July 18 2014 11:00AM
The Nation is due for some positive thoughts.
The lack of a centre depth on the Oilers has become the beacon of despair in the Nation, and while it is a concern, let's take a break from that angle.
I don't know about you, but always looking at negatives or being around those who only see the negatives is draining. Now and again we must focus on the positives, so today we'll look at some positives regarding the Oilers, sports and a few non-sports happenings.
I've never met Chris Koch from Nanton Alberta, but his outlook on life is awesome. Take five minutes and watch this. The fact he is a farmer makes him even cooler in my books!
I find many of the most inspiring people never get recognized. Good for Chris.
"It takes me upwards of 400 percent more energy to do everyday tasks," Koch said. Yet he doesn't let that stop him. Have you've been procrastinating to get back in shape, go for a run, clean the house, write a blog or ask someone out on a date? Don't. Think of Koch.
"If you are worried about how you look then you are cheating yourself out of opportunities." What a great line. Koch is a beauty.
TURNING TO SPORTS
- I spoke to Leon Draisaitl yesterday. He elected to stay in Edmonton and is working out hard. He is the big, heavy skilled forward the Oilers need. He is only 18, but he's already 215 pounds. He said he wants to come to camp around 212 this year. Imagine how strong, heavy and skilled he will be when he is 21.
- The Oilers defence will have four new faces on opening night. Mark Fayne, Nikita Nikitin and either Martin Marincin/Oscar Klefbom will replace Ladislav Smid, Nick Schultz and Anton Belov, while Craig Ramsay will run the D corps. Those three new faces combined with a more experienced Justin Schultz and Jeff Petry will mean an improved backend. I'm positive the Oilers will allow 40 fewer goals this season than last year.
- On opening night -- can't guarantee the same for game ten due to Draisaitl -- the Oilers will have three new forwards, Drasaitl, Teddy Purcell and Benoit Pouliot, in their top-nine who average 6' 2.5" and 204 pounds. They won't be the Hobbits of the west this season.
- The Edmonton Eskimos are 4-0. Their defence is outstanding. Next Thursday there will be a meaningful Battle of Alberta regular season game in Edmonton and the weather should be great.
- The best basketball player in the world went to a small market. Lebron James choose Cleveland. I realize he grew up there and wanted to go home, but it is possible for great players to choose a small market.
We are less than a year away from hosting the largest Women's World Cup of Soccer in history. Canada will do a great job, and with FIFA watching it will bolster our 2026 bid for the men's World Cup.
- Blues GM Doug Armstrong is in favour of increasing the size of the nets in the NHL. "I'm a firm believer that to increase scoring at
some point we may have to alter the size of the nets, " Armstrong told the St. Louis Post Dispatch. He added that that the increased size in goalies and their equipment is the reason it should happen. An extra inch in width across the goal would make a big difference
- The AHL is adopting a new OT rule. They will play three minutes of 4-on-4, and then four minutes of 3-on-3 before going to a shootout. I've seen 3-on-3 in the AJHL and it was awesome. I'd rather a game be decided by hockey than a shootout. The NHL will monitor how the OT sessions in the AHL and if they like what they see we can expect a new OT format in the NHL in 2015.
- Derek Laxdal gets promoted to the AHL and Steve Hamilton is the new coach of the Oil Kings. Two good guys and good coaches well deserving of their promotions.
- I asked Rocky Thompson which of the Oilers defence prospects, outside of Marincin and Klefbom, was was the one to watch. He said Brandon Davidson. Keep an eye on his progression, and expect him to get some PP time in OKC this year.
- Since WHA/NHL merger no team has finished in bottom seven teams six years in a row. Things are looking up.
K-Days starts today. The Zipper is still a great ride.
- The Oilers won't have to learn an entire new system during training camp. They can use the preseason to work on small nuances of their play rather than focus on the simple basics of a new scheme.
Taylor Hall can become the first Oiler since 1997 (Doug Weight) to have back-to-back 80-point seasons.
- Hall has scored the 6th most points, 130, over the past two seasons. Only Crosby (160), Getzlaf (136), Ovechkin (135), Giroux (134) and Kessel (132) have scored more. Hall is four years younger than all of them, and he still he's just learning how to play a 200-foot game. He will only improve.
Nail Yakupov has supposedly had an excellent summer of training. He is working on maintaining his speed after his explosive first few steps. He'll be a more dangerous player with more top-end speed.
- Actions speak louder than words. The Red Sox fans in this video are great. We usually loathe a great player when he plays against our team, but there is always an underlying respect. I can't stand the Yankees, but Jeter was a great player.
Have a great Positive Friday.
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