GDB 46: Hello, Robert Nilsson!

Jason Gregor
January 20 2009 01:02PM

For the second straight game, the Oilers offence will get a boost; the fog has lifted and Robert Nilsson will play tonight with Gagner and Cole. Nilsson skated hard yesterday, and was cautious about a return tonight, but after the morning skate he was smiling and excited to play with his father in the rink tonight.

Nilsson’s return means a shuffle: Reddox is off the second line, and based on practice he might be in the pressbox tonight. Reddox and Strudwick were the last two off the ice at the morning skate, normally a sign that they won’t play tonight. The problem with that theory is that Strudwick has been the last player off on game day many times, yet still laced them up that night.

Reddox, Brule, Strudwick and MacIntyre are the options to flank Brodziak, and none of the players were saying who was playing. I would lean towards MacIntyre and Brule being in tonight.

Hall & Oates

Many of you were stunned watching the Oilers, specifically Ethan Moreau, clapping in unison to Private Eyes, after their win against Phoenix. Veteran Strudwick explains the reasoning behind this song:

Strudwick: First off, I really liked the '80s. There was lots of good music produced, synthesizers and bad hair were a good combination. As far as Hall and Oates, we're searching for a song and right now that seems to be the go-to after the game. I like the song a lot and I think we should stick with it.

Gregor: Is it because of the clapping sequence, the unison factor?

Strudwick: We had tried harder clapping sequence, but not everyone could get it, but now this song there is only three claps every two minutes so we can keep the pace.

Gregor: You’ve been around the league a long time -- are there any other songs that were this team-building-ish.

Strudwick: Most teams after a win play the same song. Last year in New York we had a song by Eminem -- Shake Your Ass -- not sure if you are familiar with it, but it is quite a good number. The other year we had Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond, which was Jagr’s song. We’ve had quite the potpourri of music.

Moreau kicking out Pouliot

Many of you thought Moreau was a horrible leader for waving Pouliot out of the dot a few games ago, so I asked him why?

“I take it because then Cogs can stay on the left side, where he is more comfortable, and not go on the right. Really, Poulie and I laugh about it when we look at one another to see who will take it. It isn’t a big deal at all, but the main reason is so that Cogs can stay on the left where he is more comfortable.”

I asked Pouliot his thoughts on it, and if he felt being a centre he should take the draw.

“Cogs hates the right side, so it is easier for Chop (Moreau) to take the draw. If he loses it I bug him hard that I should take it next time, but we laugh about it. When he waved me out it was because Cogs yelled at him to take it so he could stay on the left. I don’t think it is a big deal, other than I can bug him if he loses it.”

Garon and contract

To clarify whether Garon got a contract offer from the team this summer, I made a phone call. Garon said he had never spoken to the Oilers about an extension, while I was told a few months back there was an offer.

The truth is that Garon’s camp called the Oilers about an extension in the summer, and the Oilers said they would look at it during the season. So Garon never turned down an extension, but they did have contact with the Oilers about it. This according to Kevin Prendergast.

My original source was correct that talks had occurred, but it was, in fact, the Garon camp that started them not the Oilers.

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
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#1 The Towel Boy
January 20 2009, 01:07PM
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Who saw this coming!?!

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#2 Jonathan Willis
January 20 2009, 01:07PM
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Great stuff! Thanks, Jason - that clears up a few things and eases my mind about Moreau.

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#3 Since79
January 20 2009, 01:13PM
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Good news. Hopefully Nilsson has a second half like he did last season.

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#4 freeze
January 20 2009, 01:14PM
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*clap, clap*

I know I'll be playing Private Eyes tonight after they win!

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#5 APE
January 20 2009, 01:18PM
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Go Bobby go. Where the F is Robin B these days?

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#6 bingofuel
January 20 2009, 01:20PM
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@ APE: He's on vacation!

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#7 BUCK75
January 20 2009, 01:22PM
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Gregor wrote:

Strudwick: We had tried harder clapping sequence, but not everyone could get it, but now this song there is only three claps every two minutes so we can keep the pace.

That is funny, I don't think they can get any easier than that song. Gettng the dirt again Gregor - good job!

