Retribution

Brian Sutherby
January 23 2014 09:54PM

Many people wished Luke Gazdic or any Edmonton Oiler for that matter, had exacted some revenge on Canuck forward Zack Kassian Tuesday night.  I was one of them.

WHAT HAPPENED BEFORE

Early in the season, Kassian recklessly and maybe even intentionally flung his stick around after missing a hit on Sam Gagner and hit him square in the face, shattering Ganger’s jaw. It’s hard to know if the intent was there but it was an incredibly dumb play regardless.

Kassian was asked if he was worried about pay back from the Oilers “Obviously I'm not too worried about someone coming after me. I have no problem standing up for myself. If they want to get some type of revenge, the door is open. Go ahead.”

When the Oilers played in Vancouver in December, I don’t recall much but I have to assume Gazdic asked him to fight if given the chance to match up with him early in the game. Nothing unfolded until late and at the end of the game Kassian was seen pointing at his jaw area, taunting the Oilers bench and specifically Gagner.

Clearly this infuriated fans and you would have to think the guys on the team.

FAST FORWARD

On Tuesday night with the season lost for the Oilers, many people including myself on the Jason Gregor show discussed and hoped that Kassian may find himself with a dance partner whether he liked it or not.

It’s one thing for Kassian to do something accidently, it’s another to rub it in, and show no remorse. Maybe there were other things said on the ice that we don’t know of but from where I sit now, that’s what happened.

As it turns out Kassian didn’t have to pay the piper on Tuesday and he eventually scored the game winner. Fans and media were irate while players and coaches didn’t think there was anything more that could have been done in today’s game.

ON TV

As the game crept into the second period, I was wondering why Gazdic hadn`t found Kassian. The answer early in the contest was Eakins never had Gazdic out there with him. That told me it wasn`t a priority for the coach.

As the game went on they came together on a couple of occasions and it was clear Kassian was not going to drop his gloves. I like many I`m sure, yelled out loud while watching the game “just drop your mitts, make him fight!!”

I was disappointed it didn’t unfold and a little perplexed as to why it didn’t until I really sat back and thought about times in my career I was in a similar situations. So much can go on behind the scenes when you are actually playing.

For one, time has passed, maybe inside that room it’s not that big of a deal?

Secondly, retaliation especially ones that are pre meditated, really do have to be a legitimate concern. I can`t argue with the coach and players post-game suggestions. Four months had gone by.

LOOKING BACK

Twice in my career, I can recall being in the exact same shoes as Gazdic. Several months had gone by and both times I accomplished no more than him seeking revenge, likely for similar reasons.

The closest I ever got to being told to fight in my entire career, was in my 11th NHL game as a twenty year old versus the Toronto Maple Leafs. The season before Darcy Tucker had taken a good run at teammate Sergei Gonchar and injured him.

As I got dressed in my stall before the game, my coach Bruce Cassidy sat down beside me and said “I don’t know if you know what happened last year with Tucker and Gonchar but you could really make a name for yourself with your teammates tonight, you know what I mean?” I did know what happened before and I knew exactly what he meant.

Of course my first shift, I lined up right beside him. I asked him to go and he laughed at me. Some twenty year old pretending he’s tough, trying to make a name for himself was comical for a veteran like Tucker.

I crossed checked and grabbed him immediately off the draw and was sent to the box. I’m pretty sure they scored on the power play but in my head I thought no big deal, I did what my coach had asked of me and my teammates saw I tried.

After my second minor penalty on him in the same game, I gave up. I could have jumped him I guess but by now it was 6 months after the incident and quite frankly, I looked like an idiot, not him.

I even felt like my own teammates thought I was a moron for taking numerous penalties when he clearly wasn`t going to oblige me.

THE SECOND TIME

It was my first game playing Alexander Svitov. For those that aren’t aware of our history, he spit on me at the World Junior tournament the year before and I swore up and down publicly in the media I would get revenge.

Well here it was, right in front of my face. He was playing for Tampa Bay. I challenged him early in the game and he declined. I found him in the third period when we were up 4-0 and punched him again, challenging him but he didn`t want to drop his gloves. I finally just dropped mine before I was grabbed from behind by Chris Dingman and a small melee developed.

