Edmonton Oilers v Phoenix Coyotes

Hall returns from seven-game absence, Omark to make season debut for Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers are getting an added offensive punch for tonight’s game in Tampa Bay.

Taylor Hall, last year’s leading scorer, will return after missing the last seven games with a knee injury while Linus Omark, the reigning Swiss league scoring champ, will make his season debut as the Oilers look to win back-to-back games for just the second time this year.

Hall, 20, has been out since going knee-on-knee with Ottawa defenseman Eric Gryba on Oct. 19.

“I had a feeling I’d be back sooner,” he told the Oilers’ website. “I had a goal of three weeks when it first happened and I’m back even sooner than that.”

Hall has three goals and eight points in nine games this year, and was averaging over 21 minutes per game prior to getting hurt.

As for Omark, he was recalled from AHL Oklahoma City recently after scoring 12 points in 12 games for the Barons.

The 26-year-old Swede, who had 69 points in 48 games for Swiss League EV Zug last season, has always displayed outstanding offensive ability, but had issues sticking in the NHL due to his lack of a well-rounded game.

He vowed to make that a priority this time around.

“I need to play my game,” Omark explained. “[But also] be responsible with the puck on defense.”

Omark’s last NHL game came in March of 2012.

Stars to scratch Nichushkin after rough outing versus Avs?

Craig Anderson
Leave a comment

Looks as though slumping Dallas winger Valeri Nichushkin could be a healthy scratch tonight when the Stars host the Oilers at American Airlines.

Per the Morning-News, Nichushkin — who barely played in the second and third periods of Saturday’s 6-3 loss to Colorado — is likely to be replaced by Colton Sceviour in the lineup.

Stars head coach Lindy Ruff was fuming after the Avs defeat, calling it “embarrassing, worse than disappointing.” It didn’t take a genius to realize one of the players in his doghouse was Nichushkin, who had just 2:02 of ice time in the second period and 3:24 in the third.

Yesterday, Ruff dropped Nichushkin to the fourth line in practice.

“I’ve been trying to help him by shifting him around,” the head coach explained. “He had some struggles early in camp on right wing, so I put him on left, and he doesn’t seem real comfortable at left right now.

“His game, everything has got to get a little bit quicker.”

The 10th overall pick in 2013, Nichushkin has struggled to build on the form shown in his rookie campaign, when he scored 14 goals and 34 points in 79 contests.

He missed nearly all of last season with a linger hip ailment and has been a virtual non-factor through the first two games this year.

Report: Teams ‘screaming bloody murder’ about Richards settlement

Mike Richards
Leave a comment

When the Los Angeles Kings announced they’d settled with Mike Richards, it didn’t take long for the accusations of salary-cap circumvention to materialize.

And though NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly was adamant that the settlement was “far from” circumvention, apparently not everyone agrees with the league in that regard.

“Privately, other teams are screaming bloody murder and are threatening to make an issue about it at December’s Board of Governors’ meeting,” Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports.

Friedman goes into more detail in his story, so click the link to read more.

But remember how we wrote that the issue in this case was precedent, and that the “NHL and NHLPA can’t allow teams to escape onerous contracts through a back door”?

Well, one agent posed a good question to Friedman: “What’s to stop other teams from trying this?”