Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Well, December 23rd is upon us. The aluminum pole has been taken out of the crawl space, very high strength to weight ratio, no tinsel to distract us, and now, for the Airing of Grievances:


Moreau - your team stinks! You're the captain of this mess. You couldn't captain a.............I've lost my train of thought.

Horcoff - $5.5million, $7million? Who cares when you're not playing worth a nickle. Buy a new shoulder. couldn't......where's Khabibulin? DAMN IT!

Deslauriers - You're 6'4" - the net is 4' high. Do the math! Stop getting beaten over the shoulder!

Cogliano - put your shirt on and score some goals pretty boy.

O'Sullivan - WTF are you shooting at?

Comrie - you sickly little runt! Tamiflu, cold FX, Tylenol, check it out. The boss owns pharmacies for chrissakes!

Nillson - I wish you some consistency, I wish you some consistency, I wish you some consistancy, and a happy new haircut!

Pouliot - Pubis sounds made up to me!

Gilbert - pretend its preseason!

Souray - pretend its last year!

Penner, Vishnovsky - well, you're just Festivus Miracles!

Happy Holidays everyone.

Now, festivus doesn't end until someone pins me

Friday, October 23, 2009

Olympic Delight?

Dustin Penner is having a start for the ages. After last nights game he described his feelings as "skyrockets in flight", a reference to the hilarious Anchorman Afternoon Delight scene - if you haven't seen it, check it out!
Right now, he's playing as complete a game as any forward in the league and looks to have turned a corner in his NHL career. He did a similar turnabout in the AHL in 05-06 when he went from a 28 point player to putting up 39 goals and 84 points in only 57 games. Dude looks like he can't be contained and as of today is the highest scoring Canadian winger in the NHL.
If in December Penner is still a point per game player, still driving wide past defenders, planting himself in front of the net, killing penalties, and basically looking like Oilers MVP, does his name begin to pop up in Team Canada conversations? I wonder how a line of Penner, Perry, and Getzlaf would look?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Training Camp for a 35 Year Old Beer Leaguer

So, I spent 35 minutes on the wife's recumbent bike last night to prepare for the first game back between the pipes on Friday. The legs are a little stiff this morning, so today will be an optional workout:o) Snow on the ground this morning and the Flames and Oilers go at it again tonight and man it feels nice to have hockey back. I mean, baseball isn't bad but what's that Homer J quote after giving up beer? Something like "I never realized how boring this game really is".

So at some point today I'll drag the hockey bag down from the garage loft, unzip, and let the fowl odors escape - from the hockey bag!!! Take the blades out for their annual sharpening (I'm one of those goalies that likes to not mess with the skates much. If I can stand I can play - they get sharpened at the start of the season and again if I completely lose an edge). Settle in tonight to watch MacT give some Oilers insight while Khabibulin regains his rep as a Flames killer. Robbie Shremp suits up for the Islanders tonight for the first time as well. I was never much of a Shremp booster while he was Oilers property, but I can't help rooting for a goal from him tonight. I hope he does well - I'm willing to bet Steve Ludzig has him picked in a keeper league already:o) Speaking of which - I have 18 guys going in my pool tonight! Come on you 18 sonsabitches! Well, except for you Oli Jokinen - take the night off.

On a sad note, I haven't touched this blog in 2 months. I opened it up this morning and saw that I've cracked the ever elusive 10,000 hit total. Over 2000 hits since I last updated. Some of you out there have actually been checking to see if I've written anything, or at least one person has some 2000 times. Here's the number for the Alberta Mental Health Board Hotline - 1-877-303-2642. Someone there can help you.

Let's Go Oilers!

Oh, and what the hell is with the contest to come up with a cheer for the Canadian Olympic Team? Is 'Go Canada Go' not acceptable? Just watch some variation on EH! EH! EH! be picked as the winner.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Odds and Ends

* Dennis Grebeshkov's arbitration date has been set for July 29th in TO. I suspect he settles before that date on a new contract with the Oilers. The reason, James Wisniewski. He put up 24 points in half a season split between Chicago and Anaheim last season and signed a new deal worth $2.75m. He's the Oilers ace in the hole and could drag Greb's award down below $3mil for next season. I wouldn't look past Keith Yandle's 30 points and $1.2mil cap hit either. Chances are slim this gets to that point - I'm betting a one or two year deal at $3mil per is on the horizon.

* Did Jack Johnson just become a whole lot more interesting? Rumors of his involvment in a trade involving Sheldon Souray swirled around the draft. One concern though was Johnson apparent belief that he was worth close to $5mil per season. Many speculated that he'd actually sign a deal for around $3mil per. Well, news from capgeek shows Jack Johnson signing a 2 year deal with a $1.425mil cap hit. Although I'd be weary of trading Souray - that deal has become much more intriguing based on cap relief alone. It also means Ladi Smid should forget about making anything close to $1.5mil per season - he's Johnson without the upside.

