GDB 66.0: A FASTH START

Jason Gregor
March 11 2014 11:58AM

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Viktor Fasth stopped 19 of 21 shots in regulation and three in the shotout to win his NHL debut 3-2 over Nashville on January 26th, 2013. He went on to win his first eight NHL games with a dazzling .934sv% and a 1.87 GAA.

During his next twenty starts, 15 last year and 5 this year, he's compiled a 9-8-3 record with a .901sv% and a 2.45 GAA. Tonight in Minnesota, he'll get his first start as an Oiler and his first NHL start since November 18th, 2013.

He is excited about the opportunity to compete for the starting job in Edmonton, but he'll need to be very good down the stretch to match Ben Scrivens.

Fasth should have ample opportunity to impress the coaching staff and his teammates. The Oilers have been out shot in 11 of their past 12 games by an average of 36.4 to 25.3. The only game the Oilers weren't out shot was in a 3-0 loss to Minnesota with both teams firing 21 shots.

Fasth will need to play like he did last January and February if he hopes to play as much as Scrivens. Scrivens has been exceptional in ten starts with the Oilers. He is 5-5 with a 2.30 GAA and a sparkling .938sv%.

LINEUP

Hall-Gagner-Perron
Yakupov-RNH-Eberle
Hendricks-Gordon-Joensuu
Gazdic-Smyth-Jones

Marincin-Petry
Fraser-J.Schultz
Klefbom-Ference

Fasth

Gagner's line played very well vs. LA. Hall has four points in his last two games and Gagner is starting to show some offensive life. They will need to be very good again if the Oilers hope to start the road trip with a win.

The RNH line wasn't great vs. LA and individually they've struggled to score goals recently. Eberle has 1 goal and 3 points in his last 9 games. RNH has 0 goals and 3 points in his last 11 games, while Yakupov has 1 goal and 6 points in his last 10 games. Yakupov has at least produced some points, but these three need to score more consistently.

Oscar Klefbom makes his NHL debut. The 19th overall pick in 2011 has had shoulder issues for a few years. He only played 11 games last season, and he's dressed for 45 of 60 games in OKC this year. Hall and Nugent-Hopkins returned from shoulder surgery and haven't had any issues, but Klefbom is still having minor shoulder problems. The Oilers are hoping he can stay healthy, but you wonder if one more surgery would help him stay healthy?

Regardless of his shoulder problems, he adds much needed size, strength and mobility on the backend. If he stays healthy, I'd play him every game down the stretch. I don't need to see more of Philip Larsen to realize he isn't a long term answer.

QUICK HITS...

  • Ales Hemsky's comments yesterday in Ottawa had the Nation fired up. The Oilers management and players should take his comments to heart rather than brush them off. There are clearly some issues within the organization, and instead of saying Hemsky was never a leader, so he shouldn't be commenting on it, they must take hard look in the mirror and change some things.

    The young players need to be more competitive, and management needs to surround them with some veterans. No team wins with a top-six comprised of all young players. David Perron is the veteran of the group, but he's only been here for 65 games. They need a veteran skilled forward to help teach, challenge and mentor the kids, and of course they need to improve the backend. Neither acquisition will be easy, but that has to be Craig MacTavish main focus this summer.

  • I've said for years that rotating the 4th line or 6/7 D-men wasn't going to solve anything, and it hasn't. Hemsky was bang on with that assessment. I wish Hemsky would have shared these thoughts when he was here, and maybe he did privately, but considering how Sheldon Souray was treated after he voiced his concerns, I can see why Hemsky said nothing. Granted, Hemsky's comments weren't a direct attack on any person specifically, but I wonder if he feared being ostracized if he spoke out?

  • Scary situation in Dallas last night with Rich Peverley. Early reports suggest he is doing okay, but no one knows if he will play hockey again. There is a push to have every hockey rink in Alberta equipped with an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) in the coming years. We will discuss this on my show today at 4 p.m. The AEDs are very easy to use. I took a CPR course two weeks ago where we got to use one, and they are idiot proof (I figured out to use it), so any parent or spectator could use it safely and properly in case of an emergency. They save lives.

  • No radical rule changes have emerged from the annual GM meetings, but there is an appetite to lower the amount of SO games. I'd love to see 3-on-3 after five minutes of 4-on-4, but the easiest change could be for them to switch ends. When teams have the long change we see more goals.

