Bygones: Comrie comes home

Robin Brownlee
September 09 2009 08:34PM

comrie-and-duff

To say I never saw a return to the Edmonton Oilers by Mike Comrie coming is to understate in the extreme -- one need only read what I wrote Aug. 19 to see how out to lunch I was on the possibility.

Remember? It was such a ridiculous notion, and for so many reasons, that I wasn't even going to ask MC about it. It made no sense. Too many bad feelings his first time around, when he could have and should have been the hometown hero but turned his back on the Oilers.

And then there was the fit, or lack of same, given the make-up of the roster as it sits going into training camp. And blah, blah, blah . . . At least one of the local dailies agreed, quoting a team source giving a Comrie encore the thumbs down.

Well, as it stands right now, after a 15-minute, face-to-face conversation I had with Comrie this afternoon, I've got to tell you we'd all better get used to the idea of seeing MC in Oilers silks again.

While I'm told there's no deal done as of now and that there's at least one other option for Comrie -- I believe it's the Atlanta Thrashers -- I'd be willing to wager MC will be an Oiler by noon Friday.

In what stands as a classic case of letting bygones be bygones, Comrie and the Oilers have settled their differences to the point where I believe the ink is a formality and the unlikeliest of do-overs will begin when Comrie reports for training camp physicals Saturday.

I think I've got it right this time.

HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?

If you remember the split between Comrie and the Oilers in 2003, a nasty bit of business that included searing ill-will between Comrie, agent Ritch Winter and then-GM Kevin Lowe, then your reaction to the possibility was likely much the same as mine was Aug. 19.

Like, WTF? How is this even possible? What part of the first time didn't everybody understand? What's changed since then? Why would Comrie even entertain returning to a city that's a hockey fishbowl, a city full of avid fans still pissed that he took a stack of bonus money and blew town by forcing a trade to Philadelphia?

In light of the conversation I had with Comrie, plus others in the last week with various people, I'd like to think I've got some insight as to what's at play here and what's changed since I was so wrong three weeks ago. So, let's take a swing at figuring out how and why things have turned 180 degrees since MC waved goodbye six years ago.

BURYING THE HATCHET

First and foremost, the two prime players, Comrie and Lowe, have done some maturing in the six years that have passed.

My sense is that having stepped back from things by moving from GM to president of hockey operations, and with the passage of time, Lowe has grown enough to let go of the bitterness that was obvious in 2003.

Lowe's as passionate a man as you'll ever meet, and he took it as a slight to himself and the organization when Comrie started making noise about being unhappy in Edmonton. The reasons why didn't matter. Lowe played hard-ass, hard-ball back then -- a no-holds barred game that included the request Comrie buy his way out of Edmonton with $2.5 million that would get him a ticket to Anaheim. That game is over now. It's taken six years, but the grudge, and it was a dandy, is gone.

I think it's safe to say Comrie, who was 22 when the split took place, sees things much differently now as well.

Paint Comrie as a spoiled athlete with a sense of entitlement if you will, but I believe his inability to cope with the pressure of playing in his hometown had as much to do with the simple fact he needed time and space to grow up as anything else. Who doesn't? The difference is most of us don’t have to do it in the spotlight he was so uncomfortable in.

As is the case with Lowe, the past six years have provided Comrie some perspective. He's days away from his 29th birthday now. That's not a free pass. At least I think not.

While Comrie angered fans by never stating specific reasons why he wanted out in 2003, he's been quite forthright recently as the days have ticked by and camp has approached. He could've and should've handled some things differently. He's plead guilty to that.

TERMS OF ENDEARMENT

-- As unpopular as Comrie is with some fans, he was well-liked in the dressing room. Everybody remaining from when he last played here -- Shawn Horcoff, Ales Hemsky, Ethan Moreau, Steve Staios and Fernando Pisani -- has voiced support privately, and to team management, about a possible return. If Hemsky and Horcoff et al, say they want Comrie back, it's probably prudent that management listen.

-- Owner Daryl Katz wants this to happen.

And, before you trot out the "meddling owner" routine, it's not altogether unusual for owners to make their wishes known. Many around the NHL do, it's simply matter of degree -- from subtle to all-out arm-twisting.

-- Katz and Mike's dad, Bill, are good friends and I suspect that's at play here, as well. I think it's a shame -- not to be confused with a hockey decision -- Bill Comrie, who has given millions of dollars to charitable causes in this city and been a model citizen, felt compelled to leave town over the level of hostility he felt during the split in 2003.

