GDB 18.0: MORNING MADNESS

Jason Gregor
November 09 2013 09:06AM

Yesterday at 4:45 p.m. news broke that the Oilers had traded Ladislav Smid to Calgary, and a half hour later the Ilya Bryzgalov signing became official. Some wondered if the two deals were connected. I believe they were, but not just for financial reasons.

Trading Smid freed up $2.786 million in cap space for the remainder of the season, and $3.5 mill cap hit for the following three years, while Ilya Bryzgalov was signed for $1.75 million, which starting today is $1.393 million in actual cap space. The Oilers could have signed Bryzgalov to that deal without moving Smid; however, I do see a connection between the moves.

The Oilers aren't making the playoffs this season. The coaches and players won't think that way, as they should, but in making these moves I believe Craig MacTavish recognizes the disappointing reality that the Oilers are already 12 points out of a playoff spot.

I expect the Oilers to be better in their final 65 games, but they won't go 38-17-6 in their final 65 (which would give them 92 points).

An hour after making the deal, MacTavish stated that he felt the Oilers had more depth on the blueline, and he expected Oscar Klefbom or Darnell Nurse to be two possibilities to replace Smid's size. Klefbom is 6'3" while Nurse is 6'4", but neither will replace Smid right now. Both of them will push for a roster spot next season, although Klefbom likely will get some games near the end of this season.

MacTavish made this move with the long-term future in mind, more than the short term, and I believe the Bryzgalov move was also made with the bigger picture in mind.

MacTavish is hoping Bryzgalov can come in and either out perform Devan Dubnyk, or push him to play better. That helps right now, but more importantly he needs solid goaltending so his players can taste some success. I don't see the Bryzgalov signing as a big risk. He can't be worse than what they have, and despite some of his past comments, I doubt he will be a bad influence in the dressing room.

The Oilers are finally starting to get comfortable with Dallas Eakins system, and if they can get some victories they are more likely to buy in even more and should enter next season more comfortable in their overall game. For that to happen they need better goaltending.

The Oilers outplayed Tampa Bay on Thursday, one of the better teams in the league, but they lost. We all saw the need to try and improve the goaltending right away, but I feel that MacTavish also did it with an eye on next season.

Eakins isn't getting fired, and next year will be the first time in four seasons that the Oilers won't have to learn a new system. They will enter a season with some actual continuity and understanding of their system. They won't need 10, 15 or 50 games to get comfortable with their new coach.

The Oilers need to have a strong second half. They will get more comfortable in the system, and if they can win some games down the stretch, at least they will end the season with some confidence.

These trades were about the big picture, and the Smid move also gave MacTavish some cap flexibility so he can make even more moves leading up to the trade deadline.

SMID TRADE...

The Oilers lose this trade today; because Roman Horak and Laurent Brossoit are both prospects and there is no guarantee either one of them will ever play. They won't help the Oilers today. It is fair to question why MacTavish made the move, but I believe he made it to get some cap flexibility short term and long term, and he felt Smid was expendable.

Smid was their best shot blocker and most physical defender. He will be missed. Despite his offensive shortcomings, no one ever questioned his willingness and desire. He competed, and he was sick of losing. He was well-liked in the dressing room, and he really enjoyed living in Edmonton. I know being a good guy off the ice, doesn't always coincide with victories on the ice, but the community will miss him. I

On a personal note, I enjoyed interacting with Smid. He was always throwing out barbs and chirps. He would chirp anyone and he was always smiling, even when he was pissed off. A part of me feels bad for Smid, because he is leaving one rebuild for another. I don't see him racking up a lot of wins in Calgary and being on a losing team for that long must start to wear on a guy.

At the same time I don't think Smid's departure is a major blow to the Oilers. They will miss his competitiveness and shot-blocking abilities, but Andrew Ference plays the same game, and if Klefbom is ready next season he has more overall upside.

I also don't think Taylor Fedun's play led to the Smid trade. Craig MacTavish said he had been discussing this deal with the Flames for a few weeks. Smid's puck moving ability was a concern for the team, especially in Dallas Eakins' new system.

TODAY'S GAME....

The Oilers and Flyers are the poster boys for underachieving so far this season. The Oilers sit in the basement of the western conference, while the Flyers are a disappointing 2nd last in the east. The Flyers only have nine points.

Claude Giroux has 0 goals in 15 games. Scott Hartnell has 1 point in 11 games. Wayne Simmonds and Jacob Voracek each have 1 goal in 15 games.

Giroux had 41 goals and 140 points in his previous 125 games.
Hartnell had 45 goals and 75 points in his previous 114 games.
Simmonds had 43 goals and 81 points in his previous 127 games.
Voracek had 40 goals and 85 points in his previous 126 games.

The Flyers are struggling because their best forwards can't produce.

Flyers analyst Steve Coates told me yesterday that the Flyers are an extremely fragile team right now. When something goes wrong in a game they unravel, and they haven't been able to overcome adversity.

Despite below average goaltending and some five-star giveaways the Oilers haven't folded their tents, except for the brutal Detroit game, so far this season. The Oilers have at least battled throughout the majority of their games.

The Oilers need to attack the Flyers right away. Score first and see if the Flyers will wilt. Eventually Giroux, Hartnell, Simmonds and Voracek are going to start scoring, the Oilers have to try and delay that inevitability for at least one more game.

LINEUP...

Perron-Nugent-Hopkins-Eberle
Hall-Gagner-Hemsky
Joensuu-Gordon-Arcobello
Gazdic-Smyth-Yakupov

The fourth line could also include Ryan Jones or Wil Acton. Those players rotated in and out during yesterday's practice.

David Perron and Jesse Joensuu will return to the lineup, and the Oilers will dress their healthiest forward group of the season. If you switched Yakupov for Arcobello, the top three lines would be what most projected them to be, but Arcobello has earned the right to stay in the top-nine.

If the Oilers can stay healthy, Eakins will finally have the option to move guys in and out, or up and down the lineup based on performance.

Ference-Petry
Belov-Larsen
N.Schultz-Fedun

Dubnyk

The D pairs could also change with Anton Belov replacing Smid. The Oilers backend isn't very big or physical, but the Oilers feel they can move the puck quickly, and that should allow their fast, skilled forwards to generate offence.

MORNING GLORY....

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Flyers and Oilers will each get a point. This one ends in a SO, and the Oilers get the bonus point in a 4-3 win.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Wanye and many others miss the first period. Wanye slept in because he spent three hours talking to babes on line after returning home from the bar. Unlike Chip from Napolean Dynamite, none of Wanye's babes lived in the same country, however, so there will be no nuptials in his immediate future. But he will SQUEEEEEEEE when Eberle scores in the 2nd period.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Fedun scores for the third consecutive game. His comeback story just gets better and better as he becomes the first D-man in the expansion era to score a goal in his first three NHL games. Fedun was the first D-man to score in his first two games since, Marcus Ragnarsson in 1995/1996. (Thanks to Elias Sports Bureau for getting me that answer.)

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#251 Reg Dunlop
November 09 2013, 01:57PM
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The oil will feel a little heat after a Philly no-show,try hard in Chicago and the Blackhawks will play just hard enough to win tomorrow leading media and many fans to chalk it up as a moral victory with many positive signs. 'They played one of the NHL's elite straight up. They have the potential, they only need consistency.' This is just an illusion. This edition of the oil is possibly the worst team I have ever seen in 45 years of watching the NHL. The other horrid teams were expansion clubs or WHA squads new to the league. No excuses for Edmonton. Changes gotta come.

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#252 Spaz
November 09 2013, 01:59PM
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@Reg Dunlop

Khabibulin shuts out the oilers.

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#253 Alsker
November 09 2013, 01:59PM
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Spaz wrote:

The saddest thing about this game was that the game after MacT sells off Smid to get a replacement for DD that's the performance we get. Devan your job is on the line and you give up 4 goals on the lowest scoring offense in the league. BOLD STATEMENT.

