It would be a clumsy choice of words to say emphatically, "The Edmonton Oilers aren’t going anywhere," but isn’t that the obvious bottom line when it comes to the non-story hatched by QMI Agency Wednesday?
Dan Barnes of The Journal and others have already cut through all the smoke since the original "story" broke, an item that sent conspiracy theorists scampering for any shred of evidence Oilers owner Daryl Katz was wielding the relocation hammer in yet another power play meant to influence the new arena debate.
Oooh, Patrick LaForge and Kevin Lowe are in Quebec City . . . pluck a few quotes, mix in the broadest possible interpretation of those quotes and a "source" and you’ve got a story. Or not.
The only thing LaForge and the Oilers-Katz Group contingent were doing in Quebec City was due diligence in terms of getting a handle on the ins and outs of funding and how it might apply to Edmonton.
It was much ado about nothing, just like the silly angst voiced by Paula Simons in The Journal a couple days ago about the manner in which the Oilers staged a phone survey, looking for input from interested parties.
With the kind of public money Katz is looking for to get his project done, there’s plenty of room for debate and for taxpayers who’ll help foot the bill to ask tough questions, but a lot of the stuff I’m reading these days is laughable. Flimsy from the word go.
Not to mention shoddy, stilted journalism.
While I’m at it…
— A three-game sweep in Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto? Anybody out there see the potential for that going into Hogtown tonight before this road trip started? I sure didn’t.
— Speaking of clumsy wording, has Dustin Penner pretty much shoved it up the backsides of his critics with the way he’s played on this trip? The big man had a lot of jump before getting the OT winner in Montreal.
— I didn’t see Penner as a match for Andrew Cogliano and Gilbert Brule, and that’s one of many reasons Tom Renney is an NHL coach and I’m not. Two speedsters with no hands and a plodder with great hands. It didn’t add up for me.
— Talk about the benefit of hindsight. The more I watch Devan Dubnyk, the more it becomes obvious the Oilers made the right call, putting him ahead of Jeff Deslauriers on the depth chart last summer. I didn’t see him being this good this fast. I didn’t see him being this good, ever.
— More Magnus Paajarvi alongside Ales Hemsky, please. Paajarvi was dashing and darting like it was pre-season all over again against the Habs. I’m guessing fans want Renney to take a good, long look at this combination to see if there’s something there. He should.
— Goals like the shorty Sam Gagner scored on Carey Price show he’s got the kind of skill that makes some fans project him as a 70-80-point player. If Sam had the physical tools and skating ability to match his brain and his mitts, they’d be right.
— I enjoy listening to Dustin Nielson and Kyle Chase on TEAM 1260’s morning show, I really do, but Chase’s ongoing butchery of the language we speak does provide unintentional comic relief.
Nielson was going on about the win in Montreal this morning and Chase agreed with his partner’s "analyzation" of events.
— I’m not impartial on this, but hasn’t Rod Phillips sounded pretty good so far in the Rod’s Classics he’s done? I like hearing, "He scooooooores!!!" when the puck goes in the net. Memo to Jack Michaels…
Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.