Monday Mailbag – August 24th


Another weekend is in the books and that means the search begins for ways to kill company time. As always, the mailbag is here for you. If you have a question you want to ask you can email me at or hit me up on Twitter at @jsbmbaggedmilk. This segment only works with your participation so let me know what’s on your mind and our writers will help you learn something. 


1) John M. asks – What is the best way to protect McDavid from becoming a target and receiving a devastating  injury in his first year of play? Should he play on a third line until he gets use to the NHL pace? Or should he  have a tough player like Hendricks on his wing?

Jonathan Willis:

There is no effective way to prevent Connor McDavid from being a target, any more than there was Taylor Hall or Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. The NHL is a physical league and ultimately McDavid is going to have to be able to survive being a target physically. The good news is that he’s been a target for years and years now – hockey isn’t fundamentally different at the junior level – and he’s survived that. The best players seem to have a sixth sense about incoming hits; I’ll never forget watching a game between Colorado and New Jersey where Joe Sakic almost got caught with his head down by Scott Stevens as he was coming over the blue line, but he looked up at the last instant and managed to avoid a devastating check. Players have to be willing to push back, too; we’ve seen it from Hall and Nugent-Hopkins over the years and from what I know of McDavid it’s not an issue for him, either.

Giving McDavid a babysitter is wrongheaded and trying desperately to keep him away from mean players is worse. There’s simply no protection from a level of physical danger in the NHL.

Matt Henderson:

None of the above. He’s a hockey player, not grandma’s fine China. You can’t do anything that will prevent injury. It’s a lie we tell ourselves. The only way to keep him from being targeted for a hit is to prevent him from touching the puck and what exactly would be the point of that? Here’s great news: I don’t think many players will be able to hit him. He’s incredibly fast, agile, and intelligent. Plus he always skates with his head up. I would wager he won’t take that many devastating hits in his career.


There isn’t a way to prevent that. Hockey is a full contact sport played at alarming rate of speed. There’s gonna be injuries no matter what. McDavid is incredibly fast and shifty, so I think he’ll be similar to Nuge; when was the last time you saw Nuge REALLY take a bit hit? It rarely ever happens because his on-ice awareness is insane, and he’s used to being a smaller guy out there, so he’s learned self preservation skills. 

I know we all love this image of Gazdic or someone out there acting as a bodyguard and scowling at D-men so they back off from pasting our young superstars into the boards, but it’s not remotely realistic. If he blows out a shoulder he blows out a shoulder, and an entire team of Semenkos and Proberts can’t do anything to prevent that.

Robin Brownlee:

You cannot protect against injury. What you can do is try to find the best match-ups. Having RNH play ahead of him on the first line to start is a good way to do that. Play to his strengths, not to what you fear “might happen.”


I think the Oilers should run him on a skill line with Taylor Hall, a designated ‘second line’ with the top line being Pouliot-Nuge-Eberle. I think RNH is good enough to lead that line and that forces the opponent to run secondary opposition against McDavid’s trio. I’d try it anyway, although the other winger isn’t obvious from here.

Jason Strudwick:

McDavid has been a target for his whole life in hockey. He is smart and will figure it out. A couple slashes or a spear in retaliation would also give him some space every now and then.


Bubble wrap. The only way to prevent him from having a chance at getting hurt is wrapping him with various sizes of bubble wrap. In all seriousness there is no way to prevent him from getting injured unless we ask him to quit playing hockey and take up knitting instead. Even then those knitting needles can be pretty sharp and he could poke himself. 


2) Dave Stang asks – What are your thoughts on the likely inclusion of corporate advertising on NHL jerseys?

Jonathan Willis:

I get that a lot of people are up in arms about this, and I understand why. I don’t care very much; the NHL is first and foremost about money and jersey ads are simply one step further down the road of ugly labour negotiations and ugly arena negotiations.

Matt Henderson:

Hate it. HATE it. I recognize that it is probably going to come eventually because money ruins everything, but that is some serious garbage. Might as well let the finals be called the Tostitos Stanley Cup Brought To You By Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr Pepper Finals. But seriously, I hate the idea.


