GDB LXIV: A blender against the Wild

Jason Gregor
March 05 2010 11:45AM

It's Friday night; the Oilers are out of the playoffs already and the game in on PPV. That doesn’t seem like a lot of incentive to watch, but many of you will watch because: you bought the PPV package so it’s already paid for, you’ll be at the Pint tipping back a few and the game will be on, or mostly because you want to see the New Guys.

Ryan Whitney will wear #6, Aaron Johnson is #2 and in case you missed Wednesday’s game Ryan Jones has #28.

The defence pairings didn’t look set during practice, but it looks like Whitney will play with Tom Gilbert, while Johnson will play with Theo Peckham and Jason Strudwick was paired up with Taylor Chorney.

Up front Ethan Moreau didn’t skate this morning, and he is doubtful with a sore neck. Pat Quinn fired up the blender this morning for his forward lines.

Penner — Horcoff — Nilsson
Pouliot — Gagner — Jones
Cogliano — Comrie — O’Sullivan
Brule — Potulny — Pisani/Stortini

Whitney is smooth as ice. He skates great, moves the puck well and his lateral movement is exceptional for a big man. No one questions his skill set, but I’m still skeptical about the soft factor. Johnson is on his fifth team since 2004, and you wonder if he is a journeyman or a guy who was on the wrong teams.

He wasn’t going to play much in Chicago with their top-five, and the same can be said about the Flames. These final 19 games he will be given the most ice-time of his career I’d bet, and we’ll see if he can take advantage of it and be a guy they think could be a decent 3rd pairing D-man next season.

Wild on roll

The Wild didn’t make any moves this week, other than shipping Belanger to Washington, but the acquisition of Cam Barker and Guillaume Latendresse earlier this year have panned out. Barker has only played two games, but he has two points, is +5 and is averaging just over 21 minutes a night. Latendresse has 18 goals in 37 games with the Wild and has given them a decent first line threat with Martin Havlat.

The Wild needed a centre to play with those two, but didn’t get one at the deadline. Kyle Brodziak was playing with them, and for the past two games Andrew Ebbett has been in the middle. Neither guy is a first line centre, but Todd Richards has found a way to get production from all of his lines.

The Wild have scored the first goal in nine of their past eleven games and they are 19-6-1 when scoring first. The Wild have played the 2nd most one-goal games in the NHL at 19-11-4, so expect a close affair tonight.

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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 Tha Legion
March 05 2010, 12:04PM
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Pay per view = booo

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#2 Travis Dakin
March 05 2010, 12:22PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

What???

Friday night and beer gets cheaper everytime the Oilers score at certain bars. Lots to care about.

The only place any of the Oilers are going to score is at some of the bars in Edmonton. The only way that is going to get me a cheaper drink is if I'm left holding the drink of a girl that leaves with an Oiler.

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#3 Crust
March 05 2010, 01:08PM
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PPV tonight?? Somehow as a Fan I don't feel very Appreciated.

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#4 freeze
March 05 2010, 01:16PM
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Crust wrote:

PPV tonight?? Somehow as a Fan I don't feel very Appreciated.

lol, I was just appreciating the irony of the Fan 'Appreciation' night being a PPV game!

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#5 David S
March 05 2010, 10:29PM
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OK. Here's the deal. After watching Mike Comrie play another decent game (basically winning it for us, not to mention being one of the few guys that seems to still give a crap), and watching his post-game interview I will say this. Sign him to a fair contract and make him the C.

We'd have a fantastic role model for our young guys and a guy that could actually contribute at the same time. That in itself would be a pretty big step forward from the last few years.

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Smooth as indoor ice should be the reference, I went to an outdoor rink for the first time in 3 years and it wasn't pretty.

How did Johnson look in practice?

I have to think you need to dress Stortini for his grit. Not that I see him throwing them with Boogard, but Minny has a some other physical players that will be running around so we need to counter that.

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#7 Travis Dakin
March 05 2010, 12:00PM
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So... hard... to... care....

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Travis Dakin wrote:

So... hard... to... care....

What???

Friday night and beer gets cheaper everytime the Oilers score at certain bars. Lots to care about.

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#9 Balf82
March 05 2010, 12:04PM
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Wreck Em Peckham better have a good go with Boogeyman.

