MIXED BAG MONDAY

Another rollercoaster weekend for Oiler fans as you watched the Oilers man-handle the Flames on Friday, and then blow a two-goal lead last night v. the Coyotes. Such is life in Oilersnation.


Here’s a mixed bag of thoughts on the Oilers, certain players and some non-hockey stuff.

  • Cory Sarich’s hit on Hall wasn’t cheap. It was a hard hit, but Hall losing his balance played a major role in the outcome. I’m old school and would have loved to see someone go after Sarich, but the game has changed. I thought the Oilers did up their physical play after the hit, especially Lennart Petrell, but I do know that if Theo Peckham or Andy Sutton had jumped Sarich later it wouldn’t have stopped him from playing physical.
     
  • I thought the Klesla hit on Jordan Eberle was cheaper and more dumb than the Sarich hit. I’d love to see the league crack down on those types of hits. Hitting a guy up high and slamming him into the glass is much more dangerous than a hard open-ice hit in my opinion. Klesla has lots of time to recognize the situation Eberle was in, but he still drilled him. Those are the hits the league should be looking at trying to get rid of.
     
  • Peyton Manning signs with the Broncos, but please Lord, don’t allow my Dolphins to do something stupid and overpay for Tebow. If  they could get him for a 3rd or 4th rounder fine, but not a 2nd.
     
  • It might have happened, but I haven’t seen any Oiler fans wearing the "paperbag" this year or last despite being 30th and 29th. Not sure if that is good or bad.
     
  • Having Hartikainen and Petrell in top-nine last night gave the Oilers a different look. Neither is the most skilled guy, but I definitely noticed they were able to go to the net without much resistance. Whether it is one of them or another player, the Oilers need to inject some size into their top-nine, and ideally at least one guy in their top-six.
     
  • That is the exact reason I don’t see any room for Linus Omark. The Oilers can’t have six small wingers in their top-nine and expect to be competitive. You can’t have all the similar style players and expect to win, unless you had three Eberles, Halls and Nugent-Hopkins, but that isn’t realistic. It isn’t a knock on Omark per se, just that I don’t think he is better than Hemsky or Eberle.
     
  • Devan Dubnyk looked very relaxed these past three games. He didn’t allow any blatant "bad" goals. The key is seeing if he can play this way for another three weeks. Consistent goaltending will move them up the standings much quicker than adding a solid 3rd liner with size.
     
  • Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but last night during Oil Change it looked like Kevin Lowe was the one negotiating with Hemsky. That doesn’t surprise me since Lowe and Hemsky have known each other since Hemsky was drafted in 2001, but is he calling the shots until the season is over, or was it just that Hemsky and Lowe had a better relationship? Personal relationships are a big thing in negotiations, so that would make sense, but with no contract extension for Steve Tambellini, right now, I do wonder who makes the final decision?
     
  • I remember sitting in media row at the draft in Montreal when the Oilers traded Kyle Brodziak and saying it was a bad decision to choose Marc Pouliot over Brodziak. In the years since the deal, Brodziak has played 233 games and scored 43 goals and 106 points. He has 18 in 71 games this year and is on pace to score 20. Pouliot has played 51 games for three different organizations and tallied 7 goals and 18 points. Brodziak shoots right, kills penalties and is decent in the dot. Was a bad trade then, and it looks even worse today.
     
  • Interestingly enough the Tyler Bunz signing today, could make the Brodziak deal look even worse, because I think Bunz will be a better pro goalie than Olivier Roy (one of the picks in the trade). Bunz will need some pro seasoning, but within the next year or so, I think he’ll end up ahead of Roy on the depth chart.
     
  •  If the CHL could ever come up with something similar to March Madness it would be awesome. The format makes it one of the best tournaments in sports. I love watching the upsets, especially Lehigh beating Duke. Great drama.
     
  • Will you go to an Oil Kings playoff game? If not, how come? They are the best team in the WHL and one of the favourites to win the WHL title. Their only concern is lack of experience, but you can’t get that until you play. Good luck to them and I’m looking forward to some great games at Rexall starting Friday night.

