Kevin Prendergast: Oilers Have “Given Up Hope” On Dany Heatley

Jonathan Willis
July 17 2009 01:24PM

lnd

When it comes to truly dream-crushing quotes, Dan Tencer has the best set I’ve seen lately courtesy of Oilers’ assistant GM Kevin Prendergast.

I won’t give away everything, but here’s the money quote:

"I think we've given up hope on the Heatley scenario; but, I guess it's not dead in the water. But, at this point, it looks like we'll go to camp with the same team we finished with last year outside of a new goaltender." "I think at this point, it's pretty evident what's going to happen. But, we haven't closed the door on the whole issue yet."

Of course, when Prendergast says the ‘same team’ as last year, he means the same team as last year minus Ales Kotalik, Kyle Brodziak and Liam Reddox. Fun stuff.

Honestly, this quote is so ludicrous that I wonder all sorts of things. There are still players on the market who could shore up weaknesses – most notably the obvious lack of a qualified checking centre. The Oilers still have enough cap space to make a play for a guy like Manny Malhotra or Radek Bonk – and if they are truly considering moving away from Heatley than there is no reason not to sign a player of this ilk. Malhotra’s reportedly looking for a deal in the 2MM/season range, while Bonk would undoubtedly be cheaper even than that.

If we can believe that Prendergast is both a) completely aware of the situation and b) being honest with Tencer, than we should be concerned about the competence of the men currently making decisions for the team. Dany Heatley was never a sure thing, and there are an abundance of flaws with the team, so not having a Plan B is simply inexcusable.

The Edmonton Oilers may still improve; young players like Sam Gagner and Andrew Cogliano might take significant strides forward, the team might enjoy better halth as a whole (not that there were an inordinate number of injuries last season) and a better schedule could all help the Oilers be a better hockey team.

But there are any number of positive steps still left to Steve Tambellini and his staff, and not taking them would be a mistake.

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Jonathan Willis is Managing Editor of the Nation Network. He also currently writes for the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey, Grantland, and Hockey Prospectus. His work has appeared at theScore, ESPN and Puck Daddy. He was previously founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue. Contact him at jonathan (dot) willis (at) live (dot) ca.
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#1 Doug
July 17 2009, 02:58PM
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It feels like the worst fears of Oiler fans this summer are being realized.

No backup plan for the first line LW. No plans to improve the checking forward corps. Forget Roli, we'll just pay another goalie whose two years younger but has a million more miles.

WHAT.... THE.... [EXPLETIVE, DELETED]?

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#2 jeanshorts
July 17 2009, 03:02PM
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Can anyone else picture him sighing and shrugging his shoulders as he says it? Almost like they're already giving up before the season has even started? Come on Prendy, chin up buddy. AND FOR F*CKS SAKE SIGN A THIRD LINE CENTER WHO CAN WIN DRAWS AND KILL PENALTIES!!!

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#3 Doug
July 17 2009, 03:04PM
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And don't you love how this is the first time anybody from Oiler's management has spoken up regarding Heatley, and all he has to say is that we are "giving up hope?"

Why couldn't he say "F*** that guy, who wants him anyway?"

Forget about having respect for ourselves. Let's just wave the white flag. KP sounds like a dork who just got jilted by his prom date. WHERES THE PRIDE?

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#4 jeanshorts
July 17 2009, 03:08PM
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@ Doug:

Amen. But I think they're playing it safe though, because they still believe in the .0001% chance he'll finally give up and begrudgingly suit up for the Oilers next year.

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#5 Archaeologuy
July 17 2009, 03:11PM
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What have i done to the hockey gods for them to have cursed my team with such inept leadership? Did i not sacrifice enough goats and pour enough libations?

Unbelievable.

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#6 olderthendirt
July 17 2009, 03:12PM
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I would not be unhappy to see what happens with new coaches. I do realize that we have two many small players both here and on the way, but give them a chance. Nilson and Penner may yet be players or at least improve their trade value.

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#7 Mike Krushelnyski
July 17 2009, 03:14PM
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How exactly did Prendergast survive the off-season house cleaning? What exactly is his value to this organization? Like was someone impressed that Springfield didn't lose EVERY game last year?

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#8 Doug
July 17 2009, 03:14PM
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@ jeanshorts:

I can see it now. Heatley finally accepts the trade. The media gathers for a presser.

HEATLEY: Well, what can I say. I held out all summer long waiting on "3 options" and now it comes down to this. It was either here or Ottawa and Chris Neil had been making some threatening remarks.

LOWE: You comfortable Dany? How's that chair for you? Can I get you anything?

TAMBO: Back off Kevin! I'm the GM! I made this trade! I GET TO BRING DANY HIS COFFEE!

HEATLEY: Thanks Steve, one cream, three sugars if you don't mind. By the way, I don't see the red carpet I was promised leading up to the podium. And where's my crown?

LOWE: (exploding in anger at Tambo) YOU DIDN'T BRING THE CROWN?

TAMBO: I thought you were gonna - er... i... how about a blowjob, Dany?

HEATLEY: Both of you, on your knees right now. Oh, right. You're already down there.

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#9 patty
July 17 2009, 03:18PM
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would it be wise for him to say 'We're working hard at signing a 3rd line center'? No, it would drive the cost up.

I doubt that's whats going on though. They're probably done. FKPNF

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#10 Travis
July 17 2009, 03:19PM
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It is part SPIN machine. Listen, when you say this to the public...it isn't only us that read and hear it. The Oilers organization is putting out two signs to all the other GMs and Agents: 1) Oilers are open for business with other organizations and open to offers 2) Heatley better decide soon as Oilers are giving up

You cannot think the Oilers have not been calling and have possible options and trade possiblities...they just want a better ones... Maybe now that people know the Heatley thing might not go...they go hey...Cogliano, Smid, Penner are available? Maybe not Penner so much. But seriously... this is all SPIN.

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#11 jeanshorts
July 17 2009, 03:20PM
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Mike Krushelnyski wrote:

Like was someone impressed that Springfield didn’t lose EVERY game last year?

hahahahaha. Yes.

@ Doug: I heard that Lowe offered up all his daughters to Heatley just to sweeten the deal.

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#12 Timbo
July 17 2009, 03:20PM
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Kinda wonder what the rest of the Oilers management thinks of Prendergast saying this? Can't think they would be happy...unless this is some kind of odd posturing.

KP should have been gone from this organization a long time ago...hopefully this will help get his a** out the door.

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#13 Alon
July 17 2009, 03:21PM
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Travis wrote:

It is part SPIN machine. Listen, when you say this to the public…it isn’t only us that read and hear it. The Oilers organization is putting out two signs to all the other GMs and Agents: 1) Oilers are open for business with other organizations and open to offers 2) Heatley better decide soon as Oilers are giving up You cannot think the Oilers have not been calling and have possible options and trade possiblities…they just want a better ones… Maybe now that people know the Heatley thing might not go…they go hey…Cogliano, Smid, Penner are available? Maybe not Penner so much. But seriously… this is all SPIN.

+1

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#14 hemi
July 17 2009, 03:21PM
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To repeat the theme of complete disapointment, WTF have we done to get saddled with such a burden? In all the years I have been an Oiler fan (since joining the NHL), I have never been this frustrated with the team as a whole.

Can Tambellini pull off some sort of miracle? At this point, the answer is undboubtedly a resounding NO.

We are hooped!

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#15 Librarian Mike
July 17 2009, 03:22PM
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Obviously the Oilers' management team doesn't watch enough movies. If they did, they would know that Plan A never works.

At this point, I don't even really care if they make the playoffs....I can't believe I just said that...I just want to see them having fun and playing like that jersey means something to them, which would be an improvement over last year.

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#16 jeanshorts
July 17 2009, 03:25PM
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@ Librarian Mike:

That was the most frustrating part of last year by far. The complete lack of effort most nights. At least when we were barely squeeking into the playoffs the boys would come to play hard every night. I would rather watch this team come out and compete for 60 minutes and lose 3 outta 4 times then watch them coast around for 2 periods and squeek out a win.

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#17 Archaeologuy
July 17 2009, 03:28PM
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I guess 2009/2010 will be the year of Brule, Schremp, and Eberle.

~plan the parade now~

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#18 Andy Balfour
July 17 2009, 03:30PM
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I feel sorry for the BOOOOLIN Wall...

Hemsky will be moved, Souray will be moved....The New York Islanders are far ahead of us now.

I might have to turn into a St Louis fan, at lease they give it all and have good management.

Go Blues Go?

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#19 Souby
July 17 2009, 03:31PM
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Doug wrote:

@ jeanshorts: I can see it now. Heatley finally accepts the trade. The media gathers for a presser. HEATLEY: Well, what can I say. I held out all summer long waiting on “3 options” and now it comes down to this. It was either here or Ottawa and Chris Neil had been making some threatening remarks. LOWE: You comfortable Dany? How’s that chair for you? Can I get you anything? TAMBO: Back off Kevin! I’m the GM! I made this trade! I GET TO BRING DANY HIS COFFEE! HEATLEY: Thanks Steve, one cream, three sugars if you don’t mind. By the way, I don’t see the red carpet I was promised leading up to the podium. And where’s my crown? LOWE: (exploding in anger at Tambo) YOU DIDN’T BRING THE CROWN? TAMBO: I thought you were gonna - er… i… how about a blowjob, Dany? HEATLEY: Both of you, on your knees right now. Oh, right. You’re already down there.

By far, the funniest post I ever read. Classic! Thanks man. (As I wipe the tears of laughter from my eyes)

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#20 sitting at my desk
July 17 2009, 03:32PM
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WTF!!!! the dream has been crushed!!!! its over.....

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#21 Chaz
July 17 2009, 03:33PM
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Hard not to be overly negative when comments like that come directly from the team. Too bad the NHL doesn't have relegation / promotion like Soccer leagues in Europe. At least with that type of system, the games in March and April would mean something; us trying not to get relegated.

* Sheds a tear while staring at my Oilers mouse. These are the hard times...

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#22 Archaeologuy
July 17 2009, 03:33PM
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Andy Balfour wrote:

Hemsky will be moved, Souray will be moved….The New York Islanders are far ahead of us now.

Let's not get crazy now. Hemsky will go nowhere and Souray probably would have already been moved by now. And the Islanders? One 18 yr old wonder kid and Roli will not take that team any further than before.

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#23 Scarlett
July 17 2009, 03:35PM
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Wow you guys are a bunch of whiners. Let's wait until the season actually starts before you start trashing the team and the off-season moves or lack thereof. Then, have at it.

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#24 Bob Loblaw
July 17 2009, 03:35PM
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Is it too late to fire MacTavish again?

Are they consulting with Danny Maciocia?

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#25 Archaeologuy
July 17 2009, 03:37PM
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Hey! You guys heard Scarlett, bingofuel, shut the site down until October 3rd and make sure no one else has an opinion.

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#26 Scarlett
July 17 2009, 03:39PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Hey! You guys heard Scarlett, bingofuel, shut the site down until October 3rd and make sure no one else has an opinion.

Yeah that's exactly what I said. Let's feed the mass hysteria. FIRE FIRE FIRE!!!!!!!

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#27 kevinlowe4
July 17 2009, 03:41PM
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Steve Tambellini giving Dany Heatley BJs? Oh dear. OilersNation commenters, you've outdone yourselves this time.

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#28 Porter
July 17 2009, 03:44PM
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Alon wrote:

Travis wrote: It is part SPIN machine. Listen, when you say this to the public…it isn’t only us that read and hear it. The Oilers organization is putting out two signs to all the other GMs and Agents: 1) Oilers are open for business with other organizations and open to offers 2) Heatley better decide soon as Oilers are giving up You cannot think the Oilers have not been calling and have possible options and trade possiblities…they just want a better ones… Maybe now that people know the Heatley thing might not go…they go hey…Cogliano, Smid, Penner are available? Maybe not Penner so much. But seriously… this is all SPIN. +1

+ 2

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#29 Travis Dakin
July 17 2009, 03:44PM
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@ Travis: Clarify who you are man! haha I don't want people thinking that kind of well thought out opinion is from me. I've worked hard to eliminate any doubt of my idiocy.

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#30 GSC
July 17 2009, 03:45PM
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Why does Prendergast still have a job?

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#31 Travis Dakin
July 17 2009, 03:46PM
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Souby wrote:

By far, the funniest post I ever read. Classic! Thanks man. (As I wipe the tears of laughter from my eyes)

If you want magic then check out hxxp://www.jeanshortsandbaggedmilk.com

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#32 Jason
July 17 2009, 03:47PM
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i just posted in another blog about this article and im somewhat amazed in the managements aloof attitude that we will just feild the "same team as next year"

We will spend more on a goalie when really Rollie probably would have been fine for two more years?? especially if we werent tryin to improve the team in oher areas.