It was not pay back in my mind and the next time I got out there, I told myself I wasn`t asking any questions. I got back to the bench and my coach Bruce Cassidy leaned into my ear and said “Hey I know what happened but right now is not the time; you have to put personal stuff aside.”

I didn`t know why it wasn`t the right time, it seemed like the perfect time. Up 4-0, what’s not to like?

My next shift Mike Grier on the faceoff said “Suds, I got you if you want to get after it here”

I regretfully said “Nah coach won`t let me.”

I never played another game against him.

If I was older, I likely wouldn’t have listened because I`ve never felt so disrespected in my life but the coach controlled my ice time. I was trying to cement myself in the league, not find myself in his doghouse or back in the minors.

GAZDIC

Most people in Edmonton including myself, want this team to push back and play with more fire. We looked to this game as the perfect opportunity for the Oilers to send a message to Kassian and to the rest of the league.

Gazdic will shoulder much of the blame for not taking it a step further on Tuesday but jumping someone is way easier said than done, especially when it’s not in the heat of the moment.

I know Gazdic knows his role, I know he wants to protect his teammates and no one has a tougher job in hockey than guys like him. Could he of just dropped his gloves and at the very least put Kassian in a tougher spot to say no without throwing a punch?

Yeah probably but with the Hartley fine and Shawn Thornton incidents as recent as they were, it`s hard not to think something was stopping him from going that far.

I would have loved to see him give Kassian absolutely no choice but when really reflecting on a game like Tuesday and considering all the factors there may have been, Gazdic was in a very tough spot.

He’s still the last guy this fan base needs to be worried about protecting his teammates.

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 RexHolez
January 23 2014, 10:05PM
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This team doesn't need goonery! We're a skilled team and get our retribution on our potent Power Play! As long as they don't score on our power play first, and allow us to pass around the perimeter and set up the cross crease pass... If all that happens, look out we'll make them pay on the score board!

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#2 Wax Man Riley
January 23 2014, 10:10PM
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Who knows. Maybe the team, just doesn't want to waste time on him. The "hit" 4 months ago was a b!tch move by a b!tch player. The guy reminds me of Avery, and everyone knows what the league thought of him, even if he did score a goal or 2.

Maybe they leave it at that.

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#3 redhot1
January 23 2014, 10:13PM
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In an interview I saw with Ference today concerning Kassian not fighting, he said, and I'm paraphrasing; "What are you supposed to do if the guy doesn't drop his gloves? You can't do anything".

Didn't Ference do the exact thing to Stempniak earlier in the season? Stempniak clearly didn't want to fight, but Ference just dropped his gloves and started punching. Not sure why Gazdic didn't do that. Who cares if you get a penalty. The game is essentially pointless.

Kind of unfortunate the Oilers have no one in their top six who is willing to drop the gloves to put someone in their place.

Kassian probably enjoys going to Edmonton at this point. Could you imagine if he did that to someone on St. Louis? Or LA? Something tells me Chris Stewart would eat this guy for breakfast if he broke his teammates jaw such a reckless manner.

Is anyone honestly surprised that Kassian came in here and didn't receive any punishment? Because I'm not

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#4 Tayranchula
January 23 2014, 10:18PM
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The Oilers are a very soft team to play against. I would have liked to see them unite as a group and punish the canucks but that didnt happen.

There are alot of players that arent competitive enough on the Oilers. Im scared its gunna rub off on the younger players or at worst watch Hall want to leave because of issues like these.

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#6 Reg Dunlop
January 23 2014, 10:38PM
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Thanks for the insight, well done. There is always more to an issue than what fans can see. Do you think that the league would dole out a different level of punishment to Gazdik if he had speared Kassian compared to Gagner skewering him? At some point, even the small Oilers must start to show some backbone and the stick is the great equalizer.

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#7 S cottV
January 23 2014, 10:57PM
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With what happened in Vcr vs the Flames, the league and or the Canucks probably wanted to put a lid on any potential gong shows for awhile.

Kassian probably told to stay out of it.

It's not like he is really all that worried about fighting Gadzik.

