HOCKEY REFRESHER

Jason Gregor
December 06 2012 02:14PM

People actually play underwater hockey. The best part is they wrap duct tape on their hand to avoid cuts/scratches on their knuckles while "stickhandling" on the floor of the pool. The game includes playing against/with women in swimsuits and you get to duct tape your hand; how is Wanye not a regular in the pool?

We are 83 days into the lockout, and if you took up underwater hockey to fill the void, I applaud your dedication to the game. I applaud your creativity and willingness to find any sort of hockey-related activity to distract you from this painful process of a lockout.

Let's dare to dream and pretend the lockout is officially over.

 Here is what I'd dream to see when the NHL returns...

  • A ten-year CBA, just so no would have to go through this BS for another decade.
     
  • Teams would play everyone twice. Teams would play six divisional games (24), three v. other ten teams in their conference (30) and two v. every team in other conference (30). Means 84 game regular season, but you cap preseason at only five games. No extra games, just fewer meaningless exhibition games.
     
  • Get rid of the instigator rule.
     
  • The NHL would only play on five days of the week. I know it would difficult to schedule, but this is dream damn it.
     
  • Ilya Bryzgalov would make a cameo appearance in every 24/7 for the next 15 years.
     
  • Staged fighting would be banished.
     
  • The Phoenix Coyotes would relocate to Hartford and the best jersey in the history of the NHL would be re-born.
     
  • Toronto would have a second team.
     
  • The new Toronto team would make the playoffs before the Leafs, and it would be entertaining watching all the Leafs' fans jump ship.
     
  • Ice girls would be mandatory for each team. I'm happily married, but I'm still a team player.
     
  • Craig Leopold and his Wild will be more exciting, but they will never win a playoff series for the duration of the new CBA. It will be karma for claiming they were poor, but then signing Suter and Parise for $196 million.
     
  • The Oilers and Flames will meet in the playoffs, just so fans under the age of 30 can experience a meaningful Battle of Alberta.
     
  • Hitting from behind is punished more severely.
     
  • Players who purposely turn their back to the play at the last moment can be penalized. Not sure why that movement has become part of the game.
     
  • Morning skates would be abolished.
     
  • We'd stop hero-worshipping players and  the NHL would try to humanize them more. Then some fans would interact with them rather than ogle them. They are regular human beings, who happen to be good at hockey.
     
  • Hits, shots and scoring chances would be calculated accurately and consistently from building to building.
     
  • Goalie equipment would fit properly. I'd rather it be thicker than wider.
     
  • Hybrid icing would be implemented.
     
  • Edmonton would have a new arena. The pressbox would have a washroom. Again it is my dream, so likely a selfish thought.
     
  • The pressbox would be situated so I could still hear the rowdies in the 300 sections. The diehard fans sit up there, and often they have some hilarious chirps.
     
  • The new rink would serve Bacardi Limon...and Big Rock.
     
  • More teams would have a witty twitter account like the LA Kings.
     
  • We'd see more 40 and 50-goals scorers.
     
  • Linus Omark would be traded just so I wouldn't have to endure another asinine Omark trade proposal.
     
  • The Oilers will embrace Nail Yakupov's outgoing persona. He won't be asked to colour inside the lines and use a grey crayon.
     
  • Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr will not be around when the new CBA expires.
     

Unfortunately I woke up from my dream and we still don't have a new CBA in place. Of course I didn't expect one today, but I'm sure today is "the most important day" of the lockout. That will change tomorrow, but let's not complicate things. The gap seems to be closing, but they are still far apart on some issues. This is how negotiations work;  the unfortunate and incredibly ridiculous part is that the NHL and NHLPA waited this long to actually %&*()@% negotiate.

Either way, I'm still optimistic a deal will be done and NHL hockey will return, but I'm not certain everyone will feel as connected or loyal to the game as they did last year. This lockout has shown the fans that the players and owners truly don't care about them, and I don't think fans will magically forget that.

You will still watch, but many will watch knowing that it is a business first, and a business that ultimately doesn't respect the fans or their advertisers. If they did, they would have been negotiating face-to-face in August, not December.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The best part about the lockout ending is we can get back to debating who should play where and why. I read Lowetide's article yesterday and found myself wondering why he has Corey Potter listed ahead of Theo Peckham on his depth chart? It was refreshing to actually want to debate hockey rather than what constitutes HRR. Why would he want Potter in the 3rd pairing when he can't kill penalties and doesn't play physical?

When the lockout officially ends, those are the topics we can get back to debating about. Do us all a favour and don't bring up Sam Gagner's value for at least a few weeks. I think we will suspend the first person who tries to ignite that debate.

