Monday Mailbag - June 23rd

baggedmilk
June 23 2014 10:52AM

TimeToLearn

It's Monday morning, none of us want to be working, and we're looking for ways to kill time - enter the mailbag.  As always, this feature is completely dependant on you guys. If you've got a question you can email it to me at baggedmilk@oilersnation.com or hit me up on Twitter at @jsbmbaggedmilk.  

Enjoy. 

PizzaAndBeer

1) Nation citizen Dave Manson asks - I'm blown away by some of the stories from players 15+ years ago... ie: smoking in the showers after games/between periods, all-night benders the night before games... What are some of the most unhealthy/bizare events you've ever seen or heard about NHL players?

Lowetide: 

Hmmm. Guy Lafleur was a legend, but the Boys on the Bus of the 1980s have some stories to tell. There were lots and lots of parties in this city during the '80s and you could find them by spotting one or more black Porsche's parked in the vicinity. That's what my memories took me to, Edmonton, mid-to-late '80s and parties night and day (after hours a lot) in the city. CERTAINLY doesn't happen now. :-) 

Jason Strudwick: 

I will just say it can be a lot of fun to play in the NHL.

Jonathan Willis: 

I've read some stories, but I'm sure I can't compete with the guys who were around 15 years ago so I won't even try.

Jason Gregor: 

Not much nowadays. I actually think too many people worry about players partying nowadays. In Edmonton, people think the Oilers lose because the players go out after games. Look at the Flyers, they traded Richards and Carter because they supposedly partied too much. That really hurt the Kings. Oilers did the same when they moved Stoll, Torres and Greene. Expecting players to be choir boys all the time is ridiculous. The smart ones know when to party and when not to.

Robin Brownlee: 

Seen plenty. Heard plenty. Know plenty. Stays on the bus -- at least until the book comes out.

Brian Sutherby:

When I got traded to Dallas in the 08-09 season I walked into the shower for the first time and saw a silver can mounted on the wall in the corner. It said "Zubie" on it. I walked over and it was filled with cigarette butts. I couldn't believe in today's game a guy as good as Sergei Zubov was still able to do that in between periods.

One guy I played with went out the night before a game early in a tough season and had 4 points the next night. So the next night on the road he did it again and had another 4 point night. Obviously this turned into a thing and before you knew it he was a full blown alcoholic (kidding) and was leading the league in scoring. He ended up getting traded to a contender so I don't know when it stopped, but he didn't have a season like that again. It was pretty unbelievable.

baggedmilk:

I think it's pretty hilarious to read about guys crushing darts between periods.  I've also heard stories about guys doing bumps for days, back in the day, but that's all alleged of course. *wink*

ManOnLeash

2) Jesse Romaro asks - There were a lot of good free agent coaches available this offseason. If you were to guess, how much leash do you think Dallas Eakins will have this year?

Lowetide: 

I think the Oilers are committed to Eakins. Now, if he the team heads into the ditch right away this season all bets are off, but if he can keep the club in contention (at or slightly above a point-per-game) it's likely he'll be fine. Craig MacTavish is a very loyal person, as is Kevin Lowe and (clearly) Mr. Katz. 

Jason Strudwick: 

I have said it was the perfect storm for the Oilers last year. Many inexperienced players, a nhl rookie coach and gm that were learning on the job. Everyone should accept blame. It should not all be placed on Eakins.

I want to see Eakins grow as a coach. It will show for the way he handles players ice times and unexpected situations. I would like to see inconsistent or indifferent play met with reduced ice time and good play rewarded. I think less interaction with the media would be a good move. The way he dealt with the jersey toss was a mistake. Dealing with the bottle toss by Hall also should have been handled differently.

Jonathan Willis: 

Not long. If it weren't for the revolving door in the coaching position I'd imagine he'd be gone already.

Jason Gregor: 

He has the freedom to pick his coaches, but from what I hear it wasn’t easy. Regardless of how he got there, at least the head coach is in charge of who he works with. It shouldn’t have taken this long, IMO.

Robin Brownlee: 

Who are the quality coaches left now? Who will be available by the time the season starts? Can't project any of it to a good or bad start by the Oilers and how it'll impact the coaching staff here. Eakins has the full backing of MacTavish and Lowe. That's not going to change with a lousy first month or two.

Brian Sutherby: 

Unless they are absolutely horrendous (like as bad as they started last year) I think he stays the season. People are fooling themselves if they think this team is close to a championship and a lot of that falls on the roster makeup of this team. I think you have to arm the coach with a decent team. If they stay the same I could see a late- or off-season move.

