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Vladimir Tkachev's entry level contract signed with the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday has been ruled ineligible by the National Hockey League.
According to NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, Tkachev wasn't qualified to sign a contract as he is still eligible for June's NHL Entry Draft.
Players who go undrafted are eligible to sign only if they played a full year in North America. While waiting for his transfer, Tkachev played two games with Omsk of the Kontinental Hockey League and spent the remainder of the season with the Moncton Wildcats of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
Tkachev will go back into the draft after this season.
The 18-year-old appeared in three preseason games with the Oilers, posting three assists and a plus three rating.
The native of Omsk, Russia also played in the 2013 Subway Super Series for Team Russia, marking the second straight year he has represented Russia in the Super Series. Tkachev appeared in six games tallying four points (2G, 2A), a plus one rating and two penalty minutes.


Tkachev's 3-yr deal with EDM: $550/575/600,000 in NHL. He'll receive 55k/year as a signing bonus. Less AV than 7th rd'er Greg Chase.

He will be heading back to Moncton.

Tkachev, 18, has appeared in three preseason games with the Oilers, posting three assists and a plus three rating.

In 2013-14, Tkachev played two games with Omsk of the Kontinental Hockey League and spent the remainder of the season with the Moncton Wildcats of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. In 20 games with Moncton he registered 30 points (10G, 20A) and 16 penalty minutes. He also appeared in six playoff games, recording nine points (7G, 2A) and 12 penalty minutes.

The native of Omsk, Russia also played in the 2013 Subway Super Series for Team Russia, marking the second straight year he has represented Russia in the Super Series. Tkachev appeared in six games tallying four points (2G, 2A), a plus one rating and two penalty minutes.

Oilers Discussion / Eakins Interview Pre-Game vs Jets
« on: September 29, 2014, 10:32:47 AM »


Projected Forward Lines:


Defensive Pairings:




UP FRONT: Tyler Pitlick will man the right wing on a line with Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. The two Russian rookies Vladimir Tkachev and Bogdan Yakimov will once again skate together. Kevin Westgarth rounds out that line. Benoit Pouliot is with Will Acton and Andrew Miller, while the fourth line features two youthful forwards (Mitch Moroz and Travis Ewanyk) and a veteran (Steve Pinizzotto).

ON THE BLUE LINE: There is a potential preview of an Oilers regular season pairing on the ice tonight, as off-season acquistions Nikta Niktin and Mark Fayne will patrol the blueline together. 2013 seventh-overall pick Darnell Nurse will be prepared with AHL Second-Team All Star Brad Hunt, and Keith Aulie and David Musil are the third pairing.

BETWEEN THE PIPES: Laurent Brossoit and Viktor Fasth are the two goaltenders tonight against Winnipeg. Fasth will get the start.

KEEP AN EYE ON: Tyler Pitlick is locked in a battle for a fourth-line winger spot with the Oilers. He had a solid game in Winnipeg last week, including a momentum-shifting hit and scoring chance that Head Coach Dallas Eakins said was a key point in the comeback win. Tonight, Pitlick gets an opportunity to not only have a great game but to also move closer to securing a spot on the Oilers roster. He'll be skating with two of the best the Oilers have to offer up front, Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

Oilers Discussion / Oilers make more cuts after Hawks game
« on: September 29, 2014, 10:29:31 AM »
The Oilers have assigned Curtis Hamilton, Kale Kessy, Iiro Pakarinen, Jason Williams and Martin Gernat to the Oklahoma City Barons.

Oilers Discussion / Oilers Sign Greg Chase
« on: September 13, 2014, 03:48:16 PM »
The Edmonton Oilers announced today, they have signed forward Greg Chase to a three-year entry level contract.

Chase, 19, had a career year in 2013-14, posting 85 points (35G, 50A) and 83 penalty minutes in 70 games with the Western Hockey League’s Calgary Hitmen. Chase led the Hitmen in both points (85) and assists (50) and ranked second on the team with 35 goals. He also appeared in six playoff games, tallying nine points (4G, 5A) and two penalty minutes.

The Edmonton, Alberta native also participated in the 2013 Canadian Hockey League Subway Super Series as a member of Team WHL. He registered two goals and a plus one rating, as well as being named Team WHL’s Player of the Game in their 4-2 victory over Russia.

