GDB XLIV: The return of Gregor and the DFF

Jason Gregor
January 07 2010 12:26PM

After being isolated from any live hockey for two weeks, and only one highlight, the World Junior Gold medal game, it sure will be nice to see an epic battle tonight for the chance to draft Taylor Hall.

The Blue Jackets have three wins in their last 24 games, and they have given up six or more goals eight times this season. Steve Mason has struggled mightily, with a 3.31 GAA and an ugly .890 SV%, while Jeff Deslauriers’ numbers are going in the wrong direction as well, 2.95 GAA and a .903 SV%, so he will rest tonight and Devan Dubnyk will get his second career start.

Dubynk can only improve on his first start, when he surrendered seven goals, and he is excited about getting back in. He played two games in Sprinfield this past weekend and he felt good about his game. He told me he wants to focus on not playing as deep in his net as he did in his last start. Henrik Lundquist is the only goalie who plays well deep in his net, and Dubynk knows he has to be more aggressive tonight.

The Oilers are comfortably in the bottom five, but now the fans want more than just the bottom five; they want to be the worst. It doesn’t sound like the cavalry is coming so that dream is very much alive, but it might take a hit tonight.

The Blue Jackets have been horrendous for two months and Mason is playing like he has mono again. The Oilers will really need to stink it up tonight to stay 29th.

Ken Hitchcock prides himself on coaching solid team defense, but the Jackets have given up the second most goals, 150, in the league and he isn’t happy about it. I doubt Scott Howson wants to get rid of his coach, but if the Jackets continue to struggle Hitchcock will be in trouble.

Lubomir Visnovsky skated today, but he was put through the paces after practice, so he won’t go tonight. The pairings will be Souray/Gilbert, Smid/Staios and Grebeshkov/Strudwick.

Potulny making the most of his opportunity

While many forwards have struggled this year, Ryan Potulny has made the most of his opportunity. He is playing on both special teams and lately he has been in the top four forwards in ice time. Potulny has five goals and three assists in his last seventeen games, and he has scored some “goal scorers” goals.

I was one who thought Potulny would be a regular on this team, nevermind a guy who plays 16-20 minutes a night. While the DFF or the Fall for Hall is on, a player like Potulny is playing to make a name for himself.

He is a prime example of why the DFF is so difficult to achieve because there will always be some players who are playing for a roster spot, and in some cases their career. Potulny has earned the trust of Quinn and if he continues to play well and improve, he could go into training camp next season as a guy whose name the coaches have written in pen rather than pencil or a with a question mark.

Trip tips

If any of you are planning on taking a holiday anytime soon, I highly recommend Costa Rica, and specifically Tamarindo. The weather is outstanding, the beaches are white, brown and in some cases black. Surfing is awesome and the scenery on the beach and in the countryside is breath taking.

I’d recommend you take the tour at Rincon de la Vieja. The white water tubing and zip line were top-notch. If you go around Christmas or New Years make sure you go to one of the Fiestas in the small town. Watching the bull-riding; seeing average guys stay in the ring to play bullfighter is great entertainment. I spent an hour in the ring and it was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. Luckily I never came close to getting trampled, but I did see a few guys get the horns/stomped.

It is a beautiful country and the people were very proud and hospitable. Tamarindo is a  five-star holiday destination in my books.

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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 SquidRx
January 07 2010, 12:30PM
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We missed you JG!

*fast claps gleefuly whilst bouncing in chair and wipes away a tear*

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#2 Dyckster
January 07 2010, 12:33PM
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Welcome back Gregor..

When you say scenery on the beach......?

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#3 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 07 2010, 12:38PM
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Tonight is a battle between the very well managed Blue Jackets and the incompetently managed Oilers.

With all this talk about over hyping a prospect: I remember in the summer their was talk of Steve Mason being on the Olympic team this year after what? 30 stellar games.

As you said, Potulny has had some great goal scorers goals, his AHL numbers have really translated. Props to Kevin Lowe on the aquisition.

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#4 bingofuel
January 07 2010, 12:42PM
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SquidRx wrote:

We missed you JG!

*fast claps gleefuly whilst bouncing in chair and wipes away a tear*

Hey what am I, chopped liver? :P

Seriously, welcome back, Gregor. These poor slobs had to suffer through several of my GDBs while you were away.

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#5 SirFozz
January 07 2010, 12:42PM
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Nice jet-ski!

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#6 Matty31
January 07 2010, 12:50PM
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Welcome back Gregor!!!! I want to see those Thursday ice chicks!!!!

