Of course it Stinks: Suck it up

Robin Brownlee
September 22 2013 03:11PM

Of course it stinks that the Edmonton Oilers will start the 2013-14 season without Sam Gagner, who has a broken jaw after a stupid and dangerous play by Zack Kassian of the Vancouver Canucks Saturday. This we know.

Gagner lost several teeth and had his jaw broken in two places after Kassian missed him with an attempted hit along the boards and then whipped his stick around at head-level, catching the Oiler centre in the mouth.

Gagner could be out for a month – possibly longer if he needs surgery to have his jaw wired shut. We don’t know for sure yet because there's been no definitive word from the Oilers, who skated at Millennium Place in Sherwood Park today.

With Ryan Nugent-Hopkins also expected to miss the start of the season while he recovers from shoulder surgery, first-year coach Dallas Eakins has next-to-no depth down the middle as the Oilers prepare to face the Winnipeg Jets in their season opener Oct. 1.

After Taylor Hall, making the switch to pivot with RNH out, the men in the middle as of now are Boyd Gordon and two more from the mix of Mark Arcobello, Anton Lander and Will Acton – unless GM Craig MacTavish picks up the phone and makes a deal.

WHAT NOW?

While it's understandable if fans lament the timing of the injury or bicker about the need for more toughness in the line-up – there is merit in the argument but dressing a hammer against the Canucks wouldn’t have prevented the knucklehead play by Kassian – that isn't going to heal Gagner's busted jaw. The Oilers can moan or suck it up. Hall, for one, will go with the latter.

"I feel bad for him, but we're going to have make up for it," Hall said. "It looks like I'm going to be playing a bit more centre than I had originally planned. That's just the way it goes sometimes. I mean, not everything is going to go according to plan and this is one of those things."

"Whatever you have to do to help this team win," said Gordon, who will be pressed into duty as the second-line centre. "If I've got to move up, or whatever the case, sometimes when you lose one of your better players, I think it brings everybody together and makes everybody bear down a little bit more and focus on what they have to do to help the team win."

Until we have a more definitive time frame on Gagner, there's no way of knowing if MacTavish will come into play, as in looking outside the organization for help. Most likely, the cavalry will have to ride to the rescue from within, for better or worse – more Hall, Gordon and the rest.

Yes, it stinks. Carry on.

ROSTER CUTS

The Oilers trimmed their roster to 33 today (20 forwards, 11 defensemen and two goaltenders).

Assigned to Oklahoma City of the AHL were: Richard Bachman, Brad Hunt, Oscar Klefbom, Martin Marincin, Ryan Martindale, Andrew Miller and Ty Rimmer. Jujhar Khaira was returned to Everett of the WHL.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

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A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#101 Craig1981
September 23 2013, 12:10AM
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Mr common sense wrote:

Did you even google it?

When there is an equal and opposite reaction to any action..........the original action ceases to exist with time. It's physics. Not just my opinion.

Actually that is NOT the law of thermodynamics, but one of 3 Newtons laws.....AND you made up the last half, AFTER butchering the first.

ME "why do you think a no NHL team will touch Kessel now?"

YOU: "When there is an equal and opposite reaction to any action..........the original action ceases to exist with time"

See still doesn't make sense. Why does that apply here.....maybe you should retort with Bernoulli's principle for incompressible fluids....

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#102 Mr common sense
September 23 2013, 12:19AM
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Craig1981 wrote:

Actually that is NOT the law of thermodynamics, but one of 3 Newtons laws.....AND you made up the last half, AFTER butchering the first.

ME "why do you think a no NHL team will touch Kessel now?"

YOU: "When there is an equal and opposite reaction to any action..........the original action ceases to exist with time"

See still doesn't make sense. Why does that apply here.....maybe you should retort with Bernoulli's principle for incompressible fluids....

I told you dude, you can't understand.

2 of the following 3 things are true about you,I just know it: 1) you've never been in a fight 2) you've never led a team/group/staff 3) you've never played hockey

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#103 Christ...
September 23 2013, 12:25AM
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Mr common sense wrote:

Go to sleep dude, you have obviously never led a team before, you can't understand.

