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DRAFT: Top prospects forming unique bond over past month

The top 2018 NHL Draft prospects have shared a unique experience over the past few weeks, resulting in some unique friendships being created

by Paul Gazzola /

DALLAS, TX - They've been grouped into the same caste since their seasons have ended and as a result, the top 2018 NHL Draft prospects have formed a unique relationship.

Whether it be enduring the rigours of the NHL Scouting Combine, enjoying the Stanley Cup Finals or experiencing their first NHL Draft, the combination of Rasmus Dahlin, Andrei Svechnikov, Filip Zadina, Noah Dobson, Evan Bouchard, Brady Tkachuk and others have gotten closer.

Video: DRAFT RAW | Noah Dobson

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BLOG: Schedule Breakdown

First Battle of Alberta in Calgary on Nov. 17, New Years Eve at home against the Winnipeg Jets before Oilers close out season versus Flames on April 6.'

by Jamie Umbach /

EDMONTON, AB - The Oilers learned how their upcoming campaign will unfold on Thursday afternoon following the release of the 2018-19 NHL regular season schedule.

After travelling to Germany and Sweden as part of the NHL Global Series for a preseason matchup with the Cologne Sharks on Oct. 3 and their season-opener against the New Jersey Devils on Oct. 6 in Gothenburg, the Oilers continue on the road for three more games against the Boston Bruins on Oct. 11, the New York Rangers on Oct. 13 and a clash with the Winnipeg Jets at the MTS Centre on Oct. 16.

A home-opener rematch with the Bruins on Thursday, Oct. 18 begins a four-game homestand for the Oilers when they welcome the Nashville Predators, Chicago Blackhawks and the Stanley Cup-champion Washington Capitals to Rogers Place on Oct. 20, 23 and 25. A proceeding visit to the Predators and Blackhawks on Oct. 27-28 marks the first of nine back-to-back games this season for head coach Todd McLellan and his players.

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RELEASE: Oilers announce 2018-19 Schedule

Oilers season opens on October 6 against the New Jersey Devils in Gothenburg, Sweden

by Press Release / Edmonton Oilers

(Edmonton, AB) - The Edmonton Oilers will open their season on a four game road trip starting in Gothenburg, Sweden on October 6 against the New Jersey Devils, before returning to Rogers Place to take on the NHL's Original Six Boston Bruins on October 18. 

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BLOG: Chiarelli, management staff prepared for increase in salary cap

"We all try to peg the cap when we do our planning week-to-week and month-to-month until we're told what it is," said Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Peter Chiarelli

by Paul Gazzola /

DALLAS, TX - On Wednesday, National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman announced the 2018-19 season salary cap is expected to be anywhere from $79.5 million to $80 million.

Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Peter Chiarelli discussed how he prepared for the increase.

"We all try to peg the cap when we do our planning week-to-week and month-to-month until we're told what it is," Chiarelli started. "It's a gradual acknowledgment of what it's going to be. I don't think it's really any surprise to any of us, the GMs, where it's going to be."

The payroll range has increased almost every year since it was introduced in the 2005-06 season when it was set at $39 million. Last year, the cap was $75 million and in the 2016-17 campaign, it topped at $73 million. 

Video: DRAFT RAW | Chiarelli Media Avail

"We've been planning for that," continued Chiarelli. "I don't think activity will be greater or lesser because now Gary said it's going to be around this point ($80 million). More of it is this shopping period and GMs are becoming accustomed to it. As a result, you try to do some housekeeping beforehand."

The incline in roster spending allows organizations to dole out a higher salary to their players and provides more space to add potential free agents.

"I think it's a productive period so we'll participate in it," Chiarelli said of the possibility of welcoming new player personnel via free agency.

Chiarelli also said his management team crunches the numbers of certain rosters they could hypothetically field.

"You roll out certain rosters with certain cap numbers," he said. "But as I said, it's not really a surprise to us that Gary said what he said."

The League continues to grow and the projected revenue growth from last year to this year is expected to be roughly seven to eight percent.

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Video and articles on location at the NHL Draft in Dallas

Watch video and read articles and blogs on location from the 2018 NHL Draft in Dallas

by Staff /

We are on location at the 2018 NHL Draft in Dallas and the content is starting to roll in! Visit this page often for regular updates as we add content from the week and also be sure to visit our 2018 Draft Microsite

Video: THE PANEL | Peter Chiarelli the day before the draft


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BLOG: Oilers options with 10th pick

Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Peter Chiarelli discussed the options available to him with the 10th-overall pick at the 2018 NHL Draft

by Ryan Frankson /

DALLAS, TX - A number of different scenarios could play themselves out for the Oilers during the opening round of the 2018 NHL Draft Friday night in Dallas, according to President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Peter Chiarelli.

The team currently holds the 10th-overall selection, and Chiarelli outlined a variety of options he and Edmonton's management team may have on the draft floor at American Airlines Center.

The most obvious first situation is the Oilers sticking with their pick and calling the 10th name of the night. Chiarelli said he's confident there will be a solid player available in that spot.

