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.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
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.
Avatar
#101 Mr common sense
September 22 2013, 11:46PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
+1
2
props
Mr common sense wrote:

Because only in Edm do such acts go unpunished. The law of thermodynamics....check it out

2 hours ago @markhmasters: Kessel on teammates standing up for him: 'Proud of them. Thanked them all. We all stuck up for each other & that's how it has to go here.'

Avatar
#102 Mr common sense
September 22 2013, 11:53PM
Trash it!
11
trashes
+1
2
props
Craig1981 wrote:

That didn't even slightly answer my question.

ME: "why do you think no NHL team will not go after Kessel now?"

YOU: "Law of thermodynamics"

I don't see this conversation adding any value here

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.

Avatar
#103 Mr common sense
September 23 2013, 12:04AM
Trash it!
13
trashes
+1
2
props
Craig1981 wrote:

I have asked you several questions about your stance and you simply add quotes you googled from The Art of War rather than defend your stance.

Answer what basis you believe no team will touch Kessel again?

Otherwise I am done with this.

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

Avatar
#104 Mr common sense
September 23 2013, 12:19AM
Trash it!
30
trashes
+1
2
props
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

Avatar
#105 Oiler Al
September 23 2013, 08:31AM
Trash it!
4
trashes
+1
2
props

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.?

Avatar
#106 Hair bag
September 22 2013, 03:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
1
props
StHenriOilBomb wrote:

Dangerous play leading to direct stick contact to the head. Any chance of a suspension? I know it was unintentional, but so were a handful of the suspended hits from last year.

I also know that this does little to help the Oilers, but it would go some distance to helping feel like the NHL actually cares more about safety than the optics of Shanny and his office.

Also, screw Kassian. He missed the check by 3 feet and then flailed. I do the same thing when I miss a check so that the opposing player doesn't skate away scott free... I make sure to keep my stick at waste height though. This wasn't entirely innocent, even if the head=shot part of it was.

I agree. The rules say you are responsible for your stick at all times and this was a totally reckless play - I hope that he gets suspended but I doubt it will happen. It wasn't even like he was falling or something, he just blatantly swung his stick around head high, probably like you said to try and slow Gagne down.

Avatar
#107 hags9000
September 22 2013, 07:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
1
props

I think Eberle is more naturally suited to play C than Hall. He will do great.

Avatar
#108 Geoff
September 22 2013, 08:29PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
1
props
Harry wrote:

I hate to break it to you folks who think a trade is a bad idea that that is exactly what Tamby would do.

Name one team ever that can survive without its top two centers for the first month of the season.

We needed a center before. And now.we desperately need a center.

We have assets to make a good hockey trade. Hemsky, Marincin, Klefbom and what about next years first rounder?

I woild trade Marincin. His stock is very high right now and with Nurse, Klef, Shultz and Petry we have plenty of young defencemen.

Mactavish would be making a massive mistake if he sits back like tentative Tamby and attempts to survive this. If he doea and we get off to a bad start and miss the postseason because we went 5-10 to start the year it would be the same old BS from the GM of this club.

Please do your job Mac and make a trade!!!

I agree. But I would argue that we have too many young defencemen that are NHL capable. Not that it's a bad thing because having depth is awesome. Now that gagner is injured our lack of NHL center depth could and probably should be addressed if one of Lander/Acton/Arcobello can't show right now they are capable of NHL duties.

Avatar
#109 Katzhater
September 22 2013, 09:10PM
Trash it!
26
trashes
+1
1
props

It's over again. No point in kicking you hurting oilers fans while you're down. I will wait until arena deal finally shi!s the bed. Or hell freezes over.

Avatar
#110 oilerjed
September 22 2013, 09:22PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
1
props
Craig1981 wrote:

If you John Scott (The player that went after Kessel) thinks he had anything less than an incredible game you are mistaken. He goes to bed thinking he got under the skin of a teams top player and got one of there top forwards suspended for 10 games.

OMG Scott has to get into a fight......... he has been in 63 fights in the last 7 year of pro hockey. Do you really think having to drop the gloves will change his game????!!!

I wonder about this though, if Scott pummels Kessel before anyone jumps in what does the league do? Obvious intent to injure it would have to be considered IMO. I like how kessel loaded up on the two hander once he came to his senses, he almost took a swing. Would have been night night.

Avatar
#111 Oilers4ever
September 22 2013, 11:40PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
+1
1
props

Having all the depth at D is good.. but we have an abundance where we don't at center. Good GM's make good SMART trades that improve their team. I would be in favor of trading one of the young D prospects and package him with something if it gets us a #2 center (Hallsy has the character to carry the first line role for now). Aside from faceoff winning percentage I think the preseason has shown he has the stones to play center if need be.

So long as the trade doesn't wreck the team chemistry and such then do it. But it has to be smart, not a desperate move. If the smart trade is not there then hold your cards. Personally I think Acton could do the job. He's played well in the preseason and deserves a chance in my mind.

Avatar
#112 OILERSORDEATH
September 22 2013, 11:44PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
+1
1
props

Robin, did you delete my post? Was it that bad?

Avatar
#113 Mr common sense
September 22 2013, 11:50PM
Trash it!
14
trashes
+1
1
props
Craig1981 wrote:

So what you are saying you want top players with large salaries to hope the boards and take 10 games suspensions?!? (And certainly the 2nd offenses would be greater as would they be if an injury were to happen))

....its going to cost him over half a million, btw.

I think you are making my point for me just fine......

Only those who disguise fear with reasons not to stand up for themselves are confused by this topic.

Avatar
#114 The_CWD_GarbageMan
September 23 2013, 01:32PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
+1
1
props

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.

Avatar
#115 Quicksilver ballet
September 23 2013, 02:33PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
1
props

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

Avatar
#116 Wäx Män Riley
September 24 2013, 01:26PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
1
props
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.

Avatar
#117 Time Travelling Sean
September 22 2013, 07:34PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
+1
0
props

Arcobello has looked invisible from the games I've seen, but this seems to be an amazing opportunity to get consistent games in with highly skilled players.

I'm rooting for him.

Avatar
#118 TonyT
September 23 2013, 12:38AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
0
props

additional fallout from TOR

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

Avatar
#119 Beaverdam
September 23 2013, 10:19AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

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.

Avatar
#120 TigerUnderGlass
September 23 2013, 12:39PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

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.

Avatar
#121 Wäx Män Riley
September 24 2013, 12:20PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
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.

Avatar
#122 Quicksilver ballet
September 24 2013, 12:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@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.

Comments are closed for this article.