Gregor: it's good to be back

Jason Gregor
August 31 2009 10:28AM

Mondays suck at the best of times, but this Monday, after two weeks of holidays, is surprisingly upbeat even after I forgot to check the pockets of my shorts and washed them with five lotto tickets and a pack of gum still inside. I guess I’ll be writing here for a bit longer. When I go on holidays I try not to read or watch anything sports related, and I was fairly successful. But last week after spending an entire day golfing and slowly killing my liver I woke up Thursday afternoon and read Wanye’s piece on mini-Leno possibly coming back to E-town. It took a while to register what I just read, but that might have been due to the five Grenade shots from the previous night. After contemplating it some more I’ve decided it is too much of a fairy tale to actually occur. It sounds like an ABC After-School Special, and I hated most of those shows; I’m not much of a romantic either. Local boy who made it big, but was ran out of town, then spends a few years trying to find himself in other markets, only to be welcomed back home in the arms of  the local owner.Make no mistake, if Comrie does return to Edmonton, he will have lots to prove and I think it would be a GOOD move. I know many of you are thinking I must still be in holiday mode, but think about it for a second. You might not have liked how Comrie left, but the fact is he would be the only player in Oiler silks who actually scored 30 goals one year. If he does sign, it would be for around $1.5 million, and considering he made $4 million last year that’s a hefty pay cut. You don’t think he’d play his ass off to try and get back in that pay range? Sure Comrie is another small forward, but he at least has a bit of an edge to his game. Remember when Ilya Kovalchuk thought hair pulling was allowed in an NHL fight? Hell my grandpa used to buy sugar when it was on sale even when he didn’t need it, so getting another small forward at a low cost might not be a bad idea. The organization is split on whether Comrie is a fit, but it definitely has been talked about. I just spoke to a player who thinks it would be a good fit, so we’ll see how it plays out.

New rink

The Oilers have called a press conference for 11am today where they’ll discuss news of a new arena. The Oilers need a new rink, the city needs a new facility, and concert goers can expect even better bands once it is built. Funding will be the major issue, but if you don’t realize that Edmonton needs a new rink you aren’t paying attention.

I’m sure we can squeeze in a few Comrie questions as well.

Holiday tidbits

  • If you haven’t golfed SilverTip in Canmore I suggest you do. Save up before you go though, because the $183.00 green fee is a bit much, but the scenery is magnificent. The course isn’t overly long, and you don’t have to pull out the driver that often, but you need to be straight. The greens are fast and really challenging, and there are no beer carts on the course so I suggest stuffing a few in the bag. They have coolers on the golf carts.
  • Seems like the Olympic camp proved nothing. Does anyone think Marty St. Louis will play on the first line? St. Louis has tremendous skill, but I don’t see him on that line, if any. While in Calgary I bumped into one of the coaches and he told me flat out they were looking for chemistry more than anything. Ryan Getzlaf wasn’t there and he is a lock to make the squad, and based on how well he meshed with Rick Nash and Dany “I’ve-been-unfairly-painted-as-the-bad-guy” Heatley at the World Championships in 2008 they are an option for Mike Babcock. One big question for me will be if Joe Thornton makes the team and how much of a role he’ll be given if he does.
  • Looks like the Eskimo secondary can catch the ball. If the Esks win the Grey Cup this year that would give them three this decade. Would that make them the team of the decade in the CFL? I think so, and yet Eskimo fans have been pissed the entire decade it seems. Interesting.
  • Had my fantasy football draft yesterday. I’m in a draft with 12 teams, and all the guys feel they could be an NFL GM. They spent hours after the draft analyzing who has the best team. Fantasy football takes the armchair quarterback to a whole new level. If you haven’t played I recommend getting in a league. Fantasy football is better than fantasy hockey in my opinion. The time commitment is far less, which is a good thing, because if you spend two hours a day “researching” your fantasy stats you have issues.

The side bets are more entertaining than the draft sometimes, and if you are in a good draft you have a message board that runs year round. The chirping on the boards kept me interested last year, once that pansy Tom Brady got hurt. That’s the hard part about fantasy football/hockey. Sometimes you have to pick a player from a team that you despise, because you know he’ll score points. I love the Dolphins (they will go 10-6 this year btw) but Brady is my fantasy QB. I hate the Pats, Bills and the Jets, but pretty boy is my QB so I’ll root for him to pass for 300 yards and three TDs every week, but hopefully they lose every game.

