Around the league - Jan 14, 2010

Jason Gregor
January 14 2010 09:24AM

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve penned ATL and some interesting and surprising things have occurred in the hockey world.

In Canada, the announcement of the Olympic men’s hockey team was debated heavily. I was surprised to read that the biggest outcry, outside of Flames fans moaning about the exclusion of all of their big-three D-men, was that Mike Green didn’t make the team.

Many said he was the best offensive D-man, especially as the quarterback on the powerplay. Green is a great on the powerplay and in the offensive zone, and his 46 points is tops amongst D-men. But he has 22 points on the PP, while Drew Doughty has 20 PP points for the Kings. Dan Boyle has 19, Pronger 16, Niedermayer 15, Weber 14, Keith 11 and Seabrook has six.

The Capitals have scored 43 PP goals and Green has been in on 51% of their PP goals. The Kings have 36 PP goals and Doughty has been in on 55% of them. Green plays with Alex Ovechkin, Alex Semin and Nick Backstrom on the PP, while Doughty has Anze Kopitar, Alex Frolov and when healthy Jarret Stoll and Ryan Smyth.

I like Green, but few realize how good Doughty is. His defensive game is much better than Green’s and when you look at his offence on the powerplay, don’t be surprised to see Doughty on the PP at times in the Olympics.

I was surprised Jay Bouwmeester didn’t make it, but his lack of playoff experience was probably the deciding factor. The only year he’s ever played in the playoffs was during the lockout when he played 18 games with the Chicago Wolves and registered ZERO points. In seven NHL seasons and three WHL seasons he hasn’t played in the postseason, and I have to think that was a major reason he was excluded. Not to mention no points in 18 AHL playoff games.

I’m still stunned that Patrice Bergeron made the team, but clearly Yzerman and company had good reason to choose him; I just don’t see it. His broken thumb should only keep him out another week, so barring another injury he will be in Vancouver on the 15th of February.

In the NHL Micheal Leighton is playing out of his mind in Philadelphia. He is 8-0-1 with the Flyers (although he was pulled v. Ottawa but got a no decision) and has a 2.22 GAA and a .925 SV%. I’d be stunned if he kept it up because prior to this season he’d never won more than six games and has been mostly a minor leaguer. With Ray Emery set to return the Flyers have to waive Leighton or Boucher. I think Peter Laviolette’s best option right now is to play Leighton until he comes back to reality.

Before Christmas the LA Kings were four points behind San Jose in the Pacific division and comfortably in the playoffs. Three weeks later they are 14 points behind them and precariously close to falling out of the playoffs with the Red Wings a point behind while the surging Wild is only two back. The Kings might need a shake up... Souray anyone?

Ice women of the week

Here is a photo that should cover everyone’s taste; Ginger, blonde, brunette and dark hair. The Panthers actually have 21 ice dancers, and they need all of them to keep the fans entertained because once again it looks like the Panthers won’t make the playoffs.

Candra, Sophia, Kelli (Assistant Director), Tere, Monica, Simona

Random thoughts

Can you name the four first overall picks that won the Calder Trophy and are now in the Hall of Fame? (answer at bottom)

