Monday Mailbag – June 29th

LeonMail

It’s the first McDavid Monday of the new era and we couldn’t be more excited! All I want to do is read about him, gaze upon him, and kill as much work related time as possible. Enter the Mailbag. Want to be a part of it? Just email it to me at [email protected] or hit me up on Twitter at @jsbmbaggedmilk.  As a thank you, I’ll send everyone that submits a question a sticker package from the Nation.  Questions don’t all have to be Oilers related, so be creative.

Contract

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1) Sean M. asks – Free agency is almost upon us. Who was your favourite Oilers free agency pick up in the last 10 years?

Lowetide:

Benoit Pouliot. Fantastic addition and he should pay dividends for years to come, possibly alongside young McDavid. Very much liked this move, then and now.

Matt Henderson

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The last 10 years have been pretty terrible, on the whole, but I’m going with Sheldon Souray. Big Sexy was physical and had a cannon of a shot. I wish injuries and inept management hadn’t ruined his career. Tough to find a good free agent signing here of an impact guy except Souray came in and played 24-25 minutes a night on D. I think he’s the best UFA to sign here in the last 10 years.

Jonathan Willis:

Dustin Penner. I like a little bit of anarchy, I love offer sheets and my feelings toward scheduling barn fights are difficult to express in mere shabby words. Anaheim was in a bad salary cap situation and the Oilers put them over a barrel; that’s absolutely how the system is supposed to work. Edmonton got some good seasons out of a fun player, then sent him on down the line for a very similar return to the RFA compensation they paid the Ducks. Stricly speaking, the team has probably made better free agent signings over this period, but that one remains my favourite.

Jason Strudwick:

I think we all know the consensus answer to this question. Number two would be Sheldon Souray.

Jeanshorts:

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I think we’ve got to go with Studly Wonderbomb himself, Big Sexy Sheldon Souray. Obviously things between him and the Oilers didn’t QUITE work out as well as we hoped, but he had one really great season and I can’t say we’ve had an offensively inclined D-man anywhere near as good as Souary since.

Robin Brownlee:

I like the addition of Boyd Gordon. Can’t imagine the hole the Oilers would have had at centre without him these past couple of seasons. Workmanlike. Effective in the circle. Veteran leadership.

Jason Gregor:

I’d say Strudwick. Allowed him and I to become friends and co-workers, but most importantly it meant I would have the best sound clip of all time: Struds was on my show and he had the pleasure of having the first pint of Nation Beer. We were doing my show live at the Pint Downtown. After he took a sip I asked him how it tasted…

“Um, it is like a bouquet of flavours coming in my mouth.” Direct quote. Classic.

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Baggedmilk:

Has to be Big Sexy, right? I remember when Souray signed here and we all thought that things were going to be okay – or at least turn around. Unfortunately, the Oilers never fail to find new and creative ways to disappoint us so the Big Sexy tenure crashed and burned in miraculous fashion. Oh the joys of the last Oilers decade.

McDavid

2) Patricks D. asks – What excites you most about Connor McDavid being an Oiler?

Lowetide:

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The sense of joy all Oilers fans shared in that one moment. I always feel for younger fans because being an Oilers fan has been so difficult these last 10 years. It felt good personally to be a part of something so wonderful.

Matt Henderson

I’ve never seen anybody like him before. That’s what excites me. I was born in 83 so Gretzky as an Oiler was over before I started kindergarten. I’ve seen him play at the OHL level and he was electrifying on every shift. I’m excited to see what level he can reach with the likes of Hall/Eberle/Yakupov/Draisaitl surrounding him. He can do things at top speed that nobody else can. Nobody.

Jonathan Willis:

Watching him play 82 games next year. It’s fun to watch great players.

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Jason Strudwick:

I look forward to watching him grow as a player. He has very strong parts of his game and those will be great from day one. Watching him adjust the areas of weakness will really prove how smart he is.

