ROOKIE BATTLE OF ALBERTA AND SO LONG SOURAY

Jason Gregor
September 14 2010 12:46PM

It is fitting that the morning of a rookie installment of the Battle of Alberta, Steve v. Sheldon rages to a new level. For the past few months most of the focus in Oilerville surrounded the arrival of Hall, Eberle and Paajarvi.

Every now and then Souray's status would grab a headline, and so did Khabiboozin's court case, but until last night, when Steve Tambellini stated "Sheldon is not welcome at camp," most in Oilerville were giddy about the potential of TMJ and assumed the Souray situation would eventurally work itself out.

I'll admit I was a bit surprised that Tambellini elected to ban Souray from training camp. I thought they'd let him showcase himself in training camp and the preseason and then work out a trade, but it is clear that Tambellini feels Souray's presence around the kids, even for a brief time, wasn't worth the risk.

It is a risky call by Tambellini, but I'll give him credit for making a statement. Tambelllini is standing by his word that he wants no part of players who don't want to be here. I don't agree with banishing Souray from camp, but being a leader requires the guts to make a tough call and stand by it, and Tambellini has done that. And Tambellini's action's have made an impact on fans, media and even the players.

"I saw Steve's comments, the only thing you can take from it is you have to watch what you say, and somethings you can't go back on," said Taylor Hall. "I don't know Sheldon personally, I don't know what he went through at all, and I don't know what Steve is thinking. Every word can change a sentance, and a sentance can change a whole story so you have to watch what you say."

***Robin Brownlee met with Souray around noon today, and he'll have an indepth reaction from Souray later today on the OilersNation for your reading pleasure.***

NO HALL, EBERLE or PAAJARVI

None of the big three look like they will dress tonight v. the Flames. Milan Kytnar is the other forward who will watch from the stands. It makes sense to sit them out tonight, because tomorrow's game should be a better test for them. San Jose has a lot of veterans on their squad and that should be a better primer leading in to main camp on Saturday. Jeff Petry skated today, but they won't rush him back and risk him aggravating his injury.

Here's how the lines looked at the skate this morning.

Hamilton/Vande Velde/Livingston
Cornet/Matrtindale/Thomas
Czerwonka/Pitlick/Pelss
Hartikainen/Schaber/Abney

Schlumpf/Plante
Davidson/Marincin
Bendfeld/Toigo

Bunz will start in goal.

Tonight's game won't have the same flair without TMJ, but it will allow me to focus on some of the other prospects. I'm going to focus on Hamilton, Cornet, Martindale (who really struggled in game one), Davidson, Plante and how Pitlick plays without Paajarvi. Of course I will give an update on other guys that stick out or struggle, but those are the six I will monitor closely.

TILLMAN IN

The Edmonton Eskimos hired Eric Tillman this morning, and the reaction will be heated. As a football hire, it is a great move, but Tillman's action's with his babysitter were grossly inappropriate and for many fans his actions are unforgiveable.

I felt it was too early to hire Tillman. His case is still fresh in people's mind, and the optics don't look good. In a few years, like most things in life, people become more tolerant and forgiving. The only positive for Tillman is that the football bar has been set pretty low by former GM, Danny Maciocia.

Tillman has a lot of work to do to repair the damage left on the field by Maciocia, but Tillman has always been good at evaluating talent. It will be interesting to watch how he handles the inevitable backlash from many fans.

had a guy call into my show yesterday who had been molested as a kid, and he made a pretty strong point. "What Tillman did was inappropriate, but it was much different than sexual assault. Anyone who thinks it is the same has never been assaulted. Clearly it was wrong, but those who are upset better have no skeletons in their closet."

We will never find out the entire story of what happened in Regina, but if the girl and her family have forgiven Tillman, I expect it will be a matter of time before most Eskimo fans do the same. Tillman will have this follow him the rest of his life, and he should, and that is punishment enough for me. He will never be held in the same regard as he was before, regardless of how many games the Eskimos win during his tenure.

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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 Anon
September 14 2010, 03:15PM
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I only ever read this blog and never actually comment. But, I feel compelled to comment about the degree of Tillman's offense and the impact it might have had on the girl.

I used to be involved in helping people who experienced sexual violence. One rule that we followed was that there was no possible way to judge the impact sexual violence has on someone based on the type of assault.

While it's fair to say that repeated sexual assaults/group assaults/ritualized assaults/child sexual abuse/etc. are likely to have more of an impact than say, non-penetrative assaults by strangers, single events, stranger assault, etc., the impact can't be predicted. The rule for us was to go into helping the person with an open mind, and letting that person describe how it impacted them. What most, if not all of us found, was that some assaults described as minor (and even sexual harassment) have a major impact on people. Sometimes the person was affected more deeply that another who had experienced what someone might describe a more serious assault.

Some people suffer long-term effects from any type of assault or harassment. So, the issue for me is whether or not someone committed some kind of sexual violence (assault and harassment), and not the so-called seriousness of the offense.