This is a better city with Bill Comrie in it.

SECOND CHANCES

I don't know if Comrie's best years are ahead of him or behind him, but I do know the Oilers aren't exactly burdened with players who have scored 30 goals in the NHL.

Small players? Yes. Thirty-goal guys? No. I'm still having trouble getting my head around how Pat Quinn is going to fit all these little guys into a line-up that was supposed to get grittier and tougher.

Maybe Comrie on left wing with Horcoff and Hemsky is a start. Maybe Robert Nilsson gets moved. The fit, as I wrote Aug. 19, is something I still don't necessarily see even if Comrie can bounce back from a bad hip.

My guess, even knowing what we know, is that all Comrie has to do to make good on a second chance is, well, be the Mike Comrie on the ice fans here used to cheer for. It'll be a rough ride at first, and that's to be expected, but if he performs, if he delivers the goods, maybe there's a chance for him to have this town by the tail again.

If Comrie and Lowe can set aside their differences, get around what was and focus on what might be, maybe fans should do likewise and give it a chance.

Pulling it off would be one helluva story, no?

-- Listen to Robin Brownlee every Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. on Just A Game with Jason Gregor on Team 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#51 RossCreek
September 09 2009, 09:31PM
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SLURVE wrote:

Perhaps Bill and Daryl are friends

That is some good sleuthing there Robin Brownlee wrote:

Katz and Mike’s dad, Bill, are good friends and I suspect that’s at play here
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#52 Travis Dakin
September 09 2009, 09:32PM
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The Towel Boy wrote:

Wait…this is nuts…Who saw this coming!?!

I think Wanye Gretz did.....

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#53 Gunner
September 09 2009, 09:32PM
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Does this mean Hilary is buying a condo here? I'd love to hit on that at the bar...

I, for one, like this move if it means floaters like Bobby Nil or even say MAP get the punt outta town.

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#54 ScubaSteve
September 09 2009, 09:34PM
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The fit isn't that hard to see, if he has a good camp, maybe he gets some time at 1C, allowing Horc to play on a shutdown line w/ Pisani and Ethan.

If I remember right, Comrie was average at face-offs, and might be a fit at 3C.

Horcoff-Gagner-Comrie down the middle isn't a bad depth chart at center.

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#55 Gunner
September 09 2009, 09:34PM
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And he won't go to ATL because he is still pissed at Kovalchuk for pulling his hair.

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#56 Reggie
September 09 2009, 09:35PM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

Ok well this is Katz’s team and HE does have the cap space and Comrie will be an instant upgrade over a say…. Toby Reddox or an indifferent Bobby Nilsson. If you honestly believe that Tambellini hasn’t made any moves this year because he didn’t want to then you have no clue. Comrie has scored more goals in a season than any other player on this team twice. Once in the dead puck era and he is only now in his prime. He comes cheap and lets you get rid of one of the other underachievers for more assets. And yes, if you would give up your tickets because they signed a player then you are a fair weather fan.

Well, the proof is in the pudding as far as Tambellini goes. Two roster changes from last year. Roli is gone and we have Khabi (yes, I agree it is an upgrade) our only other center who wins more faceoffs than he loses (Brodziak) is shipped out to Minny.

As for Comrie, considering as you say he is now in his prime, his goal totals for the last 3 years are ... 10, 21 and 20. We are not talking about a consistent scorer 30 goal man here. We already have a bunch of under productive forwards who can deliver that kinda pop-gun offence. He is not an upgrade. We do not need him. Simple as that. 10 is Robert Nilsson kinda numbers and we already have him under contract. Why do we need another player with the same challenges ?

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#57 John Daly
September 09 2009, 09:38PM
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Robin I think you should treat the fans with more respect. I saw some fans greet you at a game in a courteous manner and you blew them off. You looked at them like who the heck are you and why should I waste my time. You are a guy who should be a little more humbled and modest!

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#58 Travis Dakin
September 09 2009, 09:38PM
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Reggie wrote:

As for Comrie, considering as you say he is now in his prime, his goal totals for the last 3 years are … 10, 21 and 20. W

Yeah, you're talking about a guy that played for the New York Islanders, Phoenix Coyotes and a really crappy Ottawa Senators team. It's a team game. Not to forget that he has had some injury issues.

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#59 Robin Brownlee
September 09 2009, 09:42PM
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Reggie wrote:

10 is Robert Nilsson kinda numbers and we already have him under contract. Why do we need another player with the same challenges ?

