RANDOM THOUGHTS: YAK SNUBBED? AND HALL BENCHED?

Jason Gregor
May 06 2013 12:16PM

Despite the Oilers being out of the playoffs for the 7th straight season, there is still numerous intriguing hockey stories unfolding around the NHL. Did the Vancouver Canucks window for a championship just slam shut? It didn't take long for Ottawa and Montreal to build a legitimate rivalry. The WHL final is very competitive, and today the first finalists for an NHL award were announced.

The NHL announced the three finalists for the Calder trophy (Rookie of the year). Brandon Saad, Brendan Gallagher and Jonathon Huberdeau made the cut while Nail Yakupov and Minnesota Wild D-man Jonas Brodin didn't.

I actually think Brodin got a worse snub than Yakupov. He played over 23 minutes a night at a much harder position. I understand why Oiler fans feel Yakupov got ripped off. I went back 50 years and couldn't find one year where the rookie leading scorer wasn't at least a finalist.

Of course, Yakupov never led rookie scoring until the final game of the season, and I wonder if six goals (35% of his season total) in the final three meaningless games played a role in the voter's decision? That is just a guess, but seems the only rationale explanation. Up until that weekend I don't think Yakupov was a legitimate candidate.

I would have voted for Brodin to win, but since he isn't in I'd vote for Gallagher. He had a solid season and did more than just put up points.

You shouldn't play the "He is Russian" card as why Yakupov got left off the ballot, because we've seen six Russians win the Calder since 1990: Sergei Makarov, Pavel Bure, Sergei Samsonov, Evgeni Nabokov, Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin.

It sucks for Yakupov not to be named a finalist, but it likely saves him a trip to Vegas where he wasn't going to win. This way he can stay home and train, and maybe use this snub as motivation to show the writers they made a mistake.

It would be great if the organization played with as much passion as the fans have over topics like this. Fans were fired up, and next season the Oilers better bring that same emotion onto the ice.

QUICK HITS

  • Mike Gillis' job has to be on the line in Vancouver. He agreed to let his goalie become a captain, then signed him to a ridiculous 12-year deal, then couldn't trade him and now his team is near the cap and the core of his team is aging. I'm very curious to see if Gillis stays in Vancouver, or if head coach Alain Vigneault becomes the sacrificial lamb.
     
  • Love the rivalry that has emerged from the Habs/Sens series. It wasn't just the 3rd period line brawl, although that reminded me of the great Oilers/Flames playoff games in the 1980s, but there is a lot of animosity and passion in this series. It is the must-watch series right now.
     
  • One of the best stats I've ever seen. The first star in all three games of the Habs/Sens series has lost a tooth during the game, including both goalies and D-man Jean-Gabriel Pageau.
     
  • If the Rangers get knocked out for the 2nd straight season by the Washington Capitals you have to think John Tortorella gets fired.
     
  • With potential job openings in New York and Vancouver I bet Lindy Ruff will be on the short-list for both.
     
  • I don't see much wrong with the state of the NHL, but I get fired up when people suggest the NHL is losing control of the game because of Gryba's hit on Lars Eller. Those hits are rare, so let's stop pretending the league is on downward spiral to "No-respectville." Read more here.
     
  • I've spoke with numerous scouts the past week and four of the five I spoke with feel Sean Monahan would be an excellent choice for the Oilers. All four of them feel he's a real pro. He is extremely mature and plays a solid two-way game. He isn't flashy offensively, but the Oilers don't need more flash. They need more substance. The other scout felt Darnell Nurse would be the perfect fit for the Oilers. He said Nurse is an incredible athlete and will emerge in three or four years as a top-pairing D-man.
     
  • Taylor Hall only played 8:33 in yesterday's 3-2 loss to Switzerland. He only played 1:43 in the 3rd and didn't get a shift in OT. I saw Hall turn the puck over twice at the offensive blueline and I'd bet that is the reason Lindy Ruff stapled him to the bench. Having Ruff as his coach at the World Championships could turn out to be a blessing for Hall. The Oilers young kids need to learn to protect the puck better, and I'm guessing Hall responds with a much better game tomorrow.
     

GET READY FOR A PARTY....

We have our 12 finalists set for what will be an epic party next Friday night, May 17th, at On The Rocks. Tickets are $25/each with 100% of the proceeds going to charity. And with your $25 ticket you get $50 in gift certificates from On The Rocks and Oodle Noodle. So you make money by supporting the cause. You can buy your tickets here. They will be sold out by next week.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
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
Avatar
#51 Time Travelling Sean
May 06 2013, 05:55PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Jasmine

He gave Ebs two cracks in the SO. Ebs didn't do much but w/e.

Avatar
#52 Eddie Shore
May 06 2013, 06:10PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
TeddyTurnbuckle wrote:

Good for Ruff to bench Hall. He tries that stupid toe drag move all the time and it never works. Here in Edmonton we can't bench him because he is our best player. On team Canada he is average.

Can you please name the players that you think are better than Hall and give that team a better chance at scoring a goal?

Avatar
#53 Nick
May 06 2013, 06:27PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Hall was horrible against the Swiss.

