Long Read: How La Forge Became a GM

Like many young Canadian kids, Bil La Forge spent much of his youth in a hockey rink. Unlike most of them, he spent more time watching than he did playing. He was at the rink a lot growing up in the 1980s while his father, the late Bill La Forge, coached in the Ontario Hockey…


Gretzky is the GOAT

I was 15 years old when Wayne Gretzky was sold/traded to the Los Angeles Kings on August 9th, 1988. It was also my grandmothers’ 72nd birthday. Grandma Kramps was a gem. I never forgot the day Gretzky was traded, but it was second to Grandmas birthday. However, I do remember exactly where I was when…


What are we driving at with Draisaitl?

Is there a hockey saying that irks you? I guarantee there is at least one and probably more. I find new phrases are always popping up to describe players. Some are positive, sadly many carry a negative connotation, and some are just, well, nothing. I chuckle when people say, “He is good, BUT…” and then…


Steve Smith discusses Coaching

“Am I saying this to him just to make me feel good, because I want to be right, or am I saying it to improve the player?”  – Steve Smith. Smith was drafted in the sixth round in 1981 by the Edmonton Oilers. He played two more years in junior (London) and then another two…


Oilers Top Prospects

The Major League Baseball trade deadline passed yesterday and it was crazy. Many big names were dealt. There were 15 trades yesterday, and a total of 36 in the last week. It is rare that MLB’s trade deadline is busier than the NHL’s, but it was. As with most deadline trades, one team usually received…


Monday Musings

August is almost here and before you know it,  NHL rookies will report September 7th and participate in rookie games before the lucky ones will join NHL veterans at main camp on September 14th. Hockey enthusiasts in Edmonton and Red Deer who are craving hockey can watch the Hlinka Gretzky Cup starting Monday, August 6th…


Jarome Iginla: The Last Power Forward?

Will Jarome Iginla be the last of a very rare, but talented, breed of hockey player? Iginla possessed the rare combination of elite skill, ridiculous strength, great vision, ability to deliver a big hit and he could fight. Hockey, like life, is constantly evolving, and I believe Iginla is the last of the great power…


Tuesday Tidbits: Nurse contract and more

With every passing day Darnell Nurse’s agent is seeing more contracts signed. Joel Edmundson signed a one-year, $3 million deal with the Blues yesterday, and Brandon Montour signed a two-year, $3.387 million AAV. Both had arbitration rights, which is a factor when comparing their salaries straight across with Nurse, but Montour’s deal makes me believe…


Should more NHL players go to Arbitration?

Jacob Trouba and the Winnipeg Jets couldn’t reach an agreement prior to their arbitration hearing this past Friday. They actually went through the arbitration process and the arbitrator decided on a one-year, $5.5 million contract for Trouba. In the past five years (2013-2017), we have seen 122 arbitration possibilities, but only five went to arbitration….


Strome Looking at Vision Training to Improve His Game

NHL players are always looking for ways to improve their game. The need for speed and strength is a must, but in the past few years more skaters have hired skills coaches to hone their puck skills, and more recently we have seen players try vision testing. A 2014 study by a team of psychologists…


Bouchard’s Bonus Structure

Evan Bouchard signed his first NHL contract yesterday. It was the standard three-year entry-level contract with a $925,000 base, which is the norm for first round picks. However, the bonus structure of his deal is interesting and suggests the Oilers believe he has a pretty good chance to make their team.


Yamamoto and the Slide Rule

The NHL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) is over 500 pages, with hundreds of different rules and definitions. Many of them require multiple readings to comprehend, and many have multiple bullet points outlining different scenarios covering contracts, free agency, waivers, grievances, insurance, rosters and much more. One unique rule is the entry-level slide rule, and young…