Running Back to Saskatoon

Lowetide
October 09 2010 07:53AM

This is Saskatoon. "The City of Bridges." Famous people from Saskatoon include Colby Armstrong, Brent Ashton, Mike Babcock, John Diefenbaker, Pete Friesen, Gordie Howe, Bill Hunter, Keith Magnuson, Joni Mitchell, Farley Mowatt, Jim Pattison, the Northern Pikes, Rowdy Roddy Piper and Shannon Tweed. Our subject today is a current resident of the city.

I think Stu (Magnificent Bastard) MacGregor may have done it again. Along with completely overhauling the "skill forward" depth chart for the Oilers since 2008, MBS and the scouting staff are collecting an impressive group of hockey players who combine size and skill. I like to call them "Bill Torrey's WHL types" because the NY Islanders won a Stanley (partly) by making certain the procurement department paid close attention to the big, skilled forwards in the Western League.

Curtis Hamilton has a very nice resume. Size (6.03, 210--the same size as Clark Gillies, although Gillies was a mountain in 1974 and Hamilton is merely a load in the modern era) and a very nice skill set combine to make him a prospect of interest for the Oilers. Here's MBS after the draft:

  • An extremely smart player, a great two way player. Strong, has good size, works hard along the boards. Very strong on the puck, has good vision, very good penalty killer. A guy who plays hard and smart.

That's Ross Lonsberry, folks. Like Lonsberry, Hamilton has the resume to set up shop on a skill line in the NHL for years to come if he continues to develop (and avoids injury). We've talked about Hamilton here and here and want to quote what Jason Gregor said in the second link:

  • He isn’t a flashy player, but his play along the boards, in traffic and his willingness to be involved physically is exactly why the Oilers drafted him. They think he’ll be a physical, 3rd line type player and after the game Kevin Lowe was very pleased with how he played. Hamilton has decent hands and offensive instincts and like most young players, his first step needs to improve. If he can stay healthy, I expect he is two or three years away from seriously competing for a roster spot with the Oilers.

I think thats about right; Hamilton has a little more offense and should be able to play on a skill line, but even if he fails at it should be able to carve out a career in the NHL as a checker. He was at the WJ invite camp in the summer, impressed at training camp and is off to a wonderful start in the WHL season. Hamilton ranks in a 7th place tie in scoring (7gp, 4-7-11), assists and plus minus. He is getting PP time (1-3-4) but is also scoring well at even-strength.

Kevin Prendergast spent a generation's worth of picks on kids I called "Coke Machines." They were all huge men:

  • 2000-#35-C Brad Winchester, 6'5, 210.
  • 2001-#52-C Eddie Caron, 6'2, 230.
  • 2002-#79-LW Brock Radunske, 6'4, 199.
  • 2003-#51-RW Colin McDonald, 6'2, 190.
  • 2003-#68-LW JF Jacques, 6'3.5, 217.
  • 2003-#94-RW Zach Stortini, 6'4, 225.
  • 2004-#57-C Geoff Paukovich, 6'4, 207.

Those selections have several things in common: the players were chosen well above their projected number based on various scouting services; they were offensively shy; there were more skilled men available at the time they were chosen. KP delivered two actual players (Winchester, Stortini) from the group, and JF Jacques is trying to rescue his career from injury. Caron is probably filling out transfer papers to another university as we speak, Radunske is the Guyle Fielder of the Asian League, McDonald is working his way back to you and Paukovich will play in Las Vegas (ECHL) this season.

MBS appears to have taken a different approach: hockey players with size. It worked for Bill Torrey and the Islanders, and it can work for the Edmonton Oilers. Your own back yard. Who knew?

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
Avatar
#1 magisterrex
October 09 2010, 08:31AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

Lowetide's articles are MUST reading on this site. If you can't get past the first sentence I recommend a remedial class. Reading is fun!

Avatar
#2 Stone Hands McOsta
October 09 2010, 08:02AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

FIST

Nice post LT, the arrows are finally pointing in the right direction. Lets hope we can keep it up!

Avatar
#3 RSready
October 09 2010, 08:23AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Lowetide, you have some good articles, but you always lose me with your lede. "This is..." just doesn't capture me enough to keep reading! And the whole first paragraph usually has nothing or very little to do with the rest of the story. I don't mean to be an ass, it's just really hard to read!

