2nd ANNUAL NATION DRAFT ROAD TRIP

Jason Gregor
June 23 2010 09:11PM

If day one of the 2010 NHL entry draft is any indication of what lies ahead, then hockey fans will be more excited than the kids camping outside the Nokia Theatre waiting for the 3rd installment of Twilight.

I can’t comment on the movie, because I haven’t seen it, but the kids clearly love it. I forgot my phone charger at home so after my radio show I went on a frantic search in downtown LA to find one. One block away from my hotel I came across Twilight Village. (I forgot my camera on table with phone charger or I’d have some sweet pics of the Twilight fanatics.)

Is there an age limit on when you look like a dork dressed up as your favourite character in a tent waiting for a movie premiere? I’m going with 21 since Americans can’t legally drink until then, so camping out at movie premieres is a fun night out.

Some were in costume, while others pretended to be in character. I swear I saw Wayne in one of the tents, but I couldn’t get past security to confirm it was him. He told me he was thinking about coming to LA for the weekend, but not the draft, so anything is possible.

LET THE SPECULATION BEGIN

The hordes of media wretches are staying at the JW Marriott, so every three minutes you can hear a different rumour. It’s a great time to be a fan of hockey, and to listen to the scuttlebutt.

The most surprising speculation is that Marc Savard is supposedly available out of Boston. He’s finished 9th in scoring three times, and looked decent in the playoffs after getting his bell rung by Matt Cooke, so needless to say I’m surprised he is on available. Mark Spector from Sportsnet confirmed he has heard the same things from some pretty reliable reporters in Boston, so keep an ear out for Savard rumours.

No teams were mentioned to be interested, but you have to think some GMs will have a chat with Chiarelli.

Sheldon Souray was at the LA airport when we got off our flight. He was jumping on the plane back to Edmonton to have his wrist checked out by the Oilers medical staff. The Oilers need to prove Souray is healthy before they can think about moving him. He said is wrist is fine and is hopeful something will transpire in the next few days.

I wonder if the new salary cap floor of $43.4 million will entice a team to take on Souray’s contract. He is a $5.4 million cap hit, but will only receive $4.5 in actual dollars. If a team needs to get to the floor Souray might be a good fit.

PEARN WAS CLOSE

On my flight to LA, I ended up sitting behind Montreal assistant coach, Perry Pearn, and we had an interesting chat. Pearn confirmed he was close to getting the Oil Kings job. “They offered me a significant deal,” he said. After the Oil Kings offer, Pearn had discussions with Jacques Martin and Pierre Gauthier about his future in Montreal. A few days later Gauthier offered him a contract extension.

“The thought of living full time in Edmonton was really intriguing, and I’d love to be a head coach again, but in the end I just couldn’t walk away from the Montreal Canadiens.”

Hard to argue with that, but it is interesting to note that an NHL coach was very close to leaving the NHL to return to the WHL. If the Canadiens hadn’t offered him an extension I think Pearn would have ended up in Edmonton.

We also discussed the Habs surprising playoff run and the Jaroslav Halak trade. Gauthier received lots of calls, but most were for Carey Price, not Halak, which explains why the Habs got prospects instead of a proven NHL player. Pearn likes both goalies, but he feels Price is more likely to handle playing more games due to his size.

Pearn will also be presenting at a coaches clinic tomorrow. He is doing a presentation on defensive zone coverage. The NHL coaches union hosts a clinic every year at the draft and Pearn is considered one of the best technical coaches in the game.

I also asked him if he hadn’t signed his extension with Montreal, if he would have considered reuniting with Tom Renney in Edmonton. “That’s a what if, that I can’t answer,” he laughed.

QUICK HITS

Jason Spezza has a $4 million bonus due to him on July 1st, similar to what Dany Heatley received last year. Bryan Murray stated there is no way the Spezza will get that bonus and not play in Ottawa. So if Spezza is going to get moved it will likely happen at the draft.

Dumbest rumour of the day was the Robyn Regehr and Eric Nystrom to Pittsburgh for Jordan Staal. No chance Ray Shero makes that deal. Lots of rumblings that Darryl Sutter will try and make a move, I just don’t see what he has to offer other than Regehr, unless he moves Rene Bourque for a centreman.

BROWNLEE UPDATE

Brownlee walked about eight miles looking for some cigars when we arrived. I think he’ll have lost 60 pounds by the time he gets home. He’s lost 56 so far on Herbal Magic, and if he stays that hard up for cigars he’ll shed the other four using old fashioned physical exercise by Sunday.

Tomorrow Brownlee will feature who the Oilers are targeting with the 31st pick.

Speaking of Brownlee. Wanye sent me a text this morning before I left that said "put a shameless plug for donations on the end of your first article. We are just over half way to Brownlee's total. Then we are in charity country, baby." Then he told me if I wrote it, he would add in the paypal donation button.

I hope this works and there is a button at the end of this article. I'd consider this a shameless plug.

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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 Shapeman
June 23 2010, 09:25PM
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FIST!

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#2 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
June 23 2010, 09:25PM
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i have soiled myself with glee

squeeeeee

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#3 RossCreekNation
June 23 2010, 09:28PM
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Word coming down from the AJC's Chris Vivlamore that "Another deal for Thrashers coming tonight. That should allow Chicago deal to happen." This, of course, in reference to the Thrashers need to get under 50 contracts before the Byfuglien deal goes through. Also, James Duthie mentioned that Craig Ramsey will be the Thrashers new head coach.