Obviously the thought of NHL jerseys turning into those abominations we see in most of the European leagues is terrible, but unfortunately at this point it’s basically inevitable. The NHL is a business and like any other business in history it’ll do whatever it can to open more and more streams of revenue. I STILL don’t like those ads that are projected on the end glass. They stick out to me and can be distracting sometimes. But this is the world we live in today, where teams go play at the Farmers Insurance Arena Brought To You Buy Bridgestone A Johnson & Johnson Subsidiary, and even frickin power plays are brought to you by *insert corporate sponsor*! BASEKETBALL PREDICTED THIS AND NONE OF US LISTENED!!

Robin Brownlee:

Don’t like it. Jerseys in Europe look like cartoon costumes.


I think it’s going to happen and there’s probably something we should say about it, but honestly for me there are other things that the league has done that are more baffling. Ruining the value of won-loss records is one of these things.

Jason Strudwick:

I would be fine with having the ads on my jersey if it meant less escrow at the end of the season.


I think it’s going to look awful and it’s going to take a while to get used to it but we will get used to it eventually. Maybe to get ready we should all start watching more Spengler Cup highlights where the jerseys look like Nascar. At the end of the day the NHL wants to make money and doesn’t really care what you think, and jersey ads are another way for them to do that (both make money AND not care what you think). 


3) Oilfan Since 1980 asks – Which Oilers goal is the most memorable to you and why?

Jonathan Willis:

For me it’s Ales Hemsky’s goal immediately following Patrik Stefan missing the empty net. That was just so crazy I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.

Matt Henderson:

Two that seem to stick out for me are Jordan Eberle’s first ever goal against the Flames, because it was so fantastic, and Georges Laraque’s hat-trick goal because he went nuts afterwards. Ah, while I’m at it, Todd Marchant in OT. Those three stick out. My personal fav was Big Georges. I have a soft spot for tough guys scoring goals.


I will probably forever remember Pisani’s shorthanded OT goal vividly. Every time I think of that goal I immediately go back to my old apartment, to exactly where I was standing and can hear my old roommate running in with concern because he thought I had gotten into some kind of horrific accident by the way I shrieked with joy! It was a really great time in my life personally, and it was during the magical run of ’06, so it will always hold a very special place in my heart.

Robin Brownlee:

Close call between the stunning Steve Smith own-goal and Todd Marchant’s playoff winner against Dallas. I pick those because both involved huge upsets.


The Kevin McClelland goal. I know it isn’t a sexy name, but that goal—and that game—represented something incredible. Winning the Stanley that year was possibly the most satisfying moment for me as an Oilers fan and the McClelland goal (combined with the brilliant shutuot that night by Grant Fuhr) was a watershed moment.

Jason Strudwick:

Steve Mcintyre’s goal in Washington. It was priceless to see his reaction! I loved it!


I’ll always remember Fernando’s shorthanded OT winner. I was in a bar with some buddies and when he scored my friend launched a half full pitcher of beer skyward and it sprayed down our whole side of the bar. Nobody cared though because everyone was too busy losing their minds over what had just happened. 


4) Francis D. asks – Past or present who is your favourite hockey announcer? Is there a specific call that comes to mind?

Jonathan Willis:

I have to go with Bob Cole, because that’s the voice I hear in my head when I think of hockey; I don’t think you ever forget the guy you listened to growing up. IF there’s a call that sticks in my mind it was the lead-up to Fernando Pisani’s Game Five goal against Carolina in 2006. The Oilers were on the PK and dumped the puck in (or something similar) and Cole said, “They have time to kill now, folks. Time to kill now.” It just captured the intensity of that moment perfectly.

Matt Henderson:

Rick Jeanneret. Nobody lost his marbles so flamboyantly as he did. Honestly, just pick a clip, sit back, and enjoy.


I feel like he’s started to lose his touch a little over the last few years here, but who doesn’t love Bob Cole? I’m sure we all used to sit around the TV as kids on Saturday night, watching Hockey Night In Canada. He was the voice of Canadian hockey for GENERATIONS!

Robin Brownlee:

It was Jim Robson for me growing up in Vancouver but overall it’s Rod Phillips. Working with him aside, his voice just drips with passion. Rod made so many great calls, but one that sticks with me is the Hemsky goal from Samsonov against Detroit in the 2006 playoffs. Listen to his voice break when he says “Ales” and the “oooohhhh, a miracle goal.” Mercy.


