Incredibly, the Oilers won the 2012 NHL draft lottery moving up from 29th place to make the first overall selection and at the same time making the Columbus Blue Jacket's season that much more unbelievable and maybe even depressing. After suffering through 8 straight losses to start the season it was injury after injury for the Blue Jackets who would exhaust their supply of goaltenders and even the backup backup goaltenders eventually having to sign and ice prospect players. As hard as it might be to imagine, the Jackets had it worse than the Oilers, but they didn't even get the first overall pick. Instead, it was the Oilers with their arsenal of highly talented early picks who are just coming into their own. And now, they will just have to make room for one more. Talk about your first world problems. It's like they won a fully furnished house and now have to take a free car. Pure suffering I say!
Now comes the interesting part though. Will the Oilers trade the pick or will they keep it? According to Kevin Lowe who spoke to Jason Gregor on the Jason Gregor Show on Friday, it would have to take a pretty substantial deal. And so, it sounds as though the Oilers will be the first to the podium once again. It's a good thing that Nail Yakapov is good, really good.
While the draft news was the most exciting of the week, there was still the matter of the Oilers' final game. It was unfortunately a 3-0 loss to the Vancouver Canucks that ended the Oilers' season on a low note and gave the Vancouver Canucks the President's Trophy victory. Perhaps it was because the Oilers gave something to the Canucks that fate allowed them to take away from the Blue Jackets.
Following the end of the regular season, the Oilers had their garbage bag day Monday giving the players a final opportunity to vent their frustrations of the year or in some cases to see their friends before taking off for summer training and homes. While most players seemed all too accustomed to addressing losses and seem to have accepted this as their fate it was Taylor Hall who spoke with calmness but also with the message that this is unacceptable.
A few Oilers' prospects' seasons have also come to an early end. Martin Marincin has already made the move to Oklahoma City while Brandon Davidson recovers from a shoulder issue, Drew Czerwonka's season is also over, but he has not received any assignment and so must be anxiously awaiting his next move. Adding to this list is netminder Tyler Bunz who's Medicine Hat Tigers were swept this week by the Moose Jaw Warriors. It was a sad and disappointing way to end his WHL career, but Bunz will be moving on to new opportunities and the next stage of his career unless the Oilers surprise everyone and send him back to the dub instead of either the AHL or the ECHL.
Oiler prospects Martin Gernat, Travis Ewanyk, and Kristians Pelss are still very much in the thick of the WHL playoffs having just swept the Brandon Wheat Kings and will now rest up until next weekend when they will take on the Moose Jaw Warriors in the WHL semifinals. With two straight sweeps under their belts, you may want to get your ticket for the Edmonton games next Friday and Sunday nights.
The Oklahoma City Barons continue to find ways to win as well, but some of the credit has to fall onto the shoulders of Yann Danis who was named the AHL goaltender of the year:
The Barons have two more regular season games left to play, but the playoffs will begin in Oklahoma next week against a yet to be determined team. While the playoffs are an entirely different kind of hockey, the Barons are in excellent shape heading into the off-season. Even if that is without Linus Omark.
Omark made it quite clear this week that he is done with the Oilers. Omark made two tweets that caught everyone's eye. The first said that he hoped the Oilers' would give him a chance with another NHL team, and a second that thanked the fans and even the haters for giving him something to read. If you read between the lines it might be easy to assume that the Oilers were less than impressed with the "trade request" tweet and assured Omark that he would be getting out. Currently Omark is in Sweden preparing for the Worlds, something that he said he would rather play than AHL playoffs.
Also playing in the Worlds will be Jeff Petry playing for the USA and Devan Dubnyk, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for Canada. Taylor Hall surely would also be on that roster had it not been for his recent shoulder surgery. And so, while the Oilers are not in the playoffs, the World will once again be our pseudo playoffs. I know, it's not the same.
Down in the ECHL, the Stockton Thunder have begun the Western Conference Semifinals Friday night against the Alaska Aces. It is netminder Olivier Roy that has been a difference maker this season for the Thunder and it may have been enough to earn him a spot next season in OKC.
Possibilities For The Oilers' Second Round Pick - Damon Severson - Copper & Blue Zona
Up And Down Week Concludes For The Oklahoma City Barons - Copper & Blue Rodgers
Regular Season Preview Review - Copper & Blue Reynolds
Looking Ahead to Next Year: Reasons For Optimism - Copper & Blue Batty
Oilers coach Tom Renney has earned a new deal - Cult of Hockey Staples
Khabibulin had those post-Christmas blues again - Cult of Hockey McCurdy
IN NIKOLAI KHABIBULIN, HE TRUSTS -Oilers Nation Willis
A New Dawn - Oilers Nation Strudwick
LOTTERY WINDFALL: NOW WHAT? - Oilers Nation Brownlee
Luck - Black Dog Hates Skunks
LINUS OMARK, SOCIAL MEDIA, AND THE MSM -Oil On Whyte
Patience Oiler Fans-The Defence are Coming - Oilers Addict Brody
Is Sam Gagner Now Expendable? - Oilers Addict Brendan
Oilers Might Win Again Before Draft - Oil Patch