Thursday, August 26, 2010

Oilers Mount Dirtymore

Great idea over at as an homage to the Mount Puckmore series over at Puck Daddy - Mount Dirtymore! A collection of cheap shot artists, pricks, and whiners. The post got me thinking about the dirtiest Oilers of all time - or at least in my recollection - which would be somewhere around the early 80's to today. The rules are quite simple, as they are mine! The player had to be a dirty Oiler, proudly wearing the blue and orange on his elbow, and the player, at some point in his Oilers career, had to make me personally cringe at the thought that I was cheering for this player as a member of the Oilers.

Many players to consider over the years but honestly, it was quite easy for me to pick four off the top of my head.

Before getting to the top four though, here are my runner ups, starting with perhaps one of the dirtiest players the league has ever seen - Chris Pronger.

Pronger has been suspended on several occasions for delivering elbows to the heads of his opponents. Prongers defence is that his elbows are at head level to these players as he is a freakishly lanky 6'6" bastard. That doesn't expalin his suspension for stomping his stake blade on Ryan Kessler a few years back. On top of the physical assaults, he a prick too. Pronger would probably make my list as one of the top four dirtiest in the league, but for the life of me, I can't remember him doing anything really noteworthy in this regard as a member of the Oilers.

Dave Brown

Brown was truely an enforcer. A feared fighter who could do little else on the ice. One of the craziest fighters the NHL has ever seen. I once saw Brown fighting a Calgary Flame (who I can't remember the name of). He knocked the player over backwards and got pulled down on top of him. The Flame, in a terribly unfortuante position, was helpless to defend himself. Brown raised his fist, hesitated, as if to think, "I shouldn't do this", and then proceded to do it anyway, landing several solid punches square to the face of his prone opponent. A saw him interviewed after the game and he basically said he thought the Flames player would do the same to him were the situations reversed. Brown was suspended for 15 games one season for breaking the jaw of Tomas Sandstrom with a crosscheck - but he did this as a member of the Flyers - so no dice.

Marty McSorley

A lot like Brown. Good enforcer for the Oilers but his claim to dirty fame comes as a Boston Bruin whislt trying to get Donald Brashear's attention. Again, no dice.

Dave Manson

I remember thinking that Dave Manson was a dirty player that always got away with being dirty....and I liked it. His signature move was to let the rushing player get a step past him and then deliver a quick jab to the face (disguising it as some sort of clean takedown I presume - because he did it alot). In today's NHL it would not fly, but back in the beginning of the clutch and grab era, it was cool. Manson was a little dirty - but not sensational at it!

Glenn Anderson

Anderson was a fearless and reckless player. He took many a goalie into the net while driving hard off the boards. I can recall kicking and stick swinging incidents with Anderson, and a search of his name and "dirty" on google finds plently of anecdotal evidence. He was suspended for 8 games for highsticking Jet's Dave Silk in the ear. He was also fined for breaking Tomas Sandstroms check with a punch while having his knuckles on his right hand taped (the fine stood, even though Anderson clocked him with a left. And, as mentioned above in the Dave Brown section - Sandstrom had a bit of a glass jaw)

Now, with those behind us, onto my top 4:

#4. Ken "the rat" Linesmen

One of the great nicknames in professional hockey, known both for his pest like demeanor on the ice, and, as I've heard, his penchant for conducting post game interviews with his towel a little too loose. Ken Linesman was a dirty hockey player. He was convicted of assault for kicking a player in the head while still in junior, and involved again in a kicking incident while with the Flyers. He also bit his former Edmonton teammate Lee Fogolin on the face. Fogolin needed a tetnus shot, probably because he told doctors he was bitten by a rat. (Folgolin broke Linesmans nose later in the game in retaliation.) As an Oiler, Linesman was a good player, producing at about a PPG clip in his first 2 season go 'round. He makes the list for memorably fighting Dean Kennedy of the Kings under the stands after they were sent off the ice for unsportsmanlike conduct. Apparantly not thinking he had done enough to earn the penalty, Linesman proceeded to hit Kenedy in the face with his stick, and then slam his head into the concrete floor.

