Whitney: more bad news coming?

Robin Brownlee
March 05 2010 03:01PM

I've already said I like the acquisition of Ryan Whitney at the NHL trade deadline, but what he told me in the Edmonton Oilers dressing room this morning sent a shiver down my spine.

Speaking of body parts, it seems Whitney has bad feet. Anybody who has been paying attention knows that Whitney had surgery on his left foot in August 2008, a procedure that limited him to 48 games in 2008-09 after seasons of 38, 59 and 40 points in Pittsburgh.

The surgery, called an osteotomy, is defined as a procedure to shorten, lengthen or realign a bone or bones. The catch is the operation wasn't done to repair a broken bone, but to correct a chronic condition wearing inserts in his skates didn't remedy.

Given all the fun the Oilers have had with Nikolai Khabibulin's back this season, would it make anybody else nervous if Whitney suggested he's now having problems with his right foot?

Apparently, he is.

What he said

"The left foot is just great, the one I had surgery on," Whitney told reporters at Rexall Place this morning.

"I'm just kind of battling a little bit with the right one right now. It's just kind of about figuring out what's going to work and what's best for me and how to feel healthy again. That's half the battle of playing well. I think it's just something I was kind of born with."

Pardon?

Whitney, 27, gave no indication today his right foot is bothering him enough that he will miss any games down the stretch. There's been no indication he'll require surgery. I haven't asked the Oilers medical staff about that. Likewise, I don't know if the Oilers shipped Lubomir Visnovsky to Anaheim for Whitney knowing about the condition or not.

It does, however, at least seem reason for pause, given the four-year contract handed Khabibulin, despite his previous back problems. It's something to keep an eye on.

Looking to rebound

Whitney, who played with the US Team at the 2010 Olympics, isn't using his foot problems as a crutch when it comes to his fall-off in production these past couple seasons, but it's not a stretch to suggest it's impacted his performance.

In 2005-06 with Pittsburgh, he had 38 points in just 68 games as a 22-year-old. In 2006-07, he had 59 points in 81 games. In 2007-08, he had 40 points in 76 games.

After surgery, which was performed in Charlotte, North Carolina, he played 28 games with the Penguins, scoring 2-11-13, before being dealt to Anaheim, where he added 10 assists in 20 games. He'd scored 4-24-28 in 62 games with the Ducks this season when the trade came.

"I think it's just, partly, not being healthy," Whitney said when I asked him about the past two seasons. "You never want to make excuses, but you've got some injuries I had to deal with.

"You're dealing with certain things. At the same time, though, it's just about kind of really finding your passion for the game and working harder to get better."

And...

-- Adding to the team's ridiculous injury woes, defenceman Ladislav Smid is out for the season because he needs surgery to repair a disc problem in his neck, according to coach Pat Quinn.

-- The infection Sheldon Souray has after surgery to repair a broken hand is serious enough that he's been hospitalized.

Captain Ethan Moreau told Jim Matheson and I this morning Souray knew something was badly amiss when he bumped his elbow and it swelled up like a balloon.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#1 Arby
March 05 2010, 04:18PM
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@Insider

I called that number but all i got was your mom asking me what i was wearing.

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#2 Robin Brownlee
March 05 2010, 03:40PM
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Insider wrote:

Katz has nsomething going on with Kansas city, he is doing all the PR about a downtown rink, with no monies from him, he will say he tried and it was a no go.Kansas offered him a stake in a casino along with the rink. Deep Oil will know about this. Brownlee start digging it will be the biggest story you ever broke.

Yes, right away. I was going to be the maid of honour at my sister's wedding this afternoon, but I told her I can't make it because I have to chase this story.

When the old man heard my sister sobbing and she told him what I said, he clutched his chest and went down hard. I hope it's nothing serious because I'll be busy phoning Scottsdale and won't be able to go to the hospital. Mom will update me via Twitter.

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#3 Homie
March 05 2010, 03:34PM
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Insider wrote:

Katz has nsomething going on with Kansas city, he is doing all the PR about a downtown rink, with no monies from him, he will say he tried and it was a no go.Kansas offered him a stake in a casino along with the rink. Deep Oil will know about this. Brownlee start digging it will be the biggest story you ever broke.

Where is the negative props / idiot button?