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#7 Jamie B.
January 07 2010, 12:50PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

Tonight is a battle between the very well managed Blue Jackets and the incompetently managed Oilers.

With all this talk about over hyping a prospect: I remember in the summer their was talk of Steve Mason being on the Olympic team this year after what? 30 stellar games.

As you said, Potulny has had some great goal scorers goals, his AHL numbers have really translated. Props to Kevin Lowe on the aquisition.

I cannot in good conscience call them well-managed unless Brassard bounces back and shows he's worth that contract. Imagine if Kevin Lowe had given that to Gagner after the good ending to his rookie season. Lowe would (rightfully) NEVER hear the end of it and right now I think Howson deserves more criticism for that one and the Nash contract.

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#8 Dan the Man
January 07 2010, 12:53PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

Tonight is a battle between the very well managed Blue Jackets and the incompetently managed Oilers.

With all this talk about over hyping a prospect: I remember in the summer their was talk of Steve Mason being on the Olympic team this year after what? 30 stellar games.

As you said, Potulny has had some great goal scorers goals, his AHL numbers have really translated. Props to Kevin Lowe on the aquisition.

Can you really say that they are managed really well if they are battling for last place?

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#9 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
January 07 2010, 01:02PM
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Dan the Man wrote:

Can you really say that they are managed really well if they are battling for last place?

He forgot his tildes.

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#10 bingofuel
January 07 2010, 01:03PM
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Important note form Gregor: Garon will start for Columbus tonight

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#11 Bucknuck
January 07 2010, 01:04PM
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Dan the Man wrote:

Can you really say that they are managed really well if they are battling for last place?

At least they have made the playoffs once in the last four years and they aren't up against the cap.

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#12 RoundEdge
January 07 2010, 01:05PM
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Gregor, long time reader first time poster.

As a staunch supporter of the DFF I was appalled to hear that Dreger is apparently reporting that the Oilers are the front runners for Biron... any truth to this?

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#13 freeze
January 07 2010, 01:05PM
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@bingofuel

You did some fine work, fuelly!

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#14 Dyckster
January 07 2010, 01:05PM
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So,

~Garon versus DD, something to look forward too~

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#15 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 07 2010, 01:07PM
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Dan the Man wrote:

Can you really say that they are managed really well if they are battling for last place?

;)

It's a friendly jab at some fellow Oiler followers.

A few months ago the big thing in Oiler land was what a great job Howson was doing and what a crappy job Lowe did/Tambillini is doing.

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#16 rubbertrout
January 07 2010, 01:10PM
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Dan the Man wrote:

Can you really say that they are managed really well if they are battling for last place?

They are certainly better managed than during the McLean era.

Not that this is saying much.

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#17 rubbertrout
January 07 2010, 01:11PM
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RoundEdge wrote:

Gregor, long time reader first time poster.

As a staunch supporter of the DFF I was appalled to hear that Dreger is apparently reporting that the Oilers are the front runners for Biron... any truth to this?

It would have been great if they were front runners for him this summer. Now it would be yet another mistake to this woefully incompetent era.

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#18 Dan the Man
January 07 2010, 01:12PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

;)

It's a friendly jab at some fellow Oiler followers.

A few months ago the big thing in Oiler land was what a great job Howson was doing and what a crappy job Lowe did/Tambillini is doing.

I was thinking it might be sarcasm because I've been thinking the same thing lately. After I read the GDB I was going to ask where all of the people went that were proclaiming Howson as a genius a few months ago? Then I read your post and was all....whaaaaaaaat??!!!???

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#19 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
January 07 2010, 01:14PM
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rubbertrout wrote:

It would have been great if they were front runners for him this summer. Now it would be yet another mistake to this woefully incompetent era.

I would support the idea - only because I have Biron in my office pool and Roloson's playing too well.

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#20 SquidRx
January 07 2010, 01:21PM
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bingofuel wrote:

Hey what am I, chopped liver? :P

Seriously, welcome back, Gregor. These poor slobs had to suffer through several of my GDBs while you were away.

Oh, heaven's no Mr. Fuel. I didn't mean to imply that at all. I think your GDBs were kick a$$ and a bag of chips. I was just meaning that we missed him in general and all the Gregorlishisness that he brings here and to the Team 1260. So as not to also offend those that filled in for JG on JAG, you also did a shagadellic job. It was toight, toight like a toiger. Meg is a superstar.

*hopes that was enough CYA and sheepishly hangs head in shame for unintentionally hurting the feelings of all of JG's hard working cohorts*

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#21 Nick Dynasty
January 07 2010, 01:31PM
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How many teams that finish dead last actually end up with the 1st overall pick? Isn't the odds still less than 50%? It'd be a shame to suffer through the last 40 games of this season and not end up with first choice.

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#22 Jmask5
January 07 2010, 01:31PM
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I better see some abysmal Hockey tonight. I already have Taylor Hall penciled in for next year. Hall, Ebs, MPS, Hemmer throw in new and improved Penner and that is a core I can get behind. Also Omark has 17 goals in 40 games over in the KHL. Looking pretty good as well and hopefully he can take someone's spot next year.

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#23 Kevin
January 07 2010, 01:33PM
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DFF in therory if the Oil finish last should end up with the 1st pick over all. However the NHL in its great wisdom created the so called lottery where by those in the bottom 5 have a chance to move up to potentially claim #1. Lets look at history and uncover why the Oil not matter what will NOT get the 1st pick overall. Do we recall when the Great Mario and the pens were facing financial troubles and the threat to relocate was there, but wait they end up with Sid the kid and how ironically the same would hold true for the Capitals with them getting the Russian Rocket. Something smells real funny here.....you can bet the ranch, dear Carolina will have without a doubt will have the 1st pick in the 2010 entry draft.

Thanks Commish !!

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#24 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
January 07 2010, 01:35PM
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Kevin wrote:

DFF in therory if the Oil finish last should end up with the 1st pick over all. However the NHL in its great wisdom created the so called lottery where by those in the bottom 5 have a chance to move up to potentially claim #1. Lets look at history and uncover why the Oil not matter what will NOT get the 1st pick overall. Do we recall when the Great Mario and the pens were facing financial troubles and the threat to relocate was there, but wait they end up with Sid the kid and how ironically the same would hold true for the Capitals with them getting the Russian Rocket. Something smells real funny here.....you can bet the ranch, dear Carolina will have without a doubt will have the 1st pick in the 2010 entry draft.

Thanks Commish !!

I don't really think anyone would be complaining if it's an even split between Seguin and Hall supporters. Some people are even saying Seguin would be a better fit.

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#25 Dan the Man
January 07 2010, 01:36PM
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@Nick Dynasty

Yup 48.2% but you can't drop more than one spot so you'd get Tyler Seguin as a consolation prize.

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#26 Dyckster
January 07 2010, 01:38PM
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Seguin works for me, 6'1" 186lbs (according to hockeydb.com) and he's only 17.

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#27 BUCK75
January 07 2010, 01:42PM
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@Kevin

Shouldn't matter if Carolina gets first pick - Seguin plays for the Plymouth Whalers. Peter Kamanos owns both teams & conspiracy theorists can conclude that Hall would be available at # 2.

JMO.

Welcome back JG!

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#28 Dan the Man
January 07 2010, 01:42PM
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Kevin wrote:

DFF in therory if the Oil finish last should end up with the 1st pick over all. However the NHL in its great wisdom created the so called lottery where by those in the bottom 5 have a chance to move up to potentially claim #1. Lets look at history and uncover why the Oil not matter what will NOT get the 1st pick overall. Do we recall when the Great Mario and the pens were facing financial troubles and the threat to relocate was there, but wait they end up with Sid the kid and how ironically the same would hold true for the Capitals with them getting the Russian Rocket. Something smells real funny here.....you can bet the ranch, dear Carolina will have without a doubt will have the 1st pick in the 2010 entry draft.

Thanks Commish !!

The Caps drafted Pavel Bure?

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#29 Bucknuck
January 07 2010, 02:07PM
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Dan the Man wrote:

The Caps drafted Pavel Bure?

I was thinking the same thing...

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#30 The Fish
January 07 2010, 02:19PM
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I can confirm that Tamarindo is a very cool spot. Did you get a chance to go to Samara, Gregor? that was my favourite spot in Costa Rica. No strip club or Casino though, which kind of blew.

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#31 dragon
January 07 2010, 02:22PM
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Dyckster wrote:

Seguin works for me, 6'1" 186lbs (according to hockeydb.com) and he's only 17.

Cam Fowler anyone? Looked quite good in WJC...

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#32 Dan the Man
January 07 2010, 02:25PM
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dragon wrote:

Cam Fowler anyone? Looked quite good in WJC...

I don't think you can go wrong with any of the top 3. Offensive forwards are a little more sexy than D though.

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#33 Archaeologuy
January 07 2010, 02:28PM
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Stu will make the right call. In Stu we trust!

