Long May You Run

Lowetide
September 08 2010 06:26PM

It is very important to pay close attention to the 2010-11 Edmonton Oilers. Savor the moments, take strong mental notes. Make sure those images will last a lifetime.

We've been through some things together
With trunks of memories still to come
We found things to do in stormy weather
Long may you run.

Long may you run. Long may you run.
Although these changes have come
With your chrome heart shining in the sun
Long may you run.

-Neil Young

I was a Boston Bruins fan before the Alberta Oilers rolled into my part of the world (small town Saskatchewan). I remember listening to the transistor radio and the stories of the new league "raiding" the NHL. Everyone was "jumping" or "jumping back" and honestly I wasn't aware of many names signed by that first team. All of us knew Al Hamilton and Jim Harrison, and many other fans knew about Ross Perkins and Rusty Patenaude and the others. We'd get to know Patenaude well, listening to the radio back then it was impossible to miss him (Patenaude scored 159 WHA goals) and many others along the way. Bill Flett, Frank Beaton, Dave Dryden, Brett Callighen, and true legends like Normie Ullman and Jacques Plante.

EVERYONE knew that entry into the NHL meant the big time, the ultimate show. That first training camp meant all kinds of changes (the Oilers would get all of their draft picks signed, EDMONTON appeared under NHL TEAMS in the Hockey News every week) and we knew national media men like Frank Orr were following the Oilers and writing stories about them (Orr picked the Oilers to finish 5 out of 6 in the Smythe, 79-80). Jim Matheson was the Edmonton expert, he suggested Edmonton would finish 3rd of 6 (Oilers would split the difference and wind up 4th).

I remember the anger when finding out Bengt Gustafsson had been awarded to Washington (the NHL "rules" were as vague then as they are now) and felt pure joy the first time Gretzky visited Maple Leaf Gardens (it was golden). I remember 99 not winning the Calder and hoping Cam Connor would get healthy and the heartbreak that was trading Ron Chipperfield.

Risto's shot from the point, Dave Hunter taking penalties before the end of the period (Sather benched him for it), Gretzky-to-MacDonald, the sheer power of the not-yet-grown-to-maturity-but-still-a-load Mark Messier. Kevin Lowe learning the trade quickly on the blue, heart and soul Lee Fogolin and Pat Price always a little aloof despite the skill. All the goalies before Ron Low arrived to settle everything down and Dave Lumley's playoff goal.

79-80. Of the 40 men who skated in Oiler colors that season, I can probably tell you a credible story about 30 of them. I bet there are many Oiler fans who could do better than that, as this town loves their Oilers and the game of hockey. About half a dozen were still around when the Stanley's came, and many were lost along the way. Callighen's career went sideways courtesy an accidental stick from Brad McCrimmon, Don Ashby was lost in a crash and Blair MacDonald lost a battle he had no chance to win.

So take it from an old guy: enjoy this, and don't miss a minute. When training camp opens, be there if you can. Even today's media conference to announce the numbers, or the rookie camp this weekend. When the boss offers tickets this winter, grab them and hold on to your hat. And don't get caught up in "well these are nose bleed tickets" crap: Wayne Gretzky taught me a lot about the game of hockey when I was sitting in the rafters.

We don't know how far these kids are going to take the Oildrop, but we do know it is going to be a helluva ride. Drink deep.

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
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 Team 1260.
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#1 Gret99zky
September 08 2010, 06:48PM
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Great read. Can't wait to watch the kids.

This site's hits must have doubled or tripled since you've arrived here LT. I sure stop by more often.

Keep up the good work and hit the boss up for a raise.

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#2 Steve
September 09 2010, 08:15AM
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OilFan wrote:

Jason Smith assaults wife and daughter ..? Has been fixed /P>

"Jason Smith accused of assaulting wife and daughter."

Fixed it for you.

