AN EPIC RANT: JASON BONSIGNORE ON HIS FAILED DAYS WITH THE EDMONTON OILERS

Robin Brownlee
September 01 2011 08:20PM

As first-round busts go, if Jason Bonsignore, taken fourth overall by the Edmonton Oilers at 1994 NHL Entry Draft, doesn't rate as the worst case of a swing and a miss by the franchise, he's close.

Taken from the Niagara Falls Thunder two picks before the Oilers called Ryan Smyth's name with the sixth overall selection, Bonsignore would play just 20 games with the Oilers and 79 in the NHL.

A lanky centre with unquestionable skills but a dubious work ethic, Bonsignore added cups of coffee with the Tampa Bay Lightning and with the Toronto Maple Leafs AHL farm team before retiring after the 2007-08 season, a campaign he spent with the Trenton Devils of the ECHL.

Promise unfulfilled is the chapter and verse story of Bonsignore, who is 35 years old now, retired from hockey and operating an amusement park in the Eastern U.S.

Gene Principe of Rogers Sportsnet, who'd not net arrived on the hockey scene in Edmonton when Bonsignore was here, and yours truly, who had at the Edmonton Journal, got a hold of the former Oiler when we hosted the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260 Wednesday.

While the death of Wade Belak was the news of the day, Bonsignore delivered a memorable rant when we asked him about his time with the Oilers, a period in his life that clearly still cuts close to the bone some 17 years after Edmonton drafted him.

IN BONSIGNORE'S WORDS

The following are excerpts of the interview we did with Bonsignore. For the full interview, including the questions asked and full answers, please follow this link: www.theteam1260.com/Episodes.aspx and click on the third hour of the Jason Gregor Show podcast.

NOT A BUST?

"Ya, you know, part of the reason I agreed to come on today is because Gene had spoken with me last year and he seemed to sincerely appreciate my story and had some interest in it. A lot of people say 'Jason was a bust.'

"My version of a bust is someone who maybe didn’t deserve to be in the situation they were in. I kind of feel like up until the point where I played for Edmonton I kind of deserved to be where I was and was in the right situation there as far as where I was drafted and everything.

"I was proud of that. It just never got off on the right foot with Edmonton, and that’s not to say that I wasn’t excited about going there or the opportunity or the history it’s just for whatever reason it didn’t work."

BEHIND THE SCENES

"There were a lot of things behind the scenes that a lot of people didn’t know about that happened and I just never really felt like I belonged there, like I was really wanted there. There were a few great people that really stretched out their necks for me and made me feel welcome and tried to help me.

"Teddy Green was one of them and Kevin Prendergast, but it just seemed like there were only a few people that were really there to help me and whether the approach from other people was meant in the wrong fashion it just was a harsh and kind of negative way of handling things.

"And I guess to touch on what you were just talking about, when you’re 18 or 19 years old, you don’t notice at the time, but now, I notice how young and impressionable you are.

"You look at some of the other people that were drafted in certain situations around the time I was and they struggled their first few seasons -- Jeff O’Neill and Radek Bonk, some of the guys that were drafted in my draft year. But their teams stuck with them and nurtured them along and never really got down on them. They basically just helped them to progress and learn and mature. I guess I just never went through that process and never got to the opportunity where I got that point."

REGRETS

"I certainly regret it. I had nothing against the fans in Edmonton. They’re great hockey people. It’s a great hockey city and it was kind of a bummer later on to see, like Ethan Moreau ended up there for a lot of years. Him and I were real good friends and had kind of a magical connection when we played junior hockey as line-mates.

"I would have loved to have had the opportunity to have played with him in the pros. Marty Reasoner was there who was a good friend of mine. I wish things had been different but there was a lot of stuff that happened behind the scenes and there was a lot that was going on in my personal life that was pretty difficult to deal with at that time and just for whatever reason, it didn’t work out.“

BREAKDOWN

"I don’t mind talking about this stuff now but it’s been a sensitive issue for a lot of years. I mean Glen (Sather) just never seemed to, I mean one of the first things he ever said, I mean he never even said hello, was, 'I’m not going to give you a million dollars.' It was like, nice to meet you, too.

"Ryan Smyth is a great guy, awesome player and he’s had a fabulous career, but right there around draft time, I mean his family were good friends with Glen and his mom and dad were hugging Glen and were close to him at the draft and it never really felt like he wanted me there.

