The Edmonton Oilers have announced that assistant coach Jim Johnson will not be behind the bench tonight as the Oilers take on the San Jose Sharks at Rogers Place. Coach Johnson’s father has passed away and the veteran coach has requested and been granted a leave of absence to mourn the death.
Johnson will rejoin the team for their upcoming Florida road trip this weekend.
RIP. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Johnson family.
TSN analyst Ray Ferraro rips Oilers’ Draisaitl
TSN analyst Ray Ferraro appeared on Toronto’s 1050 Overdrive radio yesterday and discussed the Edmonton Oilers 2017-18 season and the offseason mess facing the team later this year.
First off, Overdrive’s host Jeff O’Neill ripped into the Oilers management group, headed by general manager Peter Chiarelli and speculated that no one would want his job if he were to be dismissed.
“What would you do? I don’t know. What the hell can you do?” O’Neill said. “Is it crazy to think that somebody might not want the Edmonton Oilers job? You got McDavid there but everything else is a mess. Why do I want to take that on? Because you know how it goes: your first time around (as a GM), it doesn’t work, you’re done.”
Get real, O’Neill. The fact is that there’s only 31 NHL GM jobs in the world… you can bet your life that someone would kill for the opportunity to become the Oilers’ next GM.
Up next, Ferraro decided to rip into the construction of the Oilers by throwing 22-year-old superstar Leon Draisaitl under the bus.
“I have no idea why they had to go to $8.5 million with Draisaitl,” Ferraro said. “I didn’t think they had to do it. I thought that was an overpay.”
“And it’s so crippling to your team because of every move that you make going forward you’re standing in a hole,” Ferraro said. “The Oilers, no matter what they do, they are standing in a $28 million hole. The three contracts are going nowhere, Lucic, McDavid, Draisaitl. That is $28 million… For a team that’s not very good, they’ve got lots of cap issues.”
For what it’s worth, Ferraro is bang on with his assessment of Lucic. No matter how you look at things, the Lucic deal is bad. But slamming Draisaitl and McDavid? Come on, man. That’s just lazy reporting.
You’re better than this Ray, step your game up.
Breaking: Former Oilers captain Ference hired by NHL
The NHL has announced today that it has hired former Edmonton Oilers captain Andrew Ference as its Director of Social Impact, Growth and Fan Development.
It’s expected that Ference will continue to reside in Edmonton as he tackles his new career, but that he’ll also make frequent trips to the NHL’s head offices in New York City.
Here’s the official press release from the NHL:
In his new role, Ference will be responsible for helping to advance the League's social impact, community based grassroots and fan development growth efforts. Leveraging his 16-year professional hockey career and relationships across many stakeholder groups, he will develop new strategies to drive on- and off-ice youth participation and fandom efforts, particularly focused on bringing new audiences to the game through deeper engagement efforts that are anchored by Declaration of Principles.
"During his playing career, Andrew Ference demonstrated his commitment to excellence both on and off the ice serving as an innovative ambassador for the sport and the League in building vibrant communities through social impact," said Davis. "We are thrilled to have him join our team."
An eighth-round selection (208th overall) by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, Ference played for the Penguins, Calgary Flames, Boston Bruins (with whom he won a Stanley Cup in 2011) and Edmonton Oilers (during which he served as team captain). A native of Sherwood Park, Alberta, he also represented Canada at the 1999 World Junior Hockey Championship.
Throughout his professional hockey career, Ference's personal interest in environmental sustainability and health and wellness has led him to key leadership positions in both fields. He has been a member of the Green Sports Alliance's board of directors since 2016, a partner with Fifth Season Ventures since 2015, and founded the November Project Canada free fitness movement in 2013. In 2014, Ference received the King Clancy Award, given to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.
Congrats, Andrew! We’re sure you’ll do fantastic in your new career!