Edmonton Oilers' MacTavish yells for referee in St Paul

MacTavish ‘a little frustrated’ after underwhelming summer in Edmonton


When the Oilers hired Craig MacTavish to be their new GM, he called himself an “impatient guy” prepared to do “bold things” in order to “move the team forward in rapid fashion.”

Well, things haven’t gone exactly to plan.

And now MacT is getting antsy.

“I’m a little frustrated,” he told the Edmonton Journal. “I had certain objectives in mind, and I think I’m going to be able to accomplish some of those things, but it doesn’t look like I’m going to be able to accomplish all the things that I wanted to.”

What he wanted to accomplish — the aforementioned “bold moves” — never came to fruition.

MacTavish was either unable to or refused to move the No. 7 overall pick at the draft, and ended up taking OHL Sault Ste. Marie product Darnell Nurse, a tantalizing prospect but one that’s a few years away from helping the big club.

The Oilers then missed on a number of high-profile targets in free agency — David Clarkson chief among them — and ended up with a handful of solid, but hardly spectacular signings: Andrew Ference, Boyd Gordon and Jason LaBarbera.

As for trades, there was just one — shipping captain Shawn Horcoff to Dallas in what amounted to a salary dump, as the Oilers only received defenseman Philip Larsen and a 2016 seventh-round pick in return.

MacT also re-signed Ryan Jones and held onto Ales Hemsky (pegged as a likely trade candidate). He’s also going down to the wire in contract talks with Sam Gagner, who has salary arbitration rights.

That said, the Oilers GM still thinks he can make that big move.

“I’m trying to get the right piece or another piece that would start to excite me in terms of how our team is shaping up,” MacTavish said.

Derek Roy signs in Swiss league

Derek Roy, Jeremy Smith, Chris Kelly
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Derek Roy has finally found work — but it’s not in the NHL.

Roy, who spent the entire preseason in Washington’s camp on a PTO, has signed with SC Bern of Switzerland’s National League A, the club announced on Friday.

The news comes after Roy narrowly missed out on making the Caps roster, and just one year after he had something of a bounce-back campaign in Edmonton, scoring 22 points in 46 games while developing chemistry with young winger Nail Yakupov.

A 12-year NHL veteran, Roy is one of the more prominent names to be squeezed out of work this season, and head overseas. The 31-year-old has scored over 500 points in 738 career contests, and has twice represented Canada at the World Hockey Championships.

With Bern, Roy will play on one of Switzerland’s stronger teams, alongside a trio of ex-NHLers: Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Ebbett and Cory Conacher.

Lehner’s injury ‘doesn’t look like it’s short term’

Robin Lehner
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Robin Lehner might not be back anytime soon.

Making his debut with the Buffalo Sabres, the 24-year-old goaltender couldn’t complete Thursday’s game against his former squad, the Ottawa Senators, due to what has now been revealed to be a right leg injury.

When he left the arena, he was wearing a walking boot on that nearly went up to his knee.

“It doesn’t look like it’s short term,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told the Buffalo News. “It’s more than day-to-day at this point, but we need to evaluate further.”

It’s a rocky start to what’s an important campaign for Lehner. He has been given an opportunity to demonstrate that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender after being acquired by the Sabres over the summer, but it looks like that will have to be postponed.

While he’s sidelined, Chad Johnson is likely to be leaned on heavily.