"He (Sather) called me to the office one time and told me I was fat and overweight and that I was going to get fined if I didn’t lose 10 pounds in three days. And it wasn’t going to be $50 or $500, it was going to be $100,000 or $200,000 and I was going to have to move in with him. It was an abrasive way of handling things and some people kind of, later on, talking to me about it said that it was kind of like mental abuse.

"I don’t know, I’m not saying that he abused me. I’m just saying, it’s like later in life you wonder why did I have to get treated like that. I was a young kid just trying to fit in."

MEA CULPA

"I didn’t have the greatest work ethic the first couple of years there. I didn’t understand what it took to play at that level. I mean when you’re a junior hockey star and you’re playing 35 minutes a game you don’t have to worry about conditioning and it comes naturally when you have the puck half of the game.

"When you’re scoring a bunch of points and you’re on the power play and you’re in control of things you don’t end up playing a lot of defensive hockey and your defensive skill aren’t what they need to be to get to the pro level.

"There were a lot of things that I needed to learn and it just, for a stretch there, they had me going to the rink at 5:30 in the morning, alone for an hour, an hour-and-a-half with the strength and conditioning coach, just getting skated into the ground. And they’d put 300 pucks out in front of the net and I would shoot 300 pucks, then go into the corner and hit the heavy bag after every shot and then get wind sprinted for 45 minutes straight as a 19 year old kid by yourself."

NO FUN

"When it gets to the point where it wasn’t fun for me whatsoever, it’s hard to be successful at it; regardless of how much money you’re making. For me it was never really about the money it was about, I mean sure it was great and I had a fancy car at one point, but it was about doing something you love and wanting to be good at it. All of my confidence went completely out the window.

SHOWDOWN WITH SLATS

"There was one time in Hamilton I was the 2nd leading scorer on the team as a 21 year old and we made it a little bit of a ways in the playoffs and Glen came down to catch a game and I had been scratched for that game, or for a couple of games at that point.

"One of the scouts had told my agent how well I had played the last time I was in the line-up during the playoffs up to that point. Then Glen corners me in the press box and says 'Do you know why you’re not playing tonight?' And I had to say 'Mr. Sather, no I don’t. I really don’t understand what’s going on. You’re scouts said that I played well the last time, I was the second leading scorer on the team this year.'

"Well he said, 'You’re not good enough to play right now. You’re not good enough to play at this level.' And I said 'Well I feel like I am.' I had 21 goals as a rookie, and he says, 'You’re just not good enough.'

"At this point, this is after years of just knowing that it wasn’t going to work out. Three or four years of camp and I went to camp that year in the best shape of my life. I remember Kelly Buchberger telling Dougie Weight, because Dougie came late that year and I was living with Dougie, how well I was doing at camp and how good of shape I was in.

"They played me one exhibition game, and I had a really nice assist in that game, I thought that I played pretty decent. I got sent to the minors the next day. So I kind of knew the writing was on the wall no matter what happened at that point, that it just wasn’t going to work out. So then I got back to the minors there and it’s just kind of the same stuff again."

TRADE ME

"At this point in the press box I just said, 'Well Glen why don’t you just trade me?' And he says, 'Nobody wants you, nobody wants you.' And at this point my agent told me that three or four teams had made some really attractive offers for me at this point with some big name players involved which I was quite honoured to hear and Glen tried to tell me I was lying.

"I just knew it was going nowhere. He just sort of pushed me and said 'Have a nice career.' I was obviously pretty angry and I thought that if I tried to get back at him, or to try have a push and shove contest, or take a swing at him, that this is definitely the end of my career. And, I walked away. Then, two days later, my agent called me and said that Glen wants to have a meeting with me and apologize and I appreciated it, but they wanted me to come to camp the next fall? I mean how am I supposed to come back to camp after all of this and feel like I’m going to get a fair chance again or like its water under the bridge.

"I’m really sorry, I feel like I let everyone in Edmonton down and people think that I just didn’t care or didn’t want to play, and it’s not the case and it bothers me. I tried to block it out, but it’s something that lingers forever. I wish that I could go back in time and go back and play for them again and erase everyone’s doubts and make everyone happy. I know I’m never going to get that chance again."

FOR THE RECORD

I contacted John Rosasco, VP of public relations with the New York Rangers, told him about the interview with Bonsignore, provided a link to the audio on the TEAM 1260 site and offered to have Glen Sather offer his version of events, if he so desired. Rosasco has informed me the Rangers won't be offering any comment.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
Avatar
#1 Stack Pad Save
September 01 2011, 08:33PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

HOLY S**T. Now is that a story that explains why the Oilers sucked during the Nineties or what!

