Oilers demote two players, recall three

Jonathan Willis
December 04 2013 03:54PM

The Edmonton Oilers have announced via Twitter a number of roster moves. Recalled are defencemen Corey Potter and Martin Marincin, along with centre Anton Lander. Going to Oklahoma are Denis Grebeshkov and Will Acton.

The General Manager

Craig MacTavish took advantage of the Oilers' trip to Dallas this past weekend to take in some games in Oklahoma City, watching the Barons win on Saturday and then lose on Tuesday night. Corey Potter didn't play in those games, but Martin Marincin and Anton Lander both did and were given the opportunity to impress the G.M. in person.

Based on today's moves, it's fair to say they did. 

The Moves

Up front, the swap of Lander for Acton is fully deserved and has been al ong time coming. Lander perhaps isn't as physical as Acton, but he's a more rounded player at this point - both players offer the Oilers a fourth-line defensive specialist, but Lander's offensive game has come along nicely in the AHL this year and he's at the point where he's a true 200-foot player - in other words, a guy who can legitimately help the team at both ends of the ice as opposed to just in the defensive zone.

Or, to put it another way: Will Acton's best  AHL season saw him put up 19 points. Lander has 15 through 18 games this year. They aren't in the same ballpark offensively, and Lander's posted numbers while being dominant as a defensive forward.

On defence, the swap of Potter for Grebeshkov isn't a big shock either. Potter's been the better player when the two have played together in Oklahoma City; he plays a steadier defensive game than Grebeshkov and moves the puck almost as well.

The addition of Marincin is the only move I wonder about, but if the Oilers want another option on the left side he's more ready for NHL work than Oscar Klefbom or Brad Hunt. Marincin has played better of late, though, and particularly on offence. In October he played eight games, with eight shots, one assist and a minus-two rating; since then he's put up five points, 26 shots and a plus-six rating in 12 contests. 

These are reasonable moves. Two of the trades make the Oilers better right now, and the recall of Marincin rewards a guy on the NHL bubble who has made strides in his game of late. 

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 tileguy
December 04 2013, 03:57PM
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Rather they announced a trade.

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#2 Blucifer Copperballs
December 04 2013, 03:57PM
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Nice. So long Grebs ( you could see in a replay from a goal last night, he hung his head and knew he was going) WELCOME BACK, POTTER! Some fresh blood and LANDO.

just need some Bellyfire now.

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#3 A-Mc
December 04 2013, 03:57PM
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OH sweet, Lander is back. Good luck Kid!

My guess is Jeff Petry sits out and Marincin slides in. Obviously Lander takes Will Actons spot, and with any luck Arco plays in Gagner's spot.

Sitting: Petry and Gagner.

Looks good to me!

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#4 Walter Sobchak
December 04 2013, 03:57PM
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This won't help.

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#5 Dobbler
December 04 2013, 03:58PM
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Good move.

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#6 They're $hittie
December 04 2013, 03:59PM
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Ding dong acton is gone.

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#7 Blucifer Copperballs
December 04 2013, 03:59PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

This won't help.

You don't think swapping Potter for Grebs is an upgrade?

It is.

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#8 They're $hittie
December 04 2013, 03:59PM
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could we be running four rookies next year on d?

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#9 Ryan
December 04 2013, 04:01PM
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Hopefully petry healthy scratch for a few games

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#10 A-Mc
December 04 2013, 04:02PM
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They're $hittie wrote:

could we be running four rookies next year on d?

Nurse, Klefbom, Fedun and Marincin?

Personally I'd run those 4 now if i thought they could handle it and i could afford them proper ice time.

It wont hurt our season any!

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#11 tileguy
December 04 2013, 04:03PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

This won't help.

Absolutely. Where's the beef?

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#12 Walter Sobchak
December 04 2013, 04:12PM
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Blucifer Copperballs wrote:

You don't think swapping Potter for Grebs is an upgrade?

It is.

That's not the point.

On any other NHL team these guys are injury replacements at best.

However, this is the Oilers.

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#13 Bishai in the Benches
December 04 2013, 04:16PM
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They're $hittie wrote:

could we be running four rookies next year on d?

Seems kind of like a recipe for disaster to me. But hey, this is the Oilers we're talking about. Who cares about defenseman development!?! Sign me up for 3 more years of rebuild.

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#14 Tikkanese
December 04 2013, 04:16PM
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Wish it was Fedun not Potter but it's still upgrades all around.

