So it seems that first overall 2012 draft pick, and future Edmonton Oiler star Nail Yakupov sustained an injury while falling off of a treadmill, and that injury or cut has become infected. Or not. It seems we're really not all that sure but this injury may sound familiar. If it does, it's because last season Oscar Klefbom suffered a laceration to his thigh that didn't heal very nicely either, and he nearly missed the World Juniors because of his subsequent leg infection.
While every team in the league has their odd injuries (sticking a hand in a snow blower, eating pancakes, blow drying hair, tying shoes, etc) it seems that lately the Oilers have had more than their fair share. Or at least that's how it seems to someone who writes about the team. But so long as Yakupov is healthy and ready for training camp, whenever that may be, all is well.
And since we are no longer waiting with bated breath to find out any updates on Nail Yakupov's condition, we can go back to waiting for news on the CBA, the possibility of a NHL season this year, and of course contract extensions.
Now that Taylor Hall has signed his 7 year $42 million deal, we all wait to see exactly what Jordan Eberle will sign for. I had heard from people (I don't have sources, but I have friends who claim to) that Eberle was looking for $7 million/year and since the Oilers are giving Hall $6 million, there is no way that the Oilers would give Eberle more.
Essentially, by signing Hall first, the Oilers are setting the bar for the rest of the players. True, this deal should have been reached before the team signed Devan Dubnyk, so that all salaries could be applied to the same sort of slide rule, but we can at least hope that the team has a long term plan and sees how hard it will be to keep their core of highly skilled players together. Realistically, all of their players would be able to walk away as free agents and get more money somewhere else, but the team has to figure out how to sell them on the team itself and convince them to stay for maybe a little less and a better chance at an attempt at a dynasty.
While a lockout will certainly have the biggest impact on Oilers' players currently on the NHL roster, you have to feel for those who are turning pro this season, players like Martin Marincin and Tyler Bunz. These players are ready to move on from the WHL and move onto Oklahoma City and likely Stockton respectively, but will there be room for them there with the Oilers looking to keep AHL eligible players in tip top playing shape? There is only room for so many players on any roster, and like a big jigsaw puzzle, it can take time to piece together.
One this is certain however after watching Marincin speak at the Perry Pearn's camp, he has done some significant work on his English and has come a long way in even 7 short months. It would seem that Marincin may be coming out of his shell a little, so to speak, and that either his increased confidence and socializing has helped him pick up the language a little more fluidly, or getting a little further along in his Rosetta Stone training has given him the confidence to be more social. Either way, the improvement is remarkable and extremely encouraging.
While we wait on news of the NHL, the WHL season will be starting off as scheduled. This week the Edmonton Oil Kings have kicked off their rookie development camp, in a sure sign that hockey is in the near future. The camp is open to the public with the schedule available on the Oil Kings' website.
It is true that there will be fewer Oiler WHL prospects visiting Edmonton this season, but that's because most of the Oiler prospects are on the Oil Kings' team. You may want to watch the calendar for the Vancouver Giant's visit for your opportunity to see David Musil, but Martin Gernat, Travis Ewanyk, Mitch Moroz and possibly Kristians Pelss as we haven't yet heard if he will be moving on to the ECHL at this point yet.
The Oil Kings' regular season kicks off September 1st at Rexall Place against the Swift Current Broncos.