*clap, clap*

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#8 Chaz
January 20 2009, 01:25PM
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Great insight Gregor. I hope the guys aren't already in allstar break mode. Save the Hall and Oates dance routines for after the win tonight! Haha.

Seriously though, this is a huge game tonight. A win in regulation and we're masters of our own destiny for the playoff drive. It would go a long way in distancing this team from some inconsitent play and point them in the right direction for the rest of the year.

I can't remember if Nash is still injured? Anyone? How about Raffi? G'oliers!

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#9 tricksnard
January 20 2009, 01:27PM
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Doooo it boys! Going into the break in 5th place would be epic.

*clap* *clap*

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#10 Colin
January 20 2009, 01:29PM
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Nash beat Vancouver with a sweet move on Luongo in the shoot-out the other night, I'm sure he'll be in.

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#11 Colin
January 20 2009, 01:30PM
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Oh and according to the SUN Raffi draws in against the Oil tonight(after 19 on the shelf) too.

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#12 Chaz
January 20 2009, 01:30PM
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Nash and Raffi are both in the lineup....Just thought I'd answer my own question...

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#13 Jason Gregor
January 20 2009, 01:32PM
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Chaz wrote:

I can’t remember if Nash is still injured? Anyone? How about Raffi? G’oliers!

Yes both are in...Torres has only played 16 games due to injuries but he has played four staight and is excited for tonight. Look for him to try and run someone.

And it is confirmed...Reddox and Strudwick are out tonight.

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#14 rindog
January 20 2009, 01:34PM
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Thanks for the insight Gregs!

Wouldn't the lines look good if it went like this:

27 10 83 12 89 26 18 13 67 78 51 33/43

Actually in a perfect world they would look like this:

27 13 83 21 89 26 12 10 67 18 51 33/78/43

I know Potulny got sent down, and I know that the HHP line has been good (might not want to risk splitting them). But at some point I would like to see those 3 more offensively constructed lines see what they can do???

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#15 BUCK75
January 20 2009, 01:38PM
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Chaz wrote:

Seriously though, this is a huge game tonight. A win in regulation and we’re masters of our own destiny for the playoff drive. It would go a long way in distancing this team from some inconsitent play and point them in the right direction for the rest of the year.

I put this in the thread from yesterday. They really do need to start stringing some wins together if there are any hopes of the play-offs. The games aren't going to get any easier if they don't get on a hotstreak.

Since the A$$-Kicking against Chicago: 9 wins, 6 losses - 1 OTL. 6-4 in the last 10. I really hope they can do better in the next 10. But with 3 afternooon games & a Wild, Habs (home, but away game)& Wings game in there .500 might be what we have. Tue Jan 20, 2009 Home - Blue Jackets Tue Jan 27, 2009 Home - Sabres Fri Jan 30, 2009 Home - Wild Sun Feb 1, 2009 Home - Predators (afternoon) Tue Feb 3, 2009 Home - Oilers Thu Feb 5, 2009 Away - Blues Sat Feb 7, 2009 Away - Red Wings (afternoon) Sun Feb 8, 2009 Away - Wild (afternoon) Wed Feb 11, 2009 Home - Canadiens Sat Feb 14, 2009 Away - Kings

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#16 RLH
January 20 2009, 01:46PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Great stuff! Thanks, Jason - that clears up a few things and eases my mind about Moreau.

Not only that, but it indicates some team (if not line) chemistry. Good to see, and it makes me wonder if we don't personalize these guys enough?

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#17 RLH
January 20 2009, 01:49PM
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BUCK75 wrote:

Tue Feb 3, 2009 Home - Oilers

Wow, now that really does show the strength needed for the NW division.

My vote, nope, we don't need an edit button.

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#18 Jason Gregor
January 20 2009, 01:50PM
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One other note. Expect Brule to be sent down to sprinfield. I know the waiver number will be a small part of it, but the major reason is that with Pisani set to return a week after the All-star game, having Brule on a 4th line role/minutes is not best suited for him.

