NO NURSE ON DUTY

Lowetide
December 02 2013 07:19PM

News today that Darnell Nurse is not part of the Canadian World Junior roster for Christmastime. It's a surprise, but Oiler fans shouldn't be upset about it. I'll tell you why after the jump.

INSANE!

Well, not really. The truth is that Canada has so much depth each season among eligible players they could ice two teams and the second group could win the entire thing. As fans, we have a right to be pissed off (I'm livid!) but there's so much quality in Canadian junior hockey the men choosing the roster really can't blow it.

Seriously.

Today's roster announcement tells us the following:

  • the recent Subway series had a lot to do with the final decision. Nurse made a couple of defensive errors and that was apparently enough to include him out. It IS insane to make these decisions on such a small sample size, but Canada has been doing that since Don Cherry chewed with his own teeth.
  • some of the more experienced defensemen (like Griffin Reinhart) had a similar skill set to Nurse.

That's my take, anyway. Sucks for Darnell Nurse, I hope he uses that as motivation to beat hell out of the OHL and win the Max Kaminsky trophy.

I'M NOT CHEERING FOR CANADA!

Oh come on. I agree the roster selection looks a little weird, but the Team Canada coach has earned the right to choose his team, and they'll be wearing the Canadian uniform at Christmas. That means you and I will cheer for these kids, just like we did for Jordan Eberle.

Well, maybe not EXACTLY like that (as I recall Wanye may have hovered over top of the arena in a Zeppelin for the Eberle games) but these are Canadian kids and chances are one day soon one or more will be Oilers (the Flames MUST owe us something in the Smid trade).

FACTS

History will tell us if Team Canada chose wisely today, and I hope to be around for all 25 of Darnell's NHL seasons and his HHOF ceremony. Best of luck to Team Canada without him, it'll be fun to see if they can win shorthanded.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Things happen for a reason. I don't know that Darnell Nurse needed extra motivation, but he found some today. Oiler fans have seen this young man for themselves—his training camp and pre-season was outstanding—and we're betting on Darnell.

All day. ALL day.

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on TSN 1260.
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#1 nofool6110
December 02 2013, 07:29PM
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Edmonton Oilers 2013-2014: Breaking Blad.

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#2 lucky
December 02 2013, 11:38PM
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Like last year they anointed Subban and cut Broissoit, regardless how badly Brossoit schooled Subban at camp. Politics. Ain't that what hockey is all about?

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#3 Citizen David
December 02 2013, 11:14PM
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Have to disagree. That blue line does not look all that great. Especially since Reinhart will miss the first three games of the round robin.

Nurse is 6'4'' and 193lbs but skates like a 5'10" 175lbs. He's physical and has a mean side. He has solid offence (over a point per game) and is sound defensively. The case could be made that he's the best defencemen in the CHL. He is the best in the OHL.

Also Jarry getting passed over for Fucale is sickening. Hockey Canada is the worst run organization in pro sports. Can't wait to see Kunitz playing in the Olympics...

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#4 Steven Olson
December 02 2013, 08:16PM
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Does anyone else find it weird how small the selection camp is? Only 3 total cuts? No goalie cuts? I don't ever remember a selection camp being so small. I think not giving the best junior aged players a chance to compete against each other at a camp is a really bad idea! I hope we do well, but if we don't, Sutter is sure setting himself up for (deserved) criticism!

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#5 ?
December 02 2013, 10:06PM
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joshgladu wrote:

yeah bigras going instead of nurse is a joke. same with fucale and paterson. both have been terrible this year.

hockey canada doesn't seem to want to embrace skilled players and instead like to bring plugs like JC Lipon year after year

Flames fan here, and I agree. Emile Poirier didnt make the cut, even though he has 44 points in 28 games in the Q, so 5th in QMJHL scoring.

Nurse and Poirier should've both made this team.

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#6 BC BOY
December 02 2013, 10:16PM
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Chris Bigras making it over Nurse is an absolute joke!!!!! Lets get some real talent and hockey minds to pick our national teams.

