ROOKIE WRAP AND NO REFS???

Jason Gregor
September 16 2010 02:04PM

 

The Oilers wrapped up their rookie tournament with a 4-3 loss to the San Jose Sharks, and now we will turn our focus to main camp and see if any of the rookies can make an impact.

 
Taylor Hall scored his first goal in an Oiler uniform, although it won’t count in the history books, it still caused quite a stir in the rink. Hall hadn’t done much in the first two periods last night, but he point shot made the final frame more exciting.
 
Hall is a quick learner. In the first period on a three-on-two rush, he was the trailer, took a drop pass from Magnus Paajarvi, and rather than one-time it, he hesitated for a moment and had his shot blocked. Two shifts later and virtually the exact same spot on the ice, he took another pass from Paajarvi on a three-on-two and one-timed it. He didn’t score, but Hall realized that he won’t have as much time as he did in junior.
 
After the game he talked about how the pace in this tourney was quicker than the OHL, and he expects the preseason to be even faster. It’s a learning process for him, but the kid is smart and I’m looking forward to see him play against NHL players.
 
Paajarvi scored his third of the tournament when he purposely banked it off a Shark defender and into the goal. Paajarvi looked the most NHL-ready of the big three. He is strong on the wall, and his speed is world class. I’ll be curious to see who Tom Renney plays him with. I’d try him with Ales Hemsky.
 
The best Oiler player in the tournament was Tyler Pitlick. He moved to RW last night and he still dominated. He isn’t afraid to deliver a check, and he rocked two Sharks on the same shift early in the first period. He kept the play alive on James Livingston’s goal, and he was a force all night. When the Medicine Hat Tigers come to Rexall Place to play the Oil Kings you can bet there will be a spike in attendance from curious Oiler fans.
 
Alex Plante left the game in the first period after taking a punch to the back of the head in a fight, but after the game he said he left because of back spasms. He grabbed the back of his head right after the fight, and I don’t doubt he had back spasms, but on the ice he looked like he’d had his bell rung. Plante was very good in tournament, and the Oilers will need a young D-man to emerge at some point in this re-build. He’ll play in the AHL this year, but he needs to become a regular next season.

REFS: OFFSIDE  

Pre-season action starts on Monday and right now the NHL and their referees don’t have an agreement in place. The NHL has offered the refs a 17% raise spread out over the next four seasons. That seems like a reasonable offer, but the refs have countered with a ridiculous 39% increase over the same time frame.
 
I’m not sure why they feel they are worthy of an average 9.75% increase over the next four years? The NHL has had talks with some ECHL officials just in case they can’t come to an agreement by Monday. As of today, no officials have booked any travel plans for the preseason so the posturing will continue right up until Monday.
 
There are lots of young officials in the AHL who won’t become replacement officials, because they don’t want to risk being blackballed in the future.
 
The NHL can’t start the regular season with ECHL officials, but there is no way they will agree to a 39% increase. I’d expect an agreement to happen soon, but with teams finally showing a little fiscal restraint, I don’t see the NHL giving in to the referee’s demands.

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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 TheManWithNoName
September 16 2010, 04:33PM
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@Jodes

Aside from teachers, the people you listed typically do get that if not close to it. Just so you know.

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#52 Aleslav Smidsky
September 16 2010, 04:35PM
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I would like to see Paajarvi play with Cogliano and Hemsky. Eberle and Penner with Hall at centre. So does Gagner play third line centre? Or, Horcoff could always go back to his 1st line work with Hemsky and Paajarvi, leaving Cogliano Gagner and Brule on the third. Maybe, Paajarvi Gagner Hemsky then. That would leave Cogliano Horcoff Brule on the third.

Whats the options for our fourth line?

Gilbert Whitney

Foster Smid

Pechkam ?????

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#53 LoDog
September 16 2010, 04:37PM
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@TheManWithNoName

I was in the AUPE and still work at a place where over half the people are in that union. From 2000 to 2008 the average wage increase was about 5% but in these economic times there was only a COLA increase last year and this year no increase is expected.

I think refs (and linesman) should be paid well, it's just a real bad time to ask for so much IMO.

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#54 Cru Jones
September 16 2010, 04:39PM
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@cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

K. good. I thought I might have been a little vague there.

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#55 TheManWithNoName
September 16 2010, 04:43PM
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@LoDog

I agree.

But I'm curious. Do you mean a 5% wage increase + a COLA increase from 2000-2008 or just the 5%?

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#57 LoDog
September 16 2010, 06:28PM
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The 5% figure included COLA (cost of living allowance for any who didn't know and cares).

It could be closer to 6%, I am guesstimating. Usuaully a 4% + 2%, 3% + 3% kind of deal. Obviously much less lately.

And on another subject related to the article I am really pumped about Pitlick showing so well, seems he could be a steal at 31.

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#58 Jodes
September 16 2010, 06:56PM
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@TheManWithNoName

Yeah you're right.. I guess Doctors and Politicians think they can get that much..