You can keep Reddox up here as an extra forward because he has shown exactly what he will be if he ever stays. He is a player who can't take ONE shift off, is a smart player, who will almost always get the puck out along the wall, and is no better than an extra winger or 3rd/4th liner.

Brule still needs to work on his offensive game and be playing in offensive situations. That won't happen here. Pisani will be on the RW with 13,18 and then Pouliot will drop to 4th line...No where for Brule to play so playing him 18-20 minutes a night in the AHL will be better.

I wouldn't be surprised to see him sent down before Thursday, so he can play this weekend for Springfield.

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#19 Jason Gregor
January 20 2009, 01:57PM
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rindog wrote:

Actually in a perfect world they would look like this: 27 13 83 21 89 26 12 10 67 18 51 33/78/43

Potulny ahead of Nilsson and Brule??? Based on what? A few games? Nilsson has way more top end ability and if he finds consistency he is their second most skilled forward.

And Cogliano is not ready to play heads up against top end players. So fine if you want him with Hemsky, and they don't play the top-end lines, but there is no way that Horcoff with Nilsson and Brule can be a shut down type of line. Horcoff is good defensively but not that good.

And Scott Howson, GM of the Blue Jackets will be on Just A Game at 4:25 today

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#20 Jonathan Willis
January 20 2009, 02:10PM
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@ Jason Gregor:

So basically, we're looking at this after the all-star break:

Penner - Horcoff - Hemsky Nilsson - Gagner - Cole Moreau - Cogliano - Pisani MacIntyre - Brodziak - Pouliot Reddox

Souray - Gilbert Grebeshkov - Visnovsky Smid - Staios Strudwick

Roloson Deslauriers

Am I missing someone or are they leaving Garon's roster spot empty?

Also, if that's accurate, would it help this team going forward to a) bump Cogliano into Nilsson's spot b) trade Nilsson for some insurance at centre, given that it's Horcoff and 1st/2nd year players?

Please note: I'm not advocating such a trade, I'm just suggesting the possibility.

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#21 raged
January 20 2009, 02:14PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

rindog wrote: Actually in a perfect world they would look like this: 27 13 83 21 89 26 12 10 67 18 51 33/78/43 Potulny ahead of Nilsson and Brule??? Based on what? A few games? Nilsson has way more top end ability and if he finds consistency he is their second most skilled forward. And Cogliano is not ready to play heads up against top end players. So fine if you want him with Hemsky, and they don’t play the top-end lines, but there is no way that Horcoff with Nilsson and Brule can be a shut down type of line. Horcoff is good defensively but not that good. And Scott Howson, GM of the Blue Jackets will be on Just A Game at 4:25 today

Yeah Potulny on the second line is loco. Hopefully next year 13 or 89 will be able to replace 10 on the top line..Hossa would look good there too

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#22 Jonathan Willis
January 20 2009, 02:16PM
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raged wrote:

Yeah Potulny on the second line is loco. Hopefully next year 13 or 89 will be able to replace 10 on the top line..Hossa would look good there too

Hopefully next year 13 and 89 will be able to win faceoffs.

Baby steps.

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#23 Braden
January 20 2009, 02:23PM
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So Garon wasn't the bad guy after all. Here I was thinking "screw Garon, if the guy wanted to stick around he would've signed an extension" yet it was actually the total opposite. Just a gigantic blunder and I have no doubts it was intentional.

Typical Oilers management leaking information to sway a fans opinion.

As for your credibility - you wrote that Garon turned down an extension and clearly this would damage Garon's character to the average fan. That fact that you were wrong on such a matter is everything I need to know.

You're either telling fabrications or you're the conduit for the Oilers propaganda.

I seen the same kind of character assassinations towards Lupul and Pitkanen before they were moved.

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#24 Mike
January 20 2009, 02:24PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Am I missing someone or are they leaving Garon’s roster spot empty?

Depends on whether Stortini is really only out a couple of weeks, I guess.

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#25 Jonathan Willis
January 20 2009, 02:32PM
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Braden wrote:

I seen the same kind of character assassinations towards Lupul and Pitkanen before they were moved.

That's why Pitkanen missed so many games! The Apostate used to joke about being day-to-day with hurt feelings, but for Pitkanen it was a reality.

