High Five

Lowetide
September 13 2010 07:13AM

The absolute highlight of the weekend for Oilers fans had to be watching the rookies last night. All the stars were out on a clear night for the future. Hall, Eberle and Magnus Pääjärvi showed tremendous skill and the ability to be in the right place at the right time (I call it Steve Shutt syndrome) and dominated the ice. There are going to be growing pains for this team, but the future looks bright and there will be plenty to cheer about in  2010-11.

Terry Jones slid an article into the slipstream Saturday that had some interesting items. The article is here. The Renney quote about "1-3-5" is another positive indicator about management's approach (no quick fixes!) and he also said this: 

  • “Before they disbanded the national team with Hockey Canada, I worked in something of a hockey laboratory. You’d train for two weeks and then go out on the roads for two weeks. There was a lot of technical and tactical."

I believe that is the kind of approach required with this team. The kind of approach that Roger Neilson took when coaching the Peterborough Petes, who did some amazing things with that OHL team (Craig Ramsay arrived in the NHL as a quality 2-way player. He has stated many times that Imlach's Sabres had to overcome the NHL coaching, and Ramsay had a wealth of knowledge that had been driven into his brain from Neilson, That Petes team was legendary--one time Neilson had defenseman Ron Stackhouse defend a penalty shot instead of the goalie, and another time when his team was up by a goal late Neilson sent out three extra players with a few seconds left. If he got a penalty, so what?) including training a generation of quality NHL players. The basics. If Renney can build on what they've already learned, this team will maximize on the available talent.

Last night's game was splendid in so many ways. After making sure the gifted kids are healthy and have ten fingers and toes, it was heartening to see Tyler Pitlick play at such a high level. Quoting Jason Gregor:

  • PITLICK: Isn't afraid to hit. Had a big hit behind the net that led to a good scoring chance early. He uses his size wisely, especially when shielding the puck. He has very good offensive instincts, and he and Paajarvi played found some chemistry early. Looking forward to watching him at Rexall this year; when the Tigers play the Oil Kings.

That item comes from the article below, and contains a very nice rundown of the entire game (and a few other interesting items). The other thing I noticed last night was the size on defense. There were tall trees every shift, and I checked after the game to make sure my eyes saw it right. Here are the stats on last night's blue:

  • Alex Plante 6.04, 225
  • Johan Motin 6.01, 202
  • Jeremie Blain 6.02, 190
  • Brandon Davidson 6.01, 190
  • Martin Marincin 6.04, 187
  • Nolan Toigo 6.01, 187

Tall trees. Marincin has an enormous wingspan and Plante is healthy and looked solid (almost got beaten wide early but closed the gap very well and then played a steady game) and Brandon Davidson also showed some calm feet. The Oilers badly need to have at least a couple of these young men develop into NHL players, and last nights debut for this six gave some hope (even if it is a rookie game).

I think that is the theme for the season: baby steps.

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on TSN 1260.
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#51 KenMcC
September 13 2010, 03:32PM
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Bookie wrote:

I actually think that the attacks on Tillman have been prone to hyperbole. What he did was stupid, immature, and totally irresponsible. It also could have a real impact on the girl involved. However, there is a huge difference between what he did and Graham James or with pedophile priests.

With that said, I cannot fathom that an organization would hire him to be the face of the team. It is insane. A whole world of candidates and you pick the damaged goods. Its just terrible PR. It's also terrible management as the guy at the helm has a long ways to go before he can command full respect from all of those that work for him. I know that if someone I worked with did that, I would have a hard time taking him seriously or respecting him.

Your comments are sincere and well-reasoned. Some of the other posts about Tillman have me questioning whether the poster is sincerely concerned about the victim, or is more taken with an opportunity to make a joke. As someone said, that IS classless and doesn't respect the way the affected parties resolved things.

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#52 Ender
September 13 2010, 03:55PM
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David S wrote:

Jeez man. All this time I thought you WERE Ender from stillnoname.com.

Hence the reason I went by Ender the Dragon for a couple of years; to avoid people thinking just that. Now that he's posting again, though, I'd give him the name back on the Nation if he promises to use it. I don't know what this tiff with Brownlee is about, but I enjoy his take on most things.

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#53 bdiddy78
September 13 2010, 03:59PM
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KenMcC wrote:

Your comments are sincere and well-reasoned. Some of the other posts about Tillman have me questioning whether the poster is sincerely concerned about the victim, or is more taken with an opportunity to make a joke. As someone said, that IS classless and doesn't respect the way the affected parties resolved things.

The real joke being made here is the slap on the wrist the justice system dished out to Tillman. I'll admit that I have a sick and twisted sense of humor sometimes but we are way too lax on pedophiles and sex offenders in general in this country.

