There’s nothing more satisfying that getting to work and killing the first hour of the day.  If we can do something to help get you through another Monday without punching someone, it’s our civic duty to do so. With that, I present to you another edition of the Mailbag. If you have a question you would like to ask, you can email me at or hit me up on Twitter at @jsbmbaggedmilk.

Put your feet up and enjoy – we’re all in this together. 


1) Byron Hradoway asks – Do the referees on the ice have any sort of input or say in the suspension of a player? Do the referees have to make a phone call or anything like that discuss their reasoning for handing out a 2min penalty for a hit rather than a major? It just seems strange that the league can come down and make these calls (in regards to suspensions) when the people on the ice responsible for the players safety may see it in a different light.

Jason Gregor:

The referees see it in real time, in a split second. They don’t have the luxury of seeing it in super slow motion or from the perfect angle. Player safety makes the decisions on suspensions.


I believe there are game reports and likely input as required. As for the on-ice officials seeing it in a different light, the game is so fast it’s impossible to process all of it. 


You know, I honestly have no idea if they do or not, but you would think that they should. Though the league does have 1000 different camera angles to look at when the discipline czars are getting together to dole out punishment, and I’m sure it’s not super hard for them to figure out what the ref was probably thinking, but five minute phone call wouldn’t hurt either. 

And at the same time that’s pretty much the entire reason they have this discipline panel. Things happen on the ice at a million miles an hour so, as we’ve seen many times before, the refs are going to miss a few things, or interpret things differently. And I do think it’s a good thing that the refs aren’t the ones handing out suspensions themselves. It’s probably hard enough out there for a ref when he makes a call that a player thinks was wrong (every single penalty in history), I can’t imagine what it would be like if Tim Peel had to deal with Steve Ott after handing him a 6 game suspension. 

Jason Strudwick:

I believe the refs write up a report that goes into the decision making process.

Robin Brownlee:

The people on the ice are making calls at full speed with a split second to do so. Is it really surprising that an overseer, with the benefit of replay and multiple camera angles, might see any given play differently? I don’t think so. What matters most — and the NHL isn’t there yet — is that the right call is made. Doesn’t matter to me if it’s the on-ice official or an off-ice official that makes sure it is right.


Everyone has pretty much said the same thing. The refs see the game at full speed, whereas the hand slapping department gets endless replays.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the NHL asks for input on certain calls though.


2) Craig Smallwood asks – What specifically is the biggest hole in the Oilers lineup, in your opinion, when all players are healthy?  Can you name a player example that would fit the role? (not “center” but 2nd line center like Jordan Staal…not “blueline”, but #1 elite left pairing defender like Shea Weber etc)

Jason Gregor:

Sidney Crosby would be the best, but I’m pretty sure he isn’t available. The biggest hole is a veteran 2nd line centre, but it is only a guess as to who is available. Most have NMC or teams simply won’t trade them. The Oilers have missed the playoffs for eight years, going on nine, very few players will waive their NMC to come here until the team starts winning.


I think the biggest issue now is center, and a guy like Philadelphia’s Sean Couturier would represent a perfect fit. That kind of two-way player would be a phenomenal add. 


DE-FENSE *Clap Clap* DE-FENSE *Clap Clap*. For the one billionth time the Oilers don’t have a #1 D-Man, and you could make a fairly solid argument they don’t have a real #2 at the moment either. I like Jeff Petry, A LOT, but to  my eye he, Nikitin, Schultz and Fayne would all be much better served in the 3-4 role. Having said that, if the Oilers had a Shea Weber or a PK Subban type then any one of those guys could probably be the de-facto #2 and flourish. UNFORTUNATELY those type of world-class D-men only come around once in a blue moon, and you either have to mortgage your entire future for one of those guys in a trade, or use your magic beans to draft one. I doubt either of those things are happening any time soon for the Oilers (continues to feed Darnell Nurse stem cells and HGH).

