ERASERHEAD

If I recall correctly, we all thought the Oilers were going to win the Stanley on admission into the league, but really started thinking about it by Christmas 1980. That fall, Glen Sather would welcome 56 men—19 returnees from the 1979-80 Oilers—and the second wave of a stunning pair of draft hauls.

There were six new draft picks, two getting lots of attention. Paul Coffey was No. 6 overall and a defenseman who could help offensively. Risto Siltanen and Doug Hicks were the top offensive defensemen in 1979-80, Coffey would eventually emerge on another level after some growing pains. Siltanen had a crazy shot from the point, I can still remember the sound it made when missing the net by two feet—he did it a few times each game. Hicks was a rugged player who was a little more of a veteran amongst the mostly teenage group that first season.

The other draft pick was a Finn, LW Jari Kurri, who was noticeable because of the large population from the country—Siltanen, new arrival Kurri and acquisition Matti Hagman who had been with the Boston Bruins a few years earlier. All of these memories come from Jim Matheson who wrote about it here back in 1980.

FALL 1980 TRAINING CAMP ROSTER

  • GOAL: Gord Garbutt, Peter Lopresti, *Ron Low, *Eddie Mio, Andy Moog, Bob Dupuis

During the 1979-80 season, Edmonton employed six goalies, but at training camp in 1980 only Ron Low, Eddie Mio and Bob Dupuis returned. Andy Moog was a seventh-round pick but he would play during the 1980-81 season.

  • DEFENSE: Bryon Baltimore, *Colin Campbell, Paul Coffey, Jim Crosson, *Lee Fogolin, Mike Forbes, Larry Goodenough, *Doug Hicks, John Hilworth, Charlie Huddy, *Kevin Lowe, Mike McCann, George Pesut, *Pat Price, *Risto Siltanen.

Lee Fogolin was my favorite defenseman by 1980, he was very strong and tough plus he could play. Reliable, dependable. Pat Price could never outrun his past, whenever he’d get mentioned on the game broadcast the words would surround his early promise and current predicament as less than superstar. I always cheered for him because of that, but he didn’t hang around for the good times.

Kevin Lowe struggled as a rookie, there was a time when he could have been sent out early in 1979-80. He matured quickly though, Lowe was a very good player for a long time, he’ll eventually make the Hall. I could tell you stories about pretty much all of these guys (George Pesut was a former California Seal, Huddy was probably happy he didn’t get drafted because the signing bonuses were better for good undrafted free agents than for late picks) but let’s move along.

  • CENTER: Dave Barr, *Wayne Gretzky, Matti Hagman, *Mark Messier, Paul Messier, Walt Poddubny, Kevin Redmond, Gord Stafford, Mike Toal, *Stan Weir, Mike Winther.

This is the original listing from Matty’s article, I didn’t move No.11 here. Messier and Weir spent time together, 99 played center and Hagman was coming in to replace Ronny Chipperfield (who had been dealt for Ron Low).

Today is the anniversary of the Gretzky sale, everyone will want to talk about it but the truth is there is nothing to say. Ultimate betrayal of a fan base. The entire story in six words. If you’re an Oilers fan, nothing about this story brings any joy at all, just searing pain. You’ll see chapter and verse about it everywhere today, but not here. Screw it.

  • LEFT WING: *Don Ashby, *Brett Callighen, Scott Currie, Barry Dean, *Peter Driscoll, *Dave Hunter, Max Kostovich, Jarri Kurri, Dean Magee, Mark Miller, *Dave Semenko, Roy Sommer.

I always love looking back on these names, but am also always saddened when arriving at Don Ashby. Damn shame. Kurri is listed at LW, Roy Sommer was fairly well known among the group of newcomers. Brett Callighen was a great story, he lost his career to a fluke eye injury.

  • RIGHT WING: Glenn Anderson, Shawn Babcock, Dale Baldwin, Blair Barnes, Rick Bourbonnais, Mike Kouwenhoven, Bill Joyce, *Dave Lumley, *Blair MacDonald, *Don Murdoch, Cal Roadhouse, Tom Roulston.