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#4 Matt Henderson
June 23 2010, 09:30PM
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I saw the 2nd Twilight movie with my better half on its opening day. The movie was terrible but the spectacle was worth it. The tweens screamed when the first preview played, when a preview with the actor that plays the vampire played, when the lights dimmed, when the movie actually started, when each of the three main characters first walked on screen, when there was a kiss, and when the movie ended in a "cliffhanger."

Craziest sh*t I've ever seen at the movies.

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#5 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
June 23 2010, 09:31PM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

I saw the 2nd Twilight movie with my better half on its opening day. The movie was terrible but the spectacle was worth it. The tweens screamed when the first preview played, when a preview with the actor that plays the vampire played, when the lights dimmed, when the movie actually started, when each of the three main characters first walked on screen, when there was a kiss, and when the movie ended in a "cliffhanger."

Craziest sh*t I've ever seen at the movies.

did they have a nicely dressed young man there to confiscate your man card when you entered the theatre?

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#6 Matt Henderson
June 23 2010, 09:34PM
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cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan wrote:

did they have a nicely dressed young man there to confiscate your man card when you entered the theatre?

He was a snazzy dresser now that you mention it.

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#7 Wanyes bastard child
June 23 2010, 09:35PM
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Well since we can't get rid of him... why don't we sign up RossCreek as a new writer and he can keep us up to date on trades and other news happening around the league.

Troll...

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#8 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
June 23 2010, 09:36PM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

He was a snazzy dresser now that you mention it.

good to hear.

and i am so sorry to hear about your loss. with time, and alot of work, someday you might be able to earn a tiny piece of that man card back.

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#9 Rogue
June 23 2010, 09:41PM
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"Before I make the first pick of the 2010 Draft, the Edmonton Oilers would like to announce the release of all of our scouting staff, except for Stu MacGregor, whom we will decide on later. Now, for our pick....."

This should be one of the more interesting drafts in recent history, not only from Oil point of view, but from entire league. Keep sending info,guys.

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#10 Matt Henderson
June 23 2010, 09:44PM
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@cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

*starts doing manly things in order to gain that card back*

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#11 m3sh
June 23 2010, 09:53PM
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as per Twilight... dear god Arch, I'm not sure how you got suckered into that one. After watching the first trainwreck of a movie it was fair to say the second and all subsequent sequels would be even worse.

Better to watch a Matthew McConaughey chic-flic then put a bullet in your head than watch anything Twilight.

WTF is up with all the vampire sh*t lately in pop culture?

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#12 RossCreekNation
June 23 2010, 10:07PM
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Wanyes bastard child wrote:

Well since we can't get rid of him... why don't we sign up RossCreek as a new writer and he can keep us up to date on trades and other news happening around the league.

Troll...

;-)

From David Staples: Souray to Rangers? Or Dallas?

http://communities.canada.com/edmontonjournal/blogs/hockey/archive/2010/06/23/souray-to-rangers-or-dallas.aspx

And... Nick Kypreos confirms that the Byfuglien deal is now official as the Thrash complete a deal with San Jose to clear roster room. (EDIT: McKenzie/Dreger says Atl trades 7th rounder along with the expiring contract's of Brett Stirling & Michael Vernace).

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#13 David S
June 23 2010, 10:55PM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

*starts doing manly things in order to gain that card back*

All you need is some MENERGY!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRuNxHqwazs

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#14 James Gunner
June 23 2010, 11:05PM
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Gregor, Didn't you forget your camera at last years draft as well? I blame the pints.

Ballsy.

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#15 Chaz Bonsignore
June 23 2010, 11:13PM
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Hate to be this guy but Ive heard that Colin Fraser will be an Oiler in the next day or two. If true i think thats a solid pick up by the Oil. Thoughts?

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#16 Aleslav Smidsky
June 24 2010, 12:01AM
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@Chaz Bonsignore

oops

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#17 Yonge & Dundas
June 24 2010, 12:07AM
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Chaz Bonsignore wrote:

Hate to be this guy but Ive heard that Colin Fraser will be an Oiler in the next day or two. If true i think thats a solid pick up by the Oil. Thoughts?

Good call, my man.

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#18 Higgins
June 24 2010, 12:16AM
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Hypothetically speaking. If I watched the Twilight sequel alone in my basement on a hungover Sunday with no evidence. Would I still have to re-submit for a Man Card?

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#19 Anon
June 24 2010, 12:27AM
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Higgins wrote:

Hypothetically speaking. If I watched the Twilight sequel alone in my basement on a hungover Sunday with no evidence. Would I still have to re-submit for a Man Card?

100% Yes, Jesus knows what you did. . .

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#20 K
June 24 2010, 12:29AM
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From Tencer Twitter...

Oilers deal a 6th round pick to Chicago for RFA centerman Colin Fraser. Thanks to Stauffer for confirming Oilers end of the deal.

They'll need to qualify Fraser...good room guy, right age, good on draws, good on PK and tough.

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#21 D
June 24 2010, 01:02AM
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7th Street off of Flower is a cigar shop - the Diplomat I think. My favourite cigar shop is in Westwood, but that's a little out of the way if you are staying near Staples. 7th and Flower is only a few blocks walking distance away though.

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#22 Wanye
June 24 2010, 09:55AM
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Chaz Bonsignore wrote:

Hate to be this guy but Ive heard that Colin Fraser will be an Oiler in the next day or two. If true i think thats a solid pick up by the Oil. Thoughts?

Well played CHAZ

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