You got to feel for the guy.

Hopefully the organization learnt from that mistake and won't mismanage other prospects.

Avatar
#2 Aendayana
September 01 2011, 08:34PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

I hated him. Boo. Waste of our great pick Well now that I read the article, Slats was a hard ass but still. It takes two,Jason just fyi >

Avatar
#3 Stack Pad Save
September 01 2011, 08:41PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

@Aendayana

It takes 2. So you think that Slats was justified in his actions based on the fact that He was elder, and in a position of power over a very youthful and alone JB?

If what JB says is true than what Slats did was totally abusive and should have cost him his job. At the very least it makes Slats look like a complete unprofessional and a complete jerk.

Avatar
#5 Mike Modano's Dog
September 01 2011, 08:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

He sounds like a pretty introspective guy. I like that he came out and talked about stuff that happened. It's too bad that it didn't work out - for him and the team.

Avatar
#6 Stack Pad Save
September 01 2011, 08:46PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

@Robin Brownlee

I didn't hear it Robin, but even if what he says is partially true you have to look at this as a huge problem with the Oilers organization in the past. Not only is it concerning on a level of how one human treats another, as a fan it really makes you wonder if the Oilers should return to "Oilers values" you often hear quoted by Oilers veterans and management staff in reference to our "winning" days under Glen Sather.

Avatar
#7 ItsTheBGB
September 01 2011, 08:48PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Slats looks like a prick from Jason's perspective.

Avatar
#8 Gerald R. Ford
September 01 2011, 08:53PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

That was an EPIC interview, Robin. Good stuff. As Gene said, you can't fully evaluate one side of an argument alone and come to a conclusion, and it's not fair to Slats to take what Bonsignore said as the Gospel truth. All that considered, that didn't sound like the spoiled, lazy rich kid that Spector was painting him as later on in your broadcast. It sounded, to me, anyway, like a (still) young man with a lot of bad memories, having a rather public therapy session. Now, again, I'm not saying I know his version is the way it happened. BUT... he sounded more hurt than bitter, and there's a HUGE difference.

Whether or not there's a gap between his perception and the reality of the situation, I know two things: I genuinely felt bad for the guy, and I really found Spector's attitude to be a bit dick-ish.

Avatar
#9 Stack Pad Save
September 01 2011, 08:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

@Gerald R. Ford

Makes me continue to wish Robin was the afternoon show.

Avatar
#10 David Staples
September 01 2011, 08:59PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Fascinating story. More than anything, it shows just how mentally tough you have to be at a very young age to make it in the NHL.

Sather ruled through intimidation, but also wanted to see his players have spine and stand up for themselves.

It worked with some, but not with others.

Clearly, Bongsignore was unable to cope with this approach.

If he had quickly gone on to great things with other teams, his critique of Sather would have more weight.

Avatar
#11 Gerald R. Ford
September 01 2011, 09:01PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Stack Pad Save

I must admit, I dug the chemistry between Robin and ol' Gino. This is what I've always said about Principe. When he isn't doing the clown act, he's a very good interviewer. Maybe the TEAM has something there.

Avatar
#12 Team Hall
September 01 2011, 09:05PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Wow, that was really interesting. I remember my first job, when I was only 20, and my boss being a jerk. It stays with you, you remember that, it hurts your confidence for a long time. You're still young and impressionable, and your confidence is fragile. You need to be nurtured, not told you're terrible. Kind of feel for the guy now. I bet whether a lot of prospects make it or not has more to do with the mental development than physical.

Avatar
#13 Harlie
September 01 2011, 09:11PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Just imagine what PDP would have went through back in the day with Slats here..

Avatar
#15 Saytalk
September 01 2011, 09:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Wow, I'm not really sure what to make of that interview. At first, it seems like Bonsignore is your classic primadonna bust... a gifted player who doesn't hold himself accountable, but just blames everyone else for his own failings. But then by the end of the interview, he's very apologetic, even remorseful, and I can't help feeling bad for the guy.

Interesting part about him being scratched during the AHL playoffs though... if you look at that 1996-97 season, he had 0 points in 7 playoffs games, so perhaps his lack of production warranted the press box.

Sather certainly comes off as a jerk in this, and I'd be somewhat skeptical unless I heard other sides of the story. I always assumed GM's had a positive bias for their own draft picks, so maybe the abusive approach was Sather's way of trying to motivate JB? A lot of old-school coaches used to act that way, so you never know.

