The world hockey family received another blow this week with the untimely deaths of most members of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl KHL team in the tragic plane crash in north west Russia. Several ex-NHLers including Pavol Demitra and Brad McCrimmon. Also lost on Tuesday in the crash were friends of Anton Lander, Magnus Paajarvi and one of Nikolai Khabibulin's closest friends. Assistant coach Steve Smith was also closely affected by this tragedy with the loss of his former competition, coach and friend McCrimmon. Although this disaster happened have a world away, the pain of the loss hits close to home. This has easily been one of the worst, if not the worst, summer for hockey. Thankfully, we are now securely in September, and fall with the start of the NHL hockey season are just around the corner.
There has been a lot of discussion as to what the KHL will do to salvage this season. There were several players who volunteered to play for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, but it does seem as though the KHL will hold a special draft to restock the team. At the same time, the KHL and the Russian rules on aviation and transport are all being brought under scrutiny. Reports have indicated that the plane that crashed was scheduled to be retired October 1st of this year and that this plane was deemed unsafe for travel in EU airspace but was used in Russia because the Russian transport rules are different.
The Oilers are that are in town, including Anton Lander, have been practising at local arenas this week, working on their skills, getting back into playing shape and getting to know the new members of the team. Eric Belanger, Cam Barker and Ben Eager. Several rookies were also in town and have left now for the Prospects' Tournament in Penticton B.C. The Oilers' games will be broadcast live on the Oilers' website.
Let's take a moment for something really chipper. Ladislav Smid, Devan Dubnyk and Ryan Jones took to the streets to hand deliver season tickets this week, giving the players a chance to interact with their fans. My favourite part of this video has to be seeing the boys holding the babies and toddlers. That's one way to ensure the next generation cheers for the Oilers.
The talk of the town seems to be whether or not the Oilers need to bring in another veteran defenceman. Most argue that the Oilers are one injury away from having to play a young defenceman before he may be ready. If the Oilers are not going to bring Jason Strudwick back, Steve Staios may be an option. However, GM Steve Tambellini has said that he will not bring a veteran in on a trial basis. I think that either of Staios or Strudwick would be a good, cheap option for the Oilers. They have a lot of forwards, and a lot of options especially down the middle which is a welcome change but the back end still looks a little sparse.
The Oklahoma City Barons have released the schedule for their training camp. The on-ice portions of the camp are free and open to the public. The starting date is September 26th with the home opener October 9th.
If you are still hoping to get your hands on some World Juniors tickets, the Edmonton Oil Kings have you covered, but only if you are hoping to pick up some Oil Kings tickets as well. The Edmonton Oil Kings still need your support, and feature several Oilers prospects, as well as prospects from several teams throughout the league. Oil Kings' captain Mark Pysyk will be a question mark for the season, but because he is a few days too young to be eligible for the AHL, it will be the Sabres or the Oil Kings for the young defenceman. Pysyk also stands a strong chance of making Team Canada.
The Barons Compete For Fans... - Copper & Blue Zona
2012 NHL Draft - A First Look At Defensemen - Copper & Blue Batty
A Core of Good Players - Copper & Blue Reynolds
RYAN JONES: BULLETIN BOARD MATERIAL - Oilers Nation Browlee
GILBERT BRULE: READY TO BOUNCE BACK? - Oilers Nation Brownlee
DUBNYK, REIMER OR SCHNEIDER PART II - Oilers Nation Drance
HOCKEY IS DESTROYING WESTERN CIVILIZATION - Oilers Nation Willis
Training Camp Predictions, Sept 2011 - Lowetide
Calgary’s GM Jay Feaster blasts the Oilers rebuilding plan, but who will get the last laugh? - Cult of Hockey Staples
Ten Second Tier Prospects That Hopefully Exceed Expectations, #3 Anton Lander - BBO
Yann Danis' Edmonton Oilers' Mask - In Goal Magazine
Magnus Pääjärvi and Anton Lander Sticking Together- Kukla's Korner McRitchie
"Ten Days Is Not Fun To Be On Skates" - Kukla's Korner McRitchie
Nowhere to Go But Up - Kukla's Korner McRitchie