Things to do at the All-Star Break

I hate the All-Star break. It doesn’t count in the standings, there’s a long layoff between actual games and at my age any alteration in schedule makes me grumpy. Fortunately, there are some things to do, some of them involving good old hockey. 

Fort McMurray plays at Sherwood Park in AJHL play today (according to their schedule); the Oil Barons have an 18-year old named Carson Cooper who might be a player. He’s headed for Yale fall 2012. If you get NHL network they’re running some great Gretzky games to mark his 50th birthday and much of it involves the Oilers.

If you like to read, I suggest Stephen Brunt’s excellent "Searching for Bobby Orr" and Jim Devellano’s "The Road to Hockeytown." If you’re of a certain vintage the Orr book offers wonderful insight into our hero (who incredibly remains so all these years later) and the Red Wings book is a stellar glance into just how hard it is to build a hockey team when you’re crappy. It would serve as a reminder to Oiler fans that this thing isn’t going to turn around overnight and there’s a really good chance many changes will occur (front office and roster) before Stanley returns to his rigthful home (speeding down Jasper Ave at about 50 clicks in what will be called a parade but will look like a jailbreak).

If you’re going to watch a hockey movie today make it Slap Shot. There are other hockey movies. Anyone remember Faceoff? A portion of it is here: I don’t watch the Miracle on Ice because it isn’t about Canada. That might seem ridiculous but that’s how I feel.

I have the Oilers 10 best games on DVD and might watch G7 against the Flyers or the Fernando blueline PK game, but I won’t watch the All-Star Game. It doesn’t count in the standings.

There are of course other pursuits. The hardwood floors could use some attention and a long winter of throwing items in the garage has taken its toll. I’m meeting a buddy at Timmy’s in awhile for coffee and then we’ll see.

If you tuned in for a prospect update, they’re all killing it-still. I don’t know what voodoo Stu do but it’s working. Oh, and Sean Couturier seems to be responding to his recent fall down the 2011 draft rankings. He had a monster game the other night and his boxcars now read 40gp, 23-47-70 for the season. Run through Desjardins equivalencies it would be 82gp, 13-27-40. Taylor Hall’s NHLE entering his draft was 82gp, 17-29-46. Couturier isn’t going to be Taylor Hall, but he’s a terrific prospect.



  • Chris.

    The hardwoods under Zeta-Jones have my full attention… as they say: legs till (what day is it today?)

    Oh, and I hate the all-star break too… but look forward to seeing a healthier lineup tuesday.

  • BaconWrapped

    I don’t mind the all-star break but, when I don’t get my blog fill (ON, Lowetide, etc) or it comes slowly, i get grumpy. And, no, you can’t have the weekend off!

  • m_kennedy13

    My top three still remain.


    Speaking of lighting it up, RNH now has 11 points in his last 4 games. 10 of those being assists. Watching RNH feed Hall for the next 15 years would be like a dream. Sure RNH doesn’t have the size of Couturier, but he’s a better player. RNH is lighting up the WHL with a lot less offensive help then Couturier has in the Q. Couturier isn’t even leading his team in points, and the guy who is leading their team in points, Palat, is undrafted.

    Again however, Larsson is number one, and going to be special.

    BPA, for the love of god please let us take the BPA.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    Its going to be interesting to see what the Oilers do between the game on Wednesday and the trade deadline, once the likes of Brule, Eberle, and Hemsky get back back into the line-up(hopefully all return well before the TD). Who goes, who stays the suspense is killing me!

    IMO id like to see Fraser get moved and Hall go back to center, Hall lives for the limelight and he can only get better in it. Its time for Stortini to walk on, yes JFJ hasn’t done much either but after the last game Storini played, clinched that choice for me and besides even though SMAC doesn’t play alot of minutes when he’s in the line-up at least SMAC doesnt get laughed at by the other team. Right now its a coin flip for who gets sent down Omark or Reddox they’ve both stood out in my mind i guess it all depends how long Hemsky is out for.

    Thats just my $0.02 ST only has another month to “asses the situation” before TDD i just hope he does do something because even though the Oilers are re-building and it does take time I’d like for my favorite team to get into the playoffs next spring.