Was hoping Lander would get most or all of a season in the AHL to even further help his offensive confidence but oh well. He's surely better than Napolean Dynamite, I mean Will Acton.

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#15 A-Mc
December 04 2013, 04:18PM
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JWillis: Are you actually watching the OKC games, either live or via stream?

If so, can you tell us what the heck is going on with Klefbom? Is he being over hyped? or is he a legitimate option that just hasn't gotten a chance to come up yet?

We'd like to know and with the way you speak of OKC happenings, it suggests you actually attend or watch all their games.

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#16 Blucifer Copperballs
December 04 2013, 04:19PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

That's not the point.

On any other NHL team these guys are injury replacements at best.

However, this is the Oilers.

Fair enough, but this is the Oilers. Almost the whole team plays above where they would on any other NHL team, so that like comparing apples to oranges.

No WAY Petry plays as a top Dman anywhere else. Even Ference is a 3-4 guy, has been all his career, but not here. Everyone is asked to play tougher minutes than they should. And God forbid you have 2 good games winning your 3rd line matchup, then its time to put Ryan Jones on the first line, get blown up, and sent back down to OKC. What other team does that.

This season more than ever, its important for me tostay in the Oilers fishbowl, and try to find the silver linings.

I mean, for crying out loud, i have season tickets.

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#17 Alsker
December 04 2013, 04:19PM
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Wonder if Grebs "retires", gets an envelope of hope and is sent on his way back the KHL. Opens up a much needed roster spot, and a little cap relief.

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#18 Walter Sobchak
December 04 2013, 04:21PM
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Blucifer Copperballs wrote:

Fair enough, but this is the Oilers. Almost the whole team plays above where they would on any other NHL team, so that like comparing apples to oranges.

No WAY Petry plays as a top Dman anywhere else. Even Ference is a 3-4 guy, has been all his career, but not here. Everyone is asked to play tougher minutes than they should. And God forbid you have 2 good games winning your 3rd line matchup, then its time to put Ryan Jones on the first line, get blown up, and sent back down to OKC. What other team does that.

This season more than ever, its important for me tostay in the Oilers fishbowl, and try to find the silver linings.

I mean, for crying out loud, i have season tickets.

Your speaking to the choir my boy.

Last year for tickets myself.

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#19 Alsker
December 04 2013, 04:22PM
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Bishai in the Benches wrote:

Seems kind of like a recipe for disaster to me. But hey, this is the Oilers we're talking about. Who cares about defenseman development!?! Sign me up for 3 more years of rebuild.

3 more years, does that complete Phase 1 or merely part 2 of Pahase 1?

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#20 Oilerz4life
December 04 2013, 04:23PM
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I disagree with this move entirely, Grebeshkov still has plenty of talent, for the KHL. He should not be on the next flight to Oklahoma, he should be on the next connector that will get him back to Russia!

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#21 Johnnydapunk
December 04 2013, 04:24PM
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Does that mean the Bryz is on the IR now ? I remember that he wasn't previously and was taking up a roster spot as a result, meaning the Oil had one less skater than usual because of having 3 goalies up.

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#22 Druds
December 04 2013, 04:27PM
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Why cannot some team hire Mad Mike Keenan for their GM? Mike traded us Cujo and the Human rake for absolutely nothing....we need to make that kind of deal again....

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#23 Craig1981
December 04 2013, 04:31PM
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@A-Mc

I think you have a great thought with Petry. Nothing would push a player to give more than a younger version taking his job for a bit.

I'm not sure Gagner is badly need of a "reset" I personally think he get unfairly singled out, such as the Nashville game when he got blamed for Petry's TERRIBLE coverage on the 2nd man by fans. If you look Gagner clearly had the 3rd man coming in.

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#24 pkam
December 04 2013, 04:32PM
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A-Mc wrote:

Nurse, Klefbom, Fedun and Marincin?

Personally I'd run those 4 now if i thought they could handle it and i could afford them proper ice time.

It wont hurt our season any!

If we ice those 4 rookie defensemen for the rest of the year, you can be sure we will get Ekblad this year.

And we can ice 2 more rookie defensemen next year in Nurse and Ekland so we will get McDavid next year.

Look like you are suggesting to start another rebuild.

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#25 Walter Sobchak
December 04 2013, 04:33PM
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Alsker wrote:

3 more years, does that complete Phase 1 or merely part 2 of Pahase 1?

Well, it's all about "progress" don't ya know, or is it the " process " I get those two mixed up all the time!

