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BLOG: Strome comments on Saturday's line shuffling

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

EDMONTON, AB - Ryan Strome was slotted to play with Connor McDavid on Saturday night against the Winnipeg Jets, but by the end of the game he was shuffled down the lineup. Jesse Puljujärvi was the beneficiary of the move, sliding up to play with the Oilers captain.

McLellan said after the game he was hoping to get Ryan to be "a little harder and a little more competitive, so it was sending him a bit of a message."

Video: PRE-GAME RAW | Ryan Strome

That was one of the factors why the move was made. The shuffling got Puljujärvi going as well. Strome commented Monday, on changing lines and his overall game.

"I saw a couple of the clips that I thought could have been improved on," said Strome. "Clean that up and I really just think that at the end of the day you have to get yourself ready for the start of the year. It's building, and trying to get to where you want to be. It's great. I got to see the clips this morning and there were a couple of things I remember from the bench. The team responded well, I thought I responded well. It's kind of good to play with different guys too and I think you've just got to get your game where you want to be, and it's part of the learning process."

Strome expect to have a bounce-back game next time he hits the ice.

"Now is the time to clean those things up," said Strome. "I don't think it's anything too huge, it's just a matter of knowing your job, getting your job done and helping the team out. It's pretty simple."

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RELEASE: Oilers release six

Downing, Jones, Laleggia and Mantha assigned to Condors; Callahan and Lowe on waivers

by Press Release / Edmonton Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers have reduced their training camp roster by six today. The following players have been assigned to the Bakersfield Condors (AHL).
Grayson Downing (F)
Caleb Jones (D)
Joey Laleggia (F)
Ryan Mantha (D)
In addition, the following players will be placed on waivers for the purpose of assignment.
Mitch Callahan (F)
Keegan Lowe (D)
The Oilers roster now sits at 36 players (4 goalies, 11 defenceman and 21 forwards).
Edmonton Oilers hockey is presented by Molson Canadian, Rogers, Ford, Scotiabank and the Rexall Family of Pharmacies.

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BLOG: Pasquale placed on waivers

Oilers have placed goaltender Eddie Pasquale on waivers for the purpose of assignment to Bakersfield (AHL)

by Marc Ciampa /

Oilers have placed goaltender Eddie Pasquale on waivers for the purpose of assignment to Bakersfield (AHL). Pasquale played half of Monday's game against the Flames in Edmonton and allowed two goals on 12 shots. 

Tweet from @EdmontonOilers: The #Oilers have placed goaltender Eddie Pasquale on waivers for the purpose of assignment to the Bakersfield @Condors.

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BLOG: Slepyshev nearing a return

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

EDMONTON, AB - Anton Slepyshev hurt his ankle during off-season training, but there was a good sign Friday as he took the ice with Group A.

The 23-year-old winger says he's feeling "80 percent" and that he should be good in a few days. He's hopeful he can get a few pre-season games of action before the season begins.

Video: INJURY UPDATE | Anton Slepyshev

"I hope so, but it depends on what the doctors say to me and whether I'm ready or not," he said. "We'll see, but I hope so."

Slepyshev played 41 games for the Oilers last season, recording four goals and six assists. The winger also played 12 playoff games, scoring three goals. He figured to take on a big role with the club this season, but the injury has been a set back.

"I think now in camp, everyone has had an opportunity so I just want to play and again show the coaching staff what I can do and how I can help the team," Slepyshev said. "It happens, so I have to (get my ankle healthy) and get ready to play."

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BLOG: Fan support still sinking in for Kassian

Energizing winger appreciates fans' reception to him and fellow teammates

by Paul Gazzola /

EDMONTON, AB - Formerly labelled with having a menacing reputation around the League, Zack Kassian no longer wonders how he is received in Alberta's capital city.

The beloved Oilers forward heard his name reverberate through Rogers Place in the post-season last year and became one of Oil Country's treasured players. 

Locked into a three-year contract extension he inked in the off-season, Kassian's reception from the Oilers faithful still hasn't sunk in and he likes to think the love is spread throughout the dressing room.

Video: RAW | Zack Kassian

"I know the fans appreciate the way I play which is nice but there's a lot of good players in here," Kassian said on Thursday. "All the Oilers fans love the Oilers, there's not just one particular guy."

Kassian is no stranger to fan engagement. He was part of a special season seat holder jersey surprise for 19-year-old Jackie Buzak, a long-time season seat holder enduring a medical battle. The winger also helped produce the Seventh Man Celebration, one of the best goal reactions of 2016-17 when he linked up with fan Brad Ferguson in Game 6 of Round 2 of the playoffs.

"It's definitely nice knowing you're welcomed as a player but I think that's just the passion Edmonton Oilers fans have for the players," he said.

