Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Edmonton forward Nail Yakupov speaks to media during the Oilers first day of training camp in Edmonton on Sunday, January 13, 2013.

JASON FRANSON/The Canadian Press

The captain of the Edmonton Oilers says after three miserable seasons, his team has a stockpile of explosive young scoring talent and maybe — finally — the chance to have some fun.

"It's nice to be in the (hunt for the) playoffs in January. We're right there. We're tied for first!" Shawn Horcoff joked with reporters Sunday as the team opened training camp at Rexall Place with medical testing.

"Listen, the biggest thing is it's been three hard years for the people in the rink and the fans," he said. "We feel now like because of those years we've been able to build a little bit of a foundation here with some skill."

Story continues below advertisement

Players are scheduled to hit the ice on Monday

Krueger has 15 forwards, eight defencemen and two goalies coming to camp.

There are high expectations for Edmonton this season, fuelled by young forwards Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall along with 2013 No. 1 draft pick Nail Yakupov and defenceman Justin Schultz.

After three seasons of finishing last or next-to-last in the NHL, the Oilers are being picked by many to return to the post-season this year, under new head coach Ralph Krueger.

Krueger told reporters his big task will be to manage expectations for players like Schultz and Yakupov, who have not been exposed to the speed of play or the day-to-day grind at hockey's highest level.

"We have to know that all this hype is only going to prepare teams even better for the Edmonton Oilers," said Krueger.

"(Despite) all this euphoria, and all this excitement and all this energy there's going to be hardships in these next weeks, and we're going to have to fight through those."

Story continues below advertisement

He said the schedule itself will place more emphasis on conditioning, roster depth — and staying power.

"We all know that the pace will be unprecedented. It's a pace that the NHL has never seen before," said Krueger, noting Edmonton will play 48 games in 98 days just to try to qualify for the post-season.

The Oilers open the season on the road next Sunday in Vancouver. The home opener is Jan. 22 versus San Jose.

Included in the schedule is a nine-game, 17-day road trip from late February to mid-March while curlers at the Tim Horton's Brier take over Rexall Place.

"It's very important to have depth," said Krueger. "When you're looking at 12 games in 20 days, it's very important to use your bench, (and) as important as ever to clarify the roles and try to avoid especially forwards playing multi-roles — power play, penalty kill and five on five."

Devan Dubnyk enters the season as the undisputed No. 1 netminder. The six-foot-five goalie from Regina kept in shape by playing at the recent Spengler Cup and said he's ready for the pressure.

Story continues below advertisement

"That's just part of the job — how you play is going to directly affect how successful the team is. It's a spot where you just have to be good and you have to be good every night," said Dubnyk.

The preliminary camp depth chart has Nugent-Hopkins centring the Oilers' top line with Hall on the left wing and Eberle on the right. The No. 2 line is centred by Sam Gagner with Yakupov on his left and veteran Ales Hemsky on the right.

The third line has Horcoff at centre, Ryan Smyth on left wing and Teemu Hartikainen on the right.

The top defence pairing is Ladislav Smid and Jeff Petry. Justin Schultz will play with veteran stay-at-home defenceman Nick Schultz.

Dubnyk will share the goaltending with 40-year-old Nikolai Khabibulin. Khabibulin is coming off hip surgery, and Krueger said he is not yet cleared medically to play.

17:40ET 13-01-13

Story continues below advertisement

Story ID: S6522 (Via Satellite)

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies