And in this corner!

Jason Strudwick
January 14 2013 06:43PM

Weighing in at 232lbs and standing six feet, two inches tall......Mark Fistric!!

I have been saying since the summer that the Oiler's defence corps was missing a piece. I was convinced the team needed to go out and pick up a solid top-four defencemen. I know, they are hard to find, everyone wants to keep them but to move forward it was a necessity. Today they traded a third round pick for Mark Fistric. He isn't a top-four guy but he will bring something in the bottom pair that I really like.

Fistric is a hard guy to play against. He loves to hit and hit hard. When he plays with an edge he can be very effective. He had 235 hits last year which is pretty impressive. This is an element the Oilers need on their back end. Smid plays hard but outside of him, if we assume Peckham is out of the lineup, these aren't the hardest guys to play against.

He averaged 16:30 a night for Dallas last year in 60 games. Just over two minutes of that was killing penalties. I think he is a pretty good penalty killer. This will take the heat off guys like Smid, Whitney and Petry to have to kill every minute of a penalty. This year everyone’s ice time needs to be monitored and controlled so they all stay fresh.

At times Fistric will run out of position for a big hit and may even take some penalties that will frustrate his coach for hitting but I am all for it. This entire team needs some guys that are physically hard to play against. The team is not built for a lot of heavy games but I think it is important to have some players that can push back. Playing in St Louis or L.A. is no picnic these days.

The skill on this team is running two lines deep which is something to be excited about. The team will be able to score goals and play hockey that is very fun to watch. But when they need to walk down a dark alley in the first round of the playoffs in a series against the Kings, will they come out the other side? Adding a player like Fistric is a step in the right direction but there is still a ways to go.

This is a good addition for the depth on the Oiler's blue line. This bumps Peckham and Potter to some combination of seven and eight. Two guys that can come in and play somewhere between 12 - 18 minutes when required. Those are minutes both can handle and their skill sets are exact opposites.

There will be injuries to the big team, that I can promise due to this schedule, so Fedun and Teubert are now the ninth and tenth guys on the depth chart. This is something that makes me a lot more comfortable. They need time in the minors to continue to develop.

I still think the Oiler's need to add a legit top four guy. This helps with ice time for guys like Smid, Petry, Whitney, who are the legit top four guys right now. Justin Schultz could be there one day and Nick Schultz can fill in as well. The top teams are strong and deep at defence. The Vancouver Canucks just added Jim Vandermeer and Cam Barker, two former Oilers. Say what you will about their abilities but they provide great depth at the 7 and 8 spots.

I don't know that there are any top four defencemen in the making in OKC. I haven't watched them play enough to really get a good idea. Oscar Klefbom has the potential to become one but with his shoulder injury, that isn't likely for a couple years now.

Fistric is a good start for getting a stronger back line for the Oilers but there is still work and decisions to be made.

So what do you want???

Now that the NHL is open for business, fans are happy the league is back but they feel they deserve something. Something for the pain of going through a second lockout in less than ten years. It is hard to argue with that idea. I have said many times that it was and is still unacceptable for the league to lockout the players again this past few months. Let’s not get into that again! No matter how you feel about that, we can all agree the fans suffered.

After the last lockout, the NHL came up with a plan that in hindsight wasn't much but seemed to keep the peace with the fans. Isn't it enough to write in big blue writing in the neutral zone again the slogan "Thank you Fans!"? What do you guys want?

Some NHL teams around the league are trying to make amends with their fans in some way. There are teams that are selling some season tickets are very low prices. Fifty percent off team merchandise for a while doesn't seem like a bad deal to me. Free parking for some home games, not too shabby.

The Oilers have made the first three practices this week open to the public. While watching you can enjoy free popcorn and pop. This isn't earth shattering but it is an olive branch. Sunday night the team played shinny hockey at Hawerlak Park. Afterwards the team signed autographs and posed for some pictures. Again, nothing monumental but it is a gesture.

The social media universe had very mixed reaction to these plans by the Oilers. Some people were happy about the fact they tried to do something. Others thought it was disingenuous. They thought it was a preplanned exercise. Of course it was, how else would it get together? Some felt the players should have done it on their own during the lockout. Not a bad idea but a little late for that now.

After reading through the comments on twitter last night, I went to bed with this thought on my mind... At the end of the day is there any kind of gesture from the teams of the NHL that will ease the pain from the lockout for the fans?

