Welcome to your weekend Oil Country. As I have been working my part time, hockey for fun job this week, the news will be slightly less in depth than usual. Okay, I will be giving you really just the basics this week. Don't quit on me, I'll be back to my regular life soon and not on vacation any more. You really should give me huge points for writing this for you while I am on my working vacation. Right? Yes.
The Oilers' played two division rivals this week, and with completely different results. 15 games at Xcel Energy Centre, and 15 losses. I didn't find the game as horrible as you must have at home, the fans in Minnesota are great! No, the loss was not good, but maybe it's just that I've become too desensitized. it could also be due to the fact that it's not even March and it is beyond apparent that the Oilers will not be in the playoffs this year. Thursday night was a big win in Denver against the Avalanche. The rookies were on fire and and making the Avs' fans jealous. Going into the game I couldn't believe how many fans were sure the Oilers would win; it seems many Avs fans have given up on their team. There are also many there that will cheer for anyone but their local team. So, it's hard to say, because there were also plenty of fans who believed this would be an easy 2 points. This win was a nice treat for Oilers' fans, but does nothing else than make things interesting for other western teams. Friday night, the Oilers hosted the St. Louis Blues and with disastrous results so I hear. I didn't even see this game, and only read on twitter something about a Jason Strudwick fight. I was too busy watching the Barons win in Oklahoma City, but I will be watching the highlights. Don't feel bad for me, the Barons beat the visiting San Antonio Rampage and Zack Stortini scored me a goal! Oh wait, you weren't feeling badly for me, missing out on a 5-0 game were you?
Oilers' netminder Nikolai Khabibulin was once again placed on the IR, this time due to an eye injury, he took an ice chip in his eye Monday at practise. Martin Gerber who has been playing for the Oklahoma City Barons received the call on Friday to play for the Oilers. Bruce McCurdy and I were able to speak to Gerber last week when he was in Calgary playing the Abbotsford Heat. Gerber did not skirt around the issues, and said that he would like to be in the NHL. How long Gerber remains up will be the interesting thing. The Barons are fighting to make the playoffs in their inaugural year and Oilers' fans would surely love some playoff hockey to cheer for.
Shocking likely none of you, Sheldon Souray passed through waivers last weekend, and has yet to be traded. So it seems, Sheldon Souray, still an Oiler. Maybe Tambellini has a trade in the works, maybe this is an opportunity to show Souray how far his stocks have fallen or maybe there is yet another possibility. At this moment however, if the Oilers are willing to lose Souray for nothing, and pay half of his salary if someone took him off of re-entry waivers, the Oilers are likely looking to buy him out this summer.
I know you like hockey, but do you also like food? The Edmonton Oil Kings are hosting a special promotion this Saturday night (February 26th) at Rexall Place. That's right all concessions will be 50% off (excluding alcohol) as a throwback to the 80s. The Oil Kings are still pushing to strengthen their playoff position and can use your support Edmonton. The Oil Kings will also be playing another 3 games at Rexall Place this coming week, Monday night against the Calgary Hitmen, Wednesday against the Lethbridge Hurricanes, and Friday against the Saskatoon Blades and Oilers' prospect Curtis Hamilton.
This week, the Oil Kings played the Calgary Hitmen on Wednesday, beating their provincial rivals 8-5. That's right, a glorious win over a Calgary team. Friday night, the Oil Kings played the Lethbridge Hurricanes to less favourable results to another provincial rival losing 6-3. As the two teams meet again on February 26th, there is a chance for retribution.
In NHL news, again, everyone has been traded. Who's left to move this trade deadline day? I know, I know, many people will likely still be on the move. You can recap the moves on TSN's trade centre page or Sportscentre's trade tracker. With the Ottawa Senators also trading Alex Kovalev for a 7th round pick, it seems the Senators truly are having a fire sale before their rebuild. It seems the Oilers may have more competition for the basement after all.
Molson has been named the official beer sponsor of the NHL. This decision affects other beer sponsors of the NHL. Labatt's Brewery, the ones that bring fans Budweiser, vow to pursue all legal avenues to be a part of the NHL and NHL fans' experiences.
Ex-Ranger, Ex-Oiler and current Calgary Flame Ales Kotalik has passed through re-entry waivers. Kotalik cannot play for the Abbotsford Heat without passing through waivers once again. Jay Feaster may be looking to trade Kotalik, or perhaps he is looking to shake up his line-ups again.