Tag: Taylor Hall

Craig MacTavish.

MacT promises ‘very busy summer’ in Edmonton


Upon being hired as Edmonton’s GM in 2013, Craig MacTavish called himself a “man of action” prepared to do “bold things” to make the Oilers better.

Two years later… well, at least he’s still on message.

“It’s going to be a very busy summer,” MacTavish said during Monday’s season-ending presser. “We’ve got to make some additions.

“Make no mistake, we have the assets to go out and acquire more proven players.”

Which begs the question — what assets?

Per Sportsnet, MacTavish has informed Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins they won’t be moved. Nail Yakupov was believed to be in that group as well, and today signed a two-year contract extension.

One would assume Leon Draisaitl and Darnell Nurse are off the table. That leaves some less-than-enticing roster pieces available for trade… and the big ticket.

That, of course, is Edmonton’s first-round pick at the upcoming NHL Entry Draft.

The lottery goes on Saturday, with the Oilers holding an 11.5 percent chance at the first overall selection and locked into —  at worst — the No. 4 pick. While it might seem crazy to trade that high a selection in an extremely deep draft, do consider what MacTavish said back in November.

“I don’t view another first-round draft choice as what we need. Whether I can get suitable value for that remains to be seen.”

Of course, that was back in November, before Edmonton’s season went in the toilet — the thinking might’ve changed since then. But if it didn’t, MacTavish’s comments today suggest that pick could very well be in play, especially given how he thinks this summer could unfold.

“Do I envision a scenario where a proven top one or two defenseman becomes available? Potentially. I think there are going to be some very unhappy teams here in the next couple of weeks,” he explained. “There are going to be teams that are up against a very tight salary cap, and that’s going to create an environment where they potentially could be looking to offload some high-end assets.

“We’d be in a position — because of the developing assets that we have — where we’d be able to acquire them.”

Embarrassed in Los Angeles, Oilers need to play ‘with a chip on our shoulder’ tonight versus Kings

Edmonton Oilers v Los Angeles Kings

The Edmonton Oilers have a chance to get some revenge on the Los Angeles Kings for last week’s embarrassing 8-2 defeat at Staples Center.

You see, the Kings are in Edmonton tonight, and a loss for the defending champs would deal a serious blow to their playoff hopes.

“They embarrassed us last time, and frankly, I thought we looked like a junior team out there,” said Oilers forward Rob Klinkhammer, per the Edmonton Sun. “It was ugly. We just have to come in with a chip on our shoulder, play hard and play the right way. We can’t feed their game, they are super hungry, they’re making a push for the playoffs and they are a great team. We have to have our best game if we want to have a chance.”

Another factor in Edmonton’s favor, besides revenge, could be fatigue. The Kings played last night in Vancouver, where they lost 2-1 in a shootout. Drew Doughty logged almost 30 minutes in that one. Jonathan Quick was similarly busy in goal, where he faced 38 Canuck shots. There’s even been speculation Martin Jones could get the start tonight.

Of course, while the Oilers haven’t played since Saturday, they’re not counting on a diminished opponent.

“If we have the same effort that we had the other night in L.A., it’s going to be the same result,” said Taylor Hall.

Oilers keeping tabs on Pens, ‘hoping for another pick in the lottery’

Taylor Hall

Several Eastern Conference teams are tracking the ongoing free-fall in Pittsburgh, but there’s a team out west that’s keeping an eye as well — the Edmonton Oilers.

Edmonton owns Pittsburgh’s first-round pick at this year’s draft, thanks to January’s David Perron trade, and the Oilers could very well end up with a second crack at the lottery should the Pens miss the playoffs.

“It’s another chip on the roulette table, you could say,” Taylor Hall said, per the Edmonton Sun. “You don’t root for teams to lose or anything like that, but it would certainly be nice to have another shot at that No. 1 pick.”

Rob Klinkhammer, who came to Edmonton in the aforementioned Perron trade, was even more direct.

“Obviously, everyone here is hoping for another pick in the lottery,” he explained.

The Oilers host Los Angeles tonight in a game that’ll go a long way in deciding odds for their own pick. Currently sitting 28th in the NHL, Edmonton has an 11.5 percent crack at the No. 1 pick but, should it slide into 29th (a spot currently held by Arizona, three points back), those odds would increase to 13.5 percent.

As for that potential Pittsburgh pick? If the Pens miss, they’d have between a two and one percent chance of getting the first overall selection — slim, but still a chance. It’s a ray of hope for an Oilers team that hasn’t had many good moments this year, and wants to have something positive to build on.

“We put ourselves into a situation to have a good chance, and that sucks,” he said. “But at the end of the day, you want to do well in that lottery.”

No Nugent-Hopkins for Oilers on Saturday

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
1 Comment

The playoff-hungry Calgary Flames get a break on Saturday, as the Edmonton Oilers will try to play spoiler against them without Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

“RNH” is out with a lower-body injury. The bad side of that is a top line gets a new wrinkle, however, as Taylor Hall slides between Benoit Pouliot and Jordan Eberle according to Fan 960’s Derek Wills.

No Nugent-Hopkins seems like a positive on paper for the Flames, but what if that little change of pace gives Edmonton a little boost? This is a wacky time of year, after all.

Kings regain playoff spot by crushing Oilers

Dustin Brown, Brayden McNabb, Jarret Stoll, Trevor Lewis, Brandon Davidson

After losing back-to-back games against Minnesota and Chicago, Los Angeles needed a win tonight against Edmonton. The Kings achieved that in 20 minutes. The remainder of the game was just for fun.

Los Angeles earned a 8-2 victory over Edmonton.

Every single Kings forward recorded at least a point with the lone exception of Nick Shore. Every Los Angeles player had a plus-one rating or better aside from Trevor Lewis, Dustin Brown, and Jarret Stoll. Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, and Anton Lander were the only Oilers players to finish the contest with a plus/minus rating that wasn’t minus-one or lower.

Ben Scrivens got the start for Edmonton, turning aside 16 of 21 shots before being taken out of the contest. Already down 5-1 through 40 minutes, 23-year-old goaltender Tyler Bunz, who has played in just eight career AHL games, was asked to make his NHL debut against the defending Stanley Cup champions on a night where they were both hungry and clicking.

That went about as well as expected.

The idle Winnipeg Jets dropped their last two games and thanks to that the Kings’ victory tonight was enough for them to jump into the second Wild Card spot. Both squads have 90 points in 77 games, but Los Angeles has a comfortable lead in the tiebreaker ROW.

Winnipeg will have to wait until Saturday’s game against Vancouver for its chance to respond.