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#26 Blucifer Copperballs
December 04 2013, 04:36PM
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We should get John Scott from Buffalo and make him play defence. He's as big as Chara, and hey, it worked for Byf in WPG.

Plus he's from EDM. ANd thats how Steve Staios got started at D.

P.S. i've started drinking and am now running at the mouth like a high school girl at her first party. Please dont hate me.

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#27 A-Mc
December 04 2013, 04:36PM
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Johnnydapunk wrote:

Does that mean the Bryz is on the IR now ? I remember that he wasn't previously and was taking up a roster spot as a result, meaning the Oil had one less skater than usual because of having 3 goalies up.

Yes. The tweet went out that Bryz is now on IR

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#28 Craig1981
December 04 2013, 04:38PM
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Druds wrote:

Why cannot some team hire Mad Mike Keenan for their GM? Mike traded us Cujo and the Human rake for absolutely nothing....we need to make that kind of deal again....

I wonder about Goalies. Miller is free (I know he most likely won't come to Edmonton but he is there for other teams). Anaheim has Anderson/Faths so Hiller might be free. Scrivens, Harding, Reimer, Mazanec. Are all top 10 in Save% but backups that (besides Harding) have goalies in front of them that aren't going to let them start anytime soon.

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#29 A-Mc
December 04 2013, 04:39PM
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pkam wrote:

If we ice those 4 rookie defensemen for the rest of the year, you can be sure we will get Ekblad this year.

And we can ice 2 more rookie defensemen next year in Nurse and Ekland so we will get McDavid next year.

Look like you are suggesting to start another rebuild.

If you aren't going to make the playoffs, play bad for Ekblad!

=D

Might as well get something for sucking.. The worst possible scenario is to end up like calgary does most years: Not sucking enough to get a good pick but not good enough to actually make the playoffs. ie: No mans land.

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#30 camdog
December 04 2013, 04:40PM
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Mact must be coming close to a record for the number of call ups he's made this season. Maybe this one will work, however replacing AHL players with other AHL players, usually isn't that impactful

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#31 hockeycrazed
December 04 2013, 04:43PM
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Honestly, I felt sorry for Fedun, except having any ties with the Brass, he had done everything he's asked by the team, yet he's left out in the cold!! I don't know what to say to you man, just suck it up, it's the cruel cruel world, this is !! Sometimes, it also have to do with luck, you see, just when we thought we don't have to suffer another night with Dubynk in goal; He gets in by default! Seriously, the guy couldn't stop a beach ball!!!!

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#32 camdog
December 04 2013, 04:43PM
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Craig1981 wrote:

I wonder about Goalies. Miller is free (I know he most likely won't come to Edmonton but he is there for other teams). Anaheim has Anderson/Faths so Hiller might be free. Scrivens, Harding, Reimer, Mazanec. Are all top 10 in Save% but backups that (besides Harding) have goalies in front of them that aren't going to let them start anytime soon.

Hiller can be had, I don't think Anaheim thinks too highly of him. Word is they may make a pitch for Miller. That said if Anaheim doesn't have much faith in Hillier, then why would we?

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#33 Craig1981
December 04 2013, 04:57PM
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camdog wrote:

Hiller can be had, I don't think Anaheim thinks too highly of him. Word is they may make a pitch for Miller. That said if Anaheim doesn't have much faith in Hillier, then why would we?

Why do you think they don't have faith in Hiller? He was given all the games in the playoffs last year, despite having slightly poorer numbers than Fasth. He has played in the majority of their games this year despite missing time with injury.

I'm not sure what the answer is, I just wonder what the options look like from MacT's eyes. I have always found myself cheering for Reimer even though he is a leaf

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#34 John
December 04 2013, 05:15PM
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And here I was hoping they would announce bringing ANYBODY from our coaching staff in Oklahoma up to replace Steve Smith

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#35 Wintoon
December 04 2013, 05:16PM
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Gagner is not playing at anywhere near the 2C level. He can't win a face off, can't play defensively, can't play along the boards and allows the play to die on his stick far too often. If he sits and is replaced by Arcobello it will be very interesting to see what happens. Good to see that Lander appears to have earned a shot.

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#36 Johnnydapunk
December 04 2013, 05:17PM
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A-Mc wrote:

Yes. The tweet went out that Bryz is now on IR

Cheers for that, makes more sense as to why they brought 3 up. Though that news is not what I would like to hear.

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#37 ubermiguel
December 04 2013, 05:19PM
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Finally Will Acton goes back down. Hopefully he turns into an NHL player someday, but he's not there yet. Lander and Arco look more like NHL centres than Acton right now.