I don't think there is.

Are the fans still just mad and wanting to continue to vent at someone, anyone for a while longer? Will that make everyone feel better? Is this issue with some kind of make-up from the teams to the fans the newest way to express the frustration fans still have bottled up from the lockout?

If that is the case then nothing will heal the wound that has been created by this latest lockout except for time. If redirecting their anger isn't the issue and actually wanting something to make up for the lockout nightmare is the real goal for fans, what do you want?

Tell me!! What will make up for those lost months of hockey? Those lost months of enjoyment? The lost trust between you and the NHL?

Honestly I don't think there is any amount of free stuff or PR events that will heal this wound faster. If I am wrong, let me know what will!

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 Puritania
January 14 2013, 07:33PM
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Hayek wrote:

Terrible trade. He has no offensive ability, and no upside. Trades like this are a waste of a draft pick when similar type players can be plucked off waivers for free. We are not competing for the cup this year, so not prudent to give up future for a rental. Since he is 6th on the depth chart, he is barely (if at all) an improvement over Potter or Peckham.

Hometown fans are just way too positive about any change. This was a terrible trade by a terrible GM.

We don't need Fistric to provide offense, we have other defensemen for that. How many third round picks have turned out to be NHL players on this team? not a hell of a lot. I wouldn't consider trading a third rounder as giving up the future for a rental. Fistric is an Edmonton boy who lives here in the offseason, his girlfriend is an Edmontonian and his family lives here. I think we have a decent chance to sign him. I think Fistric is better than both Peckham and Potter, but in this crazy schedule defensive depth isn't something to scoff at.

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#2 VK63
January 14 2013, 07:02PM
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Fairly simple solution in etown to heal any remnants of hard feelings and betrayal.

Win.

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#3 The Soup Fascist
January 14 2013, 08:01PM
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Hayek wrote:

Terrible trade. He has no offensive ability, and no upside. Trades like this are a waste of a draft pick when similar type players can be plucked off waivers for free. We are not competing for the cup this year, so not prudent to give up future for a rental. Since he is 6th on the depth chart, he is barely (if at all) an improvement over Potter or Peckham.

Hometown fans are just way too positive about any change. This was a terrible trade by a terrible GM.

IMO, you could not be more wrong. Fistric makes us better NOW. Period. He is a significant upgrade to both Potter and Peckham. He is a tough defensive defenseman.

Without saying it, the coaching staff intimated that Peckham was NOT in as good a condition as he could have been, possibly leading to a hip flexor.

If you are looking at his scoring line, you are correct, Fistric is not going to be mistaken for Drew Doughty anytime soon. Hockey is not getting the 18 best offensive players.

You are worried about a 3rd round pick for a bona fide NHL defenseman, who is 26 and adds a component we are desperately missing?

Let's skip the last couple 3rd round picks of the Oilers, as to be fair, they are still in junior. Here are your Oiler 3rd rounders since the turn of the century:

2010 - Ryan Martindale 2009 - Troy Hesketh 2008 / 2007 - No pick 2006 - Theo Peckham (ironic, no?) 2005 - Danny Syvret / Robby Dee 2004 - No pick 2003 - Mikhail Zhukov / Zack Stortini 2002 - Brock Radunske 2001 - Kenny Smith 2000 - Alexander Lyubinov

Tell me again why trading a 3rd round pick for a large, mean, tough D-man who is 26 years old with over 250 games of NHL experience is a bad thing.

As a season ticket holder who has seen exactly one year of playoffs since I bought them, I am very happy they "gave up the future" (see above) to fill a hole.

Thank you Tambo !! (cough, sputter)

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#4 RexLibris
January 14 2013, 07:48PM
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If the Oilers end up having to trade Fistric at the deadline they could likely get at the very least a 3rd round pick in exchange, if not a 2nd.

So, even if this experiment goes off the rails, the price could very likely be recouped in a few months' time.

Personally, a backup for Smid as a tough-customer penalty killer or crease-clearing defenseman is welcome, in my view.

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#5 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
January 14 2013, 11:30PM
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DSF wrote:

Good grief.

Their defense, second line centre, bottom 6 and goaltending are a mess.

Playoffs?

I can understand your viewpoint, but this isn't a 82 gm season. This is a 48 gm scramble/sprint to be in the top 8 of the division.