#3. Dwayne Roloson

Dirty comes in all shapes and sizes. Not one to bash opponets heads off concrete, Roloson makes the grade for bashing lumber off balls. Roloson, a good goalie - and nearly a legend in Edmonton if not for the Game 1 injury of the 2006 SCF - is also a bit of a prick. I'm guessing his antics were not well liked by many of his teammates, opponents, or officials. Constant whining, delaying of the game, and being all tough in his $5000 suit of armour, made Roloson difficult to like as a person, and sometimes as a player. But this, is why I, as a human being with testicles, put Roloson on the dirty list.

#2. Mark Messier

The words Mark Messier and Elbow will forever be intertwined. Messier, one of the greatest Edmonton Oilers, and NHL players, of all time, was dirty. If Steve Downie had the skill of Mark Messier he'd have an NHL award named after him. Messier leveled many an opponent with a high elbow. Just ask Rick Nattress, Vladamir Kovin, Musil, DeGray. Should have been suspended several more times in his career but looks to have gotten the star treatment, Messier was a dirty beast of a player.

#1. Bryan Marchment

One of my happiest days as an Oiler fan was the day Marchment was traded away - I couldn't stand him. And what a trade it was.....Bryan Marchment and 2 first round picks for Roman Hamrlik and Paul Comrie! (OK, doesn't sound that great until you realize that those 2 first rounders were Steve Kelley and Jason Bonsignore). Marchment (pronounced marsh-mon - which is French for deliberate attempt to injure), is one of the dirtiest I've ever seen. Suspended 13 times in his first 12 seasons, Bryan Marchments dirty hits (typically to the knees) injured Modano, Nieuwendyk, Bure, Gartner, Karia, Clark, and others. You can see he liked to take out the other teams best players. Some of his "best" work can be found here, here, and you can see what former teammates thought of him here. Fittingly, Marchment ended his career as a Calgary Flame - which makes my hatred of this former Oiler much more palatable.

So, there you have it - my list of the dirtiest Oilers of my time. I'm sure there were others that I've missed out on. My recollections of the dynasty Oilers is not as good as many. I never saw them play live as a group. I watched Messier drop an unsuspecting Zdeno Cigar off a faceoff as a member of the Canucks, and witnessed nearly all of Roli's antics as an Oiler, but there are many others out there who could add to this list I'm sure.

Interesting note about my list, Anderson, Linseman, and Messier were linemates in 1983-84.....jeesus, keep your heads up against those guys!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Take that David Staples!

Fallen off in the past year have I? Haven't got the passion to write something more frequently do I?

Well......yeah...I got nothin.

You're right. I started writing on this blog fairly frequently at first but interest faded, work, summer, and life got in the way, and the Oilers give very little for a guy to write about. As the season picks up, I'm sure I will find the odd topic to weigh in on - but Lowetide is the interesting guy in the offseason. I read and I lurk.

Come on hockey season!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

And We Shall Be The Santa Maria.....

"Does anybody know how to drive this thing, said the captain as he fell to his knees...."

News today of Ethan Moreau being waived,l on his way to being picked up or bought out. Either way, so ends the tenure of thecaptainethanmoreau. Alternate Captain Sheldon Souray won't be back after asking for a trade, and Steve Staois (another Alternate) was shipped out at the 2010 deadline. That leaves Ales Hemsky and Shawn Horcoff with the remaining letters on the club, and I belive Penner wore an A after Hemsky went down last year. Any of those guys Captian material? Thecaptainaleshemsky roles off the tongue, but I can't see it. The guy has moaned about his role in the past, is lukewarm on coming back after his contract expires, and just doesn't come off as the captain type. Horcoff probably would make a fine captain but I think too many fans would associate that C on his chest with the Contract on his shoulders so, pressure wise, I don't believe it's a good fit. Penner? Season aside, not the shining example of discipline and work ethic one would have in a captain....I bet he arranges a hell of a team dinner though!

So, who else? Not a lot of great options IMO to captain this lot. Suggestions?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Ramble On

- Well - the confusion has passed. I am now free to cheer for Oiler wins again as we are pretty much secure in 30th place and I no longer have to feel dirty cheering on my team*

- Have I ever been more happy to see an Islanders win than I was last night? I think not.

- Detroit is the best 8th seed since the Oilers in 2006. The Wings in the finals would not surprise me one bit.

- Ryan Whitney has been a pleasant surprise so far. Visnovsky has been scoring some highlight reel goals in Anaheim, but that team seems to be suffering from a severe Olympic hangover. Perry, Getzlaf, Ryan, Selanne, Hiller, Neidermeyer, Visnovsky, and Koivu all played significant minutes in Vancouver. Any connection?