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#4 SquidRx
March 05 2010, 03:12PM
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Surgery to correct his foot would be one thing, but did you ask him what the likelihood of him having surgery and then getting nailed for speeding and extreme DUI while recovering would be?

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#5 Jaime
March 05 2010, 05:24PM
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You'd think the Whitney trade is the biggest crisis to hit the planet in months.

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#6 misfit
March 05 2010, 03:26PM
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I actually think of this as a good thing. I've always just figured he sucks, but maybe he's just been held back by a wonky paw that can be fixed at some point (like his left one apparently is).

Or maybe he just sucks.

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#7 misfit
March 05 2010, 03:43PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Thanks for that contribution. Agenda?

I don't know what my agenda would be. I've just always thought Ryan Whitney was a bad hockey player who's been incredibly overrated pretty much his entire career. If he's had a bad foot for years (not sure how long it's been a problem), then maybe it's been holding him back. And if it can be corrected with surgery, then maybe he'll be better down the road.

I'm a homer, so he's one of my 23 favorite players by default. I'm just trying to find some sort of silver lining to what I think was a terrible trade for an average player.

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#8 Ender
March 05 2010, 04:35PM
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SpotTheLoon wrote:

Yeah, I know where they are in the standings. But I see positive coming out of the recent trades. If you prefer, keep bitching about the team. Decry ever single thing that they do in an effort to improve the team and give the fans their money's worth. Sure, the last few years have been tough. But if you would prefer to continue looking backwards at past mistakes, be my guest. It is easy to second guess things when you can see how they have turned out. Being a fan is about having faith in the future, I think. And I feel more optimistic now about the Oilers than I have in the last couple years. That said, I don't live in the past either.

I was optimistic when Tambo said he didn't want to sign an older goalie for two years. Then he went out and signed one for four.

I was optimistic when Tambo said he was icing a competitive team last summer. Then, after assessing all the holes and surpluses on this team, he decided that the only thing we really needed was another small forward.

I was kind of pleasantly surprised when I found out that Tambo had managed to get a pick and a real, live, breathing player in exchange for Steve Staios. I'd have been quite happy about that if it weren't for all the rage coursing through my veins at the same time upon learning the return we got for our last tangible asset on defense.

I should be optimistic now? When Stauffer gets a text from Katz that says Tambo isn't going anywhere, then I'll be optimistic.

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#9 Travis Dakin
March 05 2010, 08:48PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Fair enough. Thanks for clarifying.

As for these "professional trolls," they don't really get me worked up. They're more of a an irritant -- like a pimple on your ass or stepping in dog sh*t.

I have never made a truer statement than the one I am about to make....

I stepped in a greasy pile of dog sh*t about an hour ago when I came home from work and I literally have a huge pimple on my ass now. Good times indeed.

Robin are you going to be at the Pint on the 13th? Perhaps I should have asked that before I felt the need to inform the Nation about my assne.

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#10 Souby
March 05 2010, 03:10PM
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NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Haven't we gone through enough of this crap already?...I wonder if the Oilers Bluecross premiums will go up next year?

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#11 Matt Henderson
March 05 2010, 03:17PM
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Too Bad I'd just be one of those Haters who has to complain about everything if I brought Whitney's medical history up.

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#12 Ender
March 05 2010, 03:28PM
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Somewhere, Murray is still going over Tambellini's trade call in his head and giggling his ass off.

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#13 misfit
March 05 2010, 03:28PM
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I just noticed the "props" button. For the record, that was me giving myself props. How long has that thing been there?

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#14 SquidRx
March 05 2010, 03:39PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

No, silly. It's a picture of Kathy Bates about to put the wood to James Caan in, fittingly, the movie Misery.

Holy crap! The picture is changing faster than Wanye has to change his underwear when he is flipping through his Mom's Chatelaine magazine.

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#15 David S
March 05 2010, 03:48PM
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Homie wrote:

Where is the negative props / idiot button?

The idiot button could be cumulative. Once you get "X #" idiot props, you would get a "penalty box" ban for 24 hours or something. All penalized idiots would have their names up on the right hand part of the site in a "2 minutes for being stupid" section. Oh the injustice!

