Throughout the month of August, PHT will be dedicating a day to all 30 NHL clubs. Today’s team? The Edmonton Oilers.
For a ninth consecutive season the Edmonton Oilers found themselves on the outside looking in when the playoffs began last spring.
Edmonton’s 24-44-14 record was good for 13th in the Western Conference and 28th overall.
As a result of another poor regular season, the Oilers landed in the NHL Draft lottery and for a fourth time in six years won the first overall selection picking Connor McDavid at the June draft.
Jordan Eberle led the Oilers in scoring with 24 goals and 63 points in 81 games, but finished well off his career-high of 34 goals set during the 2011-12 season.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins continued to see his goal totals rise setting a new career-high with 24 goals and matched his personal-best 56 points.
Injuries limited Taylor Hall to just 53 games. The 23-year-old scored 14 goals and 24 assists. His 38 points were good for third in Oilers scoring.
Justin Schultz was the top scoring defenseman with six goals goals and 31 points to go along with a minus-17 rating in 81 games.
In goal, Ben Scrivens shouldered the load going 15-26-11 while posting a 3.16 G.A.A. and a .890 save percentage in 57 appearances.
The biggest off-season moves for the Oilers came off the ice as Peter Chiarelli replaced Craig MacTavish as the club’s general manager and hired Todd McLellan to take over as head coach from Todd Nelson.
On the ice, Chiarelli addressed some of the club’s biggest issues trading for goaltender Cam Talbot and defenseman Griffin Reinhart.
Edmonton also added depth trading veteran Boyd Gordon to Arizona for Lauri Korpikoski.
Chiarelli dipped into the free agent pool and inked free agent defenseman Andrej Sekera and center Mark Letestu.
The Winnipeg Jets will have a new East Coast Hockey League affiliate for the 2015-16 season.
The club announced it has partnered with the Tulsa Oilers for next season. The Jets were affiliated with the ECHL’s Ontario Reign last season, but Ontario is now the AHL affiliate of the L.A. Kings.
“We are pleased to embark on our new partnership with the Tulsa Oilers,” said Jets’ assistant GM Craig Heisinger. “Tulsa is an organization that shares our level of commitment to success and we look forward to working together to provide our players’ opportunities to further develop themselves on and off the ice.”
The Oilers, who have not had an NHL affiliate since partnering with the Colorado Avalanche and Lake Erie Monsters in 2010-11, have a history with Winnipeg. Tulsa served as the Jets’ primary affiliate from 1979-1982.
Jason Christie, who was named the new head coach of the Oilers last Thursday, has strong ties to the Jets organization as well. Christie had two separate stints with the Manitoba Moose during his playing days appearing in 88 games. He was also an assistant coach with the Chicago Wolves from 2008-10 under current Jets’ GM Kevin Cheveldayoff.
Most recently Christie served was the head coach of the Ontario Reign – the Jets’ ECHL affiliate since 2013-14.
“We are thrilled to enter into this partnership with the Jets and the Moose,” said Oilers GM Taylor Hall. “Both teams are first-class organizations that share our commitment to winning and not only is this an exciting day for our fans, but it is also an important day for our players who want to continue their development and succeed at the next level.”
In May the Jets announced its new AHL affiliate, the Manitoba Moose, would play at the MTS Centre beginning next season.
SUNRISE — On Friday night, the Oilers cashed their winning lottery ticket.
Edmonton did the expected to open the 2015 NHL Entry Draft at the BB&T Center, picking OHL Erie wunderkind Connor McDavid with the first overall selection.
In McDavid, Edmonton gets a franchise center that’s routinely drawn comparisons to Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby. McDavid dominated the OHL this season and went on an amazing run during the playoffs, scoring an eye-bulging 21 goals and 49 points in 20 games and put together a highlight reel of goals.
The Oilers won the right to draft McDavid — dubbed a “generational talent” — after winning April’s NHL draft lottery. It marked the fourth time in six years the Oilers earned the right to pick first; previously, they drafted Taylor Hall in 2010, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in 2011 and Nail Yakupov in 2012.
A dynamic player with elite-level skill and speed, it’s expected that McDavid will make an immediate impact in Edmonton next season — and the Oilers will need it. The club has struggled mightily over the last 10 years, failing to make the playoffs while struggling through a number of regime changes.
But the McDavid selection caps off what’s been a summer of transformation. There’s a new GM (Peter Chiarelli), a new head coach (Todd McLellan) and new hope for an organization that hasn’t been to the playoffs in an awfully long time.
Click here to read PHT’s McDavid draft profile.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Tampa Bay Lightning fans were treated to a Blades of Steel inspired show at Amalie Arena between periods. For those unfamiliar, Blades of Steel is an NES game from an era where its chief competitor was simply titled Ice Hockey. (Puck Daddy)
The Chicago Blackhawks have a perfect playoff record in games where Marian Hossa scores. (Chris Kuc)
Taylor Hall seems very upbeat as he prepares for the 2015-16 campaign. (Edmonton Journal)
Given how young the Lightning are, you would think that they’ll be one of the league’s top teams for years to come and they might be, but it’s not easy to pull off in the salary cap era. (Tampa Bay Times)
Paul Kariya is spending his retirement surfing in California and doesn’t seem interested in trading that in to work as a hockey coach or part of a team’s front office. “My love was for playing. If I could still play, I’d still be playing out there,” Kariya said. (Vancouver Sun)
Mike Amendola is no longer with the Carolina Hurricanes. The former chief financial officer spent 35 years with the organization, making him their longest-tenured front-office employee until his departure. (Washington Times)
According to multiple outlets (see here and here and here), Todd McLellan has struck it rich.
McLellan, who on Tuesday was introduced as the new head coach in Edmonton, has reportedly received a five-year deal worth $15 million — a $3M average annual salary that, for a brief time, made him the NHL’s highest-paid coach.
He has since been eclipsed by new Toronto bench boss Mike Babcock, who signed a reported eight-year deal worth $50 million on Wednesday — an AAV of $6.25M but, due to the contract’s front-loaded nature, could possibly reach $8 million in salary in each of Babcock’s first three seasons.
As for McLellan, his deal — though not as long as Babcock’s — still has plenty of term, which will allow him to grow with a young Oilers team that will get even younger next season when Connor McDavid (in all likelihood) makes his NHL debut at age 18. McLellan will also be tasked with further developing a relationship with 23-year-old Taylor Hall and 25-year-old Jordan Eberle, who he coached on Canada’s gold medal-winning team at the 2015 World Hockey Championships.