Same challenges? You mean like the indifference and inability to be consistent that is the hallmark of Nilsson's game? And you're cherry picking the stats, Comrie's way more proven than Nilsson, and his 10 goals came in 63 games, many of those played with a bad hip. How many times has Nilsson scored 30 goals? How about 20 goals? I'd lose Nilsson in a heartbeat.

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#60 Gunner
September 09 2009, 09:43PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

I’d lose Nilsson in a heartbeat.

x 1000000.

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#61 Chris
September 09 2009, 09:46PM
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The only way this potential Comrie deal makes sense is if Tambellini chooses his signings by throwing a darts accross the room at the list of available players.

I sincerely hope there are plans already in motion for corresponding complementary moves...(Without Darts)

*shakes head in abject disbelief*

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#62 Robin Brownlee
September 09 2009, 09:47PM
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John Daly wrote:

Robin I think you should treat the fans with more respect. I saw some fans greet you at a game in a courteous manner and you blew them off. You looked at them like who the heck are you and why should I waste my time. You are a guy who should be a little more humbled and modest!

Get serious and get specific. When and where? Last season? Two years ago? Ten? I haven't been "greeted" by any fans at a game in years. I'm downstairs in the writing room or up top in the press box. This reeks of BS. What's your agenda?

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#63 Chris
September 09 2009, 09:48PM
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@ Robin Brownlee:

I assumed Nilsson was probably on his way out even without the additional signing of a smallish, skilled top six forward.

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#64 Reggie
September 09 2009, 09:50PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

And you’re cherry picking the stats, Comrie’s way more proven than Nilsson, and his 10 goals came in 63 games, many of those played with a bad hip.

Yup, a bit of cherry picking stats, I would agree, but Nilsson only played one more game with similar numbers last year. Sure Comrie has scored 30+ twice, but that was 4 seasons ago and 7 years ago. It's not like he is bringing that much more.

When you are up against cap space, why bring in another small forward ? So, you would rather bury Nilsson's salary in the minors or hope he goes on waivers to add Mike Comrie? I really don't see the big upgrade.

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#65 David Staples
September 09 2009, 09:51PM
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OK, great hunch then!

But I'd say you're out there on the tree branch however you slice it, Robin.

It's OK to be out there.

So long as you're right ;)

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#66 Soooray
September 09 2009, 09:52PM
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I think the Oil are stuck with Nilsson and his overpriced contract. It's not like teams will be beating down Tambo's door to pick up his services. What are the options for Nilsson? Send him to the minors? Waivers?

Now I think Comrie is an upgrade for sure, and even though I've booed him I would like to see him get the chance to prove himself again. He has some grit to his game, and that's a lot more than Bobby can offer.

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#67 Paq Twinn
September 09 2009, 09:54PM
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I like it. Comrie may just work here. Again...

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#68 Robin Brownlee
September 09 2009, 09:55PM
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@ Reggie: Let's get this straight. Nilsson has 20 goals in his last three NHL seasons and 26 in 192 games. Comrie has 51 in the last thee seasons and 154 in 525 games and you don't see him as an upgrade? Carry on.

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#69 Smokin' Ray
September 09 2009, 09:56PM
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@ Paq Twinn: When did you get here?

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#70 BK
September 09 2009, 10:03PM
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@ John Daly: John Daly wrote:

Robin I think you should treat the fans with more respect. I saw some fans greet you at a game in a courteous manner and you blew them off.

Yes, and then I saw you PUNCH A LITTLE GIRL AND KICK A PUPPY! Then you and your friend Chris Pronger LAUGHED buhahahha! Before you turned and gave the finger to all the fans and jumped into your Calgary Flames Red Firebird and tore outa the parking lot!

Good Call John Daly! With clear evidence like yours and mine we can show EVERYONE why Robin Brownlee is such a jerk! Who cares if he can scoop every writer in the NHL, and still write creatively, HE'S A MEANIE!

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#71 Reggie
September 09 2009, 10:10PM
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@ Robin Brownlee: Robin, in the past two seasons Comrie had 10-17 for 27 pts in 63 games last year and then 21-28 for 49 points in 76 games the season before.

Nilsson had 9-20 for 29 in 64 games last year and 10-31 for 41 in 71 games the season before.

Seems to me if you want to talk about NHL experience, yes Comrie brings more experience. But head to head in points we are not talking like Comrie brought so much more to the table.