* Are the Oilers trying to light a fire under Dany Heatley? I know, that's terrible (groan)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Not Hockey Related Whatsoever

My daughter is the troublemaker in the green hat. Sometimes it's best to remember what's really important - like your family and their happiness. These might be the dog days of summer for hockey, but for anyone with a family - especially young children - they should be the best days of your life. Hope everyone is having a great summer.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

How Many Sutters Can a Sutter Brother Hire if a Sutter Brother Could Hire Sutters?

So Darryl Sutter just made it official yesterday and hired his brother Brent to coach the Calgary Flames - apparently, Brent is a better coach than Darryl, but the elder brother remains in the top four worldwide.

Let's take a look at the Sutters now employed in the Flames organiztion:

Darryl Sutter - GM

Brent Sutter - Head Coach

Duane Sutter - Director of Player Personell

Ron Sutter - Pro Scout

Brett Sutter - Minor League Player

Juan Sutter (pronounced Huh-wan) - Team Massuese

Juanita Sutter - Team "Massuese" (happy endings specialist)

Jimbo Sutter - Concession Condiment Replenishment Specialist

Billy and Bobby Sutter - Sutter Farm Liasons

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Hypocrisy, Thy Name is Burke

So, Brian Burke has weighed in on the Dany Heatly trade request - he doesn't like it.

From TSN:

In a phone interview with Deb Placey and Billy Jaffe on NHL Live! broadcast on the NHL network, Burke stated that the Leafs had no interest in the two-time 50 goal scorer, largely because of the way he has chosen to handle his trade request.

"We're not going to be in on that," Burke stated. "He's a good player but I have certain guidelines on how players ask for trades."

While Burke stated that he has no problem with players requesting a trade, he was unhappy with Heatley's decision to go public with his request, thus making Senators' general manager Bryan Murray's chances of moving the sniper extremely difficult.

"For a player to pop off and say he wants out or leak it (to the media), in my mind you are now no longer interested in your team. If you've done that you've handicapped them, you've handcuffed your GM."

Chis Pronger was not available for comment.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Missed the Hall of Fame by "That Much"

This is Chris Osgood losing his net on Maxime Talbot seconds before the Penguins Cup winning goal was scored on Friday night. He's overplaying Talbot to the stick side based on scouting reports that Talbot likes to shoot high over the blocker. He just overplayed the overplay - and Talbot has a clear view of about 12 square feet of net. Now if the shot was going blocker side, even2 or 3 feet wide of the blocker side, Osgood is making that stop:o) But Talbot, even though Malkin thinks "His hands not so good", ain't no beer leaguer - he see's that much net - he's hitting it - preference to the other side or not. So Osgood, for that split second, loses his net, loses the cup, and quite possibly, loses the Hall of Fame.

For the record, I think Osgood is deserving of a Hall nod. He is the most under-rated goalie of his generation. Sure, the guy has played on some great teams in Detroit, but he's also played a few seasons on some not so great New York Islanders and St. Louis teams. Osgood has now played 16 NHL seasons and has never, never, had a losing record. He had 23 wins and 8 losses in his rookie year, unfortunately for him, Brodeur had 27 wins (and 11 losses) and won the Calder (I believe Jason Arnott was 2nd in rookie voting that year, Osgood 3rd....but i can't find that info anywhere). In 1996, he finished with an incredible record of 39w, 6L, 5T and was robbed of the Vezina Trophy by the Net Detective Jim Carrey's 35W, 24L, 9T record. He's got three Stanley Cups, 2 as a starter. He's one of only 2 goalies to win Cups as the starter 10 years apart - Terry Sawchuck is the other. He's 4th in career playoff wins, 10th in the regular season. Of course stats alone don't neceessarily translate into the Hall of Fame. I'm not even sure what the standards for goalies are? Look at Harry Lumley and Eddie Giacomin's stats and wonder what got them there. Esposito is in the Hall with 400+ wins and no Cups - does that mean Ed Belfour(1 cup - thanks Bruce) and Curtis Joseph (zero) should be as well? Who knows? There's not a ton of Goalies in the Hall so I guess you really have to be a standout to be elected. And there's a few goalies in recent history with similar stats to Osgood that aren't in the Hall. Tom Barasso and Mike Vernon both had stellar careers and similar wins totals to Osgoods current 389. Both have 2 Cups. But both have about 60 more losses on their records than Osgood. Andy Moog and Martin Brodeur* are the only 2 other goalies I can think of that have 3 cups and aren't in the Hall of Fame (*yet). But Andy Moogs Cups (save for the first one) came largely from the bench - even in 1984, he only got into 7 games. Moogs regular season totals are very similar to Osgood's - the only thing that seperates them are those 2 Cups Osgood won as a starter. There are no goalies that have won 4 or more Cups that aren't in the Hall. So if Osgood makes that save on Talbot, if he doesn't step one foot too far to the right, and the Wings come back to win that game - does that make Chris Osgood a Hockey Hall of Fame goaltender? If not, why not? Because he played for the powerhouse Wings? Well, Chris Osgood took over for Bob Essensa when he faltered in Detroit. He did the same thing in the playoffs some 15 years later when Domic Hasek couldn't carry the load for the talented Wings. In between, Curtis Joseph couldn't get it done for Detroit in the playoffs. Billy Smith is a HOFer - did he not have the luxury of playing for a powerhouse team? He's got some stinker years on his resume too - Osgood doesn't. How about my all time favorite player Grant Fuhr? Any doubt his wins weren't bouyed a little by playing for the 80's Oilers? Ken Drydens teams weren't half bad either. Patrick Roy? Not a lot of teams out there that had the talent level of Sakic, Forsberg and company. Take a look at every goaltending stat and Osgood lands in the discussion in every one. The Hall of Fame should be part of that discussion as well.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Great Moments in Marketing

