The scoop from Jasper

Jason Gregor
October 08 2008 01:52PM

I am all for the Oilers practicing in Jasper, if it means I get a Jacuzzi in my room, complete with a bar, lounge area and a loft. This place is almost as big as my condo, so if the Jasper Inn needs a spokesman I offering my services.

I arrived late last night, after dodging about 15 elk along the road. I made the mistake of having only 2 CDs in my Sorento, and the YR radio network just isn’t my thing. It is hard to go from Kid Rock, to Justin Timberlake, to The Dixie Chicks in one set. Although I searched the AM dial and found some SJHL action between the Humboldt Broncos and Battlefords North Stars. You have to love Saskatchewan - every Junior A team has a radio broadcast. Awesome!

This morning the Oilers had quick-paced practice. The stands were full of young kids and guys playing hooky from work. Based on today’s practice it looks like Strudwick and Staios will be the 3rd pairing. Strudwick has been excellent in camp, even though he will regret wasting a goal in the preseason. The guy has 11 career goals in 488 games, so why he wasted one in preseason is perplexing. Who knows, maybe those new sticks Jaromir Jagr sent him in August are that good?

Steve MacIntyre didn’t skate today due to a death in the family. He will join the team back in Edmonton it sounds like. So expect Pouliot to play with Brodziak and Stortini on Sunday vs. Colorado. But with the Oilers’ next three games against Anaheim and Calgary you can expect MacIntyre in the lineup soon.

The goalie masks and a Saw mask were the stories of the day

Dwayne Roloson is wearing a vintage Grant Fuhr mask, complete with puck marks and scuff marks. Roloson joked he wanted it to look worn in, so guys didn’t take head shots to break it in. It’s like when your buddy is wearing a new pair of white sneakers, and you step on them, or spill a drink on them to make them not look so shiny white.

SIDE NOTE…When I left Edmonton I was choked I wouldn’t be able to get in a game of golf between practice and my show today, but now I look outside and it’s snowing. So I type this from the warm confines of my room, while the Oilers and some media members freeze on the links…tsk tsk.

Anyways, back to the masks.

Roloson’s looks identical to Fuhr’s, meanwhile Mathieu Garon is honouring Bill Ranford. He has a picture of Ranford’s face on one side, with a pic of him in his mask on the other. Garon’s pads, blocker and glove are coloured to match the retro third jersey. I like his pads better than the mask.

But the Mask that got the most attention was the one Dustin Penner was wearing last night. Apparently Penner decided that a good way to team bond would be to scare the crap out of his teammates.

“I dressed up as the guy from Saw. I was grocery shopping at Save On Foods and saw the mask at the check out counter. It was $14.99, but when I swiped my card I got it for $13.99. I couldn’t afford not to buy it,” said Penner.

Penner went from room-to-room wearing the mask and got some good reactions.

“Chopper (Ethan Moreau) ended up Homer Simpson two-handed choking me he was so scared. Gilbert, Nilsson, Gagner and Cogliano they all acted their age that’s for sure. Brodziak was pretty funny too. He had the flying crane move from Karate Kid.” I’m not sure if that is the actual name of Daniel Larusso’s finishing move, but it sounds good.

Ladislav Smid admitted he was petrified when Penner entered his room and that he screamed out for his roommate, “Grebby, Grebby, help.”

Penner also stated he isn’t worried about retribution. “I hope for their sake they don’t try anything, because that is just the tip of the iceberg.”

I couldn’t find any statistical data that states team bonding makes you win more, but it sounds like the Oilers are getting what they wanted from this trip. Their practice was the fastest I’ve seen this year, and they were actually getting shots on goal, so that could help.

The Pisani, Moreau, Penner line looked the best at practice. They scored a fair amount of goals during the 3 on 2 drills, and even when they were working five-on-five down low.

WHY THE INTEREST IN WAIVER WIRE?

