GDB: 35.0 A DEBUT AND A RETURN

Jason Gregor
December 28 2010 02:46PM

Jeff Petry was the Oilers first draft choice in 2006, 45th overall. After being drafted he spent one more season in Des Moines in the USHL, then three years of NCAA at Michigan State University, 32 games in Oklahoma in the AHL and tonight he will make his NHL debut. Petry looked decent at the rookie camp in Penticton in September, and showed even better at main camp and in the preseason, and this evening he will become the 5th Oiler to make his NHL debut this season.

When he was recalled on Monday many thought he would replace a banged up Tom Gilbert, but  Gilbert's ironman streak will continue tonight. Gilbert hasn't missed a game since being recalled in March of 2007 and has played 292 consecutive games. Jason Strudwick will come out for Petry.

Petry probably won't be here very long, because Jim Vandermeer was skating this morning and it looks like he should be ready to play again soon. Petry will most likely get a taste of NHL action, return to the AHL and after the trade deadline he'll get recalled. An injury to one of the current seven D-men is one of the two ways you will see him stay here longterm.

The other way he'll stick is he plays exceptionally well.

Shawn Belle got into four games earlier this year, but he didn't stand out. The harsh reality is that for Petry to stay he needs to grab the coaching staff's attention. I don't think Belle did that and if you look at how Vandermeer played after Belle left, and then Strudwick when Vandermeer went down you can argue that Belle didn't play any better than those two during those stints.

Petry is a different story though. He is a puck moving D-man, and he'll be paired up with Ryan Whitney so he will have a great opportunity to stand out. The Oilers still need another solid puck-moving defender and Petry fits that mold.

I hope he plays so well the coaches have to keep him, but he can't just be average, he needs to make a few great plays to stand out and get noticed. Belle didn't do that when he was here, and that's why he went back to the AHL, so let's hope Petry can stand out and force the coaches to keep him.

HEMSKY BACK IN, BRULE TO IR

After missing 13 of the past 14 games, Ales Hemsky's groin is healed and he'll skate on a line with Andrew Cogliano and Dustin Penner. The Oilers went 6-5-2 without Hemsky this year, but they have really started to miss him lately. Most teams will play well for a short time without a star player, but eventually his void becomes apparent. The Oilers went 2-1 when Hemsky was out the first time. Then he played in Montreal and got three points. He went back on the IR the next game v. Toronto and the Oilers won three of the first four without him. They have only one won of their past six games, and it has become obvious that they miss Hemsky.

Hemsky is a competitive player and with Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Linus Omark putting up some decent numbers, I expect it will push Hemsky and he'll produce. Look for him to have a solid game tonight.

Gilbert Brule has been placed on the IR, retroactive to December 20th, thus freeing up a spot for Hemsky. No word on how long he will be out, but Tom Renney and Steve Tambellini will have to make some interesting decisions in the next few days because Brule and Vandermeer both skated today and they won't be out very long.

The Hall-Gagner-Eberle trio remains the same as does Paajarvi-O'Marra-Omark, while somehow JF Jacques remains in the line up tonight to play with Colin Fraser and Ryan Jones. Zack Stortini will take a seat in the pressbox again. I'm going to try and find out exactly what Renney sees in Jacques over Stortini at this point, because I don't see it.

ALBERTA FLAME OUT 

Eight years to the day that Darryl Sutter was hired as GM, he was essentially fired earlier today. Ken King said he asked Darryl to resign, which is the polite way of saying he was fired. Sutter leaves interim GM, Jay Feaster, with a mess of a team. It will be interesting to see who he trades first, Jarome Iginla or Miikka Kiprusoff. If the Flames are going to rebuild they have to move those two and start from scratch. It is fitting that the Oilers host the Flames on New Years day, as both teams are hoping that 2011 brings them a brighter future. The Oilers are about four years ahead of the Flames in terms of a youth movement, and I'm guessing Oiler fans will enjoy kicking the crap out of the Flames for the next few years.