BIG THANKS

When we announced our first POKER CHARITY TOURNAMENT to End MS, we had incredible feedback. We sold out the 100 spots in less than 30 hours. Century Casino and Farlie Travel partnered up with me to make this event happen. Century Casino will host the event, while Farlie Travel took care of the travel plans for our winner to go to Vegas for the WSOP main event.

John Farlinger, former Eskimo DB and long-time colourman for Esks games owns Farlie Travel and he’s a big supporter of charities.. When he found out we sold out so fast, he and Century Casino mentioned we should do another event. Farlinger offered to sponsor another winner and so did Century Casino.

A huge thank you to them, and so now we will have another tournament on Sunday April 15th. If you are planning a trip anywhere or want to go on a great sports weekend jaunt contract Farlie Travel at 459.6661 or www.farlietravel.com

THE INFO

Here is your chance to helps end MS and win your entry ($10,000) to the WSOP main event.

WHEN: Sunday April 15th at noon.
WHERE: Century Casino, 13103 Fort Road
WHO: 100 Texas Hold Em Players
WHY: To Help End MS and win a seat at the WSOP main event

COST: $175 per person (15% goes to MS Society)

Please be advised of the following stipulations for the tournament: 

·       All participants must be 21 years of age.
·       The grand prize is based on a minimum occupancy of 80 participants, with only 100 spotsavailable. If all spots are not filled, the grand prize will be adjusted to the pre-determined cash prizing.
·       The grand prize awarded is a seat in the World Series of Poker Tournament Main Event, valued at $10,000 USD, in Las Vegas July 7th – 16th, 2012. The last 9 players of the tournament will return to Las Vegas in November 2012 for the final table. All events will be held at the Rio Hotel. The grand prize includes airfare, courtesy of FARLIE TRAVEL and accommodation for one.

·         The grand prize is non-transferable. The 1st place grand prize winner of the tournament  will accept the prize as awarded and be expected to participate and represent Century Casino and The Jason Gregor Show in the World Series of Poker Tournament.

·         The remainder of the cash prizing for the tournament will be broken down as follows, based on full occupancy:
 
2nd place – $2,000.00 cash
3rd place – $800.00 cash
4th place – $640.00 cash
5th place – $560.00 cash
6th place – $480.00 cash
7th place – $400.00 cash
8th place – $320.00 cash
9th place – $240.00 cash
10th place – $210.00 cash

20% of each prize amount will be donated to the MS Society in the name of the winner.

Starting at 2 p.m. today you can call 780.643.4060 to register. We only have room for 100 spots. Good luck.

**If you signed up for the first one on April 14th you won’t be able to register until Wednesday afternoon. We want to open it up to as many as possible. Thanks for helping END MS.

  • Great job JG, agree with everything you have there, very balanced.
    Omark could fit on a team with size – The Blues perhaps? Nashville?
    He is a slow skater but has great hands and needs to play the pp to have success.

    Hartikanen could be a part of the answer if he can score enough to be in the top 9 next year. I think he can. A big top 6 forward like that would do wonders for us. He hits, and he drives the net. Kind of like Jones, but with quicker feet.

    • Bryzarro World

      I don’t think its necessarily a matter of whether or not Harti can put up points but can he create the space his linemates need to put up the big points. If he frees up space and get 20 points but his linemate are hitting the 60-70+ then I say a job well done.

  • JG you almost have me convinced on Omark yet I am loath to let that kind of talent walk away with the penchant that Hall and company have shown to injuries. Do you sgn him to a one way contract that would pay him in the 900000 area and keep him in OKC. He needs to develop his game anyway and he would be an excellent insurance policy against further injuries.

    My 9 year old son was wondeing why that wasn’t a penalty on Eberle. That should tell you something.

    How good is Filip Forsberg? Is he good enough to take Number 1?

  • Bryzarro World

    So what you think is going to happen in ST gets an extention and the team is sucking just as hard next year?

    Wish season was over already only because I am interested in what the Oilers do with the coaching and managment staff. Something has to change!

