The decision, at least in the short term was finally made for Magnus Paajarvi. On Thursday in a move that shocked likely only three people (because I was out of the country and out of touch this past week I was one of the three), the Edmonton Oilers have finally ended the suspense and assigned left winger Paajarvi to the Oklahoma City Barons of the AHL. The interesting thing is that after 25 games with the Oilers this season, Paajarvi is without a goal. In his first game with the Barons, Paajarvi scored the shootout winner, impressed Barons' head coach Todd Nelson and Barons fans alike. I believe that the AHL is a physically tougher league. There are so many players that are all competing to make the leap to the NHL and they are all aware that their respective teams are watching their every game. By playing in a more physically oriented league, this may help Paajarvi to learn to use his size and physical abilities in a different way than he has been playing in the NHL. If nothing else, if Paajarvi can score some goals and gain back the confidence he seemed to have lost when the Oilers re-acquired Ryan Smyth and Paajarvi's position seemed to be in question.
Here is a look at the Paajarvi shootout winner:
And this is Paajarvi's first Barons' post game interview:
This week also saw the early return of winger Taylor Hall to the line-up. In Hall's two games back with the team, Hall has scored 3 points.
The Oilers faced their Alberta rivals on Saturday night, and the results were as expected, not so great. True, the Oilers had played the previous night and had to travel to play the Flames, but they still need to bring more intensity and passion to a battle of Alberta and more importantly to all northwest division rivals. The Oilers were shut out by the Flames, losing 3-0. After four days off, the Oilers lost again, this time 4-2 to the Phoenix Coyotes. The losing streak didn't end there however, as the Oilers dropped a 3-2 decision to the San Jose Sharks. Being away from phone, television and the internet for nearly a week, I missed the last two games and so don't have much more to comment, just the typical sigh.
Because the Oilers had several days off, it gave the crew more time to create more personal content. The Oilers web crew were able to catch up with Leonart Petrell about transitioning to North America.
Also, Andy Sutton spoke about his 8 game suspension. This is certainly not Sutton's first or second suspension of his career, but it was his second with the Oilers and his second in as many months. Ryan Batty took a look at the chances of Sutton pursuing an independent review, and how it likely won't happen.
The Oklahoma City Barons and the Edmonton Oil Kings have continued their winning ways. The Edmonton Oil Kings beat the Calgary Hitmen in their Teddy Bear toss game at Rexall Place on Saturday night making their streak 11 games in a row. Whether it is the winning streak, the fundraiser or a combination of the two, the Oil Kings were finally able to get 5 figure attendance; their highest yet this season. This is excellent news and the nearly $20,000 on top of the 6600 stuffed toys will go a long way to helping Santa's Anonymous. The Oil Kings have posted a video on their website highlighting the game.