Two weeks away from the Nation, (well almost two weeks, except when Wanye “meanest ever” Gretz made me write on article last week) and after a quick glance through some of the articles, it is nice to know we are less than two weeks from rookie camp, and just under three weeks from main camp.

I’ll get to the Oilers in a bit.

I know it is hard, but if you can convince your boss to let you take two consecutive weeks of holidays I’d highly recommend it. Two weeks away from my show and the Nation and I feel refreshed. I vowed to get away from sports and try some new things. I only watched one entire sporting event in the past 16 days, when 20 friends and I took in the Canadian Derby at Northlands. If you’ve never been, I recommend going next year. Dress up in your best Derby garb and you’ll have a blast. I didn’t win any money, but picked a few winners.

I went to the fringe and actually spent as much time watching the street performers as I did in the beer gardens. They were good. I went to Lady Gaga last Friday, got my Gaga glasses, didn’t become a little monster, but I was thoroughly impressed with the concert. Gaga can flat out sing, and her show had a more theatrical flair than a usual concert. Even if her music isn’t your type of genre, the spectacle is great. The opening act, Semi Precious Metals, was atrocious though.

Worst performance I have ever witnessed. And I covered the Oilers last season.

Like any good holiday I golfed a lot. Played in my first Pro-Am at Goose Hummock on Aug 19th at it was great. I’m lucky enough to get invited to lots of charity tournaments, but the Pro-Am was a different type of fun because it was competitive. You played your own ball, and on certain holes I hack like me needed to shoot well.

I loved it.

I took part in SMASH out MS on August 14th at the Ranch. It was loads of fun, and you know Edmontonians are generous when people will pay more to charity to golf with me. I emceed Blair Oko’s 11th annual tourney for the Cross Cancer Institute on August 20th at Northern Bear, and the course was in the best shape I’ve ever seen it. I also played in Kevin Karius’ Easter Seals tourney on Aug 25th and Joffrey Lupul’s Bissell Centre tourney on the 26th.

The best part of these tournaments is meeting and interacting with the families that are affected by the different diseases/ailments. In sports we throw out terms like toughness, warriors, strength, courage and determination, but these families and kids reflect those words better than sports does. I love being invited to take part in these events and watching the kids and their parents fight through the adversity is really inspiring.

So a big thanks to Scott Lopetinsky , Kate Gallagher, Darla Zuk, Glenn Isaac, Oko, Karius, Lupul and the families of those affected for inviting me and letting me witness your tremendous courage and strength. I left every tournament feeling inspired after hearing the speeches.


Alright, back to business. 

Yesterday I tried to catch up on what happened in sports. I PVR’d the Esks/Riders game and UFC 118 on Saturday, back-tracked through articles on the Nation and browsed over various sports sites to ensure I’m at least cognizant of what is going on.

The Esks might have a quarterback controversy on their hands after a surprising win over the Riders. The Esks offence still doesn’t look sharp, and while Jared Zabransky has a stronger arm and legs than Ricky Ray, I’m still not sold on his decision making. Gutsy call by Richie Hall to go back to Ray for the final drive, but it paid off.

An over-the-hill boxer couldn’t beat a past-best-due-date MMA fighter. No surprise there, but it was embarrassing that James Toney didn’t even throw a punch.

The Oilers hired Jack Michaels as their play-by-play guy, yet some on the Nation thought the announcement took too long, and that was somehow a negative. Any play-by-play guy worth a grain of salt will have the roster memorized in less than a day. The Oilers could have announced Michaels on Sept 10th and he still would have been ready for the rookie game September 12th.

The OilersNation was restless wondering why Sam Gagner and Andrew Cogliano had yet to sign. “It’s just another example of Steve Tambellini’s inability to make a decision,” or “Sam and Andrew must not want to play here,” were a few of the comments I read.


I’ll admit I’m a bit stunned by those comments.

Why would Tambellini rush to overpay Gagner and Cogliano? Kevin Lowe has been ripped for overpaying Shawn Horcoff, Fernando Pisani, Steve Staios, Robert Nilsson and Dustin Penner (until last year), so why does Tambellini need to rush out and sign Cogliano and Gagner?

He doesn’t, and there was no way Gagner or Cogliano wouldn’t be signed.

Those two have no bargaining rights. Cogliano’s coming off his worst season, while Gagner hasn’t matched his rookie totals in the previous two seasons. Some suggested Gagner and Cogliano will be pissed off or resentful if they only get one-year deals. Do they really deserve more? Gilbert Brule signed a one-year deal last year and then produced his best point totals ever.

Gagner and Cogliano have no reason to feel slighted, nor do I think they will. In fact, I bet they’d prefer one-year deals, so they can produce and get more money next summer.

Now that Gagner has a two-year deal averaging $2.275 million, I’d look for Cogliano to fall somewhere in the $1.7 to $1.9 million range. I still think Cogliano and his camp will try and get a one-year deal. Gagner’s new deal should be a great signing for the Oilers. If Gagner becomes the offensive stalwart they hope he does, then he’ll be a bargain for two seasons, and when his deal is done they will have to decide what to do with Ales Hemsky and Dustin Penner, who will be UFAs in two years.