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#7 Mikey
December 03 2013, 11:05AM
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Twoskidoos wrote:

Baby Nuge didn't make the team his first time around. Nurse may make the team next year, or not. Making or not making Team Canada means jack $#!^ in terms of a player's career.

Don't fret Oilernation, Nursey will turn out just fine. The teams that didn't pick him will be cursing his name when he's smashing their player's faces into the glass and slapping one timers past their goalies.

Please never call him Nursey ever again.

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#8 They're $hittie
December 02 2013, 07:25PM
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Which Edmonton Oiler would you rather see on the WJC,

Nurse or Ekblad?

LOL, Bad for Ekblad, does this ever end?

Please God Answer me

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#9 Abpotato
December 02 2013, 10:02PM
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I've been pissed off since the announcements were made and 11 hours later I'm still pissed off. I don't think I've ever been angry at Hockey Canada before, but am really frustrated at this decision.

So I've been thinking about why I'm angry, because it feels irrational for a fan to be angry about a decision to leave a player off of a selection camp. I think that as an Oiler fan my anger may come from my under lying anger at having my team at the bottom of the standings again. As a result I put my hopes in prospects, hoping that they'll be the key to change. So while I'm angry at Hockey Canada, the truth is that my anger is a mask for the frustration at the thought that Nurse may not be as good as I was hoping. The great NHL defenseman generally play for the World Juniours and with Nurse being left off it suggests that he's a cut below. Not only is my team struggling....again, but I don't even get to appreciate future Oiler "hope" over the holidays.

I know I'm supposed to cheer like hell for the Canadian kids, but a piece of the joy of cheering for the team just got sucked out of me. I know it's petty and small, but it reflects the sad passion I have for the Oilers.

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#10 ?
December 02 2013, 10:10PM
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Abpotato wrote:

I've been pissed off since the announcements were made and 11 hours later I'm still pissed off. I don't think I've ever been angry at Hockey Canada before, but am really frustrated at this decision.

So I've been thinking about why I'm angry, because it feels irrational for a fan to be angry about a decision to leave a player off of a selection camp. I think that as an Oiler fan my anger may come from my under lying anger at having my team at the bottom of the standings again. As a result I put my hopes in prospects, hoping that they'll be the key to change. So while I'm angry at Hockey Canada, the truth is that my anger is a mask for the frustration at the thought that Nurse may not be as good as I was hoping. The great NHL defenseman generally play for the World Juniours and with Nurse being left off it suggests that he's a cut below. Not only is my team struggling....again, but I don't even get to appreciate future Oiler "hope" over the holidays.

I know I'm supposed to cheer like hell for the Canadian kids, but a piece of the joy of cheering for the team just got sucked out of me. I know it's petty and small, but it reflects the sad passion I have for the Oilers.

I wouldn't worry. Nurse seems like a really good defenceman (and this coming from a Flames fan).

I know this is cherrypicking, but Duncan Keith didn't play for Canada at the WJC.

Don't forget, Nurse was a 99% top 10 pick in last years draft. There's an awful lot of potential for that kid.

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#11 joshgladu
December 02 2013, 09:54PM
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yeah bigras going instead of nurse is a joke. same with fucale and paterson. both have been terrible this year.

hockey canada doesn't seem to want to embrace skilled players and instead like to bring plugs like JC Lipon year after year

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#12 Taylor Gang
December 02 2013, 07:29PM
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Sutter said something along the lines of they don't want Canada to be an all-star team, rather a team that had the best chance of winning.

That might make sense for the forwards, but wouldn't you want the best defense you could have?

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#13 mlcselli
December 02 2013, 08:24PM
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Strictly bias decision in my opinion. Anytime the Oilers are in line for any accolades, they are always overlooked. First it was Eberle, then Yak now Nurse. I guess we are always supposed to be the horses' arse. I am so sick of the perception that the Oil will never being quite good enough. Sutter must still be choked that he wasn't hired as the head coach in Oilerville. We all know that Nurse is a solid defender and would have been an asset.

