Weekend Update: HALLelujah

Zack Stortini made his first and likely only visit to the Saddledome as a member of the Oklahoma City Barons in a special battle of Alberta, AHL style.


The Oilers had a fairly quiet, but winning week. Starting with a win against the hobbling Dallas Stars on Tuesday night, then add to that the second two game winning streak of the season on Thursday against the Montreal Canadiens and lastly ending with the boring, then beyond exciting Saturday Hallerific win against the Atlanta Thrashers. This is the second longest winning streak the Oilers have had this season. Quite the difference from Nikolai Khabibulin's 14 game record setting pointless streak. How long will this winning streak go? It's hard to say, the longest one this season has been 4 games. The next two games are on the road, and in St. Paul, Minnesota and Denver Colorado. The Oilers don't tend to do very well in either city, but let's expect the unexpected shall we?

News broke Saturday morning that AHL exiled Oilers defenceman Sheldon Souray was on re-entry waivers. As most recall, Tambellini was only calling Souray up if he had a deal in play for Souray. In an interview with the Edmonton Sun's Robert Tychkowski, Tambellini said “In speaking to so many mangers over the last few weeks, recognizing how many people are looking for defencemen, this is an opportunity, I think, for some team, and for Sheldon.” So, it sounds as though Tambellini is hoping to move Sheldon before the trade deadline, February 28th. I'm not sure that enough time has passed since Souray's last bout with injury, and the story that New York Rangers said they felt the blue-liner was too slow will only hurt his trade value and his chances of being moved.

Let's have another look at that Taylor Hall hat-trick shall we?

Taylor Chorney was called up to play with the Oilers, but in order for that to happen someone had to go down. Jeff Petry was that someone. Petry has left the last place NHL team and is now playing for an AHL team that is making a push for he playoffs in the Oklahoma City Barons. The Barons had 8 days without a game before playing the Calgary Flames farm team, the Abbotsford Heat in Calgary at the Saddledome. This did give Petry time to get familiar once again with the Barons players, and it must have helped. The Barons and the Heat were tied 1-1 through seemingly most of the game, but came up victorious, beating the Heat 3-1 in what was one of the most exciting battles of Alberta this season. This was a very rare, and special chance for Oilers and Flames fans to see some future stars and even some NHLers that had been sent down for conditioning, due to poor play, or a full roster. 

Edmonton Oilers' netminder Nikolai Khabibulin is seeking a retrial. According to the Edmonton Journal, Khabibulin was never offered a trial by jury, which was within his rights. According to the arresting officer, Khabibulin made comments to the affect that he was going fast because it was a Ferrari. I'm not sure how well that argument will hold up in court, but not being offered a trial by jury sounds serious. There will undoubtedly be more on this story before long.

Oklahoma City Barons' defenceman Bryan Helmer played his 1000th AHL game, at the Heat-Barons game in the Saddledome February 18th. Neal Livingston will likely have much more on this milestone in his Tending the Farm report.

The Oil Kings played the in Swift Current Sunday February 13th, winning 3-2. Friday, the Oil Kings hosted singles night, and the Kamloops Blazers. The Oil Kings lost this bought 3 to 4 in overtime, but attendance was up from recent home games, but there are still a lot of empty seats in Rexall. Saturday night, the Oil Kings were on the road in Lethbridge taking on the Hurricanes. This close battle had to go to a shootout, where sadly the Oil Kings game up short, losing 6-5.

The first of the new Oil Kings has made it to the NHL in Tomas Vincour who made his first return to Rexall Place, as a member of the Dallas Stars. Vincour scored 50 goals and 51 assists in his 147 regular season games with the Oil Kings, this was Oil Kings' fans first chance to see their young star live, since his move up the hockey ladder. It would be hard to cheer for him if you were an Oilers' fan, but who can't wish someone well.

The Oil Kings are still currently in the playoffs at sixth place in the Eastern Conference. There will be playoffs in Edmonton this spring at this rate. 

***

In NHL news, everyone was traded. OK, not quite that bad but there were a lot of players on the move this week. When it was first announced that trade deadline day would not be a Tuesday and that I would be travelling all day on deadline day, I was not very impressed. However, with most of the trades happening in the weeks leading into the deadline, I'm less afraid of missing out on, well, anything. In fact, there were 11 trades this week. I'm going to send you to the Sportsnet trade tacking page or the NHL trade page or the TSN trade page. The bigger trades are likely the Chris Versteeg or the [finally] trade of Thomas Kaberle to the Boston Bruins. 

Mario Lemieux, the same man who's team pays the salary of Matt Cooke, and the Pittsburgh Penguins lead the league in fighting majors on the season felt the NHL didn't go far enough in their discipline against the New York Islanders. Even Don Cherry thought that Lemieux's comments were a little, shall we say off the mark?

Sunday will be the second NHL Heritage Classic. This second game will once again feature the Montreal Canadiens, but as far as I can tell, none of the players currently on the roster played the first game. On the Calgary Flames however, one Steve Staios played the first game and will be on the roster for the second game. 

Saturday was the alumni game, the Canadiens were victorious in this one, winning 5-3 to the likes of The Fleury, Craig Conroy and Lanny McDonald among many others. The jerseys worn by the Alumni looked much better than what will be worn by the Flames Sunday afternoon, but it does get people talking if nothing else.

Here are some blogs you may have missed this week:

Oilers make right call in demoting Petry - Cult of Hockey Staples

Craig Simpson's magical season - Cult of Hockey McCurdy

Pre-Deadline Dealing - Copper & Blue Reynolds

Trading Hemsky Or Penner Would Only Setback The Rebuild - Copper & Blue Batty

Oilers' Deadline Trade Target - Peter Regin - Copper & Blue Zona

Oilers Need To Get Tougher, Enter Kyle Clifford Of LA - BBO's Place

Life's Funny Unless You're The Punchline - Black Dog Hates Skunks

TPS:Game Day from the Worlds Longest Hockey Game - Coming Down the Pipe Millard

VALENTINE'S DAY: PUCKER UP, SUCKERS - Oilers Nation Brownlee

Smid To Nashville? - Houses of the Hockey Willis

How To Cope With Your Favourite Player Being Traded - Houses of the Hockey Moldovanyi

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