The fact that you are focusing on Jon Scott and the money clarkson will lose shows you can't understand. It's about honour and brotherhood, fabric of winning teams. Watch the leafs this year, and watch Kessel, I'll explain it later this year when they are flying high and when you can't figure out where it all began

My god man... you must have f#cking brain damage, seriously...

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#104 TonyT
September 23 2013, 12:26AM
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@Mr common sense

While I can appreciate Clarkson's leadership, it was a "dumb move" in that it hurts the team in the long run. This wasn't one of those 2 minute penalty's that teams love to kill for a standup guy, instead he voluntarily crippled Toronto's top 6 for 1/8th of the season. I'm sure John Scott repeats going after Kessel 10 times out of 10 if crippling a division rival is the result.

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#105 TonyT
September 23 2013, 12:38AM
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additional fallout from TOR

http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/johnston-leafs-brawl-will-affect-the-bottom-line/

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#106 Reg Dunlop
September 23 2013, 12:41AM
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There seems to be a fundamental division among fans on this issue of protecting the young oiler guns. Truth is, they have to learn how to protect themselves. A designated fighter will do nothing. Hall kneeing some clown at warp speed works but the oil can't afford to lose him to suspension. Everyone in the league will have seen the highlights, especially the complete lack of response by the oilers on the ice when Weise tried the chicken-wing and Kassian did his Glenn Anderson impersonation. If these type of things go unanswered not only does it encourage other teams to play like the canucks, it shows clearly that the assemblage of talent on Rexall ice is not a team. That is a bigger problem than lack of center depth and it also shows that the offer to Clarkson in the offseason would have been worth it.

I don't have a solution particularly but I think it is time to consider changing the mix of the core guys. Tough to win with 6 Lucics and tough to win with 6 Kanes. If our top 6 are getting injured or intimidated regularly they are of limited use. The mix must change. This reminds me of Huxley's Brave New World which needed Alphas and Epsilons to work.

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#107 Craig1981
September 23 2013, 12:50AM
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Mr common sense wrote:

I told you dude, you can't understand.

2 of the following 3 things are true about you,I just know it: 1) you've never been in a fight 2) you've never led a team/group/staff 3) you've never played hockey

Hahahaha, all false. I did play mediocre hockey (Midget A) which is why I know I would NEVER lay off a guy because I was worried someone was going to want to fight me. You would be letting your team down if you did.

I will now sign off this thread and let Christ.. humiliate you. (its really easy)

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#108 Ari Gold
September 23 2013, 12:56AM
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I want blood! Let's grab their 2C. Mr. Kesler, welcome to Jesse Joensuu's elbow.

Kassian won't be suspended for 4-8 weeks, the amount of time the Oil have to be without Gags.

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#109 Devolution
September 23 2013, 04:09AM
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Harry wrote:

Ganger and RNH are out for the first month of the season while we play most of our games away from Rexall.

How would.Mac be doing his.job if he sat back and did nothing?

Even if its a minor pickup from waivers or whatever something MUST be done.

If we ener the firat month of the season with Boyd Gordon as our most experienced center we are screwed.

Hate to be the bearer of bad news but even with Sam and RNH in the lineup, Boyd Gordon is the most experienced center on the Oilers.

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#110 BillHK
September 23 2013, 04:55AM
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Not impressed with Eakins talkig in the game next to Katz, then telling the press how he liked the fact that Vancouver dressed a heavy team so that he could see how the Oilers played against bigger teams.

Stupid rookie coach mistake of dressing an almost full NHL team in a meaningless exhibition game when the other team dresses a team of minor league goons.

The Oil played guys that feature in HNIC and ESPN highlight reels, the Nucks played guys that feature in hockeyfights.com.

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#111 Manfly
September 23 2013, 07:49AM
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yup...you have no right to be angry....so "suck it up".

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#112 risto siltanen's shot
September 23 2013, 07:56AM
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what the kids need isn't an enforcer but a video of what happens when you try to run messier,anderson or even smyth. a strong stick presence...Anderson.a strong physical presence...smyth elbow on a flames player charging in or a strong nasty presence...anything messier ever did to macoun.these will deter other aggressive twits from being so reckless in trying to intimidate the kids. if the guy charging at you might be the one getting injured then maybe he'll think twice about being so aggressive.on a side note we'd have less concussions but more shoulder separations if we'd go back to tha 70's style shoulder and elbow pads. >chance of self injury=less reckless actions. I haven't seen anyone run smytty since he learned how to keep his stick up.

