Live at Training Camp 2009

Jason Gregor
September 13 2009 09:16AM

oilers-training-camp

Check back here for updates throughout the day. I'm here at Rexall, hungover, and I'm not leaving until it's all over. I'll be adding updates at the end of this post, so check back and and your comments.

8:36... First day of Oilers training camp, and I can honestly say the only reason I am here this early is that YOU, the Nation faithful, paid for my trip to the Draft back in June. No way would I have shown up this early if you guys/gals hadn’t stepped up. I’m a firm believer in paying it back, so to all of you who donated I applaud you while silently cursing your name at this ungodly hour. I haven’t been up this early on a Sunday all summer, but the good news is that the AC seems to be helping my hangover. Awesome.

8:42... This is my 8th training camp and I can’t recall one that had this much focus on system play. Normally we’d be watching scrimmages by now, but Pat Quinn wants the players to understand every aspect of this system.

8:49... Wayne Fleming and Tom Renney are running the practice for team A. Quinn stands in front of the bench monitoring the troops. Team A consists of:

O’Sullivan — Horcoff — Hemsky Reddox — Potulny — Fretter Stone —  Schremp — Linglet Brennan —  Comrie — Bates

Souray —  Visnovsky Arsene —  Taylor Wild —  Bendfeld

Khabibulin, Pitton and Perugini

Why they have three goalies in this season is mind blowing. The young P’s share a net, while Khabibulin tends the twine at the south end of Rexall. I don’t see why they need eight goalies at camp, especially when we all know that NK and JDD will make the team.

8:52... Brownlee strolls in. How a married guy with kids shows up after a single guy who has four pieces of gum in his mouth in hopes of masking the his booze breath is beyond me. I will say that the STRIDE commercial boasting how long the taste lasts is complete bogus. I’ve pumped five pieces in and I’ve only been here 25 minutes. I think Hubba Bubba’s flavour lasted longer.

9:00... Team A leaves the ice and the zambonis come out for a quick flood.

No one really stood out since it was a lot of line rushes and break outs, but Schremp does look a step faster. Patrick O’Sullivan is my early pick for break out player of the year. He looks comfortable on the left side with Horcoff and Hemsky.

The most interesting thing to note is that Billy Moores is sitting with the Oiler brass watching practice. He is still on the payroll and I’d bet he’ll be scouting for the Oilers this year.

While all of the players left the ice, Hemsky sits on the bench during the flood and had a lengthy talk with Wayne Fleming. It looked like Hemsky was doing the talking and Fleming was listening. Fleming is a great hockey mind and it is not surprising that he wants to understand how the most talented Oiler thinks the game. Hemsky leaves the conversation with a big smile on his face.

9:20...Team A is back on the ice, and today looks more like a regular season practice, with one-on-one line rushes. Schremp undresses Jake Taylor and then goes top shelf over a sprawled Pitton. Best goal of the day so far.

9:30... Quinn is living up to his reputation of letting his assistants run practice. Renney stops the 3 on 2 rushes every time they don't break out how he wants it and Quinn quietly watches. Schremp just pots another beauty off the post and in. I don't think he has a chance of making the team, but in a practice situation is natural skill is very noticeable. His skill set is world class.

9:35...Souray looks very good so far. He has broken up the last three rushes with perfectly timed poke-checks. I'm sitting in section 119, while all the fans sit across the ice in section 136,101 and 102. I just notice a guy wearing an Oilersnation T-shirt. I'm too lazy to walk over there, but a big shout out to whoever is sporting the colours this morning. And I just decided that if Wanye is going to be a "story-breaker", then I'm going to drag his sorry ass here next year on day one of camp. Take the good with the bad Wanye, and trust me 8:30 in the morning on a Sunday is the bad...ha

9:42...Springfield is going to be way tougher and harder to play against this year. Arsene and Taylor both have and edge on the blueline, and Brennan is huge. Brennan skates fairly well for a tough guy, and has looked pretty good this morning.

