Around the ‘Sphere: What I Missed While I Went Camping

Jonathan Willis
July 06 2009 12:03AM

camping

I hope everyone had a great weekend.

I took advantage of some summer weather and a couple of days off to drive out to the middle of nowhere with my wife and as a result I haven’t kept up with everything that’s happened in the hockey world. I was hoping the Oilers would do something useful while I was gone, but aside from some help for Springfield not much has happened. Here’s what the blogs recorded this weekend:

Guy Flaming wrote a couple of articles that are right up my alley. First, he examined the players attending the Oilers’ summer prospect camp; there are a couple of surprises there, including William Quist, who has somehow made his way back to the Oilers organization after making a series of stupid career decisions. Next, Flaming looks at Chris Minard, who the Oilers recently signed for their AHL team, and considers a few other names who might help out in Springfield.

The “Chicago Six” were a popular topic this weekend. The best piece (IMO) was written over at Scott Reynold's Gospel of Hockey, while Colby Cosh and Tom Benjamin both chime in as well. Dave Tallon’s rather ugly screwup with his half-dozen restricted free agents has everyone discussing his dismissal. Benjamin uses the word “inexcusable”, and he’s right.

Derek Zona has been keeping my other site afloat while I was out of touch, contributing three great articles. He took a look at Dustin Penner as a first line LW (the first in a multi-part series), made a team entirely from the remaining unsigned free agents and yesterday evaluated the dollars the Oilers are spending on their blueline and the possible impact of Denis Grebeshkov’s arbitration hearing.

A couple of bloggers had very prolific weekends and I’m just going to list their articles here. First, Tyler of mc79hockey.com:

And of course, Lowetide:

Speeds looks at the Khabibulin signing; like much of the blogosphere he’s a little confused as to what the Oilers were thinking, exactly.

Pat over at BDHS talks about the last guy who competently filled that first line LW slot; a guy who just happened to get moved over to Los Angeles this past weekend. David Staples wishes Smyth were coming back to Edmonton.

Peter Adler takes alook at the difficult situation Alexander Ovechkin could be in for the 2014 Olympics. I’m glad he pointed this out; I haven’t seen it anywhere else.

And to finish things off, let’s close with Dany Heatley. I wish this story had ended while I was gone, but it continues, and here are some more takes:

  • Colby Cosh fights through his indifference to the Heatley situation and writes about how a) the Oilers really ought to have some sort of recourse after the deal fell through and b) Heatley’s agent is doing a great job of making his client marketable by allowing his reputation to be so thoroughly savaged.
  • David Staples talks about Steve Tambellini’s press conference, before deciding that the Oilers are better off without him anyway.
  • Towel Boy thinks that Heatley’s still a guy the Oilers should look at, and that we should all relax.  Who saw that coming?
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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 G unit.
July 06 2009, 09:50AM
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.

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#2 ian
July 06 2009, 09:52AM
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Must have been fun driving with a right hand drive VW

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#3 The Towel Boy
July 06 2009, 10:00AM
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Woah! Sweet shoutout from J-Dub!

Who saw this coming!?! indeed.

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#4 Archaeologuy
July 06 2009, 10:34AM
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i cant go camping with my girlfriend and son, they are both so allergic to mosquitos that they swell up like balloons when thy get bit. We tried once to go to Drumheller. Lasted 1 day out of 3 before I had to pack them all up and bring them back to the concrete jungle. Lame.

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#5 Jonathan Willis
July 06 2009, 11:13AM
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@ ian:

The VW was just fine, the hard part was those uncomfortable pants. Itchy!

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#6 OvenChicken8
July 06 2009, 02:37PM
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If the NHL doesn't want its players to go to the 2014 Olympics I could see Ovechkin taking a couple sick days and going over anyway.

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