The Oilers lost all three of their top scorers in the space of a week. This has not been a good week for Oil Country. First, in what surprised no one but likely disappointed most; Dustin Penner the team's top scorer was traded for the Los Angeles King's farm team's seemingly 9th or 10th best defenceman Colten Teubert. I may be over generalizing, but that's how I see it right now. True, included in the deal was also the King's 2011 first round draft pick and a conditional 3rd round pick for next year, but this trade upset more than just our very own Ben Massey. Draft picks are not a sure thing and although the team should be building around their youth, they are going to need a few players with experience. The Chicago model was not just Toews and Kane. I'm still not over the Ryan Smyth trade, but the past couple of seasons have helped me to the point where I will be not OK with this trade, but less bothered by it soon enough. I hope. Also traded was Edmonton native Shawn Belle who was traded to the Colorado Avalanche system in exchange for Kevin Montgomery. This appears to be an AHL deal, as Belle didn't realise his dream of a full NHL season this year.
Ales Hemsky was the next Oilers loss of the week. Hurting his shoulder as he hit the ice, Hemsky went for an MRI on Wednesday and is rumoured to be out for 2-3 weeks. Let's face it, this is not a winning or even competitive season, Hemmer may not return until the final game or two of the season just as a precaution for his future playing career.
Lastly (hopefully) was Taylor Hall, lost to a high ankle injury. Hall fell awkwardly onto the ice during his first NHL fight, and is now listed with the same injury that kept team-mate and fellow rookie Jordan Eberle off the ice earlier this season. It will be extremely bizarre if Hall also needs an emergency appendectomy while rehabilitating his ankle. The worst part is of course the Hall is projected to be out for the rest of the season.
The Oilers played the Boston Bruins Sunday, losing 3-2 at home. Tuesday night was a 2-1 shootout win over the Nashville Predators. The final game of the week and at home was Thursday night's 4-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Friday the Oilers made some moves. Going back to Oklahoma City were Martin Gerber and Richard Petiot. Coming up to the big club was the dreamboat Alex Plante. Richard Petiot is a veteran AHL defenceman hoping that he is just a late bloomer, while Alex Plante is still a rookie prospect in the Oilers system. The Oilers must have felt that they were able to get enough of a look at Petiot in his two games with the club to make a decision, or course relying on the opinion of those in the Barons' system. Plante, he's a work in progress and he needs some NHL games. The Oilers don't need to be making major decisions on keeping or losing Plante at this point, he has one more year on his entry level contract, just how to help him reach his potential. Moving Gerber means that Khabibulin must be ready to return to action following his eye injury.
The Edmonton Oil Kings had a great game against the Calgary Hitmen, beating the Hitmen 7-1. Weiner Wednesday, the Oil Kings took on Brayden Schenn and Oilers' prospect Curtis Hamilton and the rest of the Saskatoon Blades, but lost 8-5 in a wild Wednesday game. Friday night was another home game against Oilers' prospect Tyler Bunz and the Medicine Hat Tigers. The other Tyler, Tyler Pitlick is currently out with a broken ankle and not expected to return to the line-up until possibly the second round of playoffs. The Oil Kings had to take it to a shootout, but were victorious 4-3.
If you are still hoping to get tickets to the World Juniors, you have one more chance through Oil Kings season tickets. The Oil Kings' regular season is almost over, and as I've mentioned before, there looks like there will be playoff hockey in Edmonton after all. This week the Oil Kings will be on the road, but when they return, they could use your support Edmonton. Saturday March 6th, the Oil Kings will finish off their home and home series with the Tigers in Medicine Hat and Friday they will be in Prince Albert.
In NHL news, there were not many trades on trade deadline day, as expected. You might even feel badly for some of the talent on Sportsnet and TSN who devote an entire day to following trades that just weren't happening. With the trade of Dustin Penner, many in Oil Country may find themselves cheering a little harder for the Los Angeles Kings. And why not? They have more than a couple past favourite Oilers who were moved at trade deadline day, and they are another team that is hoping to develop and win with youth. Look at that though! The Kings also have a veteran or two and are hoping to make a run for the cup.
Former NHLer Rob Ramage has been awarded some freedoms Friday at a parole hearing. Ramage has served eight months for impaired driving causing the death of fellow retired NHL player Keith Magnuson.
There have been further rumblings and discussions on whether or not the NHL will be returning to Winnipeg. For the most part, Canadians love the idea and think it's great while many some think it's a bad idea. Many of those opposed point to the financial issues surrounding having an NHL team. True, some larger US cities have more potential for NHL income, but if the people won't spend money on the team, won't watch the games on television and certainly won't pay to see the games, it will always stay potential and not actual.
Bob Probert's brain was donated to sport science discovery following the 45 year old bruisers' death due to a heart attack. Probert's widow believes among others, that it was hockey in general and not fighting that caused any brain damage. This is only fuelling debates concerning head shots and player safety in the NHL.
"I feel like it's coming, I'm starting to progress to where I need to be" (Alex Plante interview) - Cult of Hockey McCurdy
Penner: "Edmonton made me a better player, better person." - Cult of Hockey Staples
Arena expert: ``Rexall Place is economically obsolete.`` - Cult of Hockey Staples
Same Old Song - Black Dog Hates Skunks
Oilers Deal Penner for Picks and 'The Punisher' - Coming Down The Pipe
Hockey History Made Last Night - Greatest Hockey Legends
OMARK: KIDS SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS - Oilers Nation Brownlee
Face Plante - Oilers Nation Lowetide
YOU GOTTA HAVE HART(IKAINEN) - Oilers Nation Lowetide
ALES HEMSKY: FACE OF THE FRANCHISE - Oilers Nation Brownlee
REVISITING THE 2008 DRAFT - Oilers Nation Willis
Bourne Blog: Why hockey players ain't got time to bleed - Puck Daddy Bourne
The confounding case study of Bob Probert's brain - Puck Daddy Wychynski
The ticking clock for the Coyotes in Glendale - Puck Daddy Wychynski
Bourne Blog: When a player gets traded, so does his family - Puck Daddy Bourne