Eller regrets ‘poor choice of words’ after calling Oilers ‘junior team’


The day after his words apparently fired up the Oilers to the point where they were able to win a hockey game, Lars Eller was apologetic.

Eller, who referred to Edmonton as a “junior team” that was “all over the place” prior to Tuesday’s 4-3 loss, admitted he used a “poor choice of words,” in describing the Oilers.

“It wasn’t my intention to be disrespectful against [Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins] or anybody else,” Eller explained, as per the Canadian Press. “You win some, you lose some, you learn from it.”

The effect of Eller’s words was heightened thanks to Eakins, who made a point of calling out the Danish forward for firing up his team, which was 2-6-1 heading into last night.

“When you have a player like Lars Eller running his mouth before the game, it makes for great banter in our dressing room and great motivation,” Eakins said. “That is a total hockey god thing. I’m sure that young man has learned his lesson, and I highly doubt you’ll see anything like that out of his mouth again.”

Now feels like a good time to point out that, 10 games into his NHL coaching career, Eakins is hat-tipping Eller and the “hockey gods” for helping his club win its third game of the year.

Teuvo time: Teravainen to open with Toews, Hossa

2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Six
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Teuvo Teravainen has played both center and right wing over the course of his brief NHL career.

Now, he’s got a new position — left wing — and a pair of shiny new linemates to boot.

Teravainen will open the year playing alongside captain Jonathan Toews and right wing Marian Hossa, per the Sun-Times.

The move could be a boon for the young Finn. Several ex-Chicago wingers thrived playing alongside Toews and Hossa, most notably Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp.

It’ll be interesting to see what kind of production Teravainen, who just turned 21 last month, can manufacture on Chicago’s top line. His numbers from last year weren’t spectacular (nine points in 34 games), but he did a solid job of racking up points en route to the Stanley Cup, with 10 in 18 games.

It’ll also be interesting to see how long he sticks with Toews and Hossa.

Head coach Joel Quenneville has been known as a frequent user of the line blender, often switching up his combos at at moment’s notice.

That said, Quenneville is hoping to find some stability with this new-look group.

“[Teuvo will] play there to start the season,” he said. “Hopefully, all year.”

‘Great story’ Janmark surprises, makes Dallas roster

Brian Elliott, Mattias Janmark-Nylen
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Pretty cool story out of Texas, where Mattias Janmark, the 22-year-old rookie that’s played a grand total of nine games in North America, has defied the odds to make the Stars’ opening-night roster.

“It’s a great story,” Dallas GM Jim Nill said, per the Morning News. “We really only planned to have him here for maybe two preseason games and then send him back. But he just kept being one of the best players out there, and he changed our minds.

“It’s a great example of what you can do if you just play hard.”

Nill acquired Janmark, 22, from Detroit at last year’s deadline as part of the Erik Cole trade. Nill was familiar with the Swedish forward from his time with the Wings — he was part of the front office team that drafted Janmark in ’13 — but didn’t think the deal would pay such immediate dividends.

As for Janmark, he didn’t even think he’d be in North America this year.

He has a contract with SHL club Frolunda, where he scored 36 points in 55 games last year. Given he’s barely played in the AHL — a few games with Grand Rapids, a few with Texas — Janmark figured he’d be back in Europe this season.

His strong play in the exhibition season changed all that. Janmark beat out two of Dallas’ touted prospects — former AHL rookie of the year Curtis McKenzie, and ’12 first-rounder Radek Faksa — for a roster spot, and showed good chemistry with third-line center Cody Eakin.

Janmark also performed well on a line with Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky.