AROUND THE LEAGUE PLAYOFFS WEEK SIX

Jason Gregor
June 03 2010 02:45PM

As the Stanley Cup Finals wind down, I wonder if Patrick Kane is the most under-rated player in the NHL; or at least from the Canadian media and fans. Jonathon Toews gets more accolades than Kane, and despite his 22 points, to Toews 27; Kane hasn’t been mentioned as even a possibility for the Conn Smyth.

Why I wonder?

Toews is clearly a better ambassador off the ice.

He hasn’t been involved in any dust ups with taxi drivers,  doesn’t have a cool nickname like 20 cent, and he wasn’t shirtless in a limo with young Vancouver ladies. The only flak Kane should have received over the limo pics was his choice of companions. Who cares if a 21-year-old male is partying in a limo with girls?

But if you focus on his on-ice play it is hard to overlook what he has accomplished.

In his first three seasons he has 76 goals and 230 points in 244 games. Toews has 83 goals, 191 points in 222 games. Toews is the captain and one hell of a leader, and has shown an ability to step up his game in the playoffs and Olympics.

But so has Kane.

Toews has 40 career playoff points to Kane’s 36. It’s not a comparison between who is better, (I’d take Toews’ overall game) because their games are different, but I sense Kane doesn’t get the respect his game deserves. He might be the best player in the game at controlling the play high in the offensive zone. He has the ability to circle between the top of the circles and the blueline and make teams look lost. He has great vision, and for my money is one of the best passers in the game.

I also like his flair/cockiness. He makes the game fun. Some have laughed at his playoff Mullet, but it doesn’t faze him. And you can’t discount his ability to produce in the clutch. Kane needs one chance and he can finish. If Patrick Kane was Canadian would he be talked about more?

ICE WOMEN OF THE WEEK

The playoffs could be over by next Thursday, so let’s honour the entire BlackHawks Ice Crew. With such a wide array of beauties it is hard to pick a favourite, but, for me, something about Yanina separates her from the rest of the crew.

RANDOM THOUGHTS

  • Can anyone tell me who picked up the puck after game one of the Penguins/Red Wings series last year? Didn’t think so, because we shouldn’t care. Not sure why The Human Rake’s decision to pick up the puck annoyed so many people. That’s why he did it. To piss people off. Rake 1- hockey people 0.
  • If you are planning on going to the NHL draft in LA you can get tickets starting Saturday. Here’s a blurb from the Kings website. “Tickets for the 2010 NHL Entry Draft will be available to the general public beginning this Saturday, June 5, at 10 a.m.~ A limited number of tickets, which are free of charge, can be downloaded and printed (note a service charge of $1.25 per ticket will be charged) by visiting LAKings.com/nhldraft.~ Ticket limit is 4 (four) and each ticket is good for both days.”
  • The Hawks haven’t missed Andrew Ladd that much in the finals. He is an RFA this summer, and with his size should make him attractive trade bait if Stan Bowman elects to move him.
  • How much will RFA D-man, Niklas Hjarlmarsson be worth this summer? The 22-year-old Swede has been very solid for the Hawks. What Bowman does with his backend this summer will be intriguing to watch. Brian Campbell has played the 5th most minutes in the Cup final out of the blueliners, but his contract makes him untradeable I’d think.
  • Would Darryl Sutter buy-out the final two years of Ales Kotalik’s contract? They could buy him out for $4 million and split that up over four years.  
  • Why doesn’t baseball have instant replay? Detroit pitcher, Armando Galarraga was robbed of a perfect game last night when first-base umpire, Jim Joyce ruled Jason Donald safe at first. Replays clearly showed Donald was safe. Commissioner Bud Selig should wake up and allow teams to one or two challenge flags every game. I do credit Joyce for admitting after the game he screwed up, and Galarraga was incredibly classy after the game. He did get a surprise gift today though for his efforts
  • Kelly Buchberger and Wayne Fleming have yet to receive contract extensions. Their contracts are up June 30th, so we could see some changes behind the bench this summer. No position in the organization is safe at this point, and that’s how it should be when you’ve missed the playoffs four years consecutively.

 

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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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#51 Matt Henderson
June 04 2010, 01:04AM
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A) The very last Ice Girl in the bunch is hands down the best

B) Why was Patrick Kane riding in a Limo with transvestite lumberjacks? How drunk was this guy?

C) I feel terrible for both Galaragga and Joyce. Joyce was crying when he went out there today to Ump behind the plate. Galarraga was all class.

D) Seriously, Pat Kane, put your shirt back on, bro. It's emberrasing.

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#52 Max Powers - Team HME Evans
June 04 2010, 01:20AM
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@walkinvisible

Who's Kent?

~Wanye there's chicks on the forum again, can you get them off? they never even post any pics of themselves anyways~

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#53 Wanyes bastard child
June 04 2010, 01:27AM
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Kent is a blogger over on flamesnation, our sister site (heh, i just made fun of the flames by calling them a girl, how very clever of me...) and he is a very well written individual (as opposed to me) Jason's around the league editions get posted on all three sites (the canucks have one as well) and we can all comment on them equally over all three.

I'm pretty sure I got that correct but it's late and im tired...

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#54 Death Metal Nightmare
June 04 2010, 02:04AM
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thats who Kane invites into the limo? shame on you man. Miss Piggy and Mono-Brow? i hope someone slams your 160 pound body through the boards

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#55 Max Powers - Team HME Evans
June 04 2010, 02:45AM
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I can't get over the fact that more people have called/agreed the ice girls are ugly as opposed to calling Kane's girls ugly.

Seriously though guys, even the ugliest ice girl is probably better looking than the best looking girl 95% of the posters on here have ever slept with.

Oh yeah my official Max Powers ice girls ratings go as follows: 7, 9.5, 8.5, 6, 6.5, 6.5, 8.5, 7, 7, 5, 9, 8.5, 6.5, 8.

Miss Piggy gets a 2.0 and that's not on the richter scale. Unibrow beats miss piggy by 1 to make it an official 3.

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#56 RossCreekNation
June 04 2010, 06:13AM
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@walkinvisible

Ah... where's the half-naked women? I don't see any, but I do see the Blackhawks Ice Girls (dressed just like you'd see them at the game). I could maybe, kinda, sorta see you having a problem with the odd pic from past ATL's with lingerie, but being offended by these pics (unless by the couple of horse-faces), is getting a tad sensitive, no?

~Now seing a half-naked Patrick Kane... that's a little overboard~

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The funny thing about instant replay is the guy on sportsnet said it wouldn't have worked for that play. Can someone tell me why it wouldn't have worked? It's nice to see that the NHL isn't the only sport with a joke of offciating.

I didn't realize our assistants were up, but Stauffer hinted that we should know within by the 16th or something who will be coaching.

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Rake 1 hockey people 0

Seriously that is all he is up. I'd think it would be at least Pronger by a dozen points already.

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#59 MrCondor
June 04 2010, 08:52AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Actually read the entire paragraph. It mentions Chicago defence. Doesn't mention anything about Philly. How

And while you might like Campbell you still haven't given any proof why a team would trade for him. He has SIX years left at $7.1 million dollars. He is 31. Why would anyone want to pay him that much for the last three years. Sorry man, unless the Hawks giveaway a young guy to go along with Campbell I don't see any team that would take him.

I agree that term is a bit nutty, but D Men can be effective later in there careers.

Chris Pronger is 35 and he's in the running for playoff MVP (how he does it at his age after playing 25+ minutes a night for the majority of his life is beyond me).

Lidstrom won the Norris at 37 (and 36, and 35...)

If he were to hit the free agent market this summer, I'd bet he'd pull in close to 6 million given what J Bo and Dion got. So he's only about 1 million over market value. This site is cheering for close to that much worth of buyouts in O Sullivan and Nilsson (if we can't move them).

And so what if they do add a young guy and a draft pick. The Hawks are so deep right now that it's not out of the question.

He's got a bad contract, but not an unmovable one.

Unless either one of us is close friends with every GM in the league, we'll never know until the chips fall.

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#60 Doctor Unk
June 04 2010, 08:53AM
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4th row middle (Molly?) gets my vote, but I've always chosen cute over hot.

Stop 'trading' Horcoff. The guy had a bad year playing without Hemsky and everyone wants the run him out of town.

The man can win a faceoff and isn't a liability in his own end. How many centers do we have that can do that? Think of a third line with Pisani and Nilson. Horc and Pisani to play shut down and Nilson to provide an occasional surprise offensive flash and keep the opposing D honest.

