9 Lives, 1 Goal and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

With the summer here and plenty of action involving new faces, rookies, trades, signings and future plans, whenever one needs to get a reaction from a veteran of any team involved in said maneuver/transaction, where does one head? To the golf course.

It never ceases to amaze me that in almost every interview with an already proven hockey player, that interview takes place on a golf course. I tell you, that's the life. When you suck, your reward is one of the best games in the world. If I could be a professional hockey player I'd do it for two reasons. First, to be involved in a game I love to watch as a fan which is hockey. Second, to spend my off time doing something I love almost as much, which is golf.

I said today, when I spent the morning golfing with my Dad that if someone offered me enough cash to buy my business from me, the first thing I'd do is purchase a membership at about three different courses and play everyday. My Dad's reaction? "That's nice son, anything good happening with the Oilers?"


With my dreams dashed just a little, I replied to my Dad, "just when you think it's slow, hockey gives you something to talk about." That was very true today as officially a few things happened.

Tom Renney and the Oilers Hire Steve Smith

The reactions I've been reading are about 50/50. Some people think it's a great move, others kind of meh. When you subtract the morons who site this as a bad move because Steve Smith is often remembered as the Oiler who scored on his own team in the 1986 Battle of Alberta versus the Flames, you quickly realize it's more like 65/35 for.

I'm in the 65% group. I think Steve Smith was an extremely good defenceman. He made a lot of other defence partners appear better than they were nd that says something about one's knowledge of his game and position.

Steve Smith has been in the game a long time after his playing days were done (even some as a coach before his playing days officially ended) and while perhaps his coaching experience is a good decade old, Smith has been in an argueably better position as a scout with the Chicago Blackhawks. Smith knows the game, he knows young talent and he was a leader for the Oilers. All good things for this young group

Tom Renney and the Oilers Keep Buchberger

Talk about your cat with nine lives. Buchberger has just about sped them all and he's still here. He was rumored as a name to go back to the Barons, but it looks like Todd Nelson gets the job and Bucky stays with the big club. I'm not totally disappointed as Kelly is a leader and defines quite nicely the attitude management and coaches want the "new Oilers" to have.

I'm sure they'll be at least one more coach added.

Oilers Bring Back J.F. Jacques

If you're a stats geek, there are probably a million reasons why you're saddened by this news. Jacques has been largely unhealthy, he's been given almost as many chances as Pouliot who was shown the door but produced more offensively, and he's not anything more than a 14th forward which the Oilers already have.

Still, there's something about Jacques I like. He learned last year what it was that he'd be needed for. When he was healthy, something about his presence on the ice made me notice him. He took no guff from opposition, he was willing to drop the gloves on a dime to stand up for someone and he was a hitting machine.

Jacques may never be a stats favorite, but that whole "saw him good" thing really applies here.

I think he can change a game and I think if he's healthy he'll change it more for the positive than the negative.

Oilers Sign Dubnyk

Is this the end of Deslauriers? I doubt it and we'll know more on the 22nd when Khabibulin goes to trial, but I think if JDD is done, Dubnyk was the right choice for the Oilers.

His potential for growth seems much higher for me and of the two he's bound to become a NHL goalie and produce far greater results for his value contract than Deslauriers ever will.

Nelson and the Farm

OKC has a new coach in Todd Nelson. They also have what looks like the start of a good team. Shawn Belle is the latest and greatest of the group. He ranks up there with Giroux for me, but I see Belle as a potential for more with the Oilers than anyone Edmonton or the Barons have signed so far.


Post a Comment

More To Read