Edmonton exodus: Larsen bolts for KHL, third Oiler to do so


Another day, another Oiler heading to Russia.

This time, it’s defenseman Philip Larsen — the 24-year-old Dane has reportedly inked a one-year agreement with Yugra of the KHL, according to

Larsen, who came to Edmonton as part of the Shawn Horcoff-to-Dallas trade, appeared in 30 games for the Oilers last season, scoring three goals and 12 points. He was in and out of the lineup repeatedly and spent some time with AHL Oklahoma City prior to parting ways with the club.

As mentioned above, Larsen is just the latest Oiler to bolt for the KHL. The first was Russian Olympic defenseman Anton Belov, who left Edmonton after just one year (and 57 games) to sign with SKA St. Petersburg. Shortly after departing, Belov said part of his reason for returning home was that he no longer wanted to play under Edmonton head coach Dallas Eakins.

Not long after, forward Roman Horak — acquired in the Ladislav Smid deal with Calgary — opted to sign with Vityaz Podolsk after making just two appearances with the Oilers, spending the majority of his time in OKC.


Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

Jarret Stoll, Mats Zuccarello
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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.

This post will be updated if there’s video of that staggering sequence.

Welcome back, Babs: Red Wings chase Bernier

Mike Babcock
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Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.

His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.

As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.

The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.

This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.

Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.

Here’s video of Abdelkader’s hat trick: