers games.
The Oilers were in Dallas on Tuesday night and it was another disappointing loss for Oilers fans, despite Taylor Hall seeing his first shifts in the Hall at centre experiment. Thursday night was a glorious victory against the San Jose Sharks. Hall was still playing Centre, Devan Dubnyk had an excellent showing in net and Ales Hemsky left the rink with 4 assists. Hopefully that win showed play that we as Oilers fans will see more of in the future.
On the injury front Shawn Horcoff has been skating, no date has been released for his return. Ryan Whitney, Gilbert Brule, Jordan Eberle and Jim Vandermeer are all out with ankle or knee issues and are not expected to return in the immediate future. Eberle was mentioned to be out for another week. I realize that as soon as I say something like that, one of them is likely to dress for tonight's game versus the Los Angeles Kings. Vandermeer is listed as day to day.
The NHL All-Star roster was announced this week with Ales Hemsky to represent the Edmonton Oilers. For the rookies who will play in the All-Stars Competition Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle were selected. The NHL All-Star weekend takes place in Raleigh, North Carolina January 29th and 30th.
Former Oilers goalie Andy Moog suffered a heart attack while at the gym doing a cardio workout we learned this week. Moog, 50, is recovering well at home.
The Edmonton Oil Kings played Hockey Hooky on Wednesday morning. What is this? Why, only the greatest sounding thing ever. I wish that this was something I could have participated in when I was in junior high school. Rexall place was turned into a giant classroom for students from all over Oil Country as according to the Oil Kings website the students "will get a unique educational lesson tailored to the game of hockey." In fact the students had worksheets that and "The educational component will feature curriculum connections to Social Studies, Language Arts, Math, Art, Music and Health." Still sounds like a lot more fun than staring out the window waiting for a school bell. Unfortunately the Oil Kings lost to the Kootenay Ice by a score of 5-2.
Friday, the Oil Kings played the Regina Pats, in Regina. This means that the Oil Kings have themselves a season sweep of the Regina Pats. The Oil Kings came out with a 4-1 much needed victory. Tonight, the team is in Brandon Manitoba and looking for another win.
Next week, Friday January 21st is 70s night featuring the Hanson Brother's from Slap Shot. If you needed another reason to take in some good local hockey I think you just got it. Tickets are affordable for you to take the whole family. Hopefully I'll see you there. The Oil Kings are also having a Facebook contest for tickets to the game and a VIP package for 2 for a meet and great with the Hanson Brothers themselves.
In NHL news, more guardians have been announced as we get closer to the NHL All-Star weekend. We did learn that there are four teams that will not have a player representing the team for the weekend, as the roster was released. Those teams are New York Islanders, Florida Panthers, Phoenix Coyotes and Buffalo Sabres. Each team will be represented at the rookie competition however.
Many sources this week were critical of the NHL's headshot rules and the league's suspensions handed down for various infractions. The thing about the NHL rule book is that it isn't written in stone and doesn't just seem to change all of the time, no it really does change all of the time. I don't expect that we have seen the end of either of these topics.
Toronto Maple Leafs' coach Ron Wilson will be fined for breaking NHL salary cap rules. Wilson posted a $600 bond to his players for the player who scored the game winning goal against the San Jose Sharks. This is not an uncommon occurrence. What is uncommon an the problem resulted from the exchange of money happening on camera. So, this is not exactly a dream season for the Leafs to begin with, and this matter only adds to the frustration felt by the players and fans. This is not how they would like to see their team in the news. I wouldn't be happy to see this happening to the Oilers, but I'm glad that the Oilers have been able to, and hope they continue to be able to do this sort of thing behind closed doors, when the media is pushed from the room.
Here are some blogs you may have missed:
Hockey expert Jeremy Weiss says Oilers need more powerplay penetration - Cult of Hockey Staples
Oilers experiment with Taylor Hall at centre ice, but why not try Paajarvi? - Cult of Hockey Staples
Oilers Improved Draft Grades - Oilers Nation Lowetide
Grading Out - Black Dog Hates Skunks
More Bad News For Hesketh - Coming Down the Pipe Flaming
Other Cases of Bribery in the Maple Leafs Organization - Houses of the Hockey Moldovanyi
How The Playoff Picture Could Be Different This Year - Houses of the Hockey Moldovanyi
Columbus fans put 'money on the board' for Blue Jackets' win - Puck Daddy Wyshynski
Midseason Goats: Biggest disappointments for all 30 NHL teams - Puck Daddy Wyshynski
Bourne Blog: Going to the doctor is different for hockey players - Puck Daddy Bourne
Midseason Most Valuable: The MVPs for all 30 NHL teams - Puck Daddy Wyshynski