Any improvement from last year's finish and I think he stays. Small improvements are a realistic expectation, anything greater than that is a bonus, but I don't think it should be expected with this roster. Perhaps a trade or acquisition before the start of the season may change that, but at this point I don't see why we should expect a big difference from last year and I don't fault the coach for that. 

This team has been bad for a long time through MANY coaches. You have to add some better pieces.

baggedmilk:

I'm actually surprised how often people ask about the coaching.  I'm not saying that Eakins is the best coach in the league, but it's obvious that MacT thinks this is the guy. I bet he lasts the season regardless of what the first month or two look like.

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3) @opie2316 asks - I hear everyone talking about Edmonton being a place where free agents don't want to go. Is the weather and city as big of a factor as being unable to win? What makes Edmonton so distasteful?

Lowetide: 

The number one factor is the losing. NHL players signed with Detroit because there was a chance to win Stanley, and if Edmonton becomes a contender to win it all then free agents will come here at market or below. I once asked Mark Napier how he felt when coming to Edmonton (80s) and he said he was thrilled—it was like going back to Montreal (a strong contender). Players with freedom to choose, will choose winning.

Jason Strudwick:

Imagine yourself landing in Edmonton in February at 2 am after a game in Vancouver. Driving from the airport through a snow covered landscape to the Hotel Mac. The next morning you awake and drive from the Mac to Rexall, not a great area of Edmonton. 

Visiting teams see the worst of Edmonton. That is the impression that stays with them. A new rink alters their view of Edmonton. Only winning will change the ability of the Oilers to acquire free agents without overpaying. Look at Detroit: with all due respect that is not a great looking city but they have a tradition of winning.

Jonathan Willis: 

I don't buy it. I've said this before: every individual is going to make his own decision based on his own private parameters. The biggest problem is that professional athletes like winning, and Edmonton hasn't shown any sign of being able to win in years and years. I think being in the north hurts, but I'd also imagine that a lot of athletes raised in Western Canada have warm feelings about the Oilers and about playing back at home; further some guys won't like the fishbowl but others will enjoy the attention. If the team wins, we'll stop hearing about what a horrible destination Edmonton is.

Jason Gregor: 

Losing eight years in a row is the main reason. Edmonton can’t sign every UFA available, and I think it has been overblown that they don’t come here.  Edmonton has signed UFAs the past few years, it just hasn’t been Ryan Suter, Zach Parise types…and those players also said no to winning teams. Money is always a factor, but until Edmonton is a playoff team agents won’t be calling telling the Oilers their client really wants to come here. Winning attracts players, not the weather. Weather is likely only a factor for those interested mainly in money, and you wouldn’t want those players anyways.

Robin Brownlee: 

Climate and quality of life in Edmonton has almost nothing to do with attracting free agents. Losing has everything to do with it. Established free agents are going to get their money no matter where they go. Most want a chance to win.

Brian Sutherby:

See the Detroit Red Wings for your answer. Yes weather and the type of city plays a factor for some players but ultimately players want to be a part of a winning organization.

baggedmilk:

I honestly believe that the high end players will come here if the team ever starts winning. Being at the bottom of the standings every single year isn't something I'd want to be a part of, I can't imagine NHLers being much different. 

BigDeak

4) Cody Anderson asks - I don't get the fascination with Justin Schultz. He looked better in his 1st season than the last, and reminds me of a winger than a defenceman.  Do you think he will develop into a 2 way d-man or that the Oilers would be better off trading him while his name is hot?

Lowetide: 

I think the jury is still out on Schultz. For me, the Oilers need to use him with a smart veteran and to give him plenty of offensive zone starts. I don't think he's going to be a difference-maker defensively, but he has wonderful offensive skills. How much value that has to an NHL team is open to question.

Jason Strudwick: 

I think he has made progress. Is it really fair to ask a d man to develop in the NHL playing top minutes most nights? 

Jonathan Willis: 

I don't know that I'd deal him (though I wouldn't rule it out in the right trade) because we don't really know for sure what he is yet. With that said, he's not a top pairing defenceman on most teams in the NHL right now and there are clubs where he'd be in awful tough to crack the top-four.

Jason Gregor: 

He has played 130 NHL games. I don’t understand why people expect him to be a Norris trophy candidate already. You could trade him, but only if the return is good. I wouldn’t give up on him this soon. He came out of college where he played fewer games and the style of play is much different than the NHL or even junior hockey. He needs to work on his defensive zone coverage, but he has excellent instincts on when to jump into the play or take a chance in the offensive zone. It usually takes D-men 300 games to really get comfortable, excluding the great players, so he is still two years away from likely being an sound two-way player. I’m a big fan of Schultz, I wouldn’t give up on him.

