Positive Friday...

Jason Gregor
July 18 2014 11:00AM

34

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.

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
Avatar
#51 A-Mc
July 18 2014, 03:53PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
28
cheers
HallFever wrote:

Is this the year Hall reaches Elite? I think the time has come where the team takes a step in a positive direction. The core is a year older and more experienced, they have much better support players. Even if Arco (Who IS an upgrade on Gagner) is 2C we should be fighting for the playoffs towards the end of the season...

I think he's already hit that Elite status. He hit the 80's club where 6 of the top 7 players currently sit. The only person separating themselves from the 80's club is Mr Crosby who is in his own 100+ club.

If Crosby is the Master, then Elite is 80-99, Exceptional being 70-79 and Very good being 50/60s

Avatar
#52 pkam
July 18 2014, 03:55PM
Trash it!
7
trashes
Cheers
7
cheers
HallFever wrote:

Is this the year Hall reaches Elite? I think the time has come where the team takes a step in a positive direction. The core is a year older and more experienced, they have much better support players. Even if Arco (Who IS an upgrade on Gagner) is 2C we should be fighting for the playoffs towards the end of the season...

What do you use to determine if a player reaches Elite?

I think Hall has already reached Elite status but obviously we have different standard if you think otherwise.

Avatar
#53 Shredder
July 18 2014, 03:58PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
22
cheers

So we're going to be positive? It's about time, the articles here are always pretty good, but the posts I ususally go through pretty quick...there's only so much "fire kevin lowe" I can read in a day.

Now for my 'positive' contribution:

Draisatl is going to surprise a few. He may not win many faceoffs but he's going to raise the wingers' stats. Career years for the new guys like Purcell/Pouliot.

Hall, Nuge, Ebs, Yak - they didn't need surgery, they entered the offseason mostly healthy. They skipped out on playing for team Canada/Russia, and at this point in the summer they're already farther ahead in offseason training than where they were by season start every other year.

Not to steal the local triathlon slogan or anything, but my thoughts on this upcoming year: 'this is going to be epic'.

Avatar
#54 Shredder
July 18 2014, 03:59PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
55
cheers

Not to be negative or anything...but Calgary sucks!

Avatar
#55 A-Mc
July 18 2014, 04:02PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
33
cheers
Shredder wrote:

Not to be negative or anything...but Calgary sucks!

Around these parts, that's a positive!

Avatar
#56 Jeffff
July 18 2014, 04:30PM
Trash it!
6
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers
Dave wrote:

Fire Kevin Hugh Lowe.

Hmmm

KHL

Avatar
#57 Lofty
July 18 2014, 04:44PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
13
cheers

Nice to hear Nail is moving forward. I would like to know what he's tipping the scales at?

He'll never be huge but should fair better closer to 200lbs.

Avatar
#58 Harlie
July 18 2014, 04:44PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

@gofucoffee

clever

Avatar
Trash it!
6
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers

Our top line should score over 200 points this season, barring injuries. That's a bargain at $18 million. Positive Friday!

Avatar
#60 Jasmine
July 18 2014, 05:34PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Harlie

Never went on the Zipper.

Avatar
#61 Enjoying the read
July 18 2014, 05:39PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

What would it take to get Alex Killorn out of Tampa? They have 4 or 5 other centres (which allows Killorn to play wing for the lightning). I have heard some good reviews about him.

Avatar
#62 Clyde
July 18 2014, 05:47PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
10
cheers
pkam wrote:

What do you use to determine if a player reaches Elite?

I think Hall has already reached Elite status but obviously we have different standard if you think otherwise.

He is elite as a scorer

Avatar
#63 Spydyr
July 18 2014, 05:48PM
Trash it!
14
trashes
Cheers
14
cheers

I am positive kool-aid tastes better in the summer and the Oilers will miss the playoffs for a ninth straight year.They are still miles away from being a balanced team and there are too many good teams to leapfrog.

Avatar
#64 BC BOY
July 18 2014, 05:55PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
24
cheers

Good for Yakupov! I am tired of listening to people call him a lazy Russian. It's pretty clear he loves hockey and is working hard to improve his game. I have a feeling he is going to bounce back and net 30 goals next season.

