FIRST BLOOD

Brian Sutherby
September 12 2013 10:34AM

After such a kind and fittingly exaggerated introduction article the other day, I figured I should pop my Nation cherry by telling you a little bit about how I got here.

The past few years of hockey have been nothing short of a disaster: a 2011 back surgery, a failed comeback, a season off to rehab, an NHL lockout and finally another failed comeback that ended with yet another season ending injury.

When the only athlete to attempt more comebacks than you is Brett Favre it's time to shut er down. The heart was still in it, but the body appears to of had enough. I’m fortunate and thankful to of played as long as I did, and very excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.

There’s no better place to start then the Nation.

(Wanye note: Nice pic Suds. Great shoes, classic pose. If I had a picture like this from my childhood I would have it tattooed on my back in 2/8 scale)

I was born and raised in E town, growing up an Oilers fan like everyone else but the minute I was drafted that had to go out the window. I like beer, donairs and yelling about hockey. I'm told with that kind of resume, I should be able to fit in around here.

Here now is my take from my first 3 days on the job.

High heels are very uncomfortable. Tight pants and dresses are awesome. 

NURSE

I attended the Bears Oilers rookie game. I thought Nurse looked young, and that’s ok because that’s what he is. Early in the game he looked a little tentative in his own end and coughed up the biscuit a few times. As the game wore on he looked more comfortable and had a few nice rushes.

It was a limited glance, but his offensive instincts and skating ability for a kid his size were noticeable and of course I liked his mean streak. He jumped right into a scrum at the end of the first period and that seemed to loosen him up a bit. After that he seemed to find his game. It will be fun to keep an eye on him as camp goes along.

EAKINS

Everything you see and hear about this guy is impressive. It’s a refreshing hybrid I would think, for a young team to grow and learn from “players” coaches the last several years to a guy that is going to demand results and pull no punches, while not quite jumping to the land of Mike Keenan.

It would appear he has a real grasp of managing his players individually and wanting to find out what makes each of them tick. I had the privilege of facing the Marlies and an Eakins coached team 4 times last year and I can tell you they were awesome games. We lost every single one and all of them had a playoff type feel. Not a ton of fights, maybe one or two, but scrums and intensity galore.

They made you work for every inch. I can only assume the Oilers will be a much harder team to play against this year.

After seeing photos of 37 year old Ryan Smyth with tubes all over his face and hearing about this 3 minute death skating drill I can honestly say I do not miss the opening of training camp one bit.

Who’s got a doughnut for me?

C76a4c69c9026575581a01d4ac34111c
A Moose Jaw Warriors alumnus and veteran of 460 NHL games with the Capitals, Ducks and Stars—Sutherby is here to regale us with tales of the WJHC, life as an NHL player and much more from a Pro’s perspective. Co-Host's the Jason Gregor show on TSN1260 on Tuesday's from 3-5 and Coaches at www.proconnectionhockey.com Twitter:@briansutherby
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#1 Spydyr
September 12 2013, 11:02AM
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"Who’s got a doughnut for me?"

Eakins says no more doughnuts for the media . Poor Terry Jones.

Welcome to the Nation.

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#2 pkam
September 12 2013, 11:07AM
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"I was born and raised in E town, growing up an Oilers fan like everyone else "

This makes a very good resume.

"but the minute I was drafted that had to go out the window."

Don't like this. No need to throw it out the window, just lock it in a box in the basement so you can get to it later.

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#3 Muji
September 12 2013, 10:53PM
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Welcome! Looking forward to reading about your stories and insight! Please do not use "then" in place of "than" again!

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#4 Wanye
September 12 2013, 10:54AM
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WHO TAUGHT YOU HOW TO USE PAINT?

*smokebomb*

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#5 Rama Lama
September 12 2013, 12:10PM
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DonEnrico wrote:

Strudwick will hit you in the head when he finds out where you live... :)

I enjoyed Struds articles too........my only issue with Struds was he never interacted with the comment section posters.

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#6 oiler/hab
September 12 2013, 10:55AM
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Welcome to the nation. Good first piece.

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#7 Darrell
September 12 2013, 11:02AM
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Great articles Rookie ( I live in NC so felt comfortable beaking). Short and to the point which is refreshing - Welcome to the place Oilers fans check-in first for our daily fix ....

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Beer, donairs and yelling about hockey. Sounds about right to me. Welcome to ON

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#9 Hall for Captain
September 12 2013, 11:12AM
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Welcome to the Nation Brian! Looking forward to your insight.