Off to the Oiler presser. I’ll give you an update after.

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#51 David S
August 31 2009, 08:46PM
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Robin - if you're still checking in on this post, can you tell us what your question was in today's PC? Just listened to it on the oil site. Dan sure sucker punched you on that one.

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#52 Robin Brownlee
August 31 2009, 08:57PM
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Asked if there was a timeline in terms of hiring an architect, when people might expect to see blueprints/artist's conceptions and if the development would be along the lines of the area around Nationwide Arena in Columbus.

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#53 esa tikkanen
August 31 2009, 09:30PM
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Robin, have you heard anything more on the Comrie rumour? Funny that Matheson denied it in the Journal yesterday but Horcoff today on Gregor's show seemed to agree that he had heard Comrie was considering an offer, and that they were good friends..

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#54 Reggie
August 31 2009, 09:37PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

I think someone here (not sure if it was blogger or poster) mentioned a Eberle+Chorney+1st for Kessel deal.

Oh come on man ... this is dreamland kinda stuff. We were giving up 3 players to get a 50 goal man, and someone thinks we are going to give up two #1 picks (Eberle was a #1) and Chorney for a guy who's been injured and scored 36 goals once.

I don't doubt the Oilers would have interest, but not at that price ...

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#55 Robin Brownlee
August 31 2009, 10:21PM
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esa tikkanen wrote:

Robin, have you heard anything more on the Comrie rumour? Funny that Matheson denied it in the Journal yesterday but Horcoff today on Gregor’s show seemed to agree that he had heard Comrie was considering an offer, and that they were good friends..

No, nothing more. Why would what Horcoff said surprise you? I told you what was going on with this. Because another writer in town -- behind on the story like everybody else -- denies it, doesn't make it less true.

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#56 esa tikkanen
August 31 2009, 10:32PM
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Because you usually worship everything Matheson says and almost never disagree with him. Question is, if they sign him, what are they going to do with Nilson? Would the Islanders take him back for nothing just for the oilers to lose the contract? The Isle have lots of cap room and could use a playmaking, talented young linemate for shooter Tavares..

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#57 quicksilver ballet
August 31 2009, 10:41PM
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Is it the mid to last week of September before we get some predictions as to how this year will unfold? It'll be a mighty interesting task this year.

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#58 Ogden Brother
August 31 2009, 11:09PM
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Reggie wrote:

Ogden Brother wrote: I think someone here (not sure if it was blogger or poster) mentioned a Eberle+Chorney+1st for Kessel deal. Oh come on man … this is dreamland kinda stuff. We were giving up 3 players to get a 50 goal man, and someone thinks we are going to give up two #1 picks (Eberle was a #1) and Chorney for a guy who’s been injured and scored 36 goals once. I don’t doubt the Oilers would have interest, but not at that price …

What? I think someone else is dreaming.

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#59 David S
August 31 2009, 11:12PM
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esa tikkanen wrote:

The Isle have lots of cap room and could use a playmaking, talented young linemate for shooter Tavares..

The Oil could use a playmaking, talented young linemate for shooter Gagner. POS is a bust.

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#60 RossCreek
August 31 2009, 11:19PM
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@ Ogden. ~no way man. Pouliot and a 5th for Kessel is more realistic~

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#61 Dallas
September 01 2009, 04:34AM
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David S wrote:

esa tikkanen wrote: The Isle have lots of cap room and could use a playmaking, talented young linemate for shooter Tavares.. The Oil could use a playmaking, talented young linemate for shooter Gagner. POS is a bust.

This isn't the first time I have disagreed with you and probably won't be the last 1) Gagner is a playmaker not a goal scorer though he can score. 2) Osully is a great player how is he a bust when he come over to a new team and MacT never used him properly. Tambo absolutly fleeced LA in that trade and I am sure I am not the only one on here who thinks that. And on Esa's comment believe it or not Tavares is such a great player that he can play any style he needs to playmaker or goal scorer just like Crosby and Gretzky was when he played. But I think David S will be eating those words this year.

