Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Edmonton Oilers

FEATURE: McLellan gets a 'fresh base' to work with in his return

Oilers Head Coach convinced that he, Peter Chiarelli and the organization can return to success

by Paul Gazzola /

EDMONTON, AB - There was going to be an announcement. The only unknown was when.

But on Friday, Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Peter Chiarelli declared coaching changes.

View More

In Depth: Man of Steel

This week's In Depth is on defenceman Darnell Nurse knocking on the door of National Hockey League prominence

by Ryan Frankson /



I love watching Darnell play.

In 2013, we were opening for The Tragically Hip in Sault Ste. Marie, and this tall kid introduces himself to me at the merch booth, saying he's from Hamilton. It was Darnell! Since then I've watched with pride his ascent through the OHL and to the pros.

When we play in Edmonton, he brings his teammates to the show. During the summer when he's home, we'll find time to hang at an Arkells show. A sweet memory was a dinner at Paul Coffey's cottage last summer in Muskoka. It felt good to be around such fine company and to keep finding each other in different places.

People in Hamilton are always proud of our native sons and daughters who go out in to the world and do things. What the Nurse family has collectively accomplished in sports is remarkable.

In South Korea at this year's Winter Olympics, we had a chance to hang with his cousin Sarah who plays for the Canadian women's hockey team - she exhibited all the things I like about Darnell. They're humble, hard-working and ready to perform.

Whether you're a musician or an athlete, you're just looking for an opportunity to prove you're capable of performing on the biggest stage.

Every time Darnell is matched up against the toughest competition, he offers grit, consistency and maturity. These are skills that'll serve him for a long time as a pro.


View More

IN DEPTH: Trailblazer

This week's In Depth is on Ryan Strome and the path that brought him and his brothers to the NHL

by Meg Tilley /



Ryan was flying from Toronto to Chicago, I was flying from Arizona to Chicago. We were on the plane at the same time.

As soon as I landed I saw he messaged me, "Text me when you land."

I didn't even check Twitter, I just responded, "I landed."

He called me right away, as soon as I had touched the ground, and he just told me he got traded. Then I checked Twitter and obviously, it was right there, the first thing I saw was that.

It was kind of my first reaction, he's joked with me before that he got traded, so I needed to make sure on Twitter that it was actually true.

He was over the moon and excited to be an Oiler. He was very excited and I was very excited for him. The opportunity he's going to get, how good Edmonton is and how good the players are, and obviously a pretty special player he gets to play with, it's pretty cool. 

View More

IN DEPTH: Inspired

Personal loss is channeled into so much gain as an entire community rallies around the World's Longest Hockey Game

by Cait MacPhail /




On day five, that particular Tuesday in mid-February must have felt like tropical relief - at least in temperature.

The players who were approaching the halfway point of the event said the rain falling around them didn't do any favours for the playing conditions. The ice softens, the skates drag through the fresh layer of water that won't freeze, the knees start to work overtime - overtime being the operative word, as these skaters have to work in shifts according to the guidelines set out by the Guinness Book of World Records.

In the first four days of the marathon fundraiser, temperatures on Dr. Brent Saik's property just east of Edmonton had not risen above -15 degrees Celsius, and in the dead of night that number had fallen, at points, to a bone-chilling 40 degrees below zero with wind chill.

But the frigid cold is something that can be combatted when you know what to expect and how to prepare. With several of the skaters participating for the fourth, fifth or even sixth time, their wily vet status has them ready for anything the Albertan winter might throw their way. The experienced skaters are quick to send their list of must-haves when a player signs up for the first time.

Despite what the sudden temperature twist did for conditions that particular day, the group of 40 players welcomed a balmy two degrees Celsius as they attempted, for the sixth time, to break the record for the World's Longest Hockey Game - all in support of cancer research.

The pace the teams skate is slow and labored. It has to be.

But that pace does not emulate the urgency the group feels for the cause. It will take over 10 days, and over 250 hours, this go-around to break the official Guinness World Record, but it's a blink in time to people who have witnessed countless family members and friends suffer through months and even years of chemo treatments, radiation therapy, pain, recovery and more.

