Last night, Georges Laraque spoke to Gene Principe in the second intermission and did not pull his punches when it came to assessing the Edmonton Oilers.
Normally when you get quotes from former players they like to talk about the good old days without making waves about the current team. That is not what happened with Georges Laraque when he was interviewed during last night’s game against the Golden Knights. In fact, Georges even took shots at specific players, something you don’t see all that often. He later clarified the comments (we’ll get to that in a bit) but a lot of what he said rings true to me.
“If I was playing today I think there are many things I’d be doing in the room to get a heart transplant.”
Heart transplant, eh? Maybe that’s the problem!? The Oilers aren’t getting enough oxygen pumped through their bodies because of a weak heart! It all makes sense now. Science!
“Because look at the Golden Knights tonight… On paper, the Oilers have a way better team but (the Golden Knights) play with more heart.”
Ohhhh he meant that the Oilers are playing like they don’t care. Damn. I was hoping we had found something that was medically wrong with them, something that could be explained with science. I pictured some kind of ‘House’ arrangement where a specialist came in to diagnose them, ultimately solving the issue. So close. Dare to dream, I guess.
“As much as Connor is more protected, obviously he is with Darnell Nurse.”
Okay… Where is this going?
“But with Lucic, there’s a lot of guys on that team that actually need to do a hospital visit and get hearts transplanted because there is not enough heart out there.”
Uh oh… Maybe, kinda, sorta calling out Sargeant Swagger for a lack of heart. That’s not a good assessment of a guy that was brought in specifically to be a veteran presence that was able to not only protect Connor McDavid but also, by his own words, bring some swagger back to the organization. I mean, it’s nice that Lucic throws a hit every now and then but apart from those couple of shifts per night, what else is he doing? Certainly not scoring.
“It does not make sense to me.”
Me neither, Georges. Me neither.
Like I said at the top of this piece, it’s unusual for a former player to take shots at the team on an Oilers game broadcast like Georges did last night. I mean, we’ve had plenty of guys take shots at the organization for all kinds of different things but the Laraque comments were different. He specifically called out players on the team and didn’t exactly pull his punches when he did. Over at the Cult of Hockey, David Staples wrote that he heard from Georges and that his comments weren’t specifically calling out Lucic and that it’s how the quote came out in Frenglish.
Now, did Georges mean that or did someone talk to him about sewering the team on a national broadcast? Regardless of what he meant, for me, it was refreshing to hear someone with ties to the organization tell it like it is and call guys out for not being good enough. Now, it’s not like I think anything will happen because Laraque called the Oilers out, but it does make me happy to know that I’m not the only salty curmudgeon around here.
What did you guys think? Was anyone else surprised to hear this kind of talk on an Oilers broadcast?
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