Robin Brownlee: 

Fascination by who? His name isn't hot. The Oilers don't know how good he might be and neither do other teams. Doubt he'll ever be a solid two-way defensemen. If he becomes a consistent 40-45 point defenceman he'll only have to be OK in his own end to be an asset.

Brian Sutherby:

He's another guy that's playing way more than he should because he is forced to do so. On a better team I think you would see a better player. I think they need to continue to try and build around him and give guys like him a better supporting cast. Many Oilers have been thrust into roles they shouldn't be in yet. I don't love his game right now, but I wouldn't give up on a guy with his vision and puck moving ability just yet either.

baggedmilk:

The problem with Justin Schultz is that he was thrown in over his head from day one - that's not his fault. The Oilers need to bring in capable veterans that take some of the pressure off guys like Justin Schultz.  For a defenceman to come in and dominate the NHL in their first year or two is unrealistic. Give Schultz time to learn how to play in the NHL and I bet we'll have a solid player there. Expecting a Norris trophy defenceman right away is kind of like picking up a guitar for the first time and trying to play the solo from Stairway to Heaven.

Pick3

5) Albertosdad asks - If you could only watch 3 movies for the rest of your life, what would they be?

Lowetide: 

Hmmm. Great question. SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION is my favorite movie, I watch it two or three times a year and it never ever disappoints. THE GODFATHER is a brilliant movie, just outstanding, and number two is its equal. The third one I feel a little foolish telling you, because most will find it silly. However, I absolutely LOVE the movie STRANGER THAN FICTION, it's absolutely brilliant. I feel bad not mentioning MIDNIGHT COWBOY, THE SEARCHERS, SHANE, THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES, TAXI DRIVER, THE BIG LEBOWSKI and hell I'm forgetting a bunch.

Jason Strudwick: 

Braveheart, Godfather and Sleepless in Seattle

Jonathan Willis: 

Just three? That's brutally tough, but I figure the trick is to pick movies that I've actually watched many, many times (since I'll be watching them over and over again). If I can only pick one it has to be The Princess Bride, which is either the most rewatchable show ever made or very close to it. I thought about the other two slots and surprised myself with a pair of black and white films - the unparalleled Casablanca and High Noon, which is also fantastic. If I could extent it to five I'd slide in Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Clue.

Jason Gregor: 

Forrest Gump... Inspiring, heartfelt and has some great life lessons.

Super Bad… We all need comedy in our life.

My Left Foot… It is based on a true story, and I would need a dose of reality. Also, Daniel Day Lewis is an incredible actor and Christy Brown (Lewis’ role) is an individual we should strive to be like.

Robin Brownlee: 

As Good As It Gets

Forrest Gump

American Graffiti

Brian Sutherby:

Wow that's tough to do... 

The Shawshank Redemption

The Count of Monte Cristo

Man on Fire 

baggedmilk:

Private Parts, Fight Club, and Superbad

DRAFT PARTY

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The Draft Party is coming up this Friday and we're looking to raise as much money for charity as possible. A $20 ticket gets you a $20 Pint GC, a $10 Oodle Noodle GC, and a Draft Party Tshirt. This year, all ticket proceeds will be split between the ICCP and the Boys and Girls Club Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Edmonton. 

Click here to get tickets.

94ea28cbbd0f9fe4153692bb3e38b40c
Twitter tyrant for @OilersNation - Resident Jackass - Poor vessel for carrying milk. Follow me on twitter (@jsbmbaggedmilk) - Instagram (@himynameisbaggedmilk) or email me at baggedmilk@oilersnation.com.
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#51 oilerjed
June 23 2014, 01:14PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Let the festivities begin....

Scott Hartnell straight up for RJ Umberger. No salary retained by either club. Markov re-ups with the Canadians, 3 yrs @5.75 per.

RJ Umberger + a 4th. Sorry to nitpick

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#52 MessyEH
June 23 2014, 01:15PM
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Top 3 movies.

Pay Back

The Unforgiven.

Snatch

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#53 Spydyr
June 23 2014, 01:15PM
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The Hockey Hall of Fame class of 2014 has been announced.

Welcome to the Hall: Pat Burns Rob Blake Mike Modano Peter Forsberg Dominik Hasek Bill McCreary

Pat Burns Finally,awesome.Pretty fine class .

