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Oilers need fast start, strong second-line center

Wednesday, 09.17.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Derek Van Diest - Correspondent continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

The Edmonton Oilers have not been to the Stanley Cup Playoffs since losing to the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 7 of the 2006 Stanley Cup Final.

The organization bottomed out in 2010 as the Oilers finished 30th in the League standings for the first time in franchise history. Rebuilding began with the selection of Taylor Hall with the first pick of the 2010 NHL Draft.

Despite having the No. 1 picks of the 2011 and 2012 drafts, the Oilers have not come much closer to snapping what now is an eight-year playoff drought.

Not wanting to break up his young core, Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish tried to augment his roster by bringing in veterans who he hopes will provide size and secondary scoring while his young stars mature.

In order for the Oilers to challenge for the playoffs, they’ll need things to come together quickly to keep from falling behind early in the season.

Here are three things that need to happen in order for the Oilers to have a successful season:


Giordano raising expectations for Flames' season

Wednesday, 09.17.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Aaron Vickers - Correspondent continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

Mark Giordano's expectations for the Calgary Flames this season are simple. In fact, they're the same as the 29 other NHL teams.

"We want to make the [Stanley Cup] Playoffs," Giordano said. "Winning is everything in this League. We want to get into the playoffs and we want to go from there. With the parity in the League, if you get in … the goal is to get in. From there you can make some noise."


Blue Jackets' Davidson upset with Johansen talks

Tuesday, 09.16.2014 / 11:26 PM / News

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- John Davidson, the Columbus Blue Jackets president of hockey operations, addressed the contract negotiations with restricted free agent center Ryan Johansen on Tuesday.

Johansen, coming off his entry-level contract, last season led the Blue Jackets in goals (33) and points (63). Agent Kurt Overhardt is using that production to seek $6.5 million a year, according to published reports.

"We're an organization that treats the players well, we treat our players fair because our ownership demands that," Davidson said. "But we don't want to have numbers shoved down our throat. … Hopefully we'll get a deal done."


Letang ready for 'new start' with Penguins: report

Tuesday, 09.16.2014 / 10:34 PM / News

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang was limited to 37 games last season because of a stroke, and knee and elbow injuries. But the 27-year-old has recovered and is eager to put it all behind him.

"I think it's going to be a new start for me," Letang said Tuesday, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I want to make sure nobody is going to doubt me, the job I'm going to be doing on the ice. I think basically I just want to prove myself to everyone that is part of the past and we're looking ahead."


Gagne, Leino have chance with Bruins, Julien says

Tuesday, 09.16.2014 / 9:37 PM / News

Forwards Simon Gagne and Ville Leino will have a chance to make the Boston Bruins roster at training camp, coach Claude Julien said Tuesday.

"We wouldn't invite those guys just to fill in our training camp roster," Julien told the Bruins website. "Older guys that have some experience … both of them are coming off injuries, major injuries. They both feel really good. Gagne didn't play at all last year but trained a lot; he's feeling the best he's felt in a long time. And Leino's the same way. Those guys have experience, so it's an opportunity for those guys to seize some of those spots, if they want to, and then for the young guys to battle their way into it."

Gagne and Leino will attend camp, which begins Thursday, on a tryout basis. Gagne, 34, did not play in the NHL last season because of injuries to his neck, head and groin. Leino, 30, had 15 points (all assists) in 58 games with the Buffalo Sabres and was given a compliance buyout this summer.


Canadiens plan to move Galchenyuk to center: report

Tuesday, 09.16.2014 / 9:13 PM / News

Alex Galchenyuk played left wing in his first two seasons with the Montreal Canadiens, but the team is planning to move him to center, TSN's Bob McKenzie reported Tuesday.

During an interview with Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin, it was revealed that Montreal would like to try the 20-year-old in the middle. Galchenyuk, who was a first-round pick (No. 3) at the 2012 NHL Draft, had 13 goals and 18 assists in 65 games last season and two goals and one assist in five Stanley Cup Playoff games.

"We will start him in training camp at center," Bergevin said. "We want to see where he's at. We know sometimes it's harder for a young player to player center in the NHL, especially down low. But with two years under his belt, we want to evaluate where he's at in the center position and then we'll make a decision."


Oilers offer tryout to forward Westgarth

Tuesday, 09.16.2014 / 7:05 PM / News

Forward Kevin Westgarth has been invited to the Edmonton Oilers' training camp on a tryout basis, the team announced Tuesday.

The 6-foot-4, 234-pound wing split last season between the Carolina Hurricanes and Calgary Flames and had four goals and seven points in 48 games.


Alfredsson not expected at Red Wings camp: report

Tuesday, 09.16.2014 / 6:27 PM / News

Forward Daniel Alfredsson is not expected to attend Detroit Red Wings training camp and is seeing specialists for his back injury, the Detroit Free Press reported Tuesday.

Alfredsson hasn't skated in more than 10 days because of problems with his back and has yet to take part in any of the informal workouts with players.

"The setback is a little bigger than Alfie thought," Red Wings general manager Ken Holland told the Free Press on Monday. "I know he still wants to give himself every opportunity to see if his body will allow him to play. We're going to be patient, give him the time to make his decision.

"At this point, I don't expect him to be coming to camp."


DeKeyser, Red Wings agree to two-year contract

Tuesday, 09.16.2014 / 5:39 PM / News

Restricted free agent defenseman Danny DeKeyser has agreed to terms on a two-year contract with the Detroit Red Wings, the team said Tuesday. No financial terms were disclosed, but Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press reports that the contract has an average annual value of $2.187 million.

The Red Wings disclosed the agreement via their Twitter account.


Hurricanes add Samsonov to scouting department

Tuesday, 09.16.2014 / 5:06 PM / News

Former NHL player Sergei Samsonov is joining the Carolina Hurricanes as a part-time scout and will be based in the Detroit area, executive vice president and general manager Ron Francis said Tuesday.

"I think he's a bright guy," Francis said in a statement. "He's a good student of the game, and he'll be a nice addition to our staff."

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Quote of the Day

The fans love it, and it looked like they were having fun. It was great to see this city [Columbus]. They had been waiting a couple years for this game. They did it right.

— Lightning captain Steven Stamkos after the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Sunday