DEEP THOUGHTS XXIV: TIES THAT BIND

Robin Brownlee
August 03 2012 08:49AM

Craig MacTavish has the title of vice-president of hockey operations in his third go-round with the Edmonton Oilers. I don't think it'll be more than a season or two until he's general manager, and I'm betting he'll be good at it.

I can't put my finger on an exact over/under as to when the former Oiler captain and coach, hired this summer to work alongside president of hockey operations Kevin Lowe, will take over from current boss Steve Tambellini, but I see it happening. I don't have any inside information on this, it's just a gut-feeling. I'm guessing I'm not alone.

I know Tambellini just got a contract extension – we haven't been told what the term is – but I can see one more season out of the playoffs, which is more of a probability than a possibility, being enough to trigger a shuffle at the top with Tambellini moving out and MacT moving in.

For me, this isn't so much a dump-on-Tambellini bit, which is like shooting fish in a barrel around here, as it is recognition of ties that bind, and those ties between the Oilers and MacTavish, starting with owner Daryl Katz and Lowe at the very top of the food chain, are undeniable.

HISTORY

As far back as their playing days with the Oilers and the New York Rangers, Lowe and MacTavish shared what-ifs about what it might be like to coach and manage a team together. They've already done that, of course, but my sense is there's an encore coming.

Even if the Oilers show substantial improvement this year and push for a playoff spot, which seems more than reasonable, under Tambellini, I think it'll play out that MacTavish will be calling the shots, in tandem with Lowe, by the time the Oilers are actually back in the playoffs. What, 2013-14?

Tambellini is an outsider and the history of this organization – the Once an Oiler, always an Oiler mantra – suggests that'll always be the case. Outsiders, be it Pat Quinn, Tom Renney, Scott Howson, Rob Daum or Ralph Krueger, come and go. Insiders, like Lowe, MacTavish, Kelly Buchberger and Steve Smith, come and go, then come back again. That's how it goes.

MacT as GM? It's a matter of time.

TIME TO MOW THE LAWN AGAIN

Aside from the NHL and NHLPA settling into to hammer out a new CBA, which is obviously no small matter, there is precious little else going on around the hockey world. One need only look at the headlines on national websites like TSN and Sportsnet to see that.

. . . "Owen Nolan to host fishing, hunting show" I'd rather watch Steve MacIntyre host a show about hunting bears with nothing but his bare hands.

. . . "Canucks' Malhotra to participate in Vancouver pride parade" Political statement or does Malhotra have something to tell us?

. . . "Jets promote Simmons to assistant GM" Now, if we're talking Gene Simmons or Richard Simmons, you've got a news item. Sadly, no. The Jets have promoted Larry Simmons. You know, Larry Simmons, right?

. . . "Report: Tiger's ex-wife dating San Jose Shark" Apparently, Elin Nordegren is boffing Sharks defenseman Douglas Murray. Glad to see Elin tearing it up a bit after bashing in Tiger's teeth with a three-iron (she must have liked the look).

BRAVE NEW WORLD

I think it's time NHL teams accept that non-MSM bloggers are here to stay and start issuing them press credentials and granting access to players.

"Hey, Darcy, I'm doing a story on goons and knuckle-draggers and I'd like to talk to you . . ." Or "Taylor, I think the Oilers made a big mistake burning the first year of your ELC in 2010-11 and I'd like your thoughts on the big picture I'm painting here . . ." Or "Nuge, screw the boxcars and PPG, your QUALCOMP/real Corsi/something something numbers prove beyond a doubt Gabriel Landeskog deserved the Calder Trophy. Whaddaya say?"

Move aside, spineless MSM fartcatchers. Now the tough questions can be asked and the truth finally be told. I'd pay to see it.

PARTING THOUGHTS

. . . The Bronte 5000 pegs Jordan Eberle at 29-38-67 for 2012-13. And yes, the software has been updated since I had everybody on the Edmonton roster except Laddy Smid scoring 40 points in the Lucky 13 Pool two seasons ago.

. . . Buchberger has been an assistant coach through the tenures of MacTavish, Quinn and Renney. Now, he'll ride shotgun for Krueger. To borrow from an infamous text message, "Bucky isn’t going anywhere."

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 Jason Gregor
August 03 2012, 12:07PM
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blue31 wrote:

I love reading about hockey during the summer months, but . . .

It should be a hard and fast rule that every article posted here in the time from the Stanley Cup Parade Day to the opening of training camp be illustrated with pictures of beautiful women. No hockey people whatsoever.

Compare the images in this story for gawd's sake.

Is that not Elin in the picture?

She was one of the points in Brownlee's story.

