THE TEAM....

Jason Gregor
January 07 2014 10:30AM

Canada finally announced their 2014 roster for the Sochi Olympics, and without a doubt the biggest surprise is Claude Giroux not making the team.

There are eleven returning players on the 25-man roster, but in my eyes Rick Nash continues to be the most overrated player in the NHL. Nash has had one 70-point season, and since the 2010 Olympics he has scored 185 points in 228 games, 25th most amongst Canadian-born players. In that same time span Marty St.Louis has scored the most points, 271, while Giroux is third with 255.

Giroux is flat out more competitive game in, game out than Nash. Nash has only two goals in 16 NHL playoff games, but Hockey Canada seems to put more onus on the fact he has played well at the water-downed World Championships.

Nash did play okay at the last Olympics, but how much of that was because he was on Toews line, and Toews was the best player in the tournament.

Nash has 18 points in 27 games this year. No one can say he is playing well, or close to the level of Claude Giroux, but Hockey Canada choose him because he's played for them before. I guess Giroux should not play crappier in the NHL so his team could miss the playoffs and he can pad his stats at the World Championships.

Here is the roster, returning players have **.

Goalies:

  • Roberto Luongo**
  • Carey Price
  • Mike Smith

Defence:

  • Jay Bouwmeester
  • Drew Doughty**
  • Dan Hamuis
  • Duncan Keith**
  • Alex Pietrangelo
  • PK Subban
  • Marc-Edouard Vlasic
  • Shea Weber**

Forwards:

  • Jamie Benn
  • Patrice Bergeron**
  • Jeff Carter
  • Sidney Crosby**
  • Matt Duchene
  • Ryan Getzlaf**
  • Chris Kunitz
  • Patrick Marleau**
  • Rick Nash**
  • Corey Perry**
  • Patrick Sharp
  • Steven Stamkos
  • John Tavares
  • Jonathan Toews**

I still believe Canada is the favourite, because of the blueline and their top-six forwards; Crosby, Tavares, Stamkos, Getzlaf, Perry and Toews.

It will be an awesome tournament and I can't wait to watch, but picking Nash over Giroux makes little sense. Essentially they are basing it on seven good games that happened four years ago. Horrible decision.

Which decision surpised you?

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#51 Eric
January 07 2014, 11:23AM
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It is not all about the points. Most people think if you build an All-Star team you win. I really don't care that X got more points than Y. Look at J. Toews Bergeron 2 way players that put up points. YOUR BUILDING A TEAM.

Nash has an incredible record for international hockey.

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#52 Tikkanese
January 07 2014, 11:25AM
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World Cup is superior to the Olympics.

1. Every team gets an actual training camp. This eliminates the debates over who should have been named to the team. It also creates chemistry for the teams by not relying on one or two practices for that chemistry.

2. No interupted NHL schedule

3. No condensed NHL schedule

4. No 5 A.M. game times due to time zone issues

5. Gives us hockey in the summer

6. The players will like it better as they will get paid for it as opposed to the Olympics

7. If Olympics are back to the amateurs, it gives the possibility of another "Miracle On Ice" to happen again

8. An amateur Olympic program in the past gave us great players such as Cliff Ronning, that would have never made it otherwise. It also strengthens other tournaments such as the Spengler Cup

9. There would be more parity in the Olympics. Even the USA domination of basketball is another example for things to change

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#53 Zarny
January 07 2014, 11:25AM
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A-Mc wrote:

I had 1 hope going in: i really wanted either Duchene or Hall to make the team. Both these players have something to their game that is hard to pin down. I think, if given the opportunity, they could really shine.

I am really happy for Matt Duchene! The announcement leaves me with a smile on my face.

My only gripe revolves around Nash. He's an OK player but he is no where near the player of some of these other guys being left off.

Many of the players being left off the team contribute greatly to their clubs. WHen they step on the ice, it's apparent that they are in play and they are difference makers. The only way i know Rick Nash is on the ice is to look for his number.. He doesnt stand out and doesnt really contribute in a way that you would expect to see from a player that was named to the best Olympic hockey team of 2014.

