Tag:Gilbert Brule
Posted on: October 2, 2011 7:26 pm

No. 1 pick Nugent-Hopkins survives Oilers cuts

By Brian Stubits

It doesn't come as much of a surprise, but the Edmonton Oilers are going to break camp with No. 1 overall pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins still in the fold.

The team made five cuts, putting Gilbert Brule, Josh Green, Ryan Keller and Ryan O'Marra on waivers so they can be reassigned to the AHL while sending Teemu Hartikainen to AHL Oklahoma City outright. That leaves 27 players on the roster, including Nugent-Hopkins. Factor in multiple injuries and it looks as though RNH is going to at least get the first nine games of the season.

Taylor Hall, the No. 1 overall pick last summer played with the Oilers all season, but some wondered if Nugent-Hopkins was physically ready to play in the NHL this season. TPretty much the only concern scouts had about him centered around his size. At just 171 pounds, the question was could he sustain a season. He has since put more weight and will get his shot.

What Nugent-Hopkins brings to the Oilers is a true play-making center who is credited with having some of the best on-ice vision since Wayne Gretzky. Last season with Red Deer in the WHL, Nugent-Hopkins 75 assists (and 31 goals) in 69 games.

Among those the Oilers are sending down, Brule is the biggest name. Before suffering through an injury-plagued season last year, he was third on the Oilers in scoring two seasons ago. But he drew a lot of attention during the playoffs last year when he picked up a hitchhiking Bono from U2, who called Brule his hero.

(Bad joke alert!) Good thing for the Oilers Bono can't put a claim on him, because we know he'd pick Brule up.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: July 30, 2011 1:39 pm
Edited on: July 30, 2011 1:57 pm

Kings file grievance over Colin Fraser injury

FraserBy: Adam Gretz

The Los Angeles Kings are still arguing that the Edmonton Oilers misrepresented the health status of forward Colin Fraser prior to last month's trade that sent Ryan Smyth back to Alberta. As a result, the Kings reportedly filed a grievance with the NHL on Friday night, according to Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times.

Frasher was acquired by the Kings around the time of the NHL draft in a deal that sent the veteran Smyth back to the team that originally drafted him, after he had a requested a trade that would return him closer to his home province of Alberta. The original deal was supposed to involve forward Gilbert Brule, but because the Kings had conerns over Brule's health, the deal was re-worked to include Fraser and a draft pick.

After the Kings received Fraser, the club realized he hadn't fully healed from a foot injury that sidelined him during the 2010-11 season which has been the center of controversy regarding the deal. Kings general manager Dean Lombardi claimed that the Oilers front office told him Fraser was just days away from being able to return to hockey activities, only to have the Kings learn that the veteran forward still had an unhealed fracture in his foot, among other complications related to the injury, and would require additional surgery.

He underwent surgery earlier this week to repair the fracture, while his agent, Jerry Johansen, told Elliott that his client will eventually be 100 percent, even if there is no immediate timetable for his return.

The grievance will be heard by commissioner Gary Bettman who will decide if the Oilers did, in fact, misrepresent Fraser's injury.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: July 9, 2011 11:22 am
Edited on: July 9, 2011 1:53 pm

Dean Lombardi still angry at Oilers

DeanLombardiBy: Adam Gretz

Earlier this summer the Edmonton Oilers re-acquired one of the most popular players in recent franchise history, Ryan Smyth, in a trade with the Los Angeles Kings. Smyth had requested a move out of Southern California to be closer to his home in Alberta. In return for Smyth, who left the Kings with somewhat limited options, the Oilers sent them forward Colin Fraser and a seventh-round draft pick, after Los Angeles general manager Dean Lombardi had previously rejected a deal involving Gilbert Brule due to injury concerns.

