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The NHL has officially cancelled the 2012-13 pre-season. Not that anyone didn't see it coming, but it is now official. For the rest of the season, we can most likely expect announcements of short time periods; the next two weeks have been cancelled, etc. But there is of course some hope, the NHL and the PA are in talks all weekend and there is nothing saying that a miracle can't happen at any point, even this weekend.
At least if you were looking for Oilers' news, there was a plethora. Literally a plethora. Daryl Katz and the rest of the Oilers brass made a trip to Seattle, sparking the 'Oilers to Seattle' rumours that are of course false. To prove it, Katz took out full page ad in both Edmonton papers apologizing to the people of Edmonton.
Throughout the full purchase of the Oilers, the arena planning, and now final negotiations, the Katz group has been extremely quiet and perhaps even secretive. And so to expect a complete turn around and full disclosure on every move they make or consider making would be ridiculous. But the apology letter was the right move, and will hopefully help to ease the tensions between the city and the Katz group. If Daryl Katz is looking for tax breaks and tax dollars, he needs to make nice with the people who pay the taxes.
Nail Yakupov has made the move home to Russia, and has even played two games, but due to a missed signature, he should never have played those games. Most fingers are of course pointing back at the Oilers, but in this case it was the Sarnia Sting who may be behind this. The problem was that Hockey Canada didn't sign off of Yakupov's transfer to the KHL. What may have happened was Sarnia asking Hockey Canada not to sign off on the transfer in order for Yakupov to play another year in the OHL. For the Oilers, it really doesn't matter where Yakupov plays, so long as he plays. They do know that in Sarnia, Yakupov will play 20 plus minutes a night, and in the KHL right now, we really aren't sure how much he will play. But news on Saturday indicates that Hockey Canada has now cleared Yakupov to play in the KHL, and so we should soon see just how much he will play.
Jordan Eberle, Justin Schultz and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins have made their way to Oklahoma City in preparation for their AHL season which kicks off in a few short weeks. This experience will give Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins the opportunity to work on their defensive games, hopefully get some more experience on the penalty kill. But one thing is for certain, you will see Nuge, Ebs and Schultz on the top power play unit and that just may help the Barons continue on from their success from last season.
The Edmonton Oil Kings' season has begun, and with some ups and downs. The Reigning WHL champs suffered their first loss at the hands of the Calgary Hitmen Friday night by a score of 4-1. The reason I say ups and downs is because despite getting off to a winning start, this loss means that they have not yet kicked off a 22 game winning streak. The Oil Kings have home games Thursday and Saturday nights at Rexall Place.