The Blue, Next Generation

Lowetide
August 14 2011 10:50AM

For better or worse, we're coming to the end of the development period for the blue group procured in the middle of last decade. We can pretty much call the winners and losers in that competition, but a better question might be "who's next?"

The mid-00's group

During the final phase of Kevin Prendergast's time as scouting director, the Oilers devoted several of their top picks to defensemen. Two of their top 3 picks in 2005, both of their top picks in 2006 and one of their three first rounders in 2007 were devoted to the blue. The results are not complete but we know the range:

  • Taylor Chorney, 2nd round in 2005: Has played in the NHL for 56 games but has not performed at a level that suggests he's going to dress in 200 or more (generally considered the lowest requirement for "covering the draft bet" for top picks). The jury is still out, and he has the added advantage (such as it is) of needing to clear waivers.
  • Danny Syvret, 3rd round in 2005: Syvret was sent down the line some time ago and has found his level in the NHL system: a solid AHL defender who is among the top candidates for recall. He has played in 59 NHL games and would have to be considered a player who covered his bet.
  • Jeff Petry, 2nd round in 2006: The star of this group, he has a nice range of skills and could be a "complete" defenseman. Petry's ability to perform at evens, PK and PP are huge items moving forward but he has the look of an outstanding draft selection. Has played 35 NHL games.
  • Theo Peckham, 3rd round in 2006. Taken outside the area where we should expect a large return, Peckham has played in 102 NHL games and has already covered the bet. He is the most likely player mentioned here to surpass 200 games and like Petry, he has the look of an outstanding selection.
  • Alex Plante, 1st round in 2007. The highest pick of the group looks like he'll be the poorest selection. Has played in 7 NHL games so far but the acquisition of Colten Teubert may cut off his NHL opportunity with the Oilers. Plante was taken in the first round, so there will be other chances but the sun looks like it is setting on his Oiler career at this time. If he's going to recover, 11-12 in OKC would be the time and place.

Draft Winners or on track: Petry, Peckham, Syvret

Outside looking in so far: Plante, Chorney

2008-11

During the first phase of Stu MacGregor's time as scouting director, the Oilers devoted just a few of their top picks to defenders. None in 2008 (MBS's first year) were selected in the top 3 rounds, they picked one defender each in 2009 and 2010 in the top 3 rounds and then took two in the first 2 rounds this past season.

  • Troy Hesketh, 3rd round in 2009: It's rare that we can make a certain call this quickly after a draft, but in the case of Hesketh there was an extreme failure to launch. Whatever they saw, whatever their scouts had a passion for, fizzled or wasn't there in the first place.
  • Martin Marincin, 2nd round in 2010: A strong pick the day it was made, Marincin's arrows are pointed in the right direction despite a subpar second half of his rookie WHL season. He'll need some time, but this selection appears to be a solid candidate for the Petry comparable during the final phase of KP's drafting era.
  • Oscar Klefbom, 1st round in 2011: We would do well to remember that not all first round picks turn out, but the scouting reports on Klefbom are extremely positive. He is regarded as having a complete player's skills by many, and even if the offense falls off (this can and does happen to defenders for all kinds of reasons, the most likely being lack of playing time on the PP) this player is a solid candidate for future NHL employment.
  • David Musil, 2nd round in 2011: Despite being selected in the second round, I think Musil is the safest pick in this group of four. He has NHL pedigree, draft pedigree and has been successful in the role he plays (defensive defenseman); it also happens to be the role he'll fill if he arrives in the NHL. Should Musil--as some have suggested--show offensive ability then it's all bonus.

Draft Winners or on track: Marincin, Klefbom and Musil

Outside looking in so far: Hesketh

They're an interesting group. Marincin can turn pro or return to junior, but Musil can't play in the AHL until 2013. Klefbom is already playing in the pro SEL and may be the more advanced than the older Marincin. And I think there might be an argument that Musil could surpise and arrive sooner than either of them as an NHL player. Perhaps it is just that his role is more defined, but I think we should at least consider the possibility that David Musil will be the best of the group.

Offense doesn't always follow players (especially defensemen) to the NHL, and Musil's game is the least reliant on it.

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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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#1 Puritania
August 14 2011, 06:56PM
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CooCoo wrote:

Scarlett Johansson > Cameron Diaz. Bring back the clevage photo LT!

I fully endorse this message.

Diaz is the yuck imo, except in The Mask, she was a bombshell in that movie.

Glad Ms. Johansson is back in the title photo, she's 4 out of 5 Eberles on Wanye's swoon-ometer.

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#2 OutDoorRink
August 14 2011, 03:30PM
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The third chick is none other than Ann Margret. In her day, Ann made the other two look like a pair of mud fences. She was a great actress and dancer.