    NHL teams have scored 1492 goals in the first period, 1844 in the second period and 1792 in the third. The difference between the 2nd and 3rd period isn't much, but clearly most teams feel their way into games in the first. Switching ends in the SO might increase scoring a bit, but I'd like to see them do that and play four minutes of 3-on-3.

  • I'd love to see the NHL adapt a new point system that rewards teams for winning in regulation, three points, but right now the league, sadly, has no interest in it.

TONIGHT....

girlsgonewild

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers' struggles in Minnesota continue. They are 2-14-3 in their last 19 visits to the Excel Energy Centre, and they pick up their 15th loss in their last 20 trips by a 3-1 score.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers get out shot. The good news is the Wild don't generate many shots so it will only be about 25-22.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Klebom levels Dany Heatley with a solid check in the second period and instantly becomes a fan favourite.

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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#101 Anton
March 11 2014, 07:53PM
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Rod from Viking wrote:

No I just put my opinion on here like most everyone else without adding personal insults.

Ah, I see why now, I relied the wrong message. It was meant for "FireKLowe" on his comment about TSN and SN.

Sorry if I offended you.

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#102 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
March 11 2014, 07:57PM
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Fasth will be one of the three stars.

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#103 Jordan1126
March 11 2014, 08:10PM
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Why don't they play 8 minutes of OT 4 on 4

The key is that if it is tied after that they each only get 1 point.

Maybe teams would push more or even pull their goalie for the extra point.

Refs are always tentative to award a penalty shot rather then a hook or a trip but yet we settle games with it. It would be like a field goal competition for football ot

3 points regulation win 2 points ot win 1 for ot loser 1 point each for ot tie

By the way when was the last time the oilers had a penalty shot lol

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#104 **
March 11 2014, 08:14PM
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the oilers should change their name to the Edmonton Golfers

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#105 Jordan1126
March 11 2014, 08:15PM
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Oilers can't fire 6 rings because then they would have to change the city of champions signs =)

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#106 The Real Scuba Steve
March 11 2014, 08:16PM
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Butters wrote:

Still better than being a Canucks fan.

That's because they not used to losing on epic scale like the Oilers do. We have been going through that for 10 years.

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#107 ONTARIO OILERS FAN
March 11 2014, 08:17PM
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Just a quick question..... How much longer can this team suck? The Islanders from the west (Edm) are terrible.

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#108 **
March 11 2014, 08:26PM
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So, hustling got the Oilers a goal. Imagine that.

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#109 Anton
March 11 2014, 08:27PM
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That was a good move by Ference to catch up and feed it to Perron.

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#110 Rick Stroppel
March 11 2014, 08:34PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Hemsky wasn't going to re-sign with the Oilers, even if they wanted to sign him.

He needed a change. He was mentally beaten down. I think his surge in Ottawa is due in part to his skill, but also the things that were weighing him down here have likely disappeared now that he is in Ottawa. Just a fresh start for him.

AMATEUR SHOW

IMHO part of Hemsky being "mentally beaten down" was turning on the radio one day to hear the new GM announce to the whole world that he couldn't wait to dump him and Horcoff. A smart GM might have said "we have a new coach, new players...let's see if we can maximize the value of these veteran players".

Has anyone ever heard of a GM in hockey (or any other sport for that matter) saying PUBLICLY, about veteran players under contract, we really want to get rid of these guys?

This franchise is an amateur show from top to bottom. Things are not bound to change in a major way until they get rid of Lowe, MacTavish, Eakins, Buchberger, Smith, and most of the scouts.

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#111 **
March 11 2014, 08:36PM
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looks like ference got tired of losing

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#112 Anton
March 11 2014, 08:36PM
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If Oilers win tonight, Ference should be the first star.

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#113 The Real Scuba Steve
March 11 2014, 08:37PM
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That was sweet...

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#114 Anton
March 11 2014, 08:44PM
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...how the thug like Cooke that league is still allow him to play...

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#115 ubermiguel
March 11 2014, 08:45PM
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Cleanest Matt Cooke hit ever.

Ference was pretty awful on two Wild goals, but he's made up for it tonight.

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#116 Cain
March 11 2014, 08:47PM
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Anton wrote:

...how the thug like Cooke that league is still allow him to play...

