MEA CULPA: BIAS AND BOUWMEESTER

Robin Brownlee
July 10 2012 09:17PM

I've always considered Jay Bouwmeester a brutal interview, akin to getting dental work done. And, with good reason. He is one. Bouwmeester is a bad, bad talker. That said, he's a pretty good hockey player.

Buzz around Edmonton these days that the Oilers might be interested in acquiring the man of action and few words from the Calgary Flames – I can't say if it's got legs, but I wouldn’t bet against it – got me thinking if I've let the former color the latter in my assessment of Bouwmeester in the years that he's spent in the NHL. It has. The only question is degree.

Great skater? Absolutely. Decent defender? Better than that. Durable? Like the rock of Gibraltar. Bouwmeester is all of these things -- a defenseman who eats up minutes and can do what he does in the top pairing of any one of the 30 teams in the NHL. The kid can flat-out play.

Despite all that, though, the mention of him has drawn a "Whatever" from me throughout the years he spent in Florida before landing in Calgary, and that was the case again when I first heard this talk about Oiler interest. It's not that his effortless stride or defensive prowess or ability to log big minutes game after game after game is a revelation to me. It's those interviews . . .

Good thing I don’t have to assess talent for a living.

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Bouwmeester might be as fine a young man as he is a hockey player, but he will make your eyes roll up in your head during the interview process. I found that out going into the 2002 Entry Draft for a feature I was doing when it was anticipated he'd be selected first overall. Comatose in five minutes, I was.

If there's a record kept for the number of tape recorders and TV cameras clicking off 30 seconds into the scrum of a top-three, blue-chip pick at the Entry Draft, Bouwmeester most certainly holds it.

With reporters looking for a juicy quote or two, something to hang a main story and a sidebar on – we thought that would be a lock after the wheeling and dealing that was done so Columbus could get Rick Nash, landing Bouwmeester in Florida -- eyes were glazing over inside 15 seconds. Just brutal – all of us forgetting he was a teenager.

A few years later, during the 2004-05 lockout season, the Edmonton Sun decided I'd cover the AHL Road Runners home and away, giving the team real big league coverage. They had pages to fill, so what the hell. I ended up in San Antonio, where Bouwmeester was playing for the Rampage.

Bouwmeester was an established NHL player by then. Older and wiser in the ways of the world, he'd be more comfortable talking to reporters then, right? Plus, with an Edmonton reporter making the trip all the way to the Alamo to talk to an Edmonton player about being relegated to scrub duty in the minors, he'd spin gold for sure. Uh, no. Bomb-ola. Same old, same old.

THE BOTTOM LINE

None of the above changes the fact Bouwmeester is a damn good player, even if he's a tad overpaid for my liking (based primarily on his points totals), but I've got to admit it did, and still does, impact my perception of him. When your job hinges in part on the gift of gab any given athlete possesses and a guy has no verbal game, it happens. Doesn't make it right. That's just the way it is.

Like I said, I don't know for sure if or to what degree the Oilers actually have an interest in Bouwmeester, or if he'd waive his no-trade clause in the instance that GM Jay Feaster asked him about moving up the road to Edmonton. We'll see how, or if, that plays out.

What I do know, after taking time to reflect, is that what Bouwmeester does on the ice matters a helluva lot more than what he says when media types come calling on him in the dressing room. The same goes for any player when you get right down to it. Big talker? Fine. Big-time player?

Here's hoping the Oilers are better at separating one from the other than I've been over the years when it comes to Bouwmeester, should Steve Tambellini and Feaster ever start talking about making a deal.

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.
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#51 onlyoil
July 11 2012, 09:00AM
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J-Bo to the Oil, or Yandle. I believe the oilers are going to add another dman before it's all said and done this year. J-Bo brings a lot of what the Oilers need, minute muncher, defensively sound, can either skate the puck out of the zone, or make a Whitney type pass to a speeding forward. He lacks leadership, and truculence. We do have dman that bring what he doesn't have, combined they should complement each other quite nicely. J-Bo and J.Petry being the number 1 pair looks good to me. Smid with J.Schultz as #2 pairing, and N. Schultz with(Sutton, Peckham, Teubert) could be the #3 pairing. I don't think it will cost the oilers that much to get him, seems as he's over paid. I think laying the lack of making the playoffs at his feet is narrow minded way to think, last time I checked there are 22 other players on the team that had some influence on that as well. There isn't a hockey player in the world totally responsible for winning a championship and not making the playoffs. If it's a experiment gone bad, he could be used as a pawn in a trade for Weber, after a sign and trade.