Nash had 42 pts in 44 games last year and played great. He has looked less than himself after the concussion this year and I agree there are better picks.

But to say Nash is an "OK" player is ridiculous.

OK players don't even get mentioned in the group of players cut before making final cuts for invitations to the orientation camp.

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#54 MAC962
January 07 2014, 11:25AM
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Some questions for sure, But if we win it was correct, if we lose then we will further question these picks for 4 more years.

Go Canada ! once you have that jersey on , no matter if i agree or not you are my boys !.

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#55 FSD
January 07 2014, 11:26AM
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Look at all these Oiler fans talking about who should and should not be on the team.

Your credibility is lacking most of you thought the Oilers were a playoff team this year.

Ha Ha Ha

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#56 Vernon Huynh
January 07 2014, 11:26AM
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pelhem grenville wrote:

... anyone who says that 87 is a great player AND the face of Team Canada but is not the veteran presence needs to rethink his statement...someone said Marleau, kidding right? look further up and down this rooster and find the missing vet you speak about...•Jay Bouwmeester?

if it's not Sid you tell us all here Vern...who do you see who's better than Sid...

best player = best leader right?

wrong....as an oiler fan i'd think you would know this more then anyone...who was the last best player while also team captain for us? Doug Weight probably in what 2004? 03? since then...jason smith who was not our best player, then moreau and now ference same deal.

why did hall not get the captaincy of the oil this year? is hall not a great player or not the face of the oil? i wouldn't be surprised if 87 is not named captain of canada and instead it goes to someone like....keith or weber or whatever...you get my point.

(p.s. thanks for agreeing with me on the marleau thing, he's one of the FEW question marks that many ppl have already mentioned)

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#57 pelhem grenville
January 07 2014, 11:26AM
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Oilerz4life wrote:

Your article failed to mention that the Edmonton Oilers are being considered to represent the best that Canada has to offer in Interpretive Ice Dancing at the Sochi Games.

...yikes can you and all the rest of the smarmy types here stop with the Oiler jabs?

this is the OLYMPIC TEAM we're talking about!

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#58 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
January 07 2014, 11:29AM
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Oilerz4life wrote:

Your article failed to mention that the Edmonton Oilers are being considered to represent the best that Canada has to offer in Interpretive Ice Dancing at the Sochi Games.

And Gagner's in the Luge! The guy LOVES to slide on ice!

And bonus....his feet don't hang over the back of that little wee sled!

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#59 Zarny
January 07 2014, 11:30AM
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Jason wrote:

Didn't like Mike Smith over MA Fleury.
Didn't like Dan Hamhuis over Brent Seabrook
Didn't like Jeff Carter and Rick Nash over Martin St. Louis and Claude Giroux.

Can live with the rest.

MA Fleury has consistently played like garbage in the playoffs the last few years. He had zero chance of making the team.

Hamhuis shoots left; Seabrook shoots right.

I agree with St. Louis and Giroux over Nash for sure. Carter less so. I'm not convinced he'll be as effective on big ice but he scores G and has come up big in the playoffs.

Playing good when it counts and with all of the pressure counts and it counts a lot.

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#60 Spydyr
January 07 2014, 11:30AM
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Tikkanese wrote:

World Cup is superior to the Olympics.

1. Every team gets an actual training camp. This eliminates the debates over who should have been named to the team. It also creates chemistry for the teams by not relying on one or two practices for that chemistry.

2. No interupted NHL schedule

3. No condensed NHL schedule

4. No 5 A.M. game times due to time zone issues

5. Gives us hockey in the summer

6. The players will like it better as they will get paid for it as opposed to the Olympics

7. If Olympics are back to the amateurs, it gives the possibility of another "Miracle On Ice" to happen again

8. An amateur Olympic program in the past gave us great players such as Cliff Ronning, that would have never made it otherwise. It also strengthens other tournaments such as the Spengler Cup

9. There would be more parity in the Olympics. Even the USA domination of basketball is another example for things to change

I also like the World Cup idea but it should be every four years not every two. If it happens too often players will start to back out after long playoff runs.

They should also find that old Canada Cup trophy , award that and call it The Canada Cup.

