First Star, Worst Star: January 17th, 2016

A-Winner-is-You

Only 16 more sleeps until McDavid comes back! As the song says, the waiting is the hardest part, so for now I give you this weeks First Star, Worst Star to try and distract you for a bit and make the wait go by just that much quicker. 

FIRST STAR

It may not be Powerball type money, but Cam Talbot still cashed in pretty well this week, signing a 3 year, $12 million extension. I’m a fan of this signing. I liked Cam Talbot while he was a Ranger, so I was very excited when one of Peter Chiarelli’s first moves as Oilers GM was acquiring the netminder for a handful of later round picks. He’s had his ups and downs this season, but he’s been on fire lately, making A LOT of huge saves like this one last night on TJ Brodie. 

He’s 3-2-1 so far in 2016, stealing all three of those wins for an Oilers team that has been struggling lately. The jury is still out as to whether or not this play is indicative of his true talent level, or if he’s just riding a solid hot streak. But even if he falls back down to earth a bit and puts up more average numbers it’ll still be an upgrade on the Oilers goaltenders of recent seasons. And with Laurent Brossoit ready to break out any day now we’re theoretically looking at the Oilers finally solving their goaltending woes heading into the McDavid era. 

This signing is a gamble by Chiarelli but I think it’s a safe bet, and will pay dividends during the entire three years of the contract. Settle in Cam, you’re not getting rid of us for a while! 

WORST STAR

The NHL could not have handled this John Scott all star game thing any worse than they have. Firstly their own fan voting system is now rendered moot by the fact that the number one vote getter isn’t even playing in the game. Secondly whatever interest people had in this years edition of the game is now gone, and I’m sure there are plenty of people who are now not going to watch purely out of spite. And worst of all John Scott undeservedly gets jerked around for no other reason than the NHL continuing its tradition of doing the exact opposite of what the fans want.  

Reports say that both the Coyotes and the NHL asked Scott to bow out of the game, lest the league that thought this was a good idea be embarrassed by people having too much fun during their Corporate Super Best Friends weekend. John Scott is by no means an NHL all star, and his fan voting push definitely started out with a mocking tone, but Scott took everything in stride and turned it into something a majority of hockey fans were having a lot of fun with. He even got these hilarious shirts made to give to all his teammates. 

Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 6.34.59 PM

But it’s all for nothing now. John Scott misses out on a once in a lifetime opportunity, the fans miss out on any kind of intrigue the game had up until Friday, and the NHL misses out on a chance to not look like a soulless corporate entity that has the opposite of paying fans interest in mind. 

There’s still time for the NHL to do the right thing and fix this mess. I won’t be holding my breath though. 

#FreeJohnScott 

  • LibrarianMike

    Talbot deal is fine, people put waaaay too much stock in goalies. Freakin Rick scrivens could have succeeded if the oil had D.

    Chiapet has quickly understood the cancer that afflicts the team. All effort should be spent on buff and hamonic, the latter is cheap. Get rid of Ederle, poliot and dangle 1st rounder if need be, Edmonton can easily be killin it this time next year if they fix the D and Talbot will mysteriously get the credit then.

      • Randaman

        sure know a lot more about hockey than you bro – let’s just be clear on what you are denying here;

        you would rather have floater eberle and pouliot and keep the 1st rounder and roll the dice eh? and don’t make a play for big buff or hamonic?

        You ever read The Wretched of the Earth? lol

    • Señor Frijoles

      Right. Ask Montreal if having a good goalie makes any difference as they went from looking like a historicly good team to absolute free fall – just happening to coincide with the loss of Carey Price to injury.
      You cannot win without solid goaltending. The Oilers have had many problems over the last few years, but none bigger than goaltending – Chia may have just checked a big need of the list, setting the team up for success going forward.

  • Jiff

    Good for Cam.

    F**k John Scott and the sad*ss All-Star game. Would much rather watch a regular slate of Saturday night games than watch guys floating around playing zero defence. I see enough of that watching Ebs and Jultz.

    • Randaman

      you people aren’t very sharp are you? I was trying to illustrate a point of weakness….ben, rick, bobby, cam…doesn’t really matter. all marginal difference.

      hence my point of Chiapet understanding what do. You think Klowe or MacT would ever for heavan’s sake put golden Jordy or Noogie on the market? Chia’s been here half a season and he’s peddling these clowns throughout the league.

      It’s all about D

  • Randaman

    So, a bunch of uneducated US fans load up on John Scott like they are voting for the NBA freak show and we as educated fans (who know he should NOT be there) are supposed to feel sorry for him?

    I wonder if Phil Kessel gave him a call of support. Lol

  • MattyFranchise

    I would have watched some of the all star game if Scott was going. Now I’m not going to watch any of it, as per usual.

    It would have been cool to see Scott in the hardest shot competition and/or the breakaway challenge but I guess that will never happen.

    As for the Talbot signing, 4 million per is what the Flames are paying Ramo and Hiller. I think I’d rather have Talbot that either of those guys.

  • Estevan

    jeanshorts writes nonsense!

    he says…’whatever interest pEoPle had in this years edition of the game is now gone, and I’m sure there are plenty of people who are now not going to watch purely out of spite.”

    There will be hundreds of thousands of “people” just like me who are looking forward to this new format. It is all about the skills of Hall and Ovy and Johnney Hockey, and is nothing about the skills of John Scott. I will watch with or without him in the line-up.

    jeanshorts will miss out on the fun.

    • sofarsogood

      Sort of agree with this; at least in the sense that John Scott was not elected by “the fans”. It was a publicity stunt, not a cry out to see John Scott….come on, let’s not make mountains out of mole hills here.

  • sofarsogood

    “He’s 3-2-1 so far in 2016, stealing all three of those wins for an Oilers team that has been struggling lately”

    I love my oilers, but to say they have been struggling lately is a laugh. They struggled when they won 6 straight in December, Nilson bailed them out then. This team has struggled 85% of the year.

    The team has shown improvement but they are still terrible.

  • MattyFranchise

    Interesting that this article discusses the failings of both 1) a democratic process and 2) corporatism (capitalism). Large portion of people (including the writer) seem upset and surprised. I might even point out how “lobbyists” changed public sentiment and the vote.

    I wonder why there wasn’t such a strong reaction to many similar events that happen all the time, every day in the “real world”.

    Just sayin’.

    As for the Talbot signing, I too like it. If the contract is an overpay, it is a very small overpay.

  • MattyFranchise

    I think I like the timely signing on Cam. Some people say wait for another 15-20 games. The problem with that is, what if he’s absolutely playing lights out great for that amount of time? Not only would the price go up, but the agent might be thinking, mmm. this guy can hit the jackpot in UFA. So, I like it for that reason.

    John Scott:

    The #NHLpimps has never cared about the fans feelings, just their money.

    I was actually going to watch Scott play. Simply because I believed he was going to have fun. I’m thinking he had a lot of people rooting for him, because really, his chance of being an all star wasn’t much better then mine(and I don’t even skate)…or probably yours.

    So very little entertainment in the business of hockey anymore.

    Basically they said, we will allow you to vote, but your vote is irrelevant if we choose it to be. #streetHookers

  • I like the Talbot signing, a bit worried about how much money will be left cap wise for D this summer. But nice to finally see the finished version of this team coming together.

    I think, almost, and at last, we can declare the rebuild over. Maybe just one more big piece on the back end to shore up the top four.