Willis vs. Eklund vs. Koules: The Results

Jonathan Willis
March 05 2009 01:04PM

big-fat-liar

Some of you may remember that back in November, Eklund put out a list of 25 players most likely to be traded (the list actually had 29 players on it, but whatever). His list was allegedly founded on insider information, as with all of his trade rumours. I’ve long since thought that Eklund’s “insider information” was nonsense, something that HockeyBuzz HogWash (check it out) makes totally clear.

Anyhow, I decided to put together a list of names from my inside information – you know, newspaper reports, my brain, coin flipping, etc. – to see which of us could be the most accurate. Just to add some flavor to the debate, I added Oren Koules to the contest; I figured it was entirely possible that the Tampa Bay Lightning would trade more players than Eklund or I guessed correctly. Let’s review the results, starting with Eklund.

Eklund’s List

1. Marian Gaborik – not traded 2. Jay Bouwmeester – not traded 3. Ilya Kovalchuk – not traded 4. Nik Antropov - Traded 5. Keith Tkachuk – not traded 6. Brian Gionta – not traded 7. Andy McDonald – not traded 8. Erik Cole - Traded 9. Marc Savard – not traded 10. Bill Guerin - Traded 11. John Madden – not traded 12. Jere Lehtinen – not traded 13. Martin Havlat – not traded 14. Brandon Dubinsky – not traded 15. Richard Zednik – not traded 16. Mike Modano – not traded 17. Mattias Ohlund – not traded 18. Cory Murphy - Waived 19. Derek Morris - Traded 20. Greg de Vries – not traded 21. Mathieu Schneider - Traded 22. Tuomo Ruutu – not traded 23. Petr Prucha - Traded 24. Alexander Radulov – not traded

Turns out there were actually only 24 names – Eklund counted wrong. Plus, of course, his goaltender list:

1. Nikolai Khabibulin – not traded 2. Kari Lehtonen – not traded 3. Dwayne Roloson – not traded 4. Manny Fernandez – not traded

Out of 28 names, Eklund correctly guessed 6 trades and 1 player waived. Giving him a half point for Cory Murphy being claimed on waivers, that’s 6.5/28 = 23.2% Accuracy Rating

My List

1. Chris Kunitz - Traded 2. Bobby ryan – not traded 3. Jason Williams - Traded 4. Ondrej Pavelec – not traded 5. Adrian Aucoin – not traded 6. Frantisek Kaberle - Waived 7. Nikolai Khabibulin – not traded 8. Brett Clark – not traded 9. Mathieu Garon - Traded 10. Dwayne Roloson – not traded 11. Rob Schremp – not traded 12. Zach Stortini – not traded 13. Jay Bouwmeester – not traded 14. Sean O’Donnell – not traded 15. Marian Gaborik – not traded 16. Benoit Pouliot – not traded 17. Martin Skoula – not traded 18. Jaroslav Halak – not traded 19. Mike Comrie - Traded 20. Dmitri Kalinin - Traded 21. Antoine Vermette - Traded 22. Mike Knuble – not traded 23. Keith Tkachuk – not traded 24. Chris Gratton - Waived 25. Jussi Jokinen - Traded 26. Gary Roberts - Waived 27. Carlo Coaliacovo - Traded 28. Alexei Ponikarovsky – not traded 29. Taylor Pyatt – not traded

Out of 29 names (sorry, I thought Eklund counted correctly) I correctly named 8 players traded and 3 players waived. Giving a half-point for waived players, I got 9.5/29 = 32.8% Accuracy Rating

On the other hand, had I just guessed “every member of the Tampa Bay Lightning”, (also known as Koules list) I would have got the following:

1. Mark Recchi – traded 2. Steve Eminger – traded 3. Jussi Jokinen – traded 4. Gary Roberts – waived 5. Radim Vrbata – waived 6. Matt Carle – traded 7. Jamie Heward – traded 8. Chris Gratton – waived 9. Olaf Kolzig – traded 10. Wyatt Smith – traded 11. Andrew Hutchinson – traded