Don't get me wrong, Nilsson has consistency issues and his lack of effort is killing his career. I really don't believe Comrie is an upgrade.

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#72 quicksilver ballet
September 09 2009, 10:11PM
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I admire Mike for having the courage to even want to give Alberta another chance, i hope nothing but the best will come in his second tour of duty here.

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#73 Mike
September 09 2009, 10:12PM
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@ Robin Brownlee:

Deep Oil and I want to take you and your short arms to lunch next week. Whats your schedule like? Or will you be too busy playing sidekick with Stauffer (I hope so).

But seriously. Deep Oil and I are buds. He speaks highly of you and we should go some time for lunch. Tell him that Mike wants some sports talk at the Moose Factory next week.

Deep Oil can buy.

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#74 Travis Dakin
September 09 2009, 10:14PM
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Reggie wrote:

Robin, in the past two seasons Comrie had 10-17 for 27 pts in 63 games last year and then 21-28 for 49 points in 76 games the season before.

Do you even read the replies to you? Comrie was injured last year and played on crap teams. You really do believe that Nilsson is a better option? He makes more than what Comrie is going to make also.

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#75 Mike 76
September 09 2009, 10:18PM
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Reggie wrote:

Just note Mr. Katz, here is my first warning from a season ticket holder. Sign Comrie, combine it with another playoff miss and you will have two more seats to sell in the summer/fall of 2010. I just have to say … why ? why ? why ?

Reggie, you are obviously living in the 90;s. There is a waiting list 10 miles long for your seats. Give them up and somebody would pay double what you are paying just to have that pair of seats, so find a better warning to throw at Katz like you won;t buy Rexall branded drugs or something, but your oilers seats are good as gone if you give them up.

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#76 Gerald R. Ford
September 09 2009, 10:25PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

I’d lose Nilsson in a heartbeat.

HALF a heartbeat. I've got the Presidential limo gassed up, waiting to drive him to the airport. Although, I might just kick his ass out the door somewhere past Ellerslie Road, and make him walk the rest of the way...

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#77 quicksilver ballet
September 09 2009, 10:29PM
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Mike 76 wrote:

Reggie, you are obviously living in the 90;s. There is a waiting list 10 miles long for your seats. Give them up and somebody would pay double what you are paying just to have that pair of seats, so find a better warning to throw at Katz like you won;t buy Rexall branded drugs or something, but your oilers seats are good as gone if you give them up.

I agree with your train of thought going into this season but with jobs getting washed away like sand on the beach this won't be the case for the 2010-2011 season. That list is currently only one Kilometer long instead of ten miles like you projected. The new building downtown is going to be a great boost for Edmonton but in 4-5 years it'll only be at 75% capacity if we even have a competitive team.

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#78 Teufel
September 09 2009, 10:36PM
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Personally, I'd like to see Comrie come back as it'll make for more intense competition for ice time. Guys should be playing like their job depends on it, rather than the lack luster heartless effort they put out for the majority of last season.

Comrie is a proven NHL player and it may do some good to finally bring some closure to the ordeal from a few years ago. If Comrie is willing to come back despite all of the BS then there's a good chance other players will be more willing to take a shot playing here too, especially with MacT out of the picture and Lowe further behind the scenes.

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#79 Rich
September 09 2009, 10:46PM
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Could someone lend me a parka?

sincerely, SATAN

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#80 Korruption
September 09 2009, 10:54PM
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Nilsson is good as gone with this move. If JFJ shows up at camp and is healthy and hungry then there just isnt any room for him.

I booed Comrie for 6 years... Like really booed... I mean 6 rexall gong pop booed. I may have called him something nasty too. Will he ever forgive me?

Oh well... if you go to United Cycle off Whyte they had a rack of Comrie jerseys on sale for 80% off 2 weeks ago!! SIGNED! Honestly!

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#81 Travis Dakin
September 09 2009, 10:56PM
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Rich wrote:

Could someone lend me a parka? sincerely, SATAN

HAHAHA well done.

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#82 quicksilver ballet
September 09 2009, 11:03PM
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Wouldn't mind sending Nilsson to the Preds for TooToo

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#83 Ogden Brother
September 09 2009, 11:09PM
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It's a sad sady day in Oiler land (baring 1-2 moves complementing this)

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#84 Ogden Brother
September 09 2009, 11:12PM
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RossCreek wrote:

Sad to see this as I had hoped the Flames would show interest. Comrie-Horcoff-Hemsky Penner-Gagner-O’Sullivan Nilsson-Cogliano-Pisani Moreau-Brule-Stortini

THat third line gets two thumbs down from me.