^this

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#254 Spydyr
November 09 2013, 01:59PM
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Rheal1 wrote:

Not gonna happen. One hour ago on CHED MacT just stated that "Dooby will get many opportunities". Just like Desharnais in Montreal; carry the shame 'til golf day in April...

So the accountability was just more lip service.Live the hype Oiler fans live the spin.

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#255 Joe
November 09 2013, 01:59PM
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I wonder if Edmonton Oilers could beat a good AHL team

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#256 Batfink
November 09 2013, 02:00PM
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Jeebus, this is on coaching. the players have no idea what to do or where to be. Proof is in the fact that our special teams are a million times worse and we can't seem to do what we were good at last season. I think, looking at the effort, there is some kind of 'work to rule' going on here and they're giving DE the rope he needs to hang himself and his AHL systems. I think their doing EXACTLEY what they are asked. Except for DD.

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#257 Batfink
November 09 2013, 02:00PM
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Jeebus, this is on coaching. the players have no idea what to do or where to be. Proof is in the fact that our special teams are a million times worse and we can't seem to do what we were good at last season. I think, looking at the effort, there is some kind of 'work to rule' going on here and they're giving DE the rope he needs to hang himself and his AHL systems. I think their doing EXACTLEY what they are asked. Except for DD.

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#258 Frank
November 09 2013, 02:02PM
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This team has Kevin Lowe's fingerprint all over it.

Well done Kevin, imagine if you had 7 rings how well Edmonton would do.

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#259 bazmagoo
November 09 2013, 02:02PM
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@Batfink

Personally I think Eakins needs to go, the logical replacement for this season is MacT, or the guy in OKC.

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#260 Spydyr
November 09 2013, 02:02PM
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Joe wrote:

I wonder if Edmonton Oilers could beat a good AHL team

If this was soccer they would have been relegated years ago.

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#261 Serious Gord
November 09 2013, 02:04PM
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Spydyr wrote:

If this was soccer they would have been relegated years ago.

Relegated. Not regulated.

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#262 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
November 09 2013, 02:04PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Welcome aboard the Dubnyks gotta go team sit down have a beer or ten.

OK!.....Thanks....I was gonna stop at seven.....but I'll have three more then!!!

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#263 Spaz
November 09 2013, 02:05PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Relegated. Not regulated.

regulate ˈrɛgjʊleɪt/ verb past tense: regulated; past participle: regulated

1. control or maintain the rate or speed of (a machine or process) so that it operates properly.

This one sounds pretty good, maybe we can try it next year?

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#264 Spydyr
November 09 2013, 02:06PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Relegated. Not regulated.

Thanks fixed.

I'm not a big soccer fan.

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#265 Slats
November 09 2013, 02:07PM
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Watching the nhl.com feed I just love it when the announcer uses the description of the goal/goals(!) on DD are "wow what an impossible angle to score from ..."

Can we play the next game with no goalie and call for "post" as our netminder?

*puts jersey away in darkest part of the closet and closes the door

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#266 boxman
November 09 2013, 02:08PM
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Bob wrote:

6 min left, i hope our retarded coach pulls the goalie...

I don't know what is sadder, your questionable comment or the rocket scientists who propped you.

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#267 vetinari
November 09 2013, 02:08PM
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Remember the Simpsons episode where Homer gets the Denver Broncos as a gift from Hank Scipio for running his nuclear power plant and Homer says to Marge (when she asks him "aren't you happy with your gift"), "Oh Marge, you know nothing about football..."?

The Oilers remind me of the old Denver Broncos right now...

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#268 Spaz
November 09 2013, 02:11PM
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vetinari wrote:

Remember the Simpsons episode where Homer gets the Denver Broncos as a gift from Hank Scipio for running his nuclear power plant and Homer says to Marge (when she asks him "aren't you happy with your gift"), "Oh Marge, you know nothing about football..."?

The Oilers remind me of the old Denver Broncos right now...

But Klowe's been wearing Tom Landry's hat for 7 years? If that doesn't motivate the guys I don't know what will.

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#269 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
November 09 2013, 02:12PM
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YYYESSSSS!

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#270 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
November 09 2013, 02:12PM
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When you're Losin games In your neighborhood Who you Gonna call????