Have a sneaky suspicion things could go well for the Oilers this season. Hemsky earns his 5 mill, Yakupov turns Ganger into a point a game player this season. The kids benifit from playing during the lockout and improve over last yrs effectiveness. Nail is going to be a game changer, Justin Schultz is a bonus to the difference between last yr, and this yr. The talent is so watered down in todays game. Justin Schultz finishes top 5 in production as far as blueliners go this season.

Here's to hoping....

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#6 SG
January 14 2013, 07:06PM
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Free NHL Centre Ice for the season.

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#7 Oilcruzer
January 14 2013, 08:28PM
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First post since the lockout. Some views:

Should be a lockout every year. Why?

Season Ticket Holders don't have to pay for pre-season games. A 48 game season is long enough. Just move the games from mid Oct to end of April and we're set.

Mark Fistric? Good addition.

A better version of Theo. Still a bit of a loose cannon... maybe just enough to scare the opposition.

Things I enjoyed about the lockout?

Went to my first NFL game. Seahawks at home are awesome. Make a point of going. Like a rock concert. NFL gets it.

The Oil vs Abbotsford Heat. That first game (a shut out loss) matured the elite players like nothing else could.

Struds... how come the podcasts aren't updated on the radio station?

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#8 oilerman53
January 14 2013, 09:11PM
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Hayek wrote:

Terrible trade. He has no offensive ability, and no upside. Trades like this are a waste of a draft pick when similar type players can be plucked off waivers for free. We are not competing for the cup this year, so not prudent to give up future for a rental. Since he is 6th on the depth chart, he is barely (if at all) an improvement over Potter or Peckham.

Hometown fans are just way too positive about any change. This was a terrible trade by a terrible GM.

Bottom Line is the Oilers are not exactly a tough team to play against. With the potential retirement of Sutton, this move makes perfect sense and the price isnt bad either. Fistric is a player who really matters when games get down and dirty. Almost all trades thats dont involve a top flight player is heavily scrutinized. I dont know how much hockey you watch but the team with more goals wins the game, this guy helps prevent them. Think about it.

Great move by Tambo!

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#9 Alethea
January 14 2013, 08:04PM
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Jason,

A move that sincerely moves towards healing the rift with the ordinary fans would look like this:

1. the respective owners, and NHL players, band together to create a fund for ordinary employees who lost wages/jobs to the lockout.

2. ticket price reductions by a minimum of 10%.

3. no more lockouts in the future.

Is this too much to ask?

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#10 Oilcruzer
January 14 2013, 08:31PM
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To anyone who doesn't like the Fistric trade...

...a starting NHL D roster player is worth 5 3rd round draft picks...

...check out the odds of a 3rd rounder making the show on a full time basis.

If he's good, he'll re-up.

If not... trade him.

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#11 Chris.
January 14 2013, 08:42PM
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Strudwick wrote:

Tell me!! What will make up for those lost months of hockey? Those lost months of enjoyment? The lost trust between you and the NHL?

An Oiler Stanley Cup.

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#12 sam
January 14 2013, 11:14PM
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i think the way the oilers can pay back their fans is by announcing to build us a new arena !!!

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#13 victor
January 14 2013, 11:22PM
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DSF wrote:

Barker is signed for $700k this season...Teubert $916K.

No contest.

Yakupov has nothing to do with this unless he can play defense.

#crapteamsgethighdraftpicks.

Wow, really reaching on this.

Barker should be well liked at this site, he's part of the reason that Edmonton landed Yakupov (and likely J.Schultz, who chose to play in Edmonton over his hometown due to the opportunity to play with Hall, Hopkins, Eberle, and Yakupov.)

Now Vancouver has him. Perhaps they'll draft Seth Jones? Good defender to replace Edler.

#VancouversWindowsClosingQuicklyAndDSFDoesntLikeIt

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#14 The Soup Fascist
January 15 2013, 12:54AM
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@Hayek

So the Corsi numbers (which IMO are extremely subjective ) are rock solid but the hit and blocked shots category are due to a dishonest NHL statistician (who mysteriously follows Fistric on the road as well) and should be ignored? Thanks for clearing that up.

The problem is stats are so subjective. You say Fistric was helped by the Star's goaltenders SV%. I say he contributed to improving their save percentage by a) keeping the front of the net clear b) forcing opp shooters outside and / or c) making it a "safer" decision for them to float in a wrister than challenge Fistric along the boards.