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#26 rindog
January 20 2009, 02:40PM
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@ Jason Gregor:

Then switch lines 2 and 3.

The point was to have 3 balanced offensive lines and one veteran shut down line.

As far as Potulny goes, he has been a nice surprise - why not see what he can do? Especially since the coach is not thrilled with Nilsson's game.

I stated that I don't want to see HHP split up, but I have yet to see Cogliano and Hemsky see any extended time together and I would like to see what they can do.

And as far as Horcoff not being good enough - MacT seemed to think he was good enough with Penner and Reddox go up agaisnt the best while they were together??

Brule seems to pretty aware defensively and Nilsson was one of our +/- leaders last year and knows how to play in his own end.

Brule going down is disappointing as well. I know they are worried about waiver status, but maybe they should have thought twice about acquiring a guy that is that close to the cut off if they aren't comfortable with his game?

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#27 lego
January 20 2009, 02:41PM
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Tue Jan 20, 2009 Home - Blue Jackets Tue Jan 27, 2009 Home - Sabres Fri Jan 30, 2009 Home - Wild Sun Feb 1, 2009 Home - Predators (afternoon) Tue Feb 3, 2009 Home - Oilers Thu Feb 5, 2009 Away - Blues Sat Feb 7, 2009 Away - Red Wings (afternoon) Sun Feb 8, 2009 Away - Wild (afternoon) Wed Feb 11, 2009 Home - Canadiens Sat Feb 14, 2009 Away - Kings

That game on February 3rd is gonna be a tough game, at least we are guaranteed 2 points! ;-)

Actually we play Chicago at home on the 3rd, hopefully they will serve up some ice cold revenge!

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#28 rindog
January 20 2009, 02:54PM
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@ Jason Gregor:

And for the record, I agree with the Nilsson comments...pure skill!!

I am the biggest Nilsson fan out there!!!

I hope he gets it going with 89 & 26!!!!

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#29 raged
January 20 2009, 02:54PM
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@ Jonathan Willis: yeah true, hopefully as they get stronger theyll improve. Cogliano has the potential I would think, speed and quickness usually come in the same package. Being short (nhl standards) hurts them both though leverage wise

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#30 Colin
January 20 2009, 03:21PM
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I will boldly predict a 4-3 victory.

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#31 Malc
January 20 2009, 03:22PM
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According to TSN Sabourin was placed on waivers today. With Dubielewicz being claimed from the Isles by Columbus and now Dipietro out for the year - is it a fair bet Sabourin's gone? So much for another deal in the works.

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#32 Colin
January 20 2009, 03:24PM
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Malc wrote:

According to TSN Sabourin was placed on waivers today. With Dubielewicz being claimed from the Isles by Columbus and now Dipietro out for the year - is it a fair bet Sabourin’s gone? So much for another deal in the works.

He's a career AHLer with limited NHL experience, I didn't really expect a deal. If he gets claimed oh well, if not he can help relieve Dubynk(sp) in Springfield.

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#33 Jason Gregor
January 20 2009, 03:28PM
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Braden wrote:

Typical Oilers management leaking information to sway a fans opinion. As for your credibility - you wrote that Garon turned down an extension and clearly this would damage Garon’s character to the average fan. That fact that you were wrong on such a matter is everything I need to know. You’re either telling fabrications or you’re the conduit for the Oilers propaganda. I seen the same kind of character assassinations towards Lupul and Pitkanen before they were moved.

Hey go watch another conspiracy theory. Yeah it was a real character assassination on Garon...The point was never that he turned it down, to make him look good. I said that the fact if he did, then he might be regretting it and really putting pressure on himself to try to get one. That is what I said then you clown.

You are the one blowing this way out of proportion and saying it was an attack on his character. The contract talk was there, and who knows maybe the fact the Oilers said they would wait until the season bothered him. He said it didn't so I will believe him.

And as for fans rallying against Garon, once again you show your ignorance, because based on the posts here many didn't want him traded. And not one person here or on many sites stated he was a problem in the lockerroom. You are the only dork who has even mentioned it.