The 6’0”, 189-pound forward recently attended Team Canada’s Under-20 National Junior Team Summer Development Camp in Calgary, Alberta, recording two assists and six penalty minutes in three games.

Chase was selected by Edmonton in the 7th round, 188th overall, in the 2013 NHL Draft.

The Edmonton Oilers announced today their roster for the 2014 Rookie Camp, which includes the 2014 Young Stars Classic Tournament, being held in Penticton, BC, from September 11-15th.
The Oilers Rookie Camp will open on Thursday, September 11th with medicals and fitness testing at Rexall Place, before the Oilers travel to Penticton to take part in the Young Stars Classic.

Several notable prospects will be attending camp, including centre Leon Draisaitl (2014 1st round, 3rd overall selection), defenceman Darnell Nurse (2013 1st round, 7th overall selection), as well as goaltending prospect Laurent Brossoit.

For information and details on what VIP packages include please visit and Tickets are available online at, by phone at 1-877-763-2849, in person at the South Okanagan Events Centre Valley First Box Office or at Penticton & Wine Country Visitor Centre.

All games will be streamed live on and the Oilers Mobile App.

Game 1   Vancouver vs Edmonton   Sept. 12   8:30 pm
Game 2   Calgary vs Edmonton   Sept. 13   8:30 pm
Game 3   Edmonton vs Winnipeg   Sept. 15   12:30 pm

Around the NHL / Settlement reached Bertuzzi-Moore civil case
« on: September 04, 2014, 04:05:07 PM »
We kept hearing "its not about the money" , well apparently it was.

Former NHL rookie Steve Moore can finally move past the on-ice attack that ended his career, he said Thursday, unburdened by a decade-long legal battle that inched through the courts.

Moore's multimillion-dollar suit against Todd Bertuzzi and the Vancouver Canucks over the infamous hit in 2004 was settled shortly before the scheduled Sept. 8 start of the trial.

It brings "mixed emotions," Moore said in a statement, recalling both the difficult years for his family and the "compassion and encouragement" he received along the way.

"The injuries I sustained in my rookie year, the years I spent trying to return to my NHL career, and dealing with the loss of my career and the ensuing legal case, have been long and trying experiences," Moore wrote.

"While nothing replaces the loss of one's dream, I am happy my family will no longer be burdened by an unresolved legal case, and I am grateful to be able to move forward."

The terms of the settlement are confidential.

Bertuzzi's lawyer confirmed the settlement two weeks ago, but Moore's lawyer, Tim Danson, said it's his opinion that there was no "binding and enforceable settlement until the language of the settlement documents was agreed to by all parties," which he said happened Thursday.

Moore, now 35, wrote that he looks forward to continuing to bring attention to the prevention and treatment of concussions and other head and neck injuries in sport through The Steve Moore Foundation.

"While my own hockey career was cut short, my love for the game has never diminished," he wrote.

The notorious hit happened on March 8, 2004. Bertuzzi, then playing for the Vancouver Canucks, hit Moore from behind, sending the hapless Colorado Avalanche rookie crashing face-first to the ice and leaving him with a concussion and fractured vertebrae.

In an interview earlier this year, he told The Canadian Press he still suffers from headaches and low energy. The lawsuit, he said, was not so much about the money as being compensated for the loss of his dreams.

"I lost my entire career in my rookie year," he said at the time. "I think any player put in that situation would do the same thing. I can't recover anything else. I can't recover my career, the experience of living out my dream from the time I was two and half years old of playing in the NHL."

Moore had alleged in his lawsuit that the Canucks had put a bounty on his head following his check that left their captain, Markus Naslund, injured.

Major retaliation was expected after Moore flattened Naslund with an open ice hit that put Vancouver's scoring star out with a concussion but was deemed legal by the NHL.

When the teams next met on March 3, with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in the house, there were no incidents. The fireworks came in their March 8 game, a 9-2 Colorado win.

Moore squared off against Matt Cooke in the first period, a fight that was considered a draw. It appeared that was the end of it. But things got nasty in the third period. Moore was challenged again. He turned away. Bertuzzi skated up behind him, tugged on his jersey, then punched him from behind and fell on top of him as other players piled on.