10:15...TEAM B is now on the ice, and today will be like ground hog day. Three sessions, and the only thing different will be the players on the ice. Quinn wants all the players to know what he expects of them, and considering they only have two days of camp before the preseason, the coaches have no choice but to focus more on systems than they usually would.

Team B consists of:

Penner Gagner Eberle Jacques Pouliot Stortini Trukhno O'Marra McDonald Emmerson Lerg MacMurchy

Grebeshkov Gilbert Chorney Plante Nickerson Young

Deslauriers and Roy

10:35.. Battling drills down low, one-on-one and two-on-two. Penner pulls a sweet, puck-between-the-legs move and dances around Grebeshkov, only to by stymied by JDD. I said it earlier this week that Penner looks a touch slimmer. It intersesting how in these drills they have the NHL guys at one end, and the AHL guys at the other. It is pretty obvious which players the coaches think have a shot to make this team. I'm not surprised at all, considering it is pretty obvious which players have a chance.

10:43...best hit so far today as Colin McDonald rocks Bryan Lerg into the boards on a two-on-two drill. I can't wait until tomorrow when the guys actually scrimmage. Team B leaves the ice for a flood.

11:04...Team B back on the ice and the first casualty of camp. Olivier Roy hurt his shoulder after taking a shot from Penner. Roy leaves the ice in obvious discomfort. You hope for his sake that it is nothing to serious. Nothing worse for a young guy than getting hurt on the first day of his first NHL training camp.

11:05...***Sidenote...Dolphins/Falcons game just started and the Fish will win.***

11:06...Back to hockey...Practicing with only one goalie sucks, you have to think they will bring one of the three goalies who were scheduled to be part of TEAM C out early. The sad part is that only Lerg and Stortini scored on the empty net during one-on-one drills.

11:11..Stortini and Gilbert are sporting trimmed locks, and to be honest it's not a good look for either of them. Stortini's shaggy look suits him and his on-ice persona much better. I'm betting he grows it out as the year progresses. Gilbert looks 15 with the short hair, and I'm stunned he trimmed it because he loved his locks last season. You wonder if both wanted to come in looking sharp for their new coach???

11:18...Devan Dubnyk comes out as the 2nd goalie, and so far he hasn't let in a goal. This is a huge year for both he and JDD. One of them probably won't be part of the organization next year, when both have to clear waivers.

11:25...Had a lengthy chat with Patrick Laforge and he'll be on my show tomorrow discussing the rink and also the Oilers television schedule. They will officially announce it later this week and there will be a small wrinkle for a few games. Right now it looks like one or two games might not be televised, but they are trying to work it out.

11:30...Team B is done for the day. They will now go do an off-ice workout.

11:50..TEAM C is on the ice now and here's the line combos.

Moreau Cogliano Pisani Nilsson Brule Minard Cornet Paukovich MacIntyre Czuy Kytnar Lazo

Smid Staios Motin Strudwick Prout Dudas

Dubynk, Sorochan and Mucha in goal.

If you are wondering where Theo Peckham is, he is out with an ankle injury.

12:01...The final session is underway and it's the exact same formula. Some end-to-end rushes and then right into SYSTEM 101. The focus is on defence. They want the forwards to help out a lot in the defensive zone. Quinn has a reputation of wanting an uptempo style, but listening to the players he has preached defence first. Yes, he wants them to move the puck up the ice quickly, but it will all start with solid defensive coverage. The forwards will need to be much more responsible it sounds like.

12:05...I still don't think Cogliano is best suited to play on the 3rd line, and I don't expect him to be there in a three weeks. I don't put a lot of stock into some of the combinations. Comrie skated with Bates and Brennan and I'm pretty sure the Oilers aren't planning on playing him in a 4th line role.

12:35...Needed to charge my laptop...and now I'm good the rest of the day.

During my computer downtime I saw Pat Quinn talk the most he has all day. He addressed team C for about five minutes explaining in detail what he wanted from them during the next drill. It has been interesting listening to the players talk about Quinn. Every player I spoke with raved about his motivation tools and how inspirational he has been already.

