It’s true. Edmonton Oilers right-winger Jordan Eberle has signed a six-year, thirty-six million dollar deal. For those of you who aren’t that good at math, or think that banana is spelled ‘bananna’, that averages out to six million a year. In a perfect world, at least. Just a week and a bit after fellow teammate-and-best-friend Taylor Hall signed his seven-year, forty-two million dollar contract, Eberle has his name on a deal that locks him down along with Hall as two of the Oilers core.
If you ask me, the fact that a rookie who’s first two seasons, while great stats-wise, were both cut short due to injury can get his name on a 42 million-dollar contract is quite impressive. 20-year-old Taylor Hall has got himself a deal that has him sticking around in Edmonton for the next seven years. I say this because Edmonton has more of a tendency to actually keep their long-term contract guys than say, Philadelphia – where if Hall was signing a similar deal he’d probably already know where he was going in February.
He’s excited as can be about the deal; Hall’s looking forward to the rest of the – wait for it – rebuild to take place during his time in Edmonton.
Lady Byng runner-up Jordan Eberle and Calder runner-up Ryan Nugent-Hopkins came away from the NHL awards just that – runner-ups. The voters, the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association, gave their majority vote to Brian Campbell over Eberle – 582 to 512. The Nuge received 1,001 votes while winner Gabriel Landeskog got 1,383. Both boys made sure to express how honoured they were just to be nominated for each awards; being so young and being recognized so highly isn’t something you just brush off, you know.
The Edmonton Oilers will kick off their 34th NHL season against the Winnipeg Jets on September 24th; this is the first of eight pre-season games the club will play this year. They play the Jets once again after that, the Islanders twice (on the same night!), the Canucks, then the Flames twice, and then the Canucks once more.
In 78 games, Oilers RW Jordan Eberle was 34-42-76 and was the game-winning goal-scorer four times. He was a +4 and served 10 penalty minutes and repeatedly appeared on highlight reels throughout the course of the season. Last year, he was 18-25-43 in 69 games with a -12 and 22 penalty minutes.
When he reached the thirty-goal mark this past March, Eberle joined the likes of Dustin Penner, Mike Comrie and Ryan Smyth, who are the only other Oilers to have done the same in the past ten years. His ice time ranged from 1:53 to 22:04 and he was consistently an offensive threat on behalf of the Oilers.
There’s something to be said about someone who can rack up 76 points and only serve 10 penalty minutes over the course of 78 games. That something is “Hey, you deserve a nomination for the Lady Byng Trophy!” That’s exactly why Jordan Eberle’s headed to Las Vegas for the NHL Awards, hopefully to get his name engraved on the trophy. Wayne Gretzky and Jari Kurri both won it, when they had over a hundred points each and 20-30 penalty minutes back in the 80’s. Matt Moulson of the New York Islanders and Brian Campbell of the Florida Panthers are the other two nominations who are up against Eberle for the award.
Aerys predicted Eberle as one of the nominees this year, and I’ll be putting my money (no, not actually, I’m too young to gamble) on him to win it.
No line was safe when it was game time for the Edmonton Oilers this season. A roster riddled with injuries coupled with bouts of unsuccessful play lead to countless line changes and interactions with call-ups from the OKC Barons of the AHL. It’s more or less the case for every team in the NHL, sure, but it’s not actually my job to worry about them, so. Here’s more about the 2011-2012 season.
For the course of this offseason, I’m going to be looking back on different aspects of the Oilers 2011-2012 season: highlights, lowlights and everything in between. I won’t actually say that this will take the entire offseason to finish, but you never know. First things first: goals.
OH AND ALSO, Happy 19th Birthday, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins! Congrats on being old enough to drink in all of Canada.
The 2012 IIHF World Championship is set to take place between May 4th and 20th, with three games on May 4th and the medal games happening on the 20th. It will be held in Helsinki, Finland, and Stockholm, Sweden.
