This week, the Hockey News picked the Edmonton Oilers to once again finish last in the west. There were some mixed reactions to that in Oil Country, but really only 10% of respondents to various polls feel that the Oilers will finish 15th. I think that the Oilers were the easy choice to name to finish last, but that there are too many factors that are yet to be seen.
The Oklahoma City Barons' Chris Wescott was able to catch up with newly signed goaltender LeNeveu to discuss his career and the coming year with the team. LeNeveu feels he is a "typical modern day goaltender" and is excited to play with the young Oklahoma Barons who made the playoffs in their first year of existence. If LeNeveu can help keep goals against for the Barons low, and if the Oilers can stay healthy and leave the Barons with more players throughout the year and into the playoffs, the Barons might be able to earn more fans in Oklahoma City.
Cam Barker made his first public appearance as an Oiler at the Oilers Hockey School in St. Albert last Friday. Barker is hoping to put his past behind him and get a fresh start with the Oilers. This sounds familiar, as the same was said of Ryan Whitney. Barker is still only 25, there is still time for Barker to make a successful career for himself in the NHL.
Nikolai Khabibulin was released from "tent city" on August 14th, and is now serving his 15 days of house arrest. His house arrest will be much like his time in tent city. Khabibulin will be allowed to leave his house for up to 12 hours a day. With his 12 hours a day Khabi is supposed to be training for the coming season, but it will be up to him how he spends his time.
The Edmonton Oilers are having a fun summer contest right now. The prize, the opportunity to caddy for Ryan Jones or Theo Peckham. To participate you must submit a photo of you in your best caddy attire and submit the photo on facebook. A day with Peckham and Jones would be a day of laughter and likely some friendly competition.
Team Canada took another hockey gold last week in the Czech Republic. This one at the 2011 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament. Edmonton Oil Kings' Griffin Reinhart was one of the members of the U18 squad. This will only help the young defenceman going into his last pre-draft season. Reinhart at this point is projected to go early - mid first round. Silver Seven's blog likes what they see in young Reinhart as well.
The Oklahoma City Baron's schedule has been released, and there are plenty of weekend games. This may also help in terms of attendance. There is also a stop in Alberta! Sorry folks, it is once again an away game versus the Abbotsford Heat in Calgary. The game in the Saddledome last February was successful despite the fact the the AHL game was in competition with the Heritage Classic game that same weekend.
Speaking of schedules, many western Canadian fans are unhappy with the lack of games on CBC. Of course CBC blames the NHL schedule, but many Oilers fans and Edmonton business owners are disappointed no matter who is to blame.
Brendan Shannahan was very involved with this years' NHL R&D camp. There were many of the same topics up for discussion once again including the removal of the trapezoid and no touch icing. There are of course other ideas up for discussion. Some seem out there, while others sound like they could be interesting. Here is what Shanny had to say about the camp
Is crummy goaltending Oilers’ biggest problem? - Cult of Hockey McCurdy
ADVANCED STATS: DO THE MATH . . . OR NOT - Oilers Nation Brownlee
Day 51 - Oilers Nation Lowetide
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT: WILL WE SEE SOME CHANGES? - Oilers Nation Gregor
Barons Season Recap: Philippe Cornet - Copper & Blue Rodgers
Goaltending Problems - Copper & Blue Reynolds
RE 11-12: Ken Sutton - Lowetide
RE 11-12: Theo Peckham - Lowetide
RE 11-12: Cam Barker - Lowetide
RE 11-12: Ryan Whitney - Lowetide
RE 11-12: Defensemen - Lowetide
The Year Of The Teemu - Livingston
Simpson the Scholar - Kukla's Korner McRitchie