Rod Phillips, no question. Pick any in the 1980s and I’d rank them all equally.

Jason Strudwick:

Rod Phillips! Not even close. Loved when he called fights and goals!


My obvious favourite is Rod Phillips. I used to love listening to him get mad when things weren’t going well because he would always tell it like it is. I also love Bob Cole and grew up on the calls he’s made. I mean really, who hasn’t copied Bob Cole saying “ohhhh baby” at one point or another.


5) Braden L. asks – Which NHL club has the worst team name and what would you change it to?

Jonathan Willis:

Probably the Anaheim Ducks. Don’t get me wrong, “Mighty Ducks of Anaheim” was pretty awful, too, but at least it was unique.

Matt Henderson:

WORST TEAM NAME: Calgary Flames SUGGESTED CHANGE: Seattle Flames


I’ve never really been a fan of the Blue Jackets. It’s literally talking about a piece of clothing! OH NO LOOK AT THOSE JACKETS MARCHING TOWARD US! I’M SHAKING IN MY BOOTS!! According to Wikipedia the state reptile is a fearsome looking snake called the Black Racer! The Columbus Racers would be way better IMO. Or they could always go with the Columbus Rock ’N Roll Hall Of Fames!

Robin Brownlee:

Anaheim Ducks. Is there a more passive bird?


Anaheim Ducks. I’d change it to something normal.

Jason Strudwick:

The Ducks — never liked it. I would change it to the Mallards. That is a tough name.


There are a few teams with horrible names. The Ducks have taking a beating already so I’ll leave them alone. The Wild is a stupid name and I’d change that to something infinitely less stupid like the “Minnesota Hockey Team.” At least that makes more sense than the Wild. 

  • Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate

    Yes, some of the team names ARE horrid, but THANK GOD they haven’t gone the Soccer route…

    Could you imagine… HC Edmonton, or, Toronto HC?

  • Jaxon

    There seems to be two types of protection for McDavid being talked about. One is protection against being scored on and from not scoring and ruining his confidence. That would be provided by providing him with good enough wingers to support his scoring but not good enough to draw the best competition. I think that means 2nd Line scoring. If he has Hall, he will face top competition. If Hall-Nugent-Hopkins and maybe Yakupov are on a line together they could draw top competition while giving Yak a chance to prove himself. That would leave McDavid with Pouliot and Eberle, who would be a very close second line with some good size and defensive responsibility in Pouliot. The second type talked about is protection from injury. Luckily, the best way to avoid that may be to have him on the 2nd line as well. That way he won’t face 3rd and 4th line opposition goons that often as they won’t be on the ice against a scoring line that could capitalize against them. The 2nd line also won’t face as many of the opposition’s top D pairs as the first line, which often include monsters like Chara, Weber, etc. I think McDavid will be just fine in a 2nd scoring line role for this season.

  • Canoe Ride 27.1

    Petr Klima in 3rd OT of game one 1990 SCF has to be up there.

    Also loved Andie going off in the clinching game 5. His coast to coast rush goal and then his behind the back wrap around to Simpson who lays a beauty deke and pays the price for it.

    All three of those took the life out of “the Gaaaden”. Good times.

  • Rob...

    The best thing about that Steve McIntyre goal was that he was properly covering the point while a d-man pinched. It’s funny how that this was something the team couldn’t do under Eakins #swarmMentallity.

  • Leef O'Golin

    I always thought the Minnesota Wild and logo would be great for an outdoorsman-kinda magazine, but not a sports team.

    “Yeah, I’ll take a case of 100 Remington shotshells, a tin of Skoal Xtra-rich tobacco blend, and the latest issue of Minnesota Wild with their duck-blind edition of the Bikini Girls Calendar.”