Gretzky to Lemiuix..... Will it ever get better?

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#61 Chris
January 07 2014, 11:31AM
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surprises:

left off - St Louis, Giroux included - Nash, Benn, Marleau

I'm not surprised Hall didn't make it. Ithink he should be there as 13 or 14th fwd at teh very least. And I just can't believe he's not included in the notable ommissions. Didn't we just go through Team Canada coming in 4th (WJHC) with a "safe team" and with the "best fit".

Hall hurt by playing for a losing team? WEll Nash starred on those powerhouses in Columbus and NY. And Marleau's SJ Sharks have disappeared in the playoffs as many times as the oilers have missed. But the 2 Memorial Cup winner& MVP doesn't.

How many natural wingers on the team? I count 5 (source NHL.com) and 9 natural centers. I guess knowing how to play wing isn't a consideration. They'll adjust.

I wish them good luck. They going to need it!

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#62 tileguy
January 07 2014, 11:32AM
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How interesting that Bellov made the Russian team. I wonder if the oil will harness his talent properly or this guy gone in June?

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#63 Mo Playoffs Mo Problems
January 07 2014, 11:32AM
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Imagine Canada's "B-Team". They could probably still contend for a medal:

Hall - Thornton - Couture

Neal - Giroux - Eberle

St. Louis - E. Staal - J. Staal

Lucic - Seguin - Ladd

Reserves: Marchand - M. Richards - Doan - J. Williams

Boyle - Seabrook

Giordano - Phaneuf

Letang - M. Staal

Reserves: Girardi - Beauchemin

Bernier

Harding

Ward

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#64 S cottV
January 07 2014, 11:32AM
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@Eric

Yeah - hard to ignore that Nash is much bigger with more reach, is skilled and doesnt give up anything in speed, as compared to Giroux.

As long as you can move, that stuff comes in handy on the big rink.

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#65 hankthetank
January 07 2014, 11:32AM
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Martin St.Louis > Rick Nash

WTF?

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#66 A-Mc
January 07 2014, 11:33AM
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Zarny wrote:

Nash had 42 pts in 44 games last year and played great. He has looked less than himself after the concussion this year and I agree there are better picks.

But to say Nash is an "OK" player is ridiculous.

OK players don't even get mentioned in the group of players cut before making final cuts for invitations to the orientation camp.

So what?

St. Louis had 60, Eric Stall 53 and Taylor hall 50.

Mike Ribeiro had more points than Nash last year, with 49

Giroux had 48, Ladd had 46 and Kadri had 44, Moulson had 44 and Parenteau had 43pts.

Who gives a flying F#ck that Nash had 42 points last season.

With the super stars that comprise Team Canada, Nash is simply "OK". There are definitely better options.

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#67 pelhem grenville
January 07 2014, 11:34AM
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...still haven't answered the question Vern

who's your 'leader' on this team

EDIT ... whoever did the last edit on my comment ...wtf

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#68 Newj
January 07 2014, 11:35AM
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No Joe Thornton?

Until Tavares 5pt night yesterday, he was tied for 3rd in NHL scoring & leading the league in helpers.

I get the issue that he is behind Syd, Getzlaf & Bergeron at centre, but he could not make a valuable winger?

Many say he is too slow? He wasn't invited to the summer camp, but somehow I've got to believe he's capable of helping Team Cda.

What am I missing..he wasnt on many radars of the so called pundits.

Only one I didnt agree with was Nash on the team..should have been Jumbo Joe or MSL.

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#69 OilDieHard
January 07 2014, 11:35AM
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FSD wrote:

Look at all these Oiler fans talking about who should and should not be on the team.

Your credibility is lacking most of you thought the Oilers were a playoff team this year.

Ha Ha Ha

enter the trolls....

i wouldn't have taken Vlasic or Hamhuis over Seabrook, but other than that, it's a pretty good selection of players.

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#70 oilerjed
January 07 2014, 11:35AM
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geoilersgist wrote:

I am shocked that Nash made the team also. I don't think Stamkos will be ready in time either. The guy had his leg broken and just began skating on his own yesterday. Little surprised they left Seabrook off the team too.

