The Lewinsky Effect

Robin Brownlee
March 08 2009 11:48AM

"I did not have sex with that woman." What else did you expect Bill Clinton to say after he got caught with his pants around his ankles and Monica Lewinsky under his desk in the Oval Office several years ago? "She was polishing my shoes?"

And, what else do you expect Edmonton Oilers defenceman Ladislav Smid to say now that it's come to light he requested a trade -- or at the very least suggested the possibility -- on at least two occasions, and perhaps as many as four times, since last season?

Well, to hear Joanne Ireland of The Journal tell it, neither I nor broadsheet colleague David Staples at the Cult Of Hockey know what we're talking about. Ireland chimed in with an item atop her Oilspills notebook today after I broke the news of Smid's trade request last week and Staples confirmed it Saturday.

After I made multiple mentions of Smid's trade request on this site. Staples reported: "At Oilers Nation, reporter Robin Brownlee has hinted that Ladislav Smid has asked to be traded twice this year. A reliable source has confirmed this for me, and said the actual number is four."

Two? Four? None?

The D&D Ploy

Under the subhead "Trade Talk Surprise," Ireland's take is...

"If Ladislav Smid's camp has made a recent trade request, it's news to the defenceman -- and to the Oilers. "Some guy is just writing some (crap) on the Internet about me asking to be traded," he said after Saturday's morning skate. "You know Edmonton. There's lots of rumours. I don't even pay attention to it, but my girlfriend called me yesterday to tell me I wanted to be traded. Smid had said in the off-season that, if he wasn't going to fit into their plans, management could consider moving him. It has not been ceaseless "begging," as one blogger suggested."

I guess Ireland could make an argument on two fronts. One is the definition of "recent." The other is the term "begging." I'm not sure what blogger wrote about ceaseless "begging," but it wasn't me.

Either way, it's splitting hairs and a classic case of "downplay and deny" when you're writing the beat and somebody gets the jump on you when it comes to something you're supposed to know first.

I was guilty of that more than once during my time as the beat man at the Journal and the Sun. The worst case of that was the time I got waxed on the Oilers interest in having Bill Ranford return for a second tour. Clearly beaten on the story by Mario Annicchiarico while I was at the Journal, I not only downplayed it, I wrote several items suggesting there was NO WAY it would happen. I took the big time egg facial on that one.

Understandable Position

Look, it's never been suggested that Smid and agent Ritch Winter were in GM Steve Tambellini's ear right up to the trade deadline demanding a trade. That's not the case.

Likewise, Smid doesn't deserve to be lumped in with Chris Pronger, who took a big stack of money from the Oilers and then bailed a year into his contract because his wife didn't want to be here.

That would be grossly unfair to Smid and, given how raw Oilers fans are already at being shunned by some players, would put him in a bad light, to say the least. Smid doesn't deserve that, especially with him contributing to the playoff effort in the stretch drive.

I can see how Smid would look at Sheldon Souray, Lubomir Visnovsky, Tom Gilbert and Denis Grebeshkov ahead of him on the depth chart and wonder if he's ever going to get a shot at being more than a third-pairing guy here. I mean, when he was being scratched or played up on the wing earlier this season, that's a reasonable question.

What Smid wants is an opportunity to grow into a bigger role, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with. In fact, there'd be something wrong if he DIDN'T want that opportunity.

I'd suggest that if Smid continues to develop, keeps playing as he has in the stretch drive and some other cards fall as they might this summer, he'll get the opportunity he seeks.

For what it's worth, I'd like nothing more than to see the situation unfold that way because I think Smid can be a top-four guy. I hope the feelings he has expressed in the past -- that it might be better to move on -- aren't written in stone.

That doesn't, however, change the fact that he and his agent did raise the possibility of a trade with Oilers management -- no matter how anybody spins it now.

-- Listen to Robin Brownlee every Thursday from 4 to 6pm on Just A Game with Jason Gregor on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#1 Archaeologuy
March 08 2009, 12:18PM
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I dont care what anyone says, Joanne Ireland does nothing more than recap the games and superficially preview upcoming ones.

She's the equivalent of a daily wikipedia entry on the Oilers. And if anyone is goofy enough to trust wikipedia on any important information they ought to be flogged publicly. Ergo, trusting Joanne Ireland is a crime deserving of public humiliation.