The Lightning have used 44 players this season – meaning that since November, they have traded or waived 25% of their roster. Using the same accuracy rating formula as above (1 point for a trade, .5 points for waiving) that gives the Lightning a score of 9.5/44 = 21.6% Accuracy Rating

In Conclusion

We came from many places. One of us was an NHL owner, largely derided as the head of a joke organization. One of us owns an NHL rumour site, largely derided as a liar, charlatan and fraud. One of us is a blogger for OilersNation, largely derided as a pajama-clad, parents-basement-living amateur. The results:

Willis: 32.8% Accurate Eklund: 23.2% Accurate Koules: 21.6% Moved

We can come to a few conclusions from this. First, that an observer with decent knowledge (me) can put up a list of trades and expect to be right about a third of the time. Second, that Eklund is (and has always been) a liar and a fraud. Thirdly, we can also say that Tampa Bay is one of the worst organizations in the NHL (seriously – who changes over a quarter of their roster in 3-1/2 months during the season?).

Don’t waste your time with Eklund.

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 Jack "FMNF" Bauer
March 05 2009, 01:23PM
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I got a question for Jason and/or Robin. Doesnt Eklund show up at events like the draft and awards shows? Do people in the media ever try and converse with the guy and find out why he does what he does? Its pretty obvious hes a fraud, and its pretty obvious the NHL loves what he brings, the question is why does anybody put up with it?

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#2 The Towel Boy
March 05 2009, 01:27PM
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How does that guy get press credentials? ...or DOES he?

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#3 mt
March 05 2009, 01:31PM
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Hey Jonathan, don't forget your line "I would have picked more pending unrestricted free agents with sure-fire non-playoff teams, but I think Eklund got almost all of them, and I wouldn’t want to copy." As I'm sure you would of had a few of those pending ufa's on your list as well.

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#4 the Menace
March 05 2009, 01:32PM
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If you shaved Frankie Muniz's head, it's not difficult to imagine him as Gregor's long lost younger brother.

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#5 Archaeologuy
March 05 2009, 01:38PM
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I had to give a presentation at the University the year Eklund "appeared" on the Sportsnet Trade Deadline Show and right before I gave my lecture he reported that Ryan Smyth was resigned by the Oilers. I left all happy only to return to my office to find out that douche-bag lied through his teeth and Smyth was traded. What a clown.

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#6 Madman37
March 05 2009, 01:43PM
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@ Jack "FMNF" Bauer: Eklund does what he does for the $20 that each and every gullible "season ticket holder" gives him. I don't know why people pay it, but I do know why Eklund posts imaginery crap on his site ($).

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#7 King Mob
March 05 2009, 01:52PM
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can someone please take a second to explain to handicapped newb (me) what the "e#'s" indicate, and how they are determined.

sorry, and thanks.

oh and, uh, go oil.

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#8 Jason Gregor
March 05 2009, 01:52PM
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Jack "FMNF" Bauer wrote:

I got a question for Jason and/or Robin. Doesnt Eklund show up at events like the draft and awards shows? Do people in the media ever try and converse with the guy and find out why he does what he does? Its pretty obvious hes a fraud, and its pretty obvious the NHL loves what he brings, the question is why does anybody put up with it?

I've never been to the awards show, and the draft I attended he wasn't there. I have never heard of him being at a draft, but then again he wasn't someone I asked whether he was there or not.

The NHL probably loves his site, because it gets people talking about the league. I agree I have no idea why people read his stuff. He actually has some really good writers on his site, but his own stuff is garbage. People seem to love the possibilities of the deals he manufactures. I suggest taking track of his rumours and I'd like to know the % of them that involve either a Canadian team, or a big hockey market, or a huge name from a lesser lite. I'm sure it would be at least 80%. He finds what strikes a nerve and keeps hitting it. He makes money of his site, so he is a smart business man, but I do question why people believe his stuff. REading it is fine, but actually thinking it might happen is a waste.