And bookie's point about the move by the Esks being bad PR is totally on point. It just shows how desperate this once proud organization has become. Thank god it is now NFL season so I don't have to hear anymore about their "football" anymore.

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#54 bdiddy78
September 13 2010, 04:01PM
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Oops! I put one too many "anymore"s in there.

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#55 TheManWithNoName
September 13 2010, 04:02PM
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Ender wrote:

Hence the reason I went by Ender the Dragon for a couple of years; to avoid people thinking just that. Now that he's posting again, though, I'd give him the name back on the Nation if he promises to use it. I don't know what this tiff with Brownlee is about, but I enjoy his take on most things.

Nah, it's yours. I'm not likely to post super-often, partly because of responses like Brownlees, but mostly because when I post at all I tend to post a lot which involves nothing else getting done. I'll pop in now and again, but nothing regular.

I'm not sure what the deal is with Brownlee either (and again, I genuinely am sorry if I misread you earlier Brownlee!) but he's always seemed to be hostile towards me. The thing about getting run was a C&B issue that I think about 5 people know the actual story behind, and I'm pretty sure he's not one of them, so meh. But that's all just text, and it's always hard to know *exactly* how someone is saying something. Where I read hostility could just be gentle affection ;)

Other than that, I dunno. On paper I still have a hard time seeing this team as a lottery pick. Will they make the playoffs? Probably not. But if they can stay moderately healthy, I think they'll be challenging for 8th (which is basically 8-12 these days).

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#56 Wanye
September 13 2010, 04:13PM
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The theme for this season should be "exciting last place hockey." Alternatively "more robots, more killing" would have some zip.

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#57 Ender
September 13 2010, 04:19PM
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TheManWithNoName wrote:

Nah, it's yours. I'm not likely to post super-often, partly because of responses like Brownlees, but mostly because when I post at all I tend to post a lot which involves nothing else getting done. I'll pop in now and again, but nothing regular.

I'm not sure what the deal is with Brownlee either (and again, I genuinely am sorry if I misread you earlier Brownlee!) but he's always seemed to be hostile towards me. The thing about getting run was a C&B issue that I think about 5 people know the actual story behind, and I'm pretty sure he's not one of them, so meh. But that's all just text, and it's always hard to know *exactly* how someone is saying something. Where I read hostility could just be gentle affection ;)

Other than that, I dunno. On paper I still have a hard time seeing this team as a lottery pick. Will they make the playoffs? Probably not. But if they can stay moderately healthy, I think they'll be challenging for 8th (which is basically 8-12 these days).

Ahhh, Browlee's mean to everyone. That's how you know it's him and not someone hacking in under his name. Not that we'd want him to change; if he did that, we'd have to threaten to sic Wanye on people we disagreed with and boy, would that ever strike the mirth of God into their hearts.

In any case, there are a lot of people on here who have offended someone. I think it's like a prerequisite in some cases. As Willis said the other day:

Jonathan Willis: Personally, I just try to remember that no matter what I write, somebody’s going to be irate.

I hear you about getting stuff done. If I worked for commission, I'd have had to harvest organs under the bridge at night to make ends meet over the past couple years. Still, you know you want to. Come over to the Dark Side. We'll save you a seat.

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#58 Ender
September 13 2010, 04:25PM
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Wanye wrote:

The theme for this season should be "exciting last place hockey." Alternatively "more robots, more killing" would have some zip.

Compromise?

How about "More exciting hockey killing last-place robots*"?

* RossCreek knows who the last-place robots are, even if he won't admit it yet.

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#59 David S
September 13 2010, 04:44PM
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Ender wrote:

Compromise?

How about "More exciting hockey killing last-place robots*"?

* RossCreek knows who the last-place robots are, even if he won't admit it yet.

Just add some skates and Oilers colors. NOBODY will mess with our young guys then.

http://www.fearnet.com/fearnetImages/imA9+AsBpAldUxOr4dvyjWUw==.jpg

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#60 Chris.
September 13 2010, 04:51PM
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Ender wrote:

Compromise?

How about "More exciting hockey killing last-place robots*"?

* RossCreek knows who the last-place robots are, even if he won't admit it yet.

Maybe robots can be used to injure Regehr in October (and again before the trade deadline)... Maybe these same robots can take both Kiprushoff and Iginla out for the season in November (after just 18 and 22 games respectively)...

Maybe these Robots could help us settle a disagreement about the relative depth and quality of our organizations.

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#61 The Real Scuba Steve
September 13 2010, 04:52PM
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Wanye wrote:

The theme for this season should be "exciting last place hockey." Alternatively "more robots, more killing" would have some zip.