12:43...Nilsson has been the best player this session by far. He just walked around Dudas and then finished with a nice deke around Dubynk. Making a good first impression will be key for Nilsson, and it is clear that he will need to prove to the coaching staff that he deserves to be in the top six. I'd say he has been the best player overall on day one.

12:51...I tip my hat to the diehard fans who have watched all three sessions today. And a big thank you to the two blondes who showed up for the final session. Pick me ups come in many different forms and there is nothing better than beautiful women. This final session is winding down, with some end-to-end line rushes. This is the only session that hasn't had a flood halfway through and the ice is getting pretty choppy now.

12:56...I just thought of a great contest we should do here on the Nation. Predict the game that Smid scores in. He has gone two full seasons without a goal, after scoring three his first year in Edmonton.

12:59...Day one is over. Outside of Olivier Roy's shoulder there were no injuries. Roy was fine in the locker room afterwards. The Oilers will practice again tomorrow at 8:30, and for fans it will be much for enjoyable because there will be two scrimmages tomorrow.

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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 Rod Steel
September 13 2009, 12:20PM
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@ The Good Doc:

I think someone needs to lighten up a little. If Gregor were to have a drinking problem I'm sure someone from an Internet message board is really going to be the one to break through to him and help him stop his problem...

Thanks for the updates Jason... is Monday open to the public as well?

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#52 oilguyry
September 13 2009, 12:37PM
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Not looking too good for the fish at halftime gregor

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#53 Lord Stanley
September 13 2009, 12:48PM
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Gregor...V8 and an ice cream sandwich. Does wonders for the hangover.

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#54 rob allan
September 13 2009, 12:48PM
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Get off Gregor's back you dicks, it's not like none of the rest of us haven't tipped a few from time to time. Clearly Gregor is a saint.

Thanks for spending your Sunday for us douches of the Nation.

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#55 Jason Gregor
September 13 2009, 12:50PM
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The Good Doc wrote:

Sorry Jason after your first couple of graphs I couldn’t focus on hockey. Is alcohol in any way, interfering with your daily life or relationships with others? If the answer is yes, joking about it isn’t funny. Alcoholism is a disease and going on like a teen about how you have an hangover is more sad than funny.

Take a bit of a chill pill partner. It is far from interfering with my daily life since I'm here working. It's called relating to what some are feeling today. Now I need to hurry up and leave so I can go crush a few bevvies watching the afternoon NFL games. (That was a joke in case you didn't get that).

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#56 Jason Gregor
September 13 2009, 12:51PM
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Lord Stanley wrote:

Gregor…V8 and an ice cream sandwich. Does wonders for the hangover.

That almost made me puke in my mouth thinking about it. I actually feel pretty good today fellas. I look like garbage but I feel great. And a beer and clamato is my go to if I need a hangover cure. Nothing better.

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#57 ScubaSteve
September 13 2009, 12:52PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

I’d say he has been the best player overall on day one.

High praise for Nilsson, what a great problem to have if all the forwards show they belong in the top 6.

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#58 OvenChicken8
September 13 2009, 12:53PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

I’d say he has been the best player overall on day one.

I don't know if I want to take this as good news or bad news lol.

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#59 DonDon
September 13 2009, 12:53PM
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Death Metal Nightmare wrote:

O’Sullivan Comrie – Hemsky Cogliano – Gagner – Penner Schremp – Horcoff – Pisani Moreau – Brule – Storts

One good thing about this lineup is that Horcoff is playing his natural position, 3rd line centre. (Because he is being paid as a top line player doesn't mean he should be placed on the top line. Two wrongs don't make it right.)

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#60 David S
September 13 2009, 01:00PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

I’d say he has been the best player overall on day one.

Really good to hear. This is his last at-bat with this team and something tells me he's here to make the most of it. I'd be very sad if we didn't see this one to its conclusion.