Avatar
#4 SumOil
October 09 2010, 08:45AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
RSready wrote:

Lowetide, you have some good articles, but you always lose me with your lede. "This is..." just doesn't capture me enough to keep reading! And the whole first paragraph usually has nothing or very little to do with the rest of the story. I don't mean to be an ass, it's just really hard to read!

i actually like what lowetide writes in the start of the article. Good nice story to let us know the very good players from Saskatoon. It relates to the rest of the article as Hamilton is playing for the blades I gave a props to u by mistake...wanted to press reply.

Avatar
#5 Dyckster
October 09 2010, 08:56AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Lowetide wrote:

Born in Saskatoon. April 17, 1954.

Elvis should leave the building!

Avatar
#7 book¡e
October 09 2010, 12:14PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Lot's of people are criticizing RSeady's comment. Let me jump on board. I get that other people may not like LT's style (re- Max Powers comment), but I don't get the need to make a post complaining about it. I don't like Taco Bell, but I don't go through the drive through to let them know about my dislike of their triple bean burrito. I just move on to the next fast food place for my salt and fat fix.

Perhaps it was an effort at constructive criticism, but that is usually best served by an expert to someone with fewer credentials. Now, for all I know Rseady is Edgar Allan Poe, but I doubt it.

So, with that, my advice to RSeady is as follows (though I probably lost him on my first sentence). Start reading at the second paragraph, you will probably find the articles worth reading if you are a fan of hockey.

Avatar
#9 Elvis
October 09 2010, 08:29AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Rowdy Roddy ZPiper is not from Saskatoon. He's from Hamilton.

Avatar
#11 SumOil
October 09 2010, 08:41AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

He has been very consistent. I am very very happy with his start

Avatar
#12 Oilchange64
October 09 2010, 09:05AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Northern Pikes - another reference for those of us from Sask of a certain age. Lol. While I would not agree, Rsready may feel this article ain't pretty, it just looks that way...

Avatar
#13 Arby
October 09 2010, 09:13AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Doh. I guess this means I'm closer to LT's age than the other dudes.

Stu must have a soft spot for the Blades. Kytnar for starters, and he also invited that undrafted kid Gallimore.

Avatar
#14 unca miltie
October 09 2010, 09:13AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Love the little tie in's to Guyle Fieldler. Don't post oftern, but LT, you are the best writer on the net.

Avatar
#15 HC
October 09 2010, 09:22AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
RSready wrote:

Lowetide, you have some good articles, but you always lose me with your lede. "This is..." just doesn't capture me enough to keep reading! And the whole first paragraph usually has nothing or very little to do with the rest of the story. I don't mean to be an ass, it's just really hard to read!

Grab a brain buddy. LT's work is some of the best you'll read on the oilogosphere. Having an interesting lead in is just good writing. If you can't get past his intro don't bother reading and above all don't bother commenting.

Keep up the great work LT- your insights are always appreciated.

Peace

Avatar
#16 Aitch
October 09 2010, 09:22AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Shannon Tweed? We always claim her as ours back here in Newfoundland. Her family still lives here and more importantly they acknowledged it with an episode on "Gene Simmons' Family Jewels".

Now as for the Oilers, I don't necessarily think they should concentrate on any one area. If they focus too heavily on the Prairies, they could miss good players else where. Personally, I believe we have tremendous depth coming down the pipe at the forward ranks, but some of it may need to be jettisoned in order to get some long-term studs on the blueline or in net. Roy is being talked about as the goalie of the future, but he's going to have to continue to out perform his draft pedigree and then some to be the backstopper of a future champ.

Avatar
#17 Arby
October 09 2010, 09:22AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Lowetide, you have some good articles, but you always lose me with your lede. "This is..." just doesn't capture me enough to keep reading! And the whole first paragraph usually has nothing or very little to do with the rest of the story. I don't mean to be an ass, it's just really hard to read!

Sidenote: This is exactly how i feel about the bible.

That whole 'and there was light' thing. I mean come on, where are you going with this? Get on with it already.