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#54 MessyEH
June 23 2014, 01:18PM
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DamnSkippy wrote:

That's the cruelest question. How can you only pick three movies? I have one for sure and like 20 "ooh that one" choices. So I Married An Axe Murderer is something that I could watch on repeat.

Great choice

Many of Mike Myers future characters were invented there.

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#55 ubermiguel
June 23 2014, 01:19PM
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Spydyr wrote:

The Hockey Hall of Fame class of 2014 has been announced.

Welcome to the Hall: Pat Burns Rob Blake Mike Modano Peter Forsberg Dominik Hasek Bill McCreary

Pat Burns Finally,awesome.Pretty fine class .

Good choices each one. Too bad Pat Burns couldn't have been voted in when he was alive.

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#56 ThinkingOutLoud
June 23 2014, 01:21PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

Conspiracy theories alert

I was a bit worried it would come across that way, but it honestly is what I heard. And it wasn't just from some random dudes talking... Time will tell.

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#57 @kahmad92
June 23 2014, 01:22PM
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Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy! wrote:

I wonder who Suds was talking about....

Robert Lang in 03-04 according to Tyler Dellow.

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#58 utarded
June 23 2014, 01:22PM
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Ernest scared stupid, Monty python holy grail, any pirates of the Caribbean.

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#59 PeOiler
June 23 2014, 01:32PM
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Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii,

Zombieland,

Something with Mila Kunis.

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#60 Chris
June 23 2014, 01:33PM
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ThinkingOutLoud wrote:

According to some friends in the know:

1. Dallas Eakins was brought in with a purpose. MacT never really wanted to quit coaching, but due to the pressures from fans/media etc decided to take a step back. After he came back and became GM he hired Eakins in hopes he would fail so he could fire him and take back the reigns. The only reason a rookie coach was given a 4 year contract (unheard of) was to deflect away from his true intentions. Now if the Oilers come out of the gate strong Eakins may stick, however he's already alienated many of the players and lost the room. If the Oilers have a losing record by December look for Eakins being fired and MacT following in the footsteps of Sather by being GM & Head Coach.

2. One of the biggest reasons we will have trouble attracting free agents is because of Daryl Katz. While he does have deep pockets, he's been the one running the show (Nail Yakupov was a directive from Katz after the team had decided to take Murray). That and how he insists on hiring his old Boys on the Bus Idols, the fact that Lowe did try to resign but Katz offerred him a bag of money and a promotion instead, is really indicative on what a "shit show" it really is behind the scenes here. Players talk - and sadly the word is out on the Oilers.

3. Current Oilers are already getting frustrated. If things don't turn around soon look for elements of the core asking for trades and/or refusing to re-sign when they hit free agency.

It breaks my heart to hear what a mess things really are and how the organization itself is imploding.

Does "friends in the know" mean complete garbage that you made up in your basement? Where's your tinfoil hat?

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#61 nuge2nail
June 23 2014, 01:49PM
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Oiler Domination To Follow

Fight Club

Braveheart

Gladiator

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#62 geoilersgist
June 23 2014, 02:13PM
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I could watch Super Troopers on repeat... Dazed and Confused is a classic and probably Anchorman. I love to laugh and since I'm an Oilers fan I need something to cheer me up during the lengthy playoff drought.

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#63 Spydyr
June 23 2014, 02:28PM
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nuge2nail wrote:

Oiler Domination To Follow

Fight Club

Braveheart

Gladiator

We don't agree on much but I do like your taste in movies.

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#64 SmythforMayor
June 23 2014, 02:32PM
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Old School

Bourne Identity

Dazed and Confused

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#65 madjam
June 23 2014, 02:51PM
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1.Oiler Hockey , 2. Eskimo Football , 3. The Grey Cup Parties .

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#66 Quicksilver ballet
June 23 2014, 03:08PM
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oilerjed wrote:

RJ Umberger + a 4th. Sorry to nitpick

Not to worry Jed. I'm wrong fairly regularly.

Thanks for the correction.

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#67 Quicksilver ballet
June 23 2014, 03:15PM
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Spydyr wrote:

We don't agree on much but I do like your taste in movies.

The blood work in 300 also was fairly impressive. Might give that the nod above fight club, as far as scantily clad men movies go.

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#68 Spydyr
June 23 2014, 03:27PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

The blood work in 300 also was fairly impressive. Might give that the nod above fight club, as far as scantily clad men movies go.

I actually never noticed the scantily clad men theme.That must be a good thing.Not that there is anything wrong with that.

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#69 Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate
June 23 2014, 03:30PM
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Die Hard number one.

Star Trek Two, The Wrath of Khan.

and Pink Floyd, The Wall.