SLUMPBUSTERS!!!!!

It is only november and I am completley worn out by this.

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#271 Sammy
November 09 2013, 02:12PM
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C'mon Oilers have only lost 12 games out of 18. Kevin Lowe does know winning

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#272 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
November 09 2013, 02:12PM
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Frank wrote:

This team has Kevin Lowe's fingerprint all over it.

Well done Kevin, imagine if you had 7 rings how well Edmonton would do.

He's a "President".....he needs to be well rounded......He knows something about winning.......so now he's trying to establish that he also knows a little something about losing! He wants balance .......six rings to prove the winning part.......and six first overall picks to prove the losing part.......really .....how do you argue with logic like that!?!?

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#273 Ed in Edmonton
November 09 2013, 02:14PM
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Thought the Oil's top two centers were brutal. RNH looked half asleep and Ganger is Ganger. Arcabello was the Oil's best forward and should be out back at center. Likely no room for Gagner if he can't get it turned around soon.

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#274 Spydyr
November 09 2013, 02:14PM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

YYYESSSSS!

Why so happy? What do you know that we don't know? Did they fire Lowe?

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#275 Bucknuck
November 09 2013, 02:16PM
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I can't wait for the Oil to win a few so I can feel hope again. My tank is on empty. I'm already checking the Junior players that are draft eligible.

Also looking at Nurse, Khaira and Briossant.

I think I am more impatient than MacT.

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#276 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
November 09 2013, 02:18PM
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boxman wrote:

I don't know what is sadder, your questionable comment or the rocket scientists who propped you.

Actually......I am a retired Rocket Scientist.......and I did approve his comment.....

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#277 Spydyr
November 09 2013, 02:20PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

Actually......I am a retired Rocket Scientist.......and I did approve his comment.....

Funny I am a rocket surgeon.As Grapes would say.

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#278 Spaz
November 09 2013, 02:20PM
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@Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

Batman's a scientist.

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#279 Reg Dunlop
November 09 2013, 02:21PM
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vetinari wrote:

Remember the Simpsons episode where Homer gets the Denver Broncos as a gift from Hank Scipio for running his nuclear power plant and Homer says to Marge (when she asks him "aren't you happy with your gift"), "Oh Marge, you know nothing about football..."?

The Oilers remind me of the old Denver Broncos right now...

I don't know much about the Simpsons but comparing the oil to the Broncos? I can think of 2 seasons where Denver has been really bad since I began following NFL. The year before they got Elway and 3 years ago. I can't even remember when the oil were good.

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#280 Spydyr
November 09 2013, 02:21PM
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Spaz wrote:

Batman's a scientist.

Katz is a scientist?

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#281 Bucknuck
November 09 2013, 02:22PM
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Ed in Edmonton wrote:

Thought the Oil's top two centers were brutal. RNH looked half asleep and Ganger is Ganger. Arcabello was the Oil's best forward and should be out back at center. Likely no room for Gagner if he can't get it turned around soon.

Agreed on Gagner and Arco. Arco and Hall have been the best Oilers on a lot of nights. Gagner needs to sit some more, and I like Gagner a lot.

The list of Oilers players who looked good is pretty darn short, though.

Arco; Hall; Eberle; Larsen

I think that's it. Everyone else was asleep.

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#282 Talbot17
November 09 2013, 02:22PM
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How i feel after witnessing another Oilers loss

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2_oFE9ovNk

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#283 Jackson
November 09 2013, 02:23PM
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Was Kevin Lowe an affirmative action hire by the Oilers?

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#284 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
November 09 2013, 02:23PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Why so happy? What do you know that we don't know? Did they fire Lowe?

Actually QSB's last six posts or so have been, short, consistent, concise and darkly humorous ....HE'S REGAINED HIS FORM!!!....QSB is back Baby!!! Booyah!

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#285 Spydyr
November 09 2013, 02:23PM
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Jackson wrote:

Was Kevin Lowe an affirmative action hire by the Oilers?

No ,just buddies with the owner.