Jason Strudwick:

Center – Steve Rucchin. He is exactly what the Oilers need. Unfortunately he is retired.

Robin Brownlee:

Centre. Pick the name of the best centre in the NHL in your opinion, put him in the No. 1 hole and move RNH into the second-line role. As for descriptions and names, why wouldn’t you start by saying “elite” fill-in-position-here? If you’re going to name players the Oilers likely have no chance of acquiring, might as well aim high.


Personally, I think the Oilers could desperately use a puck moving defenceman like Scott Niedermayer (news flash, right?). Niedermayer was able to play sound defensively, and put up points from the back end. 


3) Joel Short asks – How many games you realistically expect Luke Gazdic to play? In what situation would you play him, and who would likely come out of the lineup?

Jason Gregor:

I’d play him over Wil Acton. I suspect you will see him up from OKC by the next homestand. Injuries are the reason he gets in the lineup, when everyone is healthy he is likely a scratch.


I think he’ll play 50-55. Gazdic could potentially step in for Hendricks if he is hurt or moves up the depth chart, or Joensuu for the same reasons. It’s also possible we see the Oilers try Gazdic on the third line, but one suspects injuries would have to take a considerable toll before that happens. 


Ideally I would prefer if Luke Gazdic played zero games. And that isn’t anything personal against Luke Gazdic. He seems like a great dude, who tries hard as he possibly can, and I do think he has made strides in rounding out what little NHL game he has. But he’s a very one dimensional player, who’s sole purpose as a “deterrent” *rolls eyes* has been all but fazed out this year. The Wagon Line has been the most consistent line so far this season, and as we saw in the Philly game the second they were broken up that 4th line suffered greatly. Do you put Gazdic on a line with, say, Arcobello and Yakupov? Pouliot and Draisaitl? There’s literally no spot for him at the moment, barring an injury to Joensuu or Hendricks, and even then Steve 

Pinozzotto would make WAY more sense as a replacement. That being said, going by Eakins track record I wouldn’t be surprised if Gazdic got 20 to 25 games this year. 

Jason Strudwick:

With the direction the role that Gazdic fills is going it could be a longer year for him. I hope he gets a real chance to show he has and can improve to the point of playing 8-10 mins.

Robin Brownlee:

“Realistically” depends on a lot of factors — Gazdic’s health, injuries with the Oilers and situations in which he might be a reasonable option and how all three intersect. Given how well the fourth line has played and with the addition, at least for now, of Iiro Pakarinen to the line-up, my best guess is he’ll play less than 20 games.


Ahhh the question to end all questions… I think that Gazfic will only play if there’s an injury, or an especially rough team coming up.  I’m thinking, something like if the Canucks play Sestito than Gazdic would dress.  The problem is that there’s no one to sit for him.  The wagon line’s been amazing, and when Taylor Hall comes back from injury, I think it will be hard for Luke to crack the nightly roster.


4) Steveland Cleamer ask – I have seen NFL players sitting on the bench sucking oxygen out of a tank with a mask while on the sidelines between plays.  Is there are rule disallowing oxygen canisters on the bench to help refresh players more quickly in the NHL??

Jason Gregor:

No rule that I’ve heard of. Most of those NFL players who do that are playing outside in very hot temperatures, NHL rinks aren’t that hot. I’m guessing no NHL player has wanted to be the first to use one.


Absolutely no idea. Suspect players would probably head to the dressing room if they were in that kind of situation. 


I think NHL players should be allowed to wear Bane-esque face masks the entire time. They look SUPER BAD-ASS and it would help keep their lungs powered up! 

Jason Strudwick:

Yes there is a rule….it is called pride.

Robin Brownlee:

I’m not a aware of a rule that disallows oxygen on the benches, but I’m not sure it’s manageable. Changing on the fly and lack of space on the bench is a completely different situation than football, where players have more room to relax and where the offensive, defensive and special teams each take different turns on the playing field.