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#62 Dallas
September 01 2009, 04:35AM
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Shoulda said Gagner can score a little bit

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#63 Deep Oil
September 01 2009, 07:41AM
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Wanye Gretz wrote:

@ socaldave: I very much enjoy the Capitals and the $4 beer - I mean fantastic baseball - served at Telus Field. I am going to be there on Tuesday night as they play the $4 dollar beers - I mean whoever they are playing. BUCK75 wrote: Apparently the Oilers are NOT ruling out the possiblity of a personal seat license. Research will be done to see if us fans are willing to pay. I love Gregor asking that question. Somewhere Deepoil is smiling - if that is somehow possible.

LaForge started the press conference with a reference to Bill Hunter, was he foreshadowing that the next 60 minutes was to promote the next news conference.

What we learned....... That Katz Group is interested in being a partner in a downtown arena.....

What we didn't get.....

Katz at the pressor - passed off to errand boy LaForge. Must be an information seminar on nothing new, skip it.

Location - options..... teaser.

Financing besides Katz Group $100mm while still owing millions to CIT Group (originally $100mm) for the Oiler Hockey Club

Architect - ?????

Management - No One Asked Who Katz Group wishes to manage the building, Northlands would provide a conduit for Alberta Lottery and Gaming Money - see an example of infastructure for the new agricom, called Revolution 09.......

________________________________________________________ Canada's Government Supports Expansion Of Northlands Exhibition ...29 Aug 2008 ... “Northlands has benefitted Edmonton and Alberta in many ways, ... of the Government of Canada's generous funding commitment announced today, ... www.northlands.com/canadas-government-supports-expansion-northlands-exhibition-facility - Cached - Similar

________________________________________________________ $70 million to Edmonton Northlands and Calgary Exhibition ...This announcement is part of the Alberta government's three-part plan to invest in the ... and saved in endowment funds like the Heritage Savings Fund. ... www.albertacentennial.ca/programs/id594.html - Cached - Similar _____________________________________________________

Personal Seat License - LaForge is quoted as being is favor of PSL's, giving Katz group $50K for two seats is a benefit, so in 30 years I can possibly get a return on my equity????? maybe, while Katz Group acquires $500 - $600 million

Bottom line is that Lowe, Tambo, and the coaching staff have 2 - 3 years to make this team a winner to create demand rather than a non successful non playoff team.

Alleged Student Housing - seems like an Oylmpic knock off via VANOC to acquire Federal funding for the district.

________________________________________________________ Province and VANOC partner to house the homeless in BC - News ...21 Oct 2008 ... A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Province and VANOC proposes to reconfigure 320 temporary modular housing units from the ... www.vancouver2010.com/.../province-and-vanoc-partner-to.html - Cached - Similar _______________________________________________________

Have A Great Tuesday

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#64 Milli
September 01 2009, 08:20AM
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the 10 - 6 fins??? I'll take that bet anyday. They are gonna be 8-8 at best. They play in the strongest div in football.

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#65 Zamboni Driver
September 01 2009, 08:36AM
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Reggie wrote:

Ogden Brother wrote: I think someone here (not sure if it was blogger or poster) mentioned a Eberle+Chorney+1st for Kessel deal. Oh come on man … this is dreamland kinda stuff. We were giving up 3 players to get a 50 goal man, and someone thinks we are going to give up two #1 picks (Eberle was a #1) and Chorney for a guy who’s been injured and scored 36 goals once. I don’t doubt the Oilers would have interest, but not at that price …

Not for nothin' but you're high, man.

Kessel is 21 and has scored that much.

Boston would choke on their clam chowder if a VERY SMALL kid + a college kid who seems content to be a college kid + a maybe was offered for Kessel.

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#66 Dallas
September 01 2009, 09:14AM
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@ Zamboni Driver: Boston is in a very tough position there. If they want to trade him who can they take back? I mean they would have to try and get a kid with tons of potential. But what team is really willing to give something like that up? That's why it would have to come down to a deal like that. Though I really would hate to see Eberle go before he has even played a regular season game. He kinda reminds me of St,Louis

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#67 Zamboni Driver
September 01 2009, 10:39AM
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Dallas wrote:

@ Zamboni Driver: Boston is in a very tough position there. If they want to trade him who can they take back? I mean they would have to try and get a kid with tons of potential. But what team is really willing to give something like that up? That’s why it would have to come down to a deal like that. Though I really would hate to see Eberle go before he has even played a regular season game. He kinda reminds me of St,Louis

Yeah, but prepare for the Beantown faithful to burn down the Toronto Dominion Bank Place. An American kid, scores a sh&t-load after beating cancer and all they get back is a pimple-faced smurf with potential?

Not a chance.

You're right though, Boston is cap-hooped.

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#68 Dallas
September 01 2009, 11:05AM
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@ Zamboni Driver: You are right their as well. But it's not they're decision. You would have to think the organization would want a young entry level goal scorer with lots of potential in return to start with. Now throw some names out there that you think could fit that bill.

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#69 Dallas
September 01 2009, 11:10AM
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Also I would probably throw Cogs in there instead of Eberle. And as far as Size goes I don't think that Kessel is that much bigger than either of those guys

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#70 Ogden Brother
September 01 2009, 11:45AM
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Dallas wrote:

Also I would probably throw Cogs in there instead of Eberle. And as far as Size goes I don’t think that Kessel is that much bigger than either of those guys

Cogs + a prospect not named Eberle/MPS would be interesting.

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#71 Dallas
September 01 2009, 12:05PM
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@ Ogden Brother: Yep MPS is another untouchable until we atleast know what's there. I think he's gonna be a gem I really like what he brings. Great pick. I so thought he would be gone by then. When it came turn I was yelling at the T.V goin if they don't pick MPS I AM GONNA FREAK DA HELL OUT. LOL

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#72 Chris.
September 01 2009, 12:09PM
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@ Dallas: @ Ogden Brother:

I don't like Kessel as an Oiler. There would have to be too much turnover to properly accomadate a player of his size and skillset when applying basic principals of proper roster construction. If the Oilers are going to offer up a package for a quality player, we need a player/players who meets multiple needs for not only scoring; but size, AND toughness as well. We need to be discussing Dustin Brown type players.

This organization is drowning in small players. Almost every single young player on the roster is undersized, and almost every single quality prospect in the system is undersized. In a no-trade league; if Tambo beats the odds and pulls something off: he's got to move a package of smurfs for some muscle.

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#73 Scott
September 01 2009, 12:35PM
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Just wondering if Robin or Gregor have heard any rumblings about Sundin or Forsberg considering the Oil or vise versa. I know it is Eklund but it is an interesting thought if they could be had for a reasonable price...If Foppa's foot is good, would prefer him over Sundin.

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#74 ronaldo
September 01 2009, 12:47PM
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@ Scott: If you have to start a sentence with "I know it is Eklund but," you need to stop right there and back away from the keyboard. The remainder of the sentence has an approximate 3% chance of coming true.

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#75 Ogden Brother
September 01 2009, 12:55PM
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Chris. wrote:

@ Dallas: @ Ogden Brother: I don’t like Kessel as an Oiler. There would have to be too much turnover to properly accomadate a player of his size and skillset when applying basic principals of proper roster construction. If the Oilers are going to offer up a package for a quality player, we need a player/players who meets multiple needs for not only scoring; but size, AND toughness as well. We need to be discussing Dustin Brown type players. This organization is drowning in small players. Almost every single young player on the roster is undersized, and almost every single quality prospect in the system is undersized. In a no-trade league; if Tambo beats the odds and pulls something off: he’s got to move a package of smurfs for some muscle.

True enough, Brown would probably be a better fit then Kessel. That said, Brown isn't available (that we know of) while Kessel could be. I view Kessel as a better version of Cogs (and he also has proven he can play on the wing, so potentially a better fit in that aspect).

Considering he likely is the best thing available, I'd gladly swap Cogs+ for a better version of Cogs.

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#76 Ogden Brother
September 01 2009, 12:57PM
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ronaldo wrote:

@ Scott: If you have to start a sentence with “I know it is Eklund but,” you need to stop right there and back away from the keyboard. The remainder of the sentence has an approximate 3% chance of coming true.

I know the guy (Eklund) is a goof, but the "3%" non-sense that people keep throwing out there is really meaningless.