@ Wayne

You always make me laugh out loud, you speak the truth! But seriously shouldn't Tambo have made a trade for a modest offensive forward to help this young crop of rookies, or do you think they grow by themselves into a offensive powerhouse.(maybe powerhouse is little too much). A contender to a playoff spot.

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#62 Pajamah
September 13 2010, 04:58PM
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bdiddy78 wrote:

The real joke being made here is the slap on the wrist the justice system dished out to Tillman. I'll admit that I have a sick and twisted sense of humor sometimes but we are way too lax on pedophiles and sex offenders in general in this country.

And bookie's point about the move by the Esks being bad PR is totally on point. It just shows how desperate this once proud organization has become. Thank god it is now NFL season so I don't have to hear anymore about their "football" anymore.

Are you kidding me??

You're going to compare a "clothed thrust", to pedophilia or being a sex offender

What he did in most offices turns into a sexual harrassment seminar. I get that it was a 16 yr old girl, and that makes it worse, and I don't say what he did is ok, or that he doesnt deserve his punishment, but thats blowing it way out of proportion.

I have a 9 yr old daughter, and sure, I'd take legal action if someone did that to her. Difference is, if someone sexually assaulted her, or raped her, the guy wouldnt make it to court.........my point being, there is a huge difference, and Eric Tillman isnt some monster

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#63 Ender
September 13 2010, 05:04PM
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I am completely shocked.

Maybe I shouldn't be; a lot of people said it would happen. I wouldn't believe them. Today, it happened.

Sheldon Souray skated in camp with the team. In the interview afterwards (you can see it on TSN) he said that things are a lot different now than they were 5 months ago (~read: I got put on waivers and no one wanted me~) and that he just wanted to focus on helping the young guys and being a part of the team.

Wow. Someone should have taken my money; I'd have put a bundle on Souray not playing in Edmonton this year. Looks like the almighty dollar has more influence than I'd have thought.

So . . . how many people are trading in their new #4 jersey for a #44 instead?

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#65 Dutchscooter
September 13 2010, 05:14PM
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bdiddy78 wrote:

The real joke being made here is the slap on the wrist the justice system dished out to Tillman. I'll admit that I have a sick and twisted sense of humor sometimes but we are way too lax on pedophiles and sex offenders in general in this country.

And bookie's point about the move by the Esks being bad PR is totally on point. It just shows how desperate this once proud organization has become. Thank god it is now NFL season so I don't have to hear anymore about their "football" anymore.

I'm not defending the guy, I'm just defending the ideal. You can't railroad someone if you don't know the facts. TILLMAN WAS NEVER CONVICTED. So, the proverbial slap-on-the-wrist doesn't really apply if he wasn't convicted of a crime. He pled no contest, which basically means that both prosecution and defence knew what happened, everyone involved in the case (including the victim) doesn't want severe repercussions, so the judge gave him a conditional release.

BTW, why are we debating Tillman on a Oilers subject? Bring on main training camp!

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#66 David S
September 13 2010, 05:14PM
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Ender wrote:

I am completely shocked.

Maybe I shouldn't be; a lot of people said it would happen. I wouldn't believe them. Today, it happened.

Sheldon Souray skated in camp with the team. In the interview afterwards (you can see it on TSN) he said that things are a lot different now than they were 5 months ago (~read: I got put on waivers and no one wanted me~) and that he just wanted to focus on helping the young guys and being a part of the team.

Wow. Someone should have taken my money; I'd have put a bundle on Souray not playing in Edmonton this year. Looks like the almighty dollar has more influence than I'd have thought.

So . . . how many people are trading in their new #4 jersey for a #44 instead?

What did you expect? If he doesn't show up, he breaches his contract. He'd have given the Oilers an out, which only an idiot would do.

And seriously. When has "the almighty dollar" (or in this case a crapload of almighty dollars) NOT had influence? Would you have done anything different with that much at stake?

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#67 Sammy D
September 13 2010, 05:18PM
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Ender wrote:

Ahhh, Browlee's mean to everyone. That's how you know it's him and not someone hacking in under his name. Not that we'd want him to change; if he did that, we'd have to threaten to sic Wanye on people we disagreed with and boy, would that ever strike the mirth of God into their hearts.

In any case, there are a lot of people on here who have offended someone. I think it's like a prerequisite in some cases. As Willis said the other day:

Jonathan Willis: Personally, I just try to remember that no matter what I write, somebody’s going to be irate.

I hear you about getting stuff done. If I worked for commission, I'd have had to harvest organs under the bridge at night to make ends meet over the past couple years. Still, you know you want to. Come over to the Dark Side. We'll save you a seat.

We can offer more than just a seat. The dark side has cookies. And beer. Lots and lots of beer. And hoepfully this year we can offer you some laughs as we manage to beat Calgary in the standings. We may not make the playoffs, but if we beat Calgary most everything else will be forgiven.

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#68 Ender
September 13 2010, 05:19PM
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Lowetide wrote:

Ender: I still think he gets traded before physicals.

I admire your optimism, but I don't think the Abbotsford Heat can afford him. Do you think there's anyone else interested?

Maybe Tambo has hired some people to stalk the other NHL training camps and pull a Tonya Harding on high-profile defencemen. If he can't influence supply, maybe he'll have more luck with creating demand.

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#70 Ender
September 13 2010, 05:25PM
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David S wrote:

What did you expect? If he doesn't show up, he breaches his contract. He'd have given the Oilers an out, which only an idiot would do.

And seriously. When has "the almighty dollar" (or in this case a crapload of almighty dollars) NOT had influence? Would you have done anything different with that much at stake?

Oh, you misunderstand me. I'm not shocked Souray showed up. I agree, only someone with irreparable brain damage would sit home from Oilers training camp and forfeit close to $10M.

I'm shocked that he was invited. I was pretty sure that he'd be told 'Your cheques are in the mail; no need to come to the rink to pick them up'. Failing that, I thought that at least his training camp jersey would have the word BARONS written on it.

WSTC?

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#71 ubermiguel
September 13 2010, 05:27PM
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Ender wrote:

I admire your optimism, but I don't think the Abbotsford Heat can afford him. Do you think there's anyone else interested?

Maybe Tambo has hired some people to stalk the other NHL training camps and pull a Tonya Harding on high-profile defencemen. If he can't influence supply, maybe he'll have more luck with creating demand.

The part that amazes me about the Souray Saga is how hard it is to move player in the post-lockout-salary-cap era.

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#72 TheManWithNoName
September 13 2010, 05:30PM
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Ender wrote:

Oh, you misunderstand me. I'm not shocked Souray showed up. I agree, only someone with irreparable brain damage would sit home from Oilers training camp and forfeit close to $10M.

I'm shocked that he was invited. I was pretty sure that he'd be told 'Your cheques are in the mail; no need to come to the rink to pick them up'. Failing that, I thought that at least his training camp jersey would have the word BARONS written on it.

WSTC?

I did. If Katz wants City Hall to believe that they need to fund a new arena because the team is losing nothing, they can't afford to pay Souray for nothing (or the AHL). It would undermine their position financially.

If Souray isn't traded he needs to be playing nightly on the OIlers, not the Barons, if Katz has any hope of City hall's support for the new arena.

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#73 TheManWithNoName
September 13 2010, 05:31PM
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And by "because the team is losing nothing" I mean "because the team is losing money"

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#74 @NateInVegas
September 13 2010, 06:54PM
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If Olivier Roy can emerge as the Oilers #1 by 2012-13 the rebuild will take shape quicker.

Can't wait to see him square off against Jack Campbell at the WJHC this year.

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#75 bdiddy78
September 13 2010, 07:17PM
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@Pajamah

Okay, I agree that what he did wasn't pedophilia or rape and I was wrong to imply that it was. But he very possibly affected that girl for the rest of her life and pretty much received zero government-imposed punishment for it. And now he is already getting a good job offer, just months after admitting his wrong-doing.

Do you think he would have received as little punishment if he weren't the GM of the beloved local sports team? Maybe, but then that only highlights how little protection is afforded to children, and yes, a 16 year old is still a child, in this country. And if he were employed in a normal office job and committed sexual harassment and other employers knew about it, would he so easily be considered for a new job? I doubt it. My point is that the guy got off way too lightly.

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#76 Pajamah
September 14 2010, 12:20PM
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bdiddy78 wrote:

Okay, I agree that what he did wasn't pedophilia or rape and I was wrong to imply that it was. But he very possibly affected that girl for the rest of her life and pretty much received zero government-imposed punishment for it. And now he is already getting a good job offer, just months after admitting his wrong-doing.

Do you think he would have received as little punishment if he weren't the GM of the beloved local sports team? Maybe, but then that only highlights how little protection is afforded to children, and yes, a 16 year old is still a child, in this country. And if he were employed in a normal office job and committed sexual harassment and other employers knew about it, would he so easily be considered for a new job? I doubt it. My point is that the guy got off way too lightly.

And that I will agree too, that there is a double standard in place for high profile members of the public.

I just don't think its classless to give someone who made a mistake a second chance. And the gravity of his mistake shouldn't ruin the mans life. He affected the poor 16 yr old girl negatively, and should be remorseful about it, but if the legal system, and the "court of public opinion" have glossed it over, and put it behind them, then I can as well.

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