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#9 Jason Gregor
March 05 2009, 01:53PM
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If you are interested in Salary Cap stuff...Rick Olyzck will be on my show today at 4:05 MST to talk about it.

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#10 King Mob
March 05 2009, 01:57PM
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ps.

I'm sure we've all seen it before, but if you want to keep up to date on eklund's sources, check out:

http://www.geocities.com/crazy_weatherman/randoms/rumourgen.htm

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#11 Scott
March 05 2009, 02:04PM
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Hilarious... and true.

I loved it when Eklund was on Sportsnet's Trade Deadline show a few years back... sitting in a darkened room upstairs like the banker from "Deal or No Deal."

At one point he was reporting a deal was almost done for Georges Laraque to one team, while TSN had officially reported Laraque traded - to a different team. What a farce, and pretty typical of Sportsnet.

How long ago did he put together that list? I've never even heard rumours of Savard or Modano being dealt.

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#12 King Mob
March 05 2009, 02:06PM
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Scott wrote:

Hilarious… and true. I loved it when Eklund was on Sportsnet’s Trade Deadline show a few years back… sitting in a darkened room upstairs like the banker from “Deal or No Deal.” At one point he was reporting a deal was almost done for Georges Laraque to one team, while TSN had officially reported Laraque traded - to a different team. What a farce, and pretty typical of Sportsnet. How long ago did he put together that list? I’ve never even heard rumours of Savard or Modano being dealt.

I know! I mean, the guy could at least put a little effort into his lies. Maybe it's just due to my ignorance, but I would put modano near the top of my list of "least likely players to be traded". I mean, c'mon. Modano? REALLY?

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#13 mt
March 05 2009, 02:14PM
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@ King Mob:

Also his rumours never take cap into consideration... which is partly why they're so unbelievable.

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#14 Wanye Gretz
March 05 2009, 02:20PM
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When I read this headline my mind immediately concluded three possibilities:

1. Willis, Eklund and Koules were engaged in some sort of tryst. I immediately discounted this because Jon is married.

2. Willis, Eklund and Koules were engaged in some sort of three way cage match to the death. I immediately discounted this because Jon is married.

3. Erik Cole hasn't been traded and yesterday was all a dream.

*weeps bitterly on keyboard*

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#15 BUCK75 - FMNF
March 05 2009, 02:24PM
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Nice article Willis. A guy should have a pool on each of your picks next year HAHAHAHA.

I guess you have to give the guy a bit of credit as he charges $20/year for the BS he reports, maybe 10000 pay this fee, pretty sweet job - I hear the cash registers ringing in ON HQ right now ;)

He is on twitter too - not 1 tweet yesterday - I had more trades tweeted than him & don't charge any money. Guess he was giving the inside info to his 'customers'.

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#16 DK0
March 05 2009, 02:32PM
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@ Wanye Gretz: So what happens in this case? I know you picked Cole for your superstar this year, and Grebs as your goat. if your superstar gets traded are you just forced to be forever bitter until you get to make new picks next year? Or does your superstar smiley face sticker get placed on the 2 guys we received for Cole?

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#17 Madman37
March 05 2009, 02:40PM
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@ King Mob: I think the E ratings go as follows:

E1 - one "source" E2 - 2 "sources" E3 - a "source" from inside one of the organizations E4 - the deal is about to go down E5 - the trade is on the TSN website

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#18 King Mob
March 05 2009, 02:49PM
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@ Madman37: ah, sweet. makes perfect sense.

many thanks!

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#19 Harlie Chuddy
March 05 2009, 02:57PM
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JW pwns Ekfraud

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#20 Peter Pan
March 05 2009, 03:15PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

I have no idea why people read his stuff. REading it is fine, but actually thinking it might happen is a waste.