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#14 Doug Diggler
December 02 2013, 11:39PM
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In a couple years they will say they should've taken nurse just like they did with the nuge

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#15 Kypreos
December 02 2013, 08:06PM
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OMG No Nurse!

I thought he was going to save Edmonton's defense.

Looks like dark years continue in Edmonton!

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#16 Jamie B.
December 02 2013, 09:18PM
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Completely depends on the outcome. If they win gold, we can't argue the decision. If they don't, we argue about team selection whether Nurse is there or not.

As a Canadian fan, all I want is for them to win. As an Oilers fan, I'm really disappointed we won't get to watch Nurse. I feel bad for the kid too. Have to think he wasn't expecting this either.

So, we'll see.

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#17 Vaclav
December 02 2013, 07:31PM
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I think you're right LT. Sutter and his minions placed a significant premium on performance from the Subway Series rather than on their whole junior season thus far.

Bigras by all accounts had a strong Subway series but when comparing his OHL season to Nurse's they made a very poor selection.

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#18 Serious Gord
December 02 2013, 08:34PM
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Saw dumba play several times the past couple of years - didn't surprise me he wasn't picked last year. Not sure he's much better this year.

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#19 Ducey
December 03 2013, 09:58AM
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It doesn't detract from Nurse's long term NHL future one bit. Many of the guys selected to Team Canada will never make it.

Look back ten years (presumably guys have had enough time to make it) to the 2003 defense:

Brendan Bell Carlo Colaiacovo Steve Eminger Alexandre Rouleau Nathan Paetsch Ian White Jeff Woywitka

2004: Derek Meech Dion Phaneuf Josh Gorges Kevin Klein Braydon Coburn Brent Seabrook Shawn Belle

2005: Cam Barker Shawn Belle Braydon Coburn Dion Phaneuf Brent Seabrook Danny Syvret Shea Weber

Some studs in there but also lots of busts.

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#20 shaner
December 02 2013, 08:11PM
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as oilers fans we need to be patient right? haha

I guess it is ek(BLAD) to the future

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#21 Citizen David
December 02 2013, 11:24PM
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Just for further stats on Jarry vs. Fucale:

Last 2 seasons Jarry 1.61 GAA and .936 SV% / 1.98 GAA and .923 SV% respectively.

Last two seasons Fucale 2.35 GAA and 9.09 SV% / 2.62 GAA and 8.99 SV% respectively.

Over that span Jarry has let in 1.69 goals per game. Fucale has let in 2.35 goals per game.

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#22 Citizen David
December 03 2013, 07:05AM
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From Red line

http://www.redlinereport.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Nurse-Spotlight.pdf

Scouting Report: Huge and highly mobile defenceman is just starting to tap into his massive potential. He’s already a shutdown defender who can physically dominate games down low. Keeps the crease clear and shows excellent defensive awareness and positioning. Has a long wingspan and plays with an active stick, clogging passing lanes. Closes gaps quickly, angles men to corners, and has quick feet to contain smaller, shifty forwards. Strong in coverage. Doesn’t activate much yet in the offensive end, but makes rocket outlet passes and has some offensive upside

Now that he's over a point a game I'd say he's tapped into that offensive upside. This isn't a Justin Schultz player who got passed over because of the chaos in his defensive game. When you compare him to all the D in the CHL this is akin to not taking Weber to the Olympics.

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#23 Rob F
December 03 2013, 10:05AM
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I'm protesting by cheering for switzerland....just to be neutral

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#24 Smokey
December 02 2013, 07:29PM
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If they loose or are week on defence like last year then the omission of Nurse looks like the same old. I know his Subway series games he was off, but the body of work on display in the Soo has been steller.

I don't see how you leave a guy like him off just like they left off Dumba last year. You can't find these types of players that often, how can Sutter justify the decision. Leaving one of your best juniors at home is killing the Canadian juniors.