Glenn Anderson was pretty famous for his work with the Olympic team, I don’t think we had any idea how good he would be in 1980 fall, though. Between he and Jari Kurri, this position was turned over in the most incredible way.

2017 TRAINING CAMP ROSTER

  • GOAL: Cam Talbot*, Laurent Brossoit*, Eddie Pasquale, Nick Ellis, Shane Starrett, Dylan Wells, Stuart Skinner.

I keep reading how vulnerable the Oilers are with Talbot and Brossoit, but how many teams could survive without their No. 1 goaltender? Counting on Talbot to perform at that incredible level of one year ago may not be wise (could be more wobble) but I think the Oilers are in excellent position at goaltender for the coming season. If Brossoit can perform well in his 25 games, maybe even better than that by season’s end. When it comes to Brossoit, I think people are confusing unproven with incapable. Let the man have his time at bat. Nick Ellis remains a curio but could be more.

  • LEFT DEFENSE: Oscar Klefbom*, Andrej Sekera* (inj), Darnell Nurse*, Yohann Auvitu, Ryan Stanton, Dillon Simpson*, Keegan Lowe, Ziyat Paigin, Caleb Jones, Ben Betker, Dmitri Samorukov.

The big news here is Sekera’s injury, it could cost him half a season and even then we don’t know how well he’ll perform after return. Oscar Klefbom will need to repeat his breakout season and then some, Darnell Nurse will carry a heavier load and the club badly needs someone like Yohann Auvitu to emerge. The 2015 draft (defense division) arrives in pro hockey and we’ll see how it shines. I think the Oilers have high hopes.

  • RIGHT DEFENSE: Adam Larsson*, Kris Russell*, Matt Benning*, Eric Gryba*, Mark Fayne*, Ethan Bear, Ryan Mantha.

Peter Chiarelli turned over the entire position last summer/early fall and all of the major players return. Possible Kris Russell moves to LH side for the Sekera absence, but the depth chart makes more sense to me having him here. I like the depth but part of that is based on Mark Fayne so I could be a stone alone.

  • CENTER: Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Mark Letestu, Brad Malone, Joe Gambardella, Grayson Downing, Josh Currie, Kyle Platzer. 

It’s an amazing depth chart at this position, absolutely stunning talent level. McDavid’s comments this summer have been music, he’s not the least bit satisfied and hungry for another chance at Stanley. We may find out this winter if Leon can push a line and Nuge could play top 6F at times when the club needs a different look. Among the lessers, Joe Gambardella is the most intriguing, his forechecking might find a home on the NHL penalty kill sooner than later.

  • LEFT WING: Patrick Maroon, Milan Lucic, Jussi Jokinen, Drake Caggiula, Jujhar Khaira, Joey Laleggia, Ryan Hamilton, Braden Christoffer, Evan Polei, Tyler Benson, Ostap Safin, Kirill Maksimov. 

This is a terrific depth chart in my opinion, lots of veteran depth and utility, along with some promising youngsters who have varying areas of skill. The achilles for the youngsters is offense, making Benson’s development all the more important. Wise moves at the draft table to grab Safin and Maksimov this past summer.

  • RIGHT WING: Ryan Strome, Jesse Puljujarvi, Zack Kassian, Anton Slepyshev, Iiro Pakarinen, Ty Rattie, Mitch Callahan, Kailer Yamamoto, Patrick Russell, Greg Chase, Brian Ferlin, Chad Butcher, Dave Gust, Zack O’Brien. 

The most difficult position on the roster to estimate, especially if LD stays at center. Some talk of moving Nuge here, the one major takeaway from summer activity is we’re going to see Jesse Puljujarvi in a feature role. If it doesn’t work, Kassian, Slepyshev and even Jokinen could slide in at 2R for a little or a long time. Rattie and Callahan remain distant but intriguing bells, Kailer Yamamoto is going to be heard from but my suspicion is the Oilers send him down early.

