2009-10 Oilers Goats and Stars


It’s become a tradition: every year at OilersNation (and at our sister sites FlamesNation and CanucksArmy), our writers and commenters pick their stars — that one player who they will praise without end no matter what — and their goats — their yearly whipping-boy; he who can do no good for the season.

And this season is no exception.

Your stalwart writers running the ship this year, Robin Brownlee, Jason Gregor, Jonathan Willis, Amber McCormick, bingofuel, and Wanye Gretz (who has already picked his star and his goat), have submitted their goats and stars for the 2009-10 Oilers hockey season. Who will you pick?

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Jonathan Willis’ Star and Goat

Star: Lubomir Visnovsky.

Visnovsky was Edmonton’s best defenseman last year whn healthy, and he’s the kind of player Pat Quinn loves.  If the powerplay turns around, Visnovsky will be a big part of it; if the team manages to score more goals five-on-five, Visnovsky will be a part of that too.  He was a star last season, and with good health should be more than that.

Goat: Nikolai Khabibulin.

I hope this prediction doesn’t come true. I really, really do. There’s just too many danger signs to pick someone else, though. He’s 36 years old. He’s been consistently injured pretty much every season since the lockout. Last time he signed a four-year contract, he stunk up the joint for the first two years, was mediocre in the third year, and came on strong in the fourth year – after management had gone out and spent money on a replacement.

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Maybe things will be different this time. For the team to have success, they’ll need to be.

Jason Gregor’s Star and Goat

Star: JF Jacques

Sure, I could have picked one of the smurf-like forwards, who will undoubtedly outscore Jacques, but they are supposed to do that. Jacques will play in 71 games this year, and that will guarantee the Oilers will dress four forwards who are six feet or taller every game. Regardless of what system they play, they aren’t big enough upfront and having Jacques contribute every night will make a difference. He will be one of the few Oiler forwards to set career highs in goals, assists and points this year. I can’t see many guys matching that, so how can Jacques not be a star.

Goat: Marc Pouliot

If he is on the team, then I can’t see the Oilers improving. He doesn’t hit, he doesn’t check, he doesn’t score and I don’t think he thinks the game well enough to help the Oilers. Sure, he might go to another organization and score nine goals, which will have some Poulioholics whining that the Oilers gave up on another young prospect, but I will say good riddance if it happens. If Pouliot is on this team, they aren’t good enough.

Robin Brownlee’s Star and Goat

Star: Mike Comrie

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While it’s a toss-up for me between Comrie and Patrick O’Sullivan, I’m going with MC because he’s got a way of shoving it up the backsides of people who doubt him.

With all the bittnerness that accompanied Comrie’s departure in 2003, he’s got something to prove this time around. While I’m guessing he’ll face a smattering of boos when he returns, fans being what they are, it won’t be long until they’re saluting him again — with more than one finger.

Goat: Nikolai Khabibulin

Just a hunch, but The Bulin Wall had more bad seasons than good during his last contract before signing on with the Oilers for the next 17 years. Khabibulin, 36, is on the downside of his career and if he slips and a breaks a hip, it could get ugly in a hurry. With JDD as the back-up plan, what could possibly go wrong?

Amber McCormick’s Star and Goat

Star: Ales Hemsky

Ales Hemsky. Over the past couple seasons he has surprised me. In 2006-07 I was always worried he was going to vomit going in circles around the net. Every season he takes more chances. Some work and some don’t but the hunger is there. I really think this is the season that will make him a star.

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Goat: Dustin Penner

Without a doubt, Dustin Penner will reside in my dog house (and no, that’s no a euphemism for anything). There was a time when I forgave him for everything due to his purdy eyes but those days are far behind me. It will take a miracle and him giving up donairs cold-turkey to make me care about him again.

*Sidebar* I hate to admit this but I have a feeling Mike Comrie is hell-bent on making Edmonton eat its words. A lot of time has passed since he left in his huff and now he’s back with the Duff. Hometown pride is a powerful thing no matter how much you’re booed.

bingofuel’s Star and Goat

Star: Nikolai Khabibulin

Knowing what little I do about hockey, and the scant few things I know about the Oilers, I’m going with the Bulin Wall for my star. The Oilers are well known for relying on very little other than their goaltender to scrape through games. I don’t expect this year will be any different. Also, I just want to see how many boos and hisses I get for this one.

Goat: Steve Staios

I like Steve Staios. I have nothing against the man personally. He has lots of heart. But old, old balls. Staios will be inconsistent at best this year. At worst, the poor man will bust a hip. Hopefully he’ll take a few opposing players out in the process.

The competition

You can also read about the competition’s goats and stars:

  • I'm a Scientist!

    @ Tommy:

    I didn't know Shaw had all the time zones. My buddy obviously has a shitty package or something. I guess with a PVR it doesn't matter when a show is on.