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#3 Lochenzo
September 09 2010, 09:35AM
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Can't deny the entertainment value of hope and youth. Remember 1998? We had young guys like Doug Weight, Jason Arnott, Ryan Smyth, Marchant, etc, backstopped by the always exciting and flashy Cujo. We knocked off the Dallas Stars that year, only to bow out to the Avs in the second round. Looking back, that group didn't bring us a Cup, although, you could argue that because of the salary restrictions of the club at the time, it was impossible to build a winner when you couldn't afford your star players. But it was one helluva ride and I have nothing but fond memories of those guys.

If this group can deliver a little of that excitement that we had in the late-90's, that would be a great first step to this town fully embracing the Oilers of 2010-2011.

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#4 jodan
September 08 2010, 06:31PM
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Great read Lowetide. Great read.

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#5 Robin Brownlee
September 08 2010, 06:34PM
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For a fogey, that's some damn fine writing.

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#6 K.G.
September 08 2010, 06:36PM
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*mantear I'll post my Oildrop tattoo next week...

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#7 @NateInVegas
September 08 2010, 06:45PM
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The Oilers end will be the busier side for warm up...

Take it all in, an RFA offer sheet to 1of3 prodigy's in 2013 is almost certain.

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#8 Ribs
September 08 2010, 06:47PM
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Very nice.

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#9 Deep Oil
September 08 2010, 06:49PM
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The scene www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VNRoFrEvU8

A few weeks on Herbal Magic for Phoebe... @47 years of age with a few lbs on her chin

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_ahuvxRitU74/TEErBe2aC_I/AAAAAAAAQ8E/BCHWyHUcerE/s1600/phoebe_cates_2009_academy_awards_6.0.0.0x0.656x912.jpeg

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#10 Slocan
September 08 2010, 06:54PM
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Nice read Lowetide. It's all getting real...real fast! You can't help but get excited. Oh and I got to listen to Jack Michael's make some calls with the Alaskan Aces. Not the traditional voice we have been accustomed to for soooo many years, but I got to say, I think he's gonna do a fantastic job!

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#11 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
September 08 2010, 07:00PM
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Bill Cowboy Flett, hockeys answer to beauty and the beast. RIP Cowboy. I remember the night Peter Morris almost dodged that hip check and the moments that unfolded after.:(

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#12 The Towel Boy
September 08 2010, 07:11PM
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A fine read. I can't wait to strap in and hold on tight.

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#13 Sheldon Oilers Fan for Life!!!
September 08 2010, 07:12PM
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Oh so true!!!! Drink very deep it will feel very good later.

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#14 DSF
September 08 2010, 07:12PM
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So, we've got a potential Messier, a Blair McDonald and a poor man's Kurri.

Aren't we still short a Gretzky, a Lowe, a Coffey and a Fuhr.

Nice story though.

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#15 Dan the Man
September 08 2010, 07:17PM
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Nice write up Lowetide, hopefully we are watching the beginnings of something special again here.

Speaking of somthing special ....nice picture!

I was flipping channels one night last week and Fast Times was on, it's been a very long time since I've seen and I think I enjoyed watching Phoebe Cates as much now as I did then. Mmmmmmmm.... red bikini....

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#16 Milli
September 08 2010, 07:23PM
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Oh man, it's just about time! Cannot wait.

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#17 Travis Dakin
September 08 2010, 07:41PM
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DSF wrote:

So, we've got a potential Messier, a Blair McDonald and a poor man's Kurri.

Aren't we still short a Gretzky, a Lowe, a Coffey and a Fuhr.

Nice story though.

It wouldn't be an Oilers blog without the patented dose of negativity on an otherwise positive post. Nice comment though.

As for the post, this article has jogged so many of my own personal memories of the Oilers while growing up. Inspiring work. It's hard to not feel really good about the future of this team.

Here's to hoping we can all wax poetic 20 years from now about this group of players like Lowetide and Bruce do about the original Oilers.

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#18 9 Inches Uncut
September 08 2010, 07:45PM
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Savouring my 9 dollar beer, in my 100 buck seat, enjoying a 7-1 drubbing. The good times you say?

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#19 9 Inches Uncut
September 08 2010, 07:46PM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

It wouldn't be an Oilers blog without the patented dose of negativity on an otherwise positive post. Nice comment though.

As for the post, this article has jogged so many of my own personal memories of the Oilers while growing up. Inspiring work. It's hard to not feel really good about the future of this team.

Here's to hoping we can all wax poetic 20 years from now about this group of players like Lowetide and Bruce do about the original Oilers.

I'm negative for the most part but DSF is total garbage so you should just ignore him.

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#20 rubbertrout
September 08 2010, 07:48PM
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I love nostalgia. And Phoebe.

I'm glad you went back to this image LT. I'm waiting for some commenter to complain about the girlie picture like he/she did a few weeks back about the same image.

Then we can all take shots at them until they cry.

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#21 FS
September 08 2010, 07:52PM
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Yes Sir!!!

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#22 Posie
September 08 2010, 07:56PM
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Thank you Lowetide for giving great perspective. I look forward to reading your posts throughout the season as we enjoy the ride with the Boys on the Bus 2.0

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#23 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
September 08 2010, 08:24PM
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Love it. Love it love it.

My dad was never really a huge fan of hockey, and I was born in 86, but some of my fondest memories came from going to games with him when someone at his office with season tickets couldn't make it.

I was too young to understand it a lot of the time, but looking back I realize how fortunate I was.

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#24 David S
September 08 2010, 08:26PM
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Posie wrote:

Thank you Lowetide for giving great perspective. I look forward to reading your posts throughout the season as we enjoy the ride with the Boys on the Bus 2.0

I was going to let it go and just sit back to watch everybody bask in the pre-season glow and Lowetide's great article. But "Boys on the Bus 2.0"?

Look. The boys on the bus were an original one-off, the likes of which will probably not be seen again in the cap world. Arguably one of the finest collections of pro sports athletes anywhere, anytime. The mold was broken when Gretzky was traded.

This isn't BotB 2.0. Not even close. Have you seen who we have on D, in goal? For once I'm on board with the Tambellini playbook. Maybe its best to just sit back, get comfortable and see what happens.

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#25 Archaeologuy
September 08 2010, 08:32PM
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I hope this is the year the hype over the next big prospect proves to be deserved

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#26 longbottom/P.Biglow
September 08 2010, 08:47PM
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being 48 it was the same way for me and more.Bruins fan I hated the Leafs(still do) and Habs. I was ten that first Alberta Oilers year. Do you remember a player named Jamie Troy. He would have never made the NHL but he was fun to watch.

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#27 Dave
September 08 2010, 08:51PM
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This is my plan(PIPEDREAM)for the Oil DSF.

1 Trade Hemsky, Penner,Cogs and draft for Malkin. 2 Sign Malkin to a 10 year extension.

Crosby get's winger,Stahl takes over the 2nd line C,Pitsburgh has a more balanced line up,scoring from the wing not just up the middle,Edmonton get's a #1 center,thus letting Gags become a #2 center,which I believe would be his realistic potential.AND,one of the big three should be playing in the west.Sedin Isn't there yet.Gotta go,reality's callin.

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#28 Chris.
September 08 2010, 09:01PM
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Just think, there is a chance this blog (and others) will serve as a kind of living record of the return of the Oiler Franchise to greatness.

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#29 wrzoller
September 08 2010, 09:17PM
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Nicely written.

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#30 BarryS
September 08 2010, 09:28PM
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I remember an original Alberta Oilers player named Len Lundy. Every once in a while would score a beautiful goal then seemingly disappear for several games. The first of a long line of wasted talent to play in Edmonton over the years.

