GDB 61: San Fernando es muy bueno!

Jason Gregor
February 26 2009 11:44AM

creationofpisani

The Oilers will get a lift tonight when Fernando Pisani returns to the ice for the first time since Nov 17th, a span of 42 games. He will skate with Moreau and Cogliano, while Stortini returns to his usual spot on the fourth line with Reddox and Brodziak.

His teammates wasted no time trying to make him feel part of the team again.

Moreau said jokingly, “It's easier for him to come back compared to a skilled player.”

When Mark Connolly and I asked Pisani about that he replied, “He should know. Have you seen the puck after he handles it? It's chipped up badly,” laughed Pisani.

Pisani is well-liked in the room, and Moreau went on to say how much of a boost it should be for the team.

Pisani does play a simple game, and since he doesn’t play very physical his conditioning shouldn’t be an issue.

Grebeshkov will not play tonight, but thinks he might be able to go on Saturday.

The last time the Blue Jackets were in town, it was the Ales Hemsky show. He scored twice, had two assists and basically beat the Blue Jackets himself. Hemsky has been okay of late, but he needs to amp up his game again. The Blue Jackets have been a good match up for the Oilers offensively this year, and they sounded like a confident bunch at the skate today.

Of course that doesn’t guarantee a solid effort, but for unexplained reasons this team has been able to ramp their game up at this time of the year before, excluding 2007.

Spotlight on coaches

Ken Hitchcock goes for win #501 tonight. He became only the 12th coach to win 500 games when the Jackets beat the Leafs last Thursday.

Pat Burns is next in line with 501.

Here is the top ten.

  1. Scotty Bowman: 1244-574-323
  2. Al Arbour: 782-577-248
  3. Dick Irvin: 692-527-230
  4. Mike Keenan: 660-539-163
  5. Pat Quinn: 657-481-180
  6. Bryan Murray: 620-465-154
  7. Billy Reay: 542-385-175
  8. Ron Wilson: 539-452-158
  9. Jacques Lemaire: 528-405-172
  10. Jacques Martin: 517-406-175

Pretty exclusive company for Hitchcock, but the Oilers are hoping he waits to tie Burns for at least another two days.

But wait, there's more!

And what were the Penguins thinking? Why not just sign Ryan Malone to the $4.5 million contract in the summer. Is Chris Kunitz better? Of course not. Ray Shero must have something else up his sleeve or Ryan Whitney has completely lost his game. I’m betting on the former.

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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 Harlie Chuddy
February 26 2009, 11:49AM
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Fernie is hung like a chipmunk! MUHAHAHAHAHAHA!

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#2 Ender the Dragon
February 26 2009, 11:55AM
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Glad to hear Wanye's goat is close; he's the piece that I was really worried the Oil would miss down the stretch if he didn't heal fast enough. Obviously Lubo's loss hurt the team, but if we can keep it to just him, we still have the depth to put on the run we need.

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#3 humantorch
February 26 2009, 12:03PM
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FMNF

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#4 Peter Pan
February 26 2009, 12:26PM
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Where does Slats fit into that list? He had alot of winning years as coach. Is he close to 500?

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#5 Mike Krushelnyski
February 26 2009, 12:31PM
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Could this game be a turning point in the buyers/sellers at the deadline debate? If we can't win a home game against Columbus with huge playoff implications it may be time to pack it in.

I predict Oil will win 3-2, and I base that on absolutely nothing.

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#6 shakey
February 26 2009, 12:38PM
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@ Mike Krushelnyski: I predict Oil will win 3-2, and I base that on absolutely nothing.

That's how my prediction meter works too.

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#7 Rick
February 26 2009, 12:38PM
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In the past Hitchcock would preach to his players that if they played the body against the Oilers, the Oilers would wilt away.

I don't want to turn this into Reddox bashing because he is clearly the safest option but damn, this seems like the perfect game to get Jacques back into the line up to see what kind of hunger the kid has in saving his career.