SQUEEZING OUT SPARKS

What really got us excited about 1980 was the continued development of established youngsters like Gretzky, Messier, Lowe added to the new rookies like Anderson, Kurri and Coffey. It had the impact of a takeoff at Cape Canaveral with all systems working. I’ve never seen anything like it before or since: Every bet worked out to the power of infinity. Crazy.

In modern terms, it would be as if Jesse Puljujarvi, Kailer Yamamoto and Ethan Bear all arrived this fall and grabbed regular spots opening night—and then flourished beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. It was the impossiblest of times. We can’t get there from here, but even a success Jesse Puljujarvi will bring this team closer to the dream.

I don’t think the McDavid Oilers are going to have the breadth and depth of the 80s Oilers, but we knew that already. What this team badly needs is another Matt Benning, for Joe Gambardella to become Rem Murray in a quick hurry and for Jesse Puljujarvi to score 20 goals in a responsible season. Is that too much to ask? Probably.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy Wednesday, starts at 10, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Scott Mitchell, TSN. The Blue Jays are still hanging around, with bats heating up. Can they get there from here?
  • Brad Janishewski. Legendary jet funny car driver tells tales and has a major announcement to make about he and wife Heather’s career in the sport.
  • Andrew Bucholtz, Awful Announcing & The Comeback. We’ll talk CFL and Eskimos historic injury run.
  • Brock Otten, OHL Prospects. Brock wrote about the Oilers OHL prospects the other day, we’ll review.

@Lowetide on twitter, 10-1260 text. Talk soon!

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42 Responses to "ERASERHEAD"

  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    Which of the young and developing wingers will take a step forward this year and provide an extreme value contract?

    JP? Drake? Slepy? Maybe even Joey L?

    I’m very comfortable with the goalie situation – yes, if Talbot goes down with a material injury we are likely in trouble but most teams would be. As far as a 20 game back-up, I’m confident that Laurent can do the job adequately – he has 100% earned the opportunity. If he does happen to fail, I’m almost as confident that Mr. Ellis can fill that role.

    My biggest concern is an injury to Klef or Larsson prior to Reggie’s return.

  2. Jaxon says:

    I want to believe that Benson can pull off a Klefbom-like rise to prominence. Both were highly touted and both faced early career injuries that hampered their straight line development. Remember, that Benson was once almost just the 3rd player to be given exceptional status after Tavares and Ekblad (would have tied 3rd with McDavid), and first from the WHL. That is pretty heady company and points to somewhat unteachable elite level skill. His injuries have piled up and compounded each other in a way that is reminiscent of Klefbom’s lost season with freaky injuries. If he turns things around and rebuilds his core and starts to dominate, they may have a top line elite player on their hands. Here’s to hoping we can someday watch Benson-McDavid-Puljujarvi as a top line.

  3. John Chambers says:

    I feel as if we’re more inline with the 81-82 Oilers (Gretzky’s 3rd season), but I hope the season doesn’t end the same way.

    I think I’ll need a long vacation in the wilderness if we draw the LA Kings as our first round opponent.

  4. McNuge93 says:

    “If I recall correctly, we all thought the Oilers were going to win the Stanley on admission into the league, but really started thinking about it by Christmas 1980. That fall, Glen Sather would welcome 56 men—19 returnees from the 1979-80 Oilers—and the second wave of a stunning pair of draft hauls.’

    I don’t remember expecting a Stanley as soon as we entered the NHL. It was just exciting to actually be in the big leagues. For an Albertan the NHL was so far away in the big cities not in our little cities out west. To me, we started thinking about it in year three when the team spiked in the regular season and Wayne was tearing up record books.

    What a time. But I try to suppress those memories and not live in the past, I so want success in the present.

  5. adamjames says:

    Ahhh Eraserhead. Just hearing the word brings the screeching and crying of that…thing to my ears.

  6. McNuge93 says:

    ‘Today is the anniversary of the Gretzky sale, everyone will want to talk about it but the truth is there is nothing to say. Ultimate betrayal of a fan base. The entire story in six words. If you’re an Oilers fan, nothing about this story brings any joy at all, just searing pain. You’ll see chapter and verse about it everywhere today, but not here. Screw it.’