Jeanshorts:

Just watching him do incredible things while wearing an Oiler jersey. Obviously it’s super fun watching the Crosbys and Ovechkins of the league play, so I can’t even imagine how awesome it’s going to be watching one of those guys PLAY FOR THE OILERS! It’s going to be magical! I CAN’T WAIT!

Robin Brownlee:

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McDavid’s considerable on-ice skills aside, the buzz and optimism he provides a long-suffering fan base is a welcome change. Negativity has been hanging in the air like a sour fart around here far too long. His arrival in concert with the coaching and management changes makes it feel like a truly new era for this team.

Jason Gregor:

That it could lead to a competitive team. I think we are all tired of covering a team that isn’t close to competitive.

Baggedmilk:

Since Crosby was drafted I’ve always been jealous that Pittsburgh fans have had the opportunity to watch him every night. We’re about to find out what that feels like, and I couldn’t be happier. 

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3) Craig asks – How long do you think Craig MacTavish stays on as Peter Chiarelli’s number two? 

Lowetide:

Well, they have to define his job first. Suspect MacT won’t like it, and it lasts less than a year.

Matt Henderson

Until his contract runs out next summer. Then he and the team will part ways and it will be “mutual.”

Jonathan Willis:

How long until he gets a better offer? There are a finite number of general manager jobs out there and it’s hard to imagine that MacTavish’s time at the helm of the Oilers has him at the top of many hiring lists. Now, there are all manner of internal dynamics of which I am unaware but from the outside it’s hard to peg any reason MacTavish would be interested in leaving, and if Chiarelli were interested in ousting him one imagines he would have done it immediately or close to it.

Jason Strudwick:

It would be a great place to acquire experience on the management side of hockey. Why wouldn’t he stay for a while?

Jeanshorts:

My gut is telling that this season will be used as a bit of a feeling out period. As I’ve said before, though his GM tenure was pretty…yeah…. MacT isn’t a blubbering moron. He’s a smart hockey man, and he has familiarity with most of the players in the organization, so on paper he seems like a fairly nice asset for Chiarelli to have at hand. That being said I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him let go next summer if he and Chiarelli don’t mesh well, or if Chiarelli doesn’t want a backseat GM or what have you.

Robin Brownlee:

Until the end of his current contract.

Jason Gregor:

Good question. It is a bit odd that he does not have a title yet. It either works out and he is here for many years or he is one and done. I will go with the former.

Baggedmilk:

That’s a good question. I bet MacT will find a way to stick around until the planet gets nuked or global warming melts us all. He’ll be sitting in an office with Kevin Lowe and 43 cockroaches wondering where everyone went. Speaking of MacT, how funny was it that he snuck in right beside McDavid for the post draft picture? How did Chiarelli get pushed all the way off to the side? 

LionKing

4) Oilguy16 asks – When was last time the Oilers had a rival in the NHL? What is the best sports rivalry right now?

Lowetide:

Aside from themselves? Dallas Stars, late 90s through early oughts.

Matt Henderson

Last real rival was probably Dallas because of all the times Edmonton met them in the playoffs. You have to be good enough to matter to have a rivalry and the Oilers haven’t mattered in years. I wish Calgary was a rivalry but it really hasn’t been. I hate Vancouver so it’s as close as *I* feel to there being a rivalry but the teams don’t act like there’s a rivalry. There could be a good one with Winnipeg if both the Jets and the Oilers ever meet in the playoffs because the Jets have demolished the Oil physically and that could lead to some fun hate. Best rivalry today in any sport? I’m not sure. I still love watching Montreal vs Boston. We’ve lost some good rivalries like Federer vs Nadal and Tiger vs The Field lately.

Jonathan Willis:

I don’t think rivalries ever really go away; they just become less relevant on the national stage. Ask most Oilers fans about Calgary and Vancouver and they’ll explain the special feeling they have in their hearts for those clubs. As for the best rivalry in sports, I have no idea. The only sport I pay any attention to is hockey. Within the NHL, the rivalry I enjoy most is probably Boston/Montreal.