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#16 Matt Henderson
March 05 2010, 04:02PM
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@Insider

I foresee this going poorly for you

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#17 Death Metal Nightmare
March 05 2010, 04:47PM
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jesus christ. do the Oilers do any background checks at all when they trade or sign dudes?

"BROKEN BACK? HOTT. SIGN THAT MOFO!... OH, CLUB FEET THAT NEED SURGERY? WICKED, HOW ABOUT LUBO STRAIGHT UP FOR THE ELEPHANT MAN."

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#18 magisterrex
March 05 2010, 05:31PM
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At this point I think it would be very wise for Oilers management to call in an exorcist team from the Vatican. Then do a cleansing ceremony.

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#20 Reagan
March 05 2010, 07:38PM
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There is a series of Whiners hanging out here today. Would it make you feel better guys if I bought you all a Snuggy to make you feel safe and warm?

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#21 OilrHead
March 06 2010, 12:29AM
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A little History lesson:

This little team was bad. Not only they were bad, they had serious injury troubles. They lost more man-games than any other team in the league. This bad injury prone team also had a goalie with injury problems and his nickname was Khabby. In the end, the silver lining was that they had made great draft picks for 3 years straight. That was the Chicago Blackhawks.

When I look at the Oilers today, I see history repeating itself.

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#22 SquidRx
March 05 2010, 03:08PM
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Isn't that a picture of Ray Whitney?

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#23 SquidRx
March 05 2010, 03:08PM
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You got me! Fixed it already.

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#24 Heavyd
March 05 2010, 03:08PM
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Who put up the Ray Whitney pic? lol.

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#25 Hunter
March 05 2010, 03:09PM
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Surely the Oilers knew about this, checked it out, and everything will be fine, right?!

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#26 bingofuel
March 05 2010, 03:15PM
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@ SquidRx & @ Heavyd

This is what happens when I'm trying to do everything really fast, including typing and typo-ing. :)

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#27 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
March 05 2010, 03:16PM
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Wonderful, good to see the team learned it's leason when it comes to aquiring damaged goods.

Look for the team to lead the league in man games lost again next year.

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#28 SquidRx
March 05 2010, 03:17PM
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bingofuel wrote:

@ SquidRx & @ Heavyd

This is what happens when I'm trying to do everything really fast, including typing and typo-ing. :)

That's okay. I still think that you da' man!

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#29 bingofuel
March 05 2010, 03:22PM
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@SquidRx

Suck up!

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#30 Dan the Man
March 05 2010, 03:26PM
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Surely the Oilers would have done their homework and looked into a players medical histo....nevermind.

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#31 Robin Brownlee
March 05 2010, 03:27PM
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SquidRx wrote:

Isn't that a picture of Ray Whitney?

No, silly. It's a picture of Kathy Bates about to put the wood to James Caan in, fittingly, the movie Misery.

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#32 Insider
March 05 2010, 03:29PM
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Katz has nsomething going on with Kansas city, he is doing all the PR about a downtown rink, with no monies from him, he will say he tried and it was a no go.Kansas offered him a stake in a casino along with the rink. Deep Oil will know about this. Brownlee start digging it will be the biggest story you ever broke.

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#33 Robin Brownlee
March 05 2010, 03:30PM
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misfit wrote:

I actually think of this as a good thing. I've always just figured he sucks, but maybe he's just been held back by a wonky paw that can be fixed at some point (like his left one apparently is).

Or maybe he just sucks.

Thanks for that contribution. Agenda?

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#34 Benhur
March 05 2010, 03:33PM
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At least this medical condition is rather unique! Not the same old injuries to the spinal column, shoulder, noggin or knee.

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#35 BUCK75
March 05 2010, 03:38PM
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This injury streak & lack of defence is starting to remind me of the last 20 games of 2007. Except this time we shouldn't be able to screw up the lottery.

If this is a potentially bad condition that wasn't disclosed, what is the compensation? Or is this something that happens frequently, getting knicked up players?

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#36 SquidRx
March 05 2010, 03:43PM
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bingofuel wrote:

Suck up!

Not that there is anything wrong with that.

*scrubs vigoursly trying to get Bingofuel's brown off nose*

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#37 bingofuel
March 05 2010, 03:45PM
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@Robin Brownlee

You will henceforth be known as Maid Brownlee

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#38 Souby
March 05 2010, 03:46PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Yes, right away. I was going to be the maid of honour at my sister's wedding this afternoon, but I told her I can't make it because I have to chase this story.