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BLOG: Khaira on why he chose No. 16

"My favourite number is 11 but that's retired and there's no questions asked there," said the forward

by Paul Gazzola /

EDMONTON, AB - Oilers forward Jujhar Khaira will sport No. 16 this season.

The 23-year-old explained his decision to go with the new digits.

"It was the first number I ever wore playing hockey," Khaira said, later elaborating.

Video: RAW | Jujhar Khaira

"My favourite number is 11 but obviously, that's retired (Mark Messier) and there's no questions asked there; it rightfully should be," he continued.

"I wore 16 in Prince George (Spruce Kings) and decided to bring it back."

The last Oilers player to wear No. 16 was Teddy Purcell. Eleven other former Oilers have worn the number: Jarret Stoll, Mike York, Colin Fraser, Rem Murray, Darcy Hordichuk, Ryan Potulny, Kelly Buchberger, Selmar Odelein, Pat Hughes, Bobby Schmautz and Dan Newman.

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BLOG: Thursday practice updates 09/21

The Oilers are on the ice at Rogers Place following their 4-1 rout over the Winnipeg Jets

by Staff /

EDMONTON, AB - The Oilers skated at Rogers Place Thursday after defeating the Winnipeg Jets 4-1 at Bell MTS Place on Wednesday.

Stay tuned for news, notes, lines and more.

Lines at the skate are:

Maroon - McDavid - Strome

Lucic - Draisaitl - Caggiula

Jokinen - Nugent-Hopkins - Puljujarvi

Khaira - Letestu - Kassian

Pakarinen - Kelly - Yamamoto

Video: OILERS TODAY | Making His Mark

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BLOG: Rockets add Draisaitl to mural wall

by Ryan Frankson /

EDMONTON, AB - There's a new addition to the wall outside the Kelowna Rockets locker room at Prospera Place and you'll definitely recognize him.

The Rockets recently added a portrait of Leon Draisaitl to their mural of past players, paying homage to the now-Oilers forward who suited up in the Okanagan in 2014-15.

Tweet from @Reganrant: .@Drat_29 has really made it as an all-time great of @Kelowna_Rockets with this new portrait outside the dressing room at Prospera Place.

After getting dealt from the Prince Alberta Raiders upon his assignment from the Oilers to the Western Hockey League, the 2014 third-overall NHL draft pick scored 53 points in 32 regular season games with the Rockets.

He then tallied 28 points in 19 playoff games to help Kelowna capture the Ed Chynoweth Cup league championship before winning the Memorial Cup MVP award with seven points in five games.

Unfortunately, the Rockets lost to the Oshawa Generals in the national championship game, but Draisaitl certainly made a lasting impression on the Rockets before moving back to pro hockey in a full-time capacity.

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BLOG: Time allocation

More time on special teams means games will have to be coached differently, something Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan is aware of

by Paul Gazzola /

EDMONTON, AB - With the emphasis now being to call any malicious stick taps or cheating centremen looking for an edge on the draw, there's no doubt special teams will become much more important in 2017-18.

Video: RAW | McLellan on Camp Day 6

Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan remarked on the looming scenario on Tuesday. 

"It's proportionate," he said. "Right now, we're spending about six to seven more minutes a night in special teams situations. Now, we've only played one game at home and one game on the road and I don't know where that's going to go, but if that's any indication, we've really got to brush up."

McLellan said how he uses his players will need to be taken into consideration. The coach fears some skaters getting cold on the bench while others stay moving.

"You have to think about getting more players involved, as penalty killers especially, because if you're not involved in that situation you may be sitting there for a while and not be into the game," McLellan said. "There's a number of things to think about but I think it's an advantage now having been here for two years and having the group together. We have a foundation for the power play and penalty kill. I go back to where we were two years ago when we started, it'd be a tough task to get it all together with the emphasis on special teams."

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BLOG: McLellan assesses Yamamoto's first audition

2017 first-rounder registered a goal and assist in Calgary and held his own against incumbent defenders

by Paul Gazzola /

EDMONTON, AB - Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan liked 2017 first-rounder (22nd-overall) Kailer Yamamoto's game in Calgary on Monday night.

"He looked like he performed very well," McLellan said on Tuesday. "He was very capable of handling his size in Calgary's building. He had very good anticipation skills and he seemed to pick concepts up."

Video: RAW | McLellan on Camp Day 6

Yamamoto ended the night with two points (1G, 1A) and two shots on goal in 15:45 minutes played. He got a look on a powerful first-unit power play, which featured the likes of Leon Draisaitl, Oscar Klefbom, Milan Lucic and Drake Caggiula.

"The coaches mentioned they only had to tell him once or twice on how to adjust to things and he was able to do that," McLellan said.

"It was a really good first showing but that's just what that is: a first audition. He'll get an opportunity to play many more games and we'll see where he goes."

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