DAY FOUR

Yesterday we raised another $1,800 for the Christmas Bureau. Huge props to Greg for his bid on the Football Package.

Today's package is our RUSH VIP PACKAGE. It includes:

 

  • Pair of Edmonton Rush season tickets. Silver seats, lower bowl.
  • Behind the scenes tour during one home game. You'll meet the coaches, players and the cheer team.
  • You and a friend will go on a road trip with the Rush to Calgary for a regular season game. You will travel with the team, stay at the team hotel, go to the game and have dinner with team owner, Bruce Urban. You will be invited to the after party as well. 

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR

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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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#1 Spydyr
December 06 2012, 02:29PM
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Some good dreams there.Hope some come true.

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#2 Ales Hemsky
December 06 2012, 03:56PM
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OK,OK,.. no sam gagner value talk. But, SAM GAGNE im told can get us a huge return. ;)

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#3 Will
December 06 2012, 02:43PM
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I want the lockout to end so we can finally know what the hell the 'wow' trade was.

Of course I also want it to end so that all the following questions can be answered as well:

Just how bad is Calgary going to be? Just how much worse is Toronto going to be? Which group of fans in the entire NHL will expose themselves to be the worst in the league, and what scandalous incident will cause it? What will Yakupov say that spoken in his sarcastic english, will paint him in such an irrevocably dickish light? Which Oiler will pick up more floozies at the new Knoxvilles? How will I be able to meet Galchenyuk's girlfriend when Montreal Plays the Oil here at home? Just what is a Ralph Kreuger anyway? Which Horcoff mistake will be the worst? Which Horcoff beauty will go completely unnoticed. What will Hemsky's average skate back to the bench speed be? Does Eberle's point gap share a positive correlation to his tooth gap? At what point in the year will I wake up to a SUN headline, "you have to have HART", in reference to Hartikinen's gritty game winning playing? How much better will Detroit be than everyone predicted? How much of an overpay were Parise and Suter? How quickly will Vancouver fans whine about not having decent goal tending? Which one of Crosby's own teammates is going to end his career? How many people will blame a mid season scoring drought from Yak on 'the Russian factor', instead of having to play on his off wing with crap teammates? And finally, how much worse for tax payers will a city built arena be?

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#4 Craig1981
December 06 2012, 02:51PM
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Omark, a 2nd, Brownlee for Kessel, Pierre Mcguire and an 11th :|

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#5 The Soup Fascist
December 06 2012, 05:53PM
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Hayek wrote:

How about Omark doesn't get traded, and give him a spot on the team, as deserved by his talent that has put up fantastic numbers in the AHL, and now Swiss League.

"Please stop beating me"

Sincerely, The Dead Horse

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#6 jake
December 06 2012, 05:54PM
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This lockout aint ending anytime soon. Lots of drama in NYC.

Oh, and add to the wish list...league contraction.

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#7 Prudham's
December 09 2012, 01:40PM
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Ticket prices would be reduced so that owners and players would make no more than twice as much as say... a teacher every year. Then every hard working person could afford to go to a game, players who make money playing a fun game would live comfortably. Raise ticket prices another 10% for an arena fund to build a new green arena every 30 years.

Hahaha. Ya right.

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#8 T__Bone88
December 06 2012, 02:37PM
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Another part of the new CBA should be that a deal must be made a year prior to the current one ending otherwise the current deal stays in place. Also neither the NHL can lockout or the NHLPA strike. Do deals behind the scenes during the season not after.

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#9 Mr. Esquire, Esq.
December 06 2012, 02:38PM
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I like your list. Funny how I agreed with almost everything. As far as Big Rock however, I don't care what they serve as long as the prices go down from left nut to just pulling out a few fingernails. Not that I'm going to be spending any money at anything Katz owns for a long time. Or any other greedy owner. The $200 a year I used to spend on the NHL is going to make a HUGE statement. They'll be begging me to come back.

And why can't we have a hockey guy as commish someday? Just hire Lionel Hutz to deal with all the legal crap and get Shannahammer or somebody else who actually has played a few games of hockey before to make the decisions. And I'll hire Bettman to play goalie for any team in my rec league so I can fire pucks at his head. I'll even pay HIM the $200 a year. Foolproof plan here.

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#10 RexLibris
December 06 2012, 02:41PM
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Hard to reconcile a renewed BoA and the next item being increased punishment for hitting from behind. I'm not against increased punishment, just seems that the first is almost certain to lead to incidents involving the other.

Good dreams, all of them.

What I'm wondering is, if Leopold is so desperate to throw away his money (between the Predators and the Wild) why not just give it to me. I'll do that for him.

