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
Thursday, February 12, 2009
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
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?