  • Abby Oil

    Several options for McDavid . Being on first line would probably face least amount of time against lesser talents that might run him more frequently than first line players would normally do . Thus Hall might be a reasonable option . If he is to run with second line then playing with players likely to back him up if he is run , might be a good option with someone like Pouliot and perhaps Draisaitl ( if ready ) who have size and adept at corner work , and puck possession and passing skills. Would/could they help prevent McDavid from fighting by stepping in or take out retrobution ? Could be a version of Getzlaf’s line . Could also try a Semenko Gretzky type line with him , but I doubt that would be of much value as yet . Where ever Hall goes , so does oppositions top personnel I believe , until Hopkins shows he is top dog on team . Mind you , Hopkins had 22 goals out of 24 last season at full strength 5 on 5 . On power play ,4on 4 , or 3on3 McDavid makes a good option no matter whom he might play with , or unit he might play on . Might they even try McDavid on wing with Hopkins , and Hall or Eberle 5 on 5 ? A lot of options to be explored .

    • Randaman

      Should he come to camp with his soother too?

      Geesh, you guys act like this kid has never been hit before.

      Remember, he’s been playing against bigger, older players since he was 12. He will be just fine

      • Tikkanese

        Another soother ? He’d look pretty funny seeing as all the players have one now in the form of mouth guards , that they play with and suck on continually throughout game . Maybe he should play without shield and helmet as well ? He does fairly well protecting himself and can take a good hit , but it does not hurt to have further backup and deterrents on a line with him .

          • Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

            I would hope he would not have to play with any 3rd or 4th liners unless maybe as a penalty killer combo . Seeing as I have been one of the biggest supporters of McDavid being top scorer in league and maybe pressing Gretzky’s first year heroics , I doubt he could do it without being top 2 lines and perhaps even beating out Hopkins . Seems like a tall order no doubt . The type of talent he appears to be he might very well relegate Hopkins , we’ll see if it happens .

  • ubermiguel

    McDavid needs to play by prison yard rules; first shift first game he goes and starts a fight with the biggest opponent on the other team. For the rest of his career other players will give him some distance. #kiddingnotreallykidding

  • 2Oilers4

    As long as NHl don’t end up looking like Premier League Soccer, I’m fine with a few ads on jerseys, like the CFL. If the corporate sponsership is bigger than the team logo, I’m out. Nothing should be bigger than the team logo. I want to cheer for the Edmonton Oilers, not the Edmonton Tim Horton’s!

    @Jeanshorts, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is in Cleveland OH, not Columbus. But I agree, Blue Jackets are the worst name.

  • Canoe Ride 27.1

    All hockey fans unite! I’ve never joined any kind of movement to stop something but the only added patch i want to see on an oilers jersey is the SCF one!

    “Regulators! Mount up.” Warren G.

    • Serious Gord

      I think it is one of the greats because of its funky history – they played in an arena that looked like and was called the igloo – so they named the team after a bird that only lives in the antarctic.

      Much like the Dodgers were named after people who dodged out of the way of trolleys and the Knicks were named after a long-extinct style of pants, it is a classic idiosyncratic names (as the ducks and blue jackets are). We need more team names like that.

  • camdog

    Most teams have the talent to defend 2 scoring lines, but not 3. I don’t like the idea of loading up on 2 lines. Force the other teams coach to have to make tough decisions.

    RnH-Eberle, Lander-Hall, McDavid-Hendricks.

  • TheRoyalArrow

    I agree with the Ducks as the worst team name; I mean, how can you call a team of 200+ pound men playing a game of speed, frequent body contact, fighting and stick work an animal that waddles and quacks? It’s been a ridiculous name since the “Mighty Ducks”. “Penguins” isn’t much better but at least you can see the ice connection.

  • Randaman

    This idea of protecting McDavid is bunk!

    I think the league is going to have to adjust to his speed, not the other way around. Sure, he will be targeted somewhat but hitting what you target is another story. He’s very evasive and smarter than most if not all the players lining him up.

    My opinion

  • CaptainLander

    Have the leagues most deadly power play would go a long way to protecting all the players including McDavid.

    And maybe killing a penalty once in a while so a little retaliation on a cheap shot can be swallowed.

    Never liked Ottawa Senators…aka Ottawa Rich White Men. True most hockey players are rich white men. But still Senators. Hating politicians is a god given right of the blue collar Canadian. An I do not hate the Senators (hockey team). Now if it was the Toronto Senators, I could get on board that hate train. Then again if the names had real meaning then we would have to add some truth to the names. They would look something like.

