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Oil Spills - Thursday Links: The Oilers Are Back

Finally Oilers hockey is back. Your daily links to all things Oilers and stories from around the hockey world.

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About the Oilers

The Oilers Will Have Four Alternate Captains and No Captain This Season - Ryan Batty -- The Copper & Blue
Andrew Ference is no longer the captain of the Oilers. And we'll have to wait a year before we learn who the team's 19th captain will be as the team will be going with four alternates this season: Ference along with Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

Woodcroft discusses powerplay success - Jason Gregor -- OilersNation
I sat down with Woodcroft to discuss the powerplay and what you should expect to see from the Oilers now that the regular season is upon us.

Andrew Ference displays true leadership in stepping back from Edmonton Oilers’ captaincy - Jonathan Willis -- Cult of Hockey
There is a lot written about leadership in hockey, and much of it is hokum. The truth is that the only people in a position to witness firsthand a team’s internal dynamic are those who aren’t in a position to speak publicly about it. It’s rare that any outsider really gets an opportunity to witness real leadership in action. On Wednesday, though, everyone got to see Andrew Ference demonstrate what leadership looks like.

Something special in the offing as Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid era begins - John MacKinnon -- Edmonton Journal
Even on scant viewings, McDavid’s extraordinary talent can discombobulate a GM, let alone an opponent — his blazing speed, the pirouettes in close quarters, the no-look, tape-to-tape back passes, his ability to get the puck to the open man, to make something riveting happen nearly every shift.

This Time - Matt Henderson -- OilersNation
When the dust settles on this 2015-2016 season there’s every chance that my heart will be broken again if the Oilers miss the playoffs. Still, I write this on the eve of the season and I still hold out hope.

Gaping hole on the Edmonton Oilers? It's at right defence. - David Staples -- Cult of Hockey
If there’s one area that I have real worries about the Edmonton Oilers this year, it’s the blueline. Not so much the goalies, who still need to be consistent of course,  and not so much the forwards, who still need to regularly backcheck, but the blueline.

Twas The Night Before Oilers - The Oilers Rig - Alex Thomas -- The Oilers Rig
Heartbreak, disappointment and defeat. Those three things were what Oilers fans felt when the team left the ice in Vancouver back in early April. There was also a sense, at least for me, that this team was doomed, it wasn’t going anywhere and there would be no changes. Then it happened, ping pong balls made the city of Edmonton happier than a college kid who just won the biggest beer pong tournament of his life. With a small stroke of luck, the Edmonton Oilers won the NHL’s draft lottery and the right to draft superstar Connor McDavid.

Around the NHL

2015-16 NHL teams by height, weight and age - James Mirtle
The usual annual stats compilation. These are based on opening night 23-man rosters and players on injured reserve.

Seven Story Lines to Overreact to As the NHL Season Starts - Down Goes Brown -- Grantland
By Sunday, every team will have played at least once, which means we’ll be in a position to draw firm conclusions about how the rest of the season will turn out.

Hockey Graphs Top 50 NHL Players -- Hockey Graphs
I enlisted some of hockey’s top nerds doing work in the public sphere to share their opinions of who they think will be among the 50 best players in the league in this upcoming season.

Calgary Flames vs. Vancouver Canucks recap: That's not the start you want -- Matchsticks and Gasoline
The Flames' season started with fireworks, but the opening game very, very quickly fizzled out, as the team bled goals and couldn't get any bounces to go their way. (Editor's note: And the Copper & Blue is very sad about this.)