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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#51 redhot1
January 24 2014, 10:01AM
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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.

Good point.

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#52 Death Metal Nightmare
January 24 2014, 10:50AM
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it just showed the coach is a wimp and he's trying to deal with problems so beyond his scope that finding some respect for the team is last on his list of concerns.

"yes, disrespect us. break our jaws. mock us. we are so f'd with our heads cut off trying to resemble a hockey team that we can't stick up for ourselves or manage all facets of the hockey game. i.e. creating competitive space for ourselves by smashing a dufus gorilla."

ultra-fail.

even garbage Calgary dealt with it in a hilarious manner.

Eakins is a dong wizard. get him out.

i mean, when we all look back - none of these situations with Kassian matter in the end i suppose. but why stop there when we can apply that logic to the game of hockey also and just stop watching? are we really watching hockey anyhow? or just a group of boys that pretend to play NHL hockey (WITH REAL PAY! meow)? woof. dont melt your brain on that one.

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#53 Lofty
January 24 2014, 11:22AM
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At this point in the season, sitting in the cellar and certain to miss the playoffs, is there ever a bad time to make players pay for cheap shots?

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#54 TeddyTurnbuckle
January 24 2014, 11:52AM
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@Oiler Al

Exactly Gazdic is useless if he isn't fighting.

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#55 billythebullet
January 24 2014, 11:56AM
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGAdHcuJOkQ

I think the oilers still employ this guy somewhere...

But seriously, I hate to say it, but the time for "revenge" was the same game that the original high stick occurred. 6 months later is just bush league, old school jr.c hockey. A real team would have made a statement the same game. Just my opinion.

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#56 Randaman
January 24 2014, 12:45PM
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Mack Strong wrote:

Bottom line…..

Kassian came into our building didn't get a whiff of physicality against him (im not taking about replaying the Bertuzzi / Moore incident), just hit him, make it difficult for him, make him and other riff raft in the league understand that its not easy goings after taking out one of our guys.

Dam we treated Gretz to the Esa Tikkanen show every go round. We treated Gretz to a worse time that Kassian and Gretz was over here! Ya Ya i know different motivations for shadowing Gretz….but the idea that if you came into this building either skilled or a goon, you were going to have a rough night is gone and nowhere to be found.

Im not condoning cheap hockey or retaliatory hockey….just good physical, smash mouth, "I'm gonna make the next 60 mins of your life a living hell" type hockey….

WE ARE NOT DOING ANYTHING RIGHT!!!

TO TOP IT OFF THE F#&KER scores the winning goal…..

Eakins comments after were a JOKE. Why does asking for more physicality by the press and the NATION equate to we have to be cheap about it!? Just make his life hell and make him feel physical hockey for the time he's on the ice!!! Make him regret his cheap hit on Gags and hopping onto the Charter into Edmonton!

Not that I am defending Eakins but you do have to consider the fact that Eakins doesn't have a Sestito on his bench or in the system for that matter. Where the f$&k is Big Mac. This is on management and their small player mentality isn't it?

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#57 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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#58 Ed in Edmonton
January 24 2014, 09:57AM
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Reg Dunlop wrote:

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.

Agreed.

I suggested before the Oil should hire Dino Cicarelli as their "stick coach".

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#59 VK63
January 24 2014, 10:02AM
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Although he doesn't strike me as a man who spends much time on self reflection young Zack is creating quite the legacy for himself. Generally speaking a man of proper internal wiring is born with both conscience and integrity. He is kinda scribbled up this Zack. Maybe he was dropped as an infant or something.

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#60 Mike Modano's Dog
January 24 2014, 10:22AM
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MAC962 wrote:

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.

I think a good example of this is a couple years back when our d-man hit an opposing player hard and a player wanted him to fight as retribution. Immediately afterwards, he ran MPS and injured him.

That was discussed often as MPS was out for a while because that d-man refused to answer the bell.

I hated seeing it - and it pissed me off, but I had to admit even at the time that it was damn effective at making the point, "You don't injure out guys, and get away with it!"

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#61 Gored 1970
January 24 2014, 11:03AM
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I agree that the time for retribution was 5 seconds after the incident in the heat of the moment, not 3 months and 3 games later. I posted a similar comment last week and someone responded that at the time there was concern that it was an accident. Crap, he broke the guy's jaw with his stick - go for it. We see fights after clean hits so that excuse doesn't hold water although the entire Oiler bench was probably thinking "I'm not going after him because I think it was accidental". Admit it, the Oilers need a few players that play with an edge and score 10-20 goals a year like Kassian .

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#62 Probably
January 24 2014, 11:09AM
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TonyT wrote:

If Gazdic doesn't grab and punch Kassian, is he still an "enforcer"?

Probably, because they are too STUPID to call up MACINTYRE, and, even if they did, he would not be allowed to do his job like he did in his last regular seaon Oiler game agaist the wild and Sraubitz! Google MacIntyre vs Staubitz!!! BEAUTFUL!!!!!!!!

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#63 Bucknuck
January 24 2014, 11:58AM
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Great Article! It's absolutely brilliant having ex-players who actually know what they are talking about doing some writing here. Thanks for the insight.