At the end of the day lets see if Fistric makes this a better defence core than Potter / Peckham. At the risk of sounding like a "commoner", I will take a guy who puts the opposition through the boards and beats Flames heads in with their own helmets on this squad any day. At least until I hear the Sedins in a corner of their dressing room saying "keep your head up out there. They have Potter in the line up. Did you notice his Rel. Corsi is 5 % better than last year?".

.........Except I imagine it in the voice of the Swedish chef from the Muppets.

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#15 GVBlackhawk
January 15 2013, 01:17AM
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DSF wrote:

Barker finished the season 0 +-.

He wasn't the problem.

#kidscantplaybigboyhockey

The worst defenseman on a poor defensive team is DEFINITELY part of the problem.

Plus minus is such an antiquated and flawed stat used to evaluate effectiveness -- Cam Barker is living proof of this. I can point to several metrics that would establish Barker's lack of hockey acumen: corsi relative to qualtiy of competition, Fenwick, Neilson scores at Cult of Hockey, WOWY, etc. Barker is at or near the bottom of all analytical categories.

If you think he is an effective defenseman in the NHL then you do not know hockey.

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#16 RushPhan
January 15 2013, 04:06AM
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Let me see...how about free Centre Ice for the shortened season. Whatever they do it better be first class. All of the stuff mentioned above may have been okay for 2005 but not now. This farcical lockout was the owner's doing. I want to see something for all Oiler fans not just people in Edmonton. It's going to be a long time before I lay out big dough to travel from G.P to support the Oilers. Katz and company can kiss my big red...

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#17 positivebrontefan
January 15 2013, 09:47AM
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@Hayek

Hey, dont get me wrong, he's not the second coming of Chris Pronger, or even a fraction of it. He's an improvement over who we have to apparently replace, Sutton and Peckham. Nothing more. But it was a need that was filled.

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#18 The Soup Fascist
January 15 2013, 09:49AM
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Hayek wrote:

Should know better than post any advanced metrics with many of you as you don't seem to comprehend it. A few people quote on his playing style, yet I doubt any of you have actually watched him play. You are just quoting opinions you have heard from broadcasters from the media, in which many of them have been limited to watching him once or twice last year.

If you look at Dallas' scorekeeper, it is widely known that he credits hits the highest in the NHL (for both home and away teams in Dallas). That is why that stat is skewed.

And to you people who can't comprehend anything more than a basic box score, Fistric was 6th in ice time among defenders for a bad Dallas team. What makes you think he is actually good? How are you peons so excited about getting a 6th defender from a bad team....Oh wait, he hits (even if it means giving up chances) rednecks of Edmonton rejoice!

Well thanks for confirming yourself as a troll.

If you cannot have an intelligent conversation without comments like "commoners" "peons" and "rednecks" because people disagree with your "advanced metrics", clearly you are incapable of lucid thought and / or get your giggles trolling.

Be well, Little One. Be well.

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#19 Dennis
January 14 2013, 06:52PM
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Jason, you're right about things not ever being enough to placate the anger that a large amount of fans feel. That's going to happen no matter what. However, I do feel that the team could have gone farther than they have so far.

For instance, I got my notice for a chance to purchase new mini packs. The prices have barely been lowered, basically what I think you save is the GST, which is pretty minimal. They could have thrown in a bit more of a discount. I'm not taking like 30%, but even 10%. Or perhaps offer free parking for half the games or something.

I don't know what it would take, but what they've done so far is pretty weak.

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#20 Benhur
January 14 2013, 07:01PM
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I agree...not much or any savings on the new Mini Paks! Disappointed...they should have made more of a gesture....free pop and popcorn.....poooohey!

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#21 OilerLand
January 14 2013, 07:02PM
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This just hilights how stupid the lockout was, there is NOTHING that can make up for it

Firing Bettman and somehow guaranteeing there would never be a lockout again would probably go a looong way with fans, but that's clearly impossible... Which proves my point.

I also just want more canadian teams, and WPG in the same division as EDM.

But in this market, fans just want something genuine. I believe the shinny game was genuine, I loved it. No other team did it. I was unique and we'll never see that again, surely. Is it enough? No.

