Monday, December 31, 2012

Oilers Update - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins vs Nail Yakupov

 In just a few moments it's Canada vs Russia in the World Junior Championships in Ufa Russia.    Canada's Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will go head-to-head against fellow NHL teammate Nail Yakupov of Russia.  The winning nation will take a strangle hold of first place in Group B and will be granted a bye to the semi-finals.

Burnaby BC native, Nugent-Hopkins leads the tournament with 8 points in just 3 games which includes 3 goals and 5 assists - his latest goal came versus the US when Canada edged the Americans by a score of 2-1 yesterday.  At the other end, Nail Yakupov has 4 points in 3 games.  The Russian captain managed to score his first goal of the tournament when his club manhandled the Germans 7-0 two nights ago.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Oilers Update - Nugent-Hopkins WJC collects 5 Points - Yakupov 1 Assist

Ufa Russia

This morning, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins collected 5 points in his first ever World Junior Championships game.   The Burnaby BC native had a goal and 4 assist enroute to a 9-3 victory over the German National Squad.  Because of his impressive numbers, the Canadian captain was given ‘player of the game’ honors for his country and was seen after the game to be wearing a black 'cape' during his interview with TSN.
“No matter where you go, there’s always going to be pressure and expectations especially coming here and being from Canada,” said Nugent-Hopkins. “There’s a lot of pressure and we’re going to put that pressure on ourselves. We relish that. We’re excited about it.”

Pressure or not, the Canadians did exactly what they intended to do from the get-go: get the first goal and find the winning rhythm.  Nugent-Hopkins who was accompanied by fellow top-liners Johnathan Huberdeau and Mark Scheifele, certainly found the rhythm kept their play to a comfortable pace for the rest of Team Canada.

Canada will now face Slovakia at 1 am pacific time on Dec 28th 2012

In other news!

Russia’s Nail Yakupov had an assist when his club edged the visiting Slovaks by a score of 3-2 in overtime.  Yakupov finished the game with a shot goal and earned a even rating, while country man and Oilers draft pick Danil Zarkov didn't make the score sheet but was also an even rating.

videos courtesy of TSN and IIHF 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Oilers Update - 1988 Oilers Championship Hat

A few years ago, a work colleague of mine was kind enough to present to me this very RARE hat.  This hat once belonged to Bill Tuele, whom was a long standing Public Relations Director for the Edmonton Oilers. 

After retiring from the club, Tuele then donated this hat to my colleague’s mother who happened to be a close friend of the Tuele family.  She had no use for this piece of Oilers history, and thus the hat, is now in my possession.

While I have no evidence to say that my cherished hat was drenched by champagne on that fateful day of May 26th, 1988.  I do, however make the immediate connection that this hat signifies Gretzky’s 4th and final Stanley Cup.

I hope to one day have Mr. Gretzky sign this for me.  Until then, it will sit on top of my shelf, clean and without a single ounce of ink, waiting for his signature.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Oilers Update - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Reports to WJC

"Definitely, it doesn't feel good, but getting the opportunity as a 17-year-old was good for me.

"If I looked back and thought had I changed things, I'd have regrets. I think I played overall pretty good."  Ryan Nugent-Hopkins after getting cut in 2010.

That was 2 years ago when Nugent-Hopkins was a late snip for the Canadian side, however since then "The Nuge" did some incredible things leading up to this years camp. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins went on to become: 1) the number draft pick for the Oilers in 2011, 2) Made the squad as an 18 year-old and finished the season with 52 points in 62 games. 3) He became a runner up for the Calder Trophy.  4) Suited up for the world men's championship.

Yesterday, Edmonton Oilers' Ryan Nugent-Hopkins arrived in Calgary to attend the world junior camp in hopes to make the Canadian, scratch that! With a full NHL year under his belt (and not to mention that he is also currently playing with the likes of former World Juniors, Hall and Eberle in Oklahoma during the NHL Lock-Out), there is NO question that the 19 year-old from Burnaby BC will be the top centre for the 2013 World Juniors in Russia.

"I've got to try to take on more of a leadership role this year.  As a 17-year-old, I couldn't come into camp and do that.  he told the Media at the Calgary Airport.  "I'm definitely going to try to take some experience from the worlds and bring it to this camp here."

"I feel like I'm a different person than I was a couple of years ago.  My game has definitely evolved a lot and I see myself more as a two-way player right now, so I'm definitely going to try to take on that role..."

The NHL lock-out is a complete blessing in disguise for the Canadian squad. Nugent-Hopkins, will skate with, Mark Scheifele of the Jets, Jonathan Huberdeau of the Panthers to name a few who, like the Nuge would have been with their NHL teams this season.

Naturally, with the addition of Nugent-Hopkins, Scheifele and Huberdeau, Canada is now considered to be a power-house and here is hoping that the Canadian can bring home the gold.

Another player in the mix, who is connected to Edmonton Oilers is Nail Yakupov of Russia.  Yakupov who like Nugent-Hopkins went first-overall in their NHL draft will get a taste of playing against each other on the world stage.

The tournament begins Dec 26th in Ufa Russia.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Oilers Update - NHL Cancels More Games

It was announced to today that the NHL will cancel games through Dec 30th.   The total number of games lost now comes to 526.  With no end in sight to the lock-out there has been rumblings that this strike could potentially reach another 24 months according to sources within the media.  YIKES!

While we all try and point fingers to who is really responsible for this debacle, perhaps avert your attention to this mess and enjoy the rest of the year. 

Remember, the holidays are just around the corner and we've got the World Juniors to provide us with some entertainment during Christmas.  

Happy Holidays!

Oilers Update - Jordan Eberle Saluted

Last week, former Regina Pat Jordan Eberle returned to his hometown and watched his old number ascend to the rafters at the Brant Centre - solidifying that the lucky #7 will never be worn again.

For four consecutive years Eberle was a proud member of the major junior hockey club between 2006-2010.  During his tenure with the Pats, Eberle amassed 301 points.  Even more impressive "Captain Clutch" posted an incredible 106 points in 57 games during the 2009-2010 season.

Congratulations Jordan Eberle