I like it if it doesn't cost more than Hamilton and a second.

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#53 nuge2nail
July 11 2012, 09:04AM
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Oiler Domination to Follow

@BigOil

You hope I dont represent other "passionate" oiler fans... im not even sure what that means? I Represent myself, a passionate fan who believes the Oilers will soon Dominate - if you have any issues with that - why dont you lose the address to this site. Its not like Im being negative and putting the team, management, the defense, goaltending, the city or the fans down - like some of the other "passionate" fans do on a non-stop basis.

I follow, understand, and love this team. I have watched 82 games a year since I was a kid. I drive down from Calgary to watch the Oilers play live 10+ games a year. I live and breathe the Oilers. If you or Robin or anyone has an issue with me spreading some POSITIVE encouragement and support for my team, than keep it to yourself. This is an Oilers site, not your personal blog for you to dictate what readers can and cannot say.

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#54 The Beaker
July 11 2012, 09:05AM
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@Bob Cob

Well I will say this about shipping Hemsky. In my mind it's not about bashing him its more about team balance. We now have three high end wingers on that side. Eberle, Yakapov, and Hemsky. We absolutely need a high end D man for this group. Seeing as Hemsky isnt one of the wonderkids it just makes sense that he is an asset that might get you the return (in a package or w/e) that you need for this team without sacrificing one of the centerpeices of the team.

Also "replacing his offense" is kind of subjective depending on how you look at it. Without a doubt he is sublimely talented and I love the guy for it but replacing the actual numbers that he had put up in recent past due to injury and such (22, 42, 36 in the last 3 years respectively) isnt all that hard, Yakapov should do it just fine

That being said, Keeping Hemsky means that pipe dream of having 3 offensive scoring lines is actually a possibility.

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#55 mayorpoop
July 11 2012, 09:09AM
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@bigoil & oilerguy,

you're kidding right? these posts are a joke correct?

cause you can't be that easily offended by OILER DOMINATION TO FOLLOW. i mean that's what we all want and expect right? or even FIST for that matter.

nuge2nail you got your thing going. keep it happening man. sensitivity training may be in needed for some.

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#56 Evilas
July 11 2012, 09:52AM
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OILER DOMINATION TO FOLLOW

AND BAM!!! STANLEY CUP

I like the enthusiasm, keep on keeping on! I too live near Calgary, I have also heard the Feaster Oiler-bashing comments, they are easy to find if you dig a little.

As for Jay-Bo, he is an excellent dman, but he is too expensive. I am not sold on Yandle either, I think there is an NHL player in PRV and I think this year we will start to see it.

I am ok with how our forward lines seem to be shaping up. A third line of Smyth-Horcoff-Hemsky has a lot of appeal. I think Belanger will rebound this year, I think Eager should be traded, but with a motivator like Kreuger, perhaps a fire can be lit.....

I would like to see what Gagner can do with Yak, he is still very young, why develop him and let him go? Maybe he has a 10pt game in him, lol.

The D is and always has been an issue, there are still a couple of UFA's out there. If they can't get a good one, then maybe Klefbom is going to be on the team in the fall. If that happens, that is not necessarily a bad thing. There are several instances of impact first year dmen and Klefbom has pedigree.

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#57 Cody anderson
July 11 2012, 10:03AM
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JBO's salary scares me. If we did not have to give up much for him he would certainly be a nice addition to the team.

My concern is if Klefbom is ready and Whitney is healthy what do we do with JBO? Is he a tradeable asset with that contract or are we stuck with another Horcoughian contract that strangles us as we try to resign our youth?

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#58 The Beaker
July 11 2012, 10:23AM
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I seriously do not understand this talk of briging in Klefbom to play this year. Let the kid go develop.