    Agreed. And a big thanks to Mess, Andy, Jari, Charlie, Billy and the rest of the boys for easing the pain a little bit in 1990.

  7. RISTOOOOO SILTANEN!!!! says:

    BOOM!!

    Siltanen shots from the point were the game within the game for me.

  8. Jaxon says:

    Joey L will be interesting to follow this season. Once he moved to forward he achieved an NHLe goals equivalency of 20 goals! If he can really bring that to the NHL he may eventually find a spot in the top 9.

  9. bendelson says:

    Man… Eraserhead.
    I saw the film in the late 80’s and can still hear that baby crying.
    Thanks LT.

  10. Bag of Pucks says:

    I don’t think we’ll ever see another raw talent infusion like the ‘Boys on the Bus.’ Not because another team can’t luck out and run the draft table, but because hockey is now so system-centric with so much emphasis placed on advance scouting and in-game adjustment, that I can’t see another organization wanting to put that many rookies in the lineup at the same time. Organizational suicide imo.

    One of the things history has taught me is that ‘good’ is achievable on a fairly frequent basis but ‘greatness’ in terms of dynastic achievement is truly rare because it requires not only the right ingredients for success but the additional factor of fortuitous timing as well: i.e. the right players within the right system for that era.

    Those 80’s teams will ride into Valhalla together and own a permanent place in hockey lore as the highest scoring and arguably the most entertaining teams ever. Truly a once in a lifetime story. For that reason, I really try to avoid comparing the current team to those squads. Just patently unfair to the current players imo.

    For the same reasons I tell my boys to enjoy Greta Van Fleet without hanging the Led Zeppelin expectations on them.

    All that said, Connor has the look of greatness about him. And starting with Robert Plant on your side is over half the battle.

  11. N64 says:

    Anyone following the 1980 link: Page 101 for the Matty piece.

    Wow. Had forgotten the whole process of building newspaper pages back then and the high percentage of pages and page layouts devoted to ads and classifieds. No internet, no auto trader etc. Everybody had to go there for information.

    Love the Mixed Bag headline. Yeah, turned out the entire roster was not future Hall of Famers.

  12. digger50 says:

    Just a fantastic, enjoyable read this morning. Thanks.

  13. N64 says:

    John Chambers: I think I’ll need a long vacation in the wilderness

    Just came back from 10 years of that. No thanks.

  14. jimdewger says:

    That was such an enjoyable read this morning LT. Thanks

  15. Wonder Llama says:

    Man, Graham Parker and the Rumor. Haven’t thought about them in awhile. Had that one on vinyl.

    He had a great snarl: “Discovering Japaaaaaaaan!”

    I swear half the fun of an LT article is in musical nostalgia!

  16. anjinsan says:

    Where are Barzal and Carlo in the training camp lists?

  17. anjinsan says:

    Roy Sommer. Great to see his name there. I played with him back on the Berkeley Bears of Berkeley, California back in the day. Berkeley Iceland, our home rink, was international size and had hard, super fast ice — fond memories.

    Roy Sommer went on to coach San Jose’s AHL feeder team and become the winningest coach in AHL history, and he’s still going strong.

  18. matt says:

    I would love one year insurance deals for any of Jagr, Doan, or Iginla. Maybe even Vanek. It would come at the expense of Slepyshev and Pakarinen. That’s ok.

    Ditto Franson or Markov.

    Some combination of the above and a Draisaitl deal ought to be achievable under the cap. E.g., 2/2/8.

  19. blainer says:

    It’s really unfortunate what has happened to Benson. This was a high risk reward pick for sure and why he ended up falling IMO.

    I suspect he will go the way of Curtis Hamilton but would really love to be wrong on this. He is still trying to get back to good health and I think there will be real concern on his behalf of yet another injury while playing.

    It is overcoming the fear of injury and actually NOT getting injured that is the challenge for this young man.

    I wish him nothing but the best and hopefully some good karma is coming his way.

  20. Ducey says:

    matt:
    I would love one year insurance deals for any of Jagr, Doan, or Iginla.Maybe even Vanek.It would come at the expense of Slepyshev and Pakarinen.That’s ok.