Video: DRAFT RAW | Chiarelli Media Avail  

"The sense that I got is after the first group of names, that there's kind of an equal group," he said Thursday during his pre-Draft media availability. "That's what our scouts tell us also. We're in that equal group, that next group."

Scenario number two is the Oilers potentially making a trade to move up a couple spots in order to select a specific player they covet.

"The moving up and moving down is positional-based, based on what I got from other GMs," Chiarelli said. "You're going to get a good player at eight, nine, 10. They could be taken five, six, seven."

Though a lot of the chatter around Edmonton's top pick has focused on the glut of smaller, puck-moving defencemen available, the aforementioned player the Oilers covet may not necessarily be a blueliner.

"There are some good defencemen in the top part of the draft, (but) we're going to draft the best player available," Chiarelli said. "If we can move to the right spot to get the right type of player, we'll look at that, too."

There's also a chance the Oilers could involve the 10th-overall pick in a trade to acquire an established NHL player - specifically a blueliner.

"We would look to move the pick if the right NHL defenceman is available," Chiarelli said. "I have had discussions with teams and it's still ongoing but I would look at that."

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BLOG: Search for a defenceman continues

Oilers President of Hockey Ops and GM Peter Chiarelli spoke to the media Thursday in Dallas and was asked about the potential to yield a defenceman this week

by Paul Gazzola /

DALLAS, TX - Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Peter Chiarelli fielded questions from media members on Thursday - a day ahead of the 2018 NHL Draft.

The Oilers general manager was asked about the attempt to acquire a defenceman. Specifically, a right-shot or offensive-minded rearguard.

"That's a hot topic," started Chiarelli. "Just from an offensive perspective, if the defenceman we're looking for - if it could be a right shot - that'd be great. I'm not just closing in on the right shot. They're hard to get and there are some in the draft, too."

Video: DRAFT RAW | Chiarelli Media Avail

With plenty of defencemen available in the opening round of the draft - including many that fit the bill in terms of what the Oilers hope to yield - Chiarelli didn't rule out moving up but asserted the best player available would be chosen.

"At 10, we think there might be that defenceman available," Chiarelli said. "We might have to move up. We'll draft the best player available at 10 but as far as acquiring a defenceman, it is hard. They're valuable players, especially in this NHL."

Chiarelli also noted he's not necessarily fixated on a right-left defence pairing paradigm.

"There are players that can handle pucks from both sides and pass pucks from both sides, so I'm not really hung up on that," he said. 

"That general type of player is hard to find. The way the NHL is going they're becoming more valuable and that's the obstacle that we face."

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BLOG: Oilers place Gryba on unconditional waivers

The Oilers have placed defenceman Eric Gryba on unconditional waivers for the purpose of buying out his contract

by Paul Gazzola /

DALLAS, TX - The Oilers have placed defenceman Eric Gryba on unconditional waivers for the purpose of buying out his contract.

"We just figured that he wouldn't be in our lineup next year and it would clear up a contract," Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Peter Chiarelli said Thursday. "It would give Eric a chance to pursue his career elsewhere."

Gryba, 30, played 21 games with the Oilers in the 2017-18 season, registering two assists and 31 penalty minutes.

Chiarelli noted there were also salary cap implications as part of the decison.

"That's part of the equation," he said. "I think it works out to $300 (thousand dollars of) cap space. That factored into the decision but at the end of the day, we decided to buy him out."

Tweet from @EdmontonOilers: The #Oilers have placed defenceman Eric Gryba on unconditional waivers for the purpose of buying out his contract.

In 24 outings with the Bakersfield Condors, the 6-foot-4, 222-pound defender amassed 27 penalty minutes and was a minus-nine.

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BLOG: McDavid named to NHL's First All-Star Team

McDavid earns second career First All-Star Team nod

by Marc Ciampa /

Oilers captain Connor McDavid was named to the NHL's First All-Star Team for the second time in his career. 

Joining McDavid is Taylor Hall (New Jersey), Nikita Kucherov (Tampa Bay), Drew Doughty (Los Angeles), Victor Hedman (Tampa Bay) and Pekka Rinne. 

Among those voted to the Second Team is Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban, who garnered his third postseason All-Star berth after capturing First Team honors in 2012-13 and 2014-15.

The other five players voted to the Second Team are making their first career appearance on an NHL postseason All-Star Team: right wing Blake Wheeler and goaltender Connor Hellebuyck of the Winnipeg Jets, left wing Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers, defenseman Seth Jones of the Columbus Blue Jackets, and center Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche.

Voting for the All-Star Team is conducted among representatives of the Professional Hockey Writers Association at the end of the regular season.

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BLOG: McDavid grateful for second Ted Lindsay Award

Connor McDavid comments on being voted by fellow players to receive back-to-back Ted Lindsay Awards

by Cait MacPhail /

LAS VEGAS, NV - For the second consecutive season, Connor McDavid was named as the recepient of the Ted Lindsay Award, presented annually to the most outstanding player in the NHL as voted by fellow members of the NHLPA.

Video: Connor McDavid wins the Ted Lindsay Award

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