PENTICTON, British Columbia -- Bragging rights in Alberta are on the line tonight (7:30 p.m. PST) at the Young Stars tournament as the Flames and Oilers meet.
Ah, the battle of Alberta (Prospect Edition 1.0) – one of hockey’s great rivalries. There will be elbows thrown, there will be taunting, there will be scraps, and there will also be a game for these two unruly fan bases to watch as well. While that may be a slight exaggeration of the scale of the hatred between the two hockey tribes, it isn’t that far off.
True, it seems the Oilers and Flames rivalry was a touch hotter in the late-80s when the teams seemed to perennially meet in the Smyth Division playoffs. But the Oilers have finished dead last in the NHL the last two seasons, and the Flames have missed the playoffs while spending close to the cap over the same stretch, making it tough for fans to get the bile churning when, frankly, the stakes just haven’t been as high.
This will be the final game of the tournament for both sides. The Oilers have looked sharp in Penticton – two wins in two games – while the Flames are winless after watching a lead disappear with just 15 seconds remaining, then losing moments into overtime on Monday when they faced the Canucks.
In the afternoon affair, the Sharks and Canucks battle at 4 p.m. PST.
We want to make sure that whoever makes our team really makes our team by earning it and not putting them in situations where they get preference because of their status as a first-round pick or whatever it might be. That's not going to happen. Everybody has to earn their way on our team.
— Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen on the team's prospects at development camp