  • I believe that Stephane Auger said something close to what Alexandre Burrows accused him of, but I’m more interested in what the league, or more importantly director of officiating Terry Gregson, said to Auger. I doubt we will ever know, but when the playoff assignments are handed out if Auger is there I’d be stunned. This was a case of he said he said, so it would have been impossible to convict Auger, but I doubt Burrows’ fabricated the entire story, so the league can quietly punish Auger by not giving him any playoff games. We’ll find out in April.
  • Blues new head coach, Davis Payne, seemed like a surprise choice until you looked at his resume. In seven seasons in the ECHL he compiled an impressive 289-142-45 record. He won a Kelly Cup Championship in 2006, and became only the second coach in ECHL history to get his team to the final four in three consecutive seasons. He’s paid his dues. And under the “did you know file”: The Oilers drafted him 140th overall in 1989. He ended up playing 22 games for Bruins over two seasons and registered one assist.
  • The Flames have scored more than three goals only once in their last 21 games. I don’t see them going anywhere in the playoffs if they can’t score. Only Phoenix has scored fewer goals amongst western playoff teams. I know the Flames rely on the defensive zone coverage and goaltending to win, but if they can’t score they won’t be able to shut down Chicago or San Jose and the Avalanche own them. Darryl Sutter has to be looking for some offence in the next six weeks, and if he wants a true scorer he might have to dangle Phaneuf or Regehr.
  • Currently Carolina is the only Eastern organization that has never had a first overall pick in the NHL entry draft. But Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, San Jose, Anaheim, Minnesota and Nashville have yet to have the first pick. The Oilers could become the first western Canadian team to have the first pick this summer.
  • Colorado, Phoenix, Dallas and New Jersey haven’t had the first pick in their current city but the Nordiques, Jets, North Stars and Rockies did.
  • The Kings have had one first overall pick and he was a bust. They chose Rick Pagnutti in 1967, and he never played a game in the NHL.
  • In the last 20 years the only first picks that became busts were Alexandre Daigle (1993) and Patrick Stefan (1999). Some might argue that Rick DiPietro is a bust, but injuries have been his demise.
  • Henrik Sedin is the leading candidate to win the Hart trophy and that could be the biggest surprise of the season. If you asked any hockey fan, media member, player, coach or GM to submit a list of their ten favourites to win at the start of the season I doubt he would have been on anyone’s list. Up until this season it was always Henrik and Daniel, rarely did you talk about one without the other. But Henrik’s play has everyone’s attention and I’m stunned how well he has played.
  • The Anaheim Ducks have inquired about Ethan Moreau. They have won five straight and are only four points behind the 8th place Kings. The Ducks have room to add Moreau’s salary which today would roughly be an $860,000 cap hit. It isn’t imminent but the Ducks have made some calls.

Leader through the season

Here are the top ten in pts, goals, assists and other stats.

Goals:
31: Patrick Marleau
30: Sidney Crosby
28: Alex Ovechkin and Marian Gaborik
27: Dany Heatley
26: Ilya Kovalchuk
25: Steven Stamkos
21: Jarome Iginla and Dustin Penner
20: Henrik Sedin, Alex Burrows, Zach Parise, Bobby Ryan and Mike Cammalleri
***Rick Nash hasn’t scored a goal in three weeks. Alex Burrows has nine goals in his last five games***

Assists:
49: Joe Thornton
44: Henrik Sedin
40: Martin St. Louis
39: Brad Richards
36: Tomas Plekanec
35: Tomas Kaberle
34: Mike Green
28: Nicklas Backstrom, Paul Stastny, Patrick Kane Ryan Getzlaf and Duncan Keith
***Plekanec hasn’t had an assist in three weeks****

Points:
64: H. Sedin
60: Thornton
57: Crosby and Ovechkin
54: Gaborik
52: Backstrom, Kane, St.Louis and B. Richards
51: Heatley
***H. Sedin has 17 points in his last ten games***

Plus/Minus:
+26: Jeff Schultz
+23: Ovechkin
+22: Parise and Brent Seabrook
+19: Jonathon Toews, Christian Ehrhoff, Chris Pronger and Burrows
+18: H.Sedin, Marleau, Matt Carle and Brian Campbell
*** Rod Brind’Amour has relinquished the Green Jacket as Patrick O’Sullivan and Shawn Horcoff have moved into the lead tied at -21. Brind’amour and Richard Park sit at -20.