I think the term and salary give the Oilers room to maneuver in the summer of 2012.


Nikolai Khabibulin has to be nervous right now. He will find out his fate tomorrow, but here’s a breakdown of what he could be facing in Phoenix tomorrow.

First Offense Extreme DUI (BAC .150 – .199)

Jail: Range of 30 to 180 days in jail. Minimum of 30 consecutive days in jail. The Court may suspend 20 of the 30 days if you successfully complete all recommended counseling and education.

Fines & Costs: Aproximately $3,000.00 in fines and costs, plus jail costs. The more jail time imposed the greater the additional costs. NOTE: Jail costs can amount to thousands of dollars in addition to the fines and costs.

License: The MVD will suspend your drivers’ license for 90 days. You may be eligible for a work/school permit after the first 30 days of the suspension.

Counseling: If convicted you must get a substance abuse evaluation and comply with any recommendation or be subject to additional jail time.

Probation: You may be placed on probation for up to five years.

Community Service: The court may impose community service.

MADD Victims’ Impact Panel: The court may order you to attend one or more sessions of the Mothers Against Drunk Driving Victims Impact Panel.

Ignition Interlock Device: Required for 12 months after license reinstatement.

  • Ender

    Archaeologuy wrote:

    If we miss the playoffs then I’m ready for dead last again please.

    Arch. You know better than that. You can’t have it both ways, friend. You can’t shoot for playoff hockey in December and then move the target to ‘worst team in the league’ in January. That’s a recipe for failing at both. Last year was the perfect storm. We could never do that again in a hundred years, trying to win and just genuinely sucking that bad and losing that many man-games. No, this year we need to make a plan and stick to it. If we build for suckage, we can lose consistantly and 30th is within our grasp. We’ll know in October, though, if we’re on target. If we’re shooting for playoffs, on the other hand (and I’ll let you know right now that I want this, irrationally or no) then we’ve got to accept that when things go in the crapper in February-March that we may end up with other teams in the league who are (gasp) failing even worse than us at that point.

    For the record, I’m comfortable with aiming for playoffs.
    Shoot for 16th, finish 14th, lose in a first-round dogfight to the Canucks, pick in the top 16? Thats good by me.
    Shoot for 16th, finish 21st, pick top 10? That’s ok too.

    Shoot for 30th, finish 24th, pick top 6? Uhhhh . . . call me next season, kay?

  • Cogliano 1 year @ 1.95 or maaaaybe 2years @1.70

    He hasn’t missed a game in 3 years. Career -10 on a brutal and remained professional after being traded..(twice?)Cogliano’s done more for the Oilers than Brule and should be paid accordingly.

    Motivating him with a respectable contract combined with putting him in a position to produce early gives him value. Low balling him could crush whatever confidence he’s got left.

    UFC 118 was a joke. Jordan was the best basketball player on the planet and couldn’t hit a breaking ball off AA pitchers. Why would anyone think Toney had a chance at MMA???

    If Dana White was trying to convert boxing fans, he failed. There wasn’t enough strikers on the card. Guida,Sanchez, & Bisping could have made it more appealing.

    • If Cogliano gets more than $1.5M, I’d be “Jason-Gregor-stunned”!

      The guy has NO bargaining power. You want to give him the benefit of the doubt and give him a good deal based on his first two seasons & his potential. Fact of the matter is, player’s usually get paid on a what-have-you-done-lately basis. I’m not saying ‘Cogliano’s garbage’ or anything of the sort. He has no arb rights, Brule did – that’s worth something. The Oilers are in the driver’s seat, and while you’re points are all understandable, the Oilers don’t owe him shhh. When given the opportunity to underpay, you take it, because the second Cogliano (or any other player for that matter) has the opportunity to make the team overpay, they almost always do. Don’t squander this chance.

      Cogliano – 1yr, $1.1M-1.475M… book it 🙂

      I’ll say 1.25 if you want an exact (not that you asked me)

      Cogliano’s done more for the Oilers than Brule and should be paid accordingly.

      And by that logic, Filip Kuba has done more for Ottawa than Sergei Gonchar, so the Sens overpaid him. I know… that doesn’t really make sense… that’s the point.

      • 9 Nate sans Hate August 09 2010, 06:57AM +1 0 props The hold up is Tambellini.

        The majority of his signings have been safe and straight forward, these two require some assessing on his part.

        Gagner 2 years @ 2.35 Cogliano1@ 1.95

        #8 Nate sans Hate August 24 2010, 06:30PM +1 1 props Cogliano 1 year @ 1.95

        Hasn’t missed a game in 3 years. Career -10 on a brutal team.

        Remained professional after being traded..(twice?)

        He’s done more for the Oilers than Brule and should be paid accordingly.

        ***Not changing my stance now, can’t***

  • I’m not sure why the league would have any problems with the new Kovalchuk deal. According to Kypreos, Ilya’s last 3 years average $2.6M including a base of $4M in the final season (24/25).

    The last 3 yrs of Luongo’s deal average $1.2M per… Hossa’s $833,000. Hossa’s deal expires at age 42, as does Kovalchuk’s.