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#59 bdiddy78
September 16 2010, 07:00PM
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Whoa! Was this a mislabeled Lowetide post? All of this math and economics talk is getting me excited. For the record, both Gregor and Steve are correct, technically. Both 9.75% and 8.6% are averages, or means, of a 39% total increase over four years. The distinction is that 9.75% is the arithmetic mean and 8.6% is the geometric mean. Generally, for the purposes of comparison with say, the rate of inflation, the geometric mean is the more relevant number.

As for the referees, I'm pretty sure that NHL refs make more money than anyone else does for officiating hockey games anywhere in the world. To ask for an 8.6% average increase in that wage over the next four years, when others are losing their jobs or taking wage freezes, makes them look like greedy pigs, in my opinion. On the other hand, the owners and players are even more greedy pigs when you consider that most of us would do anything we could to be in their position and get paid nothing.

The bottom line is that unions always want more for their members and employers always want to pay as little as possible and, ultimately, the excess burden on the economy that either party receives is borne by the consumer, taxpayer, or in this case, the fans. The Oilers increased ticket prices yet again this year, despite a piss poor showing last year and most of us will still gladly pay because we are virtually addicted to the product i.e. there is a low elasticity of demand.

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#60 striatic
September 16 2010, 07:03PM
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the refs are certainly worth what they're asking for.

what they do requires a high degree of training and experience gathered over many years at low pay scales, increased possibility of injury, long spans on the road away from friends and family - all while serving as one of the more important lynchpins of a high revenue industry.

if we surmise that the NHL game played with ECHL officials will be more frustrating and thus less entertaining to watch, obviously elite officials add to the entertainment value of the game. they should be compensated in accordance to the value they provide.

the obviousness of the value they add is underlined by the league's efforts to better the game through changes in the rules and officiating of the game.

in a capitalist society, there is no such thing as a flat "fair" percentage wage increase. the only fairness is in being compensated relative to the overall value that you add, and if you're being undervalued by 39%, you deserve a 39% increase.

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#61 striatic
September 16 2010, 07:10PM
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while on the subject of the on-ice officials .. i don't understand why fans of the home team would boo the officials when they first skate out onto the ice before the game starts.

alienating the officials is so counter-productive! instead, we ought to be buttering them up with applause in order to encourage more favourable calls!

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#62 JackBauer
September 16 2010, 07:53PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

It isn't one practice...They will have different groups and you will see some scrimmages as well.

Is this practice open to the public? If so what time and where?

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#63 Cru Jones
September 16 2010, 08:37PM
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@Jason Gregor

Thanks for the info. Yes, it's open to the public. 8:15 to 2:15. I'm assuming it's at Rexall?

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#64 sizedoesmatter
September 16 2010, 09:01PM
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bdiddy78 wrote:

Whoa! Was this a mislabeled Lowetide post? All of this math and economics talk is getting me excited. For the record, both Gregor and Steve are correct, technically. Both 9.75% and 8.6% are averages, or means, of a 39% total increase over four years. The distinction is that 9.75% is the arithmetic mean and 8.6% is the geometric mean. Generally, for the purposes of comparison with say, the rate of inflation, the geometric mean is the more relevant number.

As for the referees, I'm pretty sure that NHL refs make more money than anyone else does for officiating hockey games anywhere in the world. To ask for an 8.6% average increase in that wage over the next four years, when others are losing their jobs or taking wage freezes, makes them look like greedy pigs, in my opinion. On the other hand, the owners and players are even more greedy pigs when you consider that most of us would do anything we could to be in their position and get paid nothing.

The bottom line is that unions always want more for their members and employers always want to pay as little as possible and, ultimately, the excess burden on the economy that either party receives is borne by the consumer, taxpayer, or in this case, the fans. The Oilers increased ticket prices yet again this year, despite a piss poor showing last year and most of us will still gladly pay because we are virtually addicted to the product i.e. there is a low elasticity of demand.

Huh?Geat now my head hurts

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#66 fuck off
September 16 2010, 09:59PM
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Cru Jones wrote:

What's the deal with the 6-hour open practice on Saturday? Isn't that a bit long for a practice? Is it sad that I'm thinking of driving up from Calgary to watch a practice? How many times did I say practice? Practice?

Practice, we talkin' 'bout practice??!

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#67 bdiddy78
September 17 2010, 12:21AM
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@striatic

And how would you suggest we calculate how much value the current officials add? Obviously if there were circumstances created by the current officials holding out and being replaced by ECHL officials, we would have some data to work with. But then how would we determine the value added by the ECHL officials vs. no officials at all? It may be an interesting idea for an experiment to play some games without officials but I don't think the NHL would be willing to try it out.

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#68 Scott in Grande Prairie
September 17 2010, 08:46AM
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I think the officials probably deserve the raise. They don't make anywhere near the money the players do, but they work hard and they travel just as much as the players ... and they're on the ice longer.

Nobody pays to see a referee call a game, but you've got to have them to run a game.

Plus, if we want to develop and attract young officials in the minor-hockey, junior and minor-pro ranks, there should be some sort of financial light at the end of the tunnel for them - a chance to make some decent coin in the best league in the world.

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