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The best thing the NHL has done in a long time are these “History will be Made” commercials. They are easy to mimic, which fans have done a thousand times over, and the old footage is great way to visit memory lane. Their up-to-dates ones are pretty decent as well. After game five they came up with the one above.

The Human Rake, Chris Pronger, says he doesn’t read the newspapers, but you can bet he will have seen this by game time tonight. The Rake was -5 in game five, and if there was ever proof that the +/- stat can be misleading, that sums it up. Sure he wasn’t great, but those suggesting he is tired haven’t been paying attention.

The Rake was -3 in game three of the Eastern conference final and we heard whispers the Rake was tired. He completely dominated games four and five. No way the Rake doesn’t bounce back tonight and play great. He is too arrogant and cocky not to. The Flyers will win and for the second straight year we will have a game seven on a Friday night.

WHY WAIT?

 

I don’t understand Steve Tambellini’s actions when it comes to his coaches. Wayne Flemming, Kelly Buchberger and Rob Daum’s contracts expire June 30th. You can make arguments both ways why they should stick or be let go, but why would Tambellini have them twist in the wind?

If he doesn’t want to bring them back, he should have let them know weeks ago. There aren’t many coaching opportunities in hockey, and the longer Tambellini waits to make a decision, the less likely one of these men could catch on with another team.

If they aren’t a good fit for the Oilers, he needs to be respectful and give them a chance to latch on in another organization. And if he is going to re-sign them, but didn’t have time to negotiate contracts, why not just have a handshake agreement and iron out the contract details later on.

You can’t tell me the past month hasn’t been a stressful time in the Buchberger, Fleming or Daum household. Daum and Fleming never made millions, so not knowing if they will have a paycheck in three weeks would be unnerving. Tambellini needs to make a decision either way quickly. Even if all three of them get re-signed, he still put them through six weeks of unnecessary stress.

I know he has lots on his plate with the 1st overall pick, travelling to Europe to sign players and checking out the Memorial Cup to evaluate players, but great leadership requires open communication.

CAN GOLF SOFTEN YOUR HANDS?

Zack Stortini is working on softening up his hands on the ice and on the links.

Stortini is working on his golf game with Windemere golf instructor, Cam Martens, and he is getting one-on-one instruction from Steve Serdachny, Oilers skills and skating coach, up to three times a week.

Stortini was an 18 handicap at the start of the summer and is hoping to be a ten by September. He’s also looking at improving his skills on the ice.

Most players try and avoid being on the ice until August. They focus more on off-ice workouts instead, but not Stortini. The 94th pick in 2003, has been on the ice two to three times a week for the past month.

“At the end of the season Tom Renney told me I needed to work on making plays in tight areas if I wanted more icetime. I don’t want to be a one-dimensional player,” Stortini told me yesterday at the TEAM 1260 golf tournament where he was unlucky enough to be paired up with none other than OilersNation own Wanye Gretz.

“I know what my role is, so I still spend lots of time working on getting stronger and faster, but I want to contribute more, so I need to be better with the puck. Not just around the net, but along the boards and in the neutral zone.” Serdachny works with Stortini on a rotational basis of twice one week, then three times the next week.

Their on-ice practices vary anywhere from one hour to two hours. They work on skating, mostly explosiveness, and spend lots of time on fine tuning the “skill” part of Stortini’s game.

“I do the same drills with Zack that I would with Ales Hemsky or Jordan Eberle. Of course their skill sets are different, but getting Zack to change the angle of his stick in tight, or focus on his body position in front of the net will help him. “You can’t teach him to do what Hemsky does at full speed, but I want Zack to think the same way in the tight areas. Most goals are scored from in tight, so Zack should be able to use his size and find himself in better scoring positions.”

Stortini has no illusions of what type of player he can be, but he realized that if he wanted to become a regular 3rd liner, he needed to improve his puck skills. Entering his 4th full season, it is clear Stortini wants to be more of a factor.

If he can take eight strokes off his golf game, and add eight points on the ice, that would make for a pretty successful off-season.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    So when do we hear the tales of Wanye and Zach playing golf together? There has GOT to be a story from that!