I say give the 'C' to a young guy and keep the 'A' on Horc to provide support to our new captain. (No, I don't have any thoughts of who that captain would be)

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#61 rubbertrout
June 04 2010, 09:12AM
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~Maybe we should trade for Pronger?~

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#62 IHeartHemsky
June 04 2010, 09:22AM
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@Matt Henderson

The girl on the left looks like a younger version of Stiffler's mom from the American Pie series.

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#63 madjam
June 04 2010, 09:33AM
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How about Hedman , Gudbranson/Fowler, for a first round trade of picks including Souray (to replace Boyle ) and we take on Lecavalier . We then do a three way trade to Habs with Lecavalier ( for those who don't want him )for Price ,P.K. Subban and M.Laperrier . Cap wise we would do wonderfully well, and open up a lot of space for a star forward and others . We would do a lot toward filling other future/present voids in lineup as well .

Not so complex might be taking on Malone. Maybe we decide to keep Lecavalier instead of dealing him .

Are we better off to deal our first overall pick than to keep one of Hall/Seguin ? Just a fantasy scenario i realize , but one that might be possible and bear many fruits .

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#64 David S
June 04 2010, 09:43AM
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Max Powers - Team HME Evans wrote:

I can't get over the fact that more people have called/agreed the ice girls are ugly as opposed to calling Kane's girls ugly.

Seriously though guys, even the ugliest ice girl is probably better looking than the best looking girl 95% of the posters on here have ever slept with.

Oh yeah my official Max Powers ice girls ratings go as follows: 7, 9.5, 8.5, 6, 6.5, 6.5, 8.5, 7, 7, 5, 9, 8.5, 6.5, 8.

Miss Piggy gets a 2.0 and that's not on the richter scale. Unibrow beats miss piggy by 1 to make it an official 3.

Yeah, I don't get it. Any guy here who woke up with ANY of those ice girls would be praising the lord up above.

Maybe they're just used to the grain-fed variety Kane seems to prefer. In that case, I have no response.

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#65 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
June 04 2010, 10:06AM
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madjam wrote:

How about Hedman , Gudbranson/Fowler, for a first round trade of picks including Souray (to replace Boyle ) and we take on Lecavalier . We then do a three way trade to Habs with Lecavalier ( for those who don't want him )for Price ,P.K. Subban and M.Laperrier . Cap wise we would do wonderfully well, and open up a lot of space for a star forward and others . We would do a lot toward filling other future/present voids in lineup as well .

Not so complex might be taking on Malone. Maybe we decide to keep Lecavalier instead of dealing him .

Are we better off to deal our first overall pick than to keep one of Hall/Seguin ? Just a fantasy scenario i realize , but one that might be possible and bear many fruits .

i want no part, at all, of that lecavalier contract..

people bitch about the horcoff deal, imagine the carnage when a 35 year old vinny is putting up 40pts and carrying that deal around

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#66 walkinvisible
June 04 2010, 10:10AM
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@RossCreekNation

you're right, they are "just" the hawks' ice girls. unfortunately, posting them to the nations (and i see, now, that the problem is largely that i cant' effin stand articles that are available on both flames and oilers nation... and i've have boycotted flamesnation before because of it) allows for chauvinistic and disgusting commentary like:

"They may all have hot bodies but all of those Ice Girls meet the definition of "Butterface"."

"A few of those girls have the Crazy Eyes. But, you know the rule...Crazy in the Head = Great in Bed."

"As for the ice girls, home depot doesn't stock that much silicone. Too bad we can't get pics with there tramp stamps showing."

etc.etc.etc.

i come to flamesnation to read interesting and intelligent commentary on hockey. if i want trash, i'll go to domebeers.com where at least the article accompanying the half naked chicks is well written.

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#67 David S
June 04 2010, 10:19AM
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Holy crap. Smell like a man, man.

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

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#68 walkinvisible
June 04 2010, 10:34AM
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@David S

i presume that's directed at me ? why the eff would i wanna smell like a man when i'm a chick ?

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#69 David S
June 04 2010, 10:39AM
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walkinvisible wrote:

i presume that's directed at me ? why the eff would i wanna smell like a man when i'm a chick ?

Ahhh...the deafening thud of realization.

*Throws down smoke bomb. Skulks away into the shadows*

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#72 m3sh
June 04 2010, 11:00AM
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@walkinvisible

My god, calm down femi-nazi. No need to slam Gregor because the comments don't meet your requirements for "intelligent commentary". Maybe you haven't been paying attention, but guys (vast majority of the nation's site users) seem to like women, especially the scantily clad variety.