Gregor, come on man. We read it because its entertaining not because it's accurate. I love his site. Do I believe his rumours? No. But I enjoy his site. I also enjoyed E.T., Rocky IV, and Ryan Smyth's slapshot, but didn't believe those to be true, either. Hockey is entertainment; Eklund's site is no different. But I agree, he's nothing but a story teller...an entertaining one at that.

By the way, keep your 4:05pm salary cap interview till 4:30pm, when we get off of work...

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#21 Chris
March 05 2009, 03:26PM
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I think they meant for that lick to go to http://hockeybuzzhogwash.com

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#22 Deep Oil
March 05 2009, 03:30PM
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The Towel Boy wrote:

How does that guy get press credentials? …or DOES he?

Eklund is backed or supported by the NHL in exchange for access and information control. Here is a calm conspiracy relation.....

Real name is Dwayne Keith Kessel http://www.canucksaccess.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=667

1) Eklund is on XM Sirius - but has a no budget using www.talkshoe.com broadcast quality - something does not fit here. Why be on SAT and then not have a better broadcast via itunes - quirky...

2) Guest's from NHL Head Office - Eklund has guest's that no one can land. Shows the relationship.

3) Eklund is out of NJ and has strong legal ties to the law community - using whois.sc you can see how he hosts his website.

Eklund's Hockey LLC 413 RT 70 East Cherry Hill, NJ 08035 US 856-429-0020

4) Made a fool out of Roger's Sportsnet when they had him as a guest for tradeline day (2007)..throwing a dart has a better percentage - forget the goalie mask.

5) Eklund has advertisers that are NHL tier one quality, that is a brokered deal via the NHL office.

6) Eklund was being sued for Fraud. http://shorttext.com/zp9ow

7) If you notice - the writers amongst his blog have gone from respectable to unknown, this is because his compensation to the writers is not sufficient. I can't believe that Berger and Strickland write for this site - yikes.

8) Rating system (e4) could mean that he talked to the janitor, secretary, ticket taker and concession worker of the (name your team) usually the Flyers.

Here are the rules of blogging - and Eklund - you get what you pay for (sucker) and as per Gregor, pull over...take your hand and slap yourself silly - as this person sucks you in with a Canadian city rumor for the IP traffic..... idiotic.

Is that too much information ?

YES

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#23 Deep Oil
March 05 2009, 03:38PM
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If the cap was not in play - both Eklund and Willis' percentage would increase. Trade deadline day was on the down due to the following:

1) Cap Issues 2) Some GM's demanding the sun (Bob Murray, Burke,) 3) Some GM's riding their UFA till the end. 4) Economy - can't take on the contract past April 5) No Movement Clause (i.e. Smyth, Kaberle)

This looks like Willis comparing apples to apples, but using Eklund as your comparison is much like shooting fish in a barrell - Brownlee looks like a genius with a 100% rating predicting that traded UFA Cole was destined to find the happy trail home - by hook or by crook.

DEEP

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#24 Robin Brownlee
March 05 2009, 03:54PM
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@ Deep Oil: But I'd have been down around .750 if I had to make 29 picks.

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#25 B-rad
March 05 2009, 04:01PM
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GDB......

kotalik, horcoff, hemmer........nice.

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#26 topshelf
March 05 2009, 04:02PM
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Sportsnet sucks and so does Eklund.

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#27 B-rad
March 05 2009, 04:02PM
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anyone know the other three lines.....?

Robin, Gregor?

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#28 DK0
March 05 2009, 04:05PM
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@ B-rad: Lines are here: http://www.oilersnation.com/2009/03/qtna3/#comment-43459 this isnt the GDB, should be one any minute if they come up at the usual number of hours before a game :)

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#29 Deep Oil
March 05 2009, 04:06PM
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B-rad wrote:

anyone know the other three lines…..? Robin, Gregor?

Take all the players names - throw them in a hat and you will have the same percentage as Eklund or possibly Willis. The blender is lurking if the Oil go down by 2.

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#30 Deep Oil
March 05 2009, 04:08PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

@ Deep Oil: But I’d have been down around .750 if I had to make 29 picks.