I'm excited to see RW play. He's VERY good and I think he could thrive in Edmonton.

Hockey is a numbers game,you either fit in or you don't. Look at the Pouliet and Latendresse swap.

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Balf82 wrote:

Wreck Em Peckham better have a good go with Boogeyman.

I'm excited to see RW play. He's VERY good and I think he could thrive in Edmonton.

Hockey is a numbers game,you either fit in or you don't. Look at the Pouliet and Latendresse swap.

While Peckham has fought big guys before I can't see him going against one that knows how to fight as well as Boogard.

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#11 Pajamah
March 05 2010, 12:13PM
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I can wait till the Kovalchuk game to watch Whitney

Oh, and "I'd like to hear from Jonathon Willis"

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#12 Dan the Man
March 05 2010, 12:16PM
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I wonder how many people will purchase PPV packages next season?

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#13 DevoKnows
March 05 2010, 12:22PM
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Did anyone go to the breakfast/lunch informative meeting the Oil put on today? What was talked about?

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Dan the Man wrote:

I wonder how many people will purchase PPV packages next season?

Honestly what is the difference to the last two years? We have sucked down the stretch and had meaningless PPV games before, yet people keep buying. Numbers might go down, but I doubt it's anything drastic. By next October people will forget that we sucked last year and will all happy that Eberle and Hall are here.

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#15 common sense
March 05 2010, 12:25PM
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Just bought the PPV game tonight. I'm all set along with 5 buddies....NOT... Chances are I won't watch the Oilers even for free for the rest of the season. Almost laughable to see the Oilers promo machine having current season ticket holders in the Journal. The next time I hope to see the Oil is at the draft when I hope them pick the number one overall...

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#16 Pajamah
March 05 2010, 12:25PM
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Dan the Man wrote:

I wonder how many people will purchase PPV packages next season?

Good or bad team, the hope of a new season will still entice Oiler fans

I don't get the package deal, but I'll likely buy 3-4 next year, regardless of the team we ice.

It could be worse, frankly, I'd rather pay $20 not to watch Extreme Makeover - shoot myself in the f%}€ing face edition

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#17 David S
March 05 2010, 12:25PM
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Cogliano must be delirious with excitement, getting the rare chance to play a game with decent linemates.

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Travis Dakin wrote:

The only place any of the Oilers are going to score is at some of the bars in Edmonton. The only way that is going to get me a cheaper drink is if I'm left holding the drink of a girl that leaves with an Oiler.

Very true, although I plan on going out and get ripped tonight so lets hope they can save me some money.

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#19 Balf82
March 05 2010, 12:33PM
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I know we all want the Oil to lose and remain in the basement. I for one would like a big win tonight. I'm hoping Sully and Comrie can regain their chemistry from the pre-season. Cogs with decent wheels should be able to fit into this group. I am also hoping for a win as well for the new guys. Its always nice getting a big Dubya with your new team once you have been dealt.

Twice in my Jr career I was traded (suitcase I know) and the first time I played with my new team we lost and the coaches went absolutley basistic on us, the second time we got a big win and eveyone was happy. Much easier "easing" in with your new 'mates after a big win.

5-3 Oilers. Booyah.

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#20 Destroyko
March 05 2010, 12:36PM
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I'm not sure a team with Mikko Koivu can fairly be described as lacking a #1 centre...

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#21 Boris
March 05 2010, 12:42PM
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common sense wrote:

Just bought the PPV game tonight. I'm all set along with 5 buddies....NOT... Chances are I won't watch the Oilers even for free for the rest of the season. Almost laughable to see the Oilers promo machine having current season ticket holders in the Journal. The next time I hope to see the Oil is at the draft when I hope them pick the number one overall...

Won't watch the Oilers for free? Obviously not a true Oiler Fan. Suits me, hey try the Flames they have a chance to make the playoffs, you can be their fan...unitl the undoubtably fail, then maybe you can be a Canucks fan ......

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#22 Librarian Mike
March 05 2010, 12:45PM
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Bring on the Quinnder!

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Boris wrote:

Won't watch the Oilers for free? Obviously not a true Oiler Fan. Suits me, hey try the Flames they have a chance to make the playoffs, you can be their fan...unitl the undoubtably fail, then maybe you can be a Canucks fan ......

