2009-10 Oilers Goats and Stars

oilers-goat-star

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!

    scorecoff hemmercules wrote:

    What kind of money is he looking for??? Could we maybe buy out Pisani to make room??

    You can't buy out a player to get him off the books. If you buy him out from June 15-30th (not 100% on the dates) you can do so for 2/3 of his salary and you can spread the cap hit out over 2 years.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    @ Dan the Man:

    I realise you don't get him off the books 100%. I wans't aware of the dates though, I thought you could buy out a player anytime. Even so, his cap hit would only be like $800 000 if we could buy him out.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    @ RossCreek:
    Check out the Telus packages – the satellite package for $59/month has TSN AND TSN2!!
    I still have rabbit ears and tin foil so don't feel bad. Thank goodness for HNIC and Rod Phillips.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    You can't deny Brian Burke is a difference maker…
    thestar.com/article/703097

    I loved the Leafs in the Pat Burns/Doug Gilmour/Felix Potvin era and began hating them in the Sundin/Roberts/"Leaf Nation is holyer than thou" era, but Brian Burke is turning things around there in a hurry.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    http://blogs.sun-sentinel.com/sports_hockey_panthers/2009/10/florida-panthers-flu-could-affect-openingnight-lineup.html

    Whether it was the travel or jumping into the cold waters of Baltic Sea after a hot sauna or something else, the flu has started to spread among the Panthers and it could force them to play Friday night's season opener against the Blackhawks here without several key players.

    Center Stephen Weiss, and defensemen Keith Ballard, Bryan Allen and Jordan Leopold all missed practice this morning because of the flu. All will be game-time decisions, Coach Pete DeBoer said.

    "We just have to keep those guys away from the other guys and hope to get through Friday and Saturday without spreading it any more," DeBoer said.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    Anyone see the Kimbo vs. Roy Nelson fight last night That was embarassing. Fat ass just laid on top of Kimbo and patted him on the head. I couldn't believe the ref stopped it. 0 damage was being done. Too bad, I was starting to root for Kimbo.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    @ Gunner:
    No doubt! WTF was that? I thought he was trying to suffocate Kimbo with his gut. Did you see that clown complain to the ref after the 1st round. Keep throwin them muffins pal.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    @ Gunner:
    Kimbo will still get a contract. Did he say something about laying "Kimbo Slice" to rest, shaving his beard and going under his real name? Got to it a tad late.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    scorecoff hemmercules wrote:

    @ Charlie:
    Good luck sliding a 4 million cap hit onto the oilers. I doubt the kings want our fringe players either.

    Ahh yes, salary. Too bad. He needs the extra cash for sticks anyway.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    @ RossCreek:
    If he did I missed it. Honestly he seems really humble and down to earth. It's hard not to cheer for him.

    I think if he can get more training and get better on the ground and learn a little bjj he could be a decent fighter and a crowd favourite.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    cableguy wrote:

    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 understand the ability to have three or more telis tv sites is coming soon. I love telis because it comes with free secure wireless and the cards so now my laptop and/or dest top works in any room in the house.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    RossCreek wrote:

    So you mean to tell me the Oilers would rather spend more on Pouliot than Betts?

    Or we over-rate Betts because he plays somewhere else. Signing the starting day of the season for league minimum is hardly a sign of league-wide confidence in his abilities, or by the flyers either.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    RossCreek wrote:

    So you mean to tell me the Oilers would rather spend more on Pouliot than Betts?

    I don't know if it's completely a Poulliot or Betts scenario. If it came down to waiving Poulliot to make room for Betts then it's a no brainer to me.
    The thing is even with Poulliot and Pisani on the IR we have cap issues and are at the maximum number of roster players. I'd happily send Stone down for a guy like Betts but what heppens when Pisani is healthy? I'd also like to see what Brule can do with that 3rd or 4th line centre position.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    RossCreek wrote:

    @ Gunner:
    Kimbo will still get a contract. Did he say something about laying “Kimbo Slice” to rest, shaving his beard and going under his real name? Got to it a tad late.

    he said he will do it when he retires or something laying to rest the Kimbo Slice Character but enough of the UFC lets talk hockey

  • I'm a Scientist!

    imissedmonton wrote:

    but enough of the UFC lets talk hockey

    Ya, lets?
    Did anyone watch that Owen Nolan tilt? He tagged Coburn pretty good with a left there?
    *crickets*

    Anyone catch the NYR carry Madonna out on Letterman?

    Umm… the Oilers play Saturday…

  • I'm a Scientist!

    Took a while to remember what I picked just a week or two ago:

    Star: Mike Comrie
    Goat: Steve Staios

    On the Kimbo talk: I'm really, really glad I didn't actually pay money to see that fight. Nelson executed his (slightly cowardly, yet smart) gameplan to a T, so I can't fault him for that. However, to quote a comment I read elsewhere he was throwing punches "weaker than a baby's fart." I think Herb Dean just got tired of the whole affair and called it, honestly. Nelson threw 567 unanswered punches but virtually anyone in MMA could have probably taken those while relaxing and having a sandwich. Still, Kimbo, you have to do SOMETHING!

    That's it for UFC talk for me, I promise.