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#77 Dallas
September 01 2009, 01:27PM
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@ Chris.: I realize we need size in a bad way. But it sure as hell would be nice to get a true sniper to play with Hemmer and Gagner. Players like Brown Can be worked out in other trades. I'm Dreamin large I know. I've also heard possibly Souray for Brown. I know wake the hell up.

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#78 ronaldo
September 01 2009, 01:32PM
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@ Ogden Brother:

While I don't know this guy from a hole in the ground, here is where that stat came from.

hxxp://hockeybuzzhogwash.com/?tag=eklund

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#79 RossCreek
September 01 2009, 01:47PM
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Not to defend Eklund, BUT what people forget about him is that he reports on rumoured trade talks. Trade talks happen all of the time, yet most rarely come to fruition. He reports rumours. Everyone should realize not all rumours are true... thats why they're called rumours and not facts. Having said all that, I think its fair to say that some of his "rumours" seem completely bogus and far-fetched. Bottom line, if you read rumours, you need to understand they're not all true.

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#80 Ogden Brother
September 01 2009, 01:55PM
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ronaldo wrote:

@ Ogden Brother: While I don’t know this guy from a hole in the ground, here is where that stat came from. hxxp://hockeybuzzhogwash.com/?tag=eklund

Ya I've seen it, but it's pointless. 3% (or any number) proves nothing, you can't "prove a rumour" by how many trades actually happen. I'm sure their are 1000's of trades discussed throught the season.... a trade doesn't need to happen to prove it was discussed.

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#81 Ogden Brother
September 01 2009, 01:56PM
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RossCreek wrote:

Not to defend Eklund, BUT what people forget about him is that he reports on rumoured trade talks. Trade talks happen all of the time, yet most rarely come to fruition. He reports rumours. Everyone should realize not all rumours are true… thats why they’re called rumours and not facts. Having said all that, I think its fair to say that some of his “rumours” seem completely bogus and far-fetched. Bottom line, if you read rumours, you need to understand they’re not all true.

Also, a rumour could be "true" wether a trade actually happens or not.

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#82 Ender the Dragon
September 01 2009, 04:15PM
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RossCreek wrote:

Not to defend Eklund, BUT what people forget about him is that he reports on rumoured trade talks. . . Bottom line, if you read rumours, you need to understand they’re not all true.

Some are more true than others. For instance, I read Spector's Blog every day. He has rumours that are culled from real (and cited) MSM and NHL sources. If he can't defend the rumour, he won't post it. In addition, he adds commentary on the rumours based on whether the 'rumour' is a legitimate possibility or whether such things as cap issues, NMC's, or even personal issues make such a move unlikey or even impossible. He's very knowledgable, and if someone he has sourced says something is going to happen and Spector agrees that it is a good possibility, you know you have something worth talking about.

Ecklund, on the other hand, just plain makes stuff up, even when inconvenient things like NTC's and salary caps get in the way. Ecklund is to hockey news what the Weekly World News is to global news. Both sell their stories on the same premise; that people will pay either because they are either smart enough to laugh at it or dumb enough to hope it were true.

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#83 David S
September 01 2009, 07:31PM
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Dallas wrote:

1) Gagner is a playmaker not a goal scorer though he can score. 2) Osully is a great player how is he a bust when he come over to a new team and MacT never used him properly. Tambo absolutly fleeced LA in that trade and I am sure I am not the only one on here who thinks that.

1) Sam played half the season with a (really) bad ankle. I wouldn't be surprised if he had a hairline fracture. Not to mention the concussion issue. Put him with the right guys and I bet he'll do 30 this year. At twenty.

2) I keep hearing how O'Sully is such a great player, but his shot % is abysmal. He ended up with like 1 or 2 points more than the above mentioned Gagner (the supposed non-shooter). Just as many on here were wondering what the big woo about him was last year. Shots are great but shots that go in are better.

Maybe the dude can turn it around this year, but I'm sick of hearing that same line about half the team every year.

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#84 Darren
September 01 2009, 08:26PM
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Hey Jason, I think you got your numbers right on the Dolphins' season this year. I'm sorry to tell you, however, that you need to reverse them. ;)

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October 11 2009, 08:31AM
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October 11 2009, 04:46PM
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