My grandma stayed at our place and she used to have an oxygen tank.  One time, we were watching TV and I asked her about it.  Rather than explain to me what the oxygen tank was, she strapped that thing on me.  Let me tell you something: that’s some good breathing! If I could have an oxygen tank on right now, I would. Typing is hard, and breathing euphoric, 100% oxygen is a party that I want to be involved in. Forget the players, Rexall should be hanging out mini oxygen tanks to all the Tier 1 fans that show up.


5) Ryan Meidl asks – Past or present, what was the greatest goal that you can remember? Who scored it, and what was the situation?

Jason Gregor:

Lauren Scott scored it shorthanded in OT against Lacombe when I was playing Midget hockey and it sent us to provincial finals. I won the draw back to the point, Jamie Goodrigde took a point shot and Scott banged home the rebound. We were 16 and it was a wonderful time. Regardless of what level of hockey you played at the biggest goal has to come from the team you played for, because you got to experience it first hand. That is still more enjoyable than watching your favourite NHL team score a goal, in my opinion.


Bobby Orr’s 1970 OT goal. I never saw it, but heard it on radio. The Bruins had been horrible forever, and Orr changed it all. I’d also include Messier’s brilliant goal against the Islanders 1984, Anderson’s dart in 1987 G7 SCF, Gretzky’s impossible shot over Vernon’s shoulder and the Pisani SH goal 2006.


I still get goosebumps every time I watch the Hemsky goal from round 1 in ’06. I screamed SO LOUDLY when this happened that my roommate at the time rushed into my room cause he thought I had dropped a bookshelf on myself.  Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go cry in the shower.

Jason Strudwick:

Gretzky’s 50 in 39. We will never see that goal scoring pace again.

Robin Brownlee:

Greatest as in most spectacular or most important? Most spectacular is Pavel Bure’s skate to stick goal. against Boston. Most memorable goal for me was Bobby Orr’s Cup winning goal vs St. Louis in 1970.


It had to be Pisani in Game 5 against Carolina in OT. I was at a bar in St. Albert during that game, and when he scored the place erupted.  One of my friends literally threw a half-full pitcher of beer in the air while we all started hugging.  One of the greatest goals I’ve ever seen. There was something in the air that night.

  • Bishai in the Benches

    My favourite was Todd Marchant’s breakaway goal against Dallas. He was my favourite player and I was 7 and absolutely HATED the Dallas stars. I loved those late 90’s playoff series, even though it was almost always the same result every year.. I just miss the playoffs.

    • geoilersgist

      This is the exact goal that came to my mind. Pisani’s goal in ’06 is also dear to my heart.

      But man oh man did I hate the Dallas Stars and that goal made me one happy 12 year old.

  • Leef O'Golin

    Marchant’s OT goal was one of my favs. Messier’s goal against the Islanders in the ’84 playoffs. What about Hemsky’s goal against the Stars after Patrick Stefan missed the open net?

  • Bishai in the Benches

    Yeah Steve Rucchin is what the Oilers need, or maybe Cyclone Taylor but he was more of a rover, mid point cover. Is Emilio still available he would be great he could help with coaching too! Hayley Wickeheiser is a prairie girl she might be okay with winters in Eddy. Why do you bother? Keep it up I’m sure Lowe has taken note of your condescending attitude towards the common fan and will make you an executive soon enough. Bring on the ban.

  • googlist

    My Fav goal was vs the Stars in 07-08. Patrick Stepan goes in for the empty netter, misses, Stoll to Smyth, to Hemsky and buries it in spectacularly dramatic fashion. Too bas we lost in OT 🙁

  • googlist

    Dale Scott scored a few also. Rachel Gregor didn’t look at all out of place, playing against all boys teams. Any goal by #10 Lance Charois in Cheifs run to the Capital Junior Title

  • Grant

    Sorry Struds , but ALL Records really are made to be broken, that is not just a “saying”.

    But you need to believe in something bigger than yourself to be able to envision those old Records falling for you.