Wanye said he was in Calgary last week, but his Mark Bell love affair reeks like Vancouver hippie whiskey. This isn’t a garage sale where one person’s junk is another’s treasure. He can’t make the Leafs! The Leafs! You think a player who can’t make one of the worst teams in the league will help the Oilers?

And those of you who think Kyle Mclaren would be a good addition need some therapy. Why would the Oilers add a $2.5 million D-man, who can’t skate? You think he is five times better than Strudwick? While you are at it why don’t the Oilers go after Rhett Warriner, or the reliable Anders Eriksson, or he-just-needs-a-shot- Joakim Lindstrom, or Boyd Devereaux because he used to be an Oiler.

There is a reason teams put these players on waivers. They aren’t that good. Yes, there are the rarities like Sergei Samsanov who has found new life in Carolina , but those types of players don’t rebound or even contribute a lot most of the time.

And another reason it makes no sense is because the Oilers currently have 48 players under contract. They are allowed a maximum of 50, so adding a bit-part type of player doesn’t make much sense.

I need another Jacuzzi before my show.

- Listen to Gregor weekdays from 3-6 p.m. on the TEAM 1260 Edmonton Sports radio or online at www.justagame.ca

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
Avatar
#1 RobinB
October 08 2008, 02:06PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Jason: Do you have any advanced stats to back-up your claim that Lindstrom is junk or are you expecting people to just accept the obvious?

Avatar
#2 Fiveandagame
October 08 2008, 02:06PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

FINALLY A FACE PIC OF WAYNE GRETZ!

I now understand why he's been so closeted....yes closeted.

Avatar
#3 Jonathan Willis
October 08 2008, 02:20PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

This would be the same Lindstrom who scored 2 more goals than Rob Schremp in 39 less games last year in the AHL, right? I'm not saying, I'm just saying.

Avatar
#4 Jonathan Willis
October 08 2008, 02:23PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

And those of you who think Kyle Mclaren would be a good addition need some therapy. Why would the Oilers add a $2.5 million D-man, who can’t skate? You think he is five times better than Strudwick?

2 points:

1) McLaren was playing the shutdown role last year in San Jose, and he looked pretty good doing it. He's a good fit in terms of bringing stuff to the roster that isn't currently on it.

2) Does that make Sheldon Souray 11x better than Strudwick?

Avatar
#5 Jason Gregor
October 08 2008, 02:33PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Jonathon,

It is salary cap issues. You add Mclaren then you have to delete someone. So tell me who it is that you want out??

How does he make your roster better. Defend your stance. Souray's numbers are already on the books, he doesn't need to be better than Strudwick, because I'm assuming you aren't replacing him with Mclaren.

So Lindstrom outscored Schremp? Great, how many games does Rob have in the NHL? And how many goals?

You guys seem more in love with players who haven't played in the NHL than with those who have.

If Mclaren was such a good player and a shut down guy as you suggest, then how come no one picked him up? You state $2.5 million isn't that much, then how come?

Because he isn't better than what teams have as young guys on the backend right now. I'll keep Smid and Strudwick and their smaller salaries, that could allow me room to move players in trades later, and you can go put Mclaren on your team. Unless you have lots of cap space and a huge void on your backend Mclaren doesn't make your team better today.

Avatar
#6 Jason Gregor
October 08 2008, 02:35PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Jason: Do you have any advanced stats to back-up your claim that Lindstrom is junk or are you expecting people to just accept the obvious?

Robin,

It seems that in the Internet world the fact a player gets bounced around the league more often than one of Wanye's cheques, isn't obvious enough that he is a fringe player. I guess if he lights it up in the AHL he will automatically do the same in the NHL.

Yet, rarely does that happen. Strange.

Avatar
#7 charlie
October 08 2008, 02:38PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Can someone get some shots of Roli & Garon's new masks?!?

Avatar
#8 Jonathan Willis
October 08 2008, 02:44PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

It is salary cap issues. You add Mclaren then you have to delete someone. So tell me who it is that you want out??