From "",

Gotta love the empty arena in the background....Genius!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Mom.....What's a First Line Centre?

Is it a guy who scores 53 points and outscores the oppositions best by 10 goals, or is it a guy who scores 85 points but gives up more than he gets (save for pretty goals and pretty girls?)

I'm confused.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Probability Taken Personally

There is a theory in the blogospehere that pucks hitting goalposts are just unlucky. Everything in the game of hockey can be explained by mathematics and statistical analysis, but goalposts, well they're just the hockey gods spittin' in your eye. Some of the arguments for this theory can be found here and here. I don't buy it. Basically, what I understand from these articles, is that teams success or lack thereof correlates well to the number of posts the team hits. Those teams that hit a tonne of posts are unlucky - you can expect them to turn things around. Those that have a lot of posts hit behind they're goalie - well, don't bet the farm on them. It's a ridiculous argument and some of the sharpest writers on the net subscribe to it wholeheartedly. L. Ron Hubbard must be involved somehow. Can you take one element of the game and contribute it to luck? Yet ignore that every goal for or against in every game would not be suject to luck as well? How many goals are scored on tipped shots? How many go in off defenders sticks or skates? Might there be a few that don't really end up where the shooter was intending? They count anyway right? Has a goalie ever had a shot hit him that he didn't see? Has a linesman ever gotten involved in a play? Take 1000 darts and throw them at triple 20. Are the ones that bounce off the wire the only shots where luck was invloved? How about 1000 three foot puts? The ones that miss the hole are misses, but the ones that rim out are bad luck? Or could it be that rimming out means you missed the cup by hair wider than the radius of the ball? A hair you, that's some shitty luck.
There's a very good reason why posts aren't counted as shots on goal - they missed the net. There is litterally a hair width difference between a puck nicking the post or going wide. That same hair could mean the difference between the puck hitting the post and going in, or hitting both posts and staying out. How does one have more impact on a game than the other?
The NHL records goalposts in it's game logs and that has allowed data to be mined out and tabulated. I think it's unfortunate. I'd like to see how many teams miss the net by millimeters. Is there a significant difference in the amount of luck involved relative to the shot that hits the post? How about lucky goals? Has a team ever hit the post and scored a lucky goal in the same game, and do they negate each other?
Anyone see Chuck Kobasew's goal against Cam Ward last night? Patrice Bergeron's pass missed the defenders skate by an inch, Kobasew flubbed what looked like an attempt to tip the puck over Ward, the puck hit the heel of his stick and slid in along the ice nicking the post on the way in.....goal - no luck accounted for. That puck hits the post and all of a sudden, there's a luck event, let's tabulate it. Ridiculous.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Forgotten Man

Which NHL coach has ties to both Steve Tambellini(Vancouver) and Kevin Lowe(New York), has extensive NHL coaching experince, has won a championship, runs a good bench with an offense first mentality, and is a little bit of a hardass who might also be looking for work in coming weeks?