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#22 T__Bone88
January 14 2013, 07:12PM
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It would be nice if the oilers were to offer more like some form of discount on merchandise. Just offering concession food as a thank you only applies to the 16000 people that attend games. I would rather buy a jersey at 25-30% off than get a free bucket of popcorn. I'm not saying what the oilers are offering is not bad, just that if I was in charge of PR that is what I'd offer instead.

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#23 Buchburgler
January 14 2013, 07:21PM
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1 free beer with each ticket for the first two months of the season

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#24 Hayek
January 14 2013, 07:21PM
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Terrible trade. He has no offensive ability, and no upside. Trades like this are a waste of a draft pick when similar type players can be plucked off waivers for free. We are not competing for the cup this year, so not prudent to give up future for a rental. Since he is 6th on the depth chart, he is barely (if at all) an improvement over Potter or Peckham.

Hometown fans are just way too positive about any change. This was a terrible trade by a terrible GM.

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#25 DrPow
January 14 2013, 08:07PM
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What will make up for it? Time. What will significantly shorten that time? Winning. Make the necessary moves to ice a deep enough line up to finally push into the playoffs. Someone gets injured for the year? Replace him, and not from your prospect pool. Go out and get a reliable replacement of comparable skill.

Fistric is a step in the right direction, the guy just crushes people.

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#26 Darrell
January 14 2013, 08:14PM
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Struds - we have always blogged about replacing you and Smith with quality hard hitting lunch bucket minutes ...... I think this is a good attempt as any to find that player?

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#27 GVBlackhawk
January 14 2013, 08:17PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

IMO, you could not be more wrong. Fistric makes us better NOW. Period. He is a significant upgrade to both Potter and Peckham. He is a tough defensive defenseman.

Without saying it, the coaching staff intimated that Peckham was NOT in as good a condition as he could have been, possibly leading to a hip flexor.

If you are looking at his scoring line, you are correct, Fistric is not going to be mistaken for Drew Doughty anytime soon. Hockey is not getting the 18 best offensive players.

You are worried about a 3rd round pick for a bona fide NHL defenseman, who is 26 and adds a component we are desperately missing?

Let's skip the last couple 3rd round picks of the Oilers, as to be fair, they are still in junior. Here are your Oiler 3rd rounders since the turn of the century:

2010 - Ryan Martindale 2009 - Troy Hesketh 2008 / 2007 - No pick 2006 - Theo Peckham (ironic, no?) 2005 - Danny Syvret / Robby Dee 2004 - No pick 2003 - Mikhail Zhukov / Zack Stortini 2002 - Brock Radunske 2001 - Kenny Smith 2000 - Alexander Lyubinov

Tell me again why trading a 3rd round pick for a large, mean, tough D-man who is 26 years old with over 250 games of NHL experience is a bad thing.

As a season ticket holder who has seen exactly one year of playoffs since I bought them, I am very happy they "gave up the future" (see above) to fill a hole.

Thank you Tambo !! (cough, sputter)

They are trading away the future...STOP THE MADNESS!!

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#28 db7db7db7
January 14 2013, 08:21PM
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It's not up to the individual teams. They completely botched this CBA. The greatest thing the NHL and the players could have done is ensured that players contracts could not be longer than the CBA in which they are signed. That way there is always incentive to renew the CBA at least 5 years before it is set to expire. The reason we are still so pissed off, is they did NOTHING to ensure it doesn't happen again.

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#29 Oilcruzer
January 14 2013, 08:32PM
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db7db7db7 wrote:

It's not up to the individual teams. They completely botched this CBA. The greatest thing the NHL and the players could have done is ensured that players contracts could not be longer than the CBA in which they are signed. That way there is always incentive to renew the CBA at least 5 years before it is set to expire. The reason we are still so pissed off, is they did NOTHING to ensure it doesn't happen again.

Who is the "We" that are so pissed off?

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#30 Oilcruzer
January 14 2013, 08:34PM
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Alethea wrote:

Jason,

A move that sincerely moves towards healing the rift with the ordinary fans would look like this:

1. the respective owners, and NHL players, band together to create a fund for ordinary employees who lost wages/jobs to the lockout.

2. ticket price reductions by a minimum of 10%.

3. no more lockouts in the future.

Is this too much to ask?

Ummm... 1 of those is too much... but three?

Really?

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#31 DSF
January 14 2013, 08:34PM
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Oilcruzer wrote:

To anyone who doesn't like the Fistric trade...

...a starting NHL D roster player is worth 5 3rd round draft picks...