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#61 Phil
September 13 2009, 01:04PM
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The Good Doc wrote:

Sorry Jason after your first couple of graphs I couldn’t focus on hockey. Is alcohol in any way, interfering with your daily life or relationships with others? If the answer is yes, joking about it isn’t funny. Alcoholism is a disease and going on like a teen about how you have an hangover is more sad than funny.

Lulz.

This HAS to be sarcasm... right... RIGHT?!?!?

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#62 Susie
September 13 2009, 01:12PM
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Thanks Mr Gregor! Was a pleasure to follow along since I wasn't able to make it!

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#63 Dallas
September 13 2009, 01:13PM
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Question for Brownlee or Gregor or anyone else in the know? what happened to that big russian D from rookie training camp I heard he was a little like Konstantinov who used to be my favorite D outside of the oil D. Is there anyone from the rookie camp the oil may try to sign

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#64 OYLer
September 13 2009, 01:42PM
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Well let's all hope from this year's cast (replete & repeat) of vertically challenged Limóns there can be squeezed some refreshing lemonade. The other outcome is that tainted Kool-Aid glass running down to empty. (Little nod to Dan Barnes for the juiceless turn of phrase.) Thanks Jason for this little inside look from one appreciative out-of-towner. Now if those "Free Concession" were serving what the players were being served at the team meal, I'd have hassled my rotund figure and attended in person. I'm guessing the Comrie signing was, at the very least, a smart Biz-Buzz finger paint on Katz's part - plus, this time, behind door #2 the price was right.

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#65 Phil
September 13 2009, 01:47PM
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*side note*

Adrian Petersen is a f*cking BEAST.

3 TD's on the day.. 7.2 yards per carry on average, on the day. Over 180 yards racked up. Last play, he runs into a wall of Browns, managed to blast through everyone, shake off one then stiff arm another and take it to the house for a 62 yard TD...

Vikings should be a Superbowl favourite this year, RECOGNIZE.

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#66 RossCreek
September 13 2009, 02:37PM
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How'd Brule look... missed the final session.

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#67 Wanye Gretz
September 13 2009, 02:41PM
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"And I just decided that if Wanye is going to be a “story-breaker”, then I’m going to drag his sorry ass here next year on day one of camp. Take the good with the bad Wanye, and trust me 8:30 in the morning on a Sunday is the bad."

It would take "nude supermodel day" to get me down to RX1 this early on a Sunday. At the same time I appreciate being able to read your awesome summary Gregor, while I lie on the couch and wait for the Hangover Fairy to leave me be.

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#68 Wanye Gretz
September 13 2009, 02:46PM
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The Good Doc wrote:

#39 The Good Doc September 13 2009, 11:37 am. Sorry Jason after your first couple of graphs I couldn’t focus on hockey. Is alcohol in any way, interfering with your daily life or relationships with others? If the answer is yes, joking about it isn’t funny. Alcoholism is a disease and going on like a teen about how you have an hangover is more sad than funny.

Gregor -

If this doesn't make you feel vulnerable nothing will. Next thing you know we will have to plan an intervention for you bahahahahaha

Reading the Good Doc's prognosis for your "disease" has made me feel 10000000x better about my own hangover this morning.

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#69 Deans
September 13 2009, 03:21PM
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Wow great article today Gregor, really interesting stuff.

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#70 Sarah
September 13 2009, 03:42PM
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12:56…I just thought of a great contest we should do here on the Nation. Predict the game that Smid scores in. He has gone two full seasons without a goal, after scoring three his first year in Edmonton.

Oh, was this written when he was taking slap shots after Team C's session was over?? My sister and I went to the practice (watched all 3 sessions- we are amongst the diehards, I guess), and when we saw Smid shooting, we were like, "Damn, Smid really wants to score this year!"

Nilsson did look really great...like he knows he needs to step it up big time if he wants to have a place on the roster this year. It was great to see. I was really impressed by Schremp and Eberle too...