Stortini back down to the 4th line with Jacques on the opposite wing and the 4th line actually looks physically intimidating against a team that isn't exactly the broadstreet bullies when it comes to accountability.

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#8 baggedmilk
February 26 2009, 12:44PM
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Anyone else get fired up by that picture? What just me?

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#9 Harlie Chuddy
February 26 2009, 12:51PM
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@ baggedmilk:

if by fired up you mean creeped out...then yes I did.

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#10 shakey
February 26 2009, 12:55PM
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@ Rick: Rick, I'm usually on the 'what the f**k is Reddox doing here' bandwagon but I thought he played pretty well last game. He did something positive every shift and made a great shot block near the end of the game. I do agree that we need to see if JFJ is part of the future for the Oilers at some point.

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#11 Ender the Dragon
February 26 2009, 01:05PM
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JFJ's time with the Oil has come and gone, just like Schremp. He's just waiting for someone to pull the trigger on his next chance. Barring a big trade, Reddox is going to be on the Oilers fourth line for a long time.

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#12 Homie
February 26 2009, 01:14PM
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Good time for him to get back, maybe they can move him, Moreau or Staios at the deadline to a contender. They would be much more valuable to, say, Philly or Washington, than to Edmonton, particularly Moreau and Staios.

Reddox will be on the third line next year and chip in 10 to 20 goals for the next 10 years in the NHL. The guy is quick, hits and has some offensive upside.

5-2 Oiler win. Penner with 2, Cole with 2 and Reddox gets one shorthanded.

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#13 Mike Krushelnyski
February 26 2009, 01:16PM
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Homie wrote:

Reddox will be on the third line next year and chip in 10 to 20 goals for the next 10 years in the NHL. The guy is quick, hits and has some offensive upside. gets one shorthanded.

Whoa, cool. I didn't know Craig MacTavish posted here.

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#14 Robin B
February 26 2009, 01:34PM
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ARMCHAIR GM UPDATE: Just a tidbit to add to news of Pisani's return and the analysis of the Whitney-Kunitz trade by Willis . . .

Steve Tambellini didn't look thrilled when news of the trade broke this morning at the rink. Good reason why -- I'm told the Oilers were interested in Kunitz and had inquired about him.

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#15 Pinto
February 26 2009, 01:38PM
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Homie wrote:

Reddox will be on the third line next year and chip in 10 to 20 goals for the next 10 years in the NHL. The guy is quick, hits and has some offensive upside.

Man some people who post on this site have the best sense of humor!!!! I love it!!

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#16 Jack "FMNF" Bauer
February 26 2009, 01:39PM
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Who is going to be in net for us tonight dare I ask?

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#17 Bruthah
February 26 2009, 01:40PM
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Robin B wrote:

Steve Tambellini didn’t look thrilled when news of the trade broke this morning at the rink. Good reason why — I’m told the Oilers were interested in Kunitz and had inquired about him.

And this is one of the reasons I love OilersNation. Very cool inside info. Thanks R-Bro!

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#18 Ender the Dragon
February 26 2009, 01:41PM
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@ Jack "FMNF" Bauer: Why would you ask? Like there's doubt?

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#19 Bruthah
February 26 2009, 01:45PM
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@ Jack "FMNF" Bauer:

I doubt we see JDD during the playoff push. I mean, why check and see if the backup can play before playoffs. It's not like an opponent might get checked by a diminutive d-man, into the starting goalie and injure him. That just doesn't happen, does it?

I think it's better to call it a playoff push, since it's easier to run towards something than it is to push something. It's hard enough work just watching them try to get into the playoffs.

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#20 Pinto
February 26 2009, 01:55PM
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Bruthah wrote:

@ Jack “FMNF” Bauer: I doubt we see JDD during the playoff push. I mean, why check and see if the backup can play before playoffs. It’s not like an opponent might get checked by a diminutive d-man, into the starting goalie and injure him. That just doesn’t happen, does it? .

I think the difference here is we don't know the backup can't play, while back then we knew the goalies weren't good enough to get us there.