Huh? No more beer for you tonight...lol

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#117 Brian
March 11 2014, 08:47PM
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Rick Stroppel wrote:

AMATEUR SHOW

IMHO part of Hemsky being "mentally beaten down" was turning on the radio one day to hear the new GM announce to the whole world that he couldn't wait to dump him and Horcoff. A smart GM might have said "we have a new coach, new players...let's see if we can maximize the value of these veteran players".

Has anyone ever heard of a GM in hockey (or any other sport for that matter) saying PUBLICLY, about veteran players under contract, we really want to get rid of these guys?

This franchise is an amateur show from top to bottom. Things are not bound to change in a major way until they get rid of Lowe, MacTavish, Eakins, Buchberger, Smith, and most of the scouts.

Agree with all you say with one exception : keep MacT. His remarks about bold moves and a couple of players were that of a rookie GM antsy to make an impact. He is smart, measured and will be ok IMHO. Made mistakes and will make more as he learns the job. But he has done more to help than hurt so far. Do the question is; who is better and available.

But this summer, run Bucky, Smitty, pro scouts and 6 Rings out of here . Tahr a hard look at Stu and his scouts.

Your welcome.

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#118 **
March 11 2014, 08:48PM
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So far so good with the new goalies.

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#119 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
March 11 2014, 08:49PM
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So just a theoretical question......if we pick fifth or sixth and we don't get Ekblad, Reinhart, Bennett, or Draisaitl....who do we pick?

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#120 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
March 11 2014, 08:50PM
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Fasth wins in a shoot out!

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#121 **
March 11 2014, 08:52PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

So just a theoretical question......if we pick fifth or sixth and we don't get Ekblad, Reinhart, Bennett, or Draisaitl....who do we pick?

Andre the Giant

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#122 Anton
March 11 2014, 08:53PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

So just a theoretical question......if we pick fifth or sixth and we don't get Ekblad, Reinhart, Bennett, or Draisaitl....who do we pick?

Draisaitl will still be available at 7th if Oilers don't draft him.

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#123 kale
March 11 2014, 08:53PM
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I really want to see how fasth does in the shootout

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#124 ONTARIO OILERS FAN
March 11 2014, 08:54PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

So just a theoretical question......if we pick fifth or sixth and we don't get Ekblad, Reinhart, Bennett, or Draisaitl....who do we pick?

If Ekblad gone by the time we pick, trade the damn pick for a legit 1-2 pairing Dman that can help come October!!!

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#125 Dave
March 11 2014, 08:54PM
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Anton wrote:

...how the thug like Cooke that league is still allow him to play...

Just before the hit I was thinking ..what is Gagner doing on the ice with a minute to go.

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#126 An even greasier goal
March 11 2014, 08:54PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

So just a theoretical question......if we pick fifth or sixth and we don't get Ekblad, Reinhart, Bennett, or Draisaitl....who do we pick?

Nobody, you trade the pick for an nhl-calibre defenseman. Whether that involves packaging the pick or not, you trade it at that point.

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#127 Anton
March 11 2014, 09:04PM
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Hall for first star!

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#128 **
March 11 2014, 09:07PM
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"You can taste the difference quality (goaltending) makes"

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#129 Reg Dunlop
March 11 2014, 09:08PM
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An even greasier goal wrote:

Nobody, you trade the pick for an nhl-calibre defenseman. Whether that involves packaging the pick or not, you trade it at that point.

Honestly, if the available talent doesn't intrest the oil when they pick, what makes you think it would be worth a real player to another team? Keep the pick and develop the player. Seems to have worked with Marincin.

Another thing. When was the last time an oiler was booed? Not including fans at rexall, I can't remember. Perron earns the catcalls and I love it.

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#130 **
March 11 2014, 09:09PM
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Brian wrote:

Agree with all you say with one exception : keep MacT. His remarks about bold moves and a couple of players were that of a rookie GM antsy to make an impact. He is smart, measured and will be ok IMHO. Made mistakes and will make more as he learns the job. But he has done more to help than hurt so far. Do the question is; who is better and available.

But this summer, run Bucky, Smitty, pro scouts and 6 Rings out of here . Tahr a hard look at Stu and his scouts.

Your welcome.