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#3 David S
August 14 2011, 07:10PM
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Who in their right mind would switch out that ripping great picture of Cameron Diaz?

WHO I ASK YOU?????

*Looks at top picture again*

Well OK. I guess I can live with that.

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#4 justDOit
August 14 2011, 11:02AM
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I will restrain myself from making an 'Avery type' comment about seconds...

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#5 eskimo44
August 14 2011, 11:20AM
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Why are you so down on Plante? For a guy who was drafted as a bit of a project, and then lost a year of development to injury, i think he has done a solid job of improving. Young D-man take time, and there should be no rush as he still has another year of development in the minors, and he is only 22. I think the concerns of Teubert eating his lunch are reasonable but slightly exaggerated as Teubert, if developed properly, should be spending another 2 years in the AHL. By then a decision on Plante, now 24, will be much easier to make. He may not be a star, but he looks to me to be a solid bet for a useful career.

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#6 eskimo44
August 14 2011, 12:11PM
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ItsTheBGB wrote:

Did you watch him when he played for the Oilers? He can't skate.... I grind my teeth watching him lug around like he has cinderblocks on his feet.

He never faired too poorly by my eye, and with his reach and continued development he may overcome it. It would be more of an issue if he tended to run around alot but he seems to have calm feet. Not only that the NHL has more than a few big defenseman who aren't exactly fleet of foot, see: Gill, Hal. On top of that, remember Jason Smith? His skating got him traded out of Toronto, but in that regard he seemed to improved year after year in Edmonton. Young d-man take time, and they don;t develop in a straight line... It would be a diffrent issue if the expectation is he would play heavy minutes at evens, against top competiton, but the fact is thats not the role he is likley to have going forward. I'm certainly not insinuating HE WILL be an NHLer, i just think there is still a good chance, and time is on his side.

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#7 Shane
August 14 2011, 01:18PM
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justDOit wrote:

While Jason Smith was never 'fleet of foot', I felt that his abysmal passing was the main reason his time in Edmonton came to an end.

It was great watching him crush guys and enforcing his own end, but when it came to turning up the ice, well...

We kind off traded for the opposite in Pitkanen

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#8 CooCoo
August 14 2011, 06:05PM
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Scarlett Johansson > Cameron Diaz. Bring back the clevage photo LT!

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#9 Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate
August 14 2011, 07:15PM
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Cameron or Scarlett

a tough decision to make

I'll choose them BOTH please

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#10 OutDoorRink
August 14 2011, 10:17PM
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"your avatar is...circa/19 ..."

That's my hero, Bon Scott, original singer for AC/DC in case you're not into that kind of music. Pic is a still from an interview in 1977.

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#11 Gman
August 14 2011, 10:51AM
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let me be FIST to thank you for these girls!

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#12 ItsTheBGB
August 14 2011, 11:07AM
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I think LT loves Petry as much as I do.

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#13 @NateInVegas
August 14 2011, 11:26AM
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You had me at..

Do you think the Oilers will add another scout/s that have experience playing defense in the NHL?

Drafting the right defenseman this year is crucial. Or the Oilers could just draft 1st again and take Ryan Murray..

The Klefbom pick will bother me until I see more of him. Missing out on Mark McNeill and passing on Joe Morrow could bite Tambellini & Co. in the bum.

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#14 Ambassador humantorch
August 14 2011, 11:27AM
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I love Scarlett Johansson as much as the next guy, but that picture of her has Photoshop Disaster written all over it.

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#17 pelhem grenville
August 14 2011, 11:37AM
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LT...do we know if Whitney's feet/ankles are 100% or are we waiting on his injuries to dictate the future of the franchise again ...?

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#18 ItsTheBGB
August 14 2011, 11:38AM
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@eskimo44

Did you watch him when he played for the Oilers? He can't skate.... I grind my teeth watching him lug around like he has cinderblocks on his feet.

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#19 mojo
August 14 2011, 11:43AM
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I don't think we need to be concerned about the offence or lack there of following klefbom to the nhl. What's he gonna have? Half a point

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#22 eskimo44
August 14 2011, 11:54AM
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He could be a better skater no doubt, but he should improve in that area, has calm feet, and enough reach to compensate. I don't think he is likley to develop into a well rounded top 4 option, but he should be a solid bottom pairing option with trucelance, and an ability to break up the cycle. He is a very good bet to develop into a Hal Gill type, who never made the NHL until he was 24. However i don't doubt there is a very good chance the orginization flushes him before that point. On a side note i've seen it refrenced many times that Chorney was playing the tough comp., however wasn't Plante his most common partner in the AHL? If so, wouldn't Plante taking on the toughs have to be considered a very good arrow?

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#23 eskimo44
August 14 2011, 11:56AM
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^That was meant as a reply to Lowetide

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#24 justDOit
August 14 2011, 12:00PM
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ItsTheBGB wrote:

Did you watch him when he played for the Oilers? He can't skate.... I grind my teeth watching him lug around like he has cinderblocks on his feet.