...check out the odds of a 3rd rounder making the show on a full time basis.

If he's good, he'll re-up.

If not... trade him.

Fistric actually is a replacement for Sutton.

Peckham continues to live in la-la-land.

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#32 Dog Train
January 14 2013, 08:50PM
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SG wrote:

Free NHL Centre Ice for the season.

That would do it for me. Otherwise, I don't have any interest in purchasing it when every Oilers game is on free TV and they play every other night.

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#33 DSF
January 14 2013, 08:53PM
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Jeremy Rutherford ‏@jprutherford

For those who haven't heard, NHL Center Ice will be free from Jan. 19-31, then cost $49.99 for remainder of 48-game season (residential).

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#34 Darrell
January 14 2013, 09:07PM
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DSF wrote:

Jeremy Rutherford ‏@jprutherford

For those who haven't heard, NHL Center Ice will be free from Jan. 19-31, then cost $49.99 for remainder of 48-game season (residential).

Welcome back - any predictions on Canucks home opener? What does it mean if the OILERS get blown out, win, lose?

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#35 kawi460
January 14 2013, 09:09PM
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I'm happy to see the oilers staff addressing the blue line and for a 3rd round pick not too shabby, i beleive sutton went to the Sens for a 2nd. as well as 235 hits and only 41 pims thats not bad. Means he isn't dirty and is discipline. It seems like every team is looking for depth on the blue line, good on the oil for going out and getting this local product.

Also just wondering there is talk about Maroon on waivers. Ive been think about him ever since last year when he lit it up in the ahl. IMO he could be a major upgrade on Hordichuk as a player. And if he doesn't pan out then waive him. Is there a chance the oil will snag him?

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#36 kawi460
January 14 2013, 09:09PM
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@DSF

Thats not a bad deal i believe i paid 150 for the seeason last year.

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#37 DSF
January 14 2013, 09:20PM
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Darrell wrote:

Welcome back - any predictions on Canucks home opener? What does it mean if the OILERS get blown out, win, lose?

Don't think you can put too muck stock in one game although, in a 48 game season, every game is a 4 pointer.

The Canucks second line is a mess with Kesler out and Booth having groin problems so it's pretty hard to say how they will respond.

I expect the game may be decided by goaltending.

Advantage, Canucks.

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#38 DSF
January 14 2013, 09:21PM
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kawi460 wrote:

Thats not a bad deal i believe i paid 150 for the seeason last year.

Yeah, if you like watching a lot of out of market games like I do, it's a steal.

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#39 kawi460
January 14 2013, 09:24PM
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@DSF

i love watching bruins rangers flyers and caps, too bad no east teams come this season. Just means my PVR will be full lol

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#40 DSF
January 14 2013, 09:27PM
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oilerman53 wrote:

Bottom Line is the Oilers are not exactly a tough team to play against. With the potential retirement of Sutton, this move makes perfect sense and the price isnt bad either. Fistric is a player who really matters when games get down and dirty. Almost all trades thats dont involve a top flight player is heavily scrutinized. I dont know how much hockey you watch but the team with more goals wins the game, this guy helps prevent them. Think about it.

Great move by Tambo!

Actually he doesn't help prevent them.

GFON/60 1.63

GAON/60 1.78

Playing the softest minutes.

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#41 DSF
January 14 2013, 09:28PM
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kawi460 wrote:

i love watching bruins rangers flyers and caps, too bad no east teams come this season. Just means my PVR will be full lol

Toronto, Minny and LAK are my favourites.

Pennies per game.

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#42 Darrell
January 14 2013, 09:30PM
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DSF wrote:

Don't think you can put too muck stock in one game although, in a 48 game season, every game is a 4 pointer.

The Canucks second line is a mess with Kesler out and Booth having groin problems so it's pretty hard to say how they will respond.

I expect the game may be decided by goaltending.

Advantage, Canucks.

President's and defending Champs 2 of first three has me worried about a slow start .... if the OILERS can make a statement early it makes all the difference in this so-called AHL line advantage .... I also hope the new kid punishes one of the sisters so he is welcomed home ..... although, a smart man once told me "if you have hope in one hand and crap in the other ..... all you got is crap!" Cheers

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#43 K
January 14 2013, 09:37PM
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A substantial reduction in the pricing of tickets would be awesome! I've sat through too many years of losing & lousy hockey to be appeased with free pop & popcorn at practices that I cannot attend due to work.