When the old man heard my sister sobbing and she told him what I said, he clutched his chest and went down hard. I hope it's nothing serious because I'll be busy phoning Scottsdale and won't be able to go to the hospital. Mom will update me via Twitter.

Now that's what I call dedication. Way to take one for the team Robin!

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#39 Insider
March 05 2010, 03:58PM
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Ok queen of spades, Oilers are destined for kansas , a repeat of the nordiques. this story will get your career revived.

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#40 quicksilver ballet
March 05 2010, 04:00PM
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After being "Hobbled" here for less than 2 seasons Ryan will gladly flee from the scene here. He'll probably spend more than half that on the long term IR.

This trade is another example of us continually getting the short straw. Anaheim gets a much better player and the Oilers are left with the inferior player that's going to cost us more in the long run.

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#41 JB
March 05 2010, 04:01PM
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Sigh. I hope the Oil get a new downtown building so that I may a) never have to hear/read a "whispered" rumour about it again and b) never have to read anything further about the debate. Perhaps when this forgettable season is over and the draft rolls around we can focus on the sports part of the game. The building issue is tiresome at best.

In other news, Oilers trade for a player with Bill Walton's feet. After this kind of injury plagued year you'd hope they did due diligence. If not, then WTF?

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#42 SpotTheLoon
March 05 2010, 04:02PM
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Would you guys like some cheese with all the whining? Give it a rest. I can't believe people going on about someone being damaged goods. Have the doctors look at the foot now and, if necessary, do the surgery ASAP. Not like we are fighting for a playoff spot this year. Then, hopefully, Whitney is good to go for next year.

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#43 Matt Henderson
March 05 2010, 04:04PM
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@SpotTheLoon

Just like Horcoff right? ~Surgery always goes well~

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#44 Ender
March 05 2010, 04:08PM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

I foresee this going poorly for you

Poorly? I'm kind of surprised he isn't purged from the mainframe already.

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#45 Wanye
March 05 2010, 04:08PM
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David S wrote:

The idiot button could be cumulative. Once you get "X #" idiot props, you would get a "penalty box" ban for 24 hours or something. All penalized idiots would have their names up on the right hand part of the site in a "2 minutes for being stupid" section. Oh the injustice!

We can't have a diss button yet. Not with a 30th place team and everyone pissed off. This site is about positivity.

Positivity and hidden easter egg pornography!!*

*Really

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#46 SpotTheLoon
March 05 2010, 04:12PM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

Just like Horcoff right? ~Surgery always goes well~

I think I will take to calling you chicken little. Yes, the sky is falling all the time, isn't it? In every silver lining, there has to be a dark cloud there somewhere. Good grief.

I understand fans are sensitive but at the slightest hint of ANYTHING, people are assuming the worst ALL THE TIME. I recognize everything doesn't go according to plan but neither does everything go bad either.

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#47 Forrestt
March 05 2010, 04:12PM
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Really the oil moving to KC lol. Since my wife's dad is head of Economic Development KC he will get a good chuckle out of that one. Yes they are trying for a team but it won't be this one. Lately they have not had talks with anyone, but they would love to move Pheonix over.

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#48 Insider
March 05 2010, 04:14PM
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Put in a call 816-513-3500, tellthem Dave sent you.

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#49 Wanye
March 05 2010, 04:15PM
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Forrestt wrote:

Really the oil moving to KC lol. Since my wife's dad is head of Economic Development KC he will get a good chuckle out of that one. Yes they are trying for a team but it won't be this one. Lately they have not had talks with anyone, but they would love to move Pheonix over.

This pretty much ends the rumour IMO.

*slams imaginary 1,500 lb door closed*

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#50 Ender
March 05 2010, 04:16PM
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@SpotTheLoon

Ummmmm . . . we didn't have any complaints when the Oil went on their Cup run. I was pretty happy, at least . . .

You are looking at the standings for this year, right? For the Oilers? Playing out of Edmonton? If you can't find them, just keep scanning down . . . . . keep going . . . a little further . . . there you go. There's our little Ray of Sunshine. Put some perspective on anything?

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