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Oilers captain Horcoff thinks new coach will let young forwards “be creative”

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As we previously reportedly, the Edmonton Oilers selected Ralph Krueger to serve as their new head coach. He’s been with the team as an associate coach for the last two seasons, so as you might imagine, the reaction among the players has been very positive.

The Edmonton Oilers are a young team trying to transition from their rebuilding phase to a more competitive stage. Doing that while accepting a new head coach can be difficult, but given the players’ familiarity with Krueger, the transition shouldn’t be difficult.

“He’s an extremely intelligent guy who brings an element of toughness and accountability that we’re going to need,” Oilers captain Shawn Horcoff told the Edmonton Journal. “We’re looking forward to having him be the guy. I know the (defensive players) had a real good relationship with him and felt really strongly about his ability to run things back there.

“It’s just nice going into training camp, whenever that starts, whenever that is, knowing that we have that familiarity with each other.”

Jordan Eberle added that Krueger can be credited with improving the Oilers’ work with the man advantage. Edmonton ranked third in the NHL with a 20.6% power-play conversion rate in 2011-12. That’s one of the arguments Eberle and Horcoff used to suggest that Krueger wouldn’t adopt an overly defensive style.

“You have to play defense in this league, but having said that we do have a lot of skill up front and I’m positive he’ll allow that skill to be creative,” said Horcoff.

“I think he felt, at times, a defensive style was the key for winning. It doesn’t mean he didn’t have a lot of offensive interest. You can tell by our power play he’s a very creative guy.”

With 2012 first-overall pick Nail Yakupov joining their young core, the Edmonton Oilers could have an intimidating offense in 2012-13.

Price placed on injured reserve; Yakupov to miss 2-4 weeks with sprained ankle

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Two injury updates in one post.

First, the situation with Montreal goalie Carey Price, who was hurt last night versus the Rangers.

According to Canadiens coach Michel Therrien, Price has been placed on injured reserve with a lower-body injury. That means he’ll be out at least a week, though no exact timeline was provided.

“We don’t know how long Carey will be out, but for us it’s business as usual,” said Therrien.

Mike Condon will get the start tomorrow in New Jersey.

As for Oilers forward Nail Yakupov, he’ll be out 2-4 weeks after spraining his ankle last night in Carolina while getting tangled up with a linesman.

Getzlaf didn’t love the ‘dead’ atmosphere at Coyotes game

Martin Erat, Ryan Getzlaf
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Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf wasn’t impressed with at least two things last night in Arizona:

1. His team’s performance in a 4-2 loss to the Coyotes.
2. The atmosphere inside Gila River Arena, where the announced attendance was just 11,578.

“It’s hard. When you come into a building … it’s dead,” Getzlaf told the O.C. Register. “Nothing against the fans. It’s hard to fill a big building like this and have the amount of people in it to build your energy. So you have to do it yourself. You have to be ready when you step on the ice. I thought we came out flat.”

Anaheim’s record fell to 8-11-4 with the defeat.

The Coyotes’ average attendance also fell, to 13,144 in eight games.

Jarred Tinordi becomes the latest youngster to be sent to the AHL for ‘conditioning’

Jarred Tinordi, Brendan Gallagher
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Like Frank Corrado (see here), Tomas Jurco (see here), Stanislav Galiev (see here), and Patrik Nemeth (see here) before him, Canadiens defenseman Jarred Tinordi is off to the AHL for a conditioning stint.

Tinordi, 23, has yet to play a single game for the Habs this season; however, because he’s no longer exempt from waivers, the former first-round pick has remained on Montreal’s roster.

It’s an issue that’s received a good deal of attention lately. Some believe the league should do something about it, lest more young players get “stuck” in the NHL.

Tinordi will only be allowed to spend two weeks in St. John’s, as per the rules of his conditioning loan.

Safe to say, if you’re an NHL general manager who thinks Tinordi still has potential, Marc Bergevin would welcome your best offer.

Stars place Lehtonen on IR, call up Campbell and Nemeth

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Kari Lehtonen will miss at least a few games with the upper-body injury he suffered the other night against Ottawa. The Dallas Stars announced today that they’ve placed the 32-year-old goalie on injured reserve, retroactive to Tuesday.

With Lehtonen out, Jack Campbell has been called up from AHL Texas to be Antti Niemi‘s backup. The Stars host Vancouver Friday, with a game at Minnesota Saturday.

Campbell, the 11th overall pick in the 2010 draft, has struggled in the AHL this season, going 3-3-0 with an .873 save percentage.

The Stars have also recalled defenseman Patrik Nemeth after the 23-year-old completed his 14-day conditioning assignment.

Related: Campbell credits ECHL stint for turning his game around