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Jim Parsons The Hockey Writers

Published on Wednesday, August 5, 2020

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Oilers News and Rumors: McDavid, Draisaitl, Athanasiou, Record 50-50

In an Edmonton Oilers news and rumors update, the Oilers have tied their best-of-five series with the Chicago Blackhawks, but that’s not the only news out of the city on Tuesday.

McDavid Pots First Playoff Hat Trick, Hates Hats

Connor McDavid posted his first career playoff hat trick in the Oilers 6-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday. It was an outstanding performance by McDavid, and his second goal of the game showed off his trademark speed and amazing ability to settle the puck, get creative, and finish it off with a perfect backhand shot.

When you look at the play, McDavid actually turns his stick blade upside down and backward to guide the puck to his feet. Then, before it’s settled, pops it up in the air to get over the defenseman’s stick, before settling it down and blazing in on Corey Crawford for an amazing backhand shelf shot.

After the game, when asked about the arena trying to bring a feel of realism to the game by throwing hats on the ice, McDavid was not a fan.

“I found the hats a little unnecessary. I’d rather just drop the puck and keep on going,” he said. Don’t expect Rogers Place to drop any more hats should McDavid score another hat trick.

Related: 10 NHL Oddities We’ll Never See Again

Oilers Loan Out Maksimov

As per the Edmonton Oilers official Twitter account, the Oilers have assigned forward Kirill Maksimov to CSKA Moscow of the KHL to start the 2020-21 season. That the wording specifically say  “to start the 2020-21 season”, it is assumed that the Oilers will bring him back for training camp next season.

Maksimov joins Dmitri Samorukov, Theodor Lennstrom, Filip Berglund, Philip Broberg, and Markus Niemelainen on the loan list.

Oilers Waiting on Draisaitl

The Oilers and Blackhawks are tied in their series 1-1 and one of the interesting takeaways from the two games is that the NHL’s leading scorer has been largely quiet.

It’s not that Leon Drasiaitl has played badly. In fact, he scored a goal and two assists in Game 1. But, he did most of his damage on the power play, and in Game 2, he registered no points and no shots on net. There’s a sense that the Oilers are just sort of waiting for Leon to break out and take over a game. If he does, the Oilers could find another gear.

If Draisaitl gets hot, that will trigger Kailer Yamamoto and whoever is on that second line with them.

Athanasiou Plays Best Game as an Oiler

While he only played 10 minutes, head coach Dave Tippett said of Andreas Athanasiou, it was his best game in an Oilers uniform and is hoping the performance was something the winger can build upon.

Andreas Athanasiou Edmonton Oilers
Andreas Athanasiou, Edmonton Oilers (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Tippett said after the game that he and the other coaches talked about how much Athansiou contributed, using his speed to create chances. He didn’t score but the coaches did notice.

For Athansiou, this series isn’t just important to keep the Oilers playoff hopes alive, but personally, he needs to play well to keep getting opportunities. If he gets chances and capitalizes on them, it goes a long way towards his chances of getting a qualifying offer from the Oilers as a restricted free agent. In an offseason where money is tight, there’s no guarantee Edmonton will fork over what is required as per his RFA status.

Oilers Set Record 50/50

It’s a world record and after the 50/50 came to a close during the Edmonton Oilers Game 2 on Monday, it was clear there would be a new millionaire in Alberta after the Oilers Community Foundation 50/50 raffle raised over $3-million Monday night.

Someone took home $1,629,722.50 as the public bought tickets online. There’s a lot of complaining on Tuesday as the system wasn’t flawless (and because only one person won), but that’s an incredible turnout and a lot of good money going to charity.

How much did they set the record by? The Oilers Community Foundation and Associate Minister of Red Tape Reduction Grant Hunter tweeted that the $3.2 million was a new record and it broke the Vancouver Canucks raffle which set a world record in 2018 with a total pot of $1,413,630.

Catch up on all the latest NHL Rumors

The post Oilers News and Rumors: McDavid, Draisaitl, Athanasiou, Record 50/50 appeared first on The Hockey Writers.


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