Edmonton has agreed to new one-year deals with defenseman Brad Hunt and forward Andrew Miller, the club announced on Monday.
Hunt, 26, appeared in 11 games for the OIlers last season, scoring a goal and three points. Miller, also 26, scored six points in nine games — a pretty good point total in a season which he impressed offensively at the AHL level, having scored 60 points in 63 games with the Oklahoma City Barons.
It’s expected that both will serve as depth options next year, and will spend most of their time with Edmonton’s new AHL affiliate in Bakersfield. That said, it’ll be interesting to see if Miller gets an extended look at the NHL level given how he scored in an admittedly small sample size last season.
Richard Bachman, who started his pro career in the Dallas Stars organization, may have dealt his former team a major blow to its playoff hopes on Friday.
Now with the Edmonton Oilers, Bachman stopped all 29 shots he faced, and the Oilers shut out the Stars 4-0 in a costly loss for Dallas, which had been red-hot coming into this game.
The Stars are now down to seven games remaining in their schedule. They had won four straight prior to Friday and were trying feverishly to get into the race, even at the last minute. Now they’re eight points back of the Winnipeg Jets for the final Wild Card spot in the West.
They gave up a goal to Jordan Eberle and the Oilers 33 seconds into the game. The Stars continued to put the pressure on Bachman but couldn’t score.
That came back to haunt the Stars.
The Oilers broke the game wide open with three goals in the final 11 minutes of regulation time. Andrew Miller, 26 years old and playing in his fifth career NHL game, scored his first ever NHL goal on a penalty shot to cap the win for Edmonton.
Edmonton Oilers defenseman Martin Marincin and forward Andrew Miller had a night they won’t soon forget. In what would be the start of a three-goal first period rally for the Oilers, Miller set up Marincin who flung the puck top shelf to beat Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov:
The question is, which one of them gets to keep the puck as a memento? Their solution was to cut it in half:
“That’s the first time I’ve ever seen that,” Miller told the Edmonton Sun. “I’ve never gotten half a puck before, but I’ll take it.”
Edmonton went on to earn a 4-3 victory over Colorado. It’s been months since the Oilers even had the faintest hope of making the postseason, but the way they’ve been playing lately, they might end the season on a high note. The Oilers’ 3-1-1 run is their best stretch since they won four straight contests from Oct. 20-27. It has also likely put them out of the running for 30th place as they’re now eight points ahead of Buffalo.
Taylor Hall will return to the Oilers lineup tonight when Edmonton plays host to the Philadelphia Flyers.
Hall has missed 23 games due to a foot injury.
The 23-year-old is expected to begin tonight’s game on a line with Anton Lander and Andrew Miller. He is also expected to see power play time alongside Nail Yakupov and Derek Roy.
Hall also missed five games in November due to a knee injury.
In 42 games this season Hall has 11 goals and 30 points.
Philadelphia won the only other meeting between the two clubs 4-1 on Nov. 4.
Not all signings can earn the attention of a full post. Here’s a few of those from today…
Oilers re-sign three players
The Edmonton Oilers helped keep some of their depth going by keeping three players in the fold with one-year deals. Forwards Andrew Miller, Curtis Hamilton, and Tyler Pitlick all were inked to new deals. All three players spent the season with the Oklahoma City Barons of the AHL last season. Pitlick and Hamilton were each second-round picks by the team in 2010. Miller was signed out of Yale following his senior season in 2013.
Kings re-sign Berube
Should the Los Angeles Kings run into any trouble with Jonathan Quick or Martin Jones next season, they’ll have J.F. Berube to fall back on. The 23-year-old goaltender re-upped with the Kings on a two-year contract. He’ll likely start the season in Manchester, but should Quick have trouble bouncing back from offseason wrist surgery, he could start as Jones’ backup if the Kings don’t sign a veteran to help. The Kings have just Dwight King left to re-sign amongst their restricted free agents.
Coyotes re-sign McMillan and Szwarz
Arizona helped keep their depth intact by re-signing forwards Brandon McMillan and Jordan Szwarz. McMillan has seen NHL time with the Coyotes and Anaheim Ducks in the past and had six points with the ‘Yotes last season. Szwarz had three goals and 19 penalty minutes in 26 games last season with the team and splitting time between the AHL and NHL.