BLOODY TUESDAY

GAME DAY PREDICTION: On January 27th, 2009 the Sabres strolled into Rexall and crushed the Oilers 10-2. The fans were chanting, "We want ten," in the 3rd period. It was an ugly Tuesday night. Fast forward 23 months later and the Sabres aren't that good, and the Oilers are, er, more exciting. Still smarting from their loss in Vancouver and jacked up by the return of Ales Hemsky the Oilers prevail 4-2.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers are 16-12-1 in their first home game after the Christmas break, and a stellar 7-2 v. eastern division teams. The Sabres are missing their leading scorer Derek Roy, lost in Calgary last night and they've only won seven of 31 meetings in Edmonton. The Sabres are only two points up on the Oilers, and the Oiler players aren't interested in helping their draft standings so they will win.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: In a move that no one say coming, the Oilers Octane calenders will be available starting tonight. Despite missing a great opportunity for a stocking stuffer for Wanye, BM and most of the other guys with too many calluses will gladly purchase one. In the 3rd period, Taylor Hall will score his first career hat-trick, and Rexall will become euphoric. Fans without a hat won't want to feel left out, so they will start tossing their Octane Calenders on the ice. Their intentions weren't meant to suggest the calenders weren't nice, but more of an ode to Hall, but a few of the girl's moms will be upset and write a letter to the Journal editor complaining about how truly callous come hockey fans are. (I've always wanted to use callous and callus in the same paragraph....squeeeeeee for me...)

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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 Cru Jones
December 28 2010, 02:56PM
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"Jason Strudwick will come out..."

I love late Christmas presents.

No idea why Renney favours Jacques over Stortini. Storts is a far better players, and actually uses his FISTS from time to time, rather than just having cement hands.

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#2 Red Dragon
December 28 2010, 03:01PM
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A Hat-trick? Thats a fist full of calluses waiting to happen!

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#3 C#### W###
December 28 2010, 03:30PM
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I've never seen that Oilers jersey shown above. Curious if anyone knows the story behind it.

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#4 Milli
December 28 2010, 03:31PM
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Yep, the JFJ over Storts is Baffiling! I like Renney, think he is very smart...but I don"t see it.

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#5 Chappy
December 28 2010, 03:32PM
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That Hemsky sweater hurts my eyes.

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#6 Ender
December 28 2010, 03:39PM
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The only thing I can figure is that the Oilers have finally decided to part company with JFJ and they're praying that if they play him enough, maybe he'll find the back of the net and fetch more than a seventh-round pick.

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#7 Stone Hands McOsta
December 28 2010, 03:47PM
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~wow who's game worn Hemmer jersey is that?~

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#8 Aleslav Smidsky
December 28 2010, 04:14PM
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@Stone Hands McOsta

Hemmers.

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#9 Chris.
December 28 2010, 04:26PM
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I think it's funny that so many fans of this organization are so use to mediocrity and the regular lack of depth that they are already calling for Hemsky to be traded... ~Why would you need more than a couple skilled wingers who can score?~ Finding ice time for a lot of good players is too problematic... It's freaking people out!

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#10 DK0
December 28 2010, 04:43PM
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@Ender

Or maybe Renney is hoping if he plays him enough JFJ will go down to injury again and the organization will finally give up on him.

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#11 Dan the Man
December 28 2010, 04:57PM
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Really unfortunate that Sutter got fired today, now we won't be able to trade Vandermeer to the Flames for a 2nd rounder at the trade deadline.

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#12 Aleslav Smidsky
December 28 2010, 05:06PM
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Dan the Man wrote:

Really unfortunate that Sutter got fired today, now we won't be able to trade Vandermeer to the Flames for a 2nd rounder at the trade deadline.

HaHaHaHaHA Go to FlamesNation and tell them that. I was on there earlier busting their balls, they are very sensitive today.