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#11 Truth
December 06 2012, 03:13PM
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Craig1981 wrote:

Omark, a 2nd, Brownlee for Kessel, Pierre Mcguire and an 11th :|

You're not going to throw in Gagner? He has to be worth something...

The thing I would like to see most is Rexall beers being sold for cost + 5%. That's all. Not cost + 500%. I guess you could consider this a fantasy.

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#12 Dallylamma
December 06 2012, 03:18PM
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Wayne gets the keys to the Oilers Twitter account...and the Oiler Ice Girls' locker room.

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#13 Truth
December 06 2012, 03:22PM
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Nowadays when I play hockey it feels like I actually am underwater. The pains of getting old and completely abandoning fitness. Couldn't imagine the real thing. Mind you a co-ed game would be intriguing. Maybe with the ice girls?

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#14 Sloppy Joe
December 06 2012, 03:48PM
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2 things:

(1) Related to the Article - That Whalers jersey is definitely very sweet. However (and I am NOT a canucks fan), my all-time favourite is the super-ugly old-school nucks jersey with the big "V" on the front. It goes so far beyond awful that it becomes awesome again.

(2) Not related to the article - JG, I heard you on the radio a couple of weeks ago making fun of an American school whose mascot is the Goeduck. They had a fight song about the goeduck squirting and splashing. You said you'd never seen a goeduck. You read the song, mocked it, and said it was terrible too. Just FYI, a goeduck bears an amazing resemblance to the male organ, and the "fight song" you were reading was jam-packed with hilarious sexual innuendo. If there was sarcasm to your radio spot, I didn't catch it, so my apologies in advance if this is a dumb comment.

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#15 Will
December 06 2012, 04:05PM
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@Ales Hemsky

It's always my secret fantasy that guys with player or celebrity names are in fact the people they're posing as. If read that way, the comments are usually way funnier. Like there's a guy that pops up on the NHL message boards all the time names Matt Damon. He's a huge detroit fan and has some good insights until the subject of Detroit comes up. It would just be great if it was really Mat Damon.

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#16 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
December 06 2012, 04:10PM
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Dallylamma wrote:

Wayne gets the keys to the Oilers Twitter account...and the Oiler Ice Girls' locker room.

He'll have to pry it from my cold, dead hand first.

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#17 Hayek
December 06 2012, 04:24PM
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How about Omark doesn't get traded, and give him a spot on the team, as deserved by his talent that has put up fantastic numbers in the AHL, and now Swiss League.

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#19 Rama Lama
December 06 2012, 05:05PM
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The only way a deal gets done is if the season is put on the line.........period, full stop, end of story.

There is no way in hell to deal with the NHLPA in good faith, these people operate in a parallel universe where reality is a player made construct.

If Bettman puts a take it or leave it offer on the table, ( with the leave it triggering a cancellation of the season) the deal will get done. Anything short of that will see the roller coaster continue to go round and round!

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#20 David S
December 06 2012, 05:44PM
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Ales Hemsky wrote:

OK,OK,.. no sam gagner value talk. But, SAM GAGNE im told can get us a huge return. ;)

Stan Ganger will get us a helluva return!

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#21 GVBlackhawk
December 06 2012, 06:49PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

"Please stop beating me"

Sincerely, The Dead Horse

Funny 'cause it's true.

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#22 I tried it at home
December 06 2012, 08:40PM
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Well... wishful thinking time is over. It was fun for about 4 hours though. Damn it.

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#23 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
December 07 2012, 08:07AM
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I think Potter and Peckham become interchangeable. Depending what you need in a game will determine who goes in.

Lets keep in mind a few details;

-It's a #6 spot. No player should feel that he has that spot and he shouldn't fell that it's his spot.It's all about healthy competition.

- This team doesn't generate a lot of offense from the back end, Potter could help with that.

- This team doesn't generate a lot of physicality from the back end, Peckham can help with that.

- N. Schultz. Yes the forgotten Schultz. He's a vet with 10 years under his belt who more than likely ends up on that 3rd pairing. He isn't overly physical and he isn't overly offensive. I think that he brings the type of game and experience that will allow Krueger to interchange Potter and Peckahm with Schultz and it won't be a disaster.

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#24 A-Mc
December 07 2012, 11:58AM
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Omark and Gagner for Weber - straight up.

Book it! =P

seriously though, the comment on the Rowdies of section 300 nearly brought a tear to my eye.

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#25 Rocknrolla
December 09 2012, 01:17PM
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I would like to see them do sometching for the fans. Maybe a couple games for free for fans in a raffle. Some free merchandise. Something like that to show they care. I mean they already lost 700 mil....what's another couple more to get back on the fans good side.

What about free tours of the oilers dressing rooms for a couple weeks? Autograph sessions with the whole team? Stuff like that would be appreciated!.

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