Jason Strudwick:

I maintain the Canucks have been the Oilers chief rival for a number of years. The best rivalry is my New York Giants against anyone!

Jeanshorts:

I think the closest we’ve had to a rival in the last decade has been the Canucks. We all hate them with a fiery passion. They’ve employed guys like Kessler, Burrows and Kassian. And speaking of Kassian I don’t think we’ll ever forget what he did to Sam Gagner, so for me personally I get a little more geared up for potential losses to the Canucks than pretty much any other team. 

As for the best rivalry right now I really, really love watching Bruins/Habs games and/or playoff series. Those guys DO NOT like each other, and they both have insane, vocal fan bases, so those games are always bound to be entertaining.

Robin Brownlee:

Last true rival was the Dallas Stars in the late-1990s early-2000s because of all the playoff meetings between the teams.

Jason Gregor:

Last rival was Dallas. Best rivalry in sports now — I’d lean towards Barcelona/Madrid, but Pakistan/India in cricket is huge as well. In the NHL — Bruins/Habs is still pretty great.

Baggedmilk:

The only Oilers rivalry I can personally remember is when they used to match us with the Stars every year in the playoffs. I heard the Battle of Alberta (am I allowed to say that?) used to be awesome, but I’m not old enough to remember that. Here’s hoping that the BOA is set for a revival with all the action that has gone on with these two teams over the last few months. 

Feast

5) Allan Fields asks – If you were an inmate on death row what would your last meal be?

Lowetide:

Steak — medium (barbequed), baked potato (with onions, butter), 4,000 beer and a dish of ice cream.

Matt Henderson

Probably a big turkey dinner with mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, and all the sides that go with it. I would just like everyone to know that while I’m on death row and Justice has judged me harshly, I regret nothing. I would do it again in a heartbeat and I wouldn’t think twice.

Jonathan Willis:

This is my last meal, so I’m going to go all out here. Properly smoked salmon is a real delight as an appetizer and pairs wonderfully with a good scotch. I was thinking Johnnie Walker Blue but as this is my last meal there’s no sense in sparing expense so let’s go with a 30-year-old Highland Park (anything in the Orcadian Series will do, but given that price isn’t an issue let’s go with the 1968). For the main course I’m not thinking anything too elaborate; a rib-eye with black truffles, roasted garlic potatoes  and some kind of braised vegetable. Some high-end dark chocolate for dessert would top off the evening.

Jason Strudwick:

That would depend on what I was convicted for.

Jeanshorts:

Beef tortellini with alfredo sauce, a chicken club pizza from Panago, multiple tubs of half baked ice cream and to wash it all down a bunch of Arnold Palmers.

Robin Brownlee:

Big, honking apple pie with a hacksaw blade in it.

Jason Gregor:

Hope I’m never there — BBQ chicken, esparagus, mashed potatoes and homemade lemon pie.

Baggedmilk:

How long am I allowed to eat for? I think I would start off with tacos. I’m talking shredded beef tacos, fish tacos, chicken tacos. From there I’d move on to a roast pig. I’m talking a full sized pig that has been roasted over an open fire. I’d like the whole thing. After the pig has been taken care of I’m looking for a four litre tub of black cherry ice cream. Since I also love candy I’m also going to need a big bag of either coke bottles or gummy dinosours. For dessert I would probably polish off 43 beers. All in all I figure my last meal would take three months to finish and that’s three more months that I’m alive. Thank you. 

P.S.

I want to give a shout out to the boys at Jobsite Workwear for treating us so well and hooking us up with all those GCs for the Draft Party on Friday. We didn’t even ask and these champions volunteered to help in any way they could. If you’re ever looking for anything go see the boys at Jobsite and they’re sure to treat you as well as they’ve treated us. *standing applause*


  • clrsnldvc81

    We have some really bizarre fans…

    I’m sick of losing… why are we drafting players who won’t help us for years?

