Can you check to make sure my phone is working?

Jason Strudwick
July 04 2012 09:27PM

After nearly a week of free agency there are still many guys out there waiting for the golden phone to ring. Usually the big names come off the board in the first few days. Then teams start looking to plug the holes their organization had last year, or that were created after their own unrestricted free agents left.

The remaining UFA’s usually begin to sweat at this point. Their agents may have told them that the process would take time but in the back of your mind they all are hoping to wrap it up quickly. They know that UFA’s are signed all the way to camp but you don't want to be without a chair when the music stops.

There were a couple of times when I didn't sign until the second or third week of July. I was pretty sure I would be fine but no matter where you go friends are asking you. It gets a little old deflecting or lying about what is going on. They all mean well but the process takes time - which is hard to understand sometimes both for the player and friends.

The first year I signed with the Oilers was one of those years. I signed later and although once we started talking it came together quickly I didn't tell many people outside my family it was a possibility. I wanted to keep a lid on it and not only keep others from getting super excited but myself as well!

Your phone will ring boys, it isn't broken. Keep preparing for next season, don't get distracted.

Euro Style

I get a lot of questions about my two and a half seasons I spent playing in Europe. I played in Hungary during the lockout and then a full season in both Switzerland and Sweden. I loved every minute of it all!

Playing on the big ice during the lockout helped get my confidence back. It had been beaten up somewhat from my last year in Chicago. Although the Hungarian league would be below the AHL in quality it didn't matter. I was played as many minutes as I could take and it rekindled a fire in me to play the game for fun and take chances. I will always be thankful to my team and team mates in Budapest for that.

Two years later I was back in Europe. I wanted to get back to the NHL, though, so I still had an eye towards that. I ended up signing in Lugano, Switzerland. What a beautiful place, though. Wow! I had no idea what to expect when I got there and I was blown away. Imagine putting Kelowna in the middle of beautiful mountain ranges. Incredible!

This team focused a lot of skill development. Since turning pro I hadn't spent much time in season on that. It gave me a chance to work on my game. The timing was perfect. I know it helped me return to the NHL at the end of the Swiss league season and play another four full seasons.

Last year I was in Sweden. I knew I would never be coming back to the NHL. I went over in November with my very young family and we had an incredible experience. The hockey was a lot of fun to play. At times I felt like a coach which I really enjoyed. Sweden is filled with great people and everyone we met really made us feel welcome.

If any of the players still unsigned are thinking about going to Europe to play, I say go for it! It is a great experience both on and off the ice!!!

Previously by Jason Strudwick

5cf6b487166aced0cd781e41bfef915e
Jason hosts the Jason Strudwick show from 9pm to 12am, weeknights on the team 1260. He is an instructor at Mount Carmel Hockey Academy and loves working with the kids. Having played over 650 games in the NHL, Jason has some great stories and unique takes on life in the NHL. He loves Slurpees and Blizzards. Dislikes baggy clothes and close talkers.
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#1 Robin Brownlee
July 04 2012, 09:43PM
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It's working.

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#2 MVParkerknox
July 04 2012, 09:46PM
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Oh oh oh is the my fist fisting? Great read!

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#3 MVParkerknox
July 04 2012, 09:47PM
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RB you blewwww it!!!

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#4 nuge2nail
July 04 2012, 09:58PM
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Oiler Domination to Follow

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#5 David Staples
July 04 2012, 10:09PM
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Always insight in your pieces. Much appreciated.

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#6 Wäx Män Riley
July 04 2012, 10:10PM
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I always get excited when a new Strudwick article comes up. i love seeing things from the inside.

thank you

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#7 Jonathan Willis
July 04 2012, 10:21PM
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@MVParkerknox

It's almost like he meant to do that...

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#8 Chris
July 04 2012, 10:58PM
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You were a good oiler strudwick, I wish you the best. P.S you make a good radio guy too

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#9 Tayranchula
July 05 2012, 12:13AM
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For starters what an awesome read yet again Studs, thanks for that. Kelowna is kinda in the mountains and no love for little Vernon next door? I find that place alot nicer than Kelowna.

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#10 Charlie Huddy
July 05 2012, 12:20AM
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I find all the guys in tap out gear, thick gold chains and frosted tips make Kelowna an unpleasant experience.

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#11 Dodd
July 05 2012, 01:26AM
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Thanks, Mr. Strudwick - these are awesome articles.

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#12 Alex Mathis
July 05 2012, 02:11AM
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Hey Struds, I am an Oilers fan from Switzerland so I know the HC Lugano where you played very well. It's a lovely place to be.

My favourite team is HC Ambri-Piotta, where for example Hnat Domenichelli and Jean-Guy Trudel played a lot of time. Do you remember the rivalary between those teams? It's like Calgary and Edmtonton. Do you intend playing in Switzerland again? Cheers, Alex

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#13 Chainsawz
July 05 2012, 07:32AM
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Was that musical chair picture taken at a family get together?

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#14 oilersplumber
July 05 2012, 07:56AM
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Charlie Huddy wrote:

I find all the guys in tap out gear, thick gold chains and frosted tips make Kelowna an unpleasant experience.

........the guys with the frosted tips are just old Edmonton nudists....

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#15 The Fish
July 05 2012, 08:17AM
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Jason,

You should continue with radio or go into television. You are absolutely hilarious with a quick wit.

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#16 Chaz
July 05 2012, 08:17AM
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What's your plan for next year Jason? Back to Sweden? If not, I hope to hear you more regularly on 1260. Always good to hear a player's angle on things....

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#17 jake
July 05 2012, 11:31AM
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Just curious JS, if a player has not told a team he is exploring other options (ie..he wants to return his most recent team), does the team call to let said player know if they don't want his services? What's the norm for GMs?

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