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#25 Dog Train
December 02 2013, 11:27PM
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This is typical of Hockey Canada. They seem to do it at all levels. They have a certain arrogance about them and they leave all sorts of talent behind in an attempt to build what they feel is the best team. I look at our D corps and only Reinhart is clearly ahead of Nurse in my opinion. I'm not a big Dumba fan but given his age I am fine with him being picked as well.

I will cheer for Team Canada but if they don't win then at least it'll be fun to do the whole 'I told you so' thing.

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#26 non descript
December 03 2013, 07:12AM
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Citizen David wrote:

Have to disagree. That blue line does not look all that great. Especially since Reinhart will miss the first three games of the round robin.

Nurse is 6'4'' and 193lbs but skates like a 5'10" 175lbs. He's physical and has a mean side. He has solid offence (over a point per game) and is sound defensively. The case could be made that he's the best defencemen in the CHL. He is the best in the OHL.

Also Jarry getting passed over for Fucale is sickening. Hockey Canada is the worst run organization in pro sports. Can't wait to see Kunitz playing in the Olympics...

im fairly certain the oilers hold that title.

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#27 Citizen David
December 03 2013, 11:42AM
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The idea that Hockey Canada doesn't want to make an All-Star team they want to make the "best team" is interesting because it's so vague that it doesn't mean anything. What is their definition of All Star? Max Domi's and Darnell Nurses? A.K.A high draft picks with high NHL potential? Would it include players like Mitch Holmberg? - an overages who's dominating junior? What about Anthony DeAngelo? - 5'11" offensive dynamo defenseman leading the OHL D in points ( 11 more than second place Nurse?) Why not Flames prospect Emile Poirier who is 5th in the QMJHL in points with 44 and is 6'2" when they selected Felix Girard who is 101rst in the QMJHL in points with 18 and is 5'11"?

Could it be they are looking for intangibles? So why not Greg Chase? 27 points in 25 games in the WHL and has the Brad Marchand factor? Played big for WHL against the Russians in the super series just days ago?

I think the "best team not all star team" is just a way of saying we like certain players and don't like others and you can't question us. Only problem is that the players that they like are repeatedly not the best players.

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#28 Old School G
December 02 2013, 09:02PM
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Man I would have liked to watch Nurse and Domi over Christmas I was looking forward to that. Skilled, aggressive hockey. I still look forward to it, its great hockey to watch, in any case, and am very intrigued by Dumba. How could you not be?

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#29 Soccer Steve
December 02 2013, 11:02PM
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So I see Nurse is going to fit right in on the Oil.

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#30 Citizen David
December 03 2013, 06:39AM
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Zarny wrote:

A statistical comparison is meaningless; they play in different leagues.

Jarry has never won anything. Fucale has a Memorial Cup ring and a Gold medal at the Ivan Hlinka tournament.

You may not value winning but Hockey Canada does.

He was on a loaded team. If you win with a .909 save percentage it's not the goalie that's carrying the team.

This is jarry's first season as the starter. And it's the second year in a row he has the best stats in the WHL.

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#31 Twoskidoos
December 03 2013, 10:53AM
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Baby Nuge didn't make the team his first time around. Nurse may make the team next year, or not. Making or not making Team Canada means jack $#!^ in terms of a player's career.

Don't fret Oilernation, Nursey will turn out just fine. The teams that didn't pick him will be cursing his name when he's smashing their player's faces into the glass and slapping one timers past their goalies.

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#32 Thinker
December 02 2013, 11:04PM
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I'm not very surprised nurse got cut, because like you said so many good players. That being said, there are weird decisions every year, especially as of late. It astounds me every year how they can cut kids like nugent-hopkins who were nhl ready within nine months, in favour of guys like freddy hamilton who was never really a prospect of much note. I can't believe it's been four years since we won gold, better cut that sh*t out. The world juniors are always my favourite time of the year, except playoffs, but I'm more apathetic about them since my team is a gong show. Too bad there won't be any oil prospects turning heads this year.