    I’m sick of us trading away draft picks for unproven talent… we’re such a dumb organization. We should’ve draftedc instead and kept stock piling assets…

    WHICH ONE IS IT OIL COUNTRY!?!?!?!?!?

    My take on it is that Chia has plans for next season’s offseason to really make his splash.

    14 million off the books (not including Gryba’s contract i think)

    This year and the additions he has made, leads me to believe it’s a “let’s get some traction and give some of our players some CONFIDENCE and something to get excited over”

    You can’t tell me we are worse or can get any worse with the additions he has made not to mention the generational talent that is McJesus.

    But for a fan base and some key players (Hall, Nuge Ebs) we could really use some positive traction. Build and take steps this year. See if we can surprise people the way Calgary did. Get a taste of some positivity.

    For all those who think Benning was going to give Lack up to a division rival for picks he got from Carolina don’t know hockey… He would’ve asked for Ebs or something equivalent.

    And as childish as it is to say Boston turned down the offer from Chia because of personal feelings then get over it… It happened. Boston has to step in front of their fans to explain why they took the deal from calgary. IF Hamilton struggles out of the gate without Chara do you think Chia would get crucified for giving up so much? Probably… I wanted Hamilton but with Nurse thrown in there? no thanks.

    Calm the f*** down and let it all play out…
    He traded away picks and filled holes…

    No Roster players were sacrificed unless you call MM that…

    July 1st is still around the corner and if he doesn’t sign anyone guaranteed some people will be up in arms and I assume those very same people will be the ones pissed if we he gives Mike Green 6+ million for 6 years…

    For the first year in so many there is light… there is a pulse… there is some ACTUAL hope…

    We have a GM with some credibility… a coach who has a better track record

    Less Bipolar Thinking… More Happy McDavid Days aread…

  • stonedtodeath61

    Well t has taken a couple of days to get over the trade of Eric Gryba as I would have preferred to see Wiercoch or Cowen moved in that deal. Great trade for the Oil. Gryba will not put up more than 15 pts. in a season but there are things he brings that is much needed. He hits like a truck, not a great scrapper but will go with anyone to protect his boys. He owns the slot in the DZone and not often that he looses a puck battle. He was our top PK Dman last year, was always sent over the boards when protecting a one goal lead in the final min. His biggest issue here in Ottawa was that he played the right side behind King Karl (30 min. TOI) THAN Cody Ceci ( former 1st rounder, local kid and Ottawa’s 2nd best Dman. Gryba also started about 70% of his shifts in the Dzone with the 3rd and 4th lines. Hence his Corsi stats.He also skates well for a big man and oh, did I mention that he likes to hit (will not bring up the hit on Hall), This is what he does to oncoming forwards http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/gotta-see-it-grybas-helmet-popping-hit/

  • MacT's Neglected Helmet

    Best free agent signing, Habby. Think of all the number one picks that one signing was responsible for. I’d say at least 2, at least!

    As for Souray, I hated watching him play. He’d glide around like a sofa on ice. Watching him hold the puck behind the net for decades while the team skated around in their zone, uggg! And yes, he had a shot from the point, but in those days that’s all the team EVER DID on the PP. I remember how quickly Souray started getting double teamed rendering his point shot useless. Oh, those were dark days.

    I am far more enjoying Gordon and Pouliot as free agent pick ups. Gordon really is the unsung hero if the team and it saddens me to think he won’t be here when the cups start rolling in. Pouliot gives me hope the recent trade for Rienheart is not a bust. They were both highly touted 4th overall picks. And it took Pouliot a little while and a few different teams, but he really looks to be a big part of this team going forward, especially after that top line was created. I simply love the make up of the Pouliot, Nuge, Eberle line. And now with McDavid, I think this is the first time in sooooo long, the team actually has two legitimate scoring lines.

    Anyway, point being, Souray was awful.