That's the problem, of course. If San Jose was interested in trading McLaren+ for Grebeshkov, or if there was a good return on a guy like Grebeshkov in a seperate trade, I'd do it, because I think Grebeshkov will price himself out of the Oilers range this coming season anyway.

If neither of those situations worked, I don't think there'd be a fit.

So Lindstrom outscored Schremp? Great, how many games does Rob have in the NHL? And how many goals?

For the record, I don't think Lindstrom's a fit in Edmonton - he's a tweener, and the Oilers have enough forwards in that range already.

If Mclaren was such a good player and a shut down guy as you suggest, then how come no one picked him up? You state $2.5 million isn’t that much, then how come? Because he isn’t better than what teams have as young guys on the backend right now. I’ll keep Smid and Strudwick and their smaller salaries, that could allow me room to move players in trades later, and you can go put Mclaren on your team. Unless you have lots of cap space and a huge void on your backend Mclaren doesn’t make your team better today.

I'll disagree there - I think McLaren makes a better team today than either Strudwick or Smid, but as you've pointed out, Strudwick's cheaper and Smid's upside means it would be a mistake to dump him for McLaren.

However, if the Oilers didn't have 18-million invested in a shaky top-4, I think McLaren would be a nice fit on the team. I'm a little surprised that Atlanta and Phoenix let him pass.

Avatar
#9 jk
October 08 2008, 02:58PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Guys,

McClaren is cheaper on re-entry - San Jose knows no one will pick him up since they've been trying to give him away for anything.

This loop-hole in the CBA will make McLaren much easier to move as soon as San Jose recalls him.

Just have to think.

I have to say that thus far much of Oilersnation has been disappointing -- the level of discourse from the core "writers" is usually purile and filled with pointless content that seems to be more concerned with being cool or hip rather than investigative and informative.

I only wandered here because of Lowetide and I expect I will just stick with him since his thoughtful blogging is miles ahead of much of the content here.

I would also add that Lowetide seems to have dried up in his content offering to Oilersnation -- ever consider why?

Anyway -- Jason, enjoy your perks, and I am very sorry that mother nature has spoiled your golf plans.

Keep up the good work!!

Avatar
#10 Jonathan Willis
October 08 2008, 03:05PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

I have to say that thus far much of Oilersnation has been disappointing — the level of discourse from the core “writers” is usually purile and filled with pointless content that seems to be more concerned with being cool or hip rather than investigative and informative.

I resent that. I've never been cool or hip.

Avatar
#11 RobinB
October 08 2008, 03:37PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

jk: We don't have any photos that go with investigative and informative, so you get what we have here. Shame to see you go.

Avatar
#12 George
October 08 2008, 03:47PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

i love this site boys, it's my first stop in the a.m. The writing makes it more interesting than 99% of the shite out there. Keep up the good work. stop by the L&W in hinton or jasper, i'll buy u a poutine (with meat sauce). Heavy stuff.

Avatar
#13 RobinB
October 08 2008, 03:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

George: Mmm, poontang. I'm in.

Avatar
#14 jdrevenge
October 08 2008, 04:44PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Here here!

Avatar
#15 Jason Gregor
October 08 2008, 04:45PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

JK,

Too bad you have no sense of humour. Maybe you should go have a spa yourself!!

Avatar
#16 Fiveandagame
October 08 2008, 05:12PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

This is a HIGH FIVE to Gregor!

I absolutely love it when people want to jump on other peoples waiver wire junk. Maybe it's the fact that everybody loves a bargain.

Mclaren is slow. 2.5mil for a slow shut down guy? We got one, Steve Staios. Adding Mclaren would put us 5mil+ for out bottom pairing, put us at 49 players signed and eat up the rest of our cap space.

Instead of wasting money on a guy that was essentially cut from his team (Read: Because he was sucking up the joint Wayne Gretz style). Keep the young guys like Grebby and Smid. Then as we roll toward the deadline, trade one off if we have the need, for a PROVEN (meaning this year) Veteran guy who's team is outside the playoff picture.