Moore lay motionless on the ice in a pool of blood before being stretchered off and taken to hospital.

Bertuzzi was suspended for the rest of the regular season and the playoffs, which cost him about $502,000, and he didn't play during the 2004-05 lockout season. But he was reinstated in 2005-06 and has since continued his career, most recently with Detroit.

Bertuzzi also pleaded guilty to criminal assault causing bodily harm for the hit and was sentenced in December 2004 to one year probation and 80 hours of community service.

What followed was about 10 years of legal wrangling.

Moore attempted to file a lawsuit against Bertuzzi in Denver in February 2005, but the judge ruled it would be better handled in Canada. He ultimately succeeded in filing his lawsuit against Bertuzzi, the Canucks and then-parent company Orca Bay a year later. Even after filing suit, the case continued to be marred by various delays, eventually scheduled for trial more than 10 years after the incident.

Around the NHL / Bettman: Expansion report "complete fabrication"
« on: September 04, 2014, 12:37:03 AM »
Gary Bettman has vehemently denied the NHL is considering expansion.

But the commissioner said if it ever does, prospective owners may have to pay up big time.

Sports Business News reported via Twitter last week the NHL will expand into Las Vegas, Seattle, and Quebec City while adding a second franchise in Toronto by 2017.

On Wednesday, Bettman called the report a "complete fabrication," and took issue with the franchise fees cited in the story — US$1.4 billion, or $350 million per team.

"The part of the story that I found particularly difficult is: suggesting that we would sell four franchises for $1.4 billion is way too low," Bettman said. "It undervalues our franchises."

The last two expansion teams, the Minnesota Wild and the Columbus Blue Jackets, paid $80 million each in expansion fees in 2000, but league revenues have soared since then.

Bettman said the league is not looking to expand or relocate any franchises. He added that no teams were looking to move, including the struggling Florida Panthers — even if their new owner has concerns about the club’s arena lease.

"Nobody’s moving," said Bettman. "And speculation to the contrary not only is wrong, it’s unfair to the team and their fans who are being speculated about.

"Our franchises have never been healthier. Our league, in terms of its economic footing, has never been healthier."

He made the remarks at an event put on by a media company, Quebecor, that hopes to bring NHL hockey back to Quebec City.

NHL coffers were fattened by a 12-year deal worth $5.2 billion with Rogers, which will begin broadcasting games this season on Sportsnet. Quebecor reportedly will pay Rogers a total of $1.5 billion over 12 years for the French-language portion of the broadcast rights, with games aired mainly on TVA Sports.

Quebecor bought naming rights on a $400 million arena due to be completed by fall 2015 in Quebec City, which hopes to land an NHL club.

Bettman attended TVA Sports’ hockey launch at a suburban restaurant along with former prime minister Brian Mulroney, who is chairman of Quebecor, Montreal Canadiens owner Geoff Molson, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League president Gilles Courteau and other league and company officials.

However, Bettman had no encouraging words for those looking to revive the Quebec Nordiques, who left in 1994 to become the Colorado Avalanche.

"We don’t want to build up anybody’s expectations," he said. "We’re not in a position to expand.

"We’re certainly not in position to expand into the East. We’ve been very candid and up front that if in fact we go through an expansion process, the world will know about it. But we’re not looking to relocate any franchises, and we’re not looking to expand. We’ve been very clear about that since Day One when we were told about the building of the new arena."

Still, rumours that the league is at least considering adding teams have been circulating. A report from Vancouver last week said a team in Las Vegas was a "done deal."

Bettman said there’s plenty of interest from people wanting NHL expansion teams but added the league hasn’t even begun to research the issue.

In June, Bettman said that if there were enough expansion candidates the league’s board of governors "may well invoke a formal expansion process and we will look at everything."

Mulroney had no comment on Quebec City’s expansion prospects.

During the news conference, the former Conservative prime minister joked that he was a "right winger" when he played as a boy in Baie-Comeau, Que., and told a story about how his father discouraged him from trying to become a pro player because there was no money in hockey.

