Paying rapt attention

Wanye
October 11 2009 05:07PM

Last night was a chilly Saturday evening in the City of Champions, so your we did what any red blooded guy would do – bought a case of beer on the way back to Wanye Manor, turned off the phone, turned off the computer and sat down to watch our beloved Oilers on the second half of the HNIC double header. We watched it all without a stitch of distraction: the game, the intermission hot-stovery, the post game show and the after hours show where they interviewed players deep in the bowels of RX1 long into the night. We turned in our usual Saturday night haunts and skirt chasing activities for the quiet confines of a semi-condemned house in the river valley of Edmonton, determined to re-ignite our love affair with the Edmonon Oilers.

It has been a bitch to balance building the Nation sites with writing on the Nation sites. Since we unwisely threw away a perfectly good career in Finance to try and make the Nations go on a full time basis, most of our time is spent pitching the sites to advertisers, pitching the sites to media types in other cities and frustratingly little time doing what we actually love to do — talk shop on the Nations and call Dustin Penner’s mouth the busiest Donair Drive-Thru in Canada.

But really who cares right? Just know that your ol’ pal Wanye is out there grindin’ on all our behalf to make these sites even better and that he hasn’t found something productive to do with his time. And now back to something that actually matters:

The game itself

It’s clear that one shouldn’t find too much wrong with a victory, particularly in a season that has had so much go wrong so early on. But when you look at the ol’ seasonal record, the Oilers have managed to fight Lady Luck in 2009 to a 2-1-1 record thus far. Regardless of how many goals have been scored on the Oilers in the final minute of play, there is more positive than negative 4 games into the year.

Decent.

We don’t know about you, but we thought the Oilers looked pretty good last night all told. The absence of Souray on the PP was noticable but not crippling and though it pains us to say it ol’ Goatie McGreberstein didn’t look that terrible either. How the hell does he have four points in four games exactly? The team seems to be moving the outlet pass with much greater confidence than last year – that pass from Gagner to Comrie in the first period was sick, and the shot was even sicker. Jacques looked like the pressure of being named Star by Jason Gregor was finally lifted when he redirected that puck past price and Pat Quinn looked much happier in the post game conference.

Mike Comrie interview

For those of you who didn’t commit to the Oilers-Habs Seclusion match of 2009 like we did, you may have been longtime gone by the time Kevin Weeks and Scott Oake interviewed Mike Comrie some time around 4 AM on CBC. Ordinarily we would have been gone too, but temporarily disabled from the 8 BLs we had already put away on the night, we figured we would watch the interview. Scott Oake had recently been lipped off by Dustin Penner and we wanted to see what would come of interviewing Comrie, knowing his *ahem* disinterest in the media.

Though the two hosts (which have as much business together as vinegar and maple syrup) raked Comrie through all of the uncomfortable topics that they could think of, Comrie came out looking pretty good. It’s a shame no one really watches the post game show on CBC because Comrie’s willingness to play along with Weekes and Oake took us by pleasant surprise. Bear in mind that these transcriptions aren’t exactly what transpired but what we remember the conversation being the day after a solo shift at the Bud Light dispensery.

Uncomfortable topics included...

Scott Oake: “Is it just crazy awesome dating a movie star/tv star/teen sensation/member of the Oprah Book Club? Buh, how did you two meet? For reals?”

Kevin Weekes: “Coming back to Edmonton even though everyone hates you must have been hard.”

Scott Oake: “Your family was once also once revered in Edmonton and is now hated. What up with that?”

Kevin Weekes: “You love fashion don’t you? Yeah, totally. I used to be in the NHL too (shakes head sadly).”

To his credit Comrie didn’t walk off mid interview and grant an interview to the Alberta Sports Scene instead. He sat there and tried to find humor in the bland banter between the hosts, tried his best to regurgitate answers he has given to the local scribes many a time already and generally tried his best to come across as charismatic in the face of an uncomfortable series of questions.

Now having picked Comrie as our Star for the year – an illustrious group that included Ryan Smyth the year he was traded, Erik Cole the year he was traded, Chris Pronger the year he screwed the City and bounced – we make these commitments in September knowing full well that it is a long season and we have generally made a risky pick. We half expected Comrie to contribute at a reasonable pace, collect some smiles and then bounce for warmer shores once the season was over.

