Wanye calls Cole

Wanye
September 02 2008 10:49AM

We were sitting around with some of the boys over the weekend, having a couple hundred Cold Certifieds over a game of poker. As with all good Canadian Boys, talk quickly turned away from the new bassoon player at the Edmonton Symphony, and focused on the mighty Oil.

As we folded hand after crappy hand, the conversation passed from the departure of Glencross to the signing of Strudwick and finally landed on the hilarious collapse of the Calgary Flames—many a hearty laugh was enjoyed by all.

In the midst of all this good humour we continued an annual right of passage at the Annual Pre-season Oilers Forum/Garage Poker Tournament. Each year we pre-call our favourite Oiler and decide who we will rag on all year. Both are extremely important decisions in the life of a hockey fan—you pick your favourite, you pick the goat for the year and then the season begins. If you happen to make a good pick—say selecting Horcoff last year—you are an absolute hero as “your boy Horcoff” potted goal after goal. Select a dud—like the year we decided that Adam Oates was going to have a veteran resurgence—and you are the nerd for the entire season.

Same goes for your whipping boy—you have to have a player on the roster you can’t stand. Then if the Oil are scored against, it isn’t the team’s fault. It’s that damn Matt Greene. Man, we hated Matt Greene in 2006. Every time he was scored on we would curse, “Damn that Greene. They need to send him to the ECHL on the next thing smoking.”

We won’t even begin to tell you about the time in 2006 our buddy declared “I think Pisani could have a good playoff. It will be interesting to see him in pressure situations. I think he will hold up well.” Damn Lee, you were a hero in that Cup run, you son of a gun.

Well, it’s that time again, Nation. We’re going to go out on a limb and make an interesting set of calls this year. We hope you will do the same.

First Star

Erik Cole. Yeah, he’s new. Yeah, he used to be a Hurricane. But dang it, we’re glad Erik Cole is an Oiler. This guy shoots, cuts to the net and doesn’t need to be told to play the body. Break your neck in the playoffs, Erik? Merely a temporary injury it would seem.

Mark our words: You will love Erik Cole.

We know that we will too, and we’ve claimed him as our boy for the entire season. Now when Cole scores, it’s like we scored too. And we can rub it in your faces for eight solid months of hockey.

First Worst Star

This gets tougher with the departure of Raffi Torres, and our perennial beyatch Matt Greene. We’ve hated Torres ever since he failed to follow up on his 27 goal season back in 05–06 and we picked him to be our boy the following year. We took many a beating for that pick, we can tell you. This doesn’t mean we actually hated him, but he was a convenient player to hang the inevitable losses on for the past two years.

This was actually was a difficult decision this year, but we eventually landed on Dennis Grebeshkov. Let’s see if works:

Man, that Grebeshkov could be player one day, if he was put in a dark room for four solid months and completely reprogrammed mentally by a team of scientists.

Yep, that works. You’ve been put on notice “Grebs”—we’re watching you. And we aren’t going anywhere either. We’re going to sit and judge and judge and sit.

We encourage all of you to leave your picks for Champ and Goat here. We know it’s going to be a long season, and we know we are going to be going to war on this site each and every game. Let’s put pen to electronic paper and mark our territory, shall we?

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Blog so hard motherf**ckers try and find me. Email me at wanyegretz@gmail.com or tweet me @wanyegretz provided it is about Jordan Eberle or babes.
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#1 Gord
September 02 2008, 11:03AM
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First Star - Ales Hemsky. I know this is way too easy of a pick, but when Hemsky is at his best, pucks are going into the opposition's net.

First Worst Star - my goat last year as well - Sheldon Souray. It's easy to see how many mistakes this overpaid clown makes when you are looking closely for them. You can almsot always put the blame squarely on him for the goal that just went in against the Mighty Oil.

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#2 1011011
September 02 2008, 11:13AM
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Sweet!

I pick Garon as my first star. This guy is going to bring it each and every game.

I pick Penner as my first worst star. Overpaid and overplayed if you ask me.

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#3 Ender the Dragon
September 02 2008, 11:33AM
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I'll leave the easy picks to others and go out on a limb here.

First Star; Cogs. Everyone picks this guy for a bad bout of the Sophmore Jinx. I say that while he'll leave the first line to the vets, he'll turn into the solid second line guy everyone was hoping for.

Potential Disapointment: Nilsson. Something about this kid makes me uneasy, despite his flashes of brilliance last season. I'm not hoping for him to fail and I'd like nothing better than to see the kid-line light up goalies coast-to-coast this year, but something deep down inside whispers that Nilsson is going to spend a lot of time as a spectator this year, despite the high hopes and pool picks of many.

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#4 Jonathan
September 02 2008, 11:41AM
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It's Erik Cole, Wanye. Erik Cole. Like "Erik the Red".

