The biggest Edmonton Oilers news of the week was the retirement of Doug Weight. True, Dougie last played for the New York Islanders, but in his heart and to many fans out there, he was an Oiler. Weight was many a fans' favourite post dynasty Oiler, is currently 65th on the NHL all time scoring list, and one of just 26 players with a 100 point season since the NHL player lockout in 1994-95 season and the last Oiler to net 100 points in a single season.
Liam Reddox hasn't retired from the NHL, but he has moved on to the Swedish league. He may have decided it wasn't likely that he would earn an NHL contract this summer, or as Scott speculates, that he may be attempting to earn a one way NHL contract instead of the 2 way that was likely his only option.
The Edmonton Oil Kings began their annual spring camp at NAIT, featuring 20 of their prospects this weekend. The prospects include players selected in this year and last year's Bantam draft, including the second overall player selected in the 2010 draft, Curtis Lazar. Several Oil Kings veterans will be assisting at the camp. Oil Kings GM Bob Green says "I think this camp provides a good opportunity for these kids to come in and get their feet wet and break the ice a little bit." He believes "These guys aren't actually trying out for the team this weekend so they don't have the pressures of an actual training camp. When they do come back to main camp in August, they will know what to expect, and that will give them a better chance to make the team." You can follow Oil Kings tweets from various players or from @EdmOilKings to hear more about the camp.
In other Oil Kings news, the 1963 and 1966 Memorial Cup championship winning Oil Kings teams were inducted into to the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum on Friday as part of the 2011 class. Several players and even head coach Ray Kinasewich were in attendance. The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum is in Red Deer Alberta.
The Oklahoma City Barons have posted their end of season interviews with several players. These interviews can be watched on the Oilers website. Mark Arcobello interviewed with the Barons PR discussing his rookie season and its' successes. AHL rookie Chris VandeVelde did get to play in Edmonton at the end of the season, but looked back on his time in Oklahoma City, saying he enjoyed it.
Drew Czerwonka and the Kootenay Ice have been eliminated from the Memorial cup in the semifinal round with a loss to the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors 3-1. The Kootenay Ice had looked to be near elimination earlier in the tournament, but had pulled together when it mattered most. The Ice have faced more than their fair share of negative media coverage, there were several that felt that the Ice made the WHL look weak, or at least less skilled than other leagues in the CHL. The Ice travelled the farthest and of course there would be tournament jitters. It hardly seems fair to make any judgements like that for the team or the league. The Ice did make it to the semifinals, and only one team can and will win the tournament.
The NHL Stanley Cup Finals will not begin until Wednesday June 1st. The Vancouver Canucks will host the Boston Bruins for game one, and after a lengthy break. Apparently there are psychics out there calling for a Canucks win. If that is what you needed to hear to determine where to put your bets, I guess you should be all set. Manny Malholtra has been cleared for light contact after successful ocular surgery. There is speculation whether Malholtra will be able to play with the Canucks at any point during the finals, and if the team should undergo some line changes or shuffling to put Malholtra back in the lineup. His vision is still not perfect, and he has to wear special protective gear. I don't think that any member of the Bruins would recognize Malholtra on the ice and think to himself that he should be careful not to cause injury to Malholtra.
2011 NHL DRAFT CLASS PROFILE: KEEGAN LOWE - Edmonton Oil Kings
Doug Weight – finest post-dynasty Oiler? - Cult of Hockey McCurdy
Liam Reddox exits, stage east - Cult of Hockey McCurdy
SAIL ON, BLOOMFIELD JET - Oilers Nation Lowetide
CAN THE OILERS MAKE THE PLAYOFFS? - Oilers Nation Gregor