Taylor Hall #4 of the Edmonton Oilers walks to the locker room following warm ups to the NHL game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena on December 15, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona.
(December 14, 2011 - Source: Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America)

Oilers coach clears out many glory days items from locker room


Edmonton Oilers coach Dallas Eakins is looking for ways to get the Edmonton Oilers to move past the rebuilding stage and it looks like part of his answer involves taking a step away from their past, based on an Edmonton Sun report.

In the 1980s, the Oilers were a stacked team worthy of the dynasty label and until recently, their locker room was a shine to that, complete with plaques, pictures, and the names of the team’s former greats. That’s not the case anymore.

Eakins wants to make sure that his players feel like it’s their dressing room, rather than Mark Messier’s. With that in mind, he’s made some significant changes. Among other things, many of the pictures have been removed and will be replaced by photos of those currently serving on the team.

When it comes to Eakins’ coaching staff and the team’s upper management, the new head coach is somewhat unique due to his lack of connection with the glory days Oilers. President Kevin Lowe, GM Craig MacTavish, and Eakins’ assistant coaches all won the Cup with Edmonton.

Their presence gave deeper meaning to the “Once An Oiler – Always An Oiler” sign — which, by the way, has also been removed.

“Listen, when we walk in that door, there’s five Stanley Cups standing there,” Eakins said. “That’s a great piece of history. That’s the only thing that counts.”

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: Bullet dodged?