I wouldnt be surprised if he is ready. I had this same injury last spring. Went undiagnosed for a month since I could walk okay on it I thought it was just bruised. After finally getting xrayed the Doc mentioned that using it actually helps heal it faster. Was back at Taekwondo after 4-5 weeks, kicking as hard as I wanted. Long story short Stamkos should be able to light it uo in Sochi

Edit: should have mentioned that it is a none weight bearing bone which is why I could walk on it ok.

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#71 corky
January 07 2014, 11:36AM
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Whats laughable is that Kevin Lowe is still part of this Team Canada "brainstrust".

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#72 Newj
January 07 2014, 11:37AM
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Mo Playoffs Mo Problems wrote:

Imagine Canada's "B-Team". They could probably still contend for a medal:

Hall - Thornton - Couture

Neal - Giroux - Eberle

St. Louis - E. Staal - J. Staal

Lucic - Seguin - Ladd

Reserves: Marchand - M. Richards - Doan - J. Williams

Boyle - Seabrook

Giordano - Phaneuf

Letang - M. Staal

Reserves: Girardi - Beauchemin

Bernier

Harding

Ward

Yup...thats a world class line up right there!

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#73 Vernon Huynh
January 07 2014, 11:39AM
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pelhem grenville wrote:

...still haven't answered the question Vern

who's your 'leader' on this team

EDIT ... whoever did the last edit on my comment ...wtf

based on the selection of the team i would say it is indeed 87, however that's getting off topic of my original point that they should have taken MSL to be the veteran leader.

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#74 OilDieHard
January 07 2014, 11:39AM
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corky wrote:

Whats laughable is that Kevin Lowe is still part of this Team Canada "brainstrust".

Lowe would actually have to have a brain to be part of a braintrust...

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#75 Oilerz4life
January 07 2014, 11:42AM
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pelhem grenville wrote:

...yikes can you and all the rest of the smarmy types here stop with the Oiler jabs?

this is the OLYMPIC TEAM we're talking about!

Sorry, I forgot that this is OILERSNATION.COM. What are you the blog police?

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#76 Nowuknow
January 07 2014, 11:44AM
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Had. 6rings involved in this selection process he knows a thing or two about losing. No metals for Canada but mental victory!

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#77 bwar
January 07 2014, 11:45AM
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Rick Nash? Thats a typo right? Surely I misread that. Seems to me there are numerous players more deserving of a roster spot than Rick Nash.

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#78 ToppsSmith
January 07 2014, 11:46AM
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A-Mc wrote:

So what?

St. Louis had 60, Eric Stall 53 and Taylor hall 50.

Mike Ribeiro had more points than Nash last year, with 49

Giroux had 48, Ladd had 46 and Kadri had 44, Moulson had 44 and Parenteau had 43pts.

Who gives a flying F#ck that Nash had 42 points last season.

With the super stars that comprise Team Canada, Nash is simply "OK". There are definitely better options.

Why are you obsessing with points. We have a ton of scoring on the team, guys like Nash will play a physical role that others can't. He plays a complete game, which will at times not score, but will tighten up a complete D-Game. Why does everyone want a team of cherry pickers. Teams built that way in the past has failed. I think Nash was a smart pick.

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#79 He Who Knows
January 07 2014, 11:46AM
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I thought Kevin Lowe was comic relief for team Canada executives. Claude Giroux not making the team was probably Lowe's bright idea..Erroneous Erroneous

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#80 Zamboni Driver
January 07 2014, 11:48AM
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@Tikkanese

I think that most of this post was written in a language only Esa Tikkanen would understand.

Particularly #8 and #9.

CLIFF RONNING??!!

Also, pros already play in hoops, and the Americans have had to work their asses off lately to win. In fact they won a bronze in 2004.

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#81 pelhem grenville
January 07 2014, 11:50AM
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hey Vern... ...with this team I don't believe Canada will even medal at Sochi...