As it stands, the Oilers have too many NHL ready forwards, Goalies and D-men. So instead of picking up more and adding to the depth in Springfield, we need to trade if anything to clear up the bulk of bodies. And guess what, we'll get a better quality of player in return, not a question mark.

Reclamation projects are Calgary's forte not ours.

Avatar
#17 The Towel Boy
October 08 2008, 05:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Jeeze JK... don't be such a Debbie Downer. This site is wayyy awesome...It's better than lolcats!

Avatar
#18 Chris
October 08 2008, 05:22PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Nice one JK...

You're just what the world needs: another blogger who has all the answers and thinks he's smarter/ more informed than everyone else. I regularly visit the Oilersnation site as it has a special feel that invites open conversation light on judgement and harsh critism. Take a chill pill Jackass!

Avatar
#19 Jonathan Willis
October 08 2008, 05:52PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Mclaren is slow. 2.5mil for a slow shut down guy? We got one, Steve Staios. Adding Mclaren would put us 5mil+ for out bottom pairing, put us at 49 players signed and eat up the rest of our cap space.

McLaren ranked 4th in TOI/60 at even strength in San Jose last year. In an injur prone year. For a team that finished 2nd in the league with 108 points. Ability has nothing to do with why McLaren was waived - the fact that the Sharks added nearly 12-million in Boyle/Blake does.

I'm very surprised Atlanta didn't claim him.

Avatar
#20 Dennis
October 08 2008, 06:15PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Devereaux is actually a useful player and I have numbers that can back that up. So, I'd like to see something that actually refutes that instead of someone seemingly throwing out a preemptive strike without having evidence to back that up.

JW showed some nice numbers on McLaren and if the Oilers didn't have Roli's stipend on the tit, then, yes I'd bring in McLaren, I'd move Strudwick to the 7 spot and I'd just move Smid period.

As for Devereaux,I'm not saying I'd take him on the Oilers; well, actually I would but it would result in the moving of a guy that everyone seems to like and then we'd really get into the war of numbers vs intangibles.

Nice to hear that Penner's having a good time and I wonder if all his tales are true. Granted, it would be scary to see a 6-4 280 pound guy show up to your hotel room in a Saw mask but did they all piss their pants to such an extent?

Anyway, it's good to see

Avatar
#21 Fiveandagame
October 08 2008, 06:16PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Jonathan-

//McLaren ranked 4th in TOI/60 at even strength in San Jose last year. In an injur prone year. For a team that finished 2nd in the league with 108 points. Ability has nothing to do with why McLaren was waived - the fact that the Sharks added nearly 12-million in Boyle/Blake does.//

So that, if nothing else, begs the question. What's wrong with him? If he's so valuable and so good why are they letting him go?

If it's purely a salary dump, you could let go of Lukowich and or Grier to give you some room, if Mclaren is so valuable.

It's more likely, he just flat out got beat out of a job by younger more skilled players or cheaper players.

So that would seem to point out he didn't come prepared to start the season. A question of work ethic? Substance abuse? Calgaryitis?

I guess where we differ is you believe that our top four/five D are shaky where I think you could draw an almost perfect parallel between the Oilers D and the Sharks.

Mclaren will get picked up, but the Oil have no need for him.

Avatar
#22 Jason Gregor
October 08 2008, 06:41PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Jonathon,

Mclaren played 18 minutes a night, what does playing the 4th most 5 on 5 show? He played the 5th most minutes of D-men on the PK. Normally great shut down guys play the most PK time. Of course finances were the reason he got sent down, but the point is does adding Mclaren make the Oilers better?

Increase cap and add another contract for what? A player you already have in Staios, and a guy in Strudwick who will kil penalties just as well for 1/5 the cost.

Regardless of whether Mclaren can play, the point was why would bringing him to Edmonton make the team better?

Avatar
#23 Fiveandagame
October 08 2008, 06:53PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

so okay interweb guys, why does my post say

"Your comment is awaiting moderation"

Are my brilliant hockey insights being censored? Have the republicans taken over the OILERNATION?