You know that guy just shows up for work does not do much .Takes long lunches goes home early.

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#286 Spaz
November 09 2013, 02:24PM
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Reg Dunlop wrote:

I don't know much about the Simpsons but comparing the oil to the Broncos? I can think of 2 seasons where Denver has been really bad since I began following NFL. The year before they got Elway and 3 years ago. I can't even remember when the oil were good.

I think that episode was from the mid 90's, was one of the terrible seasons in that range? I don't follow football.

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#287 Spydyr
November 09 2013, 02:25PM
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Know what the best part of the after game comments.I don't feel like I'm drinking alone.

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#288 Taylor Gang
November 09 2013, 02:25PM
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@Bucknuck

Larsen? No way man. Guy couldn't handle keeping the puck in at all. Add in all the poor decision making and I'd say he had a rough outing.

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#289 Rama Lama
November 09 2013, 02:26PM
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Just got off the phone with Kevin Lowe..........he is fine with the rebuild so far. He likes Duby because Duby gives us a legitmate chance to get another top two draft choice this year.

Conbined with Dallas Eakins systems of play that has every player playing some where they should not be on the ice..........we might just be able to make this another first- first round draft choice.

I think that the Oilers need to get a high priestess and perform an excorcism........our luck suggests we are haunted.

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#290 mlcselli
November 09 2013, 02:26PM
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If 6 rings knows so much about winning, why doesn't he go home and sit in tier 2 with the rest of the fans and let someone else run the show? He makes me sick--doesn't know his arse from his elbow!!!!

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#291 vetinari
November 09 2013, 02:28PM
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Kevin Lowe: "Turning Stanley Cup Contenders Into Bottom 5 Performers Since 2006/07"

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#292 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
November 09 2013, 02:28PM
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Spaz wrote:

Batman's a scientist.

And a Damn Fine One Spaz!

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#293 Don Wood
November 09 2013, 02:29PM
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@Reg Dunlop

You are 100% correct sir...this is the worst team possibly in at least 30 plus years...how can they be so bad with so many good picks? When will Kevin Lowe be gone!

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#294 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
November 09 2013, 02:30PM
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Spaz wrote:

I think that episode was from the mid 90's, was one of the terrible seasons in that range? I don't follow football.

Your post was funny.....no need to explain it.

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#295 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
November 09 2013, 02:31PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Know what the best part of the after game comments.I don't feel like I'm drinking alone.

Cheers...I'll drink to that!

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#296 Spydyr
November 09 2013, 02:33PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

Cheers...I'll drink to that!

Burp!!!

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#297 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
November 09 2013, 02:33PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Why so happy? What do you know that we don't know? Did they fire Lowe?

Every dark cloud has a silver lining.

Now that the selloff has begun. Maybe they can move Gagner now, since Archobello has shown he's every bit as capable to do what Gags does on this team.

Imagine the capspace going into the summer with Gags,Hemsky,N.Schultz,Smid and Dubnyks coin coming off the books. Adding another top 3 selection, along with Darnell Nurse to next yrs lineup. Imagine the opportunities they'd have with that much space. There'd even be plenty of room in there for Brinks Weber along with Steve Ott.

Success while failing, it's what we do best. Eakins sure looks like he's way in over his head. He doesn't have a clue. Good thing he totally ruined Yakupovs confidence, he could sure use a goal or two a game scorer now. Guess MacT can't fix stupid when it comes to our coach. Krueger never pointed fingers when this happened last season. Dallas already appears to be reaching for excuses.

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#298 Sam Reinhart
November 09 2013, 02:34PM
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Hi ,

This is Sam Reinhart please Edmonton don't draft me, if you do I will retire from hockey.

All the best

Sam

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#299 Bob
November 09 2013, 02:34PM
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boxman wrote:

I don't know what is sadder, your questionable comment or the rocket scientists who propped you.

I don't know what's sadder. The diarrhea I have from drinking so much lately or the Oilers...

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#300 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
November 09 2013, 02:34PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Burp!!!

BRRRRRRAAAAP!............I'm nine beers in.........

Wheres Smid?.......is he injured or something?

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