I kinda have the same view. There were many fans that were talking about how this team should do a rebuild, many of these fans were season ticket holders and many said they would be behind their team if they did the tank.

Well 3 months later and that seems like total BS, arena is empty with 10 minutes left in the game and now people aren't watching games. And we are expected to think we could handle a Pittsburgh rebuild, very doubtful.

I'll try watch as many games as I can, same as before. If something comes up then I'll still watch the highlights and read the paper and internet the next day.

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#24 Dan the Man
March 05 2010, 01:06PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

Honestly what is the difference to the last two years? We have sucked down the stretch and had meaningless PPV games before, yet people keep buying. Numbers might go down, but I doubt it's anything drastic. By next October people will forget that we sucked last year and will all happy that Eberle and Hall are here.

The main difference this year was being out of the playoffs in November but you're probably right that there will be new found hope with Eberle and Hall or Seguin here.

I just wonder if people will be more cautious and purchase on a per game basis since there isn't a huge savings for buying the entire season anyways.

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#25 Twiggs
March 05 2010, 01:11PM
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As per JW's article on the state of the Oilers defence, it should be interesting to see see what kind of train wreck the Strudwick/Chorney pairing will produce.

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#26 Rigger
March 05 2010, 01:19PM
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As per Oilers, Smid needs neck surgery and is out for the season. *sigh*

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Dan the Man wrote:

The main difference this year was being out of the playoffs in November but you're probably right that there will be new found hope with Eberle and Hall or Seguin here.

I just wonder if people will be more cautious and purchase on a per game basis since there isn't a huge savings for buying the entire season anyways.

Seeing what the rates were I wouldn't buy the whole year if I had the option. I don't have that new technology that allows me to get the games, but I wouldn't buy all anyways. If you are going to save that little over a year is it worth it? I mean even the guys that plan on watching every game have something come up from time to time.

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#28 Dan the Man
March 05 2010, 01:37PM
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@Rigger

I wonder what the record is for most surgery's on a hockey team?

Smid - Neck, Souray - Wrist, Jacques - Back, Rehabbybulin - Back, Hemsky - Shoulder

I think Stone and Grebeshkov had surgery too?

That's just insane, is Dr Nick the team Dr?

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#29 The Towel Boy
March 05 2010, 01:41PM
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PPV = PAIN PER VIEW.

If I wasn't ditching out to go play some REAL LIFE hockey, I would probably pony up some skrill to see the new guys in action. But that's just me.*

*once paid for remaining PPV games after the Ryan Smyth trade.

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#30 Arby
March 05 2010, 01:42PM
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Rigger wrote:

As per Oilers, Smid needs neck surgery and is out for the season. *sigh*

PHEUWPH!! That's a load off my mind.

And here i've been stressed about how bad T.O. is.

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#31 BUCK75
March 05 2010, 01:45PM
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@Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

I'm pretty used to watching bad teams the last few years. I spend my springs watching AJHL play-offs. Most of the rinks sell booze (Camrose $5) & the kids giv'r.

FYI Spruce Grove has the best ranked team in Canada, I would suggest any of you pissed off hockey fans in Edmonton take a trip out to the Grove.

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#32 Arby
March 05 2010, 01:47PM
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The Smid surgery HAS to indicate that Horcs has not been playing injured all year and is in fact as bad as advertised.

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#33 David S
March 05 2010, 02:13PM
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The Towel Boy wrote:

PPV = PAIN PER VIEW.

If I wasn't ditching out to go play some REAL LIFE hockey, I would probably pony up some skrill to see the new guys in action. But that's just me.*

*once paid for remaining PPV games after the Ryan Smyth trade.

I understand that without PPV this game wouldn't be broadcast, but if I were in the Oilers marketing department I'd show the rest of this year's PPV's for free as a "free preview" sorta thing.

I'd also feature preview the 10-11 Oilers Ice Girl lineup.

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#34 wes turner
March 05 2010, 02:22PM
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@Dan the Man

I will buy all the games that i am not watching in person.only one team wins the cup.and i am excited to watch the new version of the edmonton oilers. cup parade 2013

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#35 Ender
March 05 2010, 02:32PM
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freeze wrote:

lol, I was just appreciating the irony of the Fan 'Appreciation' night being a PPV game!

Apparently, they only Appreciate ticket-holding Fans.