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

High Expectations

So, who thinks Hemsky and Penner have better season offensively next year? What about Horcoff? Anyone? We don't even know who the coach is yet - but I'd bet some of you (all 10 of my readers - thanks Mom) raised your hand, or at least nodded knowingly.
I think the complaint that most fans had about MacTavish, whether winning or losing, was that he couldn't coach offensive players. Fact is, he asked his offensive guys to also be responsible defensively and favored a 2 way game. Did it limit the counting numbers of a player like Hemsky - I think it's fairly safe to say it did. But MacTavish would prefer to have a 70 point outscorer than a 90 point giveth and taketh away guy (or should that be taketh and giveth away?) Hemsky himself vented about it near the end of the season - if the new coach turns him loose does he hit 90 points in 09-10?
What about Penner - were the fat jokes hurting his production? probably not. But being left off the PP and playing with MacIntyre certainly did. Does a new coach turn a blind eye to the occasional lazy backcheck and burger wrappers in the dressing room? Does that coax 30 goals out of Refridgerator Penner?
And Shawn Horcoff - new extension in hand next season. How is he used? We've seen Horcoff under MacTavish put up near point per game numbers. Last season, with no other defensivley capable centers, Horcoff wasn't let loose. He had to play in a ton of D first situations, and it IMO wore him down. That's not on the coach - not totally. Can Horcoff put up good numbers again next season if a faceoff man and penalty killer is brought in to shoulder some of that burden?
Is there any pressure on the new coach? And yeah, the playoffs would be nice.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,
I can see all obstacles in my way Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright) Sun-Shiny day. I think I can make it now, the pain is gone All of the bad feelings have disappeared Here is the rainbow I’ve been prayin?for It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright) Sun-Shiny day. Look all around, there’s nothin?but blue skies Look straight ahead, nothin?but blue skies I can see clearly now, the rain is gone, I can see all obstacles in my way Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright) Sun-Shiny day.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Alone on an Island?

Another failed season in the books and save for the glory that was the spring of 2006, the Oilers are now into their 19th year of futility. That's a long damn time. The last time I watched the Oilers hoist the Stanley I was in grade 10....grade 10! Wow. Now we've still got a long road to get to Toronto levels but the comparisons are beginning to creep in, how the Oilers have become the Leafs of the West - with the one difference of course being everyone wants to play for the Leafs! And in some ways you can see why the notion of another 20+ years of hockey free Junes is becomming a concern. But when I look at this team I don't see the Leafs, I see the Islanders, and that's scary.

The similarities between the franchises are many, not just the use of blue and orange. The Isles, like the Oilers, tasted success early and rode a lineup of young supreme talents and older smart veterans to a dynasty. Owners burrying hockey profits into other money losing ventures saw the talent bases erode and once proud franchises began to lose, and lose alot.

The mid to late 90's weren't pretty for either team, more losses, ownership changes, and the beginnings of the Mad and Vish eras. Mike Milbury went from ex NHL D-man(in Boston) to assistant coach to head coach, to GM. Kevin Lowe, well, pretty much did the exact same thing. Both men were active traders, with varried results, although Kevin Lowe could probably trade Chris Pronger for Joffrey Lupul 3 or 4 more times and still have the better track record overall. Neither man was given a competitive budget to work with (prior to the new CBA) and both franchises were in a constant state of turnover. Both men have a made headlines for insulting peers, with Lowe's "moron" and Milbury's "village idiot" being among the most notable rants.

After Charles Wang bought the Islanders, Milbury eventually moved into a Senior Vice President position of Wang's sports holdings, although he appeared to still have his hand in the day to day Islanders dealings. After Darryl Katz, Kevin Lowe, well, again, pretty much the exact same thing. Wang is trying to get his Lighthouse Project moving in order to get a new building for the Isles and revitalization of the surrounding area....and there's this rumor in Edmonton about Katz and his desire for a new arena? Not sure if anyone else has heard anything? Milbury eventually resigned from his position saying he missed the everyday hockey decisions. Kevin Lowe - well a fella can hope right?:o)

I'm telling you, we're this far (I'm holding my index finger and thumb ever so close together) away from hiring Kari Takko and Pokey Reddick to run this team - and scouting Sumo wrestlers to replace Roloson.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Speaking of Bad Career Moves....

Is selling a "performance enhancing" energy drink really the best choice for Lance Armstong? Really?

Is "cheetah" in his future plans?

Maybe he can do an add telling everyone how great it is to have 2 testicles ala Rick Hanson telling Canada that getting in shape is easy - just try hiking or taking your family out for a walk. Am I just that cynical, or does no one think anymore?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Brian Burke Effect?

Or is it the Chris Pronger effect? Maybe association with Cory Perry? Perhaps it's just living in So-Cal (I hate that BTW - why can't people say Southern California? I don't live in Nor-Al and I didn't grow up in Wes-Newf!, but I digress). Whatever it is, somewhere along the way, Teemu Selane turned into an asshole of grade A proportions - witness his comments following last nights failed stick measurement - "Whoever thought he spotted it, maybe should have signed the stick for him." You're all class Selanne, all class!

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Wrong Weir?