Avatar
#16 Senator Theo
September 01 2011, 09:30PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Robin, I heard Spec's take on JB's interview - as someone who was also covering the Oilers at that time, what do you make of these accounts? Do they hold weight with you?

Avatar
#17 Quicksilver ballet
September 01 2011, 09:37PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I remember the sense of frustration that started to become apparent, little bits of frustration that were relayed through the media about the kids entering into the NHL game at the time. Having never played a game and making several times the money the boss made when he was a player must've been a difficult pill to swallow for Slats.

This kid just came in at the worst possible time financially for him and the Oilers. Back then Sather had to work within what must've been a very challenging budget. It's unfortunate that Jason ended up with a team that quit on him. He should've taken Slats up on his offer to stay with him and show him how much he wanted to be a pro hockey player.

Have to wonder what things would've been like if Messier or Gretzky had treated Sather with the same contempt at some point. Of all people it was Glen Sather who used to say you have to treat each player different. What works with one player won't work with another. I guess those rules didn't apply to all of his players. No Wayne Gretzky = no HHOF for Glen Sather.

Avatar
#19 ubermiguel
September 01 2011, 09:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

"I didn’t have the greatest work ethic the first couple of years there. I didn’t understand what it took to play at that level." I always suspected that's what happened. Hard work is why Smyth has managed a long solid career with less talent. Great interview guys. I'd love to hear Slats perspective.

Avatar
#20 D
September 01 2011, 09:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Jason is a big reason why the Oil had so many difficulties in the 1990s. Had he gone on to Tampa and become a star, maybe his words would carry more weight.

Avatar
#21 Gerald R. Ford
September 01 2011, 09:47PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I'd love to hear a similar interview with Steve Kelly, if you could get him. It'd be fascinating to know if he had similar recollections of his treatment by the franchise.

Avatar
#22 DarthForehand
September 01 2011, 09:50PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

We've all read the Gretzky book right? That Sather could be a touch on the abrupt side was probably not shocking was it?

Great interview Robin, and thanks for posting it. Really goes to show how important the development side of the game is; we so often look back on drafts and ask, what were all those teams thinking passing on (fill in the blank), as though their future greatness was already pre-determined? Instead, we have to remember to credit the organizations who don't just draft but well but develop the Zetterbergs and Datsyuks in a way that's best for the player. Sure, Detroit has some great scouts, but any talent can be destroyed without the team realizing these are kids.

Robin's right of course, we haven't heard the Oiler or the Sather side of this, but regardless you have to feel bad for a young kid playing on the other side of the continent from his hometown and going through that kind of negativity. We should probably remember this story whenever we think Tom Renney doesn't give enough Quinn-esque post-game rants after a bad loss. They're still just kids.

Avatar
#24 Quinn the Eskimo
September 01 2011, 09:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Slat's approach,if Bonsignore's story is even remotely true, is too old school to work these days and perhaps, mentally, Jason was more like Linus Omark than Ryan Smyth. As a teacher, I know that each kid has different motivation buttons and if you know what works you can get good stuff from a student. Smyth may respond to the hard ass stuff. JB obviously not so much. But if all you have to offer is the tough stuff, you are lazy or stupid or both. Maybe he just didn't like the kid. Either way, Slats may have ruined him. I think it's a pretty brutal way to handle a teenager, let alone a good prospect, and it didn't do the franchise any good either to lose a pick like that. Yes, sometimes the young player (or student) has to take some of the blame, but he made the NHL somehow, so he had to have listened to a coach at some point. I've been around since the early days and I've always thought Sather was a bit of a bully. It would surprise me more if the story wasn't basically true. My $0.05

Avatar
#25 senhor
September 01 2011, 09:57PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

And we are dreging up Jason Bonsignore because...? And Glen Sather will comment because.....? When does traing camp start....? Not soon enough. And Gene Principe is lame...sent his condolences to Wade Belak...

Avatar
#26 Tyler
September 01 2011, 09:58PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Looking at that 96-97 Hamilton team is awesome. Second best NHL career? Probably Georges Laraque.

Also, curious that Bonsignore didn't mention his team leading -19 when talking up his 21 goals. Curious.

Avatar
#28 Senator Theo
September 01 2011, 10:10PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
senhor wrote:

And we are dreging up Jason Bonsignore because...? And Glen Sather will comment because.....? When does traing camp start....? Not soon enough. And Gene Principe is lame...sent his condolences to Wade Belak...

No kidding - when does traing camp start anyway? I can't wait to watch these guys start to traing.

Lay off gene - it's not his fault if you don't get it.

