It was May 10, 1970. It was a Sunday. Our television had broken earlier in the year (it was a big cabinet television) so I was in the kitchen listening to the yellow radio my Mom would spend hours with trying to find Patsy Cline. I paced the room as the excitement built throughout the afternoon—this was a Sunday and I was in Burns Lake, BC, so my recollection is afternoon/early evening, long before dark—and when the announcer yelled (in overtime) “Orr scores! Bobby Orr flying through the air!” a lifelong love affair with the game of hockey was sealed. It began miles before in Maple Ridge, but my devotion to hockey, the day it took deep down in my soul as mine and mine alone—came May 10, 1970.
I’m sure you have similar memories. I know in talking to many younger friends over the years that MAJOR turns in fan choice occurred in an instant; an example would be Todd Marchant’s OT goal against Dallas bringing in a flood of new fans to the team from all different, less exciting teams. It happens. Chemistry, the mind’s eye, the thrill of hockey as a game. It’s opening night! Bless you, Oilers. I pray to the Hockey Gods we see a better game than the ‘Troubadour” opening night a year ago.
The dawn of a new season always brings hope for a brand new day, even as clouds appear on the trade horizon. The Edmonton Oilers enter another season out of balance and are fully aware of the problem, but it probably means Jeff Petry is heading out of town.
- Darren Dreger: “The Edmonton Oilers are weak up the middle of the ice and we know that Craig MacTavish is looking for a center. Not to suggest that they’re shopping (Petry) … It’s not a perfect scenario to have an 18-year-old in Leon Draisaitl as your second line center … But (Petry’s) a piece of the puzzle they might use if there is a center who fits with their need.” Source
I don’t see a fit from center from the Red Wings—least season their C’s were Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Darren Helm, Riley Sheahan, Stephen Weiss, Luke Glendening, and Joakim Andersson. See anyone you like? I mean aside from Datsyuk and Z, and it’s doubtful they trade Sheahan. I like Helm, but for Petry? I don’t like that deal at all. Helm is a free agent 2016 summer.
The Oilers are a better team with Jeff Petry, but seem determined to do things the hard way. Again. I see no reasonable or rational argument for trading Jeff Petry now. It’s short sighted and counter productive, and shows that the Oilers see their RH future as Fayne and Schultz without Petry. File this under ‘this is why we can’t have nice things’ and wait for the Nick Schultz part of the deal. Le sigh.
|LEFT WING||CENTER||RIGHT WING|
|TAYLOR HALL||RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS||JORDAN EBERLE|
|BENOIT POULIOT||LEON DRAISAITL||NAIL YAKUPOV|
|DAVID PERRON||MARK AROBELLO||TEDDY PURCELL|
|MATT HENDRICKS||BOYD GORDON
|LEFT DEFENSE||RIGHT DEFENSE|
|NIKITA NIKITIN||MARK FAYNE|
|ANDREW FERENCE||JEFF PETRY
|BRAD HUNT||JUSTIN SCHULTZ
This Oilers roster is among the youngest and lightest in the NHL, as per James Mirtle.
He’s a very divisive person in our community. You cannot—there is no way—put five Stanley’s in this city without him. A highwire act’s highwire act, Pocklington’s movie would already have been made had his story been written in a big American city. There are SO many incredible stories about Pocklington the mind boggles, and of course those of us who were here during the bad times (they were black as black can be) cannot forget even if we forgive.
So when Peter Puck comes back to town and says ‘I really don’t give a damn what some of the unwashed have to say’ I believe him. He’s an old man now and that highwire act caught up to him. I hope he has a good time in Edmonton, visiting with people he likes. As long as he doesn’t get within one million miles of owning anything I value, sail on Peter, thanks for the Stanley’s and the memories.
I met Peter Pocklington a few times, he’d come up to do the John Short show and sometimes spend a few minutes chatting. He was a very interesting fellow, larger than life as they say, and had charisma and a way about him. I also ended up in the same restaurant as Pocklington several times, including Louisiana Purchase and Il Portico. One time, and I had been drinking wine while out with my wife and friends, my buddy Dean (not you Belanger) kept asking me Oilery questions and I kept getting louder in my criticisms (this was probably around the Messier trade, I’m still mad). Anyway, Pocklington was sitting behind me and my table broke out in laughter at some point, and I discovered just how loud I’d been (Pocklington just smiled and went about his business. I assume he placed me firmly in the ‘unwashed’ category).
Anyway, he was part of the 1984 team and so he’s here. I don’t think people should cheer or jeer unless they want to, and whatever you do make it your own. Pocklington has for his entire life, that’s the kind of tribute he could relate to, at the very least.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning, TSN 1260. Dennis King kicks off the opening night coverage with a hard look at the Petry story, and we may venture into Pocklington before discussing the Nationals and NFL. After that, I’m joined by Thomas Drance from Canucks Army as we continue our trip through Canadian NHL cities with a look at the left coast. At 11, new Dad Ryan Batty from Copper & Blue has a lash at the 2014-15 Oilers and their unbalanced look to start the year. At 11:25 it’s Andrew Bucholtz from 55-yard line as we get ready for the CFL weekend and then Dave Jamieson pops in to preview his show and talk football.
10-1260 on the text, @Lowetide_ on the twitter. It’s a great day! Let the Corgi’s flow!