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#70 Tikkanese
June 23 2014, 03:34PM
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Slapshot

Boys on the Bus

Dumb and Dumber

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#71 Robin Brownlee
June 23 2014, 04:23PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Saving Ryans Privates, The Green Mile, Oh Brother where art thou.

Who asked?

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#72 Bishai in the Benches
June 23 2014, 05:02PM
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I really appreciate Suds not shying away from the "What are some of the most unhealthy/bizare events you've ever seen or heard about NHL players?" question. One of the biggest reasons I spend more time reading OilersNation than TSN or The Hockey News is because of the blog format, combined with insider/expert opinions. Because the blog format is a lot less structured and regulated, I feel readers are granted greater access and writers can get away with telling more. Although some people would consider the question more appropriate for TMZ, most fans love hearing behind the scenes stuff like this because it provides a glimpse into the life of playing in The Show. People get bored of the same cliche answers being spewed, and allusions to insider knowledge without ever providing true details. Answers like Brownlee and Struds gave are boring, seriously who wants to read "I know something you don't know, but I'm not going to tell you". Its a useless answer...

TLDR: Suds I appreciate your transparency and willingness to answer questions. OilersNation I appreciate your willingness to seem unprofessional but fun. Keeps me coming back.

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#73 Robin Brownlee
June 23 2014, 06:32PM
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@Bishai in the Benches

So, if I spit out a bunch of stuff about the most "unhealthy and bizarre" stuff I'd seen, that would be providing a glimpse into the life of playing in the Show? Right.

If I don't give you the dirt, the bizarre and unhealthy, my reply is "boring and useless." You want to know who drank, smoked, partied and chased pussy on the road until 4 a.m.? Get it somewhere else.

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#74 Quicksilver ballet
June 23 2014, 08:17PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Who asked?

We all know these articles are just a cry for attention Robin. It's a two way street. Getting to know, through your words, these men of lust, greed and glory is still popular in all mediums.

In this new on the line world, we're now all armchair GM's and coaches, just like you. You know you love the access as much as we do. Where else can you (an old school writer like yourself) come across as a hard arse, and be a marshmallow in real life. Like a lot of commenters here.

Thanks for asking.

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#75 ThinkingOutLoud
June 23 2014, 08:25PM
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@Chris

Nope - "friends in the know" means people associated with the team in one way or another. I honestly don't care if anyone believe's me or not - like I said I'm just passing in what I heard. Maybe Eakins will be successful this year - I hope so - but if he isn't and gets fired, and MacT swoops in to "save the day" just remember when you trashed it first haha :)

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#76 Bishai in the Benches
June 23 2014, 10:29PM
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@Robin Brownlee

Guaranteed if I had written "chased pussy" in a comment here, you would have edited or deleted my comment. Of all the ON contributors, you'd be the only one I'd be glad to see go.

You're so defensive in the comments section of every article, I mentioned you in one line here, included Struds (don't see him whining), and the comment was intended to commend Suds for his answer to the question.

Also, you can answer the question without naming names or throwing people under the bus. I definitely don't expect you to submit a list of who's who among the NHL partiers. But simply saying "I know plenty" doesn't contribute to the article or the question.

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#77 Dockstaff
June 24 2014, 12:21AM
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Miami, Florida is an ideal city for rich athletes to play. The Heat have some of that game's best, yet the Panthers can't attract any quality NHLers.

Forget Bobby Lou, he left to win a cup, found out he didn't like that much attention and went back to anonymity and warm sandy beaches (incidentally filled with world class bikinis).

TBay can barely keep anyone around even after they won a cup.

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#78 Steve
June 24 2014, 06:14AM
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@oilerjed

100% of pro athletes playing for Detroit live in the suburbs. Detroit and Michigan in general have some of the nicest suburbs in the US. There are more wealthy people living in Michigan per capita than 90% of all US states. Anyone who uses Detroit as an example of a city that sucks where pro athletes still want to go because of wanting to sign with a winner... Is obviously not familiar with areas 15-20 minutes away from Joe Louis arena, Ford Field, or Comerica Park.

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#79 Joe Mamma
June 24 2014, 08:54AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

So, if I spit out a bunch of stuff about the most "unhealthy and bizarre" stuff I'd seen, that would be providing a glimpse into the life of playing in the Show? Right.

If I don't give you the dirt, the bizarre and unhealthy, my reply is "boring and useless." You want to know who drank, smoked, partied and chased pussy on the road until 4 a.m.? Get it somewhere else.

Yes, I want to know who drank, smoked, partied and chased pussy on the road until 4 a.m.

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