    Not every man can do that Jason.

    I think the current Roster has the potential to break any of the Dynasty team records,and many of the individual ones.

    I recall several Dynasty Records being equalled or bettered in the last three years.

    Something of a statistical anomaly those results were I guess huh?

    I think Yak or Nuge or Hall could break Waynes 39 in 50 goal scoring record.

    There is a NewAge Hockey System program named Intuitive Dynamic Management, and this program duplicates and in some cases betters the Dynasty Oilers management strategys and tactics and also produces equal or superior results.

    Jason believe me Wayne and Jarri and Glen and Paul were NOT thinking normally, they actually believed they could unseat ETERNAL POWERHOUSE NHL Teams and take the entire Hockey World by the cojones leading us all on their Historic ride.

    EVERYONE thought they were nuts,it wasnt even rational to have the type of vision that Roster had, grew, and defended.

    It takes thousands and thousands of people trying to make it to find a few hundred NHL players,imagine how many people it takes to make one NHL Head Coach? There are only a handfull in the entire World.

    The value of a System or Program which can within its processes enhance an NHL Head Coaches impacts and effectiveness using the Roster itself is off the charts.It has never been done before,except by Wayne and Mark,this type of Intuition based management has never been seen before in the formats it is in today.

    Yes Jason,there is no safe place for Dynasty Record anymore.

    There are a LOT of scoring chances in 60 minutes,enough for the right man to score 2 goals per game if his teammates can give him consistant impacts to work off of for 50 games.The challenge is not scoring the goals themselves,it is in finding a System the entire team can consistantly execute for 50 games,the goals are a byproduct of the teams System execution,even if they are not System generated…even if someone steps out of the System to score Superman efforts every night it WILL ALWAYS BE the consistant System Base which allo0ws this type of elite production.

    I dont disrespect the Accomplishments of the NHLers who built the Game into what it is today,in fact it is out of the UPMOST RESPECT that I challenge and try to not simply better but to dominate their philosophies and concepts and processes and results.

    And I dont just talk about it , I do something about it.

    There is no majic Bean you plant to turn a Team into Champions but there is a Program and processes which CAN DO THIS.

    There is only one RIGHT way,one OPTIMAL way to build a winning Championship team.One OPTIMAL PROCESS.Either you know it understand it and can action it,or you “compete” along with the rest of the Majority.

    Champions are in the MINORITY in every way,including how they think.They arent “average” in any ways.

    There can only be one.

    It is by being different than the Status Quo that Champions are defined,not by being part of the Status Qou.

    • Jason Strudwick

      You are an unique individual. What the hell are you talking about? Which dynasty records have been broken the last 3 years that come close to Gretky’s 50 in 39? Unless I blacked out for a year I am pretty sure there wasn’t one that comes close!

      Very well written comment just no substance.

      Happy Halloween! Can I say that or is there a better dynasty halloween type holiday I don’t know about.


      • paul wodehouse

        …for the love of gawd and the hope that Wanye doesn’t venture to the high level bridge when he sees it…

        PLEASE oh PLEASE add the ZED to the name in your comment just before the 50in39

        …thank you

  • Grant

    I saw a Toronto Edmonton game. Gretzky was at the point on a power play and the pass came back to him and twice it hopped over his stick to ruin the power play . Visibly pissed off he regained the puck at the Oilers blue line slapped his stick on the ice in disgust and went through every Maple Leaf to score a goal.
    Please comment if you remember! It was like he was saying I can score at will.
    Beautiful goal! Maybe in about 1985.

    • From an Oilers fan!

      I remember that one as well. It was so neat. He not only skated around each Toronto player but some twice. I think it had been tabulated as 8 players(including the some twice). Most dazzling peice of stick handling puck control I ever witnessed.

  • How can anyone not mention steve yzerman’s rocket slapshot top cheese on john casey in game 7 overtime against the st louis blues.
    Personally i can’t think of another goal that pretty. So Clutch. Plus yzermans celly was pretty awesome too.

