A look ahead to next season...

Jason Gregor
January 23 2009 12:30PM

Looking ahead to next season and how the salary cap, more than performance, will affect some of Steve Tambellini’s decisions.

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Hemsky dominated tonight's game

Jason Gregor
January 20 2009 10:47PM

It might be permanently, or it might only be for the weekend. Either way Liam Reddox walked out of Rexall Place tonight carrying his hockey bag, so he will going to Springfield to try and help the Falcons win some games.

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GDB 46: Hello, Robert Nilsson!

Jason Gregor
January 20 2009 01:02PM

For the second straight game, the Oilers offence will get a boost; the fog has lifted and Robert Nilsson will play tonight with Gagner and Cole.

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Garon's 'fair shake', Reddox ain't no Rudy

Jason Gregor
January 20 2009 07:46AM

EdmontonOilers2

I was asked where I am regarding the Potulny re-assignment and some other things, so I will venture in on that and more random thoughts regarding the Oilers.

What can I say about Reddox, other than I'm perplexed? The "HE HAS HEART" and "

HE REMINDS ME OF RUDY

" is a great observation, except, Rudy played two downs in four years. TWO. And they came at the end of the game with nothing on the line. I won't lie, I, like most men shed a tear in that movie, and I loved that portly little bastard. How could you not love Daniel E “Rudy” Ruettiger (What the hell does the E stand for? I’ve always wondered that). He engendered everything that we love about heart, determination and the will to succeed in sports. Hell, all of us relate to that because none of us had the natural ability to succeed in a really high level of sports, and deep down we all respect those traits. That was Sean Astin’s best role, followed closely by his Sam Gamgee portrayal in Lord of the Rings. But guess what? Rudy was in college and like I said he played two downs. Liam Reddox is in the NHL, and that fact he gives it all every shift is great, but he needs to bring more and frankly he doesn’t have the skills to produce in the NHL. I don’t think Potulny does either, so I’m not surprised he was sent down. Reddox can barely stick handle through the neutral zone, when he hits he barely makes an impact because his buck-seventy-five frame doesn’t impose much of a threat, and outside of being in the right place on the ice he doesn’t do much for me. Thankfully Nilsson will return on the 27th and Reddox will be off the top two lines. He will probably stick around as a fourth liner or pressbox guy. Can his RUDY attitude rub off on some guys? I guess so, but I don’t see him being a factor long term, nor do I see Potulny. At least Reddox reminds us of one of the greatest sports movies of all time, so that's a positive.

Promotion for the sake of it -- I think not

I am still in awe of the blinder mentality of some of the readers and Oiler fans on here. Many of you are quick to dispatch Ethan Moreau as only a fourth liner, while you are willing to just hand third line minutes to guys like Pouliot, Brule and even an inconsistent Robert Nilsson, hell some of you wanted to hand Schremp ice-time ahead of Moreau. “They have more skill” is the usual uneducated response to why these three should play ahead of him on the third line. Well, I’m from the Show Me State, and none of them have showed any consistency in their careers and outside of Brule even a shred of a gritty game which is needed to be a successful third liner. I wonder if you truly understand the dynamics of what it takes to win in the NHL and the types of players certain teams need. Moreau is what he is, and he has been in the league for 13 years doing it night in and night out. He is Liam Reddox, just bigger and with more skill. Moreau gives you all he has most nights, and what he has isn’t a ton of NHL offensive skill. But he fights if need be, with a separated shoulder at times, he blocks shots with his face, he doesn’t seek individual accolades and while he might not be in the class of Messier, Gretzky or Weight when it comes to leadership, he is far from a Shayne Corson. Did you see how excited his teammates were when he got his first hat trick? Do you think they all don’t respect him as a leader? If you take away PP points, he would be tied for second with 18, only one behind Cogliano’s 19. Only Hemsky has more even strength goals (10), while Moreau has nine and one SH so technically he is tied with Hemsky. He is second on the team in hits, and has more than Pouliot, Brule and Nilsson combined, yet many of you think he is better suited on the fourth line. Yes, he takes a few too many aggressive penalties, but it's easier to kill off that penalty than a lazy hooking or tripping penalty any day. I’m not saying he's the savior of this team, but on a team that has one of the softest forward groups in the league, demoting the one guy who brings grit is asinine. WAKE UP PEOPLE!

Garon talks about getting a raw deal

Yesterday I had Mathieu Garon on my radio show and the first question I asked him was if he felt like he got a fair shot from the start of the season? “Well, if you look all around the league, a lot of goalies like Kiprusoff, Luongo and Turco had a tough start, and the team stuck with them a little bit longer. I don’t want to say they didn’t give me a chance, but it was really quick, two bad games and it was pretty much over, but what can you do about it? When you have three goalies you have the luxury to try other goalies.” Clearly he wasn’t happy, but sorry Mathieu comparing yourself to those three goalies might be a stretch. The big difference is that those three are so much better than their backups that those teams have to go back with their starter even if he struggles. The difference between Garon and Roloson was marginal, and that more than anything was why he lost his job this year. He didn’t get as long of a rope as Roloson did last year, and that is unfair, but I think it was Deslauriers and not Roloson that made the Oilers feel Garon was expendable. Deslauriers’ first game was in Calgary on Oct. 17. He wasn’t great but he won, and then his next start wasn’t until Nov. 9 in NJ. Guess what? He didn’t use rust or lack of practice as an excuse, rather he was the Oilers best player that night and the next against the Rangers. Garon’s mental game is what cost him this year more than anything. He also talked about the allegations that he and Pete Peeters had a rift. “It was good with Pete. I’ve heard and read things that I haven’t been happy with Pete and I wanted to bring in my own goalie coach, and that isn’t true... I never asked in the two years I was here to use any other goalie coach. I only worked with the goalie coach (Lyle Mast) in LA twice so that wasn’t true.” I always liked Garon because he was honest and candid when you asked him a question. Athletically, he might be top three in the league, but it is the mental part of the game that he has to work on, and that is the hardest part of being a goalie, in my opinion. If you want to hear the entire interview, visit

www.justagame.ca

for a listen. The first question was, “Did you get a fair shot?” There is also an interview with Rick Nash talking about the Blue Jackets and if Hitchcock’s defence-first attitude has made him change his offensive habits.

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Fighting: it's part of the game

Jason Gregor
January 16 2009 07:00AM

As the Nation woke this morning, many of you were still smarting from the 5-1 loss in Minny.

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