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#82 A-Mc
January 07 2014, 11:51AM
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ToppsSmith wrote:

Why are you obsessing with points. We have a ton of scoring on the team, guys like Nash will play a physical role that others can't. He plays a complete game, which will at times not score, but will tighten up a complete D-Game. Why does everyone want a team of cherry pickers. Teams built that way in the past has failed. I think Nash was a smart pick.

The guy i quoted used points, so i responded in his language.

I'm far from obsessing. Please go back and read what was said in the discussion from the begining.

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#83 S cottV
January 07 2014, 11:52AM
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I wonder where the Oilers had Jamie Benn in the 2007 draft?

They took a lot of guys ahead of him that never turned into anything close to this guy.

He would sure look good at centre for the Oilers.

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#84 Ari Gold
January 07 2014, 11:53AM
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I know y'all dislike Nash and consider Giroux a 'better hockey player'. I believe this is true in a top 6 role. Nash however played on a checking line with Toews & Richards in the 2010 games. That line was magnificent at shutting down Dats-Ovi-Malkin.

Sadly, Giroux's passion will be Ieft out. I still remember him laying out Crosby 30sec into Game 5 before the Flyers knocked out The Pens 2012. Perhaps the rapport between Crosby & Giroux played a roll!

I believe Babcock will put Toews-Sharp-Nash together for a checking line. No one can score on these guys!

My lines.

Kunitz-Crosby-Stamkos Benn-Getzlaf-Perry Sharp-Toews-Nash Duchesne-Tavares-Carter Bergeron (Marleau-extra)

My alternatives: Mike Richards>Marleau Seabrook>Hamhuis (chemistry is a premium in this tourney, he & Keith) Anyone>Bouwmeester

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#85 A-Mc
January 07 2014, 11:56AM
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S cottV wrote:

I wonder where the Oilers had Jamie Benn in the 2007 draft?

They took a lot of guys ahead of him that never turned into anything close to this guy.

He would sure look good at centre for the Oilers.

It might spark some epic LULZ if someone were to 'leak' edmontons draft rankings over the last 8 years.

I'm rather curious about the disparity between teams' rankings, and their reasoning behind it.

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#86 pelhem grenville
January 07 2014, 11:58AM
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Oilerz4life wrote:

Sorry, I forgot that this is OILERSNATION.COM. What are you the blog police?

...no not the police but if you don't have anything else but donkey things to say (ice dancing) then drop the Oilez4life moniker and go with mister irrelevant instead...

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#87 Tikkanese
January 07 2014, 11:59AM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

I think that most of this post was written in a language only Esa Tikkanen would understand.

Particularly #8 and #9.

CLIFF RONNING??!!

Also, pros already play in hoops, and the Americans have had to work their asses off lately to win. In fact they won a bronze in 2004.

Yea 5'8" Cliff Ronning who probably would have never got an NHL shot if it wasn't for the Canadian program. 869 points in 1137 career NHL games. That's nothing to "??!!" about.

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#88 Will
January 07 2014, 12:04PM
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How in the world Hockey Canada took Nash, Duchene, Carter, and Kunitz over guys like Giroux, Thorton, and Eric Stall. Is simply baffling. Even if you want to make the argument that Kunitz is there to play LW and that's good because all we have is a bunch of centres. How you take Duchene over Eric Stall is just stunning.

I like that they took Boumester over Seabrook as Hitchcock explains the international ice as much more of a lateral game than the vertical one played in the NHL.

Our defence and goal tending should give us a chance for gold as long as the coaches aren't afraid to pull the goalie at the first sign of trouble during the round robin and give the job to whichever 3 is the hottest.

I'm really excited to watch Stamkos and Crosby play on a line together, and to watch the classic Canadian style of hockey whatever line they put together with Toews.

If I was doing line combos it would be: Kunitz Crosby Stamkos Tavaras Getzlaf Perry Benn Toews Nash Sharp Bergeron Carter

Defence I really don't think it matters.