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#21 Jonathan Willis
February 26 2009, 01:57PM
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Robin B wrote:

ARMCHAIR GM UPDATE: Just a tidbit to add to news of Pisani’s return and the analysis of the Whitney-Kunitz trade by Willis . . . Steve Tambellini didn’t look thrilled when news of the trade broke this morning at the rink. Good reason why — I’m told the Oilers were interested in Kunitz and had inquired about him.

Thanks for that, Robin. Very interesting indeed, and it would appear that Tambellini is going to go after that top-six LW.

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#22 The Towel Boy
February 26 2009, 01:59PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

The Oilers will get a lift tonight when Fernando Pisani returns to the ice for the first time since Nov 17th, a span of 42 games.

Who saw this coming?!?

Robin B wrote:

Steve Tambellini didn’t look thrilled when news of the trade broke this morning at the rink. Good reason why — I’m told the Oilers were interested in Kunitz and had inquired about him.

...and that?!?

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#23 Oilersordeath
February 26 2009, 02:06PM
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I really doubt Moreau was kidding about the "skilled" coment.

Anybody think Trent Hunter would be a good fit for the Oilers?

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#24 APE - FMNF
February 26 2009, 02:32PM
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@ Oilersordeath: If he doesn't play left wing then nope.

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#25 CurtisS
February 26 2009, 02:41PM
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So I wonder how long till mact goes back to

Moreau Horc Hemsky Kids Penner Pisani Cole MAP Brodz Mac

1 game, 2 games??

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#26 Lofty
February 26 2009, 02:46PM
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Great one more floater to fit into the mix

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#27 Harlie Chuddy
February 26 2009, 02:54PM
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Robin B wrote:

ARMCHAIR GM UPDATE: Just a tidbit to add to news of Pisani’s return and the analysis of the Whitney-Kunitz trade by Willis . . . Steve Tambellini didn’t look thrilled when news of the trade broke this morning at the rink. Good reason why — I’m told the Oilers were interested in Kunitz and had inquired about him.

Haha sqirm Tambo...SQUIRM! This is what happens when you sit on your hands too long.

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#28 bleedoil83
February 26 2009, 02:55PM
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do you think tambo will try to bring back the reason and get the rpm line back

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#29 J&J
February 26 2009, 03:03PM
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@ Oilersordeath: No way he comes off the island this year in my opinion.

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#30 Peter Pan
February 26 2009, 03:14PM
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@ Brownlee

Awesome! That's why I check out this site every day. Keep us posted with stuff like that. By the way, Eklund's trying to sell the Spezza to EDM thing again. Any merit?

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#31 swany
February 26 2009, 03:18PM
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Peter Pan wrote:

@ Brownlee Awesome! That’s why I check out this site every day. Keep us posted with stuff like that. By the way, Eklund’s trying to sell the Spezza to EDM thing again. Any merit?

NOOOOO, 3% chance he scores Murtle had a great article on EK, but he does hate him

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#32 Tommy
February 26 2009, 03:20PM
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And for your pre-game reading pleasure check out this blog by Marc Crawford on the cbc site:

http://www.cbc.ca/sports/blogs/2009/02/how_about_them_edmonton_oilers.html

Spells Roloson's name wrong... surprised he didn't say anything about Alex Hemsky.

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#33 bingofuel
February 26 2009, 03:22PM
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wow... lots of typos in that blog, Tommy.

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#34 DK0
February 26 2009, 03:26PM
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@ Tommy: Ughh i cant stand Crawford as a sportscaster, maybe next CBC game he can tell us again how its odd that Smid is hitting people, cause thats not his game. Hes a "european" player.

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#35 BUCK75 - FMNF
February 26 2009, 03:27PM
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Wow Gregor - just heard you said the rake is in TO?!?!

Who saw this coming!?!?! *puts quarter into envleop & mails to Towelboy*

Going to the game tonight, hopefully Pisani has a good game & we come out with 2 points!

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#36 Tommy
February 26 2009, 03:28PM
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Oh and is there a reason the box there says 29-25-5?