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#10 vetinari
September 12 2013, 11:11AM
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Welcome to the nation Brian...

Wanye has assured us that the secret to MS Paint is guarded like the original KFC recipe-- in a vault at the bottom of the ocean... good for you in stealing it...

As for hockey, if you were GM, any thoughts on who would be good additions to the roster on the basis of "functional toughness"? Some are saying that we need a pure enforcer, and others say that we need someone who can also play 8-10 minutes a night and not be embarrassed in their own zone-- any names come to mind that you played against in either the NHL or AHL that would be good roster additions?

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#11 #ThereGoesTheOilers
September 12 2013, 11:16AM
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I don't suppose wearing high heels was in the fine print of the job description. Nice work!

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#12 I'm a Scientist!
September 12 2013, 11:17AM
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Hockey shorts on top of sweat pants. Classic.

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#13 justDOit
September 12 2013, 11:29AM
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Wanye wrote:

WHO TAUGHT YOU HOW TO USE PAINT?

*smokebomb*

I would guess that it was the same person who taught you fractions. 2/8 scale?

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#14 Rama Lama
September 12 2013, 11:36AM
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Good to hear a former players prespective on the game and our beloved Oilers.......welcome aboard.

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#15 Bi-Curious Gord
September 12 2013, 02:29PM
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Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life. Be afraid.

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#16 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
September 12 2013, 11:25AM
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Beer, donairs, and yelling about hockey: yes please!

Popped cherry, first blood, and dudes in high heels: was this post sponsored by a bar across Jasper ave from On The Rocks?

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#17 Bucknuck
September 12 2013, 12:02PM
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Welcome to the Nation!! Another hockey player's point of view can only make an awesome site better.

Those Oilersnation T-shirts look pretty damn awesome, especially in a posse. I guess I am going to have to get one (or three) so I can represent here on Vancouver Island. We'll ditch the heels though. Good tip.

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#18 Harlie
September 12 2013, 12:13PM
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Damn, now I'm craving a donair for lunch!*

Welcome aboard man, looking forward to your articles.

* Ever have a donair that was screwed up real bad and even drunk you couldn't eat it? I never thought this was possible but my bro and I ordered some one late night and mine was tasty as hell but my bro was disgusted by his. We always ask for extra sweet sauce when they make em and this time was no exception. The problem was they put "tartar sauce" on my brother's donair, not sweet sauce.

Muhahaha "tartar donair!"

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#19 michael
September 12 2013, 12:17PM
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The Nation continues to build on its strong foundation. Welcome to the Nation. Though you'll be writing mostly on the Oilers I will look forward to your insight into the members of the Nation. Calgary mostly.

As a long time OilersNation member I am thrilled by the addition of new blood. Jason Strudwick is close to celebrating his first anniversary on the Team. And here on OilersNation.

Lowetide.Brownlee.Wayne. Gregor.Struds.Sutherby.

We have perhaps the strongest group of bloggers bar none.

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#20 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
September 12 2013, 11:19AM
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Is that the eye doctor in tight pants?

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#21 The Towel Boy
September 12 2013, 11:24AM
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I look forward to donairs, beer and yelling about hockey with you in the mix.

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#22 DonEnrico
September 12 2013, 12:01PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

Good to hear a former players prespective on the game and our beloved Oilers.......welcome aboard.

Strudwick will hit you in the head when he finds out where you live... :)

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#23 pkam
September 12 2013, 12:04PM
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"Who’s got a doughnut for me?"

Sorry folk, you just miss the boat. Now is officially the MacT and Eakins era. Something does not get together according to Eakins. Doughnut and Oilers is one of those.

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#25 Kevrock
September 12 2013, 04:16PM
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Welcome Home!

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#26 hemi
September 12 2013, 06:16PM
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Can never have enough E-Towners in the mix. Gotta love the mixture of contributors on this site. The various viewpoints are what keeps this site the #1 site of all Nations. Welcome aboard!

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#27 Archaeologuy
September 12 2013, 07:54PM
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Welcome to the Nation. Cant wait to read more.

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#28 Yakman
September 13 2013, 04:29PM
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Muji wrote:

Welcome! Looking forward to reading about your stories and insight! Please do not use "then" in place of "than" again!

I'm guessing they didn't hire him because of his flawless grammar. I will happily take insight from former players even if it is a bit rough around the edges.

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