What if Dany Heatley didnt request a trade? Were we seriously just going to be ok with standing pat with our team aside from losing three pretty decent peices in Brodziak, Kotalik, and Roloson. (Granted not the answer to our problems)

I'll just say this....with our small forwards we are going to get squished by alot of teams. I think specifically about Calgary's improved blueline.

My prediction is if anything we dont finish higher than last year. I love the Oilers but they wont be getting me to buy a mini pack this year. I went last year and they went 2-6 and it was some of the worst hockey ive watched in years. I hope it was coaching and they can turn things around but honestly i have a feeling that this might get worse before it gets better.

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#33 jayoilfan
July 17 2009, 03:48PM
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Why are people so hung up on Heatley anyway I understand all the arguments for having him on the team but I faced reality when he did not waive his no-trade clause on day 2 of the whole affair. I knew right then that he'd never be in Oiler silks. I moved on and am looking at September. I'll still cheer hard for the team regardless of what they do on the ice. I may not like what happens but I'll still cheer.

What I do agree with is fans reaction to why the h-e-double hockey sticks have management not gone and done more to improve this team. AHL signings are good for the development system but not the big team. grr....

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#34 J.L.
July 17 2009, 03:49PM
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I'm taking this with a grain of salt. What else can KP say? He's saying the Oilers have 'lost hope' in acquiring Heatley. The Oilers want to play Brule, and they would have to trade Cogliano if they want to get Heatley. I would imagine that if Cogliano were dealt for Heatley, they would be heavily pursuing a centre, if they aren't already. The Heatley deal as I see it determines what the Oilers will do with regards to signing a checking centre. Until this has once and for all finished, I don't think anything is for certain, sure as hell not anything coming from KP.

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#35 Bob Loblaw
July 17 2009, 03:49PM
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I wouldn't mind the impending annual suckage if we had done it for last year to get in on the Tavares/Hedman sweepstakes. :(

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#36 Souby
July 17 2009, 03:50PM
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@ Travis Dakin: Had a quick look. Godd stuff. Thanks.

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#37 Travis Dakin
July 17 2009, 03:51PM
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Scarlett wrote:

Archaeologuy wrote: Hey! You guys heard Scarlett, bingofuel, shut the site down until October 3rd and make sure no one else has an opinion. Yeah that’s exactly what I said. Let’s feed the mass hysteria. FIRE FIRE FIRE!!!!!!!

Well it is all roses and sunshine for the Oilers right now... I mean, that incredibly AWESOME team that we had the pleasure of watching last year has decided to only trade away players and not bring in any new ones. That should really help turn the ship around. Also, they made three of their key players know that they could be gone if a certain premadonna sucks it up. No you're right... Lets reserve judgement until October. It's no fun coming on here and discussing hockey in July.

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#38 Souby
July 17 2009, 03:51PM
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@ Souby: I meant good stuff. I gotta lay off the sauce.

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#39 J-Bird
July 17 2009, 03:54PM
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I cannot for the life of me understand why the Oilers want Heatley now anyways?

Have some freeking pride in your organization and cut ties with yahoos who don't like you and your town.

If one were to relate Heatley to some chick, how pathetic of a man sits around waiting for her to go through 28 others rejections first before settling with you? Talk about a pathetic loser!

We're talking about the Edmonton Oilers.

Start having some pride boys! Some confidence!

No Heatley for this guy, that's for sure. It's a joke already. Time to hit on another chick man.

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#40 Travis Dakin
July 17 2009, 03:54PM
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@ Souby: Oh it will take more than a quick look. I read that as God stuff. Which it is, but good works too.

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#41 Travis Dakin
July 17 2009, 03:57PM
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J-Bird wrote:

If one were to relate Heatley to some chick, how pathetic of a man sits around waiting for her to go through 28 others rejections first before settling with you? Talk about a pathetic loser!

If she's a ten then I'd introduce her to the 28 other guys if it meant that I might get a crack at her eventually even out of pitty. There is no shame in that. Heatley is a ten..... mmmmmhhhhmmmm HAHAHA

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#42 flyricky
July 17 2009, 03:57PM
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Lowe and Tambo have to go. They turned an easter egg hunt into a gay orgy. Promote Quinn lets move on.