Avatar
#65 HallFever
July 18 2014, 06:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers
pkam wrote:

What do you use to determine if a player reaches Elite?

I think Hall has already reached Elite status but obviously we have different standard if you think otherwise.

He is still very young. If he hits 90+ and improves his 2 way game every season I think Elite would be reached. I guess Elite is difficult to measure, should be a small group of players.

Avatar
#66 Kevwan
July 18 2014, 09:37PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

The Def. prospect depth chart ( you pick the order ) Marincin, Klefbom, Nurse, Musil, Gernat, Simpson, Lagesson. Look at improvement in the last 3-4 years. Solid NHL'ers ahead of them and plenty of time to develop. Good times coming.

Avatar
#67 Oil Vice
July 18 2014, 10:14PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

People shouldn't be surprised when Leon earns a spot this year. The flames gave their 2013 6th overall pick, Sean Monahan, a spot and he played decent for them in his rookie year. He's just a bit smaller than Leon at 6'2" 200lbs. The oilers would have taken him at 7th overall if the flames didn't and he woulda played right away here too. I'm excited to see what we have in Leon this year!

Avatar
#68 nuge2nail
July 18 2014, 11:49PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers
BC BOY wrote:

Good for Yakupov! I am tired of listening to people call him a lazy Russian. It's pretty clear he loves hockey and is working hard to improve his game. I have a feeling he is going to bounce back and net 30 goals next season.

Oiler Domination To Follow

Considering Toews has only hit 30 goals twice and Kane has only hit 30 goals once(14 combined seasons).... Expecting Yakupov to hit 30 is pretty optimistic.

That being said I agree with you- Yak City will hit 30 this season and shut the haters up...

Avatar
#69 michael
July 19 2014, 10:41AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Jason 2026 World CUP bid? Really Jason you think it will be 2026? Try more like 2022 or 2018. Qatar is being reviewd apparently. Russia 2018? Can you say the word boycott.How do you think the Netherlands is fling about Russia right about now?184 citizens slaughterd by Russian backed rebels. Germany>4 citizens dead. You might want to revise your prediction to include not anywhere there is threat of War.

Canada shows the world its stuff in 2015.I'd say 2022 looks like a lock.

Avatar
#70 tileguy
July 19 2014, 11:34AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Sorry I am late for the party.

Positive- The Oilers are much bigger and heavier, that should provide for positive ions in the dressing room.

NEGATIVE...that commercial for shoes really sucks. Jetz selling himself out as if he dosen't have enogh money. Hope (is that a positive?) some money grubbin ad man makes a ton, it's how our world is today.

Avatar
#71 Johnnydapunk
July 19 2014, 03:52PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers
michael wrote:

Jason 2026 World CUP bid? Really Jason you think it will be 2026? Try more like 2022 or 2018. Qatar is being reviewd apparently. Russia 2018? Can you say the word boycott.How do you think the Netherlands is fling about Russia right about now?184 citizens slaughterd by Russian backed rebels. Germany>4 citizens dead. You might want to revise your prediction to include not anywhere there is threat of War.

Canada shows the world its stuff in 2015.I'd say 2022 looks like a lock.

Wouldn't happen realistically until 2026 as FIFA has a stadium capacity requirement and time would be needed to build an 80 000, 60 000, and a few 40 000 seat stadiums or at least renovate a few to meet the requirements.

I would be genuinely shocked if they pulled the World Cup from Russia as there is a lot of sponsorship money coming from Russia and FIFA likes their money.

I would like to see the World Cup here as Canada would also be a very "safe" choice for FIFA, drama free, and aside having a rubbish national football team, it would be a great move and maybe give the CSA a bit of a kick in the pants it needs.

Avatar
#72 Johnnydapunk
July 19 2014, 03:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I could be trashed here for this, but I wouldn't mind if the Oil went for Del Zotto as he is still a free agent and was a player that the Oil were interested in before. Think there is still cap room even for a potential centre or even allow for some trade options.

Comments are closed for this article.