And I for one think the comments are intelligent in that they show some attempt to think critically about the attractiveness, or lack thereof, of the illustrious Hawks ice-girls. More intelligence than is necessary to write an impotent whiny "I'm going boycott" post. Feel free to boycott. Good riddance, buzzkill.

By the way, that one girl with the surprised look on her face... hilarious!

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#73 Soft Hands McSteeley - FIST Movement
June 04 2010, 11:07AM
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Doctor Unk wrote:

4th row middle (Molly?) gets my vote, but I've always chosen cute over hot.

Stop 'trading' Horcoff. The guy had a bad year playing without Hemsky and everyone wants the run him out of town.

The man can win a faceoff and isn't a liability in his own end. How many centers do we have that can do that? Think of a third line with Pisani and Nilson. Horc and Pisani to play shut down and Nilson to provide an occasional surprise offensive flash and keep the opposing D honest.

I say give the 'C' to a young guy and keep the 'A' on Horc to provide support to our new captain. (No, I don't have any thoughts of who that captain would be)

Everyone wants to run Horcoff out of town because he's a 5.5 mil/season cap hit, who is obviously not worth it. Playing with Hemsky still doesn't make him worth 5.5/season.

I agree on going with a young guy for the 'C'. Whitney seems like he would be a great captian but being new to the team, very unlikely. Just going to toss this out there, as not even I am sold on it, but what about Gilbert with the 'C'? He seems to be the 'dad' of the young guys and kind of on the older/more experianced side of our youth movement.

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#74 Clangger
June 04 2010, 11:11AM
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walkinvisible wrote:

you're right, they are "just" the hawks' ice girls. unfortunately, posting them to the nations (and i see, now, that the problem is largely that i cant' effin stand articles that are available on both flames and oilers nation... and i've have boycotted flamesnation before because of it) allows for chauvinistic and disgusting commentary like:

"They may all have hot bodies but all of those Ice Girls meet the definition of "Butterface"."

"A few of those girls have the Crazy Eyes. But, you know the rule...Crazy in the Head = Great in Bed."

"As for the ice girls, home depot doesn't stock that much silicone. Too bad we can't get pics with there tramp stamps showing."

etc.etc.etc.

i come to flamesnation to read interesting and intelligent commentary on hockey. if i want trash, i'll go to domebeers.com where at least the article accompanying the half naked chicks is well written.

"domebeers.com where at least the article accompanying the half naked chicks" ... Now you got my attention.

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#75 oilitsinyoutogive
June 04 2010, 11:52AM
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baseball has no instant replay because the rule had always been when the ump cant see a play clearly. Its considered a tie. and the tie always goes to the runner. However this is one case where replay would have been nice. also baseball is a slow sport already without teams challenging every play. The focus as of late with MLB is speeding games up rather then slowing them down more.

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#76 Quicksilver ballet
June 04 2010, 12:02PM
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Death Metal Nightmare wrote:

thats who Kane invites into the limo? shame on you man. Miss Piggy and Mono-Brow? i hope someone slams your 160 pound body through the boards

When the drums of passion are beating in the night it's difficult to select the appropriate trophy partner(s).....He obviously had confidence they would provide him the relief he required this evening.

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@oilitsinyoutogive

How many calls would really be challenged? Only allow teams x amount of challenges a game like they do in other sports.

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#79 Quicksilver ballet
June 04 2010, 01:21PM
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There's never a wrong time to do the right thing. There has to be some eyes upstairs to help assist the umpires when it is obvious a mistake has been made. If they can review every goal scored in an NHL game in Toronto..... they should be able to review a half dozen plays when its obvious the umpires could use some help at times. What is baseball....must be a 20 billion dollar industry?

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#80 SkinnyD
June 04 2010, 02:30PM
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I'm not sure how you all haven't been bewitched by Paige's smile. It's going to haunt me in my sleep...

And I agree with Ross Creek to disagree with Gregor regarding Ladd - I think he's a more integral part of the team than most realize and does a lot of small but important things effectively. Maybe he's the cog in the machine that brings the Cup in 5 if he's playing?

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#81 Matt Henderson
June 04 2010, 02:45PM
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http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/Matheson+Would+Spezza+good+Oilers/3109060/story.html

Matheson asks if Spezza would be a good fit with the Oil. He suggests the same trio would go out for Spezza as they did for Heatley. If Tambi makes that deal then he's officially insane.