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#113 Oiler Al
September 23 2013, 08:31AM
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All summer long [ and fall ],. fans were lamenting about two things: 1. need of centerman 2. adding toughness.

Guess what, both are a bigtime issue and the season hasn't even started.

MacT takes the team to the Cap, and comes up with Acton and a retooled Eager to fill those needs.?

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#114 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
September 23 2013, 08:36AM
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@Mr common sense

I guess common sense really is the least common of the senses.

The Newtonian laws are totally irrelevant in this discussion due to the fact that we are not talking about physical forces acting on objects in motion. You're trying to draw parallels to an emotional reaction (hesitation or fear) to stimuli, which is a psychological concept.

You're reaching.

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#115 Quicksilver ballet
September 23 2013, 08:48AM
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Whether we like it or not, what happened to Gagner was an accident (sort of). The Oilers are just going to have to make due with a tough situation during what we all know was going to be a difficult first month of the season anyways. Continued failure are the fruits of cutting corners and hoping for the best for Craig MacTavish. Get ready for another short term bandaid solution type move.

That being said, I'd be on the phone to Paul Holmgren looking to do something just a little bit bigger. Klefbom and Marincin/or Musil in exchange for Couturier and Mezsaros. Over 5 mill out for Paul, and zero in if both these Oiler prospects spend the season with the Phantoms. Flyers are loaded down the middle.

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#116 Beaverdam
September 23 2013, 10:19AM
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Right you are Rubin. If they cannot win with this adversity they shouldn't win. Ottawa did it without their leading scorer Norris trophy winner and all-star goalie. Meatheads and or new contracts in exchange for draft picks or young defence prospects does not add up. What happens when RNH and Gagner return? Clearly Oiler fans are looking for an excuse to jump off the bandwagon.

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#117 TigerUnderGlass
September 23 2013, 12:39PM
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Do people really believe that Clarkson has now stopped the Scotts of the world from messing with Kessel?

Scott got everything he wanted out of that and then some. If anything the message sent was "mess with Kessel and this team will lose their minds entirely."

Every pest in the league now knows exactly what to do against Toronto.

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#118 The_CWD_GarbageMan
September 23 2013, 01:32PM
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Samwise is gonna get some of those George Clooney Jibs, he'll be ok. Time for some of those Oklahoma rascals to step up to the mantle and win themselves a job. This is hackey sonny-by's.

Enough of this im going for a dart.

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#119 Quicksilver ballet
September 23 2013, 02:33PM
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If Sam hadn't pulled the chute on this play like he also did with Steve Ott, he may have faired better. Maybe go low and squeeze through leaving Kaasins head to slam into the glass. Sam bailed on both. Kassian should still get 8-10 games.

http://youtu.be/dsy_tyMjhyc

http://youtu.be/uMfCK0DIj4M

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#120 Wäx Män Riley
September 24 2013, 12:20PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

If Sam hadn't pulled the chute on this play like he also did with Steve Ott, he may have faired better. Maybe go low and squeeze through leaving Kaasins head to slam into the glass. Sam bailed on both. Kassian should still get 8-10 games.

http://youtu.be/dsy_tyMjhyc

http://youtu.be/uMfCK0DIj4M

OMG Quicks...... Where as all the talk about Hall changing his game a bit so he could actually have a career.

Samwise can't fly head first into defenders. That would be just stupid.

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#121 Quicksilver ballet
September 24 2013, 12:36PM
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@Wäx Män Riley

Taylor Hall does do this regularly. Does it real well too.

How many times have you seen Hallsy squeeze by someone looking to stand him up. Taylor's one of the best at it. Taylor should give Gags some lessons. Ebs is doing a good job as well.

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#122 Wäx Män Riley
September 24 2013, 01:26PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Taylor Hall does do this regularly. Does it real well too.

How many times have you seen Hallsy squeeze by someone looking to stand him up. Taylor's one of the best at it. Taylor should give Gags some lessons. Ebs is doing a good job as well.

Taylor Hall is also one of the 10 best and fastest skaters in the league.

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