    In other news, i am excited about his dedication to get better! His attitude has always been his strongest assest. If it (and Gagner’s dedication) can rub off on other players we would have an amazing team, focused on a particular goal. We just need to shed some of the under achievers…

    *throws another dart at his POS dart board*

        • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

          Things I never want to see in Edmonton again:

          Front loaded contracts

          Head coaches kept around for more then 4 year

          A grinder/plugger wearing the C

          A You tube sensation given a dozen games

          The whining that these events cause is unbearable.

          • Hemmertime

            -Front loaded contacts: Makes the player easier to trade in the final years of it. Some teams care more about actual salary vs cap hit.

            – Head coaches around more than 4 years: Not a problem if you’re successful

            – A Grinder with the C: If he’s the best in the room and you have no high talent players with good attitudes I don’t see a problem with it, though I’d lean more towards a Dman over third line player.

            – Youtube sensation given a dozen games: Who? Schremp got 7 over 3 seasons. I’d have preferred giving him a dozen games to get used to the NHL game. 25 Pts in 44 games for NYI isn’t too shabby. Would have been 3rd in PPG on Oilers over 25 games played this season. Far as I can tell we haven’t given any youtube sensation an unearned chance in the league. I’d prefer those youtube guys to Liam Reddox

          • Hemmertime

            Ya, I know its just to stop people from bitching and moaning. And all the “Horc makes 7 Million?” idiots. Hell, half the people with that stupidity are talking heads on TV or play for the Flames

    • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

      It is that kind of thinking that is partially to blame for the mess we have now.

      Look at the the list of captains in the NHL. Your captain/leader has to be one of your best players in order to be successful. He has to be a player that has the ability to lead with his words and by example.

      Hard work and effort are very admirable qualities to have, they are just not enough to warrant a huge leadership role.

        • Moreau, Smith, Buchberger…

          I have posted it here before, but if you look at all the other captains in the NHL – you will be hard pressed to find a “role player” as a captain.

          Role players are important, just not people that should “leading” the team.

          Your best player(s) should be the captain.

      • Hemmertime

        Depends, Horc will be our next captain I think. I also agree with him being it. He started as a fourth liner and worked his way up.

        Really though he is just a slightly more talented grinder.

        If your best player is not a person whose example should be emulated you should not make him captain. I am enamored with Hemsky but hes the last person I’d want captain (besides Nilsson) as he leaves the ice first every practice. Plus I can’t see him being diplomatic to refs before in breaks in play discussing things. Too quiet.

    • Moetown

      Did you not learn anything from the current captain? Not only do you have to lead in the dressing room, you HAVE to produce on the ice. If they resign hemsky, give him the C.

      • Hemmertime

        How does Hemsky lead in the dressing room? Sure, we aren’t privy to the locker room but from everything I’ve read hes not outspoken nor a hard worker.

        • Moetown

          Hemsky has been the man on this team for years. Sometimes you gotta give your racehorse a strong lashing before you get some results. If they sign hemsky, he should def be the C. He is already an A and who are the alternatives? Souray? jesus. he is by far, the most talented guy on the team, plays injured, has won games singlehandely and im sure is well liked in the dressing room. although you and I are not privy, we know hemsky gets some love. you rely on your captain to make things happen when things are tough and hemksy can do that.

          • washed up

            Easy there Tips. What i was trying to get at is that i would give the “C” to who ever they draft if they figure they are going to build the team around him. I just don’t see anyone on the current rosters the would make a good captian!!!!

  • SkinnyD

    Making an effective decision means giving yourself the maximum amount of time to explore and evaluate alternatives. Maybe he’s waiting on information that isn’t yet available (such as Quinn’s status) in order to actually make a decision. On the surface there’s a lack of communication, but perhaps there’s a viable business reason for it. Unfortunately, business does jerk around the personal side of things sometimes and this is probably one of those situations.

    From the limited bits of reading I’ve done and from seeing them in action, Sam Gagner has the same kind of work ethic as Zac…love these guys…looking forward to a team full of them someday!

  • Hemmertime

    Storts could be our next (young) Moreau. Mad respect for him. He just went and read at a friends kids’ school. No publicity, no ulterior motives. Had some time to kill in summer so had it arranged to read to kids.