-He has stated he plans on playing another year in Sweden, he has another year of contract in Sweden.

-Two rookie defensemen is FAR from desirable.

-If he stays there that means we will have him on an ELC salary for another year in the future as far as i know (big plus)

Leave him there for the year, it's a good thing. I like shinies as much as everyone else but really, arent Yakapov and Schultz enough to sate your guys hunger for new players under 23 on the team?

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#59 Bill
July 11 2012, 10:28AM
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Unless it's Horcoff or a collection of scrubs / low round picks going the other way, I'd say 'not a chance'. I'm not interested in giving Calgary anyone who remotely stands a chance of panning out for Bouwmeester.

Also, I don't think Jay Bouwmeester and what he brings warrants him being your highest cap hit on the team. Considering what's coming in the future in terms of talent this team is going to need to sign going into their second and third contracts, you set a dangerous precedent having Boumeester's contract on your roster.

I just don't think Bouwmeester's positives overcome these negatives.

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#61 Rogue
July 11 2012, 11:01AM
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Only way Calgary will trade with the Oil is a minor deal. See Staios. Feaster has slung enough krap this way; Flame fans would rebel if he did business with Oil....unless it was a 3 way team deal..

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#62 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
July 11 2012, 11:13AM
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@ Wax Man

I say go after JBo AND Weber.

WE'LL BE UNSTOPPABLE!!! UNSTOPPABLE!!!!!! AAAAAAHHHH!!!!

Or grab Jbo now, since Weber will go to DET or NYR.

Really tho, I like the sound of the player (JBo), I just don't like the idea of one of our better names playing with a Flaming C on his chest... Trading within the division is dangerous... trading to CGY may be more so. _________________________________________________________________________

I agree, but bring in the one man gang first. When Bouwmeesters contract expires you could probably get him to come be part of a competive team for less than half of what he's making now. 8+ for Weber and Jay B for 3'ish.....would be a decent situation to be in 18 months down the road.

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#63 ALL THE WAY IN
July 11 2012, 11:28AM
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All hail King Brownlee!!! LOL

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#64 mayorpoop
July 11 2012, 11:55AM
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@all the way in

this is how king's act?

funny.

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#65 ALL THE WAY IN
July 11 2012, 12:05PM
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mayorpoop wrote:

@all the way in

this is how king's act?

funny.

With iron fists and big egos!

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#66 mayorpoop
July 11 2012, 12:11PM
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the sponsors on this site are being done no favors with this sort of rule. oilersnation which is a great concept and blog site is not benefitting from this at all.

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#67 Shredder
July 11 2012, 12:25PM
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Just curious, but why are my posts not going through, I don't recall ever bashing anyone except for Vintage Flame. Generally I'm pretty diplomatic, and that guy definitely made me lose my cool, but otherwise WTF?

I just saw Jay a week ago and said I even like you as a writer on this blog...???

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#68 JDP
July 11 2012, 01:00PM
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I dont know if I really like the jbo idea.

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#69 JDP
July 11 2012, 01:04PM
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Carlo Colaiacovo....wouldnt mind him.

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#70 Walter Sobchak
July 11 2012, 01:06PM
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nuge2nail wrote:

Oiler Domination to Follow

@Wes Mantooth - Team Shomer Shabbos

The flames added Boumeester and let Cammerleri go and the team went from being a contendor to the mess we see now. Im not saying hes the sole reason, but his minutes and role suggest he has something to do with it.

Again, tell me how that is Bouwmeester fault?

That sounds like a Management and a coach decision, if your offered 6.6 million to HELP a team and the GM goes and trades one of your best players how does that fall on him?

if you have no other player who can play big minutes to help Bouwmeester out the coach is still going to play the heck out of him.

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#71 Walter Sobchak
July 11 2012, 01:16PM
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Wax Man Riley wrote:

How much extra cap you think will go to the new contracts?

Hall - 3.7M now, add 3 mil?

Eberle is 1.158M now, add 5?

RNH is 3.775M now, add 4?

Defo not enough room for both. I would love, love, love to see Weber here. Add Yakupov to that mix, and I'm not sure, he fits. One contract would have to go.

Cap structure Wax Man....Cap structure. Maneuverability and organizational depth.