Make sure you get your facts straight before inaccurately bitching.

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#52 Mike
August 03 2012, 12:09PM
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@Robin Brownlee

Exactly, you're a journalist, and people expect, or at least used to expect, more from your field than making comments that could be taken from youtube's commentary section.

I have no idea why you thought questioning Malhotra's sexuality would be something to comment on because he was attending a parade. It might be generational thing,I don't know. I'm sure the similar things were being said about other people who put their necks out to support other disadvantaged groups during the 50's and 60's.

I guess it's my fault for being an elitist and still holding the fourth estate to a higher standard than the ramblings of the general public.

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#53 ubermiguel
August 03 2012, 12:16PM
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The Fish wrote:

. "Canucks' Malhotra to participate in Vancouver pride parade" Political statement or does Malhotra have something to tell us?

Stupidest comment ever.

What's with everyone reading Robin's comment as intolerant? I read it like he's just waiting for the first trailblazing openly gay NHL player, and it might be Malhotra, and that would be news-worthy. No insults, no gay-bashing, just wondering who the courageous individual is going to be.

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#54 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
August 03 2012, 12:24PM
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Once your lawn starts to get a little older, should you still mow it twice a week, or is once ever 10 days or so, okay?

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#55 madjam
August 03 2012, 12:24PM
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Sounds like a "lame duck " Gm to me . If they can not form a decent base around all the elite talent we have here they should all go .

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#56 Old Retired Guy
August 03 2012, 12:26PM
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OK OK

I get it already!

Brownlee is gay, Malholtra is an amaturish blogger, Tim Thomas needs to tell us what he really thinks, and Oilers Fans LOVE Tambo!

Not that there's anything wrong with that!

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#57 Dave
August 03 2012, 12:28PM
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No, this has to do with clear, concise journalism that upholds a professional standard. That is what separates professional writers from all else. RB failed at this in this article. Once a professional, always expected to retain that level of professionalism... regardless what you do. If you want to slough off that standard it is incumbant upon you to ensure you are either not commenting/involved in your professional area or are doing so behind very closed doors with those you trust.

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#58 george99
August 03 2012, 12:29PM
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I find it refreshing that Malholtra took a stand whether it be political or lending moral support for Brian Burke - or simply, for a cause. Players typically tow the party line - choosing instead to zip their lips and remain silent on any issue. I like someone - anyone - who stands up for what they believe in and shows their face in the process. Who cares what Malholtra's reasons were for walking in the parade. Far too easy for a few of you out there to cast judgement on someone while in the comfy and faceless confines of your virtual home.

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#59 Guggenheim
August 03 2012, 12:38PM
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"she must have liked the look"

Robin, that's terrific. Thanks for the laugh.

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#60 DieHard
August 03 2012, 12:44PM
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The Fish wrote:

. "Canucks' Malhotra to participate in Vancouver pride parade" Political statement or does Malhotra have something to tell us?

Stupidest comment ever.

I believe the LGBT community have the same sense of humor as everyone else (in that some people have one and some don't). You don't.

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#61 Rama Lama
August 03 2012, 12:44PM
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I can just see Katz's saying to Lowe, " does Tamby ever answer a question"?

I'm with your gut feeling RB.........Tamby is as good as gone. Can't wait for that day.

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#63 Jimbo
August 03 2012, 12:52PM
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Big fan Robin but it looks like you're just trying to spin your mistake and are being defensive.

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#64 Spydyr
August 03 2012, 12:54PM
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Some happy fun news here man those Canucks

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/edmonton-oilers/Mark+Messier+wins+million+arbitration/7037440/story.html

Isn't Lowe's official title : VP in charge of talking about all things 1985?

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#65 The Soup Fascist
August 03 2012, 12:58PM
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RB, A couple of concerns with your article. The "Time to Mow the Lawn" headline is an obvious reference to my manscaping issues and I take great offence to your mentioning it in an article. Secondly, your portrayal of young Elin wielding a 3-iron is an affront to models, Scandanavians and in fact ALL WOMEN. Plus, it is an obvious slight to your Doppleganger, Jack Nicholson who required a nine-iron to smash a windshield while Elin managed to cause an SUV to topple with an iron that is much harder to master.

So Brownlee, on behalf of all supermodels, Scandanavians, women, golfers, Dopplegangers, crazy actors, SUV drivers and Manscapers - straighten up and fly right!

To quote Nigel Powers: "There's only two things I hate in this world. People who are intolerant of other people's cultures and the Dutch."

Lighten up people!