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#2 Didsdave
March 08 2009, 12:21PM
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Smid's toughness in front of the net is something this team does not have a lot of. He has on occasion shown he can carry the puck out of the zone. That will only improve with experience. Sad day for Oilers if we lose him

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#3 Steele
March 08 2009, 12:22PM
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Way to set it STRAIGHT Brownlee!!! I apreciate your column, insight, and Moxie for taking a stand against jealous rumormongers.

Smid is a good player. I have been defending the coaching staff all year, but I will use what they do with Smid as my "off season barometer." If the coaching/management work to sign him & use him, then they have not gone insane. If they dump him either they have something better i don't know about or they are Stone Cold Dumb. Smid has been polishing his NHL act & although not perfect, he is certainly ready for prime-time.

~Steele

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#4 Jay
March 08 2009, 12:30PM
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I hope Smid can stick around. He's a good example of a player that has tremendous potential within the system, but is already a roster player. If he could be given some extra work after practice or whenever on his shot, we could have a real talent on our hands.

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#5 Jay
March 08 2009, 12:37PM
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Did anyone else notice that Ben Ondrus' face makes a great punching bag for Oilers larger than himself? haha

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#6 Efren Nevero
March 08 2009, 12:41PM
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Is anyone watching the Raptors right now? Wow, how entertaining!

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#7 Amber McCormick
March 08 2009, 12:55PM
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I listen to everything Mr. Brownlee has to say. There was a time I was capable of making all kinds of decisions but now I can't, I need to know what Robin thinks!!

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#8 W.T.
March 08 2009, 01:11PM
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@ Amber McCormick: Are you his wife Amber? W.T. says great playoff effort from the Oil last night? With strong effort like that, they will have no problem making the playoffs and giving the #1 seed a good run for their money. Oiler Nation must be all hung over from the big win last night.

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#9 Zamboni Driver
March 08 2009, 01:15PM
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Amazing that Ireland who is either:

a) trying so hard to have the team respect/love her that she can NEVER say a harsh word

or

b) a subsidiary of Pravda. In either case (and Journal editors take note), I never read a word she writes.

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#10 heavyd
March 08 2009, 01:35PM
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I have a big problem with 630 ched. Mostly with there overtime open line, I just starting listening to the team, and the guy on there says it straight. If the oilers sucked in a game he tells you they did, if they played good, he says they played good. And he agrees that mact should be fired. So lastnight after the team1260 went off air, i went to the 630 ched, and one caller says mact should be fired, and gave reasons why. And then the guy on 630 ched, says no mact is a good coach and he shouldn't be fired. And on 630 ched they are always pro oilers, I realize that there the flag station of the oilers, but you still have to say it as it is, and not sugar coat it cause you station covers the oilers, it really majes me mad.

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#11 oilersseasonticketholdersince99
March 08 2009, 01:51PM
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lets see what the oilers do in Monteal on tuesday before we get to excited,we have a long way to go before we can say we are in the playoffs,I have been hearing from alot of regular season seat holders who are not renewing and quite a few did not order their playoff tickets.Maybe know Katz will start to see what is happening with his ticket base.But knowing the Oilers organization they will say it has to do with the economy and not the team.This upcoming season will be my last year as a ticket holder if Mac T is still here and we do not make major changes this summer.The last ten years as a season seat holder have not been enjoyable except for 2006. One only need to look at the Flames organization and see what they have done in a short period of time,the oilers on the other hand have gone in the oposite direction thats to bad for all of us oiler fans.

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#12 Joey Moss
March 08 2009, 01:53PM
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i really hope the oilers dont shat the bed on this one. twenty-goal scorers are a dime-a-dozen in this league; big, mean and smart 20-something D are not.

in my estimation Smid is a solid D-man and i think the team knows this (hence why he was not traded). look for grebs or gilbert to be gone at the draft this summer to free up space on the depth chart, hell even big Lubomir could be on his way out if the right forward is on offer.

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#13 Robin Brownlee
March 08 2009, 01:57PM
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Realistically, you have to understand the constraints people at a rightsholder station work under. It's been mentioned countless times -- 630 CHED, like Sportsnet, is in a partnership with the Oilers and is selling a product. They aren't objective and don't claim to be. That said, Dan Tencer calls it a lot to closer to how he sees it than a lot of rightholder show hosts do. Same with Stauffer. He's not nearly as critical as he was at TEAM 1260, but, in the context of being a rightsholder, he is fairly critical.

As for Ireland, like I said, it's pure ass-covering on her part: Smid made the trade request, she didn't know about it and now she's trying to downplay it rather than admit she was asleep at the switch.

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#14 Dan Tencer
March 08 2009, 02:02PM
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heavyd wrote:

I have a big problem with 630 ched. Mostly with there overtime open line, I just starting listening to the team, and the guy on there says it straight. If the oilers sucked in a game he tells you they did, if they played good, he says they played good. And he agrees that mact should be fired. So lastnight after the team1260 went off air, i went to the 630 ched, and one caller says mact should be fired, and gave reasons why. And then the guy on 630 ched, says no mact is a good coach and he shouldn’t be fired. And on 630 ched they are always pro oilers, I realize that there the flag station of the oilers, but you still have to say it as it is, and not sugar coat it cause you station covers the oilers, it really majes me mad.

As hard as it is to argue with such a well written and succinct thought, allow me to try.

It's no secret that I think MacT is a good coach. And, contrary to popular belief, I don't take that opinion because somebody told me to. However, I'm far from offering blind loyalty. In discussions with callers recently I've made it quite clear that my opinion is that the team oughta look hard at making a change if the team misses the playoffs or loses in the first round. I'm just simply not sold that a new coach turns these guys from a 7-8-9 fight and claw team to something more than that.

As far as not telling it like it is, I'm not sure calling their performance "awful" last night following a win is as positive as you suggest. Using recent exaples I've been openly skeptical about the addition of O'Sullivan, perhaps even overly-critical of Hemsky and Horcoff and have beat my head against the wall complaining about the simplicity and ineffectiveness of the powerplay.

But, because I won't take the direct opinion that the team should fire the head coach, I guess I'm considered a homer in some circles.

Also, it's interesting that you note that you switched over to us to find that we were still on after the other guys had signed off...no points for that?

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#15 Tod
March 08 2009, 02:06PM
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Smid had said in the off-season that, if he wasn’t going to fit into their plans, management could consider moving him.

Umm..isn't this exactly what you and Staples were saying? I'm not sure what the issue is here.

BTW Robin, there's a Larry Brooks article suggesting the Oilers could can MacT and bring in Tom Renney, along with Jagr, this off season. Your insights would be appreciated.

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#16 Robin Brownlee
March 08 2009, 02:12PM
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@ Tod: Well, yes, they COULD can MacTavish and they COULD bring in Tom Renney. And I COULD become Prime Minister of Canada. Well, I COULD . . .

That's crafty wording from a veteran writer who knows how to play things. Larry B has his sources and I wouldn't discount his suggestion if it's indeed the case that MacTavish doesn't survive through the start of next season. As for specifics about this particular reference, I don't know what prompted him to write it, but it might be worth keeping an eye on.

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#17 CurtisS
March 08 2009, 02:26PM
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Robin what you think of the Renney/Jagr rumour?

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#18 CurtisS
March 08 2009, 02:28PM
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Nevermind, just read what you thought

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#19 heavyd
March 08 2009, 02:36PM
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@ Dan Tencer:

I swithed over just to see what the callers on ched were saying about the game. And I have listened to what you have siad on the radio and all the points that you said in your post, i have never heard you being critical of hemsky and all those things. And ched always cuts off callers when the argue a point that you make, or say something bad about the oilers. Maybe I havent listened at the times when you were saying those things about hemsky and the other players, but from what i have listened to on ched its nothing is wrong with the oilers. I might be wrong, but I really notice that on the team that the agree with most of the callers and arent afraid to say negetive things about the oilers, and I just notice that it seems on ched, that they are always positive oilers, no matter what, and that if they don't like the callers the hang up on them, or go to commerical.

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#20 David Staples
March 08 2009, 02:39PM
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Robin.

Of course, I didn't write that Smid was "ceaselessly begging" for a trade, either.

When I read what you wrote, I thought that was interesting and in line with what I'd been hearing earlier about Smid. Then I was talking to someone later that day who knows a thing or two, and he confirmed your scoop, adding that Smid had actually asked for a trade four times.

I'm not surprised the beat reporters have reacted as such. I've had that same reaction myself on occasion when someone has reported something I don't have.

Nothing a reporter hates more than to hear from his editor: "Hey, did you read the competition!? Did you see what so and so big wig is saying? Why don't you have that? Please do a folo story?"

As for Smid, I'm glad he's denying it. It means that while he's been making some noise, he's still not ready to cross the Rubicon and go public and raise hell, so that means he might just want to stay here, and that's good news in my books. He's a helluva promising player.

Anyway, good scoop Robin. . . . Certainly pushed me to ask some questions. . .

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#21 Hoodlum
March 08 2009, 02:39PM
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Jagr is useless. A great offensive player, but lazy as the game is long. Jagr greatest assest is how he thinks the game. I can't see him making the oilers a 40 win team to a 50 win team.

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#22 buffalo farmer
March 08 2009, 02:42PM
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Dan Tencer wrote:

heavyd wrote: I have a big problem with 630 ched. Mostly with there overtime open line, I just starting listening to the team, and the guy on there says it straight. If the oilers sucked in a game he tells you they did, if they played good, he says they played good. And he agrees that mact should be fired. So lastnight after the team1260 went off air, i went to the 630 ched, and one caller says mact should be fired, and gave reasons why. And then the guy on 630 ched, says no mact is a good coach and he shouldn’t be fired. And on 630 ched they are always pro oilers, I realize that there the flag station of the oilers, but you still have to say it as it is, and not sugar coat it cause you station covers the oilers, it really majes me mad. As hard as it is to argue with such a well written and succinct thought, allow me to try. It’s no secret that I think MacT is a good coach. And, contrary to popular belief, I don’t take that opinion because somebody told me to. However, I’m far from offering blind loyalty. In discussions with callers recently I’ve made it quite clear that my opinion is that the team oughta look hard at making a change if the team misses the playoffs or loses in the first round. I’m just simply not sold that a new coach turns these guys from a 7-8-9 fight and claw team to something more than that. As far as not telling it like it is, I’m not sure calling their performance “awful” last night following a win is as positive as you suggest. Using recent exaples I’ve been openly skeptical about the addition of O’Sullivan, perhaps even overly-critical of Hemsky and Horcoff and have beat my head against the wall complaining about the simplicity and ineffectiveness of the powerplay. But, because I won’t take the direct opinion that the team should fire the head coach, I guess I’m considered a homer in some circles. Also, it’s interesting that you note that you switched over to us to find that we were still on after the other guys had signed off…no points for that?

No, but I have some great tasting ribs for you!

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#23 Poo Czar
March 08 2009, 03:05PM
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I know newspapers are dying, but how the hell does the Journal not bring Brownlee back on staff? All I go to the Journal for these days is game recaps and Staples. Oh how I long for the halcyon days of Cam Cole in Etown...

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#24 jdrevenge
March 08 2009, 03:05PM
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@ buffalo farmer:

lol. i dont even live in good ol etown any more and i get that joke.

"Come on down to ... "

Aaaaah Hallsy.

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#25 rindog
March 08 2009, 03:10PM
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@ Dan Tencer: Dan Tencer wrote:

It’s no secret that I think MacT is a good coach

Yet you never give reasons why? What makes him a good coach?

What makes him a better option to get us into the playoffs as opposed to a different coach/system?

What does he do that we can'r risk losing at the expense of someone else?

In the last 3 seasons our record at the same point in the season looks like this:

06/07 - 66 points 07-08 - 65 points 08/09 - 70 points

This year, you said it was too early to fire him after 9 games (after losing 5 in a row after and fluking off 4 wins to start the season). At the 20 game mark, you said you needed to wait until 40 games to make up your mind. After our skid following the allstar break you said it was too late in the season to make a change?

What are we supposed to believe?

Last year it was injuries, the year before it was losing Pronger and then Smyth at the deadline.

There are always excuses....when is there any accountability?

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#26 Robin Brownlee
March 08 2009, 03:42PM
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Poo Czar wrote:

I know newspapers are dying, but how the hell does the Journal not bring Brownlee back on staff? All I go to the Journal for these days is game recaps and Staples. Oh how I long for the halcyon days of Cam Cole in Etown…

I appreciate the vote of confidence, but that's not happening. You have no idea how fast the newspaper business -- in its present form of hardy copy and levels of staff -- is going down the tubes. Buyouts are being offered every where and, at some point, those will stop and people who haven't taken them will be fired/laid off. Canwest is in a world of financial trouble right now and debt load could see huge cuts, and even some newspapers fold, in coming months.

There are a lot of great reporters and writers still hanging on -- Barnes and Matheson come to mind -- but it's getting more difficult by the day. If I knew back in 2000 when I left the Journal for the Sun what I know now, I'd have never have made the move. In 2000, I had 16 years seniority with Canwest (then Southam) and I'd be looking at a big buyout now.

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#27 W.T.
March 08 2009, 04:07PM
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W.T. has a day off today so is sunning himself in Phoenix. This is a great thread today, first of all, Robin is speaking the whole truth today. Dan Tencer, you certainly must take time to listen to yourself on the radio. W.T. has only once suggested MacT get fired.You support him, but you have no opinion, or none that I have heard, as to what is wrong with the Oilers and what needs to be fixed. If you can agree with W.T. that the Oilers are broken and have been for many years, remember they finished 8th in the playoff run year, then what is the solution to the problem. W.T. suggests KLowe must step down from his position as he is the person that got them into this mess. Salary cap and non performing players. Then you let Tambo do what he wants. W.T. suggests the stars on the team have quit listening to MacT so that might be an issue. In reading JG interview with Ethan the other day, it would appear Ethan wants a team the grinds and works hard, and the young men on the team don't see it that way. Disconnect then, for sure. Gotta fix that problem one way or another, who can fix it, you decide, KLowe gets away untouched by the local media, I'm not sure why but he does. Robin or Jason, W.T. would like to hear you interview Cole now that he is gone. I suspect he may let us know what it is really like to have played Oiler hockey.

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#28 Dennis
March 08 2009, 04:15PM
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RB: I'm surprised that the newspaper industry lasted as long as it did. From the first time I surfed the net, the first stops have always been papers that housed their content on-line. First it was the Journal and Sun for Oilers coverage and later on I branched out.

Currently, those two papers are always my first haunts every day, along with the Globe and Mail's, NY Times and a search on Pro Sports Daily to see what all the headlines are.

I was always surprised that all this access was free but I guess it's been proven that people just won't pay for it, either. ESPN has an Insider feature that I think is still pay but the Globe tried it with their sports section and it simply did not fly.

And I think the only thing saving TV is the fact that there are so many simpletons in the world who'll watch reality TV. A bunch of those shows cost shag-all to make and yet they pull in the ratings and it's win-win.

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#29 Robin Brownlee
March 08 2009, 04:16PM
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OH, THE IRONY Here's an excerpt from over at MC79Hockey . . . there's much more, but this is one of the lead items from a lengthy opinion piece on the "Smid asked for a trade" stuff.

"Thoughts, in no particular order:

1. Both Staples and Brownlee exemplify everything that’s wrong about blogs. There are too many false facts in blogs. I understand the next generation gets most of their information from the Internet, but unfortunately lots of it is horribly written or inaccurate. Kids read this stuff and they believe it. I don’t think that they truly understand the strength of their message, and also the damage it can do."

Apparently, I've joined the legions of pajama-clad bloggers who like to make things up or, at the very least, stretch a little bit of truth a long way and warp the minds of impressionable internet surfers. Irony anyone?

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#30 Dennis
March 08 2009, 04:17PM
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It's always dangerous to take a quote out of context but there's a Cole quote out there - I found it last night from the Canes section - about "not being able to hide the smile when he departed Ottawa" that I'd really like to see explored.

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#31 german titov
March 08 2009, 04:17PM
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i demand to be traded.

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#32 Dennis
March 08 2009, 04:19PM
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RB: if you read the rest of that piece, I believe Ty's being sarcastic at the opening.

He defends you and David later on and takes jabs at Robert T for being beaten to the punch.

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#33 Dennis
March 08 2009, 04:20PM
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German: RB made a joke about your acquistion on the trade deadline show. I still remember the day we picked you up!

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#34 canucklehead
March 08 2009, 04:24PM
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@ Robin : I certainly can't speak for MC79Hockey, but I believe the first paragraph that you reference is a riff on Jason Gregor's interview with David Staples awhile back, the link is: http://communities.canada.com/edmontonjournal/blogs/hockey/archive/2008/10/20/most-blogs-are-horrible-and-have-no-accountability-gregor.aspx

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#35 Robin Brownlee
March 08 2009, 04:43PM
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@ Dennis: Yes, I know. Thus the reference to the excerpt and it being the first item in a lengthy opinion piece. And I do appeciate Tyler's ongoing and heart-felt support.

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#36 rindog
March 08 2009, 04:43PM
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@ Dennis:

If you go to the Hurricanes website - you can actually hear the entire interview.

There is no hiding his excitement to come back to the Hurricanes.

Does that mean he hated it here...who knows?

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#37 Jack "FMNF" Bauer
March 08 2009, 04:57PM
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I said the second that trade for Cole happened and they had Osullivan on and then Cole. You could tell in the tone of their voices that Patrick was devistated he was traded, and Cole was beyond delight he was traded. I think the proof is in thier play. Cole-5 points since return, Patty O-zero.

But I would like to say, this thread is one of the finest at Oilers Nation. Its pieces like this, along with follow up from guys like Tencer, Dennis and of course Brownlee that make it worth reading. Thank you!

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#38 Sandra Monias
March 08 2009, 04:59PM
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@Dan Tencer Are you part of this now? I think your hot!!!!! I'm here as long as I get to hear your great opinion. I think MacT is an excellent coach too! Can't wait to hear your sexy voice again. Sandra

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#39 Tyler
March 08 2009, 05:15PM
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Apparently, I’ve joined the legions of pajama-clad bloggers who like to make things up or, at the very least, stretch a little bit of truth a long way and warp the minds of impressionable internet surfers. Irony anyone?

Robin: The first "point" is actually pretty much just a direct transcription of Gregor's foolishness about bloggers to Staples. I just think that it's a little funny that Tychkowski and Ireland are now taking shots at "bloggers" when they're referring to guys, in yourself and Staples, who have journalistic training and, as you point out above, appear to have just beat them on the story. All of the stereotypes that a lot of the MSM apply - and to your credit, I've never really seen you do that - show up in Tychkowski's story. I'd think that the most sensible thing to do would just be to judge providers of Oiler flavoured content - be they bloggers, MSM or the Oilers themselves - on the basis of whether or not the content is any good. But then I'm not Jason Gregor.

Tychkowski's latest, even though it's printed on paper and he (presumably) has journalistic training, is not particularly solid, what with the way it takes all sorts of shots at Staples while leaving out important parts of Staples's story, suggests that Staples got the Jagr story wrong when there seems to be an ever increasing amount of evidence to the contrary and gets the facts wrong when he says that a Jagr signing would have contravened NHL and KHL rules as well as the CBA. It's garbage, regardless of where it was published and whether it was written by a trained journalist or not.

One other thing: When I submitted the piece to my editor, the fact that that I was quoting Gregor's thoughts was noted. Not sure what happened afterwards. I'll take it up with him.

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#40 alphah
March 08 2009, 05:21PM
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Heres my take: You're wrong! Ha. But also, Joanne Ireland is wrong.

Do you have a source that is really that explicit with their information? Ladislav Smid has DIRECTLY SPOKEN to Tambellini or Lowe on MULTIPLE occassions, DIRECTLY REQUESTING a trade?

I suspect the truth is a little softer than that, and that is why Ireland is getting away with her little denial piece.

My guess is that Smid had conversations with management in the offseason about the depth of the defence this season and the future. My guess is that he didn't EXPLICITLY request a trade, but perhaps suggested that he should be in a situation where he would receive more ice time. (ie: maybe the situation would occur here?) And maybe when he was jammed in the press box off the start of the year some discouragement was expressed.

Just how connected and SPECIFIC was your source on this issue? It seems like a case of there being smoke, but not necessarily fire. Smid/Winter wanting to garner more ice time, and someone in the organization catching wind of those sentiments but not being directly involved in the conversations. Source considers this posturing for a 'trade request' when maybe it wasn't actually that explicit.

Smid really seems to enjoy Edmonton. Seriously. He is a happy guy.

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#41 Robin Brownlee
March 08 2009, 05:28PM
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@ Tyler:

To steal from an exchange of e-mails between Staples and I this morning: "Hell hath no fury like a beat writer scooped."

Of course the beat writers are going to downplay and discredit stories they get beat on, like Smid, because it's their job to know first. It's still somewhat surprising, though, to see the accounts from the road -- they read like Ireland and Tychkowski sat down and wrote them together.

Did they press for the truth or conveniently and happily print Smid's denial knowing it might look better for them that way?

What I wrote about Smid asking for a trade -- not just once and not just months and months ago -- is accurate.

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#42 Robin Brownlee
March 08 2009, 05:31PM
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@ alphah: My information is iron-clad. There's no guessing going on here. And lose the CAPSLOCK, unless you've been HYPNOTIZED by Romane.

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#43 socaldave
March 08 2009, 05:36PM
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alphah wrote:

Seriously. He is a happy guy.

so he told you that then. EXPLICITLY, I mean...

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#44 alphah
March 08 2009, 05:41PM
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Haha.. okay, okay.. fair enough. If you're willing to go to war on this one I'll take your word for it. If Smid really demanded a trade, this would in fact mean that he will be a strong candidate for being packaged up and shipped out going forward, right? Management wouldn't quickly forget a player wanting out on four occasions.

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#45 Robin Brownlee
March 08 2009, 05:47PM
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@ alphah: There's no war. And there's no guarantee trade requests made by Smid and his agent (Gerry Johannson of Ritch Winter's The Sports Corporation) will result in a trade. Circumstances change, and if you read my item it's clear that I hope Smid gets his opportunity here. That doesn't change the fact the requests were made.

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#46 Travis Dakin
March 08 2009, 05:49PM
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Dennis wrote:

And I think the only thing saving TV is the fact that there are so many simpletons in the world who’ll watch reality TV.

DING! Well said. HAHA

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#47 Hockey Gods
March 08 2009, 05:58PM
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@ alphah:

Hey Bud,now you are again putting words into RB's story in your apoogy. alphah wrote:

If Smid really demanded a trade,

Robin or staples never used the words demanded, they use requested or asked. That is a big differance.

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#48 charles
March 08 2009, 05:59PM
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Did you folks notice Ryan Smyth's point total? Compare it to where he would be on the Oiler roster

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#49 Travis Dakin
March 08 2009, 06:00PM
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rindog wrote:

If you go to the Hurricanes website - you can actually hear the entire interview. There is no hiding his excitement to come back to the Hurricanes. Does that mean he hated it here…who knows?

Just because he was happy to go back home doesn't mean he didn't enjoy his time here. Had he been traded to say... the Canucks I guarantee he would have been pissed. Of all the teams he was going to get traded to, he got traded back to where his family is and where his kids have been raised. Damn right he is happy.

alphah wrote:

If Smid really demanded a trade, this would in fact mean that he will be a strong candidate for being packaged up and shipped out going forward, right?

No once was it said that he DEMANDED a trade. Inquiring about options for your future if you feel under appreciated is a far cry from digging your feet in and giving an ultimatum.

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#50 alphah
March 08 2009, 06:18PM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

alphah wrote: If Smid really demanded a trade, this would in fact mean that he will be a strong candidate for being packaged up and shipped out going forward, right? No once was it said that he DEMANDED a trade. Inquiring about options for your future if you feel under appreciated is a far cry from digging your feet in and giving an ultimatum.

In this instance "requested" is very soft language and you are using it to blur the line between something like "inquired about ice time" and wanting to be moved off of the club. Demanded might be too strong a word but at least it is clear and concise in what it represents.

The question is: Did Ladislav Smid want out of Edmonton and off of the Oilers? Brownlee says yes, and so I believe him. He didn't take issue with my choice of words. With Joanne Ireland writing her wishy washy article there isn't a lot of room for pussyfooting around with soft language. There is either a story here or there isn't and using a word like "requested" in a context with the word "trade" only serves to blur the lines. Some people may interpret it as a tea-and-crumpets session between player and management where the concept had arisen. To me that does not constitute a trade request. Smid discussing ice time with management does not constitute a trade request. A trade request is official notice. Demand may infer an ultimatum which I do not intend to insinuate at all, but I was just trying to eliminate any room for interpretation and avoid any softer language.

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