Possible Bouwmeester and the Oilers can restructure his contract in a trade and sign deal, longer term with a cap friendly hit.

We have oodles of cap room. When the Oilers need to be we will deffinetly be a cap team.

Hopefully the Oilers can get it done.

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#72 nuge2nail
July 11 2012, 01:24PM
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Oiler Domination to Follow

@Wes Mantooth - Team Shomer Shabbos

Flames Defence 09-10 Regehr Giodarno Boumeester Phaneuf Sarich Pardy Staios - With Kipper in Net - im not sure how JBO was able to affect this team from being a contendor to not making the playoffs since his aqcuisition but he seemed to have contributed in some way. I am not saying hes a terrible player - its just concerning that he is a career loser and the flames became losers as soon as they aqcuired him. In fact the biggest strength of the team became the biggest weakness.

He was a -21 last year, he averaged $235,000 per point last year, $285,000 per point two years ago, and $235,000 a point three years ago. In over a decade he has never helped his team get into the playoffs and to aqcuire him we will be giving our biggest rival young talented assets that we have spent years developing. Not to mention the bad example it sets if the team is willing to trade for a commodity that is overpaid and underachieveing. Cmon is this really the solution?

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#73 LoDog
July 11 2012, 01:24PM
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I for one will not be supporting any sponsers of this site while Brownlee is allowed to act like a child to well meaning posters.

Ban me all you like. Hope Wanye is happy with your display.

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#74 Walter Sobchak
July 11 2012, 01:27PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Not physical, no offense, extremely overpaid, mouth breathing to levels that Taylor Hall couldnt hope to achieve.

Being a steady defenseman that can play 30 minutes is nice though. Still, I dont know if I'd be falling all over myself to help the Flames wiggle out of payroll problems.

EDIT: I didnt even mention the Bouwmeester No Playoff curse either. I would rather he stay in Calgary just for that!

Not physical, limited offense, might be over paid soon

Being a steady center who can put up 40 to 45 points playing on a weak team is nice though.

Edit: I didn't even mention the Gagner no playoff curse ethier!

I know, maybe we can swap the two and the curse will be lifted...brother.

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#75 Walter Sobchak
July 11 2012, 01:46PM
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@nuge2nail

I like the Oiler Domination to follow as well.

Before Bouwmeester came to the Flames and was used as there top defensive defensmen he was averaging 35 to 40+ points in Florida.

He can produce offensively and was still producing while playing a more defensive game.

The Flames were a bad team, period. But they are a team, each individual associated with the Flames is responsible for not making the playoffs, not just because Bouwmeester went there or is there.

By that rationale Gagner is the reason the Oilers haven't made the playoffs.

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#76 Oilertown
July 11 2012, 01:51PM
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@nuge2nail

You are from Calgary well that explains it carry on.

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#77 Knight
July 11 2012, 01:56PM
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Until the Oilers upgrade goaltending it doesn't matter who they bring in on defense. Dubnyk hasn't been able to grab the job yet so there is still a chance that won't change, and what's plan b if he doesnt? Habby? At least let danis compete for the starter job....little will change IMO if goaltending isn't upgraded first.

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#78 nuge2nail
July 11 2012, 02:04PM
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Oiler Domination to Follow

@Oilerguy

Your pointless comments are irrelavent.

Gagner is one of the reasons the oilers havent made the playoffs in half a decade, just as JBO is one of the reasons the Flames havent. JBO playing 26+ minutes a game make him a bigger reason that Gagner.

It is not concerning that JBO gets A QUARTER MILLION DOLLARS every time he gets a point -while being a -21. Dont you guys think his contract will inflate our Extensions? Just on sheer principle.

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#79 Archaeologuy
July 11 2012, 02:23PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Not physical, limited offense, might be over paid soon

Being a steady center who can put up 40 to 45 points playing on a weak team is nice though.

Edit: I didn't even mention the Gagner no playoff curse ethier!

I know, maybe we can swap the two and the curse will be lifted...brother.