That's what I saw at first too - I thought his name should be changed to Planted, because he moves so slowly, he might start to grow roots!

But that can be improved - and the Oilers seem to have a pretty good skating coach and program, so we can only hope.

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#25 kpp
August 14 2011, 12:08PM
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Lowetide, if Mcneill was available do you think the Oil would have taken him or was Klefbom the guy they wanted?

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#26 Metal&Oil
August 14 2011, 12:24PM
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I am high on the Klefbom pick. I remember reading somewhere that the reason the Wings may have traded their 1st round pick(24 overall) to the Sens was that they were targeting Klefbom and decided to pull the trigger on the trade once the Oil got him two slots before their pick. That is really the ultimate endorsement for this pick if true!!!

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#27 Mitch
August 14 2011, 12:25PM
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@lowetide

What I have noticed with the picks in the last 3 yrs is that there is no off the board picks. I feel that Plante will never have much of a NHL career. Tuebert is still very raw really needs to work on his foot speed as well but could turn into a good player. I think that Musil, Marincin and Klefbom are going to have good careers maybe one might turn into a star. Peckham and Petry are also going to have very good careers. I should also mention Gernat kid looks like a steal. If I had to rate who I thought is the best kid I would say Marincin although I have not seen Klefbom. Marincin I think can have a Pronger effect on the game, just not as mean a player.

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#28 justDOit
August 14 2011, 12:31PM
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@eskimo44

While Jason Smith was never 'fleet of foot', I felt that his abysmal passing was the main reason his time in Edmonton came to an end.

It was great watching him crush guys and enforcing his own end, but when it came to turning up the ice, well...

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#29 Quicksilver ballet
August 14 2011, 01:10PM
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The Klefbom kid is hopefully the only mistake the Oilers made in June, Mark McNeill is going to be lacing them up this season in the NHL while Klefbom and Musil are yrs away.

Enjoyed that article Alan, there isn't a politer way to call a spade a spade. Hope Petry works out for you.

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#30 justDOit
August 14 2011, 01:46PM
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Shane wrote:

We kind off traded for the opposite in Pitkanen

Was it Gator for Pitkanen? Seems about right.

I liked Pitkanen, but we still needed a nasty force back there - like Matt Greene.

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#31 Shane
August 14 2011, 01:52PM
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@justDOit

Yea although Pitkanen didnt play much that year, 30 games maybe? Hard to say we won that trade when we gave away the captain(he had heart and soul).. Although we did get rid of Lupul lol

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#32 Mikey
August 14 2011, 01:57PM
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Ambassador humantorch wrote:

I love Scarlett Johansson as much as the next guy, but that picture of her has Photoshop Disaster written all over it.

FYI none of those are ScarJo. Top is Cameron Diaz, then Maggie Gyllenhall, don't know who the third chick is but def not ScarJo.

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#33 Chris.
August 14 2011, 02:04PM
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Mikey wrote:

FYI none of those are ScarJo. Top is Cameron Diaz, then Maggie Gyllenhall, don't know who the third chick is but def not ScarJo.

The top pic was changed... My question is why? I like cleavage...

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#34 Saytalk
August 14 2011, 04:03PM
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What bothers me is that management focused their drafting efforts on forwards first and defencemen afterwards. But since forwards develop more quickly than d-men, we now have a deep stockpile of forwards who will be ready in 1-2 years but a smaller group of defence prospects where most of them will take another 3-5 years to be top-4 quality. Added to that, Marincin is the only one in the group that could possibly be a no.1 blueline anchor, and he has a long way to go to get there. The rebuild effort is definitely out of synch between forwards and defence.

The current D is bad. Whitney is the only legit top-4 and he has health issues. I like Petry and Peckham but they need to keep improving. Gilbert is soft and a cap burden. Smid is a passable no.5/6 but nothing more. Ditto for Barker.

I think management is waiting to see how Hopkins, Hall, Eberle, Paajarvi, etc. develop and when it looks like we have a top-6 that can play as Cup contenders, then ST will make offers for a Weber, a Doughty or possibly an older elite d-man that is past his prime. There's no way this team could draft a defenceman next year and develop him in time to anchor this team during the playoff runs (2013, 14 and 15?); it would take too long and this franchise has no recent track record of successfully developing elite d-men anyway.

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#35 ItsTheBGB
August 14 2011, 04:23PM
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The top picture has been changed 3 times, LOL. Someone can't make up their mind.

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#36 Wax Man Riley
August 14 2011, 04:24PM
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OutDoorRink wrote:

The third chick is none other than Ann Margret. In her day, Ann made the other two look like a pair of mud fences. She was a great actress and dancer.