I think the Oilers are channeling the wrong Weir in their pursuit (or lack thereof) of a playoff spot. Even looks like Mike is demonstrating the position the boys assumed last night. Brutal Effort.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Moving Sucks

So, we moved. We built a new house and sold our old one (I highly recommend buying a house in this real estate market - selling one though, not so much). Anyways, after selling and moving into a rental for the 1st time in 10 years, we finally moved into the new abode one month ago - I haven't relaxed since. We moved on a Wednesday, I do not recommend moving on a Wednesday. Friends are working, baby sitters are in school, and help is not to be found. If you want to get help with a move, you have to leave little room for excuses from those who can help. Wednesday is an automatic excuse generator - "Ah shit man, I'm working. Too bad, I could have helped with the heavy stuff".

One thing you realize when you move is how much shit you have. Moving is the ultimate time to purge. Clothes that don't fit anymore (stupid dryer shrinking my pants), cassette tapes of Europe and Duran Duran, what was I thinking when I bought this lamp, and so it goes. All these gently used, dust gathering gizmos and garb go to garage sales, or Goodwill, or garbage. Boxes upon boxes of Stuff that cost you thousands of dollars over the years that you are happy to give away or even ecstatic to sell for $100 after spending $20 on an ad in the paper and sitting in your garage for an entire Saturday while strangers pick through what are your former prized possessions. When we moved from our old house to our rental, we purged and purged good! And even after that, we have got a lot of shit. Clothes, toys, furniture, tools - heavy furniture, heavy tools! Lets face it, we live in a society of stuff - it's nice to have it, it's nice to be able to afford it, it's everywhere. And when you buy the latest stuff, it's soon to be replaced with even better stuff. But carrying that stuff sucks. Packing it up in boxes and blankets sucks. Not knowing which box the forks are in the day before you move sucks. Not knowing which box the extension cord is in the week after you move sucks. Taking stuff apart sucks. Putting it back together after carrying it piece by piece from point A to point B, sucks. Buying new stuff for the new house is fun - carrying it home, unpacking it, and puting it together - sucks, sucks, and sucks. Painting a bedroom in the new house - sucks. Insulating and finishing the garage - guess what - sucks too.

I've still got to install the central vac, and water softner, paint one of the bathrooms, finish the garage loft, install the garage heater, deck, landscape, fence - I'm expecting suckage on most parts.

But the new house is awesome:o) And I'm starting to watch a few games again!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

You Were Expecting a Happy Ending?

So, the Edmonton Oilers rolled into Montreal last night needing a victory to go over .500 for the trip (Gary Betman .500 that is) and put some distance between themselves and 9th. They thumped the Habs in their last meeting, just beat the Leafs, put that fat guy in the pressbox, and still had the good sense to not fire their coach so as to not mess with a good formula ala Montreal! Guaranteed win night right?

Well, not so much. The night was frustrating on so many levels it makes one wonder why so much emotion is inveted in this team. The Habs get a fluke goal early when the point shot goes of Staios' skate in front and bounces right to Tanguays stick in the slot. The frustrating part about that one is how Debrusk pointed out constantly how Roli has to do a better job controlling that rebound - you know, those rebounds off shots that don't reach you just have to be controlled!

Anyways, the Oil take the lead, the 4th line plays the entire third period, yada yada yada, and late in the third the Habs tie the game on what is obviously a puck batted into the net with Koivu's glove. Koivu's quote regarding the goal, "It hit my chest and I don't know if it hit my glove after that,"is proof positive enough for me to know it was illegal. Anytime a player scores and "doesn't know" if he scored it legally or not....well lets just say he knows and leave it at that. Carey Price makes a few nice saves in the third, but realizing Horcoff couldn't bury a dead cat in a sandbox of late, maybe the saves weren't that great.

Then, the Oilers get a powerplay with just over two minutes remaining and you know that barring a shortie from the Habs, this game is going to OT - and sure enough, the Canadiens almost score. The penalty to O'sullivan comes in OT and you just know there was no way the Oilers escape the loss.

Honestly, were you expecting fair calls, Oilers powerplay goals, strong Oilers penalty kills, and a Bob Gainey loss in his first night behind the bench? I'm surprised they didn't take the OT point away!

Friday, February 27, 2009

A Prick of Oil

Sean Avery is a loud mouth, disruptive tool. He's as self centered and as arrogant as a player can be. He may in fact have a mental problem. But he might be exactly what the Oilers need. According to TSN, Avery will be placed on re-entry waivers on Monday with being claimed by the New York Fonzerangers the likely scenario. I wonder how much Torterella is looking forward to coaching the "selfish ass", as he described him earlier in the year during his stint with TSN?
Unless some other team does Torts a favor and puts in a claim before the Rangers, he's going to find out.
After watching last nights game against Colombus though, maybe Tambelinni is thinking that a little Asshole is exactly what this team could use.
Outside all the other stuff, Avery is a useful player. He obviously didn't fit in with the Stars - what with those super small teeth and overpriced contract and such, but it's hard to deny his contributions to the Rangers. During his NY stint, their record was 50-20-10 with him in the lineup and 9-13-3 without him. Now of course not all of that is on Avery alone, but there had to be something to it right? A team getting Avery at half the cost and on a "good behavior" watch from the league, is likely getting a deal. I'm sure letting Dallas pay for a portion of a players salary is tempting to the Oilers brass as well.
I'm not saying the Oilers should claim him, but if there isn't a ton of research and discussion regarding this player between today and Monday, management is not doing their job. On a team in desperate need of a shakeup, is there any player available right now with a greater ability to shake?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Where's The "Eyeroll" Button?