It is the least we can do to repay the favour of their Oilers Suck chants the last few years.

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#13 Ender
December 28 2010, 05:16PM
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@Aleslav Smidsky

On the one hand, I was giving my brother-in-law grief over the Holidays along the lines of 'It was a rebuilding year for us going in; what's your excuse?'

On the other hand, there's an old axiom that's good to remember at times like these; something about glass houses . . .

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#14 Aleslav Smidsky
December 28 2010, 05:28PM
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Ender wrote:

On the one hand, I was giving my brother-in-law grief over the Holidays along the lines of 'It was a rebuilding year for us going in; what's your excuse?'

On the other hand, there's an old axiom that's good to remember at times like these; something about glass houses . . .

I know. I wrote the same comment today on theirNation.

I know about the glass house also. It appears they didn't thou. It hurt so much having to hear them yelling "Oilers Suck" last few years. I guess the stones are being hurrled at them now.

No?

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#15 Quicksilver ballet
December 28 2010, 06:38PM
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C#### W### wrote:

I've never seen that Oilers jersey shown above. Curious if anyone knows the story behind it.

The jerseys shown are knockoffs, made in China 30.00 specials. They've mistakenly used the vintage orange when they should've used red on the numbers,namebar and crest. The price is pretty sweet no doubt but i wouldn't want to see that cheap twill they're using after a couple washings.

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#16 Ender
December 28 2010, 06:54PM
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Aleslav Smidsky wrote:

I know. I wrote the same comment today on theirNation.

I know about the glass house also. It appears they didn't thou. It hurt so much having to hear them yelling "Oilers Suck" last few years. I guess the stones are being hurrled at them now.

No?

Patience, Grasshopper. I think I'll wait until a point in time when we're above them in the standings before I start getting all High and Mighty on their butt.

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#17 Wanyes bastard child
December 28 2010, 07:05PM
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Well shoot... gene just said Miller is chasing his 200th win.

Great, just great, we are good for being the slump busters or the career highs :(

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#18 Wanyes bastard child
December 28 2010, 07:10PM
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Welcome back Hemsky :)

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#19 AussieOil
December 28 2010, 07:19PM
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Any decent links for the game today? My one from Atdhe is a bit weak today!

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#20 AussieOil
December 28 2010, 07:19PM
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Nice to have Hemmer back for sure, nice finnish by the big man

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#21 Wanyes bastard child
December 28 2010, 07:25PM
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@AussieOil

Courtesy David S from the last GDB

"

This site is gold. Lists all the streamed games as they come online. Oilers game is towards the bottom of the page:

http://www.myp2pforum.eu/threads/50102-NHL-Today!-December-26th-2010?s=5d4afbebc1976c458ccd0728840cd2c6

Then there's the old standby:

http://atdhe.net/31390/watch-edmonton-oilers-vs-vancouver-canucks "

Hope they help :)

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#22 Wanyes bastard child
December 28 2010, 07:34PM
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Petry's dad said the "s" word.. im going to blame him :P

EDIT: Yup, all his fault.

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#23 AussieOil
December 28 2010, 07:57PM
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Thanks WBC

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#24 GSC
December 28 2010, 08:05PM
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Played against Mike Weber in high school...he's grown a helluva lot since then

Seeing him score his 1st in the show against the Oil makes me sick to my stomach.

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#25 Wanyes bastard child
December 28 2010, 09:06PM
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Notice how Omark, Omarra and JFJ aren't seeing much time in the third, Papa Smurf (Renney) has spoken!

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#26 freeze
December 28 2010, 09:54PM
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HOW BAD IS WHITNEY'S ANKLE?!?

*gacks*

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#27 Crashing for Couturier
December 29 2010, 01:32PM
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Tom Renney = Dr. Drew. Check it out. Steady improvement by the younglings, whilst in a dead heat for Couturier. Parfait!

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