Then there was the famous playoff game in Calgary, the Gardens not being available. Only time I was ever at a game they had to stop play several times to clear the empties tossed on the ice after every bad call.

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#31 spOILer
September 08 2010, 10:08PM
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Gustafsson was absolutely galling.

Cam Cole after Terry Jones defected. John Short and Tiger Goldstick. And Rod friggin Phillips.

It blows me away how much we lived by radio and fishwrap back in those days. We hung onto every word because often that's all we had, we didn't have the image. Phillips' broadcast was an absolute godsend.

Bruce Buchanan on Wednesday nights. Staying up to watch ITV Sports and praying they had highlights of the out-of-towner. Sheesh. They shoulda had a camera on Gretzky every game he played.

Just wasn't that kind of world back then.

Thanks, LT.

, btw.

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#32 loosemoose
September 08 2010, 10:10PM
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So true...

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#33 DSF
September 08 2010, 10:25PM
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Horcoff, Stoll, Torres Gagner, Nilsson, Cogliano Hall, Eberle, MPS

And the beat goes on.

Do we have any Cher pictures?

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#34 Sammy Douglas
September 08 2010, 10:30PM
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Looking back like some of the others on here, and realizing that getting to see so many of those games in the first years of the NHL, watching those boys play the game for the sheer love of it.

Here's hoping that we are at the beginning of another great story.

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#35 Dave
September 08 2010, 10:31PM
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Well done LT. You were asking for feedback the other day about the comps article, and now after reading this I think it is appropriate to comment. My feeling is that sometimes all the diligent math calculations are fair and fun, but just as often they are overkill and take away from the unique romance of the game that we all love hockey for. For example, tough to comp Eberle with Setoguchi when a game is on the line. How do you calculate clutch? This article today is the type that has you on the top of your game, and is the most enjoyable for the citizens. IMHO. Great job!

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#36 rockmoss
September 08 2010, 10:31PM
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Great read as always LT. Great addition to the ON team. I have always been a fan of both sites. I too am an old fogey who enjoyed the early years. One of my best memories was working in a downtown bar the night the Oilers won Stanley in 87. Tons of people, lots of fun, and nothing got broken/nobody got hurt. If these Oilers are even half as fun to watch as those guys were, we are in for a real treat.

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#37 The Towel Boy
September 08 2010, 10:54PM
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...and woah woah woah...

Is the girl in that picture the chick from the Gremlins movies?

I had such a crush on her as a kid.

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#38 Dave
September 08 2010, 10:57PM
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Is there anyone that remembers the night Gretzky scored five against Philly,a ES,A PP,A SH,Empty netter,can't remember what the fifth was.Does anyone remember what the fifth was? Pete Peeters must have needed therapy after that.

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#39 Cru Jones
September 08 2010, 11:00PM
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Beauty write up. This is the exact sort of unabashed sentimental enthusiasm that is causing me to fly out to Penticton on Sunday to see the young 'uns take thier first shifts against actual opposition. Can't wait.

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#40 esa tikkanen
September 08 2010, 11:13PM
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That beautiful woman is Phoebe Cates. That is a fantasy scene from Fast Times at Ridgemont High where a guy is imagining her coming on to him in his back yard pool to The Cars playing "Moving in Stereo" in the background. Classic scene from a classic time, circa what 1982? Right around the time LT is writing about in the lives of the Boys on the Bus here... The last time Sean Penn smiled was when he made that movie, I think...

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#41 book¡e
September 08 2010, 11:19PM
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David S wrote:

I was going to let it go and just sit back to watch everybody bask in the pre-season glow and Lowetide's great article. But "Boys on the Bus 2.0"?

Look. The boys on the bus were an original one-off, the likes of which will probably not be seen again in the cap world. Arguably one of the finest collections of pro sports athletes anywhere, anytime. The mold was broken when Gretzky was traded.