Avatar
#54 clyde
May 06 2013, 06:29PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Eddie Shore wrote:

Can you please name the players that you think are better than Hall and give that team a better chance at scoring a goal?

Eberle, Duchene, Giroux, Skinner, Staal, Staal, Stamkos.

Avatar
#55 Clyde
May 06 2013, 06:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
clyde wrote:

Eberle, Duchene, Giroux, Skinner, Staal, Staal, Stamkos.

He was struggling and the team has a lot of fire power. This may get him going.

Avatar
#56 OilLeak
May 06 2013, 07:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
mr. common sense wrote:

This is a winning lineup (and you dont need a Queens MBA to figure it out)

1) Clarkson-Nuge-Eberle, 2) Hall-Dubinsky-Yak, 3)Clowe-Ott-Pajaarv, 4) Brown-Faceoff specialist-Clutterbuck, Extras: Tootoo, Smythe

Delete: Whorecough (buy-out), Alice, Gagner, Petrol, Jones, Belanger

D; 1) Streit-Boychuk, 2) J. Schultz-Nutcase (think Kasparitus), 3) Smid-Petry, Extras: N. Schultz, Matt Green type, Fistric

Delete: Peckham, Potter, Whitney

Goalies: 1) Dubnyk, 1A) Tim Thomas

If you're going to play NHL13 at least put together a better roster. The 3rd line is meh, and you have brown as a regular on the 4th line.

Avatar
#57 Eddie Shore
May 06 2013, 07:57PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
clyde wrote:

Eberle, Duchene, Giroux, Skinner, Staal, Staal, Stamkos.

Ok good, we agree Matt Read is not a better player than Taylor Hall.

Avatar
#58 Reg Dunlop
May 06 2013, 09:35PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Jasmine wrote:

Giroux made a mistake costing Canada a goal but wasn't bench. There's proof right there that Ruff hats the Oilers and will bench them. Won't be surprised if Ruff sits Hall in next game and he doesn't even dress.

I could see Ruff sitting Hall next game but sitting him AND not even dressing him? That's like Eberle shooting the puck over the crowd and into the spectators.

Where's my sandwich... and get me another beer.

Avatar
#59 clyde
May 06 2013, 09:44PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Eddie Shore wrote:

Ok good, we agree Matt Read is not a better player than Taylor Hall.

lol. Yes we do.

Avatar
#60 NewAgeSys
May 06 2013, 10:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Who cares how many minutes players get,coaches have all kinds of reasons to adjust a players minutes,some systemic and some otherwise.

Taylor is loveing the experience and maybe he needs to enjoy the moment more and not feel so much pressure,just play his transition game like the coaches ask accurately and let things happen off of that exact presentation.

When things get tough the best thing to do is reroute energy to your accuracy of execution your coach asks you for,focus sharply and adjust fast for him.You cant decide what is more and what is less untill you learn what is just right,and that is always coach decided.

If I were Taylor I would do this and as an added bonus i would light it up with tighter execution and take the decision out of his coaches hands,ha ha ha.

Hall and Nail and all the Oilers need a more accurate team self-valuation and an entirely new and heightened sense of self respect.They need to wake the hell up and understand that there are targets on all of their chests,everyone want them to be vain and conceited,so they are black-balling them right off the bat,now the Oilers need to spit in their eyes and learn to kick it up a notch when they are challenged this way,to TAKE IT OUT ON EVERY TEAM next year,every single one of them need to pay for disrespecting the Oilers.

Avatar
#61 John
May 07 2013, 12:58PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
mr. common sense wrote:

This is a winning lineup (and you dont need a Queens MBA to figure it out)

1) Clarkson-Nuge-Eberle, 2) Hall-Dubinsky-Yak, 3)Clowe-Ott-Pajaarv, 4) Brown-Faceoff specialist-Clutterbuck, Extras: Tootoo, Smythe

Delete: Whorecough (buy-out), Alice, Gagner, Petrol, Jones, Belanger

D; 1) Streit-Boychuk, 2) J. Schultz-Nutcase (think Kasparitus), 3) Smid-Petry, Extras: N. Schultz, Matt Green type, Fistric

Delete: Peckham, Potter, Whitney

Goalies: 1) Dubnyk, 1A) Tim Thomas

I totally agree. We should sign Faceoff specialist and Nutcase the minute they become free agents.

However I think my lineup would win much more than yours:

1) Power Forward-Two Way Number One Center-Sniper, 2) Speedy-Playmaker-Powerforward #2, 3)Speedy #2-Selke Winner-Pest, 4) Utility Guy-Faceoff specialist-Hitter, Extras: Goon, Extra

Delete: everyone with a real name

D; 1) Number 1 D man-Puck Moving defencman, 2) Big Puck moving defenseman-Slick skater, 3) Stay at home defensman - Kind puck moving defensmen, Extras: Guy 1, Guy 2

Delete: defenseman with names

Goalies: 1) Vezina goaltender, 1A) Best back up in game

Beat that lineup... oh wait, you can't. The best thing is, the salaries are all attainable and feasible.

Comments are closed for this article.