I watched the interview with Ference after the game and he laid it out for the reporters pretty clearly I figured. Eakins did a good job too.

Why is it that the Canucks always seem to have dirty players on their team? Players that don't back it up (usually). Kesler, Cooke, Kassian, and Burrows just to name a few. I look forward to seeing them miss the playoffs next year (I hope).

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#64 Shooter
January 24 2014, 04:05PM
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If there was a rating for team toughness the current Oilers team would have the record for the lowest score in the history of the league. It sickens me to say it but it is actually embarrassing to be an Oiler fan right now. Lowe should also be embarrassed. It's a clown college in Edmonton right now with all the bad publicity. Be a man and step down Lowe. You failed miserably and now you are being publicly embarrassed on a daily basis. It shows you how blindly arrogant he must be to not have quit already.

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#65 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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#66 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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#67 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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#68 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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#69 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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#70 Lochenzo
January 24 2014, 10:26AM
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camdog wrote:

What about the costs to Sam Gagner for taking an Axe chop to the face? How many pain killers was Sam on when he came back too early from his injury?

The cost to Sam is not lost on me. His two worst seasons are the two where he started the year injured, not to mention the physical price.

The way I see it, there is risk in playing this game. Every player accepts that by lacing up. There's also a specific and elevated risk in the enforcer's role. I would want to make sure that each enforcer understands the risks and that we're not pushing them to take on more risk than they are willing to accept. But then there is a discussion that if the enforcer is not doing his job, then he's out of the lineup. Very complicated topic.

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#71 TonyT
January 24 2014, 10:56AM
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Rama Lama wrote:

If Gazdic grabs and punches Kassian .......a suspension is going to follow. Then what we are back to Gagner being our enforcer?

If Gazdic doesn't grab and punch Kassian, is he still an "enforcer"?

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#72 Ryan2
January 24 2014, 11:42AM
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MAC962 wrote:

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.

Exactly. You do not have to drop the gloves and jump him, just take runs at their skill players and send the message that they will pay the price. In the dressing room, I am sure Kassian will get the message.

The only problem for the Oilers right now is that they do not have enough players that can hit hard enough to make the other team worry......

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#73 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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#74 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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#75 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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#76 Oiler Al
January 24 2014, 11:48AM
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Brian Sutherby wrote:

I think your missing my point. There is no one out there that would have liked to have seen something happen in that game more or all season for that matter, than me. I constantly speak to the softness of this team.

But I do feel for a guy like Gazdic who will take the brunt of this for not crossing the line, when in all likelihood he was told not to, or to proceed with extreme caution because the coach didn't want to get a fine or because the league had maybe said something to them or whatever the case may be.

Eakins didn't even put him out there against him for almost 40 minutes.

The time that elapsed between games causes some of that concern for the team which was clear post game.

I'm all with you, if they respond immediately or make more skill guys pay this sort of situation never occurs but it did and in my experiences it puts Gazdic in a weird spot not knowing what was said to him or what he was told.

Brian, seems there was no fear in the coach getting a fine when Jones took on Beiksa. In fact Jones has had more fights in the last ten games than Gadzic.

Gadzic should remember that he's not on the ice to make you forget about No.99.

The bigger question is, if the coach didnt want him to engage,... why in the world is this guy even in the line up .. worst hockey player in the NHL.

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#77 TonyT
January 24 2014, 12:20PM
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@Probably

Seen it, thought a light had gone on then they didn't bother to bring him back. I'm totally okay if the 4th line enforcer does some you... enforcing. Gazdic taking a two minute penalty for instigating is something I'd prefer over him dumping it at the red line for 90 seconds a game.

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#78 Cynic
January 24 2014, 01:12PM
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I lost double-digit IQ points reading these comments.

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#79 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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#80 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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#81 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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#82 Mack Strong
January 24 2014, 11:39AM
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Rama Lama wrote:

If Gazdic grabs and punches Kassian .......a suspension is going to follow. Then what we are back to Gagner being our enforcer?

When has Gags ever been our enforcer?

Or even an enforcer at all?

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#83 Rob...
January 24 2014, 01:44PM
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Cynic wrote:

I lost double-digit IQ points reading these comments.

Right... because there are so many teams in the NHL that rise to the top of the standings by always taking the high road and turning the other cheek. Obviously everyone calling for any form of retaliation is a mouth-breathing idiot who couldn't have possibly thought about what they were suggesting and any of the potential ramifications.

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#84 Rama Lama
January 24 2014, 03:52PM
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Mack Strong wrote:

When has Gags ever been our enforcer?

Or even an enforcer at all?

Sarcasm my friend..........we all know that the Oilers do not like using enforcers.

There will come a day when enough is enough and when either Hall, Ebs, or RNH get the the same treatment as Gagner received.......Big Mac will finally be called to play.

No team is scared of us, that much is obvious but Gazdic has done his part. He is NOT the problem here.

