The Oilers have hired University of Alberta Golden Bears head coach Ian Herbers as an assistant coach. Herbers began his coaching career as an assistant coach for the San Antonio Rampage (AHL) in 2003. He joined the OHL’s Saginaw Spirit as an assistant coach in 2004 and remained there for 3 years before becoming head coach of the ECHL’s Johnstown Chiefs. In 2009, Herbers joined the Milwaukee Admirals as an assistant coach, and spent a brief period as head coach in 2012, before becoming head coach of the Golden Bears. Herbers has coached the Golden Bears to 2 championships. He has also crossed paths with Todd McLellan before. Herbers played for McLellan’s Cleveland Lumberjacks in the 2000-2001 season.
Herbers replaces Rocky Thompson, who left the organization to become the new head coach of the Windsor Spitfires. He joins a new look coaching staff of head coach Todd McLellan, and assistant coaches Jay Woodcroft and Jim Johnson.
According to Oilersnation.com, the Bakersfield Condors, Edmonton’s AHL affiliate, is closing in on a deal with former Flames first round pick Greg Nemisz. Nemisz, a two-way forward has spent most of his career in the Flames organization, and most recently in the Hurricanes organization. The deal with Nemisz will be an AHL contract, and while he will likely attend Oilers training camp, he is unlikely to secure a spot with the big club.
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The Oilers have plenty of forwards at the AHL level, and from looking at this, I think it’s perfectly reasonable to suggest that we see one of these forwards in the NHL to start the season. With all of this talk of buyouts, perhaps Purcell is a candidate? Or, maybe a forward is being traded? Things to keep an eye on. At the moment, several of these forwards will be starting the season down in Norfolk, Edmonton’s new ECHL affiliate, assuming there aren’t a ton of injuries.
Justin Schultz’s arbitration hearing is scheduled for July 24th, 11 days from now. This arbitration will open up a second buyout window for the Oilers, regardless of whether Schultz actually goes to arbitration or not. Personally, I’d be surprised if he went to arbitration, but you never know.
Finally, the Katz Group and Oilers Entertainment Group officially announced today “Ice District.” No “the” in front of “ice.” It’s an interesting name, one that received some criticism, but it emphasizes the culture of the city and the importance of hockey to Edmonton. You can take a look at the Ice District website here.
The only hockey tidbit from the press conference came when Bob Nicholson said that the Oilers will be in the playoffs when they move into the new building. We shall see, Bob. We shall see.