Kukla's Korner Hockey
from David Staples of The Cult Of Hockey,
On the NHL Network’s online broadcast of the Oilers-Flames game on Wednesday night, (Rod) Phillips started to roast referee Chris Lee about halfway through the first period and didn’t let up. Lee did give the Flames two two-man advantages in the first, but there might well be some concern that Phillips’ response wasn’t exactly in proportion, not that the nutbar Oiler diehards like me who actually watch the game online would care about his bias.
Indeed, we love Phillips for it.
“It doesn’t matter how long you see the game, when you see bad officiating, it just ruins it,” Phillips said of Lee. “This guy has just started off the game absolutely horrendously.”
Free speech, alive and well on the radio.
“He’s obviously an American Hockey League referee and you should be surprised to see him in the NHL this season because he’s not ready,” Phillips then said of Lee.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
And while the Oilers had nothing but good things to say about the man that Khabibulin replaced, team captain Ethan Moreau concurred with the basic premise, suggesting: “Having Khabibulin here allows us to compete with Kiprusoff, Luongo, Backstrom – the elite goalies in our division and conference.
“It’s a daunting task every night because if you don’t get equal goaltending, it’s very hard to win. Goaltending is one of the only positions in hockey, where you can’t cover up your weaknesses. You can have smaller forwards, or if you don’t score enough, you can cover up your weaknesses with other strengths. But goaltending is a must and we have a guy that’s played at an elite level for a long time, so that does give us some comfort.”
from Dan Barnes of the Edmonton Journal,
But as he warmed up his offensive act, they warmed up to him. When he thanked them in a second-intermission interview shown on the video scoreboard, the support was loud and unanimous. When he fought, they chanted his name. And when the 4-0 drubbing of a watered-down Panthers roster was over, and Comrie had drawn the first star for his four assists, they cheered again.
He saluted them and the love-in was an officially registered happening.
“That was pretty emotional out there,” Comrie said afterwards. “I’ve said since I signed I was going to try to earn their respect back. For them to chant my name, I’d be lying if I didn’t say it felt unbelievable. I just felt rejuvenated. I felt excited.”
“I’m in a place where I know. I mean, I know Edmonton. I’ve known it for years. I’m in a place where I like the people I’m working with. I felt the same, when I was in Toronto, Vancouver, Philadelphia, wherever. I put on that sweater, that’s who I work for. It’s no trouble at all.”
-Edmonton Oilers Coach Pat Quinn. More on Quinn from Mark Spector of Sportsnet.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
“Home sweet home,” laughed Comrie, who turns 29 today. “This decision just feels right at this time in my life… I’m older, more mature and before when I played here, it was a little overwhelming and I didn’t embrace it as well as I should have.
“I felt I had to get away ... but I got chills walking back into this rink.”
Perhaps local fans will cut Comrie some slack, and not boo him every time he touches the puck. That’s what they did when he played with the Coyotes.
Only one former Oiler, Chris Pronger, has infuriated locals more. Edmontonians don’t forget when a player doesn’t want to play here.
General Manager Steve Tambellini announced today the Edmonton Oilers have agreed to terms with centre Mike Comrie on a one-year contract.
added 6:25pm, from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
His agent Ritch Winter said he was talking to three other teams seriously about signing Comrie, who turns 29 on Saturday. Two, he said, “were slam-dunk playoff teams.” The Oilers certainly aren’t; they’ve missed the playoffs three straight years but Comrie felt coming back to where it all started was best for him.
more and deal is for $1.25M…
from Robin Brownlee of Oilers Nation,
...as it stands right now, after a 15-minute, face-to-face conversation I had with Comrie this afternoon, I’ve got to tell you we’d all better get used to the idea of seeing MC in Oilers silks again.
While I’m told there’s no deal done as of now and that there’s at least one other option for Comrie — I believe it’s the Atlanta Thrashers — I’d be willing to wager MC will be an Oiler by noon Friday.
In what stands as a classic case of letting bygones be bygones, Comrie and the Oilers have settled their differences to the point where I believe the ink is a formality and the unlikeliest of do-overs will begin when Comrie reports for training camp physicals Saturday.
via Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Rob Schremp has signed a one-year contract with the Edmonton Oilers, The Journal has learned.
Schremp’s new contract is a two-way deal, meaning Schremp will command $715,000 if he makes the NHL club, but less than $75,000 if he is sent down to the Oilers’ American Hockey League affiliate in Springfield, Mass.
It also means that Schremp will have to clear waivers if he’s sent down to the minors because he has now played three full seasons in the AHL.
via Dan Barnes of the Edmonton Journal,
Notwithstanding persistent rumours, the Oilers are not in negotiations with Mike Comrie and have no plans to sign him, Tambellini said.
“Mike’s a good player,” he said Thursday at an announcement about Telus’s new sponsorship of the Oilers. “No decisions have been made to add any player to our roster. We’ve got a full roster, we’ve got salary cap issues. Nothing’s been decided at this point.”
from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun,
The Edmonton Oilers are deciding whether or not to give former Oiler Mike Comrie another tour of duty at Rexall Place.
They are not the only team on Comrie’s radar screen right now, but in a development that’s straight out of the Strange But True file, the unrestricted free agent is seriously considering a return to the town that’s heckled him mercilessly ever since his bitter departure six years ago.
While Comrie is warm to the idea, Oilers management is not unanimous in their desire to bring him back.
That, and the fact that Comrie is still speaking with other teams, means this is no slam dunk.
But the fact it’s even being considered, given that Comrie left town in the second-most volatile break-up in franchise history—Chris Pronger remains No. 1 in Edmonton’s hearts—is jaw-dropping.
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