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    Not the first time we seen this from DD.

    Here’s a question and it will depend on how things go down the stretch, but do you just let DD walk this year and go with Bulin and a new face next year? Or do you once again put your eggs in a basket and hope to hell that these two can somehow be good enough next year?

    Maybe you move him at the draft if you can. I just don’t know that he has much if any value.

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    Interestingly enough the Tyler Bunz signing today, could make the Brodziak deal look even worse, because I think Bunz will be a better pro goalie than Olivier Roy (one of the picks in the trade). Bunz will need some pro seasoning, but within the next year or so, I think he’ll end up ahead of Roy on the depth chart.

    Kyle Brodziak and Darcy Kuemper for Kyle Bigos and Oliver Roy.

    Ya it doesn’t look good at all. Kuemper was the player of the year in the WHL last year along with WHL goalie of the year. You can take Brodziak out of the trade and as of today we lost that deal.

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    Gregor, a little premature on judging the Brodziak deal I think! Kyle Bigos is the other pick, right? We’ll have to wait awhile to judge that trade accurately! I personally was never a Brodziak fan! Too slow & not very aggressive for his size. The Oilers had far too many bodies at the time and had to make some moves! Why couldn’t Roy & Bunz play on the same team? I think both those young goalies will pass Dubnyk.

    • Jason Gregor

      Premature? Are you joking?

      They could have drafted Bigos at #101 instead of Toni Rajala…They took Bigos 99th, so odds were in their favour he would have been there. And keep in mind the deal was announced a few rounds before they took Bigos, so they didn’t know for sure he’d even be there at 99.

      Bigos might turn out, but Brodziak is a proven NHLer…

      You clearly fall in love with prospects. Bunz and Roy haven’t shown anything to suggest they will be better than Dubnyk, and the odds are extremely slim that both will be better than Dubnyk.

  • Some good notes here.

    I agree on Brodziak trade.. still leaves a sour taste in my mouth, along with not re-signing Glencross (another horse that’s been beaten to death).

    As far as “retribution” on Sarich, Whitney did go after him right away. I liked seeing that. He didn’t go all Todd Bertuzzi on him, but he did get some shots in. Peckham also invited him to dance later in the game, but Sarich wasn’t willing to go. Boo to that, but that’s what will happen as long as the NHL has the instigator.

    I also am loving Hartikainen and Petrell in our top 9. Hartikainen, especially, has opened up a lot of ice and looks to have a bit of chemistry with Hemsky. He still is a little clumsy around the net, but he’ll figure it out.

  • RexLibris

    To start, I have been to some Oil Kings’ games this year. I’ve been in seasons past and this year was certainly more entertaining.

    I’m not sure I would expect the OKs to win the WHL title only because this is still junior and while they have tremendous depth both at defence, forward, and even in net with both Brossoit and Jaury, inconsistency is big factor when you’re talking about players between 16 and 20 years old.

    I’ve loved watching Pelss and Gernat, I’m seriously envious of St. Croix and would love to find a way to fleece Sather of that young man’s talents, and I am hoping that the Oilers find a way to snag two or three of Corbett, Foster, Wruck, Samuelsson, or Maxwell. Also, my biggest fear on draft day is that the Flames find a way to land Griffin Reinhart.

    As for the Oilers, I’d like to re-sign Petrell and give Hartikainen another half-season in the AHL with call-ups. At the deadline they might be in a position to move Petrell and bring Hartikainen up for the rest of the year. But his progress thus far indicates he needs to work on his consistency and I suspect he’s only another 70 to 100 games away from making the NHL on a full-time basis. Now, if he can just channel some Tikkanen we’ll really be laughing!

    • O.C.

      Squirrel Petrell and Hartikainen away in a cabin with Tikkanen somewhere in northern Finland for the whole summer. Maybe they will come back a little off balance ready to stir the hornets nest.

      A summer with a couple of cases of Finlandia and Tikk yammering at them through tose long days might just turn the trick.