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#8 S cottV
January 23 2014, 10:59PM
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With what happened in Vcr vs the Flames, the league and or the Canucks probably wanted to put a lid on any potential gong shows for awhile. Kassian probably told to stay out of it. It's not like he is all that worried about fighting Gadzik.

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#9 Oasis
January 23 2014, 11:11PM
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The problem here is this is not a one time isolated incident with this team. We have repeatedly seen guys take runs and/or dirty shots at our players with no push back at all. We have seen Gagner fight a few times, we have seen Hall fight, and we have also seen Hall go out and exact his revenge on Clutterbuck himself. Do we really need guys like this fighting and left alone to stick up for themselves?

I like the fact that both of them will stick up for themselves but the point is they shouldn't have to. Other teams need to know that if you target our young stars we will either target your stars or make you pay. This is not the case with the Oilers. We sit back and do nothing time and time again. What is it going to take? Do we need Yak badly injured on a cheap hit? Do we need to see Jordan Eberle drop his gloves and defend himself also. It's shameful.

We all know this team needs more team toughness, nobody can deny that. Tuesday would have been a great time to start the process.

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#10 Harry
January 23 2014, 11:13PM
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Brian Sutherby wrote:

I totally agree but Ference was an immediate response in the heat of the moment.

If Stempiniak got injured there it would be considered different than if Gazdic had months to think about.

Sorry to say this Mr. Sutherby but you coudnt be more wrong and redhot couldnt be more right.

No team in the league dreds or fears coming into Edm especially when hillbillys like Kassian do whatever the hell they want out there against the Oilers. Theyve now had two chances to send a message and suprise suprise they dropped the ball.

In a season where everything has gone wrong this Kassian situation shoud have been delt with. What kind of message is doing nothing sending to the other 28 teams?

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#11 Naky
January 23 2014, 11:15PM
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I think what's most pathetic about all this is that it was usually Sam that would eventually explode and fight for his teammates to take a stand on something and when something happens to him nobody had the balls to do the same for him. Kind of defines the gutless way this team handles it self most of the time these past several years. Whatever the feeling is against Sam this year, at least he showed some passion and guts in that way. The rest of the team just tucks tail and slinks off. Don't worry though, we'll be sure to get rid of Sammy soon and lose even that little bit too. All skill and no balls, that's the Way of the Six Rings.

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#12 ThatButthurtOilersFan
January 23 2014, 11:22PM
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RexHolez wrote:

This team doesn't need goonery! We're a skilled team and get our retribution on our potent Power Play! As long as they don't score on our power play first, and allow us to pass around the perimeter and set up the cross crease pass... If all that happens, look out we'll make them pay on the score board!

I swear to god, this better be sarcasm.

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#13 Butters
January 23 2014, 11:32PM
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VCR is one of the most despised teams in the league. And they consistently run our show in all facets of the game. A statement needed to be made, not just to the Canucks, but the entire league. The Oilers missed that chance, again!

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#14 Butters
January 23 2014, 11:36PM
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S cottV wrote:

With what happened in Vcr vs the Flames, the league and or the Canucks probably wanted to put a lid on any potential gong shows for awhile. Kassian probably told to stay out of it. It's not like he is all that worried about fighting Gadzik.

The Oilers should not have given the Canucks an option. What transpired between CGY and VCR is none of the Oilers concern. Don ask, tell.

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#15 Serious Gord
January 23 2014, 11:37PM
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I completely disagree with you Brian. I posted the following shortly after the van game and I think it still holds water and rebuts your arguments by looking at the bigger picture:

That there was no pound of flesh exacted for two whole games with the Canucks from kassian or some other Canuck(s) is a disgrace. It is the cherry on the sundae of $hit that has been this season. And it is a failure of the team AND the coach - not because he didn't order them to do something - he shouldn't have and he shouldn't have had to:

This team should have had enough esprit d'corps to do it on their own. That they didn't tells you that they don't give a $hit about the team and their teammates and most especially they don't give a $hit about this coach and the unaccountable management above him.

Which brings me to the Katz letter:

How can this coach - with the backing of that management - demand players be accountable and in some cases he makes them accountable - when those same managers won't hold themselves accountable - via the "everyone is accountable" dodge.