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#66 druds
August 03 2012, 12:58PM
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Buchberger has been an assistant coach through the tenures of MacTavish, Quinn and Renney. Now, he'll ride shotgun for Krueger. To borrow from an infamous text message, "Bucky isn’t going anywhere."

Bucky is our version of that weird brother that Ron Howard has in all his movies...

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#67 Eddie Edmonton
August 03 2012, 01:50PM
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@Robin Brownlee

MacT won't replace ST.

You're forgetting about Coffey, Gretzky and Messier. Those boys will come back one day as well and will need positions in the Oilganization.

I can see Coffey as an assistant coach. One of Gretzky and Messier will be the coach and the other a GM.

Would Gretzky make a good GM? Would Messier make a good GM or a better coach?

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#68 Reality Check to the head
August 03 2012, 01:53PM
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Stack pad save wrote:

"I could be mistaken but I believe the same thing happened with the GM's for Pittsburgh and Chicago with the GM who got all the draft picks and selected well was not the GM in the season they won their cups. It makes sense, incompetent GM creates a bad team, lucks out at the draft, or by shear impossibility of failing by having so many opportunities to draft high restocks the shelves. Owner then goes and fires incompetent GM and replaces him with a person that knows what they are doing and that GM makes good decisions to help win a cup."

Then we should really be getting rid of Lowe then. I am not saying Tambo did not do a multitude of things wrong, but the ship started sinking badly before Tambo took over.

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#69 The Fish
August 03 2012, 01:58PM
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DieHard wrote:

I believe the LGBT community have the same sense of humor as everyone else (in that some people have one and some don't). You don't.

I am sure the LGBT community have the same sense of humor. I was merely pointing out that it was pedestrian humor in this case.

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#70 Cody anderson
August 03 2012, 02:14PM
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Mike wrote:

Exactly, you're a journalist, and people expect, or at least used to expect, more from your field than making comments that could be taken from youtube's commentary section.

I have no idea why you thought questioning Malhotra's sexuality would be something to comment on because he was attending a parade. It might be generational thing,I don't know. I'm sure the similar things were being said about other people who put their necks out to support other disadvantaged groups during the 50's and 60's.

I guess it's my fault for being an elitist and still holding the fourth estate to a higher standard than the ramblings of the general public.

Lighten up dude!

The second I read that Malhotra was attending the parade the first thought that popped into my head was "had he just came out of the closet?"

That is not gay bashing, that is an initial reaction. I then read the rest of that article and found out that he is doing it to support a friend and a cause.

You are probably right. I bet people asked if the 1st white person to join the Matin Luther King march was really black.

If you get offended by every joke, comment, or opinion that is different then yours, or that could potentially be taken in a way that could offend someone, then you are very likely to give yourself an aneurism.

The title of the article and the other examples of how slow the news is were funny and showed that this was a light non offensive comment.

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#71 Pouzar99
August 03 2012, 03:23PM
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@Cody anderson

Cody, is the first thing that crosses your mind when you read that Mayor Steven Mandel has marched in the gay parade yet again that he just came out of the closet?

This just in. Many, many of the people who march in the gay parade are NOT gay, not that that matters. It is a fun celebration and a statement of support for the LGBT community, who need our support.

I am not trying to hammer Robin, I'm just pointing out that these jokes are inappropriate and not funny, just as jokes about blacks and Jews and First Nations people are inappropriate. This is not about people being thin-skinned its about people being insensitive.

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#72 TigerUnderGlass
August 03 2012, 03:43PM
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Not a lot of Louis C.K. fans here apparently.

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#73 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
August 03 2012, 03:45PM
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A few here appear to be a little tightly wound up for a Friday before a long weekend. Most of us here enjoy a little more relaxed atmosphere here on ON. A place were you can click on and undo the top button on your shirt and let your tie out a bit and enjoy a beverage.

Screw the MSM guidelines. If i wanted another imperfect product i'd buy the Sun or the Journal and get the news a day late all the time.

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#74 TikkTalk
August 03 2012, 03:56PM
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@Next up, is Connor McJesus.

Robin said it wasn't a joke.

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#75 blue31
August 03 2012, 04:13PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Is that not Elin in the picture?

She was one of the points in Brownlee's story.

Make sure you get your facts straight before inaccurately bitching.

Don't understand your point, Jason I want more girl pics in the summer. Less pictures of Kevin Lowe. My comment, if read correctly, has nothing to do with the content of this story, actually. Just a general light-hearted comment on pictures being used.

Have no idea who the girl is in the picture.

I guess with so much gay support/gay bashing in this set of posts, my tongue-in-cheek call for more pictures of beautiful women in the summer months is called "inaccurate bitching."

