Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sir Sudafed - Jari Kurri

Jari likes his pills.

In the days before the steroid scandals in the MLB, hockey had it's own doping paranoia. Not steroids, not cocaine, but Sudafed. Yes, once over-the-counter Sudafed.

From Sports Illustrated, January 28th 1998. 'Jari Kurri, the respected 17-year veteran right winger of the Colorado Avalanche, says some of the dirty play in recent years might be a result of players having had something more than the usual competitive juices flowing through their systems. He suggests a link between the use of pseudoephedrine and the increasing lack of respect NHL players have shown each other in this decade. "You take it, you get hyped up," says Kurri, who also says that he took Sudafed once before a game last season when he was with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. "I don't know if the stickwork, the dirty hits, are because of that, but I think it's something the league should look into."'

Apparently, the Oilers have a history with pills.

From Sports Illustrated, January 28th 1998. "[When I played for Edmonton], I remember somebody walking [from the back of the dressing room] with a little jar, and he used to rattle it, and it sounded like a snake," says Moog, who spent five full seasons with the Oilers, from 1982-83 to '86-87. "We used to call [the tablets] 'rattlers.' [He'd say,] 'Anybody want a rattler?'

Maybe we can see if Rexall has anything in development?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Joey Moss

Joey. Joey Moss. For those who aren't familiar, Joey Moss is the locker room assistant for the Edmonton Oilers. Once upon a time, Wayne Gretzky was dating Joey's sister and asked Sather to give him a job, based on Joey's work ethic.

Joey has down syndrome, and he's probably the biggest Oilers fan in the world. No one cheers louder, or sings the national anthem with more gusto, or supports the Oilers more than Joey Moss. He doesn't even benefit financially from their success.

And while Joey does have down syndrome, he's a perfect example of a fan. He's the logical extension of people who post on oilfans.com or edmontonoilers.com with names like PennerFan, Horc4EvR, HemskysWife, oilurzgurl, and the like. He's the extreme fan.

I got love for the fans, but they don't help the Oilers improve as a team. We need public criticism and scrutiny. Unless you're Joey Moss, be real. Don't be a fan for the sake of cheering.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


The Oilers lost 9-2 to the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday, and I'm still frustrated. Why? Because I'm jealous; I'm jealous that the Blackhawks are the team the Oilers should be, a team that recognized its mediocrity and rebuilt itself.

I'm always baffled that the Oilers haven't gone through any serious rebuilding process in the last 10 years. We've always fought with intensity for the final few playoff spots, so a true revamping of the team has never happened. The only real personnel collapse was the mass exodus of 2006 after the vital majority of the Stanley Cup finalist team left Edmonton.

Chicago, on the other hand, recognized its mediocrity and rebuilt their team based on outstanding draft picks. Toews and Kane are two of the best players in the NHL and they're only getting better, and more importantly, they're fun to watch. Chicago is an offensive monster, much like the Oilers of the 1980s.

What bothers me the most is that Edmonton should have a rebuilding plan similar to Chicago - accept that your current squad is poor, draft outstanding offensive talent, develop a team around that talent, and rebuild your team into an offensive dynamo in the legacy of your former glory.

Instead we have a bunch of grinders and high scoring defencemen, and another hope to make 8th place.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Who Is Mark Lamb?

I often say that the Edmonton Oilers are comprised of 26 Mark Lamb's, but who exactly is Mark Lamb?

Mark Lamb is best described as "tenacious" and "hard-working." Mark Lamb is a grinder, a player with "heart," a "character player," which another way of saying his lack of pure hockey skill is accommodated by his work ethic. Mark Lamb is a classic 3rd line Center in the NHL - gritty, tough, tenacious, hard working, and occasionally shows flashes of offensive brilliance, particularly in the playoffs.

Does this player model sound familiar? The Craig MacTavish and Kevin Lowe Era has created a team of hard-working, tenacious players with heart who lack high levels of pure hockey skill (with some exceptions, namely Ales Hemsky). But really - the nucleus of the Edmonton Oilers is Mark Lamb. Let's name some, focusing on forwards:
  • Ethan Moreau
  • Fernando Pisani
  • Dustin Penner
  • Erik Cole
  • Shawn Horcoff
  • Kyle Brodziak
  • Marc Pouliot
  • Zach Scortini
As you'll notice, a lot of our forwards follow this model of gritty, grinding "heart" players. This trend has been accumulating for some time. Let's name some past Oilers from the dark years (1992-1993 and beyond):
  • Hot Toddy Marchant
  • Kelly Buchburger
  • Mike Grier
  • Craig MacTavish
  • Ryan Smyth
  • Bill Guerin
That's good for now. Go Mark Go!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Theo Fleury - Bane of the Oilers Existance

This goal is painful to watch. Sure, we didn't get eliminated from the playoffs, but I just hate Theo circa 1991.

The real question - did Graham James have his way with Theo? I think the answer is a resounding YES. I conjecture that the downfall of Theo's life, that is the coke binges, alcohol, and general debauchery that took over his life is a direct result of the Graham James abuse.

For some reason, whenever I think of Theo, I always think of Bret Hart. Prairies kid makes it to the top and eventually comes crashing down. Theo did it through drugs and alcohol, whereas Bret did it through being a grown ass man.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Let's Get Sean Avery

Sean Avery has been suspended indefinitely for the following remarks:

"I'm really happy to be back in Calgary; I love Canada. I just want to comment on how it's become like a common thing in the NHL for guys to fall in love with my sloppy seconds."

With Jarrett Stoll (Rachel Hunter) and Dion Phaneuf (Elisha Cuthbert) dating his former girlfriends, I don't blame Avery. I could blame him for loving slutty white girls, but to each his own. But Sean Avery is a great NHL pest, and right now the NHL needs some attention.

From gawker.com:
Avery instinctively understands that the NHL, which is trying to attract new viewers, needs to play up conflict and characters within it own ranks if it wants to draw attention. "Tthe NHL does a terrible job of marketing [by not promoting its] villains," he recently told ESPN. "Nobody cares about Jarome Iginla and guys like that, they're just not exciting enough."


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Bill Ranford

Let's take a moment to appreciate the greatest goalie in Edmonton Oilers history - Bill Ranford. Billy Boy, as I like to call him, had some amazing moves in his arsenal of netminding magic. These were: 1. Stack the pads and 2. Fastest glove hand in the NHL.

Billy Boy is what you call a "Hollywood" goalie. When he made a save, he put on a show. Lots of goaltender magic. He'd flash the leather on the glove hand, stack those pads across the net, throw a leg in the air while he was standing up, whatever looked hot on a highlight reel. The kids loved it, because they could play goalie in street hockey and pull off all the fancy tricks that Billy Boy used to do.

Just one problem - you need a defence to be a successful goalie. Ask Martin Brodeur. Billy Boy got run out of town because his Hollywood magic didn't last, not because he wasn't a great goalie, but because we had no defence after 1992. He was still a great goaltender, and was an excellent back up in both Detroit and Washington, even winning another Stanley Cup with the Wings.

I love you Billy Boy. I'll never forget the day you got pulled for Bob Essensa and got booed at Northlands. I was at that game. I was booing too. But I still love you.