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#33 Citizen David
December 03 2013, 06:44AM
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David S wrote:

The head scout for Team Canada was talking to Stauffer today on Oilers Now (at least I think it was the head scout). Bob had to weasel it out of him but the consensus was "high event", which was showcased in the Subway Series (I imagine - don't really follow non-NHL activity). That could explain Sutter's comment about not choosing an all star team.

Problem is, as Oilers fans we've been conditioned to think one dimensional all-stars (i.e. "high draft picks") are the most desirable types of players to have on a team. And of course when one of our players is minimized at the world champs (see "Hall, Taylor") we get all girly about it.

Not saying it's right or wrong, but it seems to me the biggest problem our team has (beyond a lack of quality D) is a lack of the same qualities world champ teams are looking for. That being well-rounded players with a "200 foot game".

Maybe they see Nurse as a younger Justin Schultz.

The problem is that that's not nurse. He's got good defensive game. At the draft he was labeled a defensive defenseman. It's just this season he's added the offence. For a justin Schultz look no farther than Derrick Pouliot. Who they selected to the team.

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#34 Mikey
December 03 2013, 08:34AM
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Citizen David wrote:

From Red line

http://www.redlinereport.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Nurse-Spotlight.pdf

Scouting Report: Huge and highly mobile defenceman is just starting to tap into his massive potential. He’s already a shutdown defender who can physically dominate games down low. Keeps the crease clear and shows excellent defensive awareness and positioning. Has a long wingspan and plays with an active stick, clogging passing lanes. Closes gaps quickly, angles men to corners, and has quick feet to contain smaller, shifty forwards. Strong in coverage. Doesn’t activate much yet in the offensive end, but makes rocket outlet passes and has some offensive upside

Now that he's over a point a game I'd say he's tapped into that offensive upside. This isn't a Justin Schultz player who got passed over because of the chaos in his defensive game. When you compare him to all the D in the CHL this is akin to not taking Weber to the Olympics.

You want a shut down line, look no further than Nurse and Reinhart. Man I was looking foward to that.

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#35 Spydyr
December 03 2013, 06:44AM
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Maybe he just was not good enough?

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#36 Oiler Al
December 03 2013, 08:17AM
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Sliderule wrote:

The draft book on Nurse was that he was prone to mental gaffes.It sounds like he hasn't worked it out of his game as he did a couple in Super series.

Making the team doesn't guarantee an nhl career as Teubert found out.Then we have players like Weber who did not make it until his final junior year.

.. prone to metal gaffes.... hell, he is ready for the Oilers.

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#37 Mikey
December 03 2013, 10:51AM
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S cottV wrote:

How are we going to get Ekblad unless we tank this season and or get lucky in the lottery?

Sounds like a plan that may have worked in the past..... I am in!!

Think about how awesome it would be to have 4 of the past 5 first overall players on one team!! Is it too early to start the hype machine up again?

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#38 Quicksilver ballet
December 03 2013, 12:37PM
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Brent Sutter has just made this easier for everybody involved. No, "never really had a chance anyways" guys in the way going forward, or slowing things up/getting in the way of the players who'll be on the team.

Good on Sutter for not wasting anyone's time. The Oilers should take notice of this. Why have a gong show with 65+ players for training camp when there's really fewer than 30 guys with a real shot at making the hockey club. The Oilers wasted two and a half weeks just getting down to that group of 30.

Of all teams, the Oilers would benefit the most by not wasting that almost a month of much needed prep time (new coach,system and GM).

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#39 madjam
December 02 2013, 11:12PM
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Maybe if we gave him 9 games with big club it might have been different ?

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#40 Zarny
December 02 2013, 11:35PM
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Citizen David wrote:

Just for further stats on Jarry vs. Fucale:

Last 2 seasons Jarry 1.61 GAA and .936 SV% / 1.98 GAA and .923 SV% respectively.