You and Steve MacIntrye have about the same percentage both are snipers - LOL

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#31 BUCK75 - FMNF
March 05 2009, 04:15PM
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@ B-rad: They just had on SNET:

Kotalik - Horc - Hemsky O'Sullivan - Gags - Pouliot Penner - Cogs - Pisani Jacgues - Brodz - Stortini

Take it for what it's worth I guess. But WTF is MAP doing on 2nd line!?!?

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#32 Tommy
March 05 2009, 04:15PM
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@ B-rad:

Kotalik, Horcoff, Hemsky O'Sullivan, Gagner, Pouliot Penner, Cogliano, Pisani Jacques, Brodziak, Stortini

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#33 Tommy
March 05 2009, 04:16PM
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@ BUCK75 - FMNF:

Ahhhh ninja'd.

It is also on the Oilers website.

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#34 B-rad
March 05 2009, 04:18PM
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I'm sorry.....did you say Pouliot? Reading that is like seeing the invitations to the party, and when you see his name you think.."uhhh...who invited this guy again".

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#35 BUCK75 - FMNF
March 05 2009, 04:19PM
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@ Tommy: HAHAHA - you need faster fingers I guess - or a quicker copy/paste ;)

I wouldn't have typed it up, usually. But I just installed a TV in the office - the day after Trade Deadline. Always a day late.

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#36 B-rad
March 05 2009, 04:21PM
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I thought O'Sullivan was a centerman......but whatever.....it worked for Cole.......

wait..

hmmm.

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#37 Jorge
March 05 2009, 04:24PM
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Man I very much dislike this guy. I spent a solid month not realizing hes a crock and finally im like wtf this is bs im out!

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#38 BUCK75 - FMNF
March 05 2009, 04:24PM
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@ B-rad:

On Gregor's show yeaterday he interviewed Rob Daum(former coach in Houston). 47 goals is pretty good for a centre turned left winger in the season Daum coached him. I think he said he can play centre, but is probably a better fit as a winger.

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#39 B-rad
March 05 2009, 04:40PM
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@ BUCK75 - FMNF:

thats good to know. at least this has worked in the past, instead of pressing a circle into a square hole..

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#40 Jack "FMNF" Bauer
March 05 2009, 04:52PM
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@ Robin Brownlee:

Perhaps that is something you guys can all do on September 1 of the new season. Have you, Jason and John make the 25 pics and it can something to go back to. Maybe have people submit lists and have a prize of some kind. Perhaps throw a wager into it that involves a charity.

@ Deep Oil:

How come the rest of your unreadable garbage cant be more like your Eklund post? This is a post I can understand and appreciate while the rest of your posts are a gigantic mess.

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#41 David S
March 05 2009, 05:06PM
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Jack "FMNF" Bauer wrote:

@ Deep Oil: How come the rest of your unreadable garbage cant be more like your Eklund post? This is a post I can understand and appreciate while the rest of your posts are a gigantic mess.

Perhaps like Mr Lahey, he lets the booze do the thinking.

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#42 Robin Brownlee
March 05 2009, 08:58PM
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@ Jack "FMNF" Bauer: I'm all for the charity angle, but you might as well have people throw darts at a board or roll dice. Anybody who submits a list of names who might be traded weeks or months before the fact, be it Eklund or Willis, is guessing. I don't guess. I leave games of chance for vacations in Las Vegas.

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#43 Shifty203
March 06 2009, 08:40AM
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The last line was pretty petty. Rumors are Rumors. I don't know why everyone has to go bashing him. I will still read his site, doesn't mean that I give his rumors any more or any less credit than rumors I would read here.

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#44 Jonathan Willis
March 06 2009, 10:02AM
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@ Shifty203:

I have no particular compunctions about taking shots at Eklund. However entertaining he is, he takes money from gullible people with lies, which makes him a fraud and a cheat.

I have nothing but contempt for the man.

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