Anton Belov leaves Edmonton Oilers to return to Russian league

Source: Edmonton Journal - Oil Country
Date: 2014-04-17

EDMONTON — The Anton Belov experiment didn’t blow up in the Edmonton Oilers’ face like it did with fellow Russian Denis Grebeshkov, who’s spent most of this season making $1.5 million to play in the minor leagues, but it just wasn’t the right mix of ingredients for the other defenceman. Belov had the will and he had the skill, but his foot speed and decision-making wasn’t up to today’s racehorse NHL game.

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Making the Playoffs

Source: Puckrant
Date: 2014-04-16

The NHL is a different animal than it used to be. If you study the history of the game, or even just talk to a parent or grandparent, they'll regale stories of epic battles between the Leafs and Habs for hockey supremacy, the terrifying Broadstreet Bullies of the '70's, the Drive for Five, the Oilers dynasty in the 80's and generally describe a different game than we know today. This is especially true if you were born in the 1990's like I was.  As a Leafs fan I hear a lot of talk about the playoffs. And when I don't rudely insert a Jim Mora-esque shriek to the conversation, the chat usually ends with something along the lines of "I just wish we could make the playoffs." For a long ti

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THE PLAN

Source: Lowetide
Date: 2014-04-16

Now that we know the position Edmonton will draft this summer, let’s talk about options. Remember, Craig MacTavish doesn’t have a full chamber this time, and might seek additional bullets as we lead up to the entry draft. CURRENT PICKS (OILERS EDITION) #3 overall (first round) #91 overall (fourth round, this is the Bryzgalov return) #116 overall (fourth round, this is the Mike Brown return) #128 overall (fifth round, this is the first pick of the Ales Hemsky return) #136 overall (fifth round, this is the Nick Schultz return) #153 overall (sixth round) #183 overall (seventh round) Craig Button on Aaron Ekblad: When you build a team, you need a solid foundation. Aaron is a pilla

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Oilers' Belov signs four-year deal to return to KHL

Source: TSN
Date: 2014-04-16

Go to TSN.ca for details. #TSN

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I’m Tryin’ to Get Home: MacTavish Takes Responsibility for his Development Process

Source: The Oilers Rig
Date: 2014-04-16

Of the many interesting remarks Craig MacTavish made yesterday, none caught my attention more than his interesting asides on “development.” For reference, here’s the presser in its entirety: Development Part One: We’ve Got to Look Elsewhere Question (Jason Gregor): Craig you mentioned you’re not going to look for kind of a middle of the road defensemen…what about your forward group, your top 4 produced a lot, but you didn’t get a lot of secondary scoring. Smyth is not gone, will you look elsewhere to improve that, or do you think you’ve got some guys in your system that you use to fill those roles offensively? Answer (GM MacTavish): We’ve g

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An open letter to some angry Oilers fans

Source: Puckrant
Date: 2014-04-16

Dear loyal fans of the Edmonton Oilers, The last time we had a little discussion like this, it was truly refreshing. I felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I had the opportunity to share my thoughts on a number of things - jersey tossing, the Lowe Must Go debacle, Craig MacTavish, and more. I've got another bone to pick with a few of you.  Not all of you, so please don't misconstrue. If this doesn't apply to you, just read along and share in my disappointment. If you don't already know by now, the Oilers have come out of the 2014 Draft Lottery rankings with the third overall selection. Some fans are a little miffed, as the Oilers would have had the opportunity t

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Jack and James, Two American Kids Playing D In The Heartland

Source: Mc79hockey
Date: 2014-04-16

I took my annual look at how Jack Johnson’s teammates did with and without him today and, as is always the case, they pretty much all did worse with him than they did without him. I did a throwaway tweet about it and wouldn’t have given it any more thought but someone asked me about [...]

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Series preview: Avalanche vs. Wild

Source: Puckrant
Date: 2014-04-16

Up until Sunday, April 13, it looked as though the Colorado Avalanche would be taking on the monstrous task of facing off against the defending Stanley Cup Champions, the Chicago Blackhawks, as the number-two seed in their division. The St. Louis Blues had led the Central Division for much of the 2013-14 season, and everyone had expected that they would coast into the number one berth to take on one of the two wild card teams.  You know what they say about taking the pedal off the gas in the last leg of the race, though: Unfortunately for St. Louis, Colorado didn't afford them that split-second pause that the runner in the above (rather hilarious) gif does. They steam-rolled the

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Let's Exchange Picks

Source: Puckrant
Date: 2014-04-16

After the Florida Panthers won the draft lottery on Tuesday it has come to my attention that there are teams out there who would like to exchange picks.  Florida is missing some key things in their organization. My list as I see it: 1. A # 1 Defenseman. Someone to munch minutes, kill penalties and stop the bleeding 2. Top 6 Scoring Winger. The Panthers need a triggerman in a big way.  3. Goaltending Depth. The Panthers are fine with Luongo and Ellis for the next few years, but the pipeline is pretty bare.  In my opinion I wouldn't trade the pick away, but I could be persuaded if teams were to offer up the right pieces. Here are some potential deals that would sway me

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My bet: the Edmonton Oilers will draft big, skilled centre Leon Draisaitl

Source: Edmonton Journal - Cult of Hockey
Date: 2014-04-16

Top prospects Ekblad, Dal Colle, Draisaitl, Bennett, Reinhart all fill a need on Oilers There are four or five top prospects at the top of the NHL draft, and not only will the Edmonton Oilers get one of them, that player will also fill a major need on the Edmonton roster. As Sun columnnist Terry Jones suggested to Oilers GM Craig MacTavish (and MacTavish went along with the notion) everyone knows the Oilers have two big holes, the need for a top-pairing d-man and a second line centre. The good news is that this draft has three top centre prospects in Sam Reinhart, Leon Draisaitl and Sam Bennett, and one top d-man propsect, Aaron Ekblad. Ekblad is a big, tough, skilled defenceman, just the k

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Oilers boss Craig MacTavish says team is closer to end of its journey than the beginning [Video]

Source: Edmonton Sun
Date: 2014-04-16

It’s not often you hear the general manager of a team which has just finished 30th, 30th, 29th, 24 and 28th talking Stanley Cup. But the day before the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs began, Edmonton Oilers GM Craig MacTavish was doing just that.

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Oilers: The one that got away

Source: Oil Drop
Date: 2014-04-16

When NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly opened up the final envelope of the 2014 Draft Lottery and pulled out the card of the Florida Panthers, all I could do was shake my head. Through 81 games the Edmonton Oilers sat in 29th spot in the overall standings, one point ahead of the Panthers but that changed after Game 82. Back in 2007, a similar situation cost the organization a chance at drafting Patrick Kane and it looks as though it will happen yet again in 2014.

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