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#34 Travis Dakin
January 20 2009, 03:30PM
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Wouldn't it be sweet to have Garon to trade to the Isles right now...

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#35 Tommy
January 20 2009, 03:31PM
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I was really hoping for a pic of the dragon shoes today

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#36 Bruthah
January 20 2009, 03:31PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

You are the only dork who has even mentioned it.

He called him a dork. Classic.

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#37 Jason Gregor
January 20 2009, 03:32PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

a) bump Cogliano into Nilsson’s spot

JW,

Cogliano is not comfortable on the wing, and I think it is highly doubtful he ever plays there. He HAS to improve his faceoffs, and if he does his role and icetime would increase I suspect.

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#38 Jonathan Willis
January 20 2009, 03:40PM
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@ Jason Gregor:

What do you see in the near future for the Oilers down the middle? I'd assume that Horcoff is in the long-term plans, given his contract, so if that's the case, what happens?

Does Gagner switch to the wing, or do they ship out one of Cogliano/Gagner?

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#39 BUCK75
January 20 2009, 03:40PM
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RLH wrote:

BUCK75 wrote: My vote, nope, we don’t need an edit button.

Whatday mean we need an edit button ROFL.

Even when you proof read once or twice you still make mistakes.

@ lego: Thanks for correecting my blunder ;)

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#40 APE
January 20 2009, 04:02PM
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Malc wrote:

According to TSN Sabourin was placed on waivers today

Did you see that on TV or the internet? I haven't read that anywhere.

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#41 Dennis
January 20 2009, 04:06PM
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13 should try and get over his fear or dislike of playing the wing because I think we'd be better off running like this; assuming that you wouldn't get 18 out of the top 9 with a A-bomb.

27-10-83 13-89-26 18-78-34 51 plus on the 4th line.

Move 12 for a dman that's rent-controlled.

I do agree with sending down 67, though. He can't move anyone out of the skill positions and he isn't dependable enough to play on the lower lines and perhaps that wouldn't be the best place for him anyway.

Plus, 18's here to take dumb penalties so that role's filled.

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#42 Jonathan Willis
January 20 2009, 04:10PM
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Dennis wrote:

I do agree with sending down 67, though. He can’t move anyone out of the skill positions and he isn’t dependable enough to play on the lower lines and perhaps that wouldn’t be the best place for him anyway. Plus, 18’s here to take dumb penalties so that role’s filled.

Plus the fact that primo AHL minutes will probably help Brule along the development curve, and Springfield may have enough guns for a decent playoff run when he returns.

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#43 Cam
January 20 2009, 04:15PM
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APE wrote:

Malc wrote: According to TSN Sabourin was placed on waivers today Did you see that on TV or the internet? I haven’t read that anywhere.

here it is on TSN

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/feature/?id=11009

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#44 socaldave
January 20 2009, 04:16PM
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did Gregor just say Hemmer was a scratch tonight? Did I hear that correctly? =(

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#45 freeze
January 20 2009, 04:20PM
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www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/2009/01/20/oilers_game_day/

this says Hemmer is out. :(

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#46 Cam
January 20 2009, 04:27PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

That is what I said then you clown. And not one person here or on many sites stated he was a problem in the lockerroom. You are the only dork who has even mentioned it.

Classic Jason Gregor. You should really stop with all the euphamisms and sunshine and tell us what you really think ;-)

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#47 Travis Dakin
January 20 2009, 04:30PM
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freeze wrote:

http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/2009/01/20/oilers_game_day/ this says Hemmer is out.

WHAT THE HELL????

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#48 bingofuel
January 20 2009, 04:32PM
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@ Travis Dakin: To borrow a phrase from a well-known Nation commenter: Who saw this coming?!?

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#49 smytty777
January 20 2009, 04:37PM
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freeze wrote:

http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/2009/01/20/oilers_game_day/ this says Hemmer is out.

That actually says Hemmer is in.

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#50 bingofuel
January 20 2009, 04:37PM
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I can't find confirmation of a Hemsky scratch anywhere on the web other than this link. It isn't even on the Oilers site.

Anyone have anymore information?

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