  • Schmidty66

    The sad thing with regards to sticking up for Hall is Sutton only played 2:51 in the game. After Hall left the game the Oil were down to 10 forwards with Peckam even taking a shift or two up front. Why wouldn’t Renny put Sutton up there? On more than one occasion this year he has shown some offensive flair and the toughness sure wouldn’t hurt. Just my thoughts though. Sure will be nice next year if can can get a coach in here with a little more push back attitude.

    • RexLibris

      Maybe he was looking for others to step up and take that role. They need more that just sutton to do the extra work and maybe Renny is trying to find who else is willing to put in that extra.

  • smiliegirl15

    I wonder how much negotiating Tambellini ever did in this organization. I just think it’s gotten to the point where, with no new contract for Tambellini, they’ve stopped pretending.

  • bazmagoo

    I agree with what you said about Lowe calling the shots Gregor. Also, if you notice during the Schultz trade brainstorm, Lowe speaks last and says an empathic “Let’s do it” or something to that effect. Really sounded (to me) like a CEO giving his approval to a transaction.

    Omark will probably leave, unless we give him an overinflated AHL contract like some of the guys have down there this year. To me, he consistently looks like a guy with a chip on his shoulder. And not in a good way.

    I predict it’ll be Dubnyk and Khabibulin again next season, can’t see the Oilers grabbing a free agent goalie even though I’ve said that in the past. Khabibulin’s contract is just too much money in my opinion to devote more cap space to another goalie. Further complicating matters is that Dubnyk is inconsistent, but seems to be progressing a little each year.

    If we can get two defencemen, either through free agency or prospects developing, that’s more of an immediate need anyway it seems.

  • O.C.

    Brodziak Pfffft.

    He’s getting first line ops on a no where team and that’s the best he can do.

    Gregor decent thots

    One thing… I’m a big Bunz fan, er… you know what I mean… but too early for us to project either way with Bunz and Roy. Could be both in two years.

  • Eulers

    Are we still talking about Brodziak? Talk about beating a horse to death…
    The guy was softer than Hemsky when he was here.
    Letting Glencross go was a mistake; Brodziak? Meh.

    • O.C.

      And I’m surprised we are still talking about Glencross. The year the Oilers let him go he was a 25 point man looking like a career 3rd or 4th liner. And the Oilers had a team of 3rd-4th liners. I’m pretty sure the Flames never expected the production they are getting this year – his shooting percentage leads the league and is likely unsustainable. Good for him that he is having a breakout year at 29 but he was not ever the guy to lead the Oilers to the promised land.

      • O.C.

        “The year the Oilers let him go he was a 25 point man looking like a career 3rd or 4th liner.”

        Hmmm. Have you considered a career as a scout for the Flames? Not much I’d like better than to see them permanently at the bottom of the league.

        In the short while he was here his play was outstanding. On a pro rata basis he would have scored 25 goals for a full year, not, as you suggest, wind up with 25 points. (Unless of course you meant he would 0 assists for the year.) He won the fastest skater award in the skills competition, and if memory serves it’s the unofficial all-time record for the entire NHL.

        GlenX could skate, he could hit, he had size, he could score, he wanted to be in Etown and all the arrows were pointing upwards. He wanted the grand total of a million dollars per year on a 3 year contract. The Oilers made a huge mistake that year, by concentrating on Hossa they let GlenX slip away. Maybe, as his agent suggested at the time, Lowe should have returned a few of his calls.

        And lastly, who but you ever mentions ‘promised land,’ and GlenX in the same sentence? It’s not anything I’ve ever read. . .

        • O.C.

          In 07-08 Glencross played 36 games for Columbus and 26 games for Edmonton, ending up with 15 goals and 10 assists. That is what really happened, not some fantasized prorated 25 goals. He has been a fast skating, hardworking career 30 – 40 point third liner having a career year based on a statistically anomalous shooting percentage. I would argue that the Oilers not signing him has made zero difference to their lack of success. “Huge mistake?” I don’t think so.

  • O.C.

    I haven’t made the pilgrimage to Rexall for a junior game yet. How many seats will be available for the playoffs? Is the whole arena opened up for regular season games for ticket sales?