The man tried to stick his hand in the blender once and was stopped. He noticed that 2 of the 3 fingers he attempted to chop off were actually his favourite fingers, and a year later he's ready to stick his hand back in the blender?

Hopefully after seeing Heatley leave for Michalek and Cheechoo he realized that he was betting against himself. Based on what Heatley went for, I wouldnt give up more than Horcoff and Cogliano.

The Oilers are rebuilding. Ditching a pile of youth and reasonable contracts for a high-priced malcontent is a mistake. Repeating the same BAD trade from last year would be a farce.

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#82 Quicksilver ballet
June 04 2010, 02:52PM
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One albatross is enough please.

Hard to believe this is even being discussed.

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#83 Crackenbury
June 04 2010, 03:01PM
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@Matt Henderson

I read Mathesons article late last night and couldn't believe what I was reading. Penner, Cogliano and Smid for Spezza? Is he nuts? He then goes on to suggest maybe Gagner instead of Cogliano to sweeten the deal. I was waiting for a puchline that never came.

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#84 Senator Theo
June 04 2010, 03:04PM
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If anything, Spezza is worth way less today than Heatley was last summer - especially with his contract. After the season he just put together, Penner is worth way more than he was last year.

The only way I could see any kind of deal for Spezza make sense (from the Oilers' perspective) would be if Horcoff was going back the other way. Even then, I think it would be crazy.

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#85 Crackenbury
June 04 2010, 03:10PM
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Matheson's deal is something we would have heard about last year. Typical Oiler move expecting 1 player to come in and somehow turn it all around. What scares me, is Matheson has a pretty good pipiline with the Oilers and if this is the way they are thinking, then all of the talk about building slowly through the draft and from within is a pile of crap.

Next we'll be hearing about an eight year, $90 million contract for Kovalchuk.

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#86 Hemmertime
June 04 2010, 03:24PM
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@Crackenbury

But a Kovalchuk - Spezza - Hemsky, Hall - Gagner - MPS top 6 would be very pretty. Or Eberle - Seguin - MPS (tho 3 rookie line would be too much). I wouldn't think it would be the best move for us, but it would be fun to watch. If Katz would dump Kovalchuk in minors if ever a problem by all means Id love it

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#87 Matt Henderson
June 04 2010, 03:31PM
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@Hemmertime

Step back from the blender, Hemmertime. Think about the Cap and where the Oil will be in 3 years when Gagner, Hall/Seguin, Eberle, and MPS all need contracts. All of a sudden all that money invested in Spezza, Kovalchuk, and Horcoff doesnt seem so great.

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#88 Crackenbury
June 04 2010, 03:41PM
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I hate to think of how screwed this team would be right now if the Nylander and/or Hossa and/or Vanek deals actually went through. I don't mind a big signing for an already good team, but the Oilers were grasping at straws with those deals. I can still barely get myself to speak about how pathetic the organization looked last year in trying to sign Heatly.

I'm hoping their current mantra of building from within isn't just a smokescreen until they try to land the next BIG ONE.

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#89 Team Hall
June 04 2010, 04:06PM
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OK, so what if Kane was taller, bigger, faster and tougher? Oh ya, we would call him Taylor Hall. Boo-ya. Score one for Hall. Did you see the guns on Seguin though? I like the thought of having a number one centre for years, that sure would be nice. Hall 1, Seguin 1. Tie goes to the runner.

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#90 Wendell
June 04 2010, 04:21PM
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Those girls Kane is with in the Limo are terrible. You would think a good looking 21 year old millionair pro athlete could do a little better then that. Those broads are pigs!

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#91 Senator Theo
June 04 2010, 04:38PM
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@Matt Henderson

What's with you and blenders? did you have a horrible blender accident, and now you only associate bad things with blenders?

~ When I hear "blender", I think "margaritas", and then I think "awesome". ~

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#92 SmellOfVictory
June 04 2010, 05:31PM
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@David S and Max Powers

I don't know if it's just that you guys have bad eyesight or you're really that easily dazzled by well-done hair and makeup, but I strongly disagree with what you find attractive in a woman. The girl 2nd row, middle column, for example, looks like a Spanish man dressed in drag; the girl to her left looks like a white guy dressed in drag.

