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Oil Spills: Wednesday Links - Back in Action

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All the news that you can use from Edmonton and around the NHL. The Oilers are back in action tonight against the Blackhawks, 30 thoughts from Elliotte Friedman, broken sticks and automatic penalties, and more.

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About the Oilers

Why you probably underrate Oilers’ D Mark Fayne - Jonathan Willis -- Cult of Hockey
Mark Fayne’s reputation has taken a bit of a beating in recent weeks. The Edmonton Oilers’ defenceman has a minus-six rating and has even been a healthy scratch at times. A substantial number of our readers would like to see him traded.

Edmonton Oilers notes: McLellan says Draisaitl is the real thing - Jim Matheson -- Edmonton Journal
Coaches usually take awhile to be won over by players, but Todd McLellan is sold on Leon Draisaitl.

Oilers defencman Justin Schultz back skating with team while dealing with bulging disc - Rob Tychkowski -- Edmonton Sun
Connor McDavid wasn’t the only member of the Edmonton Oilers walking wounded to make an appearance Monday. Defenceman Justin Schultz, who has been out since Oct. 25 weeks with back issues, practised with the team for the first time and is hoping he’ll be back sooner than later.

Cam Talbot has lost the Edmonton Oilers’ No. 1 goalie job but don’t count him out - Jonathan Willis -- Cult of Hockey
Cam Talbot was brought in from the New York Rangers at significant cost over the summer with the idea that he would establish himself as the Edmonton Oilers’ starting goaltender. Instead, he’s fallen into a tandem situation with nominal backup Anders Nilsson, and the head coach is now stressing the need for development in net.

Oilers shaking flu bug with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, others, back skating with team - Rob Tychkowski -- Edmonton Sun
Ryan Flugent-Hopkins, as they nicknamed him on Twitter, is out of bed and ready for the Blackhawks.

Decision on Defence coming soon - Jason Gregor -- OilersNation
For the second consecutive day the Oilers had nine defencemen on the ice for practice. Justin Schultz is very close to playing. He told me doesn't expect to be cleared by the doctor to play tomorrow, although he feels he could, but a more realistic return date will be either Friday vs. the Devils or more likely on the upcoming five-game road trip. When Schultz is activated the Oilers will need to send a D-man to Bakersfield. Who will it be?

Around the NHL

30 Thoughts: Try bigger nets in the All-Star Game - Elliotte Friedman -- Sportsnet.ca
In this week's 30 Thoughts: the player representatives are voting on whether or not to have 3-on-3 hockey at the All-Star Game this year. If they vote against, why not try the bigger nets there?

Statistically Speaking: Luongo still sharp -- TSN
Roberto Luongo turns back the Lightning, John Tavares leads the Isles, Backes blasts the Jets and more in Scott Cullen’s Statistically Speaking.

Q&A: 'Soul on Ice' director on racism and progress in hockey -- Sportsnet.ca
'Soul on Ice' director Kwame Damon Mason discusses the forgotten contributions of black players to the modern NHL and how talents like Evander Kane and Josh Ho-Sang are perceived today.

Heat is on Roy to fix flailing Avalanche - James Mirtle -- The Globe and Mail
His hockey hair is thinning and greying at the temples. His eyes now have bags under the bags under them, the sign of an NHL head coach who has witnessed too many losses and endured too many sleepless nights. But that was Patrick Roy all right – skating in goalie skates in slow circles at the Air Canada Centre and letting out a sharp whistle every few seconds as the Colorado Avalanche players did drills around him at the morning skate.

Is it time to bail on the Trevor Daley experiment? -- Second City Hockey
With a $3.3 million cap hit for next season, should the Hawks try to move on from the veteran defenseman?

C’Mon Ref: Slashes, broken sticks and automatic penalties -- TSN
In almost all cases, a broken stick becomes the smoking gun which results in a slashing penalty being assessed to the perpetrator, regardless of the seeming degree of force. While your solution (a faceoff in offending team's end zone) may have some merit for consideration, the intent of the current rule is to deter players from swinging their stick at an opponent to any excessive and potentially dangerous degree.

Mike Fisher knocks out Kevin Bieksa's tooth with his fist -- On the Forecheck
Yee. Ouch.