Star: Cole and Hemsky have been taken, so I'll pick Sam Gagner.

Goat: Kyle Brodziak. Brodziak's going to get tossed into the deep end, and even with competent wingers, he's going to drown. All those fans who hated Stoll/Reasoner are going to turn on this guy really, really fast.

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#5 OilCrazy
September 02 2008, 11:41AM
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First Star:

I am going with Horcoff as the first star - he should be hungry to prove he deserves the big contract that he signed with Edmonton

First Worst Star:

I am going with Penner - I see his ice time going down and by the half way mark of the season he will be replaced on the first line by Eric Cole.

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#6 The Towel Boy
September 02 2008, 11:45AM
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First Star: Horcoff. He's gonna bring it...again ...and he'll play and act like he should have the "C".

First Worst Star: Moreau...cuz he'll barely make it out of preseason before snapping a bone.

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#7 MrMackey
September 02 2008, 11:47AM
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First Star: Nilsson - MacT became a huge fan last year so he'll get the minutes and the benefit of the doubt to start the season, and I think he will surprise a lot of people by elevating his level of play. Runner up: Hemsky - the easy pick, will be great this year.

Worst Star: Vishnovsky - offensive defensemen don't seem to do well under Huddy/MacT, especially if they're not the tall and physical type. Runner-up: Garon - I think he'll struggle a bit to start the year & fans will get on him, but he'll rebound by the end.

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#8 Wanye Gretz
September 02 2008, 12:04PM
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Jonathan -

How terribly embarassing, I know how to spell his name like I know the back of my hand. As penalty I self revoke my medical license. It can only be restored when someone decides I have done something intelligent, to make up for this blunder.

Eric Cole.

Sigh.

I'm about 30 seconds from calling Curtis Joseph CUJO and yelling SHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT

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#9 doritogrande
September 02 2008, 12:21PM
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Hero: Lubo Vishnovsky. Buddy's due for a resurgence, and he'll certainly have opportunity with an actual defensive corps around him unlike in LA.

Goat: Marc Pouliot. First round BUST. If he doesn't get passed on the depth charts by both Brule and Potulny this year, I'll be surprised.

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#10 Rick
September 02 2008, 01:34PM
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Hero: Cole and Vishnovsky. Oilers fans love their flavour of the month type players and both ofthese guys qualify.

Goat: Smid. It seems like it's impossible for Oilers fans to seperate Smid from the Pronger trade or keep in mind that the guy is still just a kid.

Honourable Goat: Nilsson. Also honourable hero. For the first month everyone will be high fiving over Nilsson's talent and by December they will be all over him for not using it. Just lke his dad I guess.

Wanye, out of curiosity who is the ESO's new bassoon player, and what kind of stats does he bring in with him? I've been looking for this info everywhere and just can't find it. I was actually pleasantly surprised when my google search turned up this blog.

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#11 Wanye Gretz
September 02 2008, 02:04PM
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Ah Rick, I thank you for asking. Apparently I cannot spell Erik Cole's name correctly today but I am still able to coherently dicuss the career of William Harrison, bassoon player at the ESO. I won't bore us with the common knowledge that William began playing the bassoon at age 19, when he was accepted into the music program at McGill University.

What you may be interested to learn is that his time in Montréal also saw him perform with, among others, the CBC Radio-TV Orchestra, McGill Chamber Orchestra, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Bolshoi Ballet and the Montréal Symphony.

William Harrison is not only a pillar of the ESO as principal bassoon, but also an active member of the music community as a performer and educator. As well, he was a founding member of the Edmonton Concert Hall Foundation, which brought about the realization of the Francis Winspear Centre for Music.

More information about William Harrison can be found here:

http://www.edmontonsymphony.com/AbouttheESO/MeettheMusiciansoftheESO/WilliamHarrison/tabid/220/Default.aspx

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#12 Rick
September 02 2008, 02:16PM
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Thanks Wanye, that caps it for me. I will definately be renewing my season tickets now.

I wonder how much he will score this year? I hear there is a tonne of new "talent" in the flute section and one very intriguing French Horn-ist.

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#13 The Towel Boy
September 02 2008, 02:51PM
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I thought the woodwinds section was lacking last season....it's the brass section that carried the team...so hopefully with the signing of this high profile bassoonistinatoroligist they can make the post season.

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#14 jdrevenge
September 02 2008, 03:37PM
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First star - Muh boy with the gash in his neck Ales Hemsky. See him playing with Horcoff and a faster quicker Ryan Smyth will be something to see

Worst Star - Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers This guy will be given too many minutes and we finally get to see one of our net picks flounder in the bigleagues

or

Dwayne Roloson - the guy is fading fast and this year could be the year he decides to pack it in... early

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#15 oiler_fan
September 02 2008, 03:54PM
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star - nilsson

goat - OilCrazy called it...penner.

if i'm wrong, great it would be nice to see penner actually light it up for the fat cash he's paid

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#16 Tony Romo
September 02 2008, 04:07PM
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Star - Hemsky. This is the year that he decides to make the leap I think and breaks the 90 points barrier.