Did you misread my post Jason, or are you just being a dick on Positive Friday.?

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#76 TonyT
August 03 2012, 04:15PM
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@Pouzar99

It`s 4 pm and I can`t believe this is still being discussed. So before I get back on topic, some things have to be said. What IF Maholtra was coming out of the closet. Brownlee nor anyone else has inferred that that at all would be a negative thing. In fact, only you, Mike, and Dave seem to be towing this line that it would be at all negative. Nobody has come out and preached intolerance asides from you three, so again get a grip with your own issues and get back on topic. The way I see this season unfolding is a full season out of the playoffs and Tambo axed, or CBA shortened season which benefits the Oilers (with their strong starts) into the 8th seed, thus ensuring another year of Tambo at the helm.

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#77 2004Z06
August 03 2012, 04:20PM
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Ok Vetinari's comment was priceless. I suppose I shouldn't say that here. I might be offending interpretive dance afficionados.

Lighten up! Now I have a lawn to mow.....

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#78 TikkTalk
August 03 2012, 04:24PM
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@Next up, is Connor McJesus.

I don't know what you do to relax but I am here for hockey stuff, not jokes I literally used to make in junior high. If you're going to make bigoted statements be like CK Lewis and Chris Rock. Ironic.

This is why bloggers don't get access, no accountability for saying silly things.

i just hope this doesn't become a thing with Robin, I really enjoy his articles. It's like when Grandpa says something racist. WHY GRANDPA WHY! He's such a JEW!

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#79 The Soup Fascist
August 03 2012, 04:29PM
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Thanks to The Fish and Pouzar 99 for pointing out to us lowly ON readers what is appropriate or what is funny.

Huge Will Ferrel fan. Very likely "pedestrian" to the highbrow crowd and certainly inappropriate (the "pole position"comment in Talladegha Nights is quite a shocker). I shall burn the DVDs (not many books to burn at my place) immediately.

This is a freakin hockey website that occasionally delves into beer, chicks and politically incorrect commments. Please get over yourselves.

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#80 R-DAWG
August 03 2012, 04:32PM
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@blue31

Did you misread my post Jason, or are you just being a dick on Positive Friday.?

BURN!!

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#81 DSF
August 03 2012, 04:40PM
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ubermiguel wrote:

What's with everyone reading Robin's comment as intolerant? I read it like he's just waiting for the first trailblazing openly gay NHL player, and it might be Malhotra, and that would be news-worthy. No insults, no gay-bashing, just wondering who the courageous individual is going to be.

Malhotra is married to Steve Nash's sister.

I doubt he is your man.

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#82 WT
August 03 2012, 05:08PM
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I march in the gay pride parade in support of my good friends who are gay. As far as my wife or I know, I'm not gay.

Let's not get too concerned about any of this.

Instead, let's make fun of how the Sun is a laughably bad newspaper.

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#83 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
August 03 2012, 05:31PM
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@TikkTalk

It doesn't matter who you are, or where you're from, if there's blood in your veins, there's surely an element of hate in you. Everyone of us has an element of discomfort, areas we'd rather not go.

Some go to the ends of the earth keeping up appearances but at the end of the day there's something tucked away in the depths of all our hearts best not shared.

I know of only one man who walked the walk and talked the talk, and he died over 2012 years ago.

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#84 Wanyes bastard child
August 03 2012, 05:43PM
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I'M SO ANGRY!!!!

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#85 bazmagoo
August 03 2012, 05:58PM
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The pride parade is a massive day in Vancouver, with the entire community enjoying the fact that the city is civilized and tolerant of types of people.

Sadly, not something an Alberta redneck would understand.

Malholtra taking part just means he wants to be part of the overall community and make an appearance, as many straight people do every year.

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#86 The Soup Fascist
August 03 2012, 06:15PM
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bazmagoo wrote:

The pride parade is a massive day in Vancouver, with the entire community enjoying the fact that the city is civilized and tolerant of types of people.

Sadly, not something an Alberta redneck would understand.

Malholtra taking part just means he wants to be part of the overall community and make an appearance, as many straight people do every year.

Not directed specifically at you, but "tolerant" is a word I cannot stand. No matter one's race, gender or orientation what have they done that requires them to be "tolerated"?

I "tolerate" my kids fighting, my mother-in-law's visits and Canuck fans. If someone has to be "tolerant" of Blacks, Gays or any other person who has never committed an act against them - that says something about that individual, not the people being "tolerated".

Not a rant against you bazmagoo. Just that "tolerant" is a word I can't ... Well ... Tolerate.