    Very good guy. Was a + player on the ice, getting better each year. I hope he’s an Oiler for awhile.

    • Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

      I have to admit, I wasn’t sold on him 2-3 years ago. I wasn’t impressed with how he played, and he couldn’t fight. He’s definitely changed my opinion of him this past season, though.

      • x2

        I think that there is something to be said for a guy who gets better every year by setting achievable goals.

        I along with hundreds of other fans made fun of him his first couple of seasons. Now he has worked himself into a role on this team.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    The song remains the same…..Oiler operations are never to be questioned. They treat outsiders/media like dogs, just sit there till we need you to do something for us. Finishing 30th overall looks good on them well dressed management types.

  • BBOil

    Storts is the man. When thinking of current Oilers that I am proud to have on this team, he is up near the top.

    From what I’ve seen he is proud to be an Oiler too, and I think that is something we’ve lost in some of our players in the last few years.

  • MrCondor

    Looking at the types of players that the oilers have made captain in the last few seasons, I’d say Storts has be better chance than most of wearing the C before he’s finished.

  • tricksnard

    things I want to know :

    – what storts thought of being paired with wanye

    – what wanye thought of being paired with storts (I imagine a post will appear soon)

    – who let wanye in there in the first place

  • Got to meet Stortini one time after a practice. Most of the guys didn’t seem to care that I was there. Some looked like they were ticked a “nobody” was amongst them. I won’t say who but his named rhymed with Stoll. Anyways, standing around waiting for my friend, who was employed by the Oil, there was Stortini sitting by himself waiting for Lowe to fix him up. He introduced himself and we talked for about 15 minutes. Unbelievably nice and grateful to be in the NHL. The guy would do anything to stay on the team. I swear he would block pucks with his teeth if Quinn asked him.

  • I don’t think we should assume that Tambellini is ignoring Buchberger et al. just because we haven’t heard anything about contract extensions. For all we know he has told them in private that the organization is moving on, or there is a handshake agreement in place and they’re just holding off on putting pen to paper.

  • m3sh

    Arch, that Nanook vid was pure gold. The jet fighter sequence where they’re blowing up every school in site was just so unabashedly American. And then they blew up the world. That must be one awesome hockey team.

    This got me going through the history will be made spoofs on youtube, until I came across a typical leafs fan post of the great Gretzky highstick on Gilmour non-call that ended with “What if Fraser wasn’t blind?”, which I would totally agree with if not for the constant impotent whining of Leafs fans.

    I should make one about SCF’06 G1 showing Conklin giving up the game winning goal that reads: “what if Bergeron was a good d-man?”.

  • The reason Ethan isn’t a good captain has a great deal to do with the fact that he doesn’t play many minutes in a game (Thank God). Your captain should be able to play in any key situation in the game, put the team on his shoulders, and lead on and off the ice.

    You don’t call out your rookie tenders or place blame on teammates. Take bad penalties at key points of the game.

    The reason Hemsky won’t be captain is he will more than likely be traded and is a me first player. I like Hemsky but not as a captain.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    Maybe we should step back and realize that unless theirs any former pro sports players on here, we probably don’t know who would or wouldn’t (or is or isn’t) be a good captain.

  • And another thing: It wouldn’t break my heart to see the club to take another nose-dive in 10 – 11. Another top 5 draft pick, a few judicious trades and free agent signings, stir, mix, and in 12-13 guess who’s playing in the finals. . . We’ve waited since 90, another 3 years and we have the makings of a dynasty, just like yea good old days.

  • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

    Geez Louise, I forget-eth one thing. Curtis Glencross’ contract will be up after next year. I’m going to guess that given the 11-12 state of the Flames, a decent contract offer might just do the trick given the UFA status that GlenX will enjoy. . . And that’s it that’s all, over and out, no more from me until someone really pisses me off. . .

    • Quicksilver ballet

      Same as 06…..i thought Pronger was the best again in this years playoffs and should’ve taken the Conn Smythe.

      lol…alot of us were watching Pronger during the 05/06 season thinking what the heck is a guy like him doing here, almost like we knew it was too good to be true.