Now that the dust has settled and we know who brought gold from the Olympic Games and who will remain on the Edmonton Oilers’ roster till the end of the season (at least), it’s time to reflect.
The fifth installment of Oil Change will help us do exactly that. It will air on Sportsnet, both on the national and regional networks, Sunday, March 16.
As has become a useful tradition, re-broadcasts will follow.
The newest episode will go along several tracks.
The first one inspects a development not many outside of the team thought they could expect: the Oilers have begun heating up, and all that amidst one of the harsher winters on record. Yes, any thought of this season’s playoffs seems to be gone, but not the fighting spirit. It may be a sign of things to come next season, but, in any case, the arrival of goalie Ben Scrivens, high-energy forward Matt Hendricks and hard-nosed blueliner Mark Fraser seem to have had more impact than many would have anticipated.
These moves happened even before the Olympic break so, officially, they do not count as trade deadline acquisitions. Except, there was a roster freeze in effect during the Olympic Games, so, why not be a bit more generous, right?
Three Oilers went to Sochi, Russia: Ales Hemsky to play for the Czechs, Anton Belov for the Russians, and Martin Marincin for the Slovaks. The few games after the Olympic break would be Hemsky’s swan song as an Oiler: he would be gone on trade deadline day to the Ottawa Senators.
But the new goalie, Ben Scrivens, would endear himself to the team and its fans even before the break: an NHL-record, 59-save, 3-0 shutout victory over the San Jose Sharks would do that for you.
Oil Change used the Olympic break to send its crew down to Oklahoma City and see how some of the younsgters are doing. They weren’t the only ones to make the trip to see the Barons, the Oilers’ AHL affiliate: general manager Craig MacTavish was on hand, too.
While Oil Change was there to report on the progress of people like Martin Gernat, Oscar Klefbom and Tyler Pitlick, MacTavish’s role was a tad more involved. The idea was for him to see, first-hand, the depth of his organization so he knows what moves he can (and can’t) afford come the trade deadline day.
You can be excused if you hadn’t known, but now you will: the Oilers’ Andrew Ference and David Perron dropped in by the NHL New York office on the club’s day off during their eastern swing, and they got to chat with the commissioner, Gary Bettman, himself.
This episode of Oil Change will take us all the way through the trade deadline day. We’ve all heard the rumours, and we know now what’s actually happened. Thanks to this episode of Oil Change, we’ll know how it happened and why, too.
And while we’ll be digesting the latest documentary by the award-winning (and Edmonton-based) Aquila Productions, they will be hard at work on the next segment.
Such is the life of documentary filmmakers: it doesn’t stop. And neither do they.
Tagged: AHL, Ales Hemsky, Andrew Ference, Anton Belov, Aquila Productions, Ben Scrivens, Craig MacTavish, David Perron, Edmonton Oilers, Mark Fraser, Martin Marincin, Matt Hendricks, Oil Change, Oklahoma City Barons, Olympic Games, Ottawa Senators, Russia, San Jose Sharks, Sochi, Sportsnet, trade deadline day