Avatar
#19 Max Powers - Team HME Evans
October 09 2010, 09:36AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
RSready wrote:

Lowetide, you have some good articles, but you always lose me with your lede. "This is..." just doesn't capture me enough to keep reading! And the whole first paragraph usually has nothing or very little to do with the rest of the story. I don't mean to be an ass, it's just really hard to read!

Although I don't agree with you I respect your opinion. Other people have to accept the fact that some people arent LT fans.

Really guys, you don't need to call someone stupid because they don't agree with you. And this is coming from a major LT supporter.

Avatar
#20 Ashley
October 09 2010, 09:42AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Come on RSready. Have you ever tried to write an article? Do you know what kind of thought, talent, and effort is required to create a theme for a post, start with a non-hockey icebreaker and tie it to the Oilers related topic? This is writing talent and entertainment at its finest. Perhaps you were being sarcastic?

Avatar
#21 Oilchange64
October 09 2010, 09:48AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

In fairness to Rsready, I don't think he was taking that big a shot. No need to pile on here. I used him in my post only to tie in an obscure Northern Pikes lyric.

Avatar
#22 Oilchange64
October 09 2010, 09:51AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

And besides, it is Thanksgiving weekend, and this year Oiler fans have a few things to be thankful for. I am going to have a positive Saturday.

Avatar
#23 Max Powers - Team HME Evans
October 09 2010, 09:59AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Ashley wrote:

Come on RSready. Have you ever tried to write an article? Do you know what kind of thought, talent, and effort is required to create a theme for a post, start with a non-hockey icebreaker and tie it to the Oilers related topic? This is writing talent and entertainment at its finest. Perhaps you were being sarcastic?

I'm assuming that you'd already know about BDHS. Pat Maclean's basic template for writing since I've been reading has been a non-hockey icebreaker. Him and LT are the best out there.

It's on the blogroll on the right of the site in case you've never been there.

Avatar
#24 master of my domain
October 09 2010, 10:17AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

when I first started reading LT I also didn't get the beginning bit. so I just skipped over it because the article itself was always quality. but the more LT I read the, more I started to learn to like and now even look forward to those quirky beginnings. that and I also like the girly pictures.

Avatar
#25 Woogie
October 09 2010, 10:18AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Never been to Sask... Never had a reason to but that is truly a very beautiful picture.

Was that picture Photoshopped?

Avatar
#26 @Oilanderp
October 09 2010, 10:18AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
RSready wrote:

Lowetide, you have some good articles, but you always lose me with your lede. "This is..." just doesn't capture me enough to keep reading! And the whole first paragraph usually has nothing or very little to do with the rest of the story. I don't mean to be an ass, it's just really hard to read!

Don't worry RSready, just wait for the HD 3D DVD to come out and all will become clear. The protagonist will be a bright neon green porcupine fish with the voice of Samuel L. Jackson. It will leave you satisfied in the way that only a good moral Disney tale can.

All you parents out there, read to your kids please! Go Oil!

Avatar
#27 Bar Qu
October 09 2010, 10:31AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Woogie wrote:

Never been to Sask... Never had a reason to but that is truly a very beautiful picture.

Was that picture Photoshopped?

Saskatoon is the Paris of the prairies.

Seriously though, it is a beautiful city and well worth a summertime visit. Beautiful downtown with some nice parks all next to the mighty Saskatchewan river (watch out for the pirates though).

;)

Avatar
#28 @NateInVegas
October 09 2010, 10:50AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Watching the Bruins game I can't help but thnk MBS missed out on a #1C

Avatar
#29 Smokey
October 09 2010, 10:58AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

My cousin swears up and down, the Undertaker is from Saskatoon. Great town, great people. I sure miss Saskatchewan....

Avatar
#30 db7db7db7
October 09 2010, 11:04AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
@NateInVegas wrote:

Watching the Bruins game I can't help but thnk MBS missed out on a #1C

Really! I'm also watching the game, but have barely even noticed Seguin. I much prefer Hall's aggressive play style to Seguin's perimeter circling. It might end up being productive, but it's damn boring.

Avatar
#31 eidy
October 09 2010, 11:12AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Few things,

The original undertaker was from Saskatoon, went to Walter Murray Collegiate I think.

Shannon Tweed's family still is from Saskatoon, I operated on her sister..... no not an enhancement:)

The stable of forwards is quite impressive that MBS has created and I am pulling for the Davidson kid, but he is having a rough start by the numbers and is playing on an awful team.