Goat - Man, that's tough. I miss Stoll and Torres already. Is Mathieu Roy slated to make the team? That's an easy kill if he is

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#17 tracey
September 02 2008, 04:10PM
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cogs will be the best player on the team cause he is so hot

GO OILERS!!!!!

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#18 Chris.
September 02 2008, 06:00PM
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Not one person mentioned Tom Gilbert.

This city likes to eat the rich! I hope he can adjust to increased expectations.

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#19 JB
September 02 2008, 07:40PM
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Star - How about Lubie Visnovsky? I think he makes the PP far more dynamic than last year and erases the memories of Joni Pitkanen.

Goat - Sheldon Souray. $5.4 million. Ugh. Desperation signings always hurt the most.

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#20 Fiveandagame
September 02 2008, 09:19PM
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I am shocked and appalled at you Oilers nation. To assume the Oilers will have any goats is pure Blasphemy! Unless you are comparing the players to only other Oilers (As no players in the league compare to ours) Like how craig Simpson would be a Goat compared to Gretzky.....

STAR - Gagner will prove Willis Wrong and improve greatly on his point totals from last year scoring 65+

GOAT - STAIOS - will be invisible until the playoffs where he'll play with such heart grit and determination that we'll forgive his lack luster season.

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#21 DJ Spyn Cycle
September 02 2008, 10:32PM
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STAR: Mr Zachary Alphonse Ruteger Stortini. Having spent the entire summer fighting in the streets of Thailand with Sagat, Huggybear's hug isn't going to be as full as love as it will be full of destruction. I say this without hyperbole.

GOAT: The ESO bassonist is going to shit the bed hard this year.

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#22 The Towel Boy
September 02 2008, 10:47PM
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HYPER HUG!

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#23 Jonathan
September 03 2008, 07:06AM
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Gagner will prove Willis Wrong and improve greatly on his point totals from last year scoring 65+

But... I picked Gagner as a star and earlier predicted 60+ points?

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#24 jayoilfan
September 03 2008, 08:42AM
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Star - Samwise "Gagner" Gamgee, will totally carry this team into the playoffs, just like he did for Frodo and getting the Ring to Mount Doom.

I'd normally pick Hemsky for Star but everyone knows he rocks and I think with a healthy Horcoff and Cole with him, he could easily top 90 points!

Not so star - Sheldon Souray, way too overpaid and a total bandage case for what he brings. Lucky if he hits 40 games.(I so hope I'm wrong on this one!)

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#25 Fiveandagame
September 03 2008, 09:28AM
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"But… I picked Gagner as a star and earlier predicted 60+ points?"

Thats right! but he'll be a whole 5pts better 65+! As my star. So Cheer for him as you will Willis but up to 64 pts but after that GAGNER is my star!

(BTW Jonathan that was a joke I couldn't just say.."you know, what Willis said, pick the Gagner kid")

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#26 Matt
September 03 2008, 09:36PM
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Star goes to Grebeshkov, who is ready for a killer year on the back end.

Goat goes to Souray, even though I really like the guy.

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#27 David S
September 04 2008, 12:01AM
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My pick for star goes to Cogliano. Guy has insane wheels and a soft touch around the net. My having said that now means he'll probably fall off the face of the earth.

Goat? Gotta be Roloson. How many times last year did you catch yourself saying "if only Garon" after spitting up your last swig of beer at Boston Pizza?

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#28 milli
September 04 2008, 08:00AM
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Hero: Penner, ya that's right. you heard it hear first, Big Dustin Penner.

Goat: hate to say it, but it'll be my boy Roli.

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#29 Chaz
September 04 2008, 08:12AM
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First Star: A tie between Hemmer (No Brainer...I hope)and Grebeshkov. Grebs won't be the most valuable player on the team, but he will exceed expectations and make Mac T and Huddy look like stars for sticking with him through some trying moments last year.

First Worst Star: Penner. I really hope I'm wrong about this, but I just don't see enough heart in his game, and he floats like a butterfly out there. Prove me wrong Big Man!

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#30 Wanye Gretz
September 04 2008, 08:51AM
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Oh snap! Milli picks Penner as his star. That's VERY interesting

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#31 It’s apology time, Nation - OilersNation
December 09 2008, 11:04AM
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[...] Look who’s an overpriced bum now, Souray Haters. Look who probably owes his own cousin Gary $20 now but now ignores his calls. We’ll give you a hint. It’s all of you haters — but specifically you those of you who picked him as your goat in the star/goat draft of 2008. [...]

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