Avatar
#29 KenL
September 01 2011, 10:12PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I heard the interview and thought it was AWESOME!!! I felt Sather tarnished his rep for allowing his head scout Barry Fraser to remain based in Mexico and picking mostly crap in the 90s. Any other organization, he would had been fired.

Sather also whined in the 90s that he didn't have the budget of big city teams like the Rangers to compete. He's been in the Big Apple for over a decade and the Rangers have never come close.

So yah, I tend to believe Bonsignore's side of events. I always thought Sather had too much of an "old boys" mentality, and Bonsignore's rant reinforces my view.

Avatar
#30 bigguy13
September 01 2011, 10:31PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Robin Brownlee wrote:

1984 Selmar Odelein

1985 Scott Metcalfe

1986 Kim Issel

1987 Peter Soberlak

1988 Francois Leroux

1989 Jason Soules

1990 Scott Allison

1991 Tyler Wright

1992 Joe Hulbig

1993 Jason Arnott

1994 Jason Bonsignore/Ryan Smyth

1995 Steve Kelly

How many hits? How many misses?

Tell me how you draft from Mexico again?????

Avatar
#32 Craig1981
September 01 2011, 10:37PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

If Glenn wanted Smyth and not him then why was he drafted 4th and Smyth 6th

Avatar
#33 striatic
September 01 2011, 10:38PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
senhor wrote:

And we are dreging up Jason Bonsignore because...? And Glen Sather will comment because.....? When does traing camp start....? Not soon enough. And Gene Principe is lame...sent his condolences to Wade Belak...

we are dredging up Jason Bonsignore because it offers up a fascinating perspective on a very interesting segment of oiler history while also reflecting on the oilers current situation with young, developing prospects.

those who forget history are doomed to something something.

Glen Sather may or may not comment depending on how much he thinks these accusations might damage his professional reputation.

whatever .. it is just a damn good interview.

Avatar
#34 striatic
September 01 2011, 10:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Craig1981 wrote:

If Glenn wanted Smyth and not him then why was he drafted 4th and Smyth 6th

because they knew they could get Smyth at 6, but not Bonsignore, and wanted both?

the impression is given that Smyth was the GM's pick and Bonsignore was Scouting's pick [see praise for Pendergrast].

which actually reflects well on Slats. would love to hear his side on this.

Avatar
#35 bigguy13
September 01 2011, 10:46PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Robin Brownlee wrote:

Exactly as you see it with the names listed, that's how.

By the way RB, I truly enjoyed you and John Short today. I have forgotten how much of a great radio personality he is. John brought back some of my youth again today. Thanks!

Avatar
#37 revingev
September 01 2011, 11:01PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I heard the entire interview as well as the Fuhr interview following. Fuhr basically agreed about the tough physical training, even said he had to do extreme stairs in Rexall, except in Goalie equipment. Sounds like the physical pushing could very well be true. the name calling etc...that's the part I think that has people wondering (of course we have not heard Sather's side, and most likely we wont. As far as the comments that he never did amount to anything anyway? well, if a young player was broken down so later he could be built up...maybe that player cant always be rebuilt. Was he weak mentally? maybe, but lets not assume that every player is 100% responsible should he lack the proper development at that crucial early stage.

Myself, I think it is highly unlikely he could have made it long term (just my opinion)but the better question is, 'what if he was handled differently?' Could he have possibly been a regular 80 games per year player?

Great job Robin to you and geno. Ears were clued to the car speakers and mouth was dropped wide open, in disbelief to his side of the story. I must say, I do like that you hear this story, many years later, not when he was crying about it right after the Oilers dropped him.

cheers

Avatar
#38 revingev
September 01 2011, 11:07PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

agree 100% on John Short. Was sad when he came off of radio. He was the first call in show host who actually seemed to care about the listener, and always loved amatuer sport and gave it as much priority as he could. Knew how to fill air time like no other. Almost when into radio sports broadcasting because of him,,,of course being a motormouth (as my dad said it) doesnt really qualify you for radio...lol

Great job Robin with John. You guys work excellent together. You guys seem to push each other well. You seemed to have that extra gear today

Keep up the good work

Avatar
#39 Reagan
September 01 2011, 11:17PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Honestly one of the best interview the radio station has ever done! You guys along with Jason set the record straight. You know all these year, I never really understood why the 4th overall pick never got his chance here. You can still smell the conceit when Glen Sather walks into a room. Young players need not only physical coaching, but also mental coaching and guidance. Too bad that didn't exist in those days.

