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Best Pizza and a Trade Candidate

The first annual Jason Gregor Pizza Pigout in support of KidSport was a big success thanks to you. We were hoping for 250-300 people, but ended up selling out Molson House with 400 people.

We had 30 Pizzerias competing for various titles. There were over 320 pizzas, 40 volunteers and we raised $22,000 for KidSport.

Thank you.

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We had numerous current and former Oilers and Eskimos, along with some Olympians and other athletes show up to mingle with the crowd and lend their support to Kid Sport. It was fantastic.

We had four judges rate their favourites, and we had the People’s Choice awards. Everyone who showed up had a ballot and they could fill out which pizza they liked best in a variety of categories.

Judges: Their top three

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Graham Hicks:                           Phil Wilson:
Panini’s Italian Cucina              Panini’s Italian Cucina
Pink Gorilla                                Ragazzi Bistro Italiano
Seeps                                         Sepps

Twyla Campbell:                        Andrew Ference:
Panini’s Italian Cucina                Laziza
Ragazzi Bistro Italiano               Pink Gorilla
Sepps                                          Sepps

The People’s Top 10:
Campio Brewing Co. (Peanut Butter and Jam)
Donna’s Eatery (Meat Lovers)
Italian Centre Shop (Calabrese)
Boston Pizza (Mad Mac)
Nitza’s Pizza (Chicken Ranch)
Pink Gorila (Spicy Ginger’d Beef)
Ragazzi Bistro Italiano (Raging Bull)
Panago (Veggie Korma)
Sepps (Mushroom and Potato)
Sir Donair and Pizza (Donair Pizza)

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Best Hawaiian:
Campio Brewing Co.
Coliseum Pizza
Match Eatery & Public House
Pink Gorilla
Rebel Food & Drink

Best Donair Pizza:
Donna’s Eatery
Firezone Pizza & Donair
Laziza
Nitza’s Pizza
Sir Donair and Pizza
U.F.O Pizza

Best Meat:
Al Centro
Bianco
Blaze Pizza
Buco Pizzeria + Vino Bar
Coliseum Pizza
Rosso Pizzeria
Lorenzos Italian Kitchen
Love Pizza

Best Chicken:
Blaze Pizza
Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria
Joey’s Bell Tower
Match Eatery & Public House
Panini’s Italian Cucina
Sepps
Nitza’s Pizza

Best Veggie:
Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria
Favoloso
Panago Pizza Riverbend
Panini’s Italian Cucina
Pizza 73
Sepps

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Best Vegan:
Firezone Pizza & Donair
Panini’s Italian Cucina
Rebel Food & Drink

Best Gluten Free:
Panago Pizza Riverbend
Pizza 73

Most Unique:
Al Centro
Aritisti Pizzeria
Bianco
Boston Pizza Ice District
Campio Brewing Co.
Favoloso
Pink Gorilla
Rebel Food & Drink
Sepps
U.FO. Pizza

Thank you to all 30 Pizzerias who supported the Pigout. Without your support none of this was possible. I highly recommend you try all these great places. And a big thanks to our sponsors.

The biggest challenge for me was I didn’t get to try all the pizzas. Most pizzerias brought two or three different types of pizza. It was awesome, but I simply couldn’t try 60-90 different kinds. The great part is next year I will try those I didn’t get to. A few of favourites were Match Eatery’s Hawaiian, UFO Pizza’s Donair pizza and Campio Brewing Co’s deep dish pizza. So good.

DAN THE CHAMP

Nation Dan represented the people in the pizza eating contest. The challenge was to eat as much pizza as they could in three minutes.

Dan was up against three Olympians in Alysia Rissling, Neville Wright and Kathy Salmon and World Cup of Rugby players, Gordie McRorie and Duncan Maguire. They might be elite athletes, but Dan dominated them in the pizza eating contest. He beat them mentally by crushing four pieces in the first 1:20. They looked over at his pizza box and you could tell that mentally they knew it was over. Never underestimate the power of mental warfare in a competition.

Dan ate an entire Papa John’s cheese pizza (eight slices) in three minutes. Neville and Duncan were second with six. In eating contest terms, it wasn’t close.

He will be back to defend his title next year and he got a pretty legit trophy to celebrate his victory.

Overall the event was a major success for a first year event. You can see all the photos from the night here. Giving KidSport $22,000 will help a lot of children play sports this year. It is a great charity, with very low administration fees, and giving kids the joy of playing sports is a great thing.

Thanks to all the sponsors, the 30 pizzerias and to all who purchased a ticket. If you didn’t get in this year, next year will be even bigger, and if you love pizza, beer, some laughs and a great cause you will enjoy the Pizza Pigout.

TRADE OPTIONS…

Tyler Toffoli was a healthy scratch last game for the struggling Los Angeles Kings. The right-winger is a UFA next summer. He turns 28 in April. Last season was his least productive of his career with 13 goals and 34 points in 82 games, but in three of his previous four seasons be produced 23, 24 and 31 goals along with 49, 58 and 47 points. He has 3-2-5 this year. The Kings won’t be in the playoff race and I suspect Toffolli will be a trade piece.

He is intriguing because he’s shown he can score. I don’t see him getting a big bump on his $4.6 cap hit, unless he has an outstanding second half of the season. I don’t think Edmonton trades for him now, but if their scoring woes continue he’d be an option.

Jesse Puljujarvi has one month to sign with the Oilers, or another NHL team if he is traded, or he will spend the entire season in Finland. I’m perplexed by the amount of people ripping his success in Finland. I’ve seen many comments claiming it is a beer league or not that good. Oilers GM Ken Holland, who has actually watched the league for many years, said this when I asked about the level of competition.

“If they played in the AHL rinks they would be a middle-tier team, but if they played the AHL teams in Finland (on bigger ice) they would be near the top. Different styles of play,” said Holland.

I find it funny how horny people will get about a player scoring points in junior, but Puljujarvi’s success in Finland is meaningless. Very odd stance.

Of course Puljujarvi’s scoring rates in Finland won’t be mirrored in the NHL, but the thing that should excite Oilers fans is he is feeling good about his play again. He is actually making plays, scoring goals and having fun. He is 21 years young. Very few Finnish players have had NHL success prior to 21. He never should have been in Edmonton. Yes, he could have done more to fit in, but even if he took English classes more regularly, I doubt he’d have been that much better.

His success is good for the Oilers and their fans. He either decides to come to Edmonton, which would be a smart move considering the lack of scoring depth on the roster, or Holland trades him with an increased trade value. He needed to find his confidence, and he has. I don’t care what level he is playing at, if he has no confidence he will never play in the NHL. I wouldn’t discount the importance of his success in Finland.

I also don’t see the Oilers trading Puljujarvi for Toffoli. If Holland trades Puljujarvi he will want a young player in return, not a pending UFA.

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