His play – and more importantly his attitude – through the preseason and first four games has been impressive in our books. Not only has he led the NHL in points in the preseason, but he has also looked pleasantly content wearing the Copper and Blue and dare we say it – pumped at times, particularly in the celebrations of his two regular season goals.

Bear in mind that this is a player that has led his team in scoring twice, but has signed more one year deals than you can shake a stick at. The fact Comrie has played under 10 – count ‘em 10 – different coaches and wasn’t offered a multi year deal by anyone including the Oilers must say something about him on some level. But the fact he has returned willingly to ol’ freezing E-Town and has humbly gone about dismantling the preseason and is leading the team with four points in four games says even more about him.

The problem with MC has never been talent. Instead it has been the attitude of a guy who stands firmly in the 0.00001% of pro athletes who reasonably don’t have to play sports for a living and could still drive around in a Silver Bentley, confidently throwing gold coins at passers by. Knowing you are already set for life and yet willing to train and sacrifice to make it to the NHL is commendable. Knowing you are set for life and coming across as knowing you are set for life, even to other NHL veterans, leads to some difficulties.

We hardly expect to see Comrie at Diesel Ultra Lounge throwing them back with Cogliano on a Tuesday night, but a more mature and seasoned Comrie might provide an excellent example to the Andrew Coglianos of the world going forward. “You can play anywhere in the league kid, I can promise you no where else will worship you like Edmonton. And being rich, 20 and loved in a City of 500,000 women has it’s advantages that you can’t quite capitalize on in major American cities where you are low on the depth chart behind the NFL, NBA, MLB and Nascar Pit Crews. Unless you are me, which of course you aren’t.”

(points to picture of Hilary Duff picture in locker)

This sort of lesson, taught by a guy who landed Hilary Duff, should not go unheard by the young Oilers.

Comrie has an interesting position within the Oilers locker room. Unbelievably he is one of the few players on the roster that is there by choice. He has seen success as the only player on the roster that has scored more than 30 goals. He has a blood line that few of the nouveau riche Tom Gilberts of the world can measure up to with their undeserved massive contracts. No one could have blamed him if he didn’t ever even live within the City limits ever again. Yet there he sits, at the end of the dressing room, leading the team in points.

The idea that a local boy could strike it big with his first contract, bounce under a firestorm of rumors and innuendo and return to the Oilers is a great story in itself. But our boy seems to have returned to the Oilers with a bit of perspective. When Scott Oake awkwardly asked what it was like to be run out of your own home town, interestingly Comrie responded with something to the effect of, "It was very hard to leave this town under so much anger and baseless rumors being spread about me. I was young and I thought I was invincible and that that sort of thing could never happen to me."

So here is your #91 this season Nation. A potentially changed man from the 23 year old that left town 6 years ago. Though he departed in one of the bigger slaps in the face to the team and to the City, that was like 4 slaps in the face ago. Impossibly, Comrie has won back 60% of the hearts and minds of Edmontonians only 4 games into the regular season. He is older, wiser and has come to camp healthy for the first time in years one season removed from hip surgery. And he has 4 points in 4 games. And he seems happy doing so.

Mad decent.

09049f03ecb006ab29372206f2a88f75
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 homerer
October 11 2009, 05:23PM
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I also don't like the dutch and do like the Duff.

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#2 Librarian Mike
October 11 2009, 05:26PM
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I find it heartening that everyone involved with all the Comrie stuff seems to have grown up a bit. MC has learned to keep it in the room, and Kevin Lowe has the good sense to stay out of sight so we can forget that he's still in a position of power on this team.

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#3 Eric Johnson
October 11 2009, 05:36PM
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Dude, is is just me, or are you like trying to write good now?

That was damn entertaining! And not just for the usual gangsta rap, BL, and granola bar jokes. You been working on your mad linguistics haven't you?

Like this site, like lil' Mike C, well done Mr. Wayne, well Done.

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#4 Lofty
October 11 2009, 05:49PM
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Who?