- Remember when everyone talked about the Oilers shootout wins and the mirage of a good team it created? Pheonix has 12 - I wouldn't pick them to get out of round 1.

- Have Oilers fans latched onto Tyler Seguin so they can continue to criticize the Oilers after they choose Taylor Hall?

- I would trade Hemsky, and only Hemsky, for the right to choose 1st and 2nd. I really don't think he resigns after his current contract.

- Will any of the Olympians play for MacT at the World Championships? For that matter, what about the Olympic snubs? Might be a young Team Canada this spring. (Except for Roloson?)

- My theory is Sutter brought in Kotalik to replace Phaneufs point shot on the PP. Since the trades, Kotalik has outscored Phaneuf 1-0 - guess Sutter was right:o)

- Brian Burke's Leafs have won 7 of their last 10 games and still sit pretty securely in 29th place. Remeber when he gloated about taking the picks for Dustin Penner and that given the Oilers recent records, he expected them to be pretty good picks? Would anyone now trade Dustin Penner straight up for Phill Kessel? It's be a tough call. Would anyone trade Tyler Seguin or Taylor Hall for Kessel? How about Hall a 1st and a 2nd?. Good on ya Burkie.

*the word team used loosely.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I'm So Confused!

George : Why did it all turn out like this for me? I had so much promise. I was personable, I was bright. Oh, maybe not academically speaking, but ... I was perceptive. I always know when someone's uncomfortable at a party. It became very clear to me sitting out there today, that every decision I've ever made, in my entire life, has been wrong. My life is the opposite of everything I want it to be. Every instinct I have, in every of life, be it something to wear, something to eat ... It's all been wrong.

Remeber the classic Seinfeld episode (aren't they all classic), where George does the opposite of everything his instincts tell him and things being working out in his life? Does anyone in Oilerville feel like their living their own "Opposite" episode?

Jerry : If every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right.

I've got to admit, I haven't watched much Oilers hockey lately. Not because I'm sick of the losing. If that were the case I'd have quit a few seasons ago. I don't watch becasue I'm conflicted. Confused. Distraught, even. I watch the Oilers to cheer for the Oilers - I always have, through good teams and bad, cheered for the boys to win. Last night the Oilers played the Canucks, on TV, after my daughter's bedtime, with my wife out to do some shopping. In the past, this would have been a night devoted to hockey (and a certain level of silence you come to appreciate when you've got an energetic 5 year old). I stayed away for 2 periods, trying not to think about the game, or the score. I caved in time to watch the third and was surprised to see the Oilers up 2-1 and playing pretty solid hockey. Deven Dubnyk in net, playing well, in line for his first career win.

George : Hey, I just found twenty dollars! I tell you this, something is happening in my life. I did this opposite thing last night. Up was down, black was white, good was -
Jerry: Bad.
George : Day was -
Elaine : Night.
George : Yes!

But I couldn't cheer for the Oilers. I actually laughed when the Canucks tied the score. Not a happy laugh, just a "I totally knew that would happen laugh", a kind of releaved "I won't have to be disappointed about the win" laugh. What? I would have been disappointed if they won?

George : Alrighty. Ah ... my last job was in publishing ... I got fired for having sex in my office with the cleaning woman.

I gotta be honest, this dive for five thing is tough. As if to rub salt in the wound, young Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin were on the tube just prior to the Oilers game saying "look what we can do better than any other draft eleigible player in 2010". At least, that's what I thought they were saying. Might have been "Go Oilers Go", given they are among the few that wouldn't be excited by an Oilers top two choice.

George : Well, I wish I could say the same, but I must say, with all due respect, I find it very hard to see the logic behind some of the moves you have made with this fine organization. In the past twenty years you have caused myself, and the city of New York, a good deal of distress, as we have watched you take our beloved Yankees and reduced them to a laughing stock, all for the glorification of your massive ego!

You've got to think this is as bad as it gets for Oilers management. Apathy from the fans at best, outright rage at worst. The building last night was near silent. I'd imagine any time now those empty seats in the building become officially unsold and that sellout streak will end. I unsubscribed from the Oilers news e-mails yesterday. Tired of the spin on the losses - tired of caring too much to try to not care at all.