    The Vancouver “I am better than you because our city is nicers”

    The Calgary “We want all of you stuff..ers”

    The Edmonton Awesome

    The Winnipeg Giant Mosquitoes

    The Toronto “Center of Universers” (Obviously)

    The Ottowa….hmmm. “Rich White Men”..lets stick with “Senators”

    The Montreal “Fickle Fans”
    and soon The Quebec “Separatists”

    I will start working on logos.

  • Serious Gord

    1. Looking at all of the generational players of the past there is much to be concerned about vis-a-vis the chances of mcdavid suffering severe, career-limiting/ending injuries:

    Here are the ones i would consider generational:

    Howe (arguable) – suffered horrific injuries early in career, including a skull fracture that left him with a twitch. Ended-up playing an epically long career but that was due to a psychopathic edge to his game – some say that didn’t exist pre-skull fracture – that if mcdavid played that way he would be suspended from the game

    Orr – victim of cheap-shot pluggers, crap equipment and primeval knee surgery techniques – career finished far too early

    Gretz – Semenko/McSorley blessed him with a near injury-free career. Many said that the league had a protection order on him. Enforcers/protectors are not an option – the game is too fast.

    Lemieux – Back injuries put him into retirement

    Lindros – Scott Stevens ended his career far too soon. thankfully there are no scott stevens allowed anymore

    Crosby – Concussions. And some say he doesn’t see the ice the same way he used to since the last one.

    So out of six past generational players ONLY one went essentially injury-free and only one other came back and had a full career after being seriously injured.

    So the odds aren’t good for Connor.

    2. Ads on jerseys is inevitable. I would like to see the league commit to giving all of the revenues to a fund to broaden the sports appeal around the globe.

    4. radio and TV are two separate broadcast formats. For Radio, Phillips was likely the best, but i heard the old new jersey devils radio guy a few times years ago and he was something else too.

    For TV, hands down it was danny gallivan. Most people in western canada never got to hear him much i know so they lean towards cole who also called a great game, but gallivan was so unique and creative.

    5. worst current name – the wild is pretty bad. A related question would be: if GTA gets another hockey franchise what would it be named?

    • Tikkanese

      Actually Gord, Gretzky was never the same after the Gary Suter vicious cross check in the ’88 Canada Cup. He battled back issues from that day on and his insane stats took a massive nosedive.

      So 6/6 of your examples ended up hurt by cheap shot artists.

      • Serious Gord

        Good point but I think you would agree that a huge part of his career had been completed by then. And that he was still very productive past that point.

        • Tikkanese

          Geez you even hate Gretzky?

          He was 27 then. Still in his prime. He was a perrenial 70-92 goal scorer prior to the cross check. He scored 50G once after that. Once. He had 200 points 4 times in the previous 6 seasons to that. He dropped to 168, 142, 163, 121 after that. Productive? Yes. The same player? Not even close.

          • ubermiguel

            Gee, what else happened to Gretzky in ’88 that might have impacted his scoring?

            If we agree that 27/28 is the peak for most players then we would expect a decline after ’88. And getting sold away from one of the greatest offensive juggernauts of all time did not help his numbers either.

          • Tikkanese

            Yes and no. He got Kurri back after what, one season? He had Coffey for awhile there to. 70 goal Bernie Nicholls. Oh and some guy named Luc Robitaille who was not only the highest scoring of all time but has been deemed the greatest left winger in the history of the NHL among others there. LA wasn’t exactly a barren wasteland.

            Sure he might start to decline at 27 anyways, but not by 25-30% instantly. Plus I was off a year, he was 26 as it was the ’87 CC not ’88.

          • Serious Gord

            1.27-28 is generally the halfway point of a players career. Starting as a pro at 17 that may have shifted wgs career midpoint from 28 to 27.

            2. He played for far weaker teams in the latter part of his career.

            3. The league was changing quickly to a much better defensive one. Expansion pains were settling down and scoring was down across the board.

            4. I did acknowledge that wg was somewhat diminished after that hit.

            5. Wgs best game ever was as a king against TO in 1993.

            6. Hit or not his career totals remain unsurpassed

            7. His ’89-90 season – the year after the hit – as better than the year of the hit.

  • ubermiguel

    “Ducks” is what happens when Disney names a team. If Disney bought an expansion team now they’d be the “Frozens” and the players would come onto the ice to the song “Let is Snow”.

