Andy Sutton has decided to retire.
Sutton wasn't able to play in 2013 due to a knee injury. He had 38 goals and 150 points in 676 games with the San Jose Sharks, Minnesota Wild, Atlanta Thrashers, New York Islanders, Ottawa Senators, Anaheim Ducks, and Edmonton Oilers. "My NHL career enabled me to not only play the game I love, but to also be a part of something that so many kids dream about growing up," Sutton said. "Throughout my 15 years in the league, I have played for some exceptional hockey teams and have met quality people and friends along the way. None of what I accomplished on the ice would have been possible without the unwavering support of my family, friends, teammates and fans who made playing hockey even more enjoyable."
Detroit Red Wings forward Damien Brunner has a lot of respect for what Edmonton Oilers coach Ralph Krueger did for hockey in Switzerland.
Krueger coached the Swiss national team before becoming the Oilers' bench boss. "With Krueger we got pretty consistent making the quarterfinals, he did a great job," Brunner said. "For Switzerland he made them believe we could take the next step. Then when he left, Sean Simpson took over and he's been able to take the next step by winning a quarterfinal and winning a semifinal. But Ralph Krueger did a great job over the time he was there." Switzerland ended up falling short in the gold medal game, but it was still their best showing in the tournament since 1935.
The deadly tornado that tore through Oklahoma on Monday was only half a mile from the practice facility of the Oilers' AHL affiliate in Oklahoma City.
"All of our guys are safe and accounted for," said Barons general manager Bill Scott. "We're good. Our guys live on the north side of the city or in the downtown area. Our staff was in the office downtown. Some of them live in Moore but all are accounted for." The storm absolutely devastated the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, leveling houses for blocks at a time. Defenseman Alex Plante is one of the players who lives in Moore. "I'd come downtown for a dentist appointment and the family I was staying with in Moore, who adopted three Downs Syndrome kids, managed to get the kids out of their school before the lockdowns," said Plante, who also noted he didn't want to see the damage caused by the storm.
Alex Hemsky will likely be dealt in the off-season according to The Edmonton Journal.
The injury-prone forward is quite the scorer when healthy but he has been anything but the last four seasons as he has missed 118 games in that span. "I don't think there's a market for him . . .I shouldn't say there's no market," said former NHL GM Craig Button, who now works for TSN. "But the salary cap is coming down to $64.3 million. He makes $5 million for one more year. Would the Oilers pick up half of that to trade him, 50-50 (with another team)? That would still free up $2.5 million in cap space for the Oilers. I don't know if they can get something tangible in return for Hemsky. Andrew Cogliano got the Oilers a second-round draft (pick). I don't know if they can get that for Hemsky." Hemsky has struggled the last two seasons with 20 points in 38 games this season and 36 points in 69 games in 2011-12 but was a point-a-game player, or close to it, before that.
The Oilers and Edmonton city council have completed the funding agreement on a new arena.
So ends the seven-year debate over the project. The team and city will now split the cost of the final $30 million needed to greenlight the project, which will be completed in time for the 2016-17 season and begin in the spring of 2014. The total cost, including the arena and surrounding infrastructure, will be $604.5 million. The Oilers will be on the hook for $161.5 million, the city $279 million and the remaining $125 million will come from a ticket tax. "The result today is a landmark agreement that enables our city to move forward in an enormously positive way," said Oilers owner Daryl Katz.
Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal speculates it's only 50-50 the Oilers will buy out captain Shawn Horcoff this summer.
Horcoff, who will be 35 before next season starts, is due to count $5.5 million against the cap the next two seasons and is coming off a 12-point, 31-game season. Young players like Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle appear ready to take over the team's leadership mantle and it's hard to see Horcoff having a big enough role next year to justify that pay day. If Horcoff does end up as a free agent, we imagine he'd have a decent group of teams interested in adding him at a reduced cost.
Martin Gernat, Travis Ewanyk and David Musil will report to Edmonton's AHL affiliate in Oklahoma City now that the Edmonton Oil Kings have been eliminated from the WHL playoffs.
The trio of Oilers prospects will try to help the Barons keep their playoff run going in the AHL. "I'm excited. It's a new experience for me, and I'll enjoy the time there," said Gernat, who was a fifth-round pick of Edmonton in 2011. "There are a lot of guys there, so I don't know if I will be able to play, but it'll be an experience to be there. New city and all new people there will be nice." They will join the team on Tuesday.