As someone who has on more than one occasion worked for family businesses where accountability standards varied as did the punishment or lack thereof depending on ones ties to the owner, I can tell you that the morale and pride in working for those kinds of companies is quickly corroded to the point that all one wants to do is leave.

Imagine if - as many here suspect - the assistant coaches are indeed incompetent. These players can tell an incompetent coach from a competent one - several have had very competent coaches earlier in their careers. It would grate on them immensely to be chastised in the media - be benched or sat out or put on a weaker line when they underperform yet these assistants remain hardy and untouched perennials.

And that's just the assistants - and those assistants are protected by superiors who are equally incompetent and in turn are protected right up to the owner.

Imagine the frustration.

I think I saw that frustration in hall's eyes, face indeed his whole posture tonight And I think it's what drove the much more mercurial and immature yakopov to act out earlier in the season.

That letter was read by the players.

No doubt it was discussed among them.

I suspect they have opinions about it that aren't too far from mine or the majority of those reading this.

And I suspect that their agents read it as well and that they have possibly discussed it with the players and what it means in regard to how this team is going to continue being run and who is going to continue to run it.

And finally, with the lack of response to Kassian tonight and the lack of team spirit and looking out for one another it must creep into the minds of some of the players that they are vulnerable to attack and injury because those two things clearly don't exist and this coach and management are doing nothing to address it.

HOW MUCH LONGER WILL THIS GO ON BEFORE ONE OR MORE OF THE STARS DEMANDS A TRADE?

I know if I was Taylor Hall or Nugent Hopkins I would already have discussed it with my agent and laid out a strategy on how to do just that.

What an effing mess...

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#16 TonyT
January 23 2014, 11:50PM
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I'm not of the mind to agree with the idea that the team had moved on, Gazdic trying to fight Kassian on a number of ocassions (to no avail) clearly says otherwise. To me this is just another illustration to how demoralized this team is: they want to win (they can't), they want to run a system (they can't), they want to affect the scoresheet (they can't), they want respect (they can't get it). They can't do it and the saddest part about this team is not the lost faith in each other but the loss of belief in themselves. They expect to lose and they play like it. Back to Gazdic, I like the guy but if he's not fighting why is he here? We've had tougher enforcers who could even cycle the puck in the offensive zone (Laraque) at the end I the day he was "too nice and respectful" for his role.

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#17 camdog
January 23 2014, 11:51PM
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If it wasn't 8 years of getting beat up it wouldn't hurt so much...

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#18 #ThereGoesTheOilers
January 23 2014, 11:54PM
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Well, will it really matter if Kassian ever gets his comeuppance? Most of us can't wait to get this season over with and Gagner may well find himself in new colours at some point between now and the draft. It'll be forgotten soon enough.

Besides, if Kassian wants to behave like a braying ass, let him. It reflects on his team and his town, not us. Stay classy Vancouver.

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#19 TonyT
January 24 2014, 12:00AM
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Dave Lumley was on Oilers Now a couple days ago and used the word "irrelevant" as a label that had been used to describe the Oilers, the first St. Louis game Backes in an interview described an incident where the Blues players had found the Oilers disrespectful. Unfortunately the Oilers team (from top down) have become that guy who talks a big game but never backs it up. Kassian getting challenged three or four times in a game and not having to answer the bell clearly illustrates that...

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#20 camdog
January 24 2014, 12:00AM
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@camdog

How many more years are we going to let other teams beat up our star players?

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#21 Hockey mom
January 24 2014, 12:57AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

I completely disagree with you Brian. I posted the following shortly after the van game and I think it still holds water and rebuts your arguments by looking at the bigger picture:

That there was no pound of flesh exacted for two whole games with the Canucks from kassian or some other Canuck(s) is a disgrace. It is the cherry on the sundae of $hit that has been this season. And it is a failure of the team AND the coach - not because he didn't order them to do something - he shouldn't have and he shouldn't have had to:

This team should have had enough esprit d'corps to do it on their own. That they didn't tells you that they don't give a $hit about the team and their teammates and most especially they don't give a $hit about this coach and the unaccountable management above him.

Which brings me to the Katz letter:

How can this coach - with the backing of that management - demand players be accountable and in some cases he makes them accountable - when those same managers won't hold themselves accountable - via the "everyone is accountable" dodge.

