Oilers' trip back to Raleigh delayed by airplane woes

Updated: June 13, 2006, 9:12 PM ET
By Scott Burnside | ESPN.com

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Oilers, already smarting from a home-ice loss on Monday night, had their travel plans go awry en route to Raleigh on Tuesday morning.

A faulty battery in the team's charter jet forced a 10 a.m. departure to be delayed until 12:45 p.m. Edmonton time. With a two-hour time change and a five-hour flight, the Oilers didn't arrive at their hotel until after 7 p.m. ET.

"It was not really much of a day," said center Shawn Horcoff. "Most of the guys knew about it in the morning and were able to stay home and spend a little bit more time with the family."

Forward Sergei Samsonov said the delay may have actually had a hidden benefit.

"It's kind of a blur actually just because we spent the whole day on the airplane. Probably a good thing, just staying together staying close as a group, just kind of going through a day. It's actually a pretty short day," Samsonov said.

Netminder Jussi Markkanen was en route to the airport when he heard about the delay.

"I left home, but I got the call, so I got back home and got the good breakfast and a couple of hours later [went] back to the airport," Markkanen said. "It happens. We get used to these kinds of things. In the West, we travel a lot anyways."

It was unknown whether the Edmonton Oilers' power play was the power source.

Scott Burnside is an NHL writer for ESPN.com.

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