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#34 Bob Loblaw
January 07 2010, 02:42PM
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~I think that we should pick another goalie with our first pick!~

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#35 Nick Dynasty
January 07 2010, 02:51PM
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Seguin is more of a playmaker and Hall is more of a sniper. Since we've already got a playmaking center in Gagner, I think Hall might be the better fit for the OIL. Hemsky and Hall, Gagner and Eberle????

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#36 Ilya Byakin
January 07 2010, 03:00PM
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Nice to see you survived CR, Gregor! Rincon de la Vieja is amazing. I worked/volunteered there for board in 2001 for a couple of weeks.

The zip lines are fantastic, and the hiking is gorgeous.

I really hope DD gets his first win tonight...

DFF aside, I need to see a victory and some hope from the cage...

Go Oilers!

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#37 freeze
January 07 2010, 03:02PM
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Love the badge in that photo!

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#38 outoftime
January 07 2010, 03:18PM
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What will happen is the Oilers will get on a hot streak at some point. To late to make the playoffs but just in time to finish out of the draft lottery. The ultimate loser is one who even screws up losing.

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#39 Gregors dirty 'stash
January 07 2010, 03:28PM
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Any word on the return of Comrie?

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#40 OvenChicken8 - Team JSBM
January 07 2010, 03:29PM
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Dan the Man wrote:

I don't think you can go wrong with any of the top 3. Offensive forwards are a little more sexy than D though.

Say the name Sheldon Souray and then mention that to my wife... you'll see that not all offensive forwards are more sexy then D hahaha

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#41 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
January 07 2010, 03:32PM
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OvenChicken8 - Team JSBM wrote:

Say the name Sheldon Souray and then mention that to my wife... you'll see that not all offensive forwards are more sexy then D hahaha

Haha there's a girl in my office (incidentally a Flames fan) that has crushes on half the Oilers.

I guess it's due to the fact that you kind of want to scratch your eyes out half way through roll-call at a Flames game.

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#42 dunciano
January 07 2010, 03:34PM
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Nick Dynasty wrote:

Seguin is more of a playmaker and Hall is more of a sniper. Since we've already got a playmaking center in Gagner, I think Hall might be the better fit for the OIL. Hemsky and Hall, Gagner and Eberle????

I'd like the center. (Seguin)

We so need a center.

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#43 dunciano
January 07 2010, 03:37PM
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RoundEdge wrote:

Gregor, long time reader first time poster.

As a staunch supporter of the DFF I was appalled to hear that Dreger is apparently reporting that the Oilers are the front runners for Biron... any truth to this?

Oh man, say it ain't so!!!

I would be so mad if they did that!

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#45 Senator Theo
January 07 2010, 03:58PM
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@Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

You mean she's not into the classic good looks of a Oli Jokinen or a (*shudder*) Dion Phaneuf?

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#46 devoknows
January 07 2010, 04:05PM
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Anyone hear about the possible trade rumor of Souray and a pick going to Wash for Theodore/Fehr and Can Jr player Stephen Della Rovere? They are calling it a "Cap Fix Trade", as at first glance Souray vs Theodore/Fehr contracts is a "wash" but Theodore is UFA at the end of the year, and he;s at 4.3M. I like it!!!

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#47 Archaeologuy
January 07 2010, 04:08PM
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Nick Dynasty wrote:

Seguin is more of a playmaker and Hall is more of a sniper. Since we've already got a playmaking center in Gagner, I think Hall might be the better fit for the OIL. Hemsky and Hall, Gagner and Eberle????

If this kid Seguin deserves the #2 pick overall, then I would bet that he would (most likely) become a better playmaker than Gagner. Take the best player available.

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#48 dragon
January 07 2010, 04:26PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

If this kid Seguin deserves the #2 pick overall, then I would bet that he would (most likely) become a better playmaker than Gagner. Take the best player available.

I still believe we need room for Eberle, MPS and even Omark. Add them to Penner, Brule, Gags and Hemmer (if he doesn't get traded, :-p ) and there's not a lot of room for forwards.

My vote goes to Fowler, as neither of the existing D prospects (except maybe Plante if injury fixed fine) look too hot right now.

And I like how T. Myers and Hedman look in their rookie year...

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#49 Archaeologuy
January 07 2010, 04:33PM
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@dragon

If Fowler is the BPA then take him. Drafting for position assumes that by the timme the player in question is ready to contribute the same positions will be in need. There is no guarantee.

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#50 G
January 07 2010, 04:34PM
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wow, this article sealed it. removed general feed from RSS reader, replaced with only Brownlee and Willis.

trip tips

no one gives a crap about your trip.

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