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#85 Dino
September 09 2009, 11:14PM
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@ Reggie: One thing you need to consider in all of this is that the players mentioned by Robin went to management to get them to bring Comrie in. If you can unload Nilsson and bring in Comrie for less money, and likely with only a one year deal, in my mind that's an upgrade.

I'd prefer the 6'4" - 225 lbs winger that's tough to play against and can make D-men pay the price in the corners and can score 20 - 25 goals, but clearly those guys don't grow on trees or Tambo would have made the deal already.

I go back to the guys in the room wanting him there, and that for me is enough. You can't underestimate that. Would they go to bat like that for Nilsson? I doubt it.

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#86 GSC
September 09 2009, 11:15PM
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The Oilers can't sign Comrie and dump Nilsson fast enough.

Cheaper, proven scoring on the 2nd line vs. the inconsistent gongshow that is the Magic Man's Kid...is this really an issue for some fans?

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#87 Petr Klima
September 09 2009, 11:17PM
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On August 28, we read the following from Mr Brownlee. I love this column and check it daily. In addition, I loved Mike Comrie and his creative offensive talent years ago. During that time, my wife put a picture of him on the fridge next to a picture of me with a big heart around us. Still this bothers me.

The post from Mr Brownlee below makes sense - the last thing the Oil need is another peewee forward who doesn't address the team's current (or future) needs.

As I read this article and the corresponding comments, I can't help but wonder - how is it that once it this acquisition appears to be a reality, all the perpetual Edmonton homer optimists have had a change of heart and are now celebrating?

Will anyone in this city ever hold Oil management accountable for the poor job they are doing? We thought Lowe was bad. Great start Tambellini.

Also, the comments ridiculing season ticket holders for voting with their season seats is immature and laughable. How else should Oiler fans have their voices heard? I don't think the Oilers brass are crawling through our comments here. Anyone lining up to buy season seats at this time, for this team, must have moved from Toronto, or had too much frostbite as a kid.

Here's a copy/paste of a portion of the Aug 28 post:

"Given the stated need by Tambellini at the end of last season to make the roster grittier and tougher to play against, I can’t see, from a hockey-ops point of view, how he or Lowe could possibly be on board with a move to add Comrie to the mix. I’d love to jab both of them in the butt with a syringe of truth serum right now.

How does adding Comrie, even at a reasonable salary of, say, $1.5 million, and putting aside his diminishing points totals in recent seasons, address the needs of a roster that includes Sam Gagner, Andrew Cogliano, Robert Nilsson and Patrick O’Sullivan and has missed the playoffs in three straight seasons?"

What gives?

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#88 Tayranchula
September 09 2009, 11:22PM
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If Comrie does come to EDM, I wouldnt mind seeing Cogs get traded while his value is higher than ever. He is absolutely terrible at winning faceoffs but doesnt feel comfortable playing the wing? If they could trade him for a player that could potentially fill the first line LW or get some size and grit that can score (a player like Hartnel) then Im all for it. Get Comrie. Have Nilson take Cogs spot on the wing. Nilson has a ton of talent just needs to find his stride and Im rather sure he will this year under a new staff of coaches. and have EDM Centre depth look something like this Comrie Gagner Horcoff Brule thats a rather gnarly centre core.

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#89 Robin Brownlee
September 09 2009, 11:26PM
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@ Petr Klima:

And from today's item: "Small players? Yes. Thirty-goal guys? No. I’m still having trouble getting my head around how Pat Quinn is going to fit all these little guys into a line-up that was supposed to get grittier and tougher."

I still don't get the thiking behind it from a roster point of view, but just because I have my doubts doesn't mean I'm going to ignore what is clearly interest from both sides in getting this done or that my instincts tell me a deal is imminent.

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#90 MrOiler
September 09 2009, 11:29PM
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Robin,

This is a much better/reasoned article than the one the other day - i.e. "the Katz is behind all of this" article.

The Oil don't have an abundance of 30 goal guys. This is a move up. At the right price, this is a hell of a deal. Move a couple of players and it can be balanced out. A couple of players step up and it can be balanced out.

It happens every single NHL season: teams exceed expectations.

I am also in huge agreement with the statement that this city IS better with Bill Comrie in its corner. That alone is worth the deal, but there's much more to it than this. Mike Comrie is an upgrade on what we have.