    I have problems with my dish about 2 times a year due to weather, yet to happen during a game.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    Dan the Man wrote:

    Telus now offers satellite, which I have, and it’s awesome and their high speed Turbo blows Shaw internet away

    Also you have to like the fact that Telus has invested so much in the Oilers.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    RossCreek wrote:

    Dish isn’t really an option at this time. Easiest thing would just be to upgrade with Shaw, but I just wanted some Telus feedback.

    i have telus tv at home. PVR works pretty good.

    there are limitations right now though. only 2 boxes if you want HD, PVR only has 1 stream right now etc etc..

  • I'm a Scientist!


    I have Telus TV, it is not bad, certainly cheaper than Shaw but limited in some aspects. (For phone, internet and tv – with the sports and other HD packages, I pay about $92). It all depends on what you want to pay for. You can get the time shifting too (I chose not to). A draw back is that the PVR box you get with Telus is a single tuner (can only record one show at a time and watch something else) while with Shaw it is a dual tuner where you can record two different shows on different channels and watch something else. As per reception/channel clarity there doesn't seem to be any difference, At least I don't notice any when I'm at my buddies place who has Shaw.

    The other thing is, Telus can only support two tv's. This is due to the signal coming over the telephone wire. The bandwidth is not enough, it is something like 15 mbs and when you have two tv's watching HD (7mbs each) that leaves 1mbs for the internet, a third tv and phone. Since regular tv takes about 3mbs on their system they only allow two tvs. They only offer two boxes with their packages for this reason. I have a digital box and a digtal PVR and they work great.

    Supposedly in the near future (1+ year?)they are going to try and upgrade their lines to 40mbs so people can have three tvs but who knows if that will really happen. Also, this is only what I have been told by the tech that set up my system so take it for what it is worth.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    @ Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things:
    That is a damn shame! Calgary's wearing the ol' throwbacks tonite! You know… the one that Fleury went sliding across the ice in. What? Oh. That's right… 5 Cups to 1…

  • I'm a Scientist!

    Statement from Brendan Shanahan…

    “I have decided not to continue with the New Jersey Devils for my 22nd NHL season. When I signed this past summer, Lou Lamoriello, Jacques Lemaire, and I agreed that if we were unable to find a suitable fit in which I would be able to compete and contribute at the level I expect from myself, then I would simply step aside. I am planning to spend the next couple of weeks with my family to reflect on and evaluate my plans for the future."
    In 1,524 NHL games, Shanahan has 656 goals.

    When's the last time this league lost this many class acts over 1 summer – Sakic, Sundin, Shanahan?, who else…

  • I'm a Scientist!

    on Betts…

    PHILLY.COM: Sam Carchidi reports Flyers GM Paul Holmgren is still trying to negotiate a contract with forward Blair Betts, who attended Flyers camp on a tryout basis but thus far it appears the two sides are in a stalemate. Holmgren suggested if a deal wasn't done today it's unlikely to happen.

    SPECTOR'S NOTE: I'm wondering if perhaps Betts might've gotten an offer from another team which might explain the stalemate with the Flyers. A week ago it appeared a foregone conclusion Betts would be signed by the Flyers.

    Anyone think its possible Betts has an offer from the Oil? Rueben? J-Greg?

  • I'm a Scientist!

    @ RossCreek:

    I read that too. Thought I would wait until tomorrow to mention it since they will probably get it worked out today. I hope we are the other team with an offer but spector is just speculating there. I think we would have been after him sooner if we wanted him.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    @ scorecoff hemmercules:
    Ya… I was just thinking maybe the Pisani injury, and lack of faceoff success in the preseason got the Oil more interested. The fact he wasn't immediately brought in with Renney's addition must say something tho.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    Halibut wrote:

    He wants to much cash. Which means there’s no chance he fits here.

    We don't know that he wants too much cash. All we know is that he wants more than what Holmgren wanted to pay him.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    RossCreek wrote:

    @ scorecoff hemmercules:
    Ya… I was just thinking maybe the Pisani injury, and lack of faceoff success in the preseason got the Oil more interested. The fact he wasn’t immediately brought in with Renney’s addition must say something tho.

    That's my thinking too. If Renney really liked him why isn't he here already. He made $600 000 last season, how much more than that could he be looking for?? Shouldn't be too hard to fit in that amount of money even if we are against the cap.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    @ scorecoff hemmercules:
    If he wants around A milli, would you sign him and trade Pouliot (0.825) to the Flyers for a pick (if the Flyers were interested, of course)

  • I'm a Scientist!

    RossCreek wrote:

    @ scorecoff hemmercules:
    If he wants around A milli, would you sign him and trade Pouliot (0.825) to the Flyers for a pick (if the Flyers were interested, of course)

    I could be wrong but didn't Brownlee say that Betts was really a 4th liner, not good enough for 3. $1M would be too much if this is the case.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    @ RossCreek:

    We need to clear more than just Pouliots salary to get under the cap don't we??? But yes, I would do that deal in a heartbeat. I'm not really a pouliot hater but he doesn't seem to be fitting into the Oilers plans at the moment other than being a call up guy.