As someone who has on more than one occasion worked for family businesses where accountability standards varied as did the punishment or lack thereof depending on ones ties to the owner, I can tell you that the morale and pride in working for those kinds of companies is quickly corroded to the point that all one wants to do is leave.

Imagine if - as many here suspect - the assistant coaches are indeed incompetent. These players can tell an incompetent coach from a competent one - several have had very competent coaches earlier in their careers. It would grate on them immensely to be chastised in the media - be benched or sat out or put on a weaker line when they underperform yet these assistants remain hardy and untouched perennials.

And that's just the assistants - and those assistants are protected by superiors who are equally incompetent and in turn are protected right up to the owner.

Imagine the frustration.

I think I saw that frustration in hall's eyes, face indeed his whole posture tonight And I think it's what drove the much more mercurial and immature yakopov to act out earlier in the season.

That letter was read by the players.

No doubt it was discussed among them.

I suspect they have opinions about it that aren't too far from mine or the majority of those reading this.

And I suspect that their agents read it as well and that they have possibly discussed it with the players and what it means in regard to how this team is going to continue being run and who is going to continue to run it.

And finally, with the lack of response to Kassian tonight and the lack of team spirit and looking out for one another it must creep into the minds of some of the players that they are vulnerable to attack and injury because those two things clearly don't exist and this coach and management are doing nothing to address it.

HOW MUCH LONGER WILL THIS GO ON BEFORE ONE OR MORE OF THE STARS DEMANDS A TRADE?

I know if I was Taylor Hall or Nugent Hopkins I would already have discussed it with my agent and laid out a strategy on how to do just that.

What an effing mess...

You definitely hit the nail on the head regarding the players identifying. Incompetent coaches and how it can grate on them. You can tell when they interviewed Hall today he was being politically correct. He had to glance away from the camera because he couldn't say what he really thought of the teams season. It would definitely be in his best interest to get his agent to work out a trade. Really could it be worse anywhere else?

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#22 Obviously
January 24 2014, 03:43AM
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Harry wrote:

Sorry to say this Mr. Sutherby but you coudnt be more wrong and redhot couldnt be more right.

No team in the league dreds or fears coming into Edm especially when hillbillys like Kassian do whatever the hell they want out there against the Oilers. Theyve now had two chances to send a message and suprise suprise they dropped the ball.

In a season where everything has gone wrong this Kassian situation shoud have been delt with. What kind of message is doing nothing sending to the other 28 teams?

Please, tell us more about how you're ability to gauge how appropriate violent responses are is better than someone, who, y'know, has actually been in the nhl and in these types of situations. Also you misspelt "dread."

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#23 Sisyphus
January 24 2014, 04:06AM
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Naky wrote:

I think what's most pathetic about all this is that it was usually Sam that would eventually explode and fight for his teammates to take a stand on something and when something happens to him nobody had the balls to do the same for him. Kind of defines the gutless way this team handles it self most of the time these past several years. Whatever the feeling is against Sam this year, at least he showed some passion and guts in that way. The rest of the team just tucks tail and slinks off. Don't worry though, we'll be sure to get rid of Sammy soon and lose even that little bit too. All skill and no balls, that's the Way of the Six Rings.

Well, a bit of good news for you. We probably WON'T be getting rid of Sammy. Its doubtful we'll be able to find any takers for him before his NTC kicks in, and there's no point in trading him away for a few picks or a never-gonna-be AHL player, which is about all we'll get for him at this point.

We will be keeping Sammy, and possibly even Hemmer too, at least until his contract is up this summer. No sense in trading him away for what we'd get for him--an only decent rental player isn't going to fetch that much on the free market, especially when teams know how weak the Oilers position to deal from is.

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#24 TeddyTurnbuckle
January 24 2014, 04:24AM
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The oilers are the softest team in the league and they have been for years. I like many others would like to see the team create heat of the moment battles more often. The oilers could have at least mixed it up with the Canucks to try and create a fight but instead they do what they always do and put their tail between their legs. The only thing more frustrating than watching this team loose constantly is watching them getting their show run physically every night. This team does nothing well and is not respected around the league.