  • OILERS DO THE IMPOSSIBLE AGAIN – 2010 . AN ICE ODYSSEY . STANLEY CUP FINALISTS . They make trade to also procur next years NBR.1 pick again as a bonus to start their next seaso and DYNASTY . Sell out copies of new best seller book HOCKEY 101 DYNASTY BUILDING – FROM DISASTER TO TOP OF THE WORLD WITH THE DREAMTEAM .

    • Its posts like these that inspire posts like this:

      “madjam, what you have to say is often of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response(s) were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought(s). Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

      • PabstBR55

        before you lambaste the guy (and everyone on ON and Hockey or Die know about his delusional comments) maybe this time it’s sarcasm. Otherwise I’d recommend a CT Scan STAT!!

        • While I do mean what I say, I’m being slightly tongue-in-cheek in using the Principal’s line from “Billy Madison” (except no one picked up on it). And it wasn’t directed specifically at that single post, but to each and every one of good ol’ “jamma24’s” posts.

          • Wanyes bastard child

            I caught the Billy Madison line right away dude 😉

            I just chose not to reply because honestly ever since the “wall of text making your eyes bleed” days of madjam I just skip past any posts by him…

            Also, welcome back Jason, you spelled Wanye’s name wrong 😛

  • Take the callouses off your eyes and thick heads !!! Am i the only person in Oilers Nation to figure out what this rebuild is about ? Tams has told you upteen different times and ways , but you still haven’t figured it out . I, ve told you much the same and you haven’t figured it out yet either .

    TEMPLATE : SAME AS FIRST DYNASTY . We are going back to Sathers building of our first dynasty . First year we made preliminary playoffs . Second year we knocked off perennial power Montreal in four straight as i recall ! I remind you that our club using that original template rewrote the record books , set the standards for subsequent teams to beat ! Tams and LOWE are going to try and duplicate the Sather template and it’s about time some of you woke up and realized it beyond just myself .

    How did the original Oilers do it and maintain a dynasty without suffering like they did about 5 years ago ? Their not building this club to hit the top and fall apart again like Pitt , Detroit and even Chicago looks to be doing .

    We are dynasty building here just like we successfully did from day 1 we entered the NHL for those that can remember back that far . Stats were of little value back then in projecting a bold brash young guns team that were given “” green light “” to live and die with the youth they had over going with low line AHL talent , etc..

    Were not going back to the ways that put us in the toilet . Young talent beats out fringe NHL’ers and AHL talent this year – both don’t fit original template that led to our first dynasty .

    How long is it going to take Oiler Nation to wake up and realize what LOWE and TAMS have been drumming into your heads all summer long ?? I figured it out why can’t the rest of you !! We are going to develop as much youth together as they can muster to try and replicate our first dynasty . It was fast and expediant as you recall, and we didn’t wallow in the basement either as were playoff bound very first year !!

    You people think i’m crazy , i wonder just what you think Tams and Lowe are then attempting to go the original template of Sather ? WAKE UP OILER NATION !!

  • Hall is the right choice to lead our youth movement , Seguin was not . Hall has the template , heart and desire to make it happen just as rapidly as first template . He’s not going to fail . Seguin would have been holding us back for a year or MORE in retrospect . We have the youth in place already this season to start a major thrust to duplicating our storied beginning and dynasty past !!

    Oiler Nation should all be excited about what we’re in store for this season !! WE are living and dying with the next Oiler dynasty youth movement growing up together that led to our biggest and dynamic successes . Get over stat sheets , quit trying to quantify and qualify what this club is capable of . They were of little use back then , just as i suspect they will be with current youth movement . How far away were stats in predicting first Oiler template anyways ? Not much use at all in retrospect !!

    Get on the bandwagon Oilers Nation , were in for quite the ride again . Hartikanen and Plante i see as part and parcel to our youth movement now and down the road , and thus i feel both stand an excellent chance of sticking with club thru it’s growing pains . I don’t see Omark , Svensson or Eberle spending time in the minors or waiting to be fillins because of team injuries .

    • You cannot possibly use retrospect to determine that Hall was the right pick over Seguin. You cannot possibly know yet that Seguin would send the rebuild back by a year or more.

      The only thing that has happened since the Oilers drafted Hall was that he failed to be the best player at the Oilers development camp. That is it. Neither Hall nor Seguin has played a minute of NHL hockey. Not even NHL pre-season hockey.

      Stats were little used, not of little use. There’s a difference.

      And I dont think the word “Template” means what you think it means.

  • Arch – your still in the denial stage. Deny , deny , deny . Get over it and last year . See this season for what it’s going to be !! Some of Oiler Nation as stubborn as an Ox . May have to give entire Oiler Nation this weeks butt plant award !

    • madjam, I dont understand you. I have no idea what the butt plant award is, but if it’s something awarded to people who completely disagree with you then I expect to be a contender for it every week.

      Your ramblings dont make any sense. I THINK (because I dont truly speak madjamese) you actually suggested that the “template” for building a dynasty was by winning more and more playoff games every year.

      One day the wall of crazy that you’ve built will break down and you will see how delusional you’ve been. I want to be there when it happens.