Gagner brings the EXPECTED offense of a 2C, has been severly underpaid the last 2 seasons, is about to go to arbitration where an independant voice will assess his worth, and Gagner's curse has lasted only 5 years (Three of which with a club publicly "rebuilding") to Bouwmeester's 9 (Not counting lockout or his CHL career).

I get the Gagner hate, he isnt Eric Lindros in his prime (like every other 2C in the league) so he sucks. Booooooo Gagner, yaaaaaayyyy Bouwmeester. He's so dreamy. I cant wait to watch a guy do nothing for 30 minutes a night and make more money than Horcoff not doing it.

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#81 Brownlee loves the word meow
July 11 2012, 02:58PM
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Question (from someone you have arbitrarily attacked about using words that you find annoying)

Do you own free speech brownlee? Would it be easier to ignore words you find infuriating rather than bash your readers?

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#82 The Soup Fascist
July 11 2012, 03:05PM
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@ Archaeologuy

Geez, Arch. Time to get on the bandwagon! You are living in the past! We should be running Gagner out of town - I mean he "only" scored 47 points last year! Lets replace him with Jason Arnott.

Sure, Arnott only scored 31 and 34 points in the last two years respectively, but give him a break, I mean he is 37! Plus he is huge, he is like 6'5" and plays a "grittier" game than his ... er .... ummm ... 26 PIMS would indicate.

Let's face it. Sam is 22 years old and washed up. Just because his point totals would put him in the top third of 2nd line centers, time to get real - he is not 6' tall!

We need a guy who plays with passion! A guy like Jason ("I just wasn't into it tonight") Arnott. As your name implies you are a Dinosaur, Arch. Get with it!

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#83 The Soup Fascist
July 11 2012, 03:10PM
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@ Lead Hands

Good point. The "Oilers Domination" guy and lady using "bash" too often are nowhere NEAR as annoying as the kook who "meowed" prior to each post.

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#84 Cowboy
July 11 2012, 04:03PM
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How to trade for BOUWMEESTER, the COWBOY Way.

Bouwmeester to Blackhawks for Hjalmarsson (free up 3 million cap space/year for Calgary and get replacement D man)

Gagner to Blackhawks for Bouwmeester (Edmonton gets top pairing D Man, Chicago gets KANE a close buddy and peer support

Move Hall To center

Make it happen captain.

COWBOY OUT

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#85 Wax Man Riley
July 11 2012, 05:07PM
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Since when did everyone get so touchy on here?

It is hockey, i.e. entertainment. Fists, domination, meowing, bashing are all done in fun and the name of entertainment.

This is a fan site. If RB doesn't want a certain element in his articles.... cool. No prob, just keep it to hockey. All good.

If Wanye wants to swoon over Beibs and Ebs... cool. No prob, swoon away.

If Gregor wants to interject some thought provoking pieces about MMA, life, love, family, and charity... I say we welcome it.

Lighten up y'all. It is free to come here! One place we can all let loose though, is POLLZ. Anything goes there!

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#86 Danny
July 11 2012, 05:10PM
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I think we should all follow the advise of Illya in this first sentence. "It's hockey...why you heff to be mad?"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqF_6iOgfxw&feature=related

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#87 The Soup Fascist
July 11 2012, 05:19PM
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@ Wax Man

I would like to call for ä ban on everyone using "umlauts". That will fix your little red wagon, mister!

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#88 Wax Man Riley
July 11 2012, 05:24PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

@ Wax Man

I would like to call for ä ban on everyone using "umlauts". That will fix your little red wagon, mister!

Nooo! NOOOOOOOO!!!!

I actually forgot those were there. I put them there before PRV's first season in support of the umlaut-ed Swede. I don't mean to offend anybody that doesn't have them.

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#89 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
July 11 2012, 05:32PM
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Is Robin doing the good cop, bad cop thing again?

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#90 The Soup Fascist
July 11 2012, 05:33PM
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@ Wax Man

They worked Season 1. Season 2 ..... not so much.

Don't tempt fate. Please do not hyphenate 'ala RNH or spell your name in the Cyrillic alphabet (Yak). No need to piss off the hockey / alphabet character Gods.

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#91 Wax Man Riley
July 11 2012, 05:36PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Cap structure Wax Man....Cap structure. Maneuverability and organizational depth.

