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FEATURE: Strome finds his fit

Oilers centre established his position on the ice and home off it after signing a two-year deal with the Oilers

by Paul Gazzola /

EDMONTON, AB - Ryan Strome marked his territory.

Both on the ice and in Alberta's capital after inking a two-year deal worth $6.2 million with the Oilers organization on Friday.

"For the first time in my career, I've found a little bit of a home," the 24-year-old said by phone from a friend's cottage in Prince Edward Island. "Towards the end of the season, I started to really feel comfortable. 

"I told my agent, 'I'm a big believer in what's going on in Edmonton.'"

Video: SJS@EDM: Strome nets 10,000th goal in Oilers history

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FEATURE: Rieder's reunion

Tobias Rieder's return to Edmonton sees a reunion of two kinds

by Cait MacPhail /

EDMONTON, AB - Signing a one-year contract with the Edmonton Oilers on the first day of NHL Free Agency marked a reunion of a couple kinds for German forward Tobias Rieder. The first of which is a return to the organization that drafted him in the fourth round and 114th-overall in 2011.

What the Oilers liked about the speedy winger back in 2011 is what brought him back into the organization's fold, albeit under a different regime.

Video: OILERS TODAY | Free Agency Day

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FEATURE: Gravel eyes opportunity with Oilers in healthy state

Oilers free agent signee Kevin Gravel looks ahead to his opportunity with the organization, without his health holding him back

by Paul Gazzola /

EDMONTON, AB - It was right around this time last year when defenceman Kevin Gravel was experiencing the symptoms of what would later be diagnosed as Crohn's disease - an inflammatory disease that causes fatigue, weight loss and pain.

"It hit me last summer," said Gravel by phone after inking a one-year deal with the Oilers Sunday. "Almost exactly a year ago today."

Video: OILERS TODAY | Free Agency Day

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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.

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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.


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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. 

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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.

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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.

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IN DEPTH: '85 All-Stars

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

by Staff /

FEBRUARY 12, 1985


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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

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