"If he was alive today, I’d take him by the hand and say: ‘Let me introduce you to P.K. Subban,"’ he said.

The Montreal Canadiens defenceman signed a $72 million, eight-year contract on Aug. 2.

Bettman said the league is close to naming a successor to Brendan Shanahan as disciplinarian and head of player safety. Shanahan stepped down in April and was replaced on an interim basis by Stephane Quintal.

"We’re getting to the short strokes of that process," said Bettman. "We’ve interviewed a lot of candidates, including somebody who’s been doing it on an interim basis, and we will be making a decision shortly.

"We wanted to finish the process. By the start of the season, we’ll have an announcement."

Krejci, 28, scored 19 goals and added 50 assists in 80 games with the Bruins last season. He would add four assists in 12 playoff games.

The Czech-born centre is entering the final season of a three-year, $15.75 million contract he signed prior to the 2012-13 season.

He was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2014-15 season.

Krejci was taken in the second round (63rd overall) in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft out of HC Kladno.

He had a career high in points in 2008-2009 when he scored 22 goals and added 51 assists.

Krejci has represented his country at two Olympics, 2010 and 2014, and two World Champions, claiming a bronze medal in 2012 in Finland.

With his new deal, Krejci becomes the highest-paid player on the Bruins.

Oilers Discussion / Oilers re-sign Justin Schultz to one year contract
« on: August 30, 2014, 01:18:54 AM »
The Edmonton Oilers announced today they have agreed to terms with defenceman Justin Schultz on a one-year contract.

Schultz, 24, had a career year in 2013-14, posting 33 points (11G, 22A) and 16 penalty minutes in 74 games. He set career highs in several categories including points, goals, assists, blocked shots (107) and hits (30). Schultz led all Oilers defencemen in points, assists and goals, as well as led the team in time on ice, averaging 23:20 per game.

The 6’2”, 188 pound blueliner has accumulated 60 points (19G, 41A) and 24 penalty minutes in 122 career NHL games.

The Kelowna, British Columbia native also had a standout rookie campaign in 2012-13, splitting the season between the Edmonton Oilers and their AHL affiliate Oklahoma City Barons. He appeared in 34 games with the Barons, registering 48 points (18G, 30A) and six penalty minutes.

Schultz’s impressive numbers with Oklahoma City earned him the Eddie Shore Award as the American Hockey League’s Defenceman of the Year. He is the first rookie in the 56-year history of the Eddie Shore Award to earn the honour.

Around the NHL / NHL changes draft lottery for more balance
« on: August 20, 2014, 03:52:16 PM »
The National Hockey League announced Wednesday changes to its draft lottery, which will be phased in over a two-year period, beginning with the Draft Lottery in 2015.

According to the NHL, the odds of winning the first overall selection in the NHL Draft for the 14 non-playoff teams will be adjusted 'to more appropriately reflect the current state of competitive balance.'

The league will implement a more evenly-balanced allocation of odds, with the 10 highest-finishing non-playoff qualifying teams receiving better odds than they received previously and the four lowest-finishing teams receiving worse odds.

The revised set of odds will remain in effect year-to-year in the future.

The league added that beginning in 2016, the lottery will be utilized to assign the top three drafting slots in the draft, an expansion over previous years when the lottery was used to determine the winner of the first overall selection only.

Three draws will be held - the first lottery draw will determine the club selecting first overall, the second lottery draw will determine the club selecting second overall and the third draw will determine the club selecting third overall.

As a result of this change, the team earning the fewest points during the regular season will no longer be guaranteed, at worst, the second overall pick. That club could fall as low as fourth overall.

The allocation of odds for the first lottery draw will be the same as outlined above for the 2015 NHL Draft Lottery. The odds for the remaining teams will increase on a proportionate basis for the second lottery draw, based on which club wins the first lottery draw and again for the third lottery draw, based on which club wins the second Lottery draw.

The 11 clubs not selected in the lottery will be assigned draft selections 4 through 14, in inverse order of regular season points.