This is a solution?

I'm investing all my money in Sharp Sticks.
I have a suspicion sales could escalate.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Les Frogitants

I became an Oilers fan around about 1980 - all of 6 years old. Had me a little blue and orange Oilers jersey, the kind with no logo on the front - I don't know what's up with that. Wayne Gretzky was my hero - and I'm sure more than a few of those $1000 rookie cards ended up in the front spokes of my bike. In the next few years, Grant Fuhr replaced Wayne as my fovorite player. I had been a goalie, and I had always had that weird "wrong handed" stance, as John Garrett would call it - so Fuhr fit the bill perfectly. I didn't get to see them much, and I always got shuffled off to bed early during Oilers games (damn Newfoundland time zone), but I loved them. I can't remember ever rooting for another team (although I had an NHL coloring book and I thought the Colorado Rockies unis, well, rocked). I was a bit of an oddball in that way - everyone in my family was a Habs fan, except for one Bruins rooting uncle. All my friends were Habs fans - stupid friends. No one ever admitted to being a Leafs fan in the early 80's - although I'm sure they were out there searching for Dougie Gilmore. But Oilers fans in small town Newfoundland in the 80s were hard to come by. I didn't have a second favorite. Never understood the concept - you have a favorite and the others. A second favorite team is like having a partially finished basement - it's finished, or it isn't. So there was no second favorite - but there was a most hated. I can't stand the Montreal Canadiens. I've cheered for the Flames to win a series twice in my life - and then recreated the shower scene from The Crying Game as soon as those series were over, but I didn't want Montreal to win.

A lot of the problems I had with the Habs of course stem from the abuse I took from my family and friends for being an Oilers fan. Now I can understand my older uncles growing up in the 60's in NFLD cheering for the best team in hockey, and the one other guy falling for Bobby Orr. But it's the friends that really stuck in my craw! How could someone my age look me in the eye and say "only 21 more to go" after the Oilers won their first cup? How? How can you cling to something that you've never experienced? I don't even like the Oilers fans "5-1" chirping with regards to Flamers - but at least I lived through that era and witnessed those teams. If my daughter said that to someone, after the initial swell of pride, I'd feel compelled to whack her upside the head. It's like someone arguing a K-Car is better than a Maserati because they sold more of them - it's insane. but it keeps coming back to the same thing with Habs fans - 24 Cups, 24 Cups. As bad as Leafs fans are, I've never, ever, had one throw out the "13 Cups" arguement - ever.

The Canadiens had the French player advantage over the rest of the league, they seemed to always have the officials in their back pockets, and they (not the Devils) were the originators of the score first and quit trying style of hockey that so many people hated - they were Minnesota before Minnesota was Wild so to speak.

So I will not apologize for the fact that I took a great amount of joy in last nights thumping of the Habs. I wish they would have made Price cry - turn him into a blubbering idiot right there on the blue ice. Take out his knee like Plekanic did to Grebs.

Put that in your meat sandwhich and smoke it!

Monday, February 9, 2009

"G-Rod" Tells All.

His voice shaking at times, Wayne Gretzky met head-on allegations that he tested positive for drugs twenety years ago, telling TSN on Monday that he did take male-enhancing drugs while playing for the Los Angeles Kings during a seven-year period beginning in 1989.

"When I arrived in LA in 1988, I felt an enormous amount of pressure. I felt like I had all the weight of the world on top of me and I needed to perform, and perform at a high level every day," Gretzky told Geno Reda in an exclusive interview in Pheonix, Az.

"Back then, [hockey] was a different culture," Gretzky said. "It was very loose. I was young. I was stupid. I was sexy. I was blonde. Glenn Anderson was my room mate. I had a mullet. My wife was in Police Academy 3. And I wanted to prove to everyone that I was worth being married to one of the greatest actresses of all time.

"I did take a banned substance. And for that, I am very sorry and deeply regretful."

In his first prime-time news conference, President Barack Obama called Gretzky's admission "depressing" news.

"And if you're a fan of Ice Hockey, like most politically inclined, tall, skinny black men are, I think it tarnishes an entire era, to some degree," Obama said. "And it's unfortunate, because I think there were a lot of hockeyplayers who played it straight." Obama giggled at his own useage of the word straight, pointed to his own crotch, and used his fingers to indicate a distance of 15 inches.