And Chara has signed a 7 year extension with the bruins for 6.5 per season. will take him to age 40.

Wow, they are shelling out the money. I think we could still get seguin with an offer sheet in a few years:)

Avatar
#32 book¡e
October 09 2010, 12:28PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
@NateInVegas wrote:

Watching the Bruins game I can't help but thnk MBS missed out on a #1C

Well, of course he did. There is almost no question about that. I am not sure if you noticed, but they got this other guy instead.

Avatar
#33 Mason Storm
October 09 2010, 01:05PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I believe Hamilton is good for at least matching Eberle's points. I'm not so sure about the goals, but there is nothing wrong with a playmaker who is a "load". Also is there any way someone could put a weekly update on Oilers prospects?

Avatar
#34 Butters
October 09 2010, 01:06PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Nate, what's with all the pessimism? Hall looked great against the Flames. And the Oilers have some good talent coming down the pipe. Pitlick for one, who is a center, will make the Oilers next year, and will be a good player.

Avatar
#36 spOILer
October 09 2010, 01:12PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Nothing wrong with what RSReady wrote. And when a poster uses "lede" and uses it properly, he's likely not illiterate, despite the inferred insults otherwise--something the OP himself didn't do. The poster framed it as personal opinion and he did it in a respectful manner without that level of condescension.

So book¡e, are you calling the kettle black?

Do you get the need to follow the guy into the drive-thru to criticize his criticism? Or are you that expert you described? And sheesh that's a criticism which now puts me three back in the drive-thru lane, so my tummy's rumbling and I'm probably on my horn, AND WHAT THE FRACK ARE WE ALL DOIN AT A TACO BELL???!!!

Avatar
#37 TeE-wHy
October 09 2010, 01:17PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

True, the original Undertaker was from Saskatoon, and did attend Walter Murray, his picture is still on the wall of old grad pics.

And also correct, Saskatoon is the Paris of the prairies! Anybody that has never been, it is a must!

And as those who have been there know... the girl to guy ratio is very, very good for us gentlemen!! Lookers too, must be the wheat! lol

Avatar
#38 Jaime
October 09 2010, 01:29PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Apparently Ross Lonsberry holds a tie for the record for points in a game (6) with Jim Lorentz (6)in the history of Oklahoma City AAA hockey. He set it when the Blazers were still the Bruins farm team in 1968-69, a year removed from winning the CHL title.

Avatar
#39 book¡e
October 09 2010, 01:41PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@spOILer

To criticize your criticism of my criticism of RSready's criticism, I don't think I ever suggested he was illiterate. I indicated that I suspected that he was not an expert. I noticed that use of the word 'lede' and it immediate made me think of a university student who is in month two of a journalism course.

Anyway, if by chance I were standing in Taco Bell and some guy in front of me started spouting off to the people behind the counter at Taco Bell about the things he didn't like about Taco Bell, I would probably tell him to get the F@#! out of my way so I can get my taco. I would also probably say 'What an A@#hole' as he was walking away. So, yes, in the real world I would probably do the same thing I did here.

I think the drive through line must be full by now.

Re the article - I think Stu deserves the Magnificent Bastard label for now. I was surprised to hear that he lives in Saskatoon.

Avatar
#40 Max Powers - Team HME Evans
October 09 2010, 02:03PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Hey LT did you see The Guess Who when they were in town last year? Man, what a show. Burton Cummings is still a masterful musician and Randy Bachman can still rock out.

spOILer: Lede is synonym for lead right? It's used to ensure the reader doesn't get confused with the term referring to a metal (ie molten lead). My question is why is it used properly in RSready's comment? I don't think it would have been confusing to have written lead. But yeah, whatever. I'm just curious.

LT: Do YOU think he can approach Eberle's 19 year old total? Not many of us have the priviledge to know any more than what we read on the Al Gore about prospects. You have the inside scoop. For the record my answer is 'I sure hope so'.

Avatar
#41 Racki
October 09 2010, 02:33PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Lowetide wrote:

RSready: Yeah, I can understand that. I try to tie all kinds of things into a post and sometimes it can get lost in translation.