    • Lowetide

      A reasonable guess would be that the forward lines would look like this:



      Fraser, Jacques out the door. I don’t think I forgot anyone.

      • a lg dubl dubl

        Seems like you have givin up on JFJ like ive givin up on huggy bear lol but i do like your line como’s LT, if ST doesn’t do anything by the off season you’ve got my vote for GM sir!

  • O.C.

    No love for “The Mighty Ducks” LT?

    Watched the superskills… this could be so much better… but it’s better each year. I refuse to watch the game tho.

    Anyone catch Healy’s comment after Karlson’s second shootout attempt?

    “…yah and he’s saying “Hey, I’ve got round one in the bank, I’m through, now I can start showing you my junk.”…”


    They really should have comics or something do the one ice interviews for the crowd. The interview with OV was painful.

    Good day to relax. Next Sunday will be busy. Green Bay came on at the right time.

  • stevezie

    This year for the all-star break I decided to throw Teddy Purcell out of a bar. I work in downtown St John’s and he’s home for the break; his friends were okay so I’m willing to allow that he just can’t handle his liquor, but there’s a good chance he’s a full-time fool.
    Celebrity encounter! Wooo!

  • I watched Ryan Nuggent-Hopkins play twice this weekend and my opinion has changed.

    Red Deer has a strong team by WHL standards but he makes them go.

    5 points in two games. (was in on for 2 goals he didn’t get points for)

    RNH is the youngest of Larsson,Landeskog,Couturier and would play in the WHL next year.

    Could Tambellini use the Oilers #1 pick on a player who won’t be in the NHL lineup next year?(I don’t think so)

    My biggest concern moving forward is Sam Gagner. His liminted size/speed/shot make it hard to use him as a #2 with any combination of RNH,Couturier,Lander,Horcoff as #2 centers…

    And he’s not going to get the return you’d like for a former #5 pick..


    • Wax Man Riley

      I think that Tambo could use the pick on someone that won’t be in the lineup next year. If he is that good, then draft him (BPA) and let him develop for the future. We already have a lot of young talent in the lineup. There will be no less than 4 sophmores next year. That is a lot. Fill th rest of the holes with free agents.

      My only thought about RNH is his size. There has been so much talk of the Oil being too small. Do we need another talented little guy?

  • Lowetide

    If you take RNH then Gagner isn’t going to be on the team imo. Which is fine, and I do think he’ll return excellent value.

    If they draft Couturier–and he’s still the guy I like although I don’t think they’ll get him–the top 4C could be Horcoff, Couturier, Gagner/Cogliano and Lander as soon as next season.

    If that’s the route, then C should be a position of strength soon.

    Gagner seems to be in the organizational dunk tank at this time, but he’s certainly a talent.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    Id really hate to see Gagner get traded maybe its just me but i think he could turn into a Doug Weight type player, give Gagner some more time ppl he is only 21( i think), but if Tambo can get a Spezza or a Jeff Cater for Gagner and the 2nd round pick this year then i wouldnt be to upset to see him go.

    • OilFan

      You think we get a Spezza or Carter plus for Gagner ? I say no chance. Plus don’t really see why they trade Gagner just because they draft a center. Wouldn’t you want to keep Gagner untill you know the other center is able to play at the NHL level?

      • a lg dubl dubl

        I think u mis-read my post i said if the Oilers could get a Spezza or a Carter for Gagner AND this yrs 2nd rounder(which looks like it would be a higher pick) obviously the Oilers would have to give up more than they’d get back for the likes of Spezza or Carter

  • a lg dubl dubl

    if gagner got moved there should be a parade in edmonton, he’s small, slow and has a poor shot and that won’t change whether he is 21 or 23. get some return for him while you can tambo!

  • Chris.

    Beating up on Couturier’s skating seems to be en vogue… Yet every scouting report I’ve read praises his smooth stride and quick acceleration. Big frame, smooth stride, good numbers, defensively responsible… What’s not to like? You just don’t find guys like these anywhere but at the draft.

    • OilFan

      Nobody in their right mind will ever agree to take Souray….NOBODY. Lowe has to swallow that contract now. He will either play out his days in the minors along with Redden and Kotalik or pul the plug and retire.