Mike Jones

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#5 Hemmertime
October 11 2009, 06:06PM
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@Librarian Mike

We haven't grown up, just how much bashing of an Oiler are you going to do? The timing was right, the fans just had a fresh new target in Mr. Heatley to spew hate on and transferred the MC love to him; and a much better player in Pronger had already left us recently. Also MC has said the right things and owned up he was at fault, he doesn't acknowledge the rumor or speak badly of the fans (the only ones that have reprimanded us have been Oiler staff if I recall correctly heh) and he is talented. Plus with how well he started his first game he did everything right. The fight did it - he knew it was and he played it up, but we all love that.

He's still a face you'd love to punch and was a lil bitch when he was younger - but most rich kids are.

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#6 Gerald R. Ford
October 11 2009, 06:06PM
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I would like to know The Leader's opinion on the Toronto Oilers/Edmonton Maple Leafs "revelation" as detailed in the former owner's new book: 'I'd Still Trade Him, and I'm Still a Rotten Bastard'.

Merci

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#7 88MPH
October 11 2009, 06:11PM
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Now, I wonder how many Western Canadian families went through that awkward moment after the game where Khabibulin decided to dish out the goods on Kevin Weekes. I kept thinking to myself 'Mr Oakes, please refrain from displaying your man crush on Weekes... its damn near embarassing' and when you thought the game was over, and Khabibulin was done making saves, he saves Oakes from embarassment and lays down 'He likes to take care of himself, I guess...'.

And Comrie's mother passing away from cancer when he was ten... 'Does it suck more for you then others that haven't had someone stolen from them by cancer?'. Though that was very enlightening and my heart grew a little more for him, that was horribly awkward.

Wanye... your pictures are stellar... do you guys save all of your 'edited' pictures? At the end of the season, it would be great to vote on the best one. That is, after the parade and hangover.

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#8 freeze
October 11 2009, 07:14PM
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I had a good chuckle when Khabby spilled the beans on Weekes having a suitcase of creams and lotions with him on the road all the time. I expected Scott Oake to bring that up more.

Oake drives me crazy sometimes. Along with Hrudey they are often insulting to the players to the point where is it like a gag from the Office. What a weirdo.

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#9 BUCK75
October 11 2009, 09:50PM
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Gerald R. Ford wrote:

I would like to know The Leader's opinion on the Toronto Oilers/Edmonton Maple Leafs "revelation" as detailed in the former owner's new book: 'I'd Still Trade Him, and I'm Still a Rotten Bastard'.

Merci

Wasn't that a disgusting revelation in the journal today. My whole childhood could have been changed cheering for the likes of Wendel Clark, Gary Leeman, Ken Wregget, Allan Bester, Rick Vaive, Walt Poddubny, Dan Daoust, Gaston Gingras & Borje Salming.

Ballard approached Peter to see if a deal involving Gretzky could be struck--but it wasn't the usual sort of deal that's made in hockey. Ballard's pitch to Peter would have brought not only Gretzky to Toronto, but Mark Messier, too, and Paul Coffey, Jari Kurri, Glenn Anderson, Kevin Lowe and the rest of the young Oilers. In what would have been a blockbuster transaction that makes Gretzky's subsequent move to Los Angeles pale by comparison, Ballard proposed to Peter that their hockey teams swap markets. Ballard would move his fading Leafs to boom town Edmonton, while Peter would bring his up-and-coming Oilers to Toronto--provided, of course, that he also wrote Ballard a cheque for$50 million. Peter was ready to do the deal in a heartbeat.

hxxp://www.edmontonjournal.com/entertainment/Read+excerpt+from+book+trade+again/2091911/story.html

Thankfully Puck or crazy old Harold Ballard came to their senses. A bit of information that could have sealed the hatred of Pocklington....oh wait a minute. Always looking out for number 1 that Peter Pocklington.

How about Kevin Weekes?!?! He's definately no Marc Crawford, but I think he actually has a future in broadcasting.

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#10 baggedmilk
October 11 2009, 10:23PM
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Well sir. I will have you know I laughed my tits off at this one. Also you should know that pictures of yours truly will be appearing on the Phi Phi Island map, rocking an Oilers Nation T. World wide baby.