This year, the tournament has a new format. The preliminary and qualification rounds have been made into one round with two pools of eight teams. Group A (Finland, Canada, USA, Switzerland, Slovakia, Belarus, France and Kazakhstan) will play in Helsinki for this round, while Group B (Russia, Sweden, Czech Republic, Germany, Norway, Latvia, Denmark and Italy) will face off in Stockholm. The top four teams from each group advance to the quarterfinals. According to Wikipedia, “This was done as it rewards consistently strong teams instead of those who make ‘upsets’.” The semifinals and medal games will all take place in Finland.
There are three other divisions that exist in separate tournaments; Division I, Division II and Division III play in Slovenia, Poland, Iceland, Bulgaria and Turkey. I didn’t even know that Great Britain had a men’s hockey team. Shows what I know, I guess.
Edmonton Oilers RW Jordan Eberle accepted his invitation to play for Team Canada at this tournament; the entire roster has yet to be announced. Predicted forwards include Eric Staal, Jarome Iginla, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Rick Nash – all of whom won gold with Team Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver – along with stars like Martin St. Louis, Steven Stamkos, Jamie Benn and Evander Kane. Sportsnet predicted the entire roster, naming Eberle as one of their third-line forwards, as well as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins as an extra in the forwards department, and Devan Dubnyk as an extra in the blue paint.
Eberle is well known for his incredibly clutch goal back at the 2009 World Juniors – the Canada/Russia semifinal game that was 5-4 in favour of the Russians; 5.4 seconds were left on the clock when Jordan Eberle tied the game up to send it into overtime, later winning it in the shootout to carry Canada to the gold medal game. Canada won their fifth gold medal in a row that year.
I’m looking forward to hearing the rest of the rosters – and hopefully seeing Canada take home the gold (before doing it again at the 2014 Olympics).
Edmonton Oilers vs. Los Angeles Kings – March 30, 2012
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins wasted no time getting the puck to the net in tonight’s game against the Stars, forcing Jonathan Quick to make his first save only twenty seconds in. Nugent-Hopkins is tied for 2nd in rookie scoring with Colorado’s Gabriel Landeskog (both 49 points), right behind Adam Henrique of the New Jersey Devils (50 points). Remember, he’s played substantially less games than both of them this season. Edmonton’s youngest Ryan couldn’t open the scoring that early, but the Stars could.
At 0:52, Anze Kopitar managed to get the puck through traffic and Oilers goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin to put the visitors up by one. Seconds later, Matt Greene was called for hooking on Ryan Smyth, and the Edmonton’s second-best power play went to work. That’s when Jordan Eberle scored his tenth power play goal this year off of a tic-tac-toe play from Jeff Petry and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. LA went straight back to the Oilers net to pressure Khabibulin some more, but the score remained 1-1 with, yes, fifty-seven minutes left.
6:22 marked Sam Gagner’s holding penalty on which the Kings 23rd-ranked (no, that isn’t quite as impressive, you’re right) power play got their first chance of the night. A chance is all it was, though, because really, the Oilers’ penalty kill was just that much better than the Kings’ man advantage in that situation.
Anze Kopitar was assessed a tripping minor with just under ten minutes to go, and Edmonton was given another chance to better their power play. 43 seconds in, Willie Mitchell’s around-the-boards pass made it past Jeff Petry to Mike Richards, who sprung on a breakaway and backhanded the puck past Khabibulin for his second goal in his last thirty-two games. The rest of the penalty was killed off, along with the next few minutes, without a change in scoring.
It wasn’t until 18:25 that Ryan Jones was sent to the box for roughing after former Oiler Jarret Stoll got a shoulder in Jones’ face; Jones retaliated by knocking Stoll’s helmet off and was given the two-minute minor. The Kings couldn’t capitalize on the power play in the first, but needn’t worry as they were set to start the second period with one extra man on the ice. It was a well-needed break for the Oilers, who hadn’t recorded a single shot since Jordan Eberle’s goal at 1:34.