PP Goals:
Twelve: Gaborik
Eleven: Heatley
Nine: Ryan Smyth, Steven Stamkos, Mike Richards and Kovalchuk
Eight: John Tavares, Niclas Bergfors, Andrew Brunette, Mason Raymond, Crosby and Marleau

Hits:
182: Cal Clutterbuck
163: Stephane Robidas
161: Dustin Brown
159: Ryan Callahan
149: Steve Ott
147: Brooks Orpik
144: Matt Greene
141: Doug Murray
138: Brendan Morrow
137: Chris Neil

Shots:
203: Ovechkin
200: Parise
191: Jeff Carter
182: Crosby
178: Rick Nash
167: Phil Kessel, Evgeni Malkin and Marleau
166: Gaborik
162: Radim Vrbata

***Answer: The four first overall picks who have won the Calder and are in th Hall of Fame... Gilbert Perreault, Denis Potvin, Dale Hawerchuk and Mario Lemieux.***

Final Points

There are only three teams who look completely out of the race today; Oilers, Hurricanes and Leafs. The Blues and Blue Jackets are on the edge, but the rest of the non-playoff teams are only four points out. With so many teams still in the hunt, you have to think Jim Rutherford, Steve Tambellini and Brian Burke are fielding lots of calls. It sounds like we might see some trades prior to the Olympic break, so the players will get some extra practice days before the NHL resumes in March.

I don’t want answers in the posts today, but I’m curious what your expectations are from a reporter/media member/blogger in ethical situations. Think about it, remember the question and I will let you know why in a week or so.

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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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#1 Matt Henderson
January 14 2010, 09:35AM
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Heard Tambi this morning on the radio. My confidence in him is sinking faster than a pierced wang in the bathtub.

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#2 Ender
January 14 2010, 09:39AM
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All that great content, and the only thing that elicits comment is how much we've missed the Ice Girls. Welcome back, ATL!

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#3 GSP
January 14 2010, 09:41AM
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Gregor...is there a trade freeze during the olympic break? If so, when is it in effect and how much time after the olympic break is there until the trade deadline?

Like always, love the weekly update :)

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#4 Chris
January 14 2010, 09:45AM
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Not sure if anyone has posted this before, but here is a brief glimpse into what K Lowe thinks about the current state of the Oilers... http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/columns/story?columnist=lebrun_pierre&id=4822342

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#5 Travis Dakin
January 14 2010, 09:49AM
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Ginger.... YES PLEASE!

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#6 TigerUnderGlass
January 14 2010, 09:51AM
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The Anaheim Ducks have inquired about Ethan Moreau.

Done. I don't care what they are offering as long as no salary comes back.

I don't have the anger towards Moreau that a lot of people seem to have, but it is well past time to start looking towards clearing cap space and adding some flexibility to the decision making process.

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#7 BigE91
January 14 2010, 09:51AM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

Heard Tambi this morning on the radio. My confidence in him is sinking faster than a pierced wang in the bathtub.

That's pretty funny.

I just wonder how effective a GM he would be if managemet cut Pinnochio's strings?

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#8 Dyckster
January 14 2010, 09:52AM
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Awesome post Jason.

"Ginger" what a great nickname for the beloved Redheads. Never gets old.

I totally agree with the Doughty over Green choice. But how much emphasis should be placed on the fact that Washington's PP% is 4 points better than LA's? 24.6 compared to 20.2

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#9 MattL
January 14 2010, 09:56AM
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Holy cow, was that Mark Connoly asking the tough questions at the Tambo presser? All the reporters stepped it up from what I could hear. Too bad Tambo's such a good dancer, but I don't think anyone can argue the media didn't do their job.

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#10 Dan the Man
January 14 2010, 09:56AM
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GSP wrote:

Gregor...is there a trade freeze during the olympic break? If so, when is it in effect and how much time after the olympic break is there until the trade deadline?

Like always, love the weekly update :)

The NHL Olympic trade freeze runs from 12 midnight Friday Feb. 12 to 12 midnight Sunday Feb. 28.

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#11 Hemmercules
January 14 2010, 09:56AM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:
The Anaheim Ducks have inquired about Ethan Moreau.

Done. I don't care what they are offering as long as no salary comes back.

I don't have the anger towards Moreau that a lot of people seem to have, but it is well past time to start looking towards clearing cap space and adding some flexibility to the decision making process.

