Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun,
With J.F. Jacques growing into the physical presence that they’d always hoped, Ryan Stone shoving his way into the picture and Dustin Penner playing harder for Quinn than he ever did for MacTavish, the Oilers are shaping up to be a lot tougher to play against.
“We’re seeing Jacques become the guy he was expected to be and Pens looks like he’s going to have a good year,” said defenceman Sheldon Souray, Edmonton’s toughest guy on the back end.
“If those two things shape up the way you hope they will, we have two pretty good power forwards—not to mention some of our energy guys a little later in the lineup. We could have a good mix if things work out.”
More grit was at the top of GM Steve Tambellini’s off-season checklist. When he wasn’t able to acquire any in the summer, there was considerable concern.
from David Staples at The Cult of Hockey,
It’s not so pretty when an NHL player loses a step, starts looking awkward on the ice, and talks a better game than he plays.
If you talk to the vast majority of Oilers fans, though, this is the stage of his career that Oilers captain Ethan Moreau is at.
In discussions about the team, Moreau is rarely mentioned as someone who is going to have a good season, even at his so-called specialty, the penalty kill. In fact, there’s outright scorn for Moreau from many fans, and especially scorn for the way Oilers broadcaster Kevin Quinn kept referring to Moreau in excited and reverential terms last season, calling him, as if it was one word, “And here’s thecaptainEthanMoreau.”
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.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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