Edit: BTW. Not sure if you are grouping all Albertans or people who disagree with you as Rednecks. That would be a bigoted and extremely ironic statement.

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The Soup Fascist wrote:

Not directed specifically at you, but "tolerant" is a word I cannot stand. No matter one's race, gender or orientation what have they done that requires them to be "tolerated"?

I "tolerate" my kids fighting, my mother-in-law's visits and Canuck fans. If someone has to be "tolerant" of Blacks, Gays or any other person who has never committed an act against them - that says something about that individual, not the people being "tolerated".

Not a rant against you bazmagoo. Just that "tolerant" is a word I can't ... Well ... Tolerate.

Edit: BTW. Not sure if you are grouping all Albertans or people who disagree with you as Rednecks. That would be a bigoted and extremely ironic statement.

You just blew my mind dude! I had this same convo with some peeps a while ago. Props!

Just to try and lighten up the mood around here, I have a great knock knock joke for you. You have to start it though.

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#88 The Soup Fascist
August 03 2012, 06:36PM
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@The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33

Why do I feel a set up coming? I am not crazy about playing Dean to your Jerry but 'knock' yourself out.

Consider this your 'Knock Knock' and yada yada who?

God Help me! (Or Allah, Yahweh, Buddah, Fred (for the atheists). I don't want to pi$$ off anyone today.

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#89 steelymac
August 03 2012, 07:18PM
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Yes Manny is in the parade.I believe he is driving the float with the two green guys on it.Not that there is anything wrong with that.Lighten up people.

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#90 TonyT
August 03 2012, 08:01PM
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bazmagoo wrote:

The pride parade is a massive day in Vancouver, with the entire community enjoying the fact that the city is civilized and tolerant of types of people.

Sadly, not something an Alberta redneck would understand.

Malholtra taking part just means he wants to be part of the overall community and make an appearance, as many straight people do every year.

"...the city is civilized and tolerant of types of people."

Unless Vancouver loses a hockey game, then the citizens just go apesh!t.

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#91 The Real Scuba Steve
August 03 2012, 08:43PM
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Great, another idiot for another idiot. The old boys on the bus will probably run this team for a another generation.

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#92 Mitch
August 03 2012, 10:24PM
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Robin I think the same as you, MacT will one day wear the G.M. title. Would it be safe to say that MacT has more pull than Tambi right now?

As a G.M. in todays game I give thumbs up to Paul Holmgrem he is very active not scared of change looks like Philly will always be competitive.

I don't know that Edm can make the playoffs, I think they will put up better totals this coming yr but it may mean no playoffs.

I also feel Tambi would be a good set up man a background guy. MacT is a Oiler there is no doubt, the job should be his.

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#93 unca miltie
August 03 2012, 11:21PM
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Can't read all the takes. Strange things happening on this site.

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#94 Dog Train
August 04 2012, 12:16AM
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Gotta love the dog days of summer.

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#95 voom04
August 04 2012, 12:28AM
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Notice how the bible thumpers have to get there 2bits in,I don`t c anything in the article that has 2 do with religion, no offence,just sayin

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#96 nunyour
August 04 2012, 10:09AM
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JDP wrote:

Santa Claus could be the next gm....regardless Kevin Lowe calls all the shots.

you are bang on, Kevin Lowe is the puppet master ,and Tambo is his sheild

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#97 The Fish
August 04 2012, 01:23PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

Thanks to The Fish and Pouzar 99 for pointing out to us lowly ON readers what is appropriate or what is funny.

Huge Will Ferrel fan. Very likely "pedestrian" to the highbrow crowd and certainly inappropriate (the "pole position"comment in Talladegha Nights is quite a shocker). I shall burn the DVDs (not many books to burn at my place) immediately.

This is a freakin hockey website that occasionally delves into beer, chicks and politically incorrect commments. Please get over yourselves.

You are so funny and smart and cool. Just because you defend Brownlee doesn't mean that he is going to be your best friend.

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#98 The Soup Fascist
August 04 2012, 02:34PM
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Brownlee doesn't need or I presume want me to defend him. And I have plenty of friends.

Relax pal. Maybe we should stick to hockey and not social commentary and avoid the drama. We are out of high school - right?

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#99 OutDoorRink
August 04 2012, 03:40PM
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Elin is amazingly hot and much too nice of a person to be knocking about with an old pro like Eldrick.

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#100 Wax Man Riley
August 04 2012, 11:35PM
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@Reality Check to the head

Then we should really be getting rid of Lowe then. I am not saying Tambo did not do a multitude of things wrong, but the ship started sinking badly before Tambo took over.

Ya!! What did Lowe ever do with this team when he had the title of GM?

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