Somebody actually wants thecaptainethanmoreau!? Don't wait on that deal, get it done Tambo you useless waste of a GM.

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#12 TigerUnderGlass
January 14 2010, 09:56AM
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@Dyckster

Not much. The point is that their power play production is comparable however Doughty is significantly better defensively.

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#13 OvenChicken8 - Team JSBM
January 14 2010, 09:57AM
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That +/- stat of POS and Horcoff just makes me sick to my stomach. If we traded Moreau to the Ducks what kind of return would we be looking at? Maybe a newly acquired Chipchura, ~he takes stupid penalties and is a minus 14 so you'd think he'd fit in here well right!~

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#14 Dan the Man
January 14 2010, 09:58AM
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Someone is asking about Moreau? ....really? Seriously though, do you think he'll need a ride to the airport?

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#15 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 14 2010, 10:01AM
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"The Anaheim Ducks have inquired about Ethan Moreau"

Wait, what? I'm constantly told Moreau (along with half the rest of the team) was "unmovable".

Lets please put an end to that people.

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#16 Dyckster
January 14 2010, 10:03AM
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Dan the Man wrote:

Someone is asking about Moreau? ....really? Seriously though, do you think he'll need a ride to the airport?

Hell, I'd biggy back the guy to Anaheim.

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#17 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 14 2010, 10:06AM
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I pick the girl that isn't showing her teeth.

And x2 to Original's post. I don't expect much for Moreau, but there is a market for him.

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#18 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 14 2010, 10:07AM
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Interesting that now Auger had nothing to do with the Doan incident, he was just doing his job and went to the time keepers box.

Now Boogard is saying that Vigneault is pulling a Crawford?

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#19 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 14 2010, 10:18AM
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I don’t want answers in the posts today, but I’m curious what your expectations are from a reporter/media member/blogger in ethical situations. Think about it, remember the question and I will let you know why in a week or so.

With the amount of booze that I will be drinking while watching the Oilers I may forget the question by tomorrow.

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#20 Rigger
January 14 2010, 10:23AM
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If anyone is asking about Moreau then we should pull the damn pin. Get whatever you can for him, his attitude is asinine and his time here should be done sooner rather than later. Tambi is a fool if he doesn't try to make that happen.

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#21 Evil Ginger
January 14 2010, 10:24AM
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as for the ice girls as a fellow ginger i did not know our pale skinned kind could survive in florida. She must live at the rink.... and here is what i heard from six reliable sources from four diff countries moreau 2nd rounder 2010 for bobby ryan and a 4th rounder. just doing my eklund for today

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#22 Maverick
January 14 2010, 10:27AM
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If Tambo can get anything for Captain penalty he should be doing that right now.

What have been the captains latest quotes?

"I don't like to get hit when it's 6-2"

"The penalty killers need to do their jobs"

and then the headline of an article in the journal this morning

"Moreau not concered with penalties"

What a douche bag, get him outta here, Captain my a**

p.s. Tambo, show us you know what your job description is you useless excuse for a GM

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#23 Dyckster
January 14 2010, 10:28AM
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There's one small fact that makes me think some/all of Burrow's claims are false. Why would he wait til the game was over before saying anything? Wouldn't a player in that situation want to advise his coach of the Auger's apparent quest for retribution?

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#24 Lofty
January 14 2010, 10:28AM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:
The Anaheim Ducks have inquired about Ethan Moreau.

Done. I don't care what they are offering as long as no salary comes back.

I don't have the anger towards Moreau that a lot of people seem to have, but it is well past time to start looking towards clearing cap space and adding some flexibility to the decision making process.

I just puked in my mouth.

How do they not make the trade/dump?

I'll drive him to the airport.

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#25 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 14 2010, 10:36AM
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Lofty wrote:

I just puked in my mouth.

How do they not make the trade/dump?

I'll drive him to the airport.

It is possible that right now maybe Ana wants us to take someone in return that we may not want.