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#11 Librarian Mike
October 11 2009, 10:23PM
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@BUCK75

How about Kevin Weekes?!?! He's definately no Marc Crawford

...and in the spirit of the holiday, I am thankful for that.

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#12 kitpearson
October 11 2009, 10:44PM
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The guy on the right is wearing a Habs jersey Why's he so happy?

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#13 Travis Dakin
October 11 2009, 11:10PM
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baggedmilk wrote:

Well sir. I will have you know I laughed my tits off at this one. Also you should know that pictures of yours truly will be appearing on the Phi Phi Island map, rocking an Oilers Nation T. World wide baby.

Ok this is a story that is just busting at the seems to get out. Uh... Tell me more.

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#14 RossCreekNation
October 12 2009, 12:34AM
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http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=294546

"Harold phoned me and said, 'Would you consider moving to Toronto with your team and I'll move to Edmonton with mine, and I'll need $50 million," - from Peter Pocklington's book

Could you imagine? Pocklington would've just been handed the keys to the Maple Leaf organization with the Oilers roster. The Leafs winning Cups! OMG, this blew my mind. The Journal story was mad cool. So was yours Wanye. Gretz & Mess as Leafs?! WTF!?

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#15 jeanshorts
October 12 2009, 02:31AM
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COMRIE TO THE HALL OF FAME!!!

*falls backwards into a table full of half eaten turkey, potatoes, stuffing, random vegetables and pie*

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#16 jeanshorts
October 12 2009, 02:32AM
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@baggedmilk

Go. Away.

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#17 bonsey7
October 12 2009, 07:37AM
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Hey WAYNE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When are you going to get lady HALLE BERRY up on the page?

Yours truly,

Your AMERICAN brother from another edmonton mother

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#18 bonsey
October 12 2009, 07:38AM
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I meant WANYE

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#19 SirFozz
October 12 2009, 09:51AM
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Anyone else believe Comrie came back to fight crime as disquised as Robin, Batman Katz's ambiguously gay sidekick? Or is it just me?

Still, glad to have him back. The Oilers are better for it and Edmonton streets are safer. Plus we gots us some Duff up in RX1. Not bad for $1.25M.

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#20 MSG
October 12 2009, 10:05AM
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great article my friend, hope wanye manor hasn't fallen appart since i've been gone. can you water my *ahem, plants. By the way its 28 degrees in barcelona.

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#21 Librarian Mike
October 12 2009, 10:12AM
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@SirFozz

Anyone else believe Comrie came back to fight crime as disquised as Robin

Hey, if Brownlee's okay with it so am I.

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#22 Librarian Mike
October 12 2009, 10:14AM
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MSG wrote:

great article my friend, hope wanye manor hasn't fallen appart since i've been gone. can you water my *ahem, plants. By the way its 28 degrees in barcelona.

Barcelona's nice. Have you been to the big fort overlooking the docks? If not, it's worth a look.

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#23 RossCreekNation
October 12 2009, 11:06AM
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RUMOUR ALERT

• A source in Edmonton says the Oilers would trade puck-moving defenseman Tom Gilbert in a heartbeat for Drew Stafford, if the Sabres were interested. The Oilers, who have longed for Stafford since he entered the league, need a bigger winger. Fat chance. Gilbert would help the PP, but he’ll make $3 million more than Stafford in 2010-11.

http://www.buffalonews.com/sports/story/824447.html

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#24 Horcsky
October 12 2009, 11:44AM
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@RossCreekNation

Oilers would be in tough to move a d-man out right now with Souray out and Staios with "concussion-like symptoms" (whatever the @#$% that means).

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#25 David S
October 12 2009, 11:47AM
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"Fat chance. Gilbert would help the PP, but he’ll make $3 million more than Stafford in 2010-11." No rumor here folks. Move along now. There's nothing to see.

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#26 David S
October 12 2009, 11:49AM
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I give up with this formatting.

*A tutorial would be nice for us that don't live online.