The Oilers organization is arrogant & take their fans for granted in this market due to long waiting lists. What do they care if I cancel my tickets to show my displeasure as hundreds more are waiting to buy them, especially now that we perhaps have players that will finally entertain us.

We have shown our loyalty to the boys on the ice, management & owner(s) by selling the building out night after night, how about them showing appreciation & loyalty back by reducing the price to watch them live. Would it kill them?

I will not spend anymore money on merchandise no matter the discount. Give the customers who fill the building game after game a break on ticket costs - that is the only thing that will begin to heal the wounds. That is the only thing where paying fans ALL benefit.

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#44 B S
January 14 2013, 09:47PM
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Darrell wrote:

President's and defending Champs 2 of first three has me worried about a slow start .... if the OILERS can make a statement early it makes all the difference in this so-called AHL line advantage .... I also hope the new kid punishes one of the sisters so he is welcomed home ..... although, a smart man once told me "if you have hope in one hand and crap in the other ..... all you got is crap!" Cheers

Might not be so bad if it's synthetic: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/254864.php

Almost glad its two Canucks games to start rather than finish (yeah, I know the Oilers last game is against the Canucks), they tend to have slow starts in a full season, could work to our advantage now.

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#45 JSR
January 14 2013, 10:04PM
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It seems to me the players are the ones promoting the "goodwill", when it wasn't their fault the season didn't start until now. Good for them to show up at Hawrylak and skate, but what are we seeing from Mr. Katz? Other teams are offering serious discounts on tickets, free food, etc, but because hockey is a big thing in Edmonton, they know the bldg. will be full, regardless. Open practices do absolutely nothing for 99% of the people, as they fall during the week when kids are in school, and most adults are working. In one sense, I'm happy hockey is back, and I will watch it, but at the same time, when you see what other owners are doing for their fans, it makes you ask, " what about us?"

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#46 Ramby
January 14 2013, 10:06PM
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Jason, the players/league don't need to do anything. Why would they?

Maybe a few markets in the US would need to entice people, but guess what - they were doing that before the lockout. The lockout doesn't change any of that.

As a fan, why would I possibly feel like the league or players OWE ME SOMETHING? Because as a "fan" I'm entitled to some sort of payback for all this trauma?? Give me a break. People spoke during the lockout about the players feeling all this sense of entitlement. Pot, I'd like to introduce you to the kettle.

Sure, I like to watch. I'm an avid fan. But I'm not butthurt because they "deprived me of my sacred RIGHT to watch NHL hockey". Chrissakes, all these people that seem to think they're OWED something from these teams sound as bad as the people they're mad at.

I saved a few bucks, spent some extra time with my family, chose not to buy any NHL gear for Christmas this year, and now hockey's back. I'll enjoy it, but I'm not going to act like they owe me for it.

It's apparent that this "entitlement" issue isn't just with the NHL and/or the players.

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#47 DSF
January 14 2013, 10:11PM
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Rick Ball to replace Jim Hughson on HNIC western broadcasts.

Hughson moves into the big chair in Toronto.

Ball is the former radio play by play guy for the BC Lions and Vancouver Canucks.

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#48 gongshow
January 14 2013, 10:19PM
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DSF wrote:

Actually he doesn't help prevent them.

GFON/60 1.63

GAON/60 1.78

Playing the softest minutes.

Actually, if that's all my #6 is giving up, I'm very happy. That differential equals a minus every eight times he plays 60 minutes and if he's at 15 minutes per night, then that means he would be on pace for a -1 after approx 32 games. I'm very OK with that.

PS - if my math is wrong I blame it on the flu

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#49 DSF
January 14 2013, 10:25PM
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gongshow wrote:

Actually, if that's all my #6 is giving up, I'm very happy. That differential equals a minus every eight times he plays 60 minutes and if he's at 15 minutes per night, then that means he would be on pace for a -1 after approx 32 games. I'm very OK with that.

PS - if my math is wrong I blame it on the flu

Yeah, it's not all that bad for a #6.

Just can't count on him for any more than that.

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#50 Mumbai Max
January 14 2013, 10:29PM
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Not sure how you can say that Barker is a good depth signing for the Canucks. He has clearly proven he is not an NHL defenceman, and barely capable of holding his own in the AHL.

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