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#26 Chaz
January 14 2010, 10:39AM
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Jason,

I think it's unethical of you to ask us to remember a question for over a week. We are after all children of the Internet era and therefore have the attention spans of an easily distracted Gnat. Just sayin'...

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#27 postal
January 14 2010, 10:57AM
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Lofty, I you drive Moreau to the airport I'll spring for the gas money. Don't let the door hit you on the way out Ethan. Let's not let his community involvement cloud our judgement. Great guy for charities but his time has run its course here.

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#28 Bob Cobb
January 14 2010, 11:02AM
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Anahiem would be a perfect fit, at least he would have a reason to wear a tinted visor if he lived in sunny southern California.

When did Moreau say "I dont like to hit when its 6-2"?, and was he referring to the score or the height of the guy that he was going to hit?

Just for the record the Ice Girl not showing her teeth is my choice too, mind you I wouldn't say no to any of them.

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#29 SirFozz
January 14 2010, 11:09AM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

Heard Tambi this morning on the radio. My confidence in him is sinking faster than a pierced wang in the bathtub.

Haha, nice analogy.

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#30 roughneck
January 14 2010, 11:10AM
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Evil Ginger wrote:

as for the ice girls as a fellow ginger i did not know our pale skinned kind could survive in florida. She must live at the rink.... and here is what i heard from six reliable sources from four diff countries moreau 2nd rounder 2010 for bobby ryan and a 4th rounder. just doing my eklund for today

~is bobby ryan any good?~

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#31 Maverick
January 14 2010, 11:12AM
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Moreau's pussy comment about not getting hit was during the Vancouver game (I believe) when he was hit into the boards, the score was 6-2 and he then reacted by cross-checking the guy who hit him in the back of the head, taking yet another retarded penalty in the offensive zone.

Ever sense he put that visor on he's played softer than Nick Backstrom during a fight.

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#32 Lofty
January 14 2010, 11:15AM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

It is possible that right now maybe Ana wants us to take someone in return that we may not want.

Like who?

I dont really see anyone that would hurt the Oil.

It has to be a forward and other than Perry, Getzlaf and Lupul the rest of the ducks contracts are managable or short (lots of UFA's and RFA's.)

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#33 JorgeR
January 14 2010, 11:19AM
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So if we drop below Carolina tonight and Philly does waive Micheal Leighton we get first grab on him right?

Also, that first comment has disgusted me. I need to take another bath. Uh I mean no no no

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#34 Trenton L
January 14 2010, 11:21AM
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Please God let the Ducks take Moreau!!!!

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#35 Chaz
January 14 2010, 11:22AM
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After almost having his eye carved out of it's socket, isn't it a bit unethical to question Moreau's decision to wear a visor? Question his play, his accountibility and leadership qualities, but going after him for wearing a visor? That's too much. The guy has a wife and kids to think about and after a close call like he had, I think his decision to wear one is understandable.

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#36 BigE91
January 14 2010, 11:23AM
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~The Oilers cancelled their trip to Palm Springs/California nullifying any Ethan Moreau to the Ducks-Disneyland passes to the Oilers trade.

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#37 Maverick
January 14 2010, 11:31AM
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I'm not questioning as to why he is wearing a visor, I was commenting on how his play has changed since putting the thing on.

Read before commenting

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#38 Racki
January 14 2010, 11:34AM
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Oh snap.. pleeeeasee... please ship off Moreau to the Ducks. I don't care what they give us in return (as long as it isn't a bad contract).

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#39 Senator Theo
January 14 2010, 11:34AM
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~Maybe if we toss in Comrie we can get another shot at Corey Perry. ~

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#40 Senator Theo
January 14 2010, 11:37AM
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Who am I kidding - they could give us Corey Haim back and I'd be pumped about this deal.

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#41 Lofty
January 14 2010, 11:37AM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

Heard Tambi this morning on the radio. My confidence in him is sinking faster than a pierced wang in the bathtub.

What radio station was he on... i would like to look it up.