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#89 Vernon Huynh
January 07 2014, 12:06PM
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pelhem grenville wrote:

hey Vern... ...with this team I don't believe Canada will even medal at Sochi...

being a canadian hockey fanatic....my heart will always cheer for canada (and the oilers) i definitely think on paper we still have the strongest team. It's just fun to debate decisions that the higher ups make.

everyteam had question marks really (i.e. no bobby ryan, belov for russia, etc...) i'm just looking forward to 3-4am hockey games in february

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#90 andrewmk20
January 07 2014, 12:08PM
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@Eric

Giroux has a much better compete level at both ends of the ice. Nash has basically built his reputation on about 3 really unbelievable highlight reel goals. He's a decent top 6 forward but you can't say that he's better defensively or offensively. Also Giroux can play wing or center, Nash can't.

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#91 Time Travelling Sean
January 07 2014, 12:08PM
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What if Crosby gets injured? Or Crosby hits an awful dry streak? Kunitz will be dead weight if that happens.

I'd rather have someone not ride Crosby's coat tails to success but could rather make Crosby better or if Crosby falters pick up the weight himself and help move the team/line.

Nash is getting there on legacy, I'd rather have Giroux on big ice than Nash on big ice.

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#92 john
January 07 2014, 12:09PM
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Team Canada will not win any medal at Sochi, so stop stressing over who made or didn't make the team. Oilers players can rest and relax, start fresh the second half and knock off teams trying to make playoffs.

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#93 A-Mc
January 07 2014, 12:12PM
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I hope stamkos can play but doing a little google searching brought me to this excerpt from an article:

“The fact that he has a broken leg, that it has required surgery, the typical recovery time for surgery for an injury of this nature is in the four- to six-month range,” Wells said.

The range of estimates, according to media reports, point to at least eight to 10 weeks for the bone to heal. Shadgan says the mean length of time taken to return to training is about five to seven months, though.

Doesnt look good..

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#94 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
January 07 2014, 12:14PM
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@john

So team Canada won't medal but the Oil will turn it around in the second half?

Pass that pipe, please.

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#95 pelhem grenville
January 07 2014, 12:16PM
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Vern...my concerns are two...goaltending and the big ice surface but I like that there's a righty and lefty on each D pairing...I like that Kunitz made it...I like that we have no smurfs (yes your MSL is big hearted)...but I worry about those things I mentioned...

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#96 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
January 07 2014, 12:23PM
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A-Mc wrote:

It might spark some epic LULZ if someone were to 'leak' edmontons draft rankings over the last 8 years.

I'm rather curious about the disparity between teams' rankings, and their reasoning behind it.

If you look closely at the Oil Change episode that covers the draft there are several frames of video where they show last years list but they blur out the names......but you can actually figure out the names based on the blurred letters, combined with the names we know are on the list, and the LENGTH of the names.

If I remember correctly they had Monahan at 4 and Nichushkyn right after Nurse. But my memory is bad....someone should go back and view it again.

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#97 john
January 07 2014, 12:23PM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

So team Canada won't medal but the Oil will turn it around in the second half?

Pass that pipe, please.

I m saying Oilers will play spoilers, they are not going to make playoffs this year or next year with Eakins. I don't smoke, I see Oilers getting smoked each game is enough for everyone.

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#98 Oilerz4life
January 07 2014, 12:25PM
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pelhem grenville wrote:

...no not the police but if you don't have anything else but donkey things to say (ice dancing) then drop the Oilez4life moniker and go with mister irrelevant instead...

Its an Oilers site. In case you haven't noticed, alot of lifelong fans make fun of the current plight of the Oilers around here. Interpretive Ice Dancing is an Olympic sport that I think the Oilers would represent well this year. Why don't you write up a set of site rules for us all to follow. Or since it aggravates you so much to see an Oilers comment you don't like on Oilersnation.com and being that you're in Ontario, you could stick to policing Leafs blog sites.

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#99 Jeffff
January 07 2014, 12:28PM
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Every player cannot be the same. You need to build a team, they picked team Canada with that in mind. Each player has a role to play with different strength's. Hall did not make this team because the didn't need another player with excellent speed. They needed something different.

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#100 Me
January 07 2014, 12:32PM
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St. Louis didn't make it because Yzerman was so embarassed and ticked off that the Bolts lost to the sOilers the other night. Ohhhhhh the shame.

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