Fraser didn't exactly have a clean bill of health either, having fractured a foot last season while blocking a shot. According to Helene Elliot of the Los Angeles Times, Lombardi said he knew of the injury but was told by the Oilers staff that Fraser was just days away from being cleared for hockey activities. Once the trade was completed and the Kings doctors examined Fraser, they found a number of unexpected issues, including an unhealed fracture, a cyst and a blood disorder which could keep him out for up to four months. None of this, as you can imagine, amused Lombardi.

When combined with the injury concerns to Brule in the original deal, Lombardi was left with some sour feelings toward the Oilers front office and said, via Elliot:

"The bottom line for me, I would have rather invested my money with Bernie Madoff than invest in Edmonton’s word.”
The Oilers will reportedly not publically respond to Lombardi's comment.

This would be how relations between two teams turn sour. 

In the aftermath of the trade, when the Kings initially voiced their concerns over the injury, Oilers general manager Steve Tambelinni stood by the deal and insisted that Los Angeles knew Fraser's medical history prior to the trade and that none of it should be a surprise. The Kings, naturally, disagreed with that assessment and wanted to rework the trade. That never happened and they are now exploring their legal options.

In the meantime, it would probably be a safe assumption to think these two teams won't be involved in any deals together in the near future -- at least not until this situation sorts itself out. Or, worst case scenario, when either team (or both) has a change in its front office and the two clubs can start their relationship over with a clean slate.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: June 2, 2011 3:57 am
Edited on: June 2, 2011 1:43 pm

Oilers' Brule picks up hitchhiker ... named Bono

Why is a picture of Bono in the Eye on Hockey blog? We're glad you asked.

Edmonton Oilers center Gilbert Brule was in West Vancouver with his girlfriend Kelsey Nichols, with tickets to take in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Canucks and Bruins. Only they didn't make to the game. Instead they took a detour ... by picking up a hitchhiking Bono. As in the frontman for U2.

Nobody I know picks up hitchhikers. Heck, nobody must ever pick them up anymore because hitchhikers have all but vanished from the roads I travel on.

Yet the fact that an NHL player would pick up a hitchhiker is the most believable part of this story.

The Edmonton Journal originally had the details, including Brule's side of the story.

Brule and girlfriend Kelsey Nichols were driving to a park to walk Bella, their German shepherd, on Tuesday afternoon near the West Vancouver Yacht club when they spotted a couple of hitchhikers on the side of the road.

Brule, watching out the window, was sure one of them was Bono.

Nichols, who was driving, didn’t believe him, because, really, why would Bono be hitchhiking in West Van?

“I didn’t want to stop, but they waved and G yelled ‘that’s Bono’,” Nichols said Wednesday night at Commonwealth Stadium. “I didn’t believe him so I kept driving.”

The couple went on, a short distance anyway, all the while Brule trying to convince Nichols to turn around. Eventually, she agreed.

The hitchhikers were still there when they drove up, so they yelled out: “Bono!”

He waved and walked over to their truck.

Turns out, he and his assistant had gone out for a walk when it started to rain, just before Brule and Nichols happened upon them.

On the drive to Horseshoe Bay, Bono and his assistant sat in the back with the couple’s dog. The four chatted about Brule’s hockey career, about Dublin and Bono’s apparent love for Vancouver.

Bono mentioned that his band was playing a show in Edmonton on Wednesday and asked if they’d like to go.

Then there's Bono's side, where his introduction of the band before an Edmonton show took on a hockey theme to the crowd's delight and even included a shot at football.

Needless to say, they took Bono up on his offer to attend the concert, where Bono had a message to the crowd for his unexpected chauffeur. "I'm ever so grateful. I've decided that I want to be Gilbert Brule."

If I were Brule, I'm not sure what would be the coolest part of all this ... getting to meet Bono or Bono saying he wants to be me.

This is pretty much the sweetest thing I've heard off the ice in a long time. Now maybe U-2 will look a little harder at the next hitchhiker you see. (Sorry, it's just too tough to resist the urge to use awful, awful puns.)

-- Brian Stubits

Category: NHL
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