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#85 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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#86 oilerjed
January 24 2014, 09:57AM
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@ Brian Sutherby Whats your take, from a guy in the dressing room. How is a player that demands a trade regarded in the dressing room?

I can only hope tha the players on the Oilers arent the little b*&tches that are on this site. This person should demand a trade, that person should be calling his agent. With that kind of attitude I doubt they ever make the NHL. Pride is a massive motivator, even if we are not seeing so much of it this year. Contract is signed, obligations made. Who would want a player that so easily bails on a team. Is there anyway you trust that he is there for the team?

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#87 Rama Lama
January 24 2014, 10:42AM
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If Gazdic grabs and punches Kassian .......a suspension is going to follow. Then what we are back to Gagner being our enforcer?

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#88 Oil Fan in Flames Town
January 24 2014, 11:34AM
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Lochenzo wrote:

Hi Suds, great Tucker story. Would have loved to see a few more guys get their licks in on Darcy back in the day.

I definitely would have liked to have seen Kassian receive a few knuckle sandwichs too. But these days, I struggle with whether giving Gazdic marching orders to get Kassian is the right thing to do.

I used to idolize guys like Bob Probert back in the day and it deeply saddens me to see these enforcers go on to abuse substances, pain killers and some dying prematurely. For me, it's one thing to say guys like Gazdic has a job to do, it's quite another to order him to go fight this guy and go do it now. I just think Gazdic needs more control of that situation given the potential costs to him down the road.

This is beautifully said and I couldn't agree with you more. Every fight that Gazdic is in could have long term implications for his health and I hope that the decision to fight someone is left up to him.

Gazdic is obviously tough (this is a guy that fought Lucic FFS) and I have no doubt that he knows his role and would back up his teammates in a second no questions asked. At the same time if Eakins asked him not to go after Kassian then he has to listen, his spot on the roster is not guaranteed.

Besides if Kassian was truly laughing at Gags' injury then the entire team was disrespected and it isn't up to just one guy to respond.

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#89 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
January 24 2014, 06:44PM
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Oasis wrote:

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.

Soft team...soft coach....he knows his team is buttery soft and it's why he doesn't want them to engage in retaliation ...it's a losing game for him with this lineup. It's not just Kassian vs whoever....it's every man on the roster. We'd get our asses handed to us and he knows it. Sad really.

Last place in toughness, last place in the standings, one wonders if there's any correlation.

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#90 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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#91 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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#92 Oiler Al
January 24 2014, 03:08PM
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One Who Knows wrote:

FACT - all of the OILERS -including Gazdic- are scared to fight Kassian- look at the severe beating he gave EAGER last year! After that there is SEStitO, Weise, Bieksa, Alberts, Lain, Kesler and Burrows to worry about! Leaving Kassian and the Canucks alone is a GREAT IDEA - safe business practice - Hall, Ebs, RNH or a number of other little fairies could get hurt- real,real BAD!!!!!

Valid point, these guys could be coming at you over the boards relentlessly, but on the other hand Vancouver cannot and will not ever win the cup with all these no talent Loogans in the line up.Teams dont even dress these type of player in the playoff.s Good Luck.

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#93 wellsy
January 24 2014, 06:01PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

Sarcasm my friend..........we all know that the Oilers do not like using enforcers.

There will come a day when enough is enough and when either Hall, Ebs, or RNH get the the same treatment as Gagner received.......Big Mac will finally be called to play.

No team is scared of us, that much is obvious but Gazdic has done his part. He is NOT the problem here.

Mack Strong wrote: When has Gags ever been our enforcer?

Or even an enforcer at all?

Sarcasm my friend..........we all know that the Oilers do not like using enforcers.

There will come a day when enough is enough and when either Hall, Ebs, or RNH get the the same treatment as Gagner received.......Big Mac will finally be called to play.

No team is scared of us, that much is obvious but Gazdic has done his part. He is NOT the problem here.

Nope ,need way more grit in this line-up.

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#94 Rob
January 25 2014, 02:18PM
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This should have been settled in Vancouver. Ask him to go, if so, great, if not force him into it by playing the body hard on one of Kassian's linemates. Kassian doesn't do anything because he doesn't have to. That said, he was still running his mouth in Edmonton this week, to go after him wouldn't be premeditated in my opinion when he is still making waves.

He runs his mouth and taunts Gagner (and the rest of the team) because he knows he won't have to pay the piper. It's like a bully in the school yard, until someone stands up to him he will operate with impunity. He isn't nearly as impactful against gritty, hard-nosed teams.

Our skill guys need to earn respect and some have. Hall did with his brutal fight a couple years ago when he dropped the mitts ( and hurt himself ) with Dorsett?and when he kneed Clutterbuck. Opponents know that if they run him they might feel a bit of pain themselves. He seems to have more room out there this year( maybe it's just me)

Messier was similar back in the day, guys knew fit hey tried to take him hard into the boards or corner that they would be eating an elbow without delay.

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#95 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
January 24 2014, 06:56PM
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wergy wrote:

Why would Gagner cross check Gazdic in the teeth? I don't get that at all.

Makes sense to me. No way he's cross checking Kassian in the teeth.

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