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#25 TeddyTurnbuckle
January 24 2014, 04:36AM
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One other thing. Gazdic is a terrible hockey player. Every time he is on the ice the other team is having a hay day. Seems like he is always stuck on a long shift and can't get off because the opponent is cycling like mad. The fact that we are still the wimpiest team in the league 5 years in a row is pathetic. Any other team in the NHL would have addressed this a long time ago. I don't like Burke but at least he would have done something about this issue years ago.

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#26 5inatrailer
January 24 2014, 06:02AM
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I haven't seen it mentioned ANYWHERE, but if the Oilers had been up 3-0, there probably would have been more of an interest in fighting from Kassian.

As the game went on, it was clear he didn't need to fight; the Nucks were dominating the play. Why give the other team a reason to wake up? Would we expect anything diffierent if he was on our team?

Sure some of the blame can be on Gazdic for not just grabbing him, but I think a larger portion of the blame should fall on the rest of the team who failed to rise up, play with passion and outscore the Nucks at any point so that there would be an opportunity for Kassian to answer to hit bs.

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#27 madjam
January 24 2014, 06:27AM
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Kassian a tough big boy . Gadzik challenged him several times , but Kassian ignored it . Sort of like trying to get Semenko to fight if it's not to Oilers advantage to do so. Gives Van. an edge to game and intimidation the longer he is out . No given Gadzik could even take Kassian .Might be better off targeting someone else on Canucks to send the message ? Gadzik turning out to be maybe another Gentleman George Laracque type ? Challenge , but not force issue if other not willing ?

As for youth wanting a trade , I doubt any but Yak might approve of one . The others, as yet, have yet to earn their contracts to begin with , and remain part of the problem at this stage .

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#28 DrunkGuyTy
January 24 2014, 06:28AM
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Wow. Sutherby, aren't you glad these guys on here have learned so much from their couches over the years that they can tell you how it REALLY works in the NHL? I'm sure you learned something today that you weren't able to in your 400+ NHL games. Thank goodness these1st tier fans are here to set you straight.

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#29 Bryzarro World
January 24 2014, 06:47AM
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Somebody needs to kick his assian. ...

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#30 Bryzarro World
January 24 2014, 06:49AM
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DrunkGuyTy wrote:

Wow. Sutherby, aren't you glad these guys on here have learned so much from their couches over the years that they can tell you how it REALLY works in the NHL? I'm sure you learned something today that you weren't able to in your 400+ NHL games. Thank goodness these1st tier fans are here to set you straight.

It's called life buddy. Average people go through stuff a lot more and things that are a lot harder than playing a game or anything involved in it. The players can learn from the average man and not the other way around.

Pull your head out of your ace and you might realize this...

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#31 shaddup
January 24 2014, 07:08AM
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Bryzarro World wrote:

It's called life buddy. Average people go through stuff a lot more and things that are a lot harder than playing a game or anything involved in it. The players can learn from the average man and not the other way around.

Pull your head out of your ace and you might realize this...

Back on the pipe,eh Bryz?

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#32 DrunkGuyTy
January 24 2014, 07:16AM
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Bryzarro World wrote:

It's called life buddy. Average people go through stuff a lot more and things that are a lot harder than playing a game or anything involved in it. The players can learn from the average man and not the other way around.

Pull your head out of your ace and you might realize this...

You go through life extracting revenge on someone who hit a teammate in the face with a stick? You know how that works moreso than someone playing the game? Sutherby can learn something from you about the NHL game and you can't learn anything from him?

I've never heard anything more arrogant in my entire life.

If I have a problem of any sort, I deal with it here and now. If I don't, that's my own problem and it's probably not that important. I don't piss and moan about it for months on end.

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#33 K_Mart
January 24 2014, 07:17AM
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Suds is right. Too much time has passed and Gazdic would have ended up looking like an idiot. The Oilers needed to respond the moment Kassian slashed Gagner in the face.

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#35 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
January 24 2014, 07:37AM
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The funny thing is, I'm more mad/disgusted with the Oilers for having no response after Dr Kassian's Discount Dental Surgery than I am at Kassian for just about knocking Gags' jaw clean off and mocking him for it afterwards.