If you are about my age (I assume you're younger, which you should be happy about) then "Running Back to Saskatoon" is a Guess Who song about the prairies.

Which is the theme of the article, using the Canadian prairies to procure talent. And I grew up not far from Saskatoon so love the city and maybe like to brag a little since its a gem.

But yeah, I get that. I'll keep it in mind.

Leave it as is... pretty sure he's in the minority here. No offense meant to the poster though. But to each his own. If my own blogging has taught me anything it's that you can't please everyone all the time... but I don't think I really need to tell you that.

Keep up the good work.

Oh and to add... it's your thing... to read a post of yours where you just simply cut to the chase would probably stun me and I'd have a tough time believing you really wrote it :P Best advise for the poster in question was just to start reading a paragraph or two in, as someone else suggested (Bookie?)

Avatar
#42 j larmor
October 09 2010, 02:53PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Stone Hands McOsta

need to give a lot of credit toBob Brown who is there head western scout former GM Kamloops Blazers and whose team won 3 Memorial cups

Avatar
#43 Smokey
October 09 2010, 03:06PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Theres a second undertaker, gosh I stopped watching WWF like 15 years ago and I know have found out there was two Undertakers, I thought it was two Ultimate Warriors or something. Who knew.

Secondly, I believe in free speech, and everyone is entitled to a comment, but I sure hope Hall is the better player the Seguin, cause I dont wanna hear Seguin this and that for the next ten years. I wanted Seguin, but I decided to be happy as Pig In Mud that we got Hall, and we cant reverse it. I think their careers will be debatable. Its not going to be like we took Sam Bowie, and they took Michael Jordan. Their career paths will be interesting. Maybe Seguin will put up more points and Hall will win us 2 cups. Who knows.

Lastly the whole greatest first goal for Eberle debate is a good one. Marios goal was almost more impressive cause he stole the puck off some guy, I think his name was Raymond Bourque, and deked out a goalie as another player dove out at with their stick. However the finish by Eberle might of been more superior the Marvelous Mario. I wonder if poor Ray wakes up in cold sweats when he has nightmares about being victimized by Mario.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zeGKVWwaKQg&p=F7C4FF58A225AB1E&playnext=1&index=47

Avatar
#44 speeds
October 09 2010, 04:46PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Well LT, it would be nice if it were EDM's turn to draft a Weber, Bergeron, or Stastny in the middle of the 2nd round.

Avatar
#46 speeds
October 09 2010, 05:25PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

It's been a LOOONG time since EDM picked a top 6/9 F or top 4 D in round 3 or later.

Assuming Brodziak doesn't count, Lombardi, who they didn't sign, is probably the last one, and he was 2000.

Avatar
#48 MattL
October 09 2010, 07:48PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Arby wrote:

Lowetide, you have some good articles, but you always lose me with your lede. "This is..." just doesn't capture me enough to keep reading! And the whole first paragraph usually has nothing or very little to do with the rest of the story. I don't mean to be an ass, it's just really hard to read!

Sidenote: This is exactly how i feel about the bible.

That whole 'and there was light' thing. I mean come on, where are you going with this? Get on with it already.

Personally, when I see a picture of a player, and the words, "This is..." I know that I have several minutes of great reading ahead.

Keep it up, LT.

Avatar
#49 common sense
October 09 2010, 11:31PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Simply more ammunition as to the incompetence of Prenderghast. How did this guy last so long? He reminds of Eskie Maciocia who lasted so long till the house of cards finally fell through. LT, I don't think there is any simple template of getting good simply by drafting WHL players even though I must admit a bias toward that league as well. In my estimation, building a good hockey team is as simple as drafting the best players period. Crappy Prender drafted crap and voila you get a crappy team...crap, crap, crap....

Avatar
#50 Rube Foster
October 10 2010, 12:27AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

This is ... a piece of writing that manages to reference Joni Mitchell, Guyle Fielder, The Dynasty Islanders, The Northern Pikes and The Mighty Toon within the context of the work of Canada’s entry into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and if I'm not mistaken there is a sly nod to Levi Stubbs mixed in for good measure. All the while making insights into our team which are above and beyond anything else written in the mainstream or substream. LT, I am glad that you are open to constructive critique. But please, don't change a damn thing about how you do what you do.

Comments are closed for this article.