Non-Playoff Teams
(Fewest Pts. to Most)
Position, New Odds and
Odds Under Old Format

1. 20.0% (25.0%)

2. 13.5% (18.8%)

3. 11.5% (14.2%)

4. 9.5% (10.7%)

5. 8.5% (8.1%)

6. 7.5% (6.2%)

7. 6.5% (4.7%)

8. 6.0% (3.6%)

9. 5.0% (2.7%)

10. 3.5% (2.1%)

11. 3.0% (1.5%)

12. 2.5% (1.1%)

13. 2.0% (0.8%)

14. 1.0% (0.5%)

Jordan Eberle is extremely interested in seeing how the Edmonton Oilers are going to fill the hole in the middle of the second line.

The Sam Gagner trade this off-season left an opening in the lineup, which no one is sure how the club is going to fill. Whether it’s internally or via another transaction has yet to be determined.

But, if GM Craig MacTavish is unable to make a deal before training camp, it’s expected Mark Arcobello, Leon Draisaitl and Anton Lander will battle for the spot.

“I’ve played with Arco when he was in the AHL and when he was up here last year,” said Eberle. “I think he’s showed that he can play here when he was up here. He performed very well. With contract issues and guys stepping in, he kind of got pushed out of the way. Now that there is a spot open, I know for him he’s probably training hard and looking to take over that. It should be interesting.

“I think anytime you get into camp and there are a couple of spots open, I think it always makes camp more interesting and guys battle that much harder. It’s good to have that competitive edge throughout your whole line up and for your depth chart.”

MacTavish went about addressing a number of key deficiencies this offseason. He acquired depth at the blue line and size throughout the lineup, which the team feels is a necessity to compete in the Western Conference.

Gagner, who struggled last year after having his jaw broken in a preseason game, was traded this summer to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for winger Teddy Purcell. Gagner was then flipped to the newly-branded Arizona Coyotes, along with B.J. Crombeen for a sixth-round pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

“It’s tough, I played with (Gagner) for four years and you start to develop a relationship with these guys, then they get traded,” Eberle said. “But that being said, it’s part of the game. I know Sam is looking forward to a new challenge and looking forward to a clean slate. For us, I know we got a great player in return.

“As tough as it is to see a guy go, it’s great that we get a new player and I think Sam is looking forward to a fresh start.”