This isn't BotB 2.0. Not even close. Have you seen who we have on D, in goal? For once I'm on board with the Tambellini playbook. Maybe its best to just sit back, get comfortable and see what happens.

You just wait you negative nelly. If the Oilers don't win the cup this year, they will win it next year!

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#42 book¡e
September 08 2010, 11:24PM
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Dave wrote:

Well done LT. You were asking for feedback the other day about the comps article, and now after reading this I think it is appropriate to comment. My feeling is that sometimes all the diligent math calculations are fair and fun, but just as often they are overkill and take away from the unique romance of the game that we all love hockey for. For example, tough to comp Eberle with Setoguchi when a game is on the line. How do you calculate clutch? This article today is the type that has you on the top of your game, and is the most enjoyable for the citizens. IMHO. Great job!

Dave man, did you just ask LT "How do you calculate clutch"? I don't think you know what you have started. You have never seen LT go down this road have you. Now we are all 'in for it'.

This is clearly a rookie Lowdite (those who follow LT) mistake.

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#43 Shadi
September 08 2010, 11:28PM
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Wake me up when we have a franchise d-man and centre. Until then I 'll enjoy a bunch of wingers play exciting hockey.

The future is still foggy in this crystal ball.

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#44 David S
September 09 2010, 12:02AM
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Shadi wrote:

Wake me up when we have a franchise d-man and centre. Until then I 'll enjoy a bunch of wingers play exciting hockey.

The future is still foggy in this crystal ball.

Uhhh..that would be "exciting last place hockey" good sir. Heh heh.

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#45 Rogue
September 09 2010, 12:18AM
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@NateInVegas wrote:

The Oilers end will be the busier side for warm up...

Take it all in, an RFA offer sheet to 1of3 prodigy's in 2013 is almost certain.

Cant let nostalgia get in the way, Nate. What a bag of hammers, geesh.

I wish B. Callighen had not gotten hurt. Loved the way he played.

Never forget Ashby going back to Toronto and getting 5 or 6 points against his old team. What a shame.

Never forget Sather saying a "fireplug" could score 40 goals playing with Gretz. Wonder if Blair took it to heart. Quite the cheap shot by Slats.

Bob F***enburg, Val Fonteyne ,Stan Weir, Don Murdoch, Eddie Mio

**sigh**

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#46 Trace Ayala
September 09 2010, 01:17AM
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fluff

*sigh*

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#47 2cold4u
September 09 2010, 05:50AM
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I remember those early OILER teams. In the early 1980s I moved to Hay River, NWT from Yellowknife and OILER games were broadcast on radio from Edmonton but I had to drive about 30 kilometers toward Pine Point to get reception. I could receive the game for about a stretch of 4 kilometers but it often faded. I would drive those 4 kliks, back and forth for the entire game and then drive the 3o kiliks home. Man, those teams were exciting. Thankfully, most games are now on TV.

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#48 2cold4u
September 09 2010, 05:52AM
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Rogue wrote:

Cant let nostalgia get in the way, Nate. What a bag of hammers, geesh.

I wish B. Callighen had not gotten hurt. Loved the way he played.

Never forget Ashby going back to Toronto and getting 5 or 6 points against his old team. What a shame.

Never forget Sather saying a "fireplug" could score 40 goals playing with Gretz. Wonder if Blair took it to heart. Quite the cheap shot by Slats.

Bob F***enburg, Val Fonteyne ,Stan Weir, Don Murdoch, Eddie Mio

**sigh**

I remember it as Sather saying a "fire hydrant" but whatever Sather said it sealed the fate of BJ as an OILER.

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#49 sizedoesmatter
September 09 2010, 06:34AM
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A lot of negative posts,For the most part everyone is looking forward to a young exciting team.Also we have mostly top six players in our top six this year.The future is bright.Yes lowetide I am going to savour the second time around.

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#50 Bonesy
September 09 2010, 07:01AM
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What a wonderful read. I hear ya ma brother!

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