You're

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#131 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
March 11 2014, 09:12PM
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Wow....all three stars are Minnesota players.....no Fasth? ÖÄÜ?

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#132 Johnnydapunk
March 11 2014, 09:16PM
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As much as I am an Oil fan, the better team lost.

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#133 Anton
March 11 2014, 09:17PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

Wow....all three stars are Minnesota players.....no Fasth? ÖÄÜ?

I guess when they choose three stars that they never realize that Oilers were on ice too. At least that they won something tonight right?

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#134 Rod from Viking
March 11 2014, 09:19PM
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Anton wrote:

Ah, I see why now, I relied the wrong message. It was meant for "FireKLowe" on his comment about TSN and SN.

Sorry if I offended you.

Accepted, my wife was terrified that I would have to bounce all opinion's off her if I quit commenting on here.

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#135 bwar
March 11 2014, 09:23PM
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Why did they have a shoot out at the end of a game I'm sure the Oilers lost? Must be trying to boost interest in the game I guess.

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#136 Spoils
March 11 2014, 09:24PM
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Anybody else impressed with Eberle's shootout goal? wawaweewa can his hands move!

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#137 RexHolez
March 11 2014, 09:48PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Hemsky wasn't going to re-sign with the Oilers, even if they wanted to sign him.

He needed a change. He was mentally beaten down. I think his surge in Ottawa is due in part to his skill, but also the things that were weighing him down here have likely disappeared now that he is in Ottawa. Just a fresh start for him.

I think every single player on this team needs a "fresh start" on another team

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#138 Harry
March 11 2014, 11:05PM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

I made my mind up about his Fasth kid. I like him, I like him a lot! Just what we needed, right when we needed it.

This message sponsored in part by Aaron Ekblad, along with the Committee for a Better Oiler Blueline (CBOB) next season.

Fasth is 31. Ekblad is 17. Whos the kid?

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#139 Zarny
March 11 2014, 11:20PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

So just a theoretical question......if we pick fifth or sixth and we don't get Ekblad, Reinhart, Bennett, or Draisaitl....who do we pick?

Michael Dal Colle, Hayden Fleury or Nick Ritchie.

Bob McKenzie has Dal Colle 4th so we could get Draisaitl at 5th or 6th.

I don't think it matters. No one in this draft is considered exceptional. This group is more like 2006 where Erik Johnson and Jordan Staal went 1-2 and NYI got Kyle Okposo at 7.

Of course, Toews went 3rd in 2006. Bennett might be that guy this year.

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#140 Dan
March 11 2014, 11:38PM
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Spoils wrote:

Anybody else impressed with Eberle's shootout goal? wawaweewa can his hands move!

Yup, 6mill a year for a shootout specialist

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#141 Zarny
March 12 2014, 12:09AM
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@Reg Dunlop

You mean like how last year the 9th overall pick didn't get NJ Cory Schneider?

Or perhaps Carolina didn't trade the 8th overall pick with Brandon Sutter and Bryan Dumoulin for Jordan Staal?

A top 6 pick is certainly worth a player. A very, very good player. Who is ready now; not in 4-5 years.

And never assume top players aren't available. Seguin, Schneider, Richards, Carter...you never know how a GM really feels until you plop a juicy prospect on their lap.

For the right package Garth Snow might give us Tavares.

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#142 2015Playoffs?Nope!
March 12 2014, 09:19AM
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Rick Stroppel wrote:

AMATEUR SHOW

IMHO part of Hemsky being "mentally beaten down" was turning on the radio one day to hear the new GM announce to the whole world that he couldn't wait to dump him and Horcoff. A smart GM might have said "we have a new coach, new players...let's see if we can maximize the value of these veteran players".

Has anyone ever heard of a GM in hockey (or any other sport for that matter) saying PUBLICLY, about veteran players under contract, we really want to get rid of these guys?

This franchise is an amateur show from top to bottom. Things are not bound to change in a major way until they get rid of Lowe, MacTavish, Eakins, Buchberger, Smith, and most of the scouts.

Wait until you see what Chabot does to Fasth and Scrivens... Career killer is what he is. i give it two years before both of these goalies clear waivers and are sent to the AHL.

Sorry Scrivens, but signing here was a terrible idea. We are glad to have you, but you wont be glad to be here...

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