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 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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#3 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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#4 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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#5 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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#6 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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#7 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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#8 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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#9 wergy
January 24 2014, 09:41AM
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2004Z06 wrote:

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

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

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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 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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#12 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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#13 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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#14 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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#15 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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#16 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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#17 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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#18 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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#19 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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#20 #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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#21 GlennH
January 24 2014, 09:41AM
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LURK wrote:

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

I agree with this, for the most part. Eakins needs to let these guys deal with this stuff, on the ice. It's ironic, considering how Eakins played the game, is his day. What I disagree with is that Tort's would send Sestito over the boards to deal with anyone running a Sedin, or Lou - not Kassian. Tort's knows how to run that aspect of the game. Not convinced Eakins does...

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#22 Mack Strong
January 24 2014, 09:46AM
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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!

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#23 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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#25 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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#26 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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#27 Rob...
January 24 2014, 09:54AM
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What prevented Gazdic from telling Kassian: 'Look, I'm going to challenge you tonight, and if you don't drop the gloves first, I'm going to skate away. The next time I'm on the ice, I'm going to grab the most skilled player you've got on the ice at the time and I'm going to do my best to imagine that he's you.'?

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#28 camdog
January 24 2014, 10:14AM
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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.

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?

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#29 fasteddy
January 24 2014, 10:28AM
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I feel like everyone keeps missing the number one problem with our rebuild; we didn't have veterans that could play important minutes while the young guys work their way in. And the truth is we likely wouldn't have drafted so high if we did. Its a catch 22.....going off on K-Lowe is ridiculous in my opinion. He admitted a long time ago he made a mistake after the 2006 run trying to keep things together rather than re-tooling. That was a mistake with the fans and remaining players in mind. We would have been screaming from the rafters if he started unloading some of those guys at the time. The idea to acquire high end talent through the draft is, in my opinion, better than middling along for years on end like a Nashville, etc. Unfortunately there are tremendous pains that come along with it. Ill take it though to see the talent we have now over watching Horcoff be our number one option for the power play. (I liked Horcoff, but for different reasons than being our trigger man)

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#30 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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#31 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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#32 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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#33 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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#34 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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#35 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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#36 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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#37 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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#38 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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#39 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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#40 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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#41 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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#42 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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#43 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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#44 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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#45 Lochenzo
January 24 2014, 10:05AM
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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.

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#46 oildawg99
January 24 2014, 10:34AM
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The most frustrating part is this could have been a real team building moment for this group. They didn't need to jump Kassian. they simply needed to show some push back physically. It would have said a lot if some of our skill guys came out with a chip on their shoulder. I am so tired of all the sh!t eating grins on the faces of the opposition here as they come in and its like a game of shinny for them.

Kassian won't fight? Start taking some hard runs at their skill players and he will need to come to the defence of his own teammates. Gazdic should take a hard run at Luongo or Sedin and force Kassian to do something about it. And I am not talking about suspend-able offences, get in Lou's crease bump him, chirp him, grab Sedin after the whistle and push him around.

the saddest part is our ego maniac of a coach will never realize this as he was "playing to win". Hows that working out for ya Eakins? Your team is the easiest to play against in the league, the other team should just ditch their shoulder pads when they play against the oil and Eakins " super competitive team"

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#47 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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#48 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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#49 One Who Knows
January 24 2014, 01:48PM
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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!!!!!

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#50 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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