NHL.com seems to think they are 30-25-5.

Oh it is probably because the Tbay game still shows as the next game.

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#37 The Towel Boy
February 26 2009, 03:38PM
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BUCK75 - FMNF wrote:

Who saw this coming!?!?! *puts quarter into envleop & mails to Towelboy*

Thanks Mr! I'll be able to afford that Red Ryder BB Gun in no time!

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#38 The Towel Boy
February 26 2009, 03:39PM
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Tommy wrote:

Spells Roloson’s name wrong… surprised he didn’t say anything about Alex Hemsky.

I'm not shocked he spelled Roloson wrong...but I am shocked he didn't write "Rolofson."

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#39 Hoodlum
February 26 2009, 03:41PM
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Was anything offered from our end in the Kunitz inquiry, if so who?

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#40 Deep Oil
February 26 2009, 03:53PM
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Peter Pan wrote:

Where does Slats fit into that list? He had alot of winning years as coach. Is he close to 500?

From thegarden.com During his tenure with the Oilers, the club posted a 791-660-215 record in 1,666 regular season games (.539 winning percentage), capturing three President???s Trophies, six division titles and six conference championships. In Stanley Cup playoff action, Sather's teams compiled a 133-82 record in 215 games (.619 winning percentage), leading to the club's five Stanley Cup titles.

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#41 Deep Oil
February 26 2009, 03:54PM
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baggedmilk wrote:

Anyone else get fired up by that picture? What just me?

Pull my finger

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#42 Deep Oil
February 26 2009, 03:55PM
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Bruthah wrote:

Robin B wrote: Steve Tambellini didn’t look thrilled when news of the trade broke this morning at the rink. Good reason why — I’m told the Oilers were interested in Kunitz and had inquired about him. And this is one of the reasons I love OilersNation. Very cool inside info. Thanks R-Bro!

A day late and a dollar short.

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#43 Deep Oil
February 26 2009, 03:57PM
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Hoodlum wrote:

Was anything offered from our end in the Kunitz inquiry, if so who?

No Katz was away and could not contact Kunitz to convince him to come to Edmonton - great drug plan here - even the trades are needing a sales job - as Cole is out of here as soon as the regular season is done or sooner if he lucks out.

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#44 Deep Oil
February 26 2009, 03:58PM
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The Towel Boy wrote:

Tommy wrote: Spells Roloson’s name wrong… surprised he didn’t say anything about Alex Hemsky. I’m not shocked he spelled Roloson wrong…but I am shocked he didn’t write “Rolofson.”

The reason there were spelling mistakes is that they use the same program with no edit function.

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#45 APE - FMNF
February 26 2009, 03:59PM
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@ Deep Oil: You have a "wity" one-liner for every post don't you...

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#46 Deep Oil
February 26 2009, 04:01PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Robin B wrote: ARMCHAIR GM UPDATE: Just a tidbit to add to news of Pisani’s return and the analysis of the Whitney-Kunitz trade by Willis . . . Steve Tambellini didn’t look thrilled when news of the trade broke this morning at the rink. Good reason why — I’m told the Oilers were interested in Kunitz and had inquired about him. Thanks for that, Robin. Very interesting indeed, and it would appear that Tambellini is going to go after that top-six LW.

Funny - they didn't want Penner back eh?

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#47 Deep Oil
February 26 2009, 04:02PM
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APE - FMNF wrote:

@ Deep Oil: You have a “wity” one-liner for every post don’t you…

Are you making a monkey out me APE

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#48 Deep Oil
February 26 2009, 04:02PM
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out of me (damm edit) urrrg

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#49 Ender the Dragon
February 26 2009, 04:03PM
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BUCK75 - FMNF wrote:

Wow Gregor - just heard you said the rake is in TO?!?!

Can't find any confirmation of this anywhere yet. If it's true, Gregor really has the scoop.

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#50 Ender the Dragon
February 26 2009, 04:03PM
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@ Deep Oil:

You don't need any help with that.

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