    Ditto Franson or Markov.

    Some combination of the above and a Draisaitl deal ought to be achievable under the cap.E.g., 2/2/8.

    Markov signed in the KHL. Jagr is not coming here.

    Doan is done. He is 40. Ditto Iginla. They put up too little production for the minutes they get.

    Iginla had 11 of his 27 points last year on the PP. He played 15 minutes a night. Take those out and you are left with a character player, who has trouble keeping up. With LA he started 57 % of his shifts in the offensive zone. There are other players the Oilers need to give PP and offensive zone starts to. He needs to be playing the toughs to be useful, and I don’t think he can do that anymore.

    Meanwhile Slepyshev is just 23 and just breaking out based on the end of the season and playoffs. He only had 11 minutes a night and little PP time. He isn’t going to learn much more in the AHL. I’d rather get the at bats to develop.

    Man, I miss hockey analysis. The NHL website is crap.

  21. Bruce McCurdy says:

    That ’80-81 team had the best crop of rookies on one team I’ve ever seen. Three Hall of Famers in Kurri, Anderson & Coffey, while two other significant players made their debut in Charlie Huddy & Andy Moog. Kurri & Anderson both hit the 30 goal plateau, Anderson in just 58 games due to an injury. Coffey was a year away — he would score 89 (!) points as a sophomore — but the talent was there for all to see right off the hop. All of those guys (save Huddy who was on the taxi squad) came up big in the ’81 playoffs as well, with 7-9-17 combining for 14-17-31 over the course of 9 games against the league’s two powerhouse clubs.

    Peter Gzowski could not have picked a better season to follow for The Game Of Our Lives.

  22. OmJo says:

    It’s posts like these that make me wish I was alive during the glory days.

  23. Lowetide says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    That ’80-81 team had the best crop of rookies on one team I’ve ever seen. Three Hall of Famers in Kurri, Anderson & Coffey, while two other significant players made their debut in Charlie Huddy & Andy Moog. Kurri & Anderson both hit the 30 goal plateau, Anderson in just 58 games due to an injury. Coffey was a year away — he would score 89 (!) points as a sophomore — but the talent was there for all to see right off the hop.All of those guys (save Huddy who was on the taxi squad) came up big in the ’81 playoffs as well, with 7-9-17 combining for 14-17-31 over the course of 9 games against the league’s two powerhouse clubs.

    Peter Gzowski could not have picked a better season to follow for The Game Of Our Lives.

    It was insane. Raining hockey Gods. Crazy.

  24. Westchester Oil says:

    I’m on vacation in Normandy, but still enjoying these posts. Zero hockey news in France. Thanks LT.

    Eraserhead and the 1980 Oilers bring back two very poignant but totally different memories. I wonder what was going on in David Lynch’s brain?

    Back to the 2017 Oilers – you’ve mentioned Brossoit getting 25 starts. I’d be happy if he can give us 15-20 starts of decent quality.

  25. jake70 says:

    Gretzky in Shapovalov’s box a bit ago for the Roger’s cup. During set break, Arash Modani asked him about the trade, basically how time flies, Wayne immediately answered by saying the last time he was in that stadium (Montreal) was during the 81 Canada cup, centering Gilbert Perrault and Guy Lafleur, nice deflection Wayne…. 🙂

  26. Thinker says:

    Westchester Oil:
    I’m on vacation in Normandy, but still enjoying these posts.Zero hockey news in France. Thanks LT.

    Eraserhead and the 1980 Oilersbringback two very poignant but totally different memories. I wonder what was going on in David Lynch’s brain?

    Back to the 2017 Oilers – you’ve mentioned Brossoit getting 25 starts. I’d be happy if he can give us 15-20 starts of decent quality.

    If it makes you feel better, there is no hockey news here.

  27. Thinker says:

    matt:
    I would love one year insurance deals for any of Jagr, Doan, or Iginla.Maybe even Vanek.It would come at the expense of Slepyshev and Pakarinen.That’s ok.

    Ditto Franson or Markov.

    Some combination of the above and a Draisaitl deