What will we wrap fish with when newspapers are gone?

Robin Brownlee
June 18 2009 03:16PM

entrydraft

Short of a Stanley Cup final, covering the NHL Entry Draft used to be the highlight of the season during my newspaper days.

Likewise, between chasing down trade rumours, trying to get the inside dope on who was talking to whom and buzz about top prospects, it was obvious fans couldn't get enough of what scribes would tap out.

Update: By popular demand, we're taking donations to fund Brownlee's Gregor's trip... When you're donating, feel free to suggest what he should do while he's out there. Just click the orange pill thingy.


I can't imagine fan interest, particularly in puck hotbeds like Edmonton, has waned since the days when I'd jet to Toronto or Miami or Nashville, but it's getting more difficult for fans to get their fix -- at least as delivered by their local beat men, the people who cover the team on a daily basis.

Tough economic times have newspapers, like a lot of businesses, slashing budgets. Compounding matters, newspapers have been dying a slow death for years now -- the reasons are many.

The result? For the Entry Draft in Montreal, Oilers fans won't have anybody from either daily newspaper documenting the day. There won't be any inside stuff from Jim Matheson, who knows the Oilers better than anybody on the planet, unless he picks up the telephone.

Pool coverage

Instead of Matheson's insights or the acidic sarcasm of a Rob Tychkowski over at The Sun, fans here will have to get their dope on the Oilers from the Ottawa Citizen, Ottawa Sun or the Montreal Gazette. Well, that or from TSN or Sportsnet.

There might be a local sports director from Edmonton who grabs the trip as a junket and does a few stand-ups to justify the expense -- maybe Dave Mitchell can do a piece where he pretends to be drafted -- but the newsprint guys are getting shutout as far as I know.

Because of Bob MacKenzie and Darren Dreger, national outlets like TSN are second-to-none in terms of big-picture blanket coverage, but they've got their Blackberries buzzing with 30 teams to cover. Their focus is not the Oilers.

The problem with newspapers, of course, is they don't hit the doorstep until the next morning, so everything they have to offer is old news by the time the black-and-white finds the step.

But even the dustiest old daily has one of those interweb sites now, where updates come be made within minutes of a player being selected or a trade being completed. There's value in that, no?

Wouldn't it make sense to have a beat guy there? Apparently not, because I'm hearing scribes from Vancouver aren't going, either.

Priorities

You'd think with Edmonton, with the Oilers having a top-10 pick, a new GM, a new coaching staff and the team reportedly in the hunt for sulking Dany Heatley, there'd be plenty of angles worth pursuing. Anybody with half-a-brain can see that. But, nooooooooooooooo.

Instead, we get The Journal sending columnist Dan Barnes to Las Vegas for the NHL Awards, where he's expected to produce for the entire CanWest chain of newspapers. Barnes will do a helluva job, and Ethan Moreau is getting the King Clancy Memorial Award, so...

Even so, if there's a choice to be made by the bean-counters, and it's obvious there is -- Jason Gregor broke the news about Moreau and I did a follow-up piece here Tuesday, so it's old news -- isn't the Entry Draft and everything that comes with it more compelling to fans? Of course it is.

That's one of many problems with my beloved old hard copy in newsrooms across the country and the continent -- the bean-counters call the shots, not the editorial staff. Who cares if Matheson can provide the best insight? How much does it cost?

That's one of the reasons newspapers, despite some blips of recovery in a time of declining circulation, are half on the slab right now and websites like Oilersnation are making inroads.

Now, if cheap screw Wanye will only get off his wallet and provide yours truly with a travel budget, we'll really be on to something.

-- Listen to Robin Brownlee every Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. 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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#51 patty
June 18 2009, 08:49PM
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great plan. I'm in for a few bucks. If there's any extra money, how about a sweet ON skateboard to give to Quinn (if he's going)?

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#52 patty
June 18 2009, 09:01PM
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The button is there. That was fast. I donated $10.

I apologize in advance for being so cheap. Robin, you better piss it away on something stupid.

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#53 heavyd
June 18 2009, 09:35PM
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So is brownlee willing to go?

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#54 White Ninja
June 18 2009, 09:38PM
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I wish I was tech savy enough to know what a "pay pal" was or a "credit card". I do know that Iron Maiden is the best band ever. Any chance of a impromtu fund raiser at Hudson's on Friday so I can get blindly drunk and donate? I like things that are crunchy and sweet.

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#55 Zwantinus
June 18 2009, 09:39PM
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Woo Hoo!

I donated enough for 2 beer or 1 cheap pay per view in hotel room, Go Brownlee Go.

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#56 Hemmertime
June 18 2009, 09:39PM
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heh, could he pull down a media badge if he goes? That would be the story the Journal ran unfortunately, Oiler fans pony up to send their own dang media guy to ask the tough questions.

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#57 Andrew W
June 18 2009, 09:49PM
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I've put my money where my mouth is, too.

ON, pony up.

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#58 heavyd
June 18 2009, 09:49PM
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Is brownlee willing to go?

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#59 Dan Tencer
June 18 2009, 10:06PM
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CHED and the Oilers will also be holding a draft party next week...details to come since space will be limited. If you're in attendance, you'll have a chance to score the first interview with the Oilers newest draft choice. Not sure when we're announcing the details. Stay tuned.

And, yes, Stauffer is going for us.

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#60 heavyd
June 18 2009, 10:23PM
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okay sounds good. I donated 20 bucks.

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#61 journalist
June 18 2009, 10:28PM
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If I donate a few bucks, promise me that you'll use it for a vasectomy.

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#62 Travis Dakin
June 18 2009, 10:31PM
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you got my $20.

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#63 Sandra
June 18 2009, 10:45PM
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Dan Tencer wrote:

CHED and the Oilers will also be holding a draft party next week…details to come since space will be limited. If you’re in attendance, you’ll have a chance to score the first interview with the Oilers newest draft choice. Not sure when we’re announcing the details. Stay tuned. And, yes, Stauffer is going for us.

I guess this is a very popular site if "CHED" has to advertise here . I donate also

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#64 Sandra
June 18 2009, 10:48PM
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Come on Greggor, do a call in tommorow for Brownlee Does Vegas, lots will donate.

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#65 Shanye Gretz
June 18 2009, 10:55PM
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I donated like I said I would. And I gave a lot too because we all know internet money isn't real money.

/Can we get the orange pill thingy a better location on the site? The way JW fires out posts the pill will be buried in no time!

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#66 roughneck
June 18 2009, 10:56PM
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OK I need a few numbers.

a lap dance for stauffer? cost of a trinidad maduro churchill for RB fois gras poutine @Au pied de Cochon case of La Fin du Monde case of Blanche de Chamblis 2 boxes of nicorette gum 2 boxes of "the patch" 2 six packs of in flight beers Couple ON t shirts for robin couple ON t shirts for the draft picks couple ON tshirts for the rippers (photo OP) readily sold to JSBM expo tickets bail for robin to pay the inevitable noise violation stauff will incur

go

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#67 Archaeologuy
June 18 2009, 11:18PM
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So did you guys hear that Newspapers are dying? I think I read that somewhere in an article written by a journalist.

Seriously, i get the National Post (because my girlfriend felt bad for the kid who was going door to door selling subscriptions). I only read it to get to the Sudoku. I already read (parts) of the Journal and Sun online and dont pay a dime to get a stack of paper that i need to carry to the recycling bin after one morning's use. I love the newspaper and I love not paying for it. That last sentence probably made one of the Journal's bean counters cry.

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#68 Joey Moss
June 18 2009, 11:29PM
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since i'm a poor student that decided it would be easier to sit on my couch and read ON all day than to deliver furniture this summer i can only donate the remaining $2.00 in my paypal account.

i hope my $2 goes towards RBs cigar fund for the trip.

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#69 DrPow
June 18 2009, 11:42PM
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I love this idea, and threw in $25 for Brownlee to use on the best lapdance of his life. Those french chicks are much more liberal than any gals out west. Youre allowed to touch for starters, but ill keep this somewhat appropriate.

To be honest, I will still most likely be getting my realtime info from the tube, (more comfy), but I would definately read it all afterwards and enjoy RB's take on it all. A wrap-up post after he returns would be a good read as well.

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#70 Shanye Gretz
June 18 2009, 11:50PM
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I want to see Brownlee take on Eklund in the Battle at the Bell. Put it on YouTube and it'll go viral. Make sure RB is wearing a ON jersey and everyone wins!

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#71 Mowzie
June 19 2009, 12:55AM
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I said I would donate $250, but then the button actually popped up and I remembered starving kids in Africa etc etc etc.

Still I donated a hundred bucks which at the very least will get Browlee half way thru Winnipeg on The Greyhound where some strange Asian guy can sit next to him and make him nervous the same way people who sit next to me feel when I board a plane and say Salam w Alikum or Allahu Akbar.

I hope this doesn't turn into a CHED vs TEAM thing because I really like both Dan Tencer and The JAG crew.

Dan if your still reading, I'm willing to donate $1000.00 to Brian Hall's retirement fund, anything to get him off the radio asap.

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#72 Austin Ayala
June 19 2009, 01:37AM
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I actually have a lot of disposable income right now that I can easily donate. Heck, i can probably single-handedly fund Brownlee's trip. But since he's been nothing but rude to me, he will not get a single cent.

Instead, I myself will go to Montreal and will be cheering really loud rocking my Laraque jersey. I wont get any inside information and if Tencer wants to go to Montreal he should email me. I wouldn't mind sponsoring a trip for him to cover the draft on behalf of Oiler fans.

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#73 Dan Tencer
June 19 2009, 02:05AM
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Austin Ayala wrote:

I actually have a lot of disposable income right now that I can easily donate. Heck, i can probably single-handedly fund Brownlee’s trip. But since he’s been nothing but rude to me, he will not get a single cent. Instead, I myself will go to Montreal and will be cheering really loud rocking my Laraque jersey. I wont get any inside information and if Tencer wants to go to Montreal he should email me. I wouldn’t mind sponsoring a trip for him to cover the draft on behalf of Oiler fans.

Thanks for the offer, but I've already committed to hosting the Oilers draft party. If you've got a bunch of disposable income, a Stollery donation would be a nice gesture.

Or, you know, we could go to Jamaica or something.

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#74 Mandolin Strings Set
June 19 2009, 03:32AM
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As a total novice to this topic, I find this information most enlightening and helpful.

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#75 Joey Moss
June 19 2009, 04:57AM
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is there an Austin Ayala-free version of Oilers Nation somewhere?

i wish so badly for the ban hammer to hit this attention whore.

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#76 myteammytown
June 19 2009, 06:38AM
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@ Austin Ayala:

monopoly money doesnt count as disposable income

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#77 Lofty
June 19 2009, 07:12AM
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We all need newspapers for the big in the morning. I got 3rd degree burns on my thighs from my laptop After a good night of cabbage rolls

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#78 Chris
June 19 2009, 07:13AM
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@ Brownlee:

Geez Brownlee. I've never EVER given out my visa number on the internets before. (Not even to see hot young women naked)...

The fact that I felt compelled to finally overcome my irrational fear and suspicion of internet transactions just to send YOU to Montreal gives me pause...

I need couselling.

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#79 Jonathan Willis
June 19 2009, 07:24AM
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Austin Ayala wrote:

I actually have a lot of disposable income right now that I can easily donate. Heck, i can probably single-handedly fund Brownlee’s trip. But since he’s been nothing but rude to me, he will not get a single cent.

Hello dear sir, my name is Doctor Rilwan Odey and I have been recently a minister in the government of Congo. I have recieved monies for aid for my impoverished people but now the money is in special bank account trapped and can only be to North America sent.

Please help my people starving. If you send me to your banking information, I could move the 21,300,000 $ out of country and use it then for people helping. The difficutly of this for you I am sure of, and would gladly money to you give in sum of 2,000,000 to help you.

Help me Austin Ayala, you are my peoples only hope.

Sincerely,

Medical Doctor Rilwan Odey, M.D.

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#80 Travis Dakin
June 19 2009, 07:31AM
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@ Jonathan Willis: HAHA well played good sir.

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#81 Heazues
June 19 2009, 07:32AM
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@ Chris

there there.... we understand *pats on back* these men in the white coats are here to help you. now let me help you put on this oversized coat with all the funky clasps, and we will go for a nice ride.

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#82 BUCK75
June 19 2009, 07:33AM
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I love this 'grassroots' sort of thing. I can donate some airmiles? I have like 35000 of them. LOL that would get RobBro there, then he could stay in a hotel with the money raised instead of having to initiate a bum fight with a hobo on a back alley of René Lévesque Boulevard his box shanty.

I am in for $50.

If you want the airmiles - you know how to get a hold of me...

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#83 Heazues
June 19 2009, 07:49AM
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BUCK75 wrote:

then he could stay in a hotel with the money raised instead of having to initiate a bum fight with a hobo on a back alley of René Lévesque Boulevard his box shanty.

paypal was added quick by demand...lets take a vote. who wants to see brownlee in a bum fight with a hobo? web video of THAT might get more donations.....

~~ Mr Hobo fakes browlee with the shopping cart, sidestepped easily.

RB pulls a hotdog out of his pocket, the hobo goes for it.

UPPERCUT!! the hobo is down. robin jumps on him and lays out some damaging ground and pound. -------------------------------------------------------- ladies and gentlemen, your winner. and the NEW owner of this cardboard box.....Robin Brownlee

*crowd cheers*

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#84 Librarian Mike
June 19 2009, 08:01AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

I love the newspaper and I love not paying for it.

Once again, allow me to shamelessly plug the library: We have a database called 'Press Display', which provides you access to scanned copies of virtually every newspaper in the world.

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#85 Cam
June 19 2009, 08:14AM
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@ Librarian Mike: My stepmom works at the library and verifies this information.

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#86 David S
June 19 2009, 08:23AM
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myteammytown wrote:

@ Austin Ayala: monopoly money doesnt count as disposable income

Nor student bus passes.

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#87 erixon
June 19 2009, 08:36AM
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Dan Tencer wrote:

CHED and the Oilers will also be holding a draft party next week…details to come since space will be limited. If you’re in attendance, you’ll have a chance to score the first interview with the Oilers newest draft choice. Not sure when we’re announcing the details. Stay tuned. And, yes, Stauffer is going for us.

Oh goodie. I think I will follow ON/The TEAM if Brownlee goes, so I can actually get honest insight and opinions. Does anyone else find it odd that Tencer advertises on a site in which 2 of the main writers are heard everyday/often on The TEAM? Would you not find it odd if Brian Hull and Dan Tencer started up a site and Gregor started posting there?

Maybe we will get lucky and MacT will get hired somewhere out east and Dan will follow him out there.

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#88 OvenChicken8
June 19 2009, 08:41AM
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@ erixon: Any publicity is good publicity. Recently ON has been getting a ton of traffic and it's just a smart play on Tencer's part to post here because he knows crazed oilers fans will most likely read it.

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#89 Save the Wales
June 19 2009, 08:47AM
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Robin I feel the more pertinent question is what are we going to wrap in newspaper when the fish are gone?

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#90 Colin
June 19 2009, 08:47AM
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@ erixon: Strange, yes.

But his suggestion about donating to the Stollery is spot on.

If we can/are sending Brownlee/Gregor/someone please start a new blog post for it. If it's buried in the comments some of us may miss it.

I'm starting to think a sign-up should be needed to post comments though, I'm getting sick of the attention-whores like Austin Ayala.

As a side note: are you fellows able to make IP bans?

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#91 Colin
June 19 2009, 08:49AM
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Could we somehow set up a counter that shows monies raised vs how much we need to raise. Also if this doesn't happen I assume the money will be going to an organization that could really use it (Cross Cancer Institue, the Stollery, etc)?

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#92 Clarkenstein
June 19 2009, 08:51AM
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I gave my 2 cents worth...literally. Tencer stay off this page!! You're one of three reasons I don't listen to your station anymore. Robin, I think you should drive there with Curtis Stock and have a cigar-a-thon!! Give us reports on the way down!! I agree that the demise of newspapers is due to the up "to the second" reports of people like TSN and the net. Sometime it would be great to have the discussion on here that you intended your post to be. Lots of reasons....

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#93 Travis Dakin
June 19 2009, 08:53AM
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@ erixon: This is Oilersnation. Tencer, like him or not is a part of the nation and therefore is welcome. A nation united stands tall.

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#94 Archaeologuy
June 19 2009, 08:54AM
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@ erixon: This isnt a Team 1260 web site, i dont find it odd at all that Tencer plugs some stuff on here. It's not like we're getting radio adds typed out word for word by Grove Dodge employees or something. CHED is a rights holding station of the Oilers (and a fuddy duddy station for the lame) so many Oiler fans might be interested in this Draft party.

I hope that since some bad blood boiled over a little while ago we can all move forward with the addition of Tencer to the myriad of regular commenters in ON.

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#95 Travis Dakin
June 19 2009, 08:57AM
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@ Clarkenstein: Everyone is welcome on this site as long as they are here for the same reason... the Oilers. Tencer is a part of the team and has some connections and therefore I like that he posts on here from time to time. If you don't want to read what he writes then skip his post.

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#96 erixon
June 19 2009, 09:02AM
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@ Archaeologuy: I find it odd that he plugs stuff on here. No we are not getting Grove Dodge ads typed out, but if you look to your left a little you will see a big Zender Ford background, where companies have "paid advertising". I don't have a problem with Dan posting on here, if he has a decent comment, and is just out for regular interaction with other fans, but this is no spot to plug your employer. If he wants to announce things like this maybe he should talk to the guys at ON about having his own blog, or consider making one of his own.

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#97 Austin Ayala
June 19 2009, 09:03AM
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Dan Tencer wrote:

Thanks for the offer, but I’ve already committed to hosting the Oilers draft party. If you’ve got a bunch of disposable income, a Stollery donation would be a nice gesture. Or, you know, we could go to Jamaica or something.

Will do Dan! I'll donate a couple hundred to the Stollery! Too bad you can't go. That would have been fantastic.

- Austin

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#98 Archaeologuy
June 19 2009, 09:05AM
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erixon wrote:

I don’t have a problem with Dan posting on here, if he has a decent comment, and is just out for regular interaction with other fans, but this is no spot to plug your employer

His employer is throwing a party for Oiler fans and has the only MSM member in Edmonton that will be at the Draft. Dude. Get over it.

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#99 Chaz
June 19 2009, 09:06AM
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@ Travis Dakin: Well put TD. No need for personal attacks here, especially towards members of the Nation. I, unlike Austin Ayala am not flush with cash so I won't be able to donate to Robin's trip, although I think it will be awesome if the Nation can get him there. Think about it; if we can do this we can do anything. Let's throw an offer together to see if we can sign the Sedin Twins...in the most Eastern city of the KHL that is!

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#100 Travis Dakin
June 19 2009, 09:08AM
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erixon wrote:

I find it odd that he plugs stuff on here.

Dude, he is an employee of the Oilers. 630 ched and the team 1260 are doing the same thing which is covering the Oilers for us. Now I know about the ched party and will be listening. And if the team has someone there too I will also be listening to that. I just want all the info I can get. This is Oilersnation. There are enough Oiler sites that segregate who is welcome and who is not. Don't try to make this one of them.

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