Possible Bouwmeester and the Oilers can restructure his contract in a trade and sign deal, longer term with a cap friendly hit.

We have oodles of cap room. When the Oilers need to be we will deffinetly be a cap team.

Hopefully the Oilers can get it done.

I think after a trade, all clauses and payments must stay, so a restructure couldn't happen until after next year. Even then, it would not kick in until the following year, which I guess in theory could make room for Yak's Cap®

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#92 Wax Man Riley
July 11 2012, 05:40PM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

@ Wax Man

I say go after JBo AND Weber.

WE'LL BE UNSTOPPABLE!!! UNSTOPPABLE!!!!!! AAAAAAHHHH!!!!

Or grab Jbo now, since Weber will go to DET or NYR.

Really tho, I like the sound of the player (JBo), I just don't like the idea of one of our better names playing with a Flaming C on his chest... Trading within the division is dangerous... trading to CGY may be more so. _________________________________________________________________________

I agree, but bring in the one man gang first. When Bouwmeesters contract expires you could probably get him to come be part of a competive team for less than half of what he's making now. 8+ for Weber and Jay B for 3'ish.....would be a decent situation to be in 18 months down the road.

Agree about JBo's contract for sure. in 2 years, there is no way he makes $6.8M. But you have to wait 2 full seasons for it. By then, I see him in VAN.

Let CGY keep his debilitating cap hit. There has to be a cheaper option out there.

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#94 Walter Sobchak
July 11 2012, 05:53PM
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@Archaeologuy

Ya, it's all Bouwmeester fault the Flames have had two brutal GM's.

I like Gagner and do think he's a good 2C, but your reference to Bouwmeester being a curse is to saying Gagner is to blame for the Oilers, it makes for a boring debate.

Not saying Bouwmeester is the same, but I remember a defensmen who skated with sublime ease, made an unreal first pass and played around 30 minutes a game almost invisably his name was Lidstrom.

I know Bouwmeester is not a Lidstrom, but the point is the play a similar style, you don't have to a Chara or a Pronger to be effective top pairing defensmen. I'm done with Bouwmeester, if he gets traded to the Oilers fine, if not, I'm not losing sleep over it, with the three defensmen mentioned as trade bait I still think Bouwmeester is the better all round.

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#96 madjam
July 11 2012, 06:34PM
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Oilers have two top 6 players who it doesn't look like they can remain top six here in Edmonton . Paajarvi and Gagner . Like it or not , the two of them will find it exceedingly hard to grab the top six spots here . Elsewhere they would be a welcome addition on top six . We have an abundance of top six forwards .

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#97 Brownlee loves the word meow
July 11 2012, 06:36PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

"Question (from someone you have arbitrarily attacked about using words that you find annoying)

Do you own free speech brownlee? Would it be easier to ignore words you find infuriating rather than bash your readers?"

Nice to see you back. I'd suggest you stick to talking about hockey.

ditto

not dido - the English signer song writer

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#98 Pouzar99
July 11 2012, 06:54PM
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What is it about salary cap management that makes most posters and writers here avoid it like a combination of cancer and calculus? If the Oil bails out the Flames by taking on Bow's bloated $6.8 million contract what are they going to say to Hall and Eberle in 11 months when their entry level deals are up? That they have to take less than a less important players because .....the fan base is impatient?

Duh!! Robin's assessment of Bow is fair enough but if we are going to keep Nuge, Yak, Hall and Eberle long term and have enough left over for a supporting cast that can win the Cup we have to avoid these kinds of extravagant moves. Bow is like that decent looking woman down the bar that looks doable, but will be tough to explain to the wife tomorrow morning. J Schultz was a gift from the Gods but the Oil are in no position to add this kind of contract, let alone Weber. We could use a legit 3rd pairing guy to bridge the gap to Klefbom and Musil without blowing up our salary structure. STOP FANTASIZING!!! Don't panic! The rebuild is working. We will better this year.

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#99 Wanyes bastard child
July 11 2012, 07:53PM
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Can't we all just... get along?

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#100 Pajamah
July 11 2012, 08:21PM
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I think I may have figured something out.

We can, if im not mistaken, comment on pollz.

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