Gary Bettman had no comment Monday. Former Kings owner Bruce McNall said Gretzky's admission caught him by surprise.

"I feel personally betrayed. I feel deceived by Wayne, I don't like deception" McNall said from his prison cell, according to The Associated Press. "He assured me that he had far too much respect for his own body to ever do that to himself. ... I certainly don't believe that if he's now admitting that he started using when he came to the Kings, why should I believe that it didn't start before he came to LA?"

Gretzky's admission comes 48 hours after The Hockey News reported that Gretzky was on a mailing list of 104 players who ordered enzyte from the "Smiling Bob" commercials , the year when the NHL conducted survey tests to see if mandatory, random drug-testing was needed in the sport.

Sources who know about the testing results told TSN that Gretzky tested positive for Enzyte, Viagra, Cialis, and Wendell Clarke. Surprisingly, he had the testosterone levels of a 12 year old girl. In his TSN interview, which his ex-teamate, Ron DuGuay, attended, Gretzky said he did not know exactly which substance or substances he had taken. In 1988, there were no penalties for a positive result.

Wayne Gretzky said he came clean Monday. But as Gene Principe notes, he further dirtied his sport, his reputation and his Hall of Fame chances. Principe had to be reminded that Gretzky is already a member of the hall of fame - he giggled at the use of the word member.

"Again, it was such a loosey-goosey era," Gretzky said. "I'm guilty for a lot of things. I'm guilty for being negligent, naive, not asking all the right questions of what Glenn kept slipping into my drinks. And to be quite honest, I don't know exactly what substance I was guilty of using."

A seven-time Hart Trophy winner, Gretzky blamed himself and his small penis and slight frame for his decision to use MEDs.

"I felt a tremendous pressure to perform, and perform really well" in LA, the Coyotes coach said. "I had just married this huge movie star... I felt like I needed something, a push, without over-investigating what I was taking, to get me to the next level."

Gretzky also said part of the reason he started using drugs was the heat in LA????

"Can I have an edge just to get out there and do it every day?" he said to himself. "You basically end up trusting the wrong people. You end up, you know, not being very careful about what you're ingesting."

Gretzky added: "I am sorry for my boner years. I apologize to the fans of LA."

Gretzky, who joined the Coyotes as coach for the 2005 season, said his years as a Yote "have been clean."

"Ask my wife," he said. "She hasn't had a child in years."

The Coyotes issued a statement.

"We urged Wayne to be completely open, honest and forthcoming in addressing his use of male-enhancing drugs," it read. "We take him at his word that he was. Although we are disappointed in the mistake he spoke to today, we realize that Wayne -- like all of us --is a man and wishes his penis were larger".

"We speak often about our members in this organization, and that is never more true than in times of adversity. Wayne took a big step by admitting his mistake, and while there is no condoning the use of Male-enhancing drugs, we respect his decision to take accountability for his actions. We support Wayne, and we will do everything we can to help him deal with this challenge."

Gretzky described the last days' turn of events as the biggest challenge of his life but added it felt good to be honest about what he's done in the past.

Tale Of The Tape

Wayne Gretzky came clean about taking male-enhancing drugs during a seven-year period beginning in 1989. Here's a look at Waynes-Rod's numbers during that time compared to the rest of his pro career:
'89-95 Other 10 Seasons
Children/season 2 0

"It's been a rough 15 months here for me," Wayne said.

He added: "I was stupid for seven years. I was very, very stupid" and, later said: "The more honest we can all be, the quicker we can get my penis [back] to where it needs to be."

"When you take this gorilla and this monkey and this chimpanzee, and this lemur off your back, you realize that honesty is the only way,"

Gretzky said. "I'm finally beginning to grow up. I'm pretty tired of being childish and selfish, you know, about my, talliwhaker. The truth needed to come out a long time ago. I'm glad it's coming out today."

He said he stopped using during training camp 1995, when he sustained a neck injury???
"It wasn't a real dramatic day once I arrived in LA that something monumental happened in my life," he said. "The point of the matter was that I started experimenting with things that today are not legal or today are not accepted and today you would get in a lot of trouble for."

He said the culture earlier this decade of taking male-enhancing substances was "prevalent." "There were a lot of people doing a lot of things," Gretzky said, noting that he wasn't specifically pointing out the Kings. But he added that "Bernie Nicholls was "hung like a horse"

Former Kings coach Barry Melrose expressed his surprise.

"It blindsided me. I've seen him in the shower. I had no reason to question him. He didn't look enhanced.