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#36 Fresh Mess
January 24 2014, 07:47AM
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This insight is so much more valuable than having a stat fetishist explain to me why corsi proves what my eyes are seeing is wrong. I still think someone should have jumped him, and I am not even big on fighting in the game.

also post #1: droll

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#37 Batfink
January 24 2014, 08:31AM
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Funny thing about this is the fact of the two coaches. I despise Torts, but respect the fact that he has won a cup and brings passion to a game he clearly loves.

What if one of our guys nearly took Kesler's head off in pre-season? I've said before, Torts always has his teams back, if anyone is going to run his team, it's him. Eakin's wants us to be the robots of the league, playing with coolness and intensity. We just don't have that type of player. We need the little adrenalin boosts of playing to the limit of your capabilities against better opposition gives you.

I don't care if it's two weeks or two years, Kassian and any other goon has to respect that that behaviour is unacceptable and makes your nose bleed.

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#38 Posti
January 24 2014, 08:45AM
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Picking a fight four months after the fact just won't fly. Just like you said about Ference, he struck while the iron was still hot. It should have been a full on melee when it happened. Or perhaps when Yakupov got thrown into the boards. Or whenever something goes down like that.

If you expect the world to be fair with you because you are fair, you’re fooling yourself. That’s like expecting the lion not to eat you because you didn’t eat him.

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#39 MK 9
January 24 2014, 08:58AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

I completely disagree with you Brian. I posted the following shortly after the van game and I think it still holds water and rebuts your arguments by looking at the bigger picture:

That there was no pound of flesh exacted for two whole games with the Canucks from kassian or some other Canuck(s) is a disgrace. It is the cherry on the sundae of $hit that has been this season. And it is a failure of the team AND the coach - not because he didn't order them to do something - he shouldn't have and he shouldn't have had to:

This team should have had enough esprit d'corps to do it on their own. That they didn't tells you that they don't give a $hit about the team and their teammates and most especially they don't give a $hit about this coach and the unaccountable management above him.

Which brings me to the Katz letter:

How can this coach - with the backing of that management - demand players be accountable and in some cases he makes them accountable - when those same managers won't hold themselves accountable - via the "everyone is accountable" dodge.

As someone who has on more than one occasion worked for family businesses where accountability standards varied as did the punishment or lack thereof depending on ones ties to the owner, I can tell you that the morale and pride in working for those kinds of companies is quickly corroded to the point that all one wants to do is leave.

Imagine if - as many here suspect - the assistant coaches are indeed incompetent. These players can tell an incompetent coach from a competent one - several have had very competent coaches earlier in their careers. It would grate on them immensely to be chastised in the media - be benched or sat out or put on a weaker line when they underperform yet these assistants remain hardy and untouched perennials.

And that's just the assistants - and those assistants are protected by superiors who are equally incompetent and in turn are protected right up to the owner.

Imagine the frustration.

I think I saw that frustration in hall's eyes, face indeed his whole posture tonight And I think it's what drove the much more mercurial and immature yakopov to act out earlier in the season.

That letter was read by the players.

No doubt it was discussed among them.

I suspect they have opinions about it that aren't too far from mine or the majority of those reading this.

And I suspect that their agents read it as well and that they have possibly discussed it with the players and what it means in regard to how this team is going to continue being run and who is going to continue to run it.

And finally, with the lack of response to Kassian tonight and the lack of team spirit and looking out for one another it must creep into the minds of some of the players that they are vulnerable to attack and injury because those two things clearly don't exist and this coach and management are doing nothing to address it.

HOW MUCH LONGER WILL THIS GO ON BEFORE ONE OR MORE OF THE STARS DEMANDS A TRADE?

I know if I was Taylor Hall or Nugent Hopkins I would already have discussed it with my agent and laid out a strategy on how to do just that.

What an effing mess...

The canucks have at least 6 guys who can go - Edmonton maybe 3 - Kassian has no fear. He won't f$ck round with Bufalo (Scott) Toronto (Orr, McLaren) or Calgary (McGrats, Westie), but he laughs at the Oilers. Leave MACINTYRE in the AHL you MORONS!

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#40 GlennH
January 24 2014, 09:05AM
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Brownlee said it best on the Gregor show the other day, regarding Kassian "Someone needs to punch him right in the mouth". The initial stick swinging incident can be forgiven. The taunting and lack of remorse cannot.