What? That's not Ann Margret. That pic was taken this century.

At first I thought Nicole Kidman, but she's too young to be.... whoever she is.... star of the show.

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#38 pelhem grenville
August 14 2011, 04:36PM
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OutDoorRink SAYS..."none other than Ann Margret..."

well said...muchas gracias...she was my prepubescent crush/enabler in the earliest sixties...a yummy swedish dish.period

she turned 70 this past april

your avatar is...circa/19 ...

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#39 dwillms
August 14 2011, 04:56PM
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LT: I know you're a big Petry fan, but I'm curious why you say he "would be the most likely player mentioned here to surpass 200 games".

Wouldn't Peckham, who already has 102 GP (and unlike Petry has a spot locked up this season) be the better bet?

Obviously his style of play may make injuries a factor, but you also have to think he stands a good chance of being the "star of the group" considering he was taken 30 picks later than Petry.

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#40 eskimo44
August 14 2011, 05:13PM
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justDOit wrote:

While Jason Smith was never 'fleet of foot', I felt that his abysmal passing was the main reason his time in Edmonton came to an end.

It was great watching him crush guys and enforcing his own end, but when it came to turning up the ice, well...

I said his skating got him traded out of Toronto, not Edmonton. Then Toronto coach Pat Quinn didn't feel he had the footspeed. You illustrated my point however in that his skating markedly improved as he got older, to the point it didn't seem like a weakness. Not to say the same thing will happen with Plante, just that after his 21 year old season it's a little early to get the shovels out. Other than footspeed, Plante has solid puck skills, and a strong shutdown physical game. He could be a beauty on the PK in a few years. In regards to Smith, i think he got shipped out because the org. felt the end was near and they could still get great value, which is what happened. Plus Smith deserved to play with a contender for his twilight years. Thanks for the reply

P.S. That Scarlett Johansson pic should be the headliner for every article, photoshoped or not.lol

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#42 dwillms
August 14 2011, 05:52PM
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I was looking at your comment more as a statement of career longevity rather than impact.

I certainly agree that Petry has the wider range of skills and higher ceiling. However, Peckham is further along in career development and more of a proven commodity at the same age.

As it is, I think we would all agree they are the clear leaders in both categories for the 00's Group.

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#44 Shapeman
August 14 2011, 06:53PM
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For me I would like to compre the way Andy Sutton skates to the way Plante skates. I haven't watched enough of Sutton to get a read on him but from watching his highlight hits he's more of a catch the guys with his head down while staying position as opposed to go out of his way to crush the guy. Plante's problem I thought was his lateral mobility. I liked the way he moved the puck and cleared the front of the net. I've also read here and heard Gregor say that Stoll was a subpar skater coming in but made marked improvements in his skating. It's certainly a possibility. I agree the Plante pick was a reach but if we had drafted him in the 2nd round I don't think there would be as much of a fuss about his development. And D-men also take a lot longer to develop. I'm just rooting for him, I liked what he showed.

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#45 Gerald R. Ford
August 14 2011, 08:13PM
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Not a big Scar-Jo fan (I think she uses some kind of super-advanced bra brought back from the future by Wanye's time-traveling friends to make her sweater cows stand out like that), but much love for Maggie Gyllenhaal and Anne Margaret.

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#46 Harlie
August 14 2011, 09:23PM
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Mike Duff is preggers.

Galifianakis was at the Fringe.

And Maggie has her good days and her average at best days...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2020465/Jake-Gyllenhaal-Maggie-compete-best-beach-body-father-Stephens-wedding.html

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#47 eskimo44
August 14 2011, 09:51PM
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@Shapeman

Well said, especially about playing positional, and on the impact of draft position on perception.

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#48 Eulers
August 15 2011, 12:58AM
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Hannan to Flamers for $1M, eh LT?

EXPLETIVE DELETED BY WANYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#49 pelhem grenville
August 15 2011, 04:37AM
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OutDoorRink wrote:

"your avatar is...circa/19 ..."

That's my hero, Bon Scott, original singer for AC/DC in case you're not into that kind of music. Pic is a still from an interview in 1977.

...did my last acid trip in '73

...loved the windowpane

AC/DC ? ...not so much

Hendrix, Janis & The Dead...Led Zeppelin too more where i was coming from waaay back when

thx for the info

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#50 ponderingoil
August 15 2011, 11:11AM
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Looking at our current lineup/prospects we can all agree that there is a glaring lack of top dmen. Looking at cap geek Buffalo has some problems that ST could certainly help them out with. If I were ST I would offer a package of Omark, Plante, Chorney and Pitlick for Stafford and Myers. I realize the love for Omark is high on this site but you have to offer quality for quality. Gets Buffalo under cap and addresses right Dman who can play first or second pair. Next year we go after a guy like Weber and our D is vastly improved.

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