Oilers Discussion / Justin Schultz's Contract will be two or three years
« on: August 14, 2014, 10:40:22 PM »
The silence has been deafening this summer on how close or not close restricted free-agent defenceman Justin Schultz is to a new Edmonton Oilers’ contract.
Unlike, say, Columbus Blue Jackets who have a fairly public major tug ‘o war with their best forward, 21-year-old centre Ryan Johansen, with his second NHL contract–they could be $3 million apart on a yearly salary on a two-year deal because Johansen wants to be paid like other first-line centres–Schultz and his agent Wade Arnott have kept a low profile.
But, training camp opens in five weeks, and it’s time to get cracking, on what most likely will be a two-year deal for the 24-year-old Schultz. Unless there’s a sudden sea change, there will not be a five-year contract or longer for Schultz even though as GM Craig MacTavish says, the blueliner is “part of his core group.” For now, he’s not getting the long deals Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins got, certainly not for $6 mil a year.
Arnott, who works for Newport Sports, the firm that did P.K. Subban’s bridge two-year deal with Montreal, then his whopping eight-year $72 million package, said he was “hopeful” that Schultz and the Oilers can get a deal by the time camp starts, admitting the clock’s ticking. If not, Schultz won’t be there. He won’t be, say, taking out any insurance to take part in practice, at least, while the two sides talk. A distraction for the Oilers; a risk for Schultz.
Arnott admits there aren’t a lot of clear comparables for Schultz, but you can almost surely put Newport’s client Subban in a small group of possible yardsticks for Schultz, at least in terms of a short contract for now and let’s see what happens down the road. Subban got an average of $2.875 on his two-year deal. It seems unlikely Schutlz’s people would go for that considering his cap hit (with performance bonuses) was $3.775 million last season. His salary was just $925,000 but his agent may be looking at $4 mil a year as a starting point.
Subban is much stronger on the puck-carrier but both take chances with the puck, and make things happen–both also play the point on the first powerplay.
The Habs felt Subban had stuff to work on (less risk, safer plays) so they had the interim two-year deal before he hit the homerun, averaging $9 million a year. Same goes for Schultz.  Subban has a swash-buckling stick-handling up ice style, Schultz with his skating and ability to join the rush as a fourth attacker. Arnott agrees Schultz has to beef up to handle the Western Conference teams–he’s working on it–who like lots of board work. Having a “good stick” doesn’t really cut it against the big bodies in the West.
“There was a divide when we first started talking,” said Arnott.
Long-term vs a shorter test-drive. Now, it appears, it’ll be two years, or maybe three.
Certainly not four. That would take him to the precipice of unrestricted free-agency and the Oilers are definitely not doing that.
They either want to buy some of his UFA years by going five or longer, or they’ll stay two or three years.
Arnott probably doesn’t consider the five-year $20.25 million contract for Toronto defenceman Jake Gardiner a comparable, so that’s out.
Arnott agreed both sides are trying to figure what Schultz’s “ceiling” is.
He didn’t argue when suggested Schultz had the offensive chops to be a 55 to 60-point defenceman. But, he’s had average offensive stats (60 points) in his first 122 games. Subban had 74 in his first two full seasons of 158 games in Montreal. Schultz averaged .49 points a game, Subban .47. Subban’s plus/minus was way better (-1) to Schultz’s -39, but the Oilers have been bottom-feeders for years, especially exposing their back-end..
Subban was the NHL’s 10th rated defenceman in Corsi for percentage numbers last year with the Habs attempting 5.1 percent more shots at even-strength with Subban on the ice than not, a testament to how he drives the offence. Schultz’s Corsi was a poor 42.9 percent last year, not exactly a selling point in negotiations but GM Craig MacTavish remains a huge fan, no matter how the analytics look.
The key will be trying to come up with a fair dollar number for Schultz, their first powerplay point guy who still factors as a top pairing D-man on this team because of his offence. Schultz would seem to have more cards to play than the Oilers because they have nobody to replace his offence in their roster of defencemen.
He’s not the only restricted free-agent still unsigned. Apart from Johansen in Columbus, who is clearly their best offensive centre but has had only one 63 poiny season on his resume, there’s offensive defenceman Torey Krug in Boston and top four D-man Danny DeKeyser in Detroit and wingers Jaden Schwartz in St. Louis and Nino Niederreiter in Minnesota.

Around the NHL / Detroit signs Ken Holland to new deal
« on: August 14, 2014, 04:30:19 PM »
The Detroit Red Wings have secured one piece of their future. Will the second domino fall soon?
First, GM Ken Holland. There was the occasional whisper of him leaving Detroit for a new challenge, but the odds were always slim. He’s fuelled the Red Wings’ seemingly endless success for decades, including the last 17 years as GM. The franchise is synonymous with finding diamonds in the rough, including current stars Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, and Holland has always been the mastermind behind that brilliant drafting.
Worry not, Wings fans. Your GM is back. Holland has signed a four-year extension, keeping him in Hockeytown through 2017-18. Owner Mike Illitch’s statement mentioned stability as “key to success of any organization,” and that Holland is crucial for maintaining that stability. It makes sense with a new arena all the way and this team in serious transition.
On the surface, 23 straight playoff berths say it’s business as usual in Detroit, but we know that’s not the case. This team barely squeezed into the playoffs last season, and Datsyuk and Zetterberg seem destined to battle health problems for the rest of their careers. Jimmy Howard’s goaltending hasn’t met the expectation set by the six-year, $31.75-million deal he commenced last season. With the team’s future success in flux, it’s good news for the Wings to have Holland manning the ship.
More good news: the youth movement is in full-swing, and Detroit seems more wiling than ever to give youngsters chances to play. Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar look like the latest late-round draft steals, poised to become building blocks for years to come at forward. Tomas Jurco and Riley Sheahan, who were higher-regarded prospects than Nyquist and Tatar when drafted, made the team last year as well. Anthony Mantha, who scored a goal a game in junior last season, could be the exception to Detroit’s unwritten rule of making every drafted prospect wait three to four years before making the NHL. That’s what happens when Detroit gets a top-20 pick after none from 2006-2012. The Wings’ blueline is solid if unspectacular, with clever college signings like Danny DeKeyser complementing solid vets like Niklas Kronwall. Maybe now that Holland has a contract, he can work on upgrading the defense corps further with an acquisition like, say, Mike Green.
So while the Wings could have some growing pains – we have them just out of the post-season in our 2014-15 projections – they could reload fast. Their 2014 first-rounder, Dylan Larkin, is the type of tenacious two-way player who fits the organization perfectly. Holland already has the Wings poised for a rise, even if it takes a year or two.
The question is: who will guide this young team behind the bench? Mike Babcock did a masterful job with a young group that was thrown to the wolves last season. He overcame major adversity to get this team to the playoffs. He was my Jack Adams pick. But will he be back? Does he want to come back? Does Detroit want him back?
Babcock’s contract expires after this season. He’s said he won’t negotiate until he can hammer things out with Holland in person, likely later this month. He’s also said he won’t discuss his deal at all during the season if a deal isn’t struck before Game 1. That leaves a smallish window to lock Babcock up. The pressure is on. Rumors have also swirled that Babcock’s no-nonsense style of coaching rubs some players the wrong way, and even that it scares some free agents away. Babcock went on record saying if Detroit is concerned about free agents not liking him, “then I should coach somewhere else.”
Amid that doom and gloom came whispers Babcock would leave after this season, and that the Leafs should top the list of teams hoping to woo him. But make no mistake, Wings fans: this Holland signing is fantastic news if you’re hoping Babcock returns long-term. It’s a well-known fact Babcock has a great relationship with Holland, and that he wanted to learn Holland’s long-term fate before he decided his own. Now he has that answer, and it’s far more likely we see Babcock locked up with his good buddy on another long-term deal.
For anyone dreaming of Babcock coaching another team, the fantasy looks a lot more like to stay nothing more than that.