    The Ducks have added respectability to the name by being a big, tough, good team for the last few years; their opponents aren’t laughing when they come to town now.

  • Tikkanese

    I actually don’t mind the European jerseys. Tho that is probably because I have no idea what any of those logos mean.

    It would be different having “Condom Depot” on the Flames lower back like some UFC fighters have on their shorts. Actually that particular logo would be fitting. Bring on the advertising!

  • TheRoyalArrow

    Some great Oiler goals have been mentioned. Pisani’s is surely the most memorable in the past decade. But for me, after the heartbreak of the Steve Smith own goal against Calgary, the joy of Glenn Anderson’s blast past Ron Hextall very late in Game 7 to clinch the Cup and expel the demons will always be my favourite. I was seated behind the goal with my very pregnant wife and when the thunderous roar washed over us my unborn daughter Rachel gave a tremendous kick that almost knocked my wife over.

  • Wax Man Riley

    My favorite NHL team name is “The Blackhawks”

    Ya, I have the sense of humour of a 12 year old, but I can’t help but giggle when hearing people talk about them:

    “Dallas is going into Chicago to try to beat some Blackhawks tonight.”

    “Ladd goes down in the Blackhawk zone”

    The Blues going for the win trying to get their last taste of Blackhawk tonight”

  • Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

    Favorite goal is easy 1988 Gretzky scores short handed in OT to win over the flames. I like it on numerous levels. Best of all was Slats reaction as he looked up at the crowd and gave them a lovely “Up yours!”
    Close second Pisani’s goal in 06

    • Canoe Ride 27.1

      Slats reaction was classic.

      That one is also memorable because Gretz skates up to a young Oilers fan in a sea of red and gives him his stick over the glass. Doesn’t get much better than that.

  • 15w40

    I still say stick Hall with RNH & Eberle. That will draw top pairing defensemen & will automatically insulate McDavid.

    Give him Pouliot as LW & Purcell on RW to hopefully elevate Purcell’s stats to make him better trade bait.

    At about game 35 to 40 move up Yak or Draisaitl to RW & carry on.

  • Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

    Team names I dislike
    1. Ducks I felt it was an embarrassment to the League when they came in and I still feel that way. Change it to California Cougars it has a nice double meaning as the big cat is tough etc and there are a lot of hot older women in Ca.

    2. Hurricanes is just the worst logo after the ducks. Should of kept the Whale tail.

    3. Blue Jackets is kind of lame I am fine with the civil war theme and the Canon. The logo with a BJ on it is lame for sexual references.

  • Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

    Best announcer For me it all starts with Foster Hewitt calling Henderson scoring on Russia. I remember watching the games in school and cheering for Canada. It was so cool to see the teachers roll a TV in to the grade 3 room and our whole small school of 90 crowded in there to watch the games. School came second Canadian hockey was first.

    • ubermiguel

      You have no idea how similar your memory is in line with mine. Same deal except I was in grade 8 in good old St. John’s, Entire school was watching the games. Must have been the same across Canada.

      One of my childhood heros at the time, Tony O. Even though Dryden gets the most credit, Tony O did what he had to do as well.

      It was an epic display of both hockey and country pride. It did not matter what NHL team you played on for this was CANADA’s team and it was awesome!

  • Serious Gord

    There’s only one way to protect McDavid. Tell the D not to give him suicide passes. Other than that, no one is going to catch him, he’ll protect himself.

  • Abby Oil

    Maybe this is just me being nostalgic. Best broadcaster (or best memories) was Bruce Buchanan calling the Oilers on ITV. Of course Rod Phillips with the radio call.

  • Abby Oil

    Best local broadcaster was Rod Phillips , second was a young Brian Hall . I say young B.Hall , as he later tried to emulate Howard Cosell model and became our poorest announcer and quite obnoxious . Before Cosell , he called the plays and excitement very well , so good a blind man could follow the play . He’d call the formations , players involved and yard by yard of the play in progress with vigour and excitement . After Cosell , you did not know if a play was even being played , while he rambled on in Cosell fashion about other things other than the play . One step or more beyond/past the play . To bad , because he was a pleasure to listen to before emulating the Cosell model .