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#36 Ender
March 05 2010, 02:42PM
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@ Dan the Man @ Rigger

I have been wondering for awhile now if we are on pace to set an all-time NHL record for most man-games lost in a season. It's a difficult stat to track since not all sites monitor it and if they do, they tend to record all days missed, regardless of the circumstances. (For instance, your 14th forward blows a knee badly in October and is gone for the season, they write off 80 games when in fact the team didn't miss the guy that much.)

No matter what standard of measurement, though, I have to think we're on pace to set some kind of record somewhere. This is the worst year for man-games-lost that I can remember, bar none.

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#37 Rigger
March 05 2010, 02:47PM
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Dan the Man wrote:

I wonder what the record is for most surgery's on a hockey team?

Smid - Neck, Souray - Wrist, Jacques - Back, Rehabbybulin - Back, Hemsky - Shoulder

I think Stone and Grebeshkov had surgery too?

That's just insane, is Dr Nick the team Dr?

No kidding, I had wondered that myself. This team seems like it's made of glass.

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#38 Rigger
March 05 2010, 02:51PM
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@Arby

No worries, we got this in the bag.

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#39 Jamie B.
March 05 2010, 02:53PM
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Ender wrote:

Apparently, they only Appreciate ticket-holding Fans.

Having been to Fan Appreciation Nights before, that should be season-ticket-holding fans.

Then again, tough to argue they don't deserve free televisions this year.

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#40 common sense
March 05 2010, 03:06PM
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I think a lot of Oiler fans have written this season off big time and a lot aren't gonna watch any more games rest of this season.. Big deal. That doesn't mean you're not a fan. I'm fan of the Oilers since their days in the WHL. If you like to watch crappola and AHL level hockey then go ahead watch some Oiler games rest of this year. Any organization needs to have some accountability. I'll be there to watch the Oilers pick on draft day this year.

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#41 Heavyd
March 05 2010, 03:14PM
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@common sense

You're a true Bandwagon fan. Don't wacth when they suck, but as soon as something good for the team, like getting the number one pick, you are back wacthing them again.

And I understand if yuo don't want to wacth ppv games, but if the games are on the cable channels and you have a chance to wacth, wacth them, that shows that you are a true fan, otherwise I see it as people being Bandwgon fans.

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#42 Heavyd
March 05 2010, 03:20PM
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@common sense

So you are going to wacth the daraft? So after the draft what happens if we have a AHL, team again next year, you won't wacth again. Thants what you are saying. So how are you a true fan? Are you a true fan just cause you wacth the good things with this team, but not the bad things?

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#43 Lofty
March 05 2010, 03:32PM
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In the ON poll why isnt there a "less than 4... I am a realist option?"

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#44 Senator Theo
March 05 2010, 05:19PM
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common sense wrote:

I think a lot of Oiler fans have written this season off big time and a lot aren't gonna watch any more games rest of this season.. Big deal. That doesn't mean you're not a fan. I'm fan of the Oilers since their days in the WHL. If you like to watch crappola and AHL level hockey then go ahead watch some Oiler games rest of this year. Any organization needs to have some accountability. I'll be there to watch the Oilers pick on draft day this year.

It's easy to say you're a fan. I think what you mean to say is that you like to watch Oilers games when everyone else is also excited about them and interested in watching the Oilers. Oh, and that you've been doing that since their days in the WHL.

That isn't accountability - that's being fairweather.

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#45 Heavyd
March 05 2010, 06:12PM
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@Travis Dakin

What are we going to talk about during tonights game?

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#46 JackBauer
March 05 2010, 07:22PM
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"What are we going to talk about during tonights game?"

Favorite porn fetish?

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#47 Heavyd
March 05 2010, 07:24PM
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Sign Comrie. I wouldn't mind a 3 year contract. !st year- 2.2 2nd year- 2.2 3rd year- 1.6

Is that a fair contract?

And what else can happen to our team this year, now our new guy is done.

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#48 Heavyd
March 05 2010, 07:25PM
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@JackBauer

I like anything really, except a foot fetish.

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#49 Wanyes bastard child
March 05 2010, 07:27PM
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Comrie scores :)

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#50 Heavyd
March 05 2010, 07:29PM
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Where is everyone? Am I the only loser who bought the ppv, and sitting at home.

~hopes my mom doesn't come downstairs while talking about porn~

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