This week, the Oilers and their fans continued to wait and hope for Jordan Eberle's return to the line-up. It looked as though Eberle would be ready to play for Tuesday's loss to the LA Kings, but Eberle did not pass Tom Renney's skating test. Coach Renney has a benchmark for his players and perhaps in a very prudent move decided that the results of Eberle's skate test were inconclusive. Ales Hemsky however was ready to return to the line-up. What this of course meant was that there were too many players on the roster. The solution was of course to waive Zack Stortini. In what surprised many Oilers fans, Stortini cleared waivers and was re-assigned to the Oklahoma City Barons. Stortini's first game was Friday night against the Peoria Rivermen. Stortini was pointless in the 2-1 shootout win on the night. Our very own Neal Livingston will give us a better update shortly.
The Edmonton Oilers were also in action on Friday night, in St. Louis Missouri, taking on the Blues. Dustin Penner missed the game due to the flu, much to the disappointment of Derek and likely other Oilers' fans. The Oilers ended up with another loss, making it 3 losses in a row.
Gilbert Brule is still out with a mysterious, unknown ailment that is only known as a viral infection that is causing Brule to exhibit flu like symptoms. Yes, Brule was the Oiler who suffered from the flu at various times last year, yet still managed to finish the year third in terms of scoring. It is very peculiar that there is so little information out on Brule, and Oilers fan @TheTowelBoy tweeted "What's the story with Gilbert Brule? Was he bitten by a monkey?" As strange as it sounds, that is currently the best explanation out there. Of course as soon as Brule returns to the line-up, there will be issues concerning which Oiler will next be waived or returned to Oklahoma.
Andrew Cogliano took the All-Star break as an opportunity to get his fourth root canal and another surgery for his upper lip. According to Jason Gregor, Cogliano needs yet another surgery and will be seeing a plastic surgeon to hopefully once and for all take care of this ailment. It is amazing that through all that Cogliano has endured in terms of trauma to his face and mouth, that he has not missed a game because of it.
Speaking of the All-Star weekend, Taylor Hall did not win the fastest skater competition as many out there were hoping he would. Many people said that they greatly enjoyed the new changes to the All-Star events. I really can't say as I didn't watch any of it. It was partly out of other plans and partly a lack of interest. There of course was the fact that it was in Raleigh North Carolina also. I know that it has been nearly five years, but it's still just too soon.
The annual Oilers autograph session will take place Saturday February 20th at West Edmonton Mall. This is an opportunity for Oilers' fans to have their favourite items signed by their favourite players. The players will seat in groups of two and three at various locations around the mall. Fans will line up hours before the players arrive, but at least it's warm inside.
The Edmonton Oil Kings have begun an American road trip, starting Monday night in Seattle. The Oil Kings were victorious over the Seattle Thunderbirds by a score of 4-2. The road trip continued Wednesday to Kennewick Washington, the home of the Tri-City Americans. The Oil Kings did earn a valuable point, but ultimately lost 4-3 in overtime. Friday night saw the Oil Kings at the Portland Winterhawks and come out with a 4 2 loss. Next week there will be but a single Oil Kings home game on Tuesday February 8th, but it's a game of interest as Martin Marincin and the Prince George Cougars will visist Rexall Place. This night will also be Mac and Cheese night. The Oil Kings are requesting food bank donations and tickets start at just $15. Currently the Oil Kings are on pace to play in the playoffs.
In NHL news, glassman Rick DiPietro is expected to be out 4-6 weeks following the greatest goalie fight of the week on Wednesday February 2nd. All it took was one punch, and DiPietro is out with knee swelling and facial fractures.
Calgary Flames' Craig Conroy has announced his retirement from the NHL. It has long been rumoured that Conroy will be a coach for the Flames, or work with the organization in some other capacity. So, it was of no surprise that Conroy will be a special assistant to acting GM Jay Feaster. Really this is of little to no surprise. Conroy is beloved by Flames' fans throughout Calgary and he was a long time Flame. So much so, that many Flames fans forget that he played for other teams.
Peter Forsberg continues to practise with the Colorado Avalanche and is reportedly closer to deciding what his next step will be. Will Forsberg return to the NHL and should Forsberg return to the NHL might be two entirely different matters, but no one will make the decision but Forsberg himself.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have unveiled their new logo design for next season. Personally, I like it. It's simple and effective. I don't think the away jersey needs to have "Tampa Bay" above the logo, but at least it's not a flaming horse.
As soon as the ink dried from the Buffalo Sabres sale, news broke that the New Jersey Devils may be up for sale as well. The Devils have a brand new arena and have a winning recent history, this current season withstanding obviously. However, reports have also broken that the team is indeed not for sale. In fact the team has issued a statement saying that the team is not for sale. This just may be one of those "where there's smoke" situations, but then again, it might just be a misunderstanding. Let's see what the news is this time next week.
Here is some reading that you may have missed this week:
Why I'm relieved that a fourth-line winger on the worst team in hockey cleared waivers - Cult of Hockey Staples
Oilers place Zack Stortini on waivers - Cult of Hockey McCurdy
The Ugly Numbers Behind The Oilers' Power Play - Copper & Blue Zona
Top 25 Under 25 - Final Rankings - Copper & Blue Reynolds
#1 Taylor Hall - Copper & Blue Reynolds
Liam Reddox Moves Up The Depth Chart - Black Dog Hates Skunks
RANGERS SCOUTING SOURAY - Oilers Nation Willis
SHOW ME STATE: A BIG MAC KIND OF PLACE - Oilers Nation Brownlee
DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE: EDITION X - Oilers Nation Gregor
Rick DiPietro’s Glorious and Ridiculous Injury History - Houses of the Hockey Lewis
Johnson VS DiPietro Leads Us To A Look At Famous Goalie Fights - Houses of the Hockey Moldovanyi
Bourne Blog: Why long-range shots make for unhappy goaltenders - Puck Daddy Bourne
Video: Kerry Fraser has found new ways to piss off hockey fans - Puck Daddy Wyshynski
Are older franchises 'protected' by NHL suspensions? - Puck Daddy Wyshynski