      Interesting Fact:
      The teams voted on by over 300 players in the NHLPA as the spot that players least want to play

      The Island – 27%
      Oil City – 20%


    • Shaun Doe

      Nobody in their right mind will ever agree to take Souray….NOBODY. Lowe has to swallow that contract now. He will either play out his days in the minors along with Redden and Kotalik or pul the plug and retire.

      Interesting Fact:
      The teams voted on by over 300 players in the NHLPA as the spot that players least want to play

      The Island – 27%
      Oil City – 20%


      • There are more than 300 players in the league. I wouldn’t sweat it until there was a league wide survey. Anonymous votes, you don’t know which teams were surveyed, age, where they play now,ect…

        With teams like PHX playing well, it proves that winning solves most problems. They don’t even have an owner & players would still rather play there. The bottom 4 teams have all had losing records for the past few seasons. Loaded question I think.

        • Steve Smith

          Winning will solve that issue. The underlying issue is that they need to start winning prior to the renewal of the younger players contract.

          The team is nearly there. The forwards will be dyn-o-mite in no time. Our defense however…..thats a whole other story.

          I have no doubt that this team will be very good very soon.

  • If Sean Couturier’s a defensive center and Gagner’s high end is 65-70 points, is that good enough?

    Can those two keep up with the speedy wingers?

    Horcoff can’t be expected to produce more than 55 points..

    So the Oilers got the BPA in 2010-11..

    But the combination of Seguin,Couturier/RNH,Horcoff,Lander would have been strong…


  • Shaun Doe

    Ugh, Edmonton takes another hit. Ranked second at 20% for teams players would least like to play for. I get that alot of that has to do with the players desire to win NOW, but still the optics of that stat aren’t all that pretty.

  • Shaun Doe

    Some CHL stats:

    In the Q, there have been 453 games played with 3068 goals. That averages 6.77 goals per game.

    In the OHL there have been 3476 goals scored in 477 games, that averages to 7.29 goals per game.

    In the WHL there have been 3746 goals scored in 559 games, averaging 6.7 goals per game.

    So the Q and the W have about the same, Ontario scoring a bit more.

    Of the top ten goal scorers in each league, the leader is Linden Vey of the Medicine Hat Tigers, two years after his draft year at 1.77 points per game. In second place, in the entire CHL, including 17,18, 19 and 20 year olds is none other than Sean Couturier, with 1.73 goals per game.

    He has considerably more points per game in a league that scores a similar amount of goals than such luminaries of the 2010 draft as Brett Connely (1.22), Ryan Johansen (1.19), and el Nino.

    He is 6’4, 191 at 17. He just turned 18 a month ago. He had mono in the summer so he could not train and probably was in slow mo until Christmas when he played in the WHC.

    In 2009-2010 Tyler Seguin scored 1.68 points per game.

    RNH has 1.37 points per game, did not make the Cdn WHC team, only has 13 freaking goals at this point to Couturier’s 23 goals.

    How Couturier is not the consensus number one is beyond me.

    He is also plus 35. PLUS 35!!!

    The second highest on his team is plus 23!!

    If any of the bloggers here want to write an article on this using some of these base stats, please do so as it would be nice to get Couturier the attention he deserves. Oh, by the way, he is something like 60% last info I could find in the faceoff circle.

  • Shaun Doe

    that hathaway lady is a disgrace to the fine women who have been the cover of many of your blogs. she’s chorney compared to petry. foster to a pronger.

    in other words, “she’s not worthy” … frankly, a bit of a blight on your overall run of supreme women. I’ll credit your kids for influencing this, which gives you some grace, but c’mon.

    frankly, she’s hathaway to a zeta jones πŸ˜‰ just a completely different league. I’m a little worried we’re going to see a julia roberts picture soon.

    SAY IT AIN’T SO!!!

  • DoubleJ

    even if all three of 14-67-83 are ready to go come Wed vs LA it still shouldn’t be too big of a problem to get the roster back to 23.

    Despite Renney blowing major s**t about “this mean needs to play” no one outside of Stauffer thinks 33 should be holding a roster spot so there’s one guy gone. Also, Lowe’s had to look around the league to see if either of 16-22-46 have any value so that’s where the other omission comes from.