The Calder Memorial Trophy nominations are out and of course Ryan Nugent-Hopkins made the list. Unfortunately his biggest competition is Colorado Avalanche right winger Gabriel Landeskog who not only tied Nugent-Hopkins point totals but also scored more game winning goals, and played the entire 82 game season. Nugent-Hopkins looked to be the Oilers' best chance to ever win this honour and we haven't given up hope but I think we all know that this is a long shot. The writers who will vote have commented that Landeskog's 82 game season may be what puts him over the edge. There is also the fact that Landeskog played in every situation for the Avalanche while Nugent-Hopkins has been seen to have played the "softer" minutes.
One title the Oilers have taken this season is a "2012 Great Place to Work®." The Oilers were the first NHL team to gain this recognition in 2009 and now three years later have once again been named to the list. This extends to the office staff, and not the on ice Oilers employees, but is still perhaps happiness is catching and with a few new additions through the off season, the entire Oilers' organization will be happy and ultimately winning.
According to an article by Swedish Oil, Martin Lundén, Steve Tambellini has made the trip to Sweden to sign defenceman Oscar Klefbom to an entry level contract. Klefbom is currently out with a lower body injury and missing out on an opportunity to play for the Tre Kronor in international competition. With only one year remaining on his contract with his Swedish Elite League team, Färjestads, Klefbom is hoping to play a bigger role and with that bigger minutes and more games. Should that come to fruition, it may be a better opportunity than playing in the AHL, but if next season goes like this one has, Klefbom may be looking at a longer stint in the AHL than he would like.
Because of Klefbom's personality and work ethic, he will want to play out his contact no matter what happens, but will do the work that he needs to to take his game to the next level. Klefbom does have experience playing on NHL sized ice after winning gold with Team Sweden at this year's 2012 IIHF World Juniors and was even named top defenceman along with Ryan Murray by the media. Klefbom is not opposed to playing in the AHL, but like all players, his ultimate goal is the NHL and he will do everything he can to reach that goal.
There was comments made this week that Oilers associate coach Ralph Kreuger would be moving on to coach in Europe. Despite not having a new contract in place for next season, the Oilers have sent out a tweet assuring that this is not the case.
The Oklahoma City Barons have started the first round of playoffs and have been joined by goaltender Tyler Bunz. We do not expect Bunz to see any game time, but the experience of practicing with the Barons and spending time in Oklahoma City after years in Medicine Hat and St. Albert should be eye opening and make the transition to professional hockey just a little easier.
The Barons took game one against the Houston Aeros in this best of five series and quite convinsingly at that. After winning all but one of the regular season games against the Aeros, the Barons once again won, but this time 5-0.
The Stockton Thunder area also in the midst of a playoff run, only the ECHL playoffs are much farther along. Currently the Thunder are battling the Alaska Aces in the Western Conference Semifinals. The Thunder won game two with a stunning 3-2 come from behind, overtime victory. Game 3 was a 4-0 shut out loss to the Aces. Friday night, game 4 with behind 2 games to 1 the Thunder were unable to beat the Aces. Following this 4-2 Friday night loss, the Thunder are now one game away from elimination.
Friday saw the start of the WHL Eastern Finals with the Edmonton Oil Kings facing the Moose Jaw Warriors. After being off since last Wednesday both teams should have been well rested, but it was the Oil Kings who seemed to have benefited the most from the break. With a 6-1 victory, the Oil Kings hope to make short work of the Warriors, but don't expect Sunday's game to be this one sided. Both teams were competitive through the regular season and this should be an interesting matchup.
TOBIAS the 'Silent RIEDER" - Oilers Jambalaya
Who Deserves the Calder Trophy? A Comparison of Forwards - Copper & Blue Zona
Make the Pick Count - Oilers Nation Gregor
A Real Eye Opener - Oilers Nation Strudwick
It's Not What You Know - Oilers Nation Brownlee
Of Course Yakupov Wants To Be An Edmonton Oiler - Oilers Addict Brody
04/19/12 Oilers Prospects Shine In Playoff Action - Oil Acumen