Oilers Discussion / Eberle excited about new teammates
« on: August 12, 2014, 07:52:13 PM »
With the additions made by the Oilers through free agency and trades, there is some more optimism in advance of the 2014-15 season. That optimism is felt by Jordan Eberle, who attended the Oilers Hockey School presented by Rogers on Tuesday in Leduc.

“We’ve added some great pieces with Teddy Purcell, Benoit Pouliot, Mark Fayne, Nikita Nikitin and Keith Aulie,” Eberle said. “I like it and I think the thing that sticks out to me is the size that we’ve added, especially on the backend. Those guys are all 6-3 and above and obviously there’s some bigger skilled guys up front. I think anytime you get into August you start getting a little antsy to get back to training camp and that’s how I feel right now. Especially with the additions we’ve added I think you have no reason not to go into the season with positivity.”

It wasn’t only skill the Oilers added but size and maybe more importantly NHL experience.

“I think that’s huge,” Eberle said. “I think you’ve got guys who know how to win and have been there… and I think we all want to play here too. I look forward to this year too.”

Around the NHL / Wings want to re-sign Alfredsson
« on: August 12, 2014, 06:46:07 PM »
It appears the Detroit Red Wings want Daniel Alfredsson to return for another season.

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland told the 41-year-old unrestricted free agent was valuable when healthy last season and could benefit the team again in 2014-15, even if it’s in a limited role.

“My take is we’re probably going to try to do something with Alfie,” Holland said. “Certainly, I don’t look at Alfie thinking he’s going to play 82 games. When you got [Gustav] Nyquist and [Tomas] Tatar and [Tomas] Jurco and [Luke] Glendening and [Riley] Sheahan, if we can get a certain amount of games out of [Alfredsson], we would feel like he would be a real positive addition.”

In his first season with the Red Wings, after spending 17 with the Ottawa Senators, Alfredsson registered 18 goals, 31 assists for a team-high 49 points in 68 games, but dealt with back issues late in the campaign.

In June, Holland said Alfredsson would either return to the Red Wings or hang up his skates for good.

The veteran Swede is set to resume skating to see how he feels and how his back responds.

“At the end of the day I think he wants to [skate] and we want to see him skate every day for 2-3 weeks and then let’s see how he feels,” Holland added.

If Alfredsson does re-sign with the Red Wings, it’s expected he would get a one-year deal with a low cap hit and a bonus clause. His cap hit last season was $3.5 million.

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