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#43 Travis Dakin
July 17 2009, 04:01PM
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flyricky wrote:

Lowe and Tambo have to go. They turned an easter egg hunt into a gay orgy. Promote Quinn lets move on.

Waahhh?

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#44 J-Bird
July 17 2009, 04:01PM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

J-Bird wrote: If one were to relate Heatley to some chick, how pathetic of a man sits around waiting for her to go through 28 others rejections first before settling with you? Talk about a pathetic loser! If she’s a ten then I’d introduce her to the 28 other guys if it meant that I might get a crack at her eventually even out of pitty. There is no shame in that. Heatley is a ten….. mmmmmhhhhmmmm HAHAHA

Not me. I'd go after two "8's".......at the same time........and thumb my nose at the "10" ! LOL!

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#45 Jonathan Willis
July 17 2009, 04:01PM
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As for the spin comments, please note this caveat in the article:

If we can believe that Prendergast is both a) completely aware of the situation and b) being honest with Tencer

Frankly, I think the odds of both of those being true are somewhat less than 100%, so this could very well be spin, as Travis comments above.

The concern is if it's true.

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#46 Hemmertime
July 17 2009, 04:03PM
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Im of the opinion we are a playoff team if we play to our potential. Not even play above it. Visnovsky's injury last year hurt us (worse player to have injured than Horcoff imo), we were in 5th for alot of the year. We slid out of the playoffs in the final stretch, vastly different than most years.

That was with last years rosters though, the west beefed up theirs abit so will be interesting to see, still thing 6th-10th though.

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#47 Hemmertime
July 17 2009, 04:04PM
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On Penner, Cogliano and Smid

"I'm sure there's going to be a little fence mending that has to be done. It's not as if we didn't want these players, we certainly want them. We hope that they're going to be a big part of our team if they're still here."

Another Pendergast qoute, "if they're still here". So hope is still there

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#48 flyricky
July 17 2009, 04:06PM
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Souby wrote:

Doug wrote: @ jeanshorts: I can see it now. Heatley finally accepts the trade. The media gathers for a presser. HEATLEY: Well, what can I say. I held out all summer long waiting on “3 options” and now it comes down to this. It was either here or Ottawa and Chris Neil had been making some threatening remarks. LOWE: You comfortable Dany? How’s that chair for you? Can I get you anything? TAMBO: Back off Kevin! I’m the GM! I made this trade! I GET TO BRING DANY HIS COFFEE! HEATLEY: Thanks Steve, one cream, three sugars if you don’t mind. By the way, I don’t see the red carpet I was promised leading up to the podium. And where’s my crown? LOWE: (exploding in anger at Tambo) YOU DIDN’T BRING THE CROWN? TAMBO: I thought you were gonna - er… i… how about a blowjob, Dany? HEATLEY: Both of you, on your knees right now. Oh, right. You’re already down there. By far, the funniest post I ever read. Classic! Thanks man. (As I wipe the tears of laughter from my eyes)

Wow nice post

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#49 Dallas
July 17 2009, 04:10PM
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And me I just don't know what to think BUT I WILL still cheer for the oil till the day I die I bleed copper and blue always have always will.But I do think prendergast is the head of scouting and I think that has improved ten fold compared to the days we lost out on players like Doan and Parise and all those miserable years so we are improving.

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#50 Eric
July 17 2009, 04:11PM
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Hello, long time reader, second time writer...Looking back in time, the first pro sports team I cheared for was the Oil back in '84 when i lived down in Red Deer due to my father's work.

I learned about passion and pride watching the Oilers play. So much so, that when we moved back to our home country here in Puerto Rico (where I'm writing from right now) I did all I could so I could continue to follow the team.

Looking back at the 90's, when players left for $$$$ reasons,I cannot seem to recall management give up on a season and still try to field the best team possible. Now, the team is owned by a man that is basically a country in himself money wise and this comes out???

Shoot, how can it be possible that the organisation has lost it's pride and determination in fielding the best team possible??? I don't know much about hockey, I'm just keeping part of my childhood alive by following the Oilers, but damm if these people don't deserve a barb wire covered stick up their asses!!!!!!!

What happened to Oiler Pride and Passion in the last couple of months???? F@@ck Danny Heatly and do your job right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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