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#71 Edmonton Oilers Training Camp – Day 2 | Putting on the Foil
September 13 2009, 03:56PM
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[...] bit more jump to his game, scoring a nifty goal and making a very nice saucer pass on another play. Jason Gregor calls the goal: “Schremp undresses Jake Taylor and then goes top shelf over a sprawled Pitton. Best goal of [...]

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#72 Tayranchula
September 13 2009, 04:02PM
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The Oilers should do a mini London Knights line (i no schremp didnt play with them but work with me) trade cogs for sergei kostitsyn

Then have: Schremp-Ganger-S.Kostitsyn

and if we could somehow get Kane for schremp it would be a dominating line London had in the 06 season

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#73 offside
September 13 2009, 04:34PM
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Can anyone tell me if tomorrow's scrimmages are open to the public? I was thinking of hopping on the LRT at lunch and watching a bit.

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#74 Dallas
September 13 2009, 05:06PM
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Tayranchula wrote:

The Oilers should do a mini London Knights line (i no schremp didnt play with them but work with me) trade cogs for sergei kostitsyn Then have: Schremp-Ganger-S.Kostitsyn and if we could somehow get Kane for schremp it would be a dominating line London had in the 06 season

Damn man you are killing me please stop mispelling my favorite players name it's Gagner not Ganger I know your not the only one who spells it like that but please

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#75 Jason Gregor
September 13 2009, 05:24PM
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offside wrote:

Can anyone tell me if tomorrow’s scrimmages are open to the public? I was thinking of hopping on the LRT at lunch and watching a bit.

Yes it is open to the public.

@ Wanye Gretz:

I've been sitting at home all afternoon wondering where I am going in life. Are my relationships being affected negatively? Lots to think about on a Sunday afternoon, and to make it worse my Dolphins were awful today. The Good Doc has ruined my day...oh the humanity.

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#76 Jason Gregor
September 13 2009, 05:30PM
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RossCreek wrote:

How’d Brule look… missed the final session.

Brule wasn't overly noticeable and I think he might have tweaked something, because I'm sure he left a bit early. I ended up talking with Peckham for awhile in the locker room after and missed Brule.

Peckham is skating, but he hasn't been cleared for contact. He hurt his ankle a month ago and it still isn't strong enough to handle contact. Sounds like he will be out for another week and possibly two.

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#77 Clarkenstein
September 13 2009, 05:50PM
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Tayranchula wrote:

The Oilers should do a mini London Knights line (i no schremp didnt play with them but work with me) trade cogs for sergei kostitsyn Then have: Schremp-Ganger-S.Kostitsyn and if we could somehow get Kane for schremp it would be a dominating line London had in the 06 season

Take your Playboy mag to the can and do your fantasizing in there!!

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#78 Deep Oil
September 13 2009, 06:14PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

offside wrote: Can anyone tell me if tomorrow’s scrimmages are open to the public? I was thinking of hopping on the LRT at lunch and watching a bit. Yes it is open to the public. @ Wanye Gretz: I’ve been sitting at home all afternoon wondering where I am going in life. Are my relationships being affected negatively? Lots to think about on a Sunday afternoon, and to make it worse my Dolphins were awful today. The Good Doc has ruined my day…oh the humanity.

This is a great program, you can work via remote broadcast.....

http://www.aadac.com/86_254.asp

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#79 Archaeologuy
September 13 2009, 07:12PM
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So, who here thought that after day 1 Robert Nilsson, Rob Schremp, and Dustin Penner would be the three standouts? Who?

Hey, why not go crazy and try that line combo of Penner-Schremp-Nilsson before reality sets in?

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#80 RossCreek
September 13 2009, 08:50PM
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Would I be correct in assuming that the practices later in the week @ Millenium Place are open to the public as well?

Also, in case it wasn't mentioned clearly earlier, for those attending tomorrow, one concession was open serving free popcorn, coffee and fountain pop.