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#38 Truth
December 04 2013, 05:23PM
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At this point the entire team should be relegated. Make them win the Calder cup to be promoted back to the NHL. I honestly don't think they would make it this year.

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#39 Lawndemon
December 04 2013, 05:29PM
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Blucifer Copperballs wrote:

You don't think swapping Potter for Grebs is an upgrade?

It is.

Sure, but it's like upgrading from a kick in the nuts to a kick in the teeth.

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#40 S cottV
December 04 2013, 05:29PM
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Wintoon wrote:

Gagner is not playing at anywhere near the 2C level. He can't win a face off, can't play defensively, can't play along the boards and allows the play to die on his stick far too often. If he sits and is replaced by Arcobello it will be very interesting to see what happens. Good to see that Lander appears to have earned a shot.

Really be nice to bring in a veteran 1C and take some of the pressure off of RNH by dropping him to 2C. That would be worth Gagner - one of our high end small wingers and a draft pick - for sure.

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#41 Copper
December 04 2013, 05:34PM
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A-Mc wrote:

Nurse, Klefbom, Fedun and Marincin?

Personally I'd run those 4 now if i thought they could handle it and i could afford them proper ice time.

It wont hurt our season any!

Wishful thinking. Nurse couldn't make world junior team. Needs another full year of juniors and 1 or more in AHL. Kelfbom should play this entire year and maybe next in the "A" too. Let them develop. We'll have to suffer with what we have or add UFA's

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#42 Silver Streak
December 04 2013, 05:40PM
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S cottV wrote:

Really be nice to bring in a veteran 1C and take some of the pressure off of RNH by dropping him to 2C. That would be worth Gagner - one of our high end small wingers and a draft pick - for sure.

Gagne absolutely must be moved this month...I believe his no trade kicks in at year end....he is and always has been a total wreck on the dot...way too soft...enough...move him anywhere for damn near anything.

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#43 madjam
December 04 2013, 05:47PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

This won't help.

The perennial rotating door of the AHL players up for some experience . Been here all to often before . They hope they get a couple of good games out of each before they send them back down again . MacT. has nothing better to offer us ? P.S. - it's never seemed to work before ,and I doubt it will have any relevance this time either . The continuing cycle of failure .

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#45 Klima's Mullet
December 04 2013, 05:55PM
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JW

Do you think Marincin is called up in an effort to showcase him as trade bait?

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#46 Naky
December 04 2013, 06:02PM
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Love seeing all the armchair GMs calling for Gagner to be traded when he has an NTC. Yes, it's not official yet but it's a verbal agreement that the Oilers are going to uphold if they want any sort of respect within the NHLPA for holding to their word. Here's a hint: it was given for personal reasons that the Oilers empathized with and gave him the peace of mind. But since ya'll don't care about his life outside the rink due to the fact that hockey is the only thing that matters most in your lives, I can see that this is a hard thing to grasp.

Willis, can you make an article just about this fact? Make it once a day even? Maybe then it will get drilled into people's heads but I think I still have my doubts even then.

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#47 Rod from Viking
December 04 2013, 06:09PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Your speaking to the choir my boy.

Last year for tickets myself.

Me three

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#48 Bucknuck
December 04 2013, 06:14PM
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They demoted the right three. and if they sit Gagner a game I will actually have a little faith that they have a clue where some of the problems are.

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#49 Oilerz4life
December 04 2013, 06:18PM
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Naky wrote:

Love seeing all the armchair GMs calling for Gagner to be traded when he has an NTC. Yes, it's not official yet but it's a verbal agreement that the Oilers are going to uphold if they want any sort of respect within the NHLPA for holding to their word. Here's a hint: it was given for personal reasons that the Oilers empathized with and gave him the peace of mind. But since ya'll don't care about his life outside the rink due to the fact that hockey is the only thing that matters most in your lives, I can see that this is a hard thing to grasp.

Willis, can you make an article just about this fact? Make it once a day even? Maybe then it will get drilled into people's heads but I think I still have my doubts even then.

What's it like to be perfect pal? When you step down off of your high horse, you are welcome to join us ordinary people in the real world.

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#50 non descript
December 04 2013, 06:20PM
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these roster moves bring to mind a favourite cliche.

however, i do find it encouraging that it only took eakins and old bold moves 23 games to figure out playing fourth line center in the nhl is not the same as playing fourth line center in the ahl.

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