Did Jonathan get angry at me for agreeing with Gregor and block the comment???

WHAT DOES IT MEAN! DAMN IT ALL, WHAT DOES IT MEANNNnnnnnn..........(gasp).....

Avatar
#24 Gord
October 08 2008, 07:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Gregor, Although I agree that Mclaren is not the answer to improving the Oilers, if Strudwick and Souray can't be physical, shut-down d-men (and that sure isn't what I think of when the name Souray is mentionded), the Oilers are going to be chasing the puck around thier own zone for 55 minutes a night. The other 5 minutes they will be facing off at center after fishing the puck out from behind Garon.

Avatar
#25 icedlattino
October 08 2008, 10:13PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

preseason waivers is almost always, as the nhl live talking yankee heads said this morning "toxic" i'm glad the oilers didn't take any chances... give this team a chance to roll, the season hasn't started yet for us - geeze i can't wait for it to start!

Avatar
#26 Antony Ta
October 08 2008, 11:12PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

I like Mark Bell. Though, looking at our lineup, I would send him straight to the Falcons upon picking him up, which means we'd have to put him back on waivers...

Avatar
#27 Antony Ta
October 09 2008, 12:09AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Speaking of which, Sanderson > Bell

Avatar
#28 Early frontrunner for Quote of the Season | The Two-Line Pass
October 09 2008, 01:49AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

[...] Gregor shares a wonderful story over at Oilers Nation about the Oilers’ days training in Jasper, Saskatchewan. There’s a lot of [...]

Avatar
#29 BUCK75
October 09 2008, 07:18AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Although I searched the AM dial and found some SJHL action between the Humboldt Broncos and Battlefords North Stars. You have to love Saskatchewan - every Junior A team has a radio broadcast. Awesome!

The beatiful part about AM radio is you can pick up a SJHL game 1000km away...must have been a helluva radio skip. Kind like the one 1260 has in the Wetaskiwin area.

Penner = Saw - LMAO, hopefully he plays like his alterego this year ;)

Avatar
#30 Rick
October 09 2008, 08:45AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Gregor; Did I hear correctly last night on your show that you guys have heard rumblings that Smid may be looking to get out of Edmonton?

I was in and out of my tuck at the time so I am not sure I heard correctly but it seemed like an off handed comment by Bryn(?) and didn't seem to get expanded on afterwords.

If so, what have you guys been hearing?

Or maybe Robin has the goods on this as well?

Avatar
#31 Jason Gregor
October 09 2008, 12:52PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Rick,

There has been lots of speculation that during the summer Smid asked for a trade. I asked Smid directly and he said he never did. I do understand he might not be 100% truthful due to my job, but in the past he has always been very frank and direct so I tend to believe him. I do know that late last year he was disappointed with his ice time, and now that it looks like he will start a second straight season not in the top six, that topic might return. We will see.

Avatar
#32 Antony Ta
October 09 2008, 01:10PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Smid has been working really hard to crack the lineup though - unlike guys like Blake Wheeler, who upon seeing ougher competition in the ranks, will demand a trade pronto. Kudos to Smid for trying to earn his roster spot.

Avatar
#33 Fiveandagame
October 09 2008, 02:26PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Smid has always had slow starts to his seasons (last two anyway). His size is truly impressive (he's put on 35lbs since we got him from Anahiem) and his potential to be a top four guy is still very much there. BUT

If I were Smid I would be looking for a trade too. He's in the final year of his entry deal and needs the ice time to prove he is worth a hefty raise. If he can't get that from Edmonton maybe we're better off trading him as opposed to signing him to a one year deal at the end of the year. His youth and potential are a commodity at this point, and he could be packaged with an extra goaltender or depth forward to bring in a Veteran center for faceoffs if the Oilers can't improve in that department.

It would be tough to lose him but with Pekham and Chorney champing at the bit to get their crack in the NHL, Smid may be out of chances here to prove he deserves more icetime and another contract.

Comments are closed for this article.