Give me a big glass for the koolaid - this team will make the playoffs. I'll call 6th place. There's a lot of pride in this organization. They will battle hard. Surprise will be the expression of choice for many fans this year. :-)

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#91 Jonathan Willis
September 09 2009, 11:30PM
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Possibly of interest to the crowd willing to drive Nilsson to the airport (by pitchfork, if necessary):

Word is that winger Robert Nilsson has put on 15 pounds of muscle with some strenuous summer training.

- Jim Matheson

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#92 OpenAir
September 09 2009, 11:32PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Possibly of interest to the crowd willing to drive Nilsson to the airport (by pitchfork, if necessary): Word is that winger Robert Nilsson has put on 15 pounds of muscle with some strenuous summer training. - Jim Matheson

That's good to hear, but there's no reason to believe he'll show up and play more than 30% of the time.

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#93 misfit
September 09 2009, 11:32PM
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I've been away from most things Oilers for a while now, ducking in here and there to read and sometimes comment on what's being discussed, so forgive my surprise that Comrie to the Oilers is still being talked about as an actual possibility.

I trust that Brownlee wouldn't say such things if there wasn't a reason for it (ie. there's some fire behind all this smoke), but God help us if we ever see him on the top line with Horcoff and Hemsky should he actually once again don Oiler silks.

And the fact that he's a small guy doesn't even factor into it for me. I couldn't care less if we added a guy under 6'. What this team needs (and will still need after it adds Comrie) is someone who can kill penalties, and take on a defensive role hopefully winning more FOs than he loses along the way. Let's fill the actual holes in the roster before we upgrade an area of abundance (soft minute offensive center), shall we?

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#94 SportLife » BYGONES: COMRIE COMES HOME
September 09 2009, 11:37PM
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[...] should have been the hometown hero but turned his back on the Oilers. And then there was the fit, o Go to Source Leave a comment Related PostsSeptember 9, 2009 -- ANAHEIM DUCKS 2009/2010 SEASON PREVIEW [...]

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#95 Korruption
September 09 2009, 11:37PM
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I, like many of my Oiler brothers and sisters will be waiting patiently on the fence for the other shoe to drop. Its tough to criticize a move that makes no sense.

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#96 Petr Klima
September 09 2009, 11:38PM
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@ Robin Brownlee:

No argument on thirty goal guys, I'll give you that. And further I understand that this article is more about reporting news than determining whether this is the right move.

My disappointment is primarily rooted in the general fan base, which seems to rewrite history and make excuses for poor management decisions. At times the Oiler fans seem to wear optimism as a badge of honour in the comments sections of these great blogs.

I don't think anyone thought this was a great move for the Oil a week ago, but having just read the 80-something comments on this post I get a sense of hysteria over the fact that Tambellini did something.

Too much optimism in general which is further tainted by emotive critiques of skeptics. If I had season seats, I think I'd sell them - but I'd keep the rights, just to piss off Mike 76 ;).

Keep up the great work, I love this blog.

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#97 Gunner
September 09 2009, 11:41PM
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@ Jonathan Willis: That wasn't his problem. His problem is that he takes way too many shifts off. The effort just wasn't there on a consistent basis at all.

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#98 misfit
September 09 2009, 11:43PM
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That's an interesting (and encouraging) note on Nilsson, JW, but Rovert's problem was never that he wasn't big/strong/smart/skilled/talented enough to be effective in the NHL. He had the physical ability to get the job done already. What he needs is a little bit of work ethic. He wasn't cut, traded, and then benched and demoted by two different teams over a 3 year span because he wasn't strong enough.

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#99 Jonathan Willis
September 09 2009, 11:47PM
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@ Gunner: @ OpenAir:

Still, it seems reasonable to say that a guy who goes all out during the summer has committed himself, doesn't it?

My personal opinion is that while Nilsson's a nice option to have - and has a much better chance at an NHL career than many prospects that set people's hearts a-flutter - something has to give, particularly if Comrie comes aboard. He's easily behind Gagner, O'Sullivan and Cogliano on the list of useful small forwards.

I understand the rationale behind trading him. I'm just not excited about the possibility.

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#100 misfit
September 09 2009, 11:48PM
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On a side note, I know she's a big star and all, but is it possible to have an entry about Comrie without a picture of Hillary Duff?

If he was dating Liz Hurley, or Salma Hayek, I would understand, and I definitely wouldn't be complaining, but come on.

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