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#27 Horcsky
October 12 2009, 12:02PM
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Oilers called up Chorney apparently, according to their website

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#28 Horcsky
October 12 2009, 12:04PM
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Also, according to the oilers twitter feed, JDD is getting the start tonight

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#29 Skidrow Gutterbum
October 12 2009, 12:18PM
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe MC has picked up at least a point in all 9 games he has played since returning to the Oil, (including the 5 preseason games he played)-pretty impressive.

Good to see JDD getting the start tonight, Nashville is in a bit of a scoring slump so could be a good confidence builder and makes sense to save 'Bulin for the games against the Hawks and Minny later this week.

Chorney is putting up some good numbers in Springfield-5pts in 4 games, but his +/- is still taking a beating (-4) guess he is likely on the top pairing and playing tough minutes against top opposition down there though.

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#30 David S
October 12 2009, 12:28PM
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Frankly, I'm more concerned about Nilsson than the next AHL call up who's going to go about 8 minutes and -3 in his first game.

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#31 SirFozz
October 12 2009, 12:42PM
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@ David S

Are you concerned that he isn't playing or that he will? I really don't see what he adds at this point. I just hope they find a way to move him off the cap payroll and hopefully get something back.

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#32 Librarian Mike
October 12 2009, 12:50PM
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SirFozz wrote:

@ David S

Are you concerned that he isn't playing or that he will? I really don't see what he adds at this point. I just hope they find a way to move him off the cap payroll and hopefully get something back.

Usually when a new coach comes in, it seems like he picks that one guy and runs him out the door as an example to the others. I'm thinking Nilsson is that guy now.

Granted his 9-goal performance last season didn't do him any favours, but I just don't see him cracking this lineup. I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up as part of a package sometime this season.

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#33 Horcsky
October 12 2009, 01:05PM
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Ales Kotalik is off to a good start for the NYR

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#34 David S
October 12 2009, 01:17PM
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@ Mike

Something tells me there's a trade in the works with Nilsson as part of the package. I mean, he's not the sort of guy you'd keep in the PB indefinitely. Still, it pains me to see so much talent and potential on the shelf for fringe NHL'ers like Ryan Stone. I'd bet Nilsson is going to be our next Glencross.

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#35 SirFozz
October 12 2009, 01:32PM
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@ David S

I've been enjoying watching Stone bust his butt everynight, deliver big hits, and mix it up. It's a nice change and I believe he adds more to the team then Nilsson. While Nilsson has skill and potential, more often then not, they're on the shelf regardless of whether he is in the PB or on the ice. I hope you're right and a trade is in the works.

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#36 Dave
October 12 2009, 01:39PM
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Looks like Chorney draws in for Staios tonight. Sigh of relief anyone?

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#37 David S
October 12 2009, 01:43PM
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Nilsson over Creme Brule every time. Whatever physical element Nilsson loses out on he more than makes up for in goals. At the end of the day, goals win games. The key is for Nilsson to bring it every night.

Problem with that is he's been sitting in the PB, so even if he gets a start he'll be rusty. Guy needs a set amount of games to put up or shut up. THEN we make the call. You can get a guy like Brule any time, not so much a guy like Nilsson. Besides, if you think Gagner's doing OK now, put Nilsson with him for a while and watch the sparks fly.

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#38 Victoria
October 12 2009, 01:56PM
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That thing about the Leafs is just dirty. Like, inscest dirty.

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#39 Victoria
October 12 2009, 01:56PM
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Oh, and... GO JDD!

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#40 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
October 12 2009, 02:15PM
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@David S

I'd bet Nilsson is going to be our next Glencross.

if nilsson used his talent and potential to, you know, play the game on a consistent basis, he wouldnt be in the press box to begin with.

and has glencross gone on and done anything spectacular?

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#43 Milli
October 12 2009, 06:37PM
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@David S

No way. Brule and Stone are bringing it game in, game out (like glenX did). Nilson, too much skill, too little heart.

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#44 rubbertrout
October 13 2009, 08:41AM
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Nationers.

Need some help. I have big sexy as a starter on my fantasy team this week. Any idea when he'll be back? I don't really want to throw Pitkanen in off the bench but I'm torn.

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