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#42 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
January 14 2010, 11:38AM
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@Maverick

Read before commenting

doesnt that go against the very fabric the internet message board was built upon?

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#43 Rigger
January 14 2010, 11:40AM
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Senator Theo wrote:

Who am I kidding - they could give us Corey Haim back and I'd be pumped about this deal.

LMAO! How about both, and then we could have our own version of The Two Coreys.

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#44 Matt Henderson
January 14 2010, 11:40AM
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@Lofty

Team 1260, they aired some stuff from a scrum he had yesterday.

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#45 Maverick
January 14 2010, 11:43AM
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Tambobambo is proving that he is just a puppet of Kevin Lowe's who has no authority to do anything. If he's as passionate as he pretends to be, he'd have made a trade by now

Just as Boston made moves as soon as they got injuries to their lineup

I'd like the media to play back to him his season ending press conference from last season and ask him what exactly was his plan cause if Brodziak was the only player "held accountable" this team is focked for years to come

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#46 Chaz
January 14 2010, 11:48AM
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Maverick wrote:

I'm not questioning as to why he is wearing a visor, I was commenting on how his play has changed since putting the thing on.

Read before commenting

Wasn't commenting to you specifically, it was more of a general comment. I've read people making the visor connection on here and on the radio as well, and considering what the guy went through, I just don't like the connection. Besides, I think his play started dropping well before he donned the visor. About 2 years prior if you ask me.

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#47 Bucknuck
January 14 2010, 11:49AM
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Maverick wrote:

Tambobambo is proving that he is just a puppet of Kevin Lowe's who has no authority to do anything. If he's as passionate as he pretends to be, he'd have made a trade by now

Just as Boston made moves as soon as they got injuries to their lineup

I'd like the media to play back to him his season ending press conference from last season and ask him what exactly was his plan cause if Brodziak was the only player "held accountable" this team is focked for years to come

Lowe actually made moves and did stuff. He took a lot of heat for it sometimes, but he always seemed to care.

This lack of action does not seem very "Lowe-like" to me. I truly believe he isn't a puppetmaster.

Now what I want to know is who is Tambellini's boss, because that person needs to kick him in the ass.

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#48 Petr's Jofa
January 14 2010, 11:54AM
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There are only three teams who look completely out of the race today; Oilers, Hurricanes and Leafs. The Blues and Blue Jackets are on the edge, but the rest of the non-playoff teams are only four points out.

With only 3 confirmed sellers and two bubble teams. That means 25 possible buyers.

As a GM, is it better to hold on to players and watch their trade value go up as their cap hit goes down, or is it better to unload ASAP for whatever you can get?

I vote that Tambellini unloads as quickly as he can because the longer he waits, the more teams will drop out of the playoff race and become sellers.However for so some reason I picture Tambellini as Homer Simpson holding on to his pumpkin futures into November.

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#49 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 14 2010, 11:57AM
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Maverick wrote:

Tambobambo is proving that he is just a puppet of Kevin Lowe's who has no authority to do anything. If he's as passionate as he pretends to be, he'd have made a trade by now

Just as Boston made moves as soon as they got injuries to their lineup

I'd like the media to play back to him his season ending press conference from last season and ask him what exactly was his plan cause if Brodziak was the only player "held accountable" this team is focked for years to come

I'm really curious how people take Tambellini's inactivity as a sign he's a puppet.

Why would Lowe being in control = Tambellini doing nothing?

Lowe was a wheeler and dealer, the guy made a pile of moves.

If anything the inactivity is a sign that it is in fact Tambellini in control.

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#50 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 14 2010, 11:58AM
Trash it!
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Bucknuck wrote:

Lowe actually made moves and did stuff. He took a lot of heat for it sometimes, but he always seemed to care.

This lack of action does not seem very "Lowe-like" to me. I truly believe he isn't a puppetmaster.

Now what I want to know is who is Tambellini's boss, because that person needs to kick him in the ass.

Beat me to it.

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