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#81 Wanye Gretz
September 13 2009, 10:03PM
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Deep Oil wrote:

This is a great program, you can work via remote broadcast….. http://www.aadac.com/86_254.asp

I can't believe I am about to write this and mean it but "thank you DeepOil - you have been of great assistance with your link"

The Good Doc - Bringing Wanye and DeepOil together for the first time on record.

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#82 The Menace
September 13 2009, 10:41PM
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Tayranchula wrote:

The Oilers should do a mini London Knights line (i no schremp didnt play with them but work with me) trade cogs for sergei kostitsyn Then have: Schremp-Ganger-S.Kostitsyn and if we could somehow get Kane for schremp it would be a dominating line London had in the 06 season

So, we'll call it "the mini London Knights" line, but 1 of the guys never played for the Knights, and we would have to trade for another guy that used to play on the Knights. Wouldn't it just be easier to call the line something else, and use players we already have?

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#83 Colin
September 13 2009, 10:42PM
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Does anyone know how late the practices/scrimmages go tomorrow? It's a short walk from work for me, so I might catch it at lunch if I can.

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#84 quicksilver ballet
September 13 2009, 11:09PM
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Thanks for the updates of day 1 Jason.

Best morning after tonic is a large Strawberry Banana Smoothie with 6oz's of Vodka......repeat if required.

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#85 rindog
September 13 2009, 11:47PM
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@ Jason Gregor:

Gregs,

My hat is all worn out....

Time for a new one???

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#86 Tayranchula
September 14 2009, 07:39AM
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@ The Menace: Actually all 3 of them played on the Knights Schremp just played on a line with Dave Bolland and someone else a year before Gagner Kane and Kostitsyn ripped it up. And I was just saying wouldnt that be cool

GOD!! work with me haha

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#87 CurtisS
September 14 2009, 08:02AM
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Are we live this morning again???

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#88 jeff
September 14 2009, 08:46AM
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When can we expect some cuts? Seems that there is a few too many guys in camp. Czuy, is that Kelly that played 3 games for us last year in Springfield? Might be time to start cutting ties with some of these local players.

If Schremp continues to show what he is showing in camp does that mean he has a better chance of being picked up off waivers?

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#89 Archaeologuy
September 14 2009, 08:56AM
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@ jeff: Does Schremp have to clear waivers? I thought he was on a 2 way contract and i hadnt heard anything about him needing to clear waivers this year.

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#90 Travis Dakin
September 14 2009, 09:06AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

@ jeff: Does Schremp have to clear waivers? I thought he was on a 2 way contract and i hadnt heard anything about him needing to clear waivers this year.

Yes he does. The thoughts are that the Islanders may take him if he gets sent down. I bet he is just hoping like hell for that. He probably imagines that Rob Schremp hockey would look damn fine with a little Tavares mixed in. Come to thing of it.... That probably would work well.

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#91 jeff
September 14 2009, 09:07AM
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@ Archaeologuy: He has to clear because of age and games played. The two-way just means he gets less money in the minors.

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#92 jeff
September 14 2009, 09:13AM
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@ Travis Dakin: How good would Tavares and Schremp really be though? Haven't they both been questioned for their lack of speed? I guess with Richard Park they might be okay (insert smilie)

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#93 David S
September 14 2009, 09:15AM
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"Rob Schremp hockey" - *spits*

Schremp is a "rubbydub".

God I love pat Quinn already.

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#94 Archaeologuy
September 14 2009, 09:18AM
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jeff wrote:

The two-way just means he gets less money in the minors.

I know what the contract means, i just hadnt heard anything about waivers from anyone other than commenters.

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#95 Johnny MC
September 14 2009, 09:26AM
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I sure if he gets sent down at the start of the season its fine. He would have to go though wavers if called back up.

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#96 NBOilerFan
September 14 2009, 09:37AM
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Gregor, are you keeping us all updated again today?

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#97 jeff
September 14 2009, 10:07AM
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NBOilerFan wrote:

Gregor, are you keeping us all updated again today?

New blog posted.

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