"It's going to be tough for him but I'm happy that he came out, faced the music and took responsibility for it."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report - although absolutely none of it is true. Aren't you glad hockey isn't baseball?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


There's a lot of talk of Sabermetrics and Moneyball amongst the Oilers blogs. The basic premise of these is the use of advanced statistics, beyond typical boxscore numbers, to evaluate a players true value to his team. Moneyball was a book about Billy Beane's Oakland A's and their use of the principals of sabremetrics to outsmart conventional subjective wisdom amongst Beane's peers. Part of Beane's success in Oakland has been his ability to sell high. He traded pitchers Tim Hudson and Mark Mulder near the peaks of their careers and kept on rollin'. He has the ability to demand a ransom, get top prospects and serviceable players in return, and keep the A's competitive and on budget. He might be a bigger dickhead than most GMs (that's an accomplishment in and of itself), but he's proven to be a good one. If nothing else, he was ahead of the sabre-curve, being the first of what has now become many GM's that employ sabremetrics analysts.

Anyhoo, one of the Beane-James gang in the oilogosphere is Tyler of I imagine if he ran a hockey team there would be a rate of turnover amongst players that would be alarming to the general fan population. One deal that would have been made last season was the trading of Matthieu Garon. I remember Tyler posting on several occasions that the Oilers should trade Garon at the deadline. Last season, Garon appeared to be emerging as a legit #1 goaltender who couldn't be scored against in the shootout. Now trades for starting goaltenders don't seem to happen all that often (Roberto Luongo notwithstanding), and scouring my memory banks I really can't think of many teams trading for a new #1 mid season or otherwise. Roli to the Oilers for a 1st round pick jumps to mind. Andrew Raycroft to the Leafs for a highly touted prospect. Manny Fernandez for perennial allstar Peter Kalus. Jose Theodore and David Aebisher were traded for each other. Thomas Vokoun got a 1st and two 2nd's from the Panthers. Biron went to the Flyers for a 2nd, Chris Mason was had for a 4th, and Roberto Luongo (the NHL's best goatender) for a bag of pucks - twice. Kiprusoff was an unknown commodity and a stopgap measure for the Flames so his trade value was next to nothing when he was moved as well. So - who did I miss? I definately don't see much of a pattern there other than the Panthers should be the preferred trading partner of every other team in the league and the Avs haven't had a goalie since Patrick Roy was wearing his wife beater under a Colorado sweater. Returns for starting goalies appear to be all over the board and based on team desperation and manager IQ more than anything else. But there may be something to Tylers belief that Garon should have been sent out last season at the deadline. There were a few teams that would have shilled for a goalie that was stealing wins on a regular basis. The afore named Avs perhaps, having already taken Tommy Salo off our hands, could have been fleeced again. Washington and Tampa were both looking for goalie help (oh yeah, Mike Smith - forgot about him), and Ottawa really stands out as the team that didn't have it's goalie shit together. So the market wasn't huge, but the return may have been a 1st or top prospect from the Sens and or a 2nd from some of the others? I don't know much about Ryan Stone, but he's likely not worth a 1st or 2nd draft choice, and the fact that the Oilers had to take a goalie back in the trade shows that there was a least a little negative value in the Garon return as well.

So, the Oilers held onto Garon, didn't make the playoffs, didn't extend Garon, signed JDD, created a three goalie situation, ruined Garon's confidence, took away his playing a practice time, eroded what little trade value he did have, and then moved him. Is this Anti-moneyball? Can we call it Loweball?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Monday, January 12, 2009


Would you try to land him? And who would it take to get him?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Bruce Would be Proud

Got to my first game of the season last night, and boy I can see why those tickets were easy to come by - what a snoozer. Biggest cheer of the night was for the TSN broadcast of the Canada victory. Horcoff, to my eye, had one of his worst nights in memory - brutal giveaway in the 1st to put the Islanders up 1-0, and not much else to atone for that mistake. The only positive of the night for the Oilers was the play of the 4th line - Stortini in particular. At one point in the 2nd I leaned over to my wife (The first game we were able to attend together since Samsonov's home debut vs. Calgary back in '06 - another 3-2 victory for the good guys as I recall - seems she's a bit of a good luck charm) and said "Stortini needs to do something here to get the team fired up - a hit, a fight, someth"...........SCORES. Stortini threw the puck into the crease and it was 2-1 Islanders and the building had a little life. A few minutes later, Stortini makes a real nice play from behind the net and it's a tie game. I imagine Bruce had a big ole smile on his face.

Funny note from last night - the Oilers played a real nice little tribute for Doug Weight and thanked him for his community service during his tenure as an Oiler. A few minutes later, a stat on the scoreboard shows "Former Oilers Doug Weight and Bill Guerin currently sit 2 and 3 in Islanders scoring" - no mention the entire night of boobird favorite Mike Comrie. I guess the wound is still too fresh!