I look at the way my own son gets down or hard on himself after a bad tryout. You tried your best, and that's all you can do. It's really too bad that the kids with the talent and the skill, maybe not overly confident in themselves, can't be guided along to make that big transition. I think about the existing rep minor hockey that exists today. All of the directors, coaches and other Vp people have their kids exposed to AA hockey, the extra camps, the professional help usually at the organizational costs, where hard working parents give what ever little or extra support they can give to their kids. No camps, no extra skating lessons simply because the cost is too great. The talent is there, but the guidance from the hockey program lacks. Funny every coach that the kid has had, always say "*******, you are going to be one hell of a hockey player". We'll see, too bad directors and coaches play too heavily on their favourites.

Avatar
#40 Wax Man Riley
September 01 2011, 11:23PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ Robin Brownlee

Haven't even read the article yet, but I heard most of the interview today. Great interview. One of the most interesting I have heard.

Also I saw your comment about contacting the media people in New York. Good luck. I look forward to (hopefully) a Sather reply.

Great job RB.

Avatar
#41 Dog Train
September 01 2011, 11:25PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Drafting is half the battle. You still need to put these kids in an environment where they can be successful. It's nice to hear Jason's side and who knows how accurate it is but it just goes to show you how easily a kid's confidence and talent can go down the drain.

Avatar
#42 TAE0145
September 01 2011, 11:31PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

@Robin Brownlee

Great to hear John Short again he was the first sports talk guy I listened to and always enjoyed his show!!!

Avatar
#43 Robert Parks
September 01 2011, 11:46PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

You and Gene yesterday were good and the interview was great yesterday. Bonsignor's comments show how much things have changed from the old school to the new school over the past decade. I don't doubt that Sather was tough on him and it obviously didn't work as Bonsignor was most definately a bust. In the end, the past is the past and hopefully management has both the carrot and the stick in their tool box and know when and how to use both.

Next, having John Short host today was fantastic.

John may have stepped away from the microphone a few years ago, but when I heard he was hosting today, I wanted to hear if he still had it. He did and it was great.

More Short please.

Avatar
#44 German Titov
September 02 2011, 12:30AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

They should have played him with me.

Did you guys notice Mess's weiner in the other pic?

Avatar
#45 Sandra Blood
September 02 2011, 12:48AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

What did central scouting have Bonsignor listed at?

Avatar
#46 knobby
September 02 2011, 12:54AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Definition of RANT intransitive verb 1: to talk in a noisy, excited, or declamatory manner 2: to scold vehemently transitive verb : to utter in a bombastic declamatory fashion

I listened to the broadcast twice and I can't see characterizing Bonsigniore's comments as a rant. I would say he was sincere and somewhat humbled. Nor was he taking a sour grapes attitude in my opinion. He seemed to take a fair bit of responsibility for the outcome. It isn't as if he was disparaging the Oilers, their fans or the NHL. He was quite clearly taking a shot at Sather's attitude.

Very interesting interview nonetheless.

Avatar
#47 pelhem grenville
September 02 2011, 05:34AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

...Slats was a monstrous dictator...he had main stream media types in his back pocket to make sure these kinds of things didn't get out at the time...and there were more than a few things worse than this that he was able to keep hidden away...Sports Illustrated wasn't on his payroll though so they were able to uncover the GrantFuhr scandal with relative ease...then the Sun had it as an 'exclusive' which i found lame as can be...he treated his players with as much contempt as he could get away with and it obviously worked with winning, winning and more winning...never Gretz or Mess, just ask Steve Smith how he was treated by Slats at times...before he scored his most famous goal...this was a telling interview and you are lucky for finding JB in the right frame of mind to reveal so much from so many years ago...all proof Robin that Sather ruled his domain with an iron FIST!

Avatar
#48 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
September 02 2011, 07:33AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Why was he even on the radio?

Avatar
#50 j
September 02 2011, 08:11AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Robin Brownlee

It may be fair to say that Sather caught lightening in a bottle in terms of talent in the early 80s and Gretzky was the moderator for the team. Without Gretz, who knows how the others would have responded to Sather's approach. However, when the 80s ended and, as Brownlee points out, the ownership was a mess, all of a sudden Sather becomes a bit jaded and his approach hardens due to pressure to perform. How much success has he had since? None to speak of. With respect to drafting, the Oilers have been terrible. There is some consolation that they were still an upper echelon team in the mid-late eighties so the picks were late but the early 90s are a disaster.

Comments are closed for this article.