The Edmonton Oilers were busy filling out their remaining roster spots this week, signing Mark Arcabello to a two year entry level contract. Arcabello was a Yale student and has been playing with the Oklahoma City Barons after being called up from the Stockton Thunder in the ECHL. Arcabello scored his first AHL goal against the Abotsford Heat in the Calgary Saddledome on February 25th, 2010. On Thursday, the Oilers also signed Hunter Tremblay to a one year two way contract. The free agent is a left winger from the University of New Brusnwick. The Oilers have also signed goaltending prospect Olivier Roy to a three year entry level contract. This might point to the end of Jeff Deslauriers' time with the Edmonton Oilers and the Oklahoma City Barons. It is also extremely unlikely that Martin Gerber will sign with the Oilers again to play in the AHL with the Barons. It is unlikely that the Oilers would bury Nikolai Khabibulin's contract in the AHL, but that may be another option. The Oilers have the cap space and Katz wants to do what it takes to make this a winning profitable team, and Edmonton to be a desirable destination. The trouble is that sending Sheldon Souray and then Khabibulin to the minors might make the Oilers look like a team that a veteran player might not want to go to, lest he face the same fate.
These two contracts should complement the NCAA signings of Tyler Fedun and Tanner House that the Oilers had previously made. The Oilers are getting closer to having 50 contracts, but there will likely be a player of two that will not receive an extension this summer, and there may just be more trades to come before the Oilers sign their next big name players this summer at the NHL entry draft in Minnesota this summer.
The Edmonton Oilers let Gene Principe take care of April Fools for the team, posting that Taylor Hall would be returning back to the lineup before the end of the season. Why? Because hot yoga had sped the healing process of his high ankle sprain. Yes, hot yoga instructors would tell you that the classes will speed the process, but certainly not that much. It's too bad that this is the offering when last years' was so great! I can and do watch this over and over again.
Jason Strudwick tells Ryan Potulny that he has a "great goalie body?" And the his great tan will help to distract the shooters? Golden! This is why I am a Strudwick supporter. With attitude and humour like that, you know that Strudwick is making it easier to be in that locker room.
The Oilers hosted and led, then fell to the Calgary Flames on Saturday night, 5-4 in a shootout. Tuesday night the Oilers hosted the Los Angeles Kings and pretty much every favourite ex-Oiler still playing in the NHL. The Oilers fell 2-0 to the Kings by the end of the night. Thursday night, the Oilers were in St. Paul taking on the Minnesota Wild. The Oilers lost this one, but didn't lose after having a three goal lead, and they scored at least one goal so, the week was a mixed bag and Thursday's game was in some ways the least disappointing.
On Saturday night, there were a few positives. The Oilers led the Flames, and looked as though they may be able to finish off the Flames season for good, take away all of the last hope the fans cling to. You know, the story book ending that every card carrying member of the ABC club dreams of. Teemu Hartikainen did however score his first NHL goal. That's 9 first goals by Oilers this season now.
Other Oilers news, Rod Phillips called his final Oilers game on Tuesday night. It was beyond depressing that Phillips didn't know he had already called his final goal, before the game even started. That is not the final game you would hope for the man. There were a few tears in Rexall Place as the Oilers raised a banner in Rod's honour. The number? 3542, the number of games that Rod called for the Oilers, that's more NHL games than I have seen in my lifetime so far. TSN was kind enough to play the final minute of Rod's audio over their broadcast, but did not broadcast the retirement ceremony. This was a disappointment, but thankfully the Oilers played the video online and you can watch the video even now.
The Edmonton Oil Kings closed out their season unfortunately on Thursday. The Oil kings were swept by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and the Red Deer Rebels. The Oil Kings lost Friday night and Saturday night in Red Deer, then also at home in Edmonton on Monday and Thursday nights. The Oil Kings did spark interest in Edmonton and they have a number of players that will be exciting going forward like Griffin Reinhart.
The Oklahoma City Barons continue their push for the playoffs and the AHL western conference continues to be a tight race and four games remain in the regular season.
The Phoenix Coyotes have sold have of the bonds they needed to, finding $50 million, but not yet the $100 million needed. In other depressing news, reports continue that Quebec would receive a team before Winnipeg.
Canadian basketball star Rick Nash's brother in law, Manny Malhotra of the Vancouver Canucks required eye surgery after being struck by a puck. This may be more fuel for the visor debate in the NHL. Players that don't wear a visor tend to believe that their scoring will be impaired if they did wear one. It's just interesting that 9 of the 10 top NHL scorers wear visors, well as of stats from January.
Happy retirement, Rod! - Cult of Hockey McCurdy
Who Should The Oilers Take First Overall? - Copper & Blue Zona
Rod's Retirement Roast: Fans' Roundtable - Copper & Blue McCurdy
My Kingdom For The Big Fella - Black Dog Hates Skunks
April Fools - NHL style - Down Goes Brown
2010-11 OILERS: BOTTOM OF THE BARREL - Oilers Nation Brownlee
I LOVE PARIS IN THE SPRINGTIME - Oilers Nation Lowetide
ROD PHILLIPS: LAST CALL - Oilers Nation Brownlee
NO FOREIGN OIL? - Oilers Nation Willis
Tambellini meets with Anton Lander in Sweden to discuss contract. - Etown's Greatest
2011 Draft Profile: Joel Armia - Etown's Greatest