Again, I agree that some of these girls are quite attractive, but to hail all of them as some kind of aesthetic gift from the heavens is ridiculous.

And for WI's sake: I'm not trying to objectify women (not that you think I am, but just in case); I just can't help but share my feelings.

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#93 Hemmertime
June 04 2010, 05:35PM
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@Matt Henderson

Oh ya, our team would be screwed. Though Kovy between 6-7 is a good signing, 10 mil + is crippling. Especially with Spezza, almost 30% of cap on two players is not that great, unless its Malkin and Crosby level.

Was just replying to other dude who mentioned the horror of us getting both. It would be fun for one to two years, then not so much.

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#94 Hemmertime
June 04 2010, 05:38PM
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@Wendell

That was Vancouver too, so Kane should have done better. Not like hes in CHI competing with two baseball teams, basketball, and da Bears.

Though, he might be following the rule "The uglier the girl the more she's willing to do". In which case he could nail their sisters in front of them then still get his grapes served to him Roman style. Or hes winning a bet.

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#95 RossCreekNation
June 04 2010, 05:58PM
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@Hemmertime

Was Kane in a slump then?

Maybe she was a 'slumpbuster'...

:)

_______________
via Andy Strickland... If there’s a team looking for toughness in their system then they may want to take a look at free agent D-man Ryan Donald who captained Yale University last season. Edmonton is one team who has expressed interest.

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#96 Rusty Duggan
June 04 2010, 06:07PM
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My assumption (fairly obvious) is that Hall wants the Bruins, and so does his agent. I hope things don't get ugly in the next few weeks.

Hall is very subtle in this recent quote on TSN, but I wonder if we see more obvious tactics from the Orr camp to get Hall to the Bruins.

(((Even though he is certain to go in the top two, Hall took time to speak with nine teams at the NHL combine last week in Toronto.

"These teams wanted to meet with me for the future," the Kingston, Ont., resident said. "In hockey there are a lot of trades and contract disputes and whatnot and you never know when you're going to run into another general manager. I didn't mind it at all.")))

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=323595

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#97 Rusty Duggan
June 04 2010, 07:32PM
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Hey Gregor, Willis, Brownlee anyone

I challenge/beg you to write an article about why Edmonton has become a place players don't want to play. I know there is a number of different angles to this topic, and I want it ALL explained, every in and out, because I don't think the average fan/Edmontonian knows why this has happened.

Is it management? Is it the city? Was it the post-lockout year that caused this perception? Is it the temperature? Is it the lack of success? Are the fans too hard for "todays" player? Is management still in denial? Is it becasue we were a low buget team for so long that we have lost a little bit of mojo? Is this still an issue?

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#98 Dave
June 04 2010, 07:53PM
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Saw hall and seguin together on tsn today. Hall spoke about Kane talking about going first over all while seguin spoke about what a great day it was for his father and him. I hope the Oilers take Seguin.

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#99 RossCreekNation
June 04 2010, 09:05PM
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Chris Pronger... once again bigger than the game itself, gets game puck. Even if it was a team thing, wouldn't the Captain grab it?

~But don't you know who he is, man? He's Chris Phukkin Pronger~

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#100 SmellOfVictory
June 04 2010, 09:20PM
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Rusty Duggan wrote:

Hey Gregor, Willis, Brownlee anyone

I challenge/beg you to write an article about why Edmonton has become a place players don't want to play. I know there is a number of different angles to this topic, and I want it ALL explained, every in and out, because I don't think the average fan/Edmontonian knows why this has happened.

Is it management? Is it the city? Was it the post-lockout year that caused this perception? Is it the temperature? Is it the lack of success? Are the fans too hard for "todays" player? Is management still in denial? Is it becasue we were a low buget team for so long that we have lost a little bit of mojo? Is this still an issue?

Probably has a lot to do with the city itself. It's small, as far north as the NHL goes, ugly, and not known for much aside from a giant mall. As the team goes, who on the Oilers would be a draw for guys to play with? Hemsky to some extent, and then? A lot of people hate Edmonton and Calgary for the weather, the 'lack of culture', distance from large bodies of water, etc. I know players don't get a ton of downtime during the season, but if you get a day off here or there and want to enjoy yourself, there are teams in warm climes, teams in bastions of fine dining, and so on.

Not saying that this is based off anything but supposition, but I would imagine it's pretty decent supposition.

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