It's an inspired group of humans, doing inspiring work.

View More

FEATURE: Larsson's return to Oilers is therapeutic

"Hockey is the best therapy for me right now. Being around the guys gets your mind off everything," said the defenceman

by Paul Gazzola /

GLENDALE, AZ - Hockey is a multitude of things.

It's fast and physical.

It exhibits displays that are both beautiful - like nice goals - and ugly - like gruesome injuries.

It's stressful and intense.

And for some, like Adam Larsson, it's therapeutic.

View More

IN DEPTH: '85 All-Stars

Stories from the 1984-85 Oilers as told by those who lived it

by Staff /

FEBRUARY 12, 1985


View More

FEATURE: Bear and Jones navigating pro life under one roof

Rookie roommates are adjusting to adulthood and the American Hockey League

by Paul Gazzola /

BAKERSFIELD, CA - One was a Thunderbird, the other a Winterhawk.

One shoots left, the other right. 

One games Call of Duty, the other NBA 2K.

Both are Condors. 

Both are defencemen.

And both are navigating the professional level under the same roof.

Video: CONDORS | Bear and Jones Roundtable

View More


This week's In Depth centres around Jesse Puljujarvi's acclimation and rise to prominence with the Oilers

by Cait MacPhail /



You can see it on the highlights and on Twitter. It doesn't matter how things are going for him on the ice, good or bad, he always has a positive attitude, is always laughing and has a smile on his face… He just needed a bit of time to grow into the game a little bit, but now that he has, he's really turning into the player a lot of us knew he could be.

It's really just the start for him.

View More


Black tape or white, whip flex or stiff, this week's In Depth goes in on hockey sticks and the configurations Oilers players make on theirs

by Paul Gazzola /



I grew up in Taber, AB, just outside of Lethbridge and my dad told me what to use.

I remember my dad buying me a couple good sticks growing up. When I say 'good sticks' I mean expensive sticks from Christmas. Other than that, I used a $20 Sher-Wood. I used that all the way until I hit the Regina Pats. I was 16 years old and I was still using $20 wood sticks.

In my junior years with Regina, they gave you options. We were partnered with Bauer and I jumped in there not really knowing what I was doing at first. I grabbed a stick and I can't even remember if I even flexed it once or not, I just took a look at it.

I remember I used a Paul Coffey curve growing up. I used an Eric Lindros for a while, but other than that, when I got to use my first pro stick, I basically said, 'I had a Coffey curve, give me something that looks like a Coffey,' and that's how I started. How else do you start, really?

Sticks have come such a long way now -- and the game has come such a long way -- that the stick is really coming into play. Maybe 10 years ago, when I was 16, it was a different game.

I don't think you needed the secret weapons you have now.

View More

IN DEPTH: The Right Shot

Deriving from a family of left-handed shooters, Matt Benning was encouraged to shoot right at an early age to fill a National Hockey League demand

by Paul Gazzola /



The first memory of hockey for me was four boys in a typical Canadian family growing up with a rink in the back of the yard. We'd go out there and everybody kind of gathered at our place and everybody would just play hockey. That's what we knew. We called it pond hockey, river hockey, whatever -- that's where we learned the game. 

Then we'd play at the community centre and eventually as we grew older, we'd go to the outdoor rinks after school and play with the older guys. You'd have to skate really fast or pass the puck really quick to play with them.

Back then, when we were kids, there was a special at Mohawk: If you got a tank of gas, you could go to the garbage can and pick out a hockey stick. 

So, my dad got a tank of gas and my older brother Jim went to grab a stick 

He grabbed a left. 

The next time dad fuelled up, the special was still on: get a tank of gas, get a stick. 

My brother Mark went and grabbed a stick. Of course, he grabbed a left because older brother Jim grabbed a left. 

So, we're playing with two sticks and then it was my turn next. 

I grabbed a left. 

At the end of the day, all four of the Benning boys shot left and it made it easy for dad to buy sticks. He'd buy them by the dozen and the kids would use them. We kind of adopted that. 

But now, the next generation is on the other side -- they all shoot right.


View More