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#41 Chainsawz
January 24 2014, 09:09AM
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Eakins not giving the green light (if that was the case) to Gadzic to fist hammer Kassian, willing or not, just gives the rest of the league the message that the Oilers are an easy team to play against.

You'd think we'd like to shed that reputation.

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#42 2004Z06
January 24 2014, 09:19AM
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Gagner should have stuck up for himself knowing Gazdic would have his back. He should have skated up, cross checked Gazdic in the teeth, taken the 5 games. It is not like he is contributing elsewhere. Hell the Oilers GAA would likely go down for the 5 games Gagner was out.

This is the new NHL folks....grown men neutered, rules that protect the Kassians of the world and an increase in gutless cheap shots with no fear of repercussion.

Thanks Gary

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#43 MAC962
January 24 2014, 09:20AM
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Simple solution if Kasian wont go. Someone else pays dearly. Its really quite that simple. How how about Gaz or Macyntyre grabbing Kesler and beating the snot out of him and when its done you tell him , you paid, because Kassian wouldnt, AND IT KEEPS happening until finally Kassian pays his bill. Pick a Canuck it really does not matter - they pay for His Cowardice.

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#44 LURK
January 24 2014, 09:22AM
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My biggest problem with this whole debacle is Dallas Eakins. I've tried to keep an open mind about him, until now. He says the retribution isn't worth taking a bad penalty and losing the game. GOOD CALL! We had no retribution and the guy that should've been knocked out of the game scores the game winner. We're in last place in the conference. The rest of the season is about setting a tone. He said at the start of this year this team will be a tough team to play against. We're going to play hard blah blah blah! And like many have said on here before, if Kassian isn't willing to go then run Loungo, or Run a Sedin. Make him want to go in otherways. We don't make teams pay with our power play. I'm fed up with this team. I've completely stopped watching games. The best thing that can happen to this team is HALL asking for a trade, which I assume will happen soon enough. Their wasting the primes of their career on this pathetic team right now

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#45 Giant
January 24 2014, 09:31AM
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I don't think revenge necessarily needs to be a fight. At least make sure the guy has a miserable night. Especially in your own barn. What really kills me is that no one (aside from Gazdic late) even took a run at Kassian, or played him the least bit physically. He walked around untouched out there and scored the game winner. All that happened there was the Oil proving to the rest of the league that they can do whatever they want, with no response.

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#46 D-Unit
January 24 2014, 09:31AM
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I would have liked to see Gagner get him with a cross-check to the face. Don't give Kassian a chance to defend himself with a fight. Big deal, Sam gets a big suspension, should have made him feel better about himself, and put everyone on notice that he won't take cheap stuff. The one thing I liked about Gagner was he was willing to fight a time or 2 a year. I might be cold blooded, but I wouldn't lose sleep over costing Kassian a career.

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#47 Manson24
January 24 2014, 09:35AM
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Why wasn't MacIntyre brought up for the Vancouver game? Were those 2 points that valuable to us?

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#48 Big Cap
January 24 2014, 09:36AM
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Once again our Big Mouth, Blowhard, Know it All, Coach cant/won't deliver on what he promised.

Its alot easier to call out and mock Lars Eller than Kassian.

Eakins, why don't you tell us again Yak isn't playing proper D and that he'll be sitting again to learn the process.

Eakins is a JOKE!

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#49 nunyour
January 24 2014, 09:39AM
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At least now management know's they have to get bigger and tougher,or maybe not?

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#50 pkam
January 24 2014, 09:40AM
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Gazdic should practice two special skill. 1st, swing the stick after missing a hit. 2nd, run the goalie real hard, harder than the Lucic hit on Miller. We should bring big Mac up to help.

Our next visit to Vancouver, high stick the Sedins or Kesler, hopefully both, one by Gazdic and the other by big Mac. It not only pay back what we got from them, it helps the chance of Team Canada as well.

Then we will pay them the interest in the last game vs the Canucks, send big Mac out to play against the Kassian line and run Luongo, hopefully Kassian is stupid enough to challenge big Mac. And I will be waiting impatiently for Torts post game interview.

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