  • Spoils

    I don’t think you can split Hall and Nuge until we get a real #2C. but down the road when Leon emerges, what do people THINK the lines will be?


    or something else?

    • The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33

      IF, and it’s a big IF right now, the Nuge-Pouliot-Eberle keeps on ticking, I’d say put Arco in between Hall and Yak.

      Arco has shown so far that he is reliable defensively, good on the dot, can play with offensive guys and actually wins more battle than he loses in the corners. He doesn’t do anything spectacular but he doesn’t need to.

      The Steve Rucchin comment by Struds is dead on. I think Arco can play that part with the two dynamic wingers we have. Not comparing them to Kariya and Selane, just the situation.

  • Spaceman Spiff

    My favourite goal is the Gretzky breakaway goal on Billy Smith in the 1984 Cup final. Not sure which game it was – Game 3? Game 4? – but Gretz took a pass from Dave Semenko who, at that point, had outscored No.99 in the Cup final. It basically transformed the series from the Isles’ Drive for Five to the coronation of the Oilers.

    Good times.

  • oilerjed

    I would vote for the marchant goal just for the memory.
    I was working at Gas station on whyte ave and listening on the radio with about 10 customers who couldnt bring themselves to leave. Random chaos ensued after that goal, free slushies for everyone! Yeah that’s how I roll.

    @ Brownlee “Centre. Pick the name of the best centre in the NHL in your opinion, put him in the No. 1 hole and move RNH into the second-line role. ”

    Its about time some writers on this site started to see the light. Nuge is getting much better but imagine his numbers and progression if he had a legitamate 1C to ease his minutes and show him how it is done at an elite level.

  • The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33

    My favorite goal was the only goal I ever score on a tip in ala Smitty in front of the net. Except I scored mine in a Men’s ball hockey league, div 24.

  • oilerjed

    The goal in the 1-0 victory over the Islanders in the Stanley Cup final was a turning point in the changing of the guard in the 80’s. Those disrespecting Islanders finally recognized that they were no longer the elite team in the NHL. The dynasty that followed was worth the price of admission and then some, and the Oiler brand of hockey became standard of excellence. A history changer in my eyes.

  • Jason Strudwick

    There’s actually a great story about use of bottled oxygen in hockey. At the 1960 Olympic tournament, which was played at high altitude in Squaw Valley, California, the U.S. ended up needing a win against Czechoslovakia to clinch the gold medal. However, they played very poorly in the first two periods, and were down 4-3 going into the third.

    However, the USSR needed an American victory to give them any shot at a silver medal. So, in the second intermission, a Soviet defenseman by the name of Nikolai Sologubov showed up in the American dressing-room with a bottle of oxygen (the USSR, as usual when it came to hockey, had figured that trick out well before anybody else had).

    The U.S. players were a bit dubious (plus there was the language barrier), but Sologubov did manage to convince them to inhale the oxygen. It worked – the U.S. scored six unanswered goals in the third period, and won 9-4.

    So there is at least some precedent for the use of bottled oxygen by hockey players!

    • Just a Fan

      Oxygen might have some merit if they had the oxygen strapped to their backs as they skated but there is little evidence that breathing bottled oxygen on the bench has any value.

  • ubermiguel

    Maybe it’s not the best goal, but it’s my favourite: the 1st Canadian goal in the 2002 Gold Medal game. Pronger (when we loved him) gains the zone, holds up, passes to the middle, Mario lets the puck go through his legs and half fakes a shot then it goes to Kariya who buries it. We were already behind but that was the goal that made me think “we got this.”

  • Spydyr

    Many people do remember great Oiler goals of yesteryear.They were great.
    Probably the most famous future goal will be the one to get the Oilers into the playoffs.
    There will be coaches and players long gone from today. The same Management and the same Management hangers on will be on hand to receive new and extended contracts!