Last two seasons Fucale 2.35 GAA and 9.09 SV% / 2.62 GAA and 8.99 SV% respectively.

Over that span Jarry has let in 1.69 goals per game. Fucale has let in 2.35 goals per game.

A statistical comparison is meaningless; they play in different leagues.

Jarry has never won anything. Fucale has a Memorial Cup ring and a Gold medal at the Ivan Hlinka tournament.

You may not value winning but Hockey Canada does.

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#41 David S
December 02 2013, 11:50PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

Sutter said something along the lines of they don't want Canada to be an all-star team, rather a team that had the best chance of winning.

That might make sense for the forwards, but wouldn't you want the best defense you could have?

The head scout for Team Canada was talking to Stauffer today on Oilers Now (at least I think it was the head scout). Bob had to weasel it out of him but the consensus was "high event", which was showcased in the Subway Series (I imagine - don't really follow non-NHL activity). That could explain Sutter's comment about not choosing an all star team.

Problem is, as Oilers fans we've been conditioned to think one dimensional all-stars (i.e. "high draft picks") are the most desirable types of players to have on a team. And of course when one of our players is minimized at the world champs (see "Hall, Taylor") we get all girly about it.

Not saying it's right or wrong, but it seems to me the biggest problem our team has (beyond a lack of quality D) is a lack of the same qualities world champ teams are looking for. That being well-rounded players with a "200 foot game".

Maybe they see Nurse as a younger Justin Schultz.

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#42 A-Mc
December 03 2013, 09:03AM
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There is a silver lining to every chithole:

When Canada places 4th again, we can scream about how stupid hockey Canada is and point to their team selection FAILURE. These gripes will keep us warm at night until the end of the NHL season where we can B!tch about trade deadline/picks/trades.

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#43 Citizen David
December 03 2013, 11:24AM
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Article found by Woodguy on Lowetides site

http://thats-offside.blogspot.ca/2013/12/hockey-canada-screws-up-wjcs-again.html

Fucale is not a good goalie.

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#44 VK63
December 02 2013, 09:13PM
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so does this deter dan tencer and oiler fans from "anxiously waiting" for nurse to return to edmonton. As Dan is the voice of Oiler fan… apparently.

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#45 BC BOY
December 02 2013, 10:16PM
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Chris Bigras making it over Nurse is an absolute joke!!!!! Lets get some real talent and hockey minds to pick our national teams.

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#46 BigOil84
December 03 2013, 08:26AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Saw dumba play several times the past couple of years - didn't surprise me he wasn't picked last year. Not sure he's much better this year.

I'm from Red Deer and seeing Dumba enough times, I have to agree. Great on the PP, but handles the puck like a grenade at times. I have heard the same about Nurse, but his stats are so much better than some of the d who were picked ahead of him.

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#47 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
December 03 2013, 11:15AM
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@Mikey

Haha agreed. We've been missing a good nickname in Oil City for too long. Adding a 'y' or an 's' to the end of the name doesn't count.

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#48 Truth
December 03 2013, 12:00PM
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If they were looking to take the best team and not an All-Star team wouldn't they take the #1 ranked CHL team? Plug in replacements for the non-Canadians on the roster.

I am no expert on the CHL, but from looking at the numbers Bigras over Nurse is extremely questionable. They may blame the snub on play at the super series and summer camp, but don't they look at his play in the OHL? Subban was horrendous last year in net at the super series and camp and they picked him based on his play in the OHL. What gives?

Hopefully Nurse uses this as motivation to never play for the Canadian WJC team. Make the Oilers next year and take a pass at joining the WJC team while he lights up the NHL.

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#49 Gametime3000
December 02 2013, 07:28PM
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It's all day, every day!!!

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#50 Zarny
December 02 2013, 11:25PM
Trash it!
6
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

Disappointing for Nurse and Oiler fans but it's not like they picked scrubs.

Good players get left off the team every year. They are playing on big ice, 5 of 8 D were drafted in 2012 and a guy like Reinhart already fills a similar role.

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