September 23 2009 10:31AM
It’s a very fine Wednesday in Edmonton. The temperature is expected to hit 33 degrees, gymnasts are jumping off of incredible crap in the video above, we are still aflutter from the Keith Urban concert we attended last night and speculation about the state of the Oilers is starting to ramp up. Tis a very fine Wednesday indeed.
Jim Matheson has a review of the Oilers in the preseason to date and there are some interesting tidbits of information that can be gleaned from the article. He suggests that the youth at camp are making a name for themselves and this problem is further exacerbated by the fact that some veterans aren’t playing up to snuff:
“The sound you hear is the clock ticking and the theme song from the TV show Jeopardy playing. Time is running out and Edmonton Oilers coach Pat Quinn has to find some answers, and soon. So far, his young players have played better than his veterans, in a lot of cases. See Eberle, Jordan. See Stone, Ryan. See Jacques, J. F. Rick Olczyk, who has the calculator out every day as the team's salary cap guru, has made out several possible roster cards with wages to make sure they are under the$56.8-million cap ceiling. They are over it, if you take last year's roster, subtracting Dwayne Roloson's $3.66-milion cap hit and adding Nikolai Khabibulin's$3.75 million and Mike Comrie's $1.25-million salary. Something has to give by the Oct. 1 deadline for declaring rosters. If Eberle makes it at $1.187 million, rather than going back to the Regina Pats, and Stone stays at $600,000, rather than hike off to Springfield in the American Hockey League, that's fine and dandy for the fiscal situation. But if Eberle makes it, Robert Nilsson might not and he has two years left at $2 million a season. If Stone makes it, that helps with the dollars, but if he's in, where does that put right winger Fernando Pisani, who makes $2.5 million on the last year of a four-year contract? Could a popular local guy who scored five game-winners in the Oilers' 2006 Stanley Cup run be in trouble? Some veterans aren't staying if some kids make it.”
We know from watching Brownlee operate these past two seasons that the wily veteran reporters will often couch fact in speculation and articles like these are often signs of things to come. The fact that Nilsson is considered to be on the bubble isn’t the craziest thing we have ever heard. Readers of the Nation have been calling for his head since mid way through the 1998 season, despite the notable handicap of being only 13 years old at the time.
But this business of Pisani? We can’t understand how the 2006 Cup run Hero, a guy who has recently suffered a bout of well documented illnesses, can be considered on the bubble. Is his play really falling that far below expectations?
Quotes that entertain
Willis threw down a plain ol' quote yesterday, something that we didn’t know we could just throw out there like that. So for your consideration, we present a pair of equally entertaining quotes we have read recently.
“ Dustin Penner , who became the whipping boy for Oiler Nation frustration last winter, says he imbibed a few less "wheat-based drinks" over the summer, and has reported to training camp lighter (although he won't say by how much).”
Heh heh heh. Oiler Nation indeed. It’s a shame that DP hasn’t been lighting the world on fire with his ice hockey game play. His disdain for talking to reporters produces some hilarious replies to the generic questions posed of the big man. Quick thought though. You seem to enjoy entertaining people Dustin. That fantastic. Know what would put a smile on Oilers fans from coast to coast? Playing better hockey. Yeah, that might win you some more fans. As much as we love the stand up comedy every time you get a microphone in the face, perhaps you could take time out of your Yuk Yuks circuit to pot a few goals this season.
“Pat Quinn was asked if there was any danger in Jordan Eberle being the best player in the preseason so far. Quinn: (Laughing) absolutely there is. It’s like taking a green tomato and wanting to make a salad out of it.”
These folksy quotes from Pat Quinn are starting to grow on us. This homespun wisdom is exactly what the Oilers need. Green tomatoes indeed you delightful chap. You whip this team into shape you son of a gun.
Got a text from the Oilers
Anyone else get a text from the Oilers last night? We sure did:
OIL FANS: B there when ur Oilers play the Flames on Wed and the Canucks on Sun. Get tix online @ edmontonoilers.com now!
What on earth? “B?”“ur?”“tix?”“Canucks?” How on earth did the Oilers get our phone number!? Does sexy texting Sheldon Souray at 345 AM every Saturday somehow qualify us for this texting database? Cause we didn’t sign up for this service. We like hearing from our local hockey squadron as much as the next guy, don't get us wrong. But this text from heaven is just bizarre.
Damn Oilers and their mind control devices. How did they know that we want tickets to the game on Sunday? It's just plain creepy.