Most people in this world are guilty of doing something violent (sexual or otherwise), sometime, somewhere, and it's just my opinion, but for me, how we move forward is important.

I really hope this all works out.

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#52 Craig1981
September 14 2010, 03:22PM
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@Steve

I guess there is always the ECHL......he did say he wanted to go to California lol

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#53 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
September 14 2010, 03:42PM
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Craig1981 wrote:

I guess there is always the ECHL......he did say he wanted to go to California lol

California mentioned they didn't want him.

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#54 russ99
September 14 2010, 04:55PM
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Marincin's in rookie camp?

Cool. How does he look so far.

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#55 Team Hall
September 14 2010, 05:34PM
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I appreciate your balanced take on Tilman Gregor, well done. Good football move, but too soon to be publicly forgiven for his actions. The only beef I have is when someone brings up an example of concept or principal and it is dismissed because "it is not the same thing." That bugs me. NO example will ever be exactly the same, therefore, according to your rationale, no comparisons should ever be made. Sometimes the Principals are the same, not the example, the caller is illustrating a point, and that example should hold up. For example, when someone says, "whats next, are we going to hire OJ?" Oh, that is not the same. But what he is saying is, where do you draw the line? How bad does the conduct have to be before it is unforgiveable? The example/illustration stands, it should not be dismissed out of hand by Barnes, who is no judge.

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#56 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
September 14 2010, 05:54PM
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This must be a very difficult few days for the green and gold, it'll be great to get into next week when all the questions directed at Tillman be football related and not all this non football b/s.

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#57 Harlie
September 14 2010, 06:26PM
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@Jason Gregor

thanks for the reply.

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#58 Sammy D
September 14 2010, 10:06PM
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Chaz wrote:

Gotcha. Thanks,

TMJ is also a chronic inflmation of the jaw that causes extreme pain.

And to the ON faithful, TMJ occurs when some troll decides to make his bones here on the site and spew some moronic comment about Wanye (which only makes him grow stronger - love that quote) or to insult those who are clearly smarter and better respected. The troll should get TMJ for spewing trash, and we get TMJ from clenching up while reading said trash...

(Steps off of soapbox, and goes back to lurking)

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#59 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
September 15 2010, 08:35AM
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Gregor on the whole it was too soon to sign a guy like Tillman that was discussed with Barnes yesterday. How long is long enough? Outside of the normal "well longer then it has been".

I really have to problem with the comment it was too early, but no one really has an answer to when is better.

Not sure letting this shat show go on for the rest of the year and wait for all the other candidates would've been the best option. Tillman can come in and still get this team into the playoffs and at the sametime rebuild them.

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#60 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
September 15 2010, 09:17AM
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If Eric Tillmans shelf life is a concern then maybe in 2 or 3 years when Eric moves onto another challenge Ed Hervey will be ready to take over.

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#61 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
September 15 2010, 09:28AM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

If Eric Tillmans shelf life is a concern then maybe in 2 or 3 years when Eric moves onto another challenge Ed Hervey will be ready to take over.

That is if Tillman keeps him around

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#62 John Anthony
September 15 2010, 08:57PM
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I just want to say I check this site everyday and think it has the best and most up to date and accurate info on the web for an oilers fan. Jason, as always, has a great point in the Tillman situation, its too early. Buy my second point, albeit a lot more selfish, is that I am a rider fan, and now because of Tillmans actions my team will suffer, and the Eskies benefit. I guarantee that more than a few rider personnel will follow Tillman to Edmonton, not to mention a few players. In all fairness, this happens all the time, its the sports industry, personnel changes are common place, especially with GM's. But the big difference is we(Rider fans) lost a valuable asset because he did something wrong,and not related to football, yes he was on prescription drugs, yes it was just a touch and nothing more, but why should it be the rider fans who are gonna get screwed. I think the league should follow up with its code of conduct policies and treat him like a player. I know he lost a lot, and it was one mistake, but if the eskies go on to success in the next couple of years I can tell you there will be a lot of sore feelings coming from Saskatchewan.

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#63 John Anthony
September 15 2010, 08:57PM
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I just want to say I check this site everyday and think it has the best and most up to date and accurate info on the web for an oilers fan. Jason, as always, has a great point in the Tillman situation, its too early. Buy my second point, albeit a lot more selfish, is that I am a rider fan, and now because of Tillmans actions my team will suffer, and the Eskies benefit. I guarantee that more than a few rider personnel will follow Tillman to Edmonton, not to mention a few players. In all fairness, this happens all the time, its the sports industry, personnel changes are common place, especially with GM's. But the big difference is we(Rider fans) lost a valuable asset because he did something wrong,and not related to football, yes he was on prescription drugs, yes it was just a touch and nothing more, but why should it be the rider fans who are gonna get screwed. I think the league should follow up with its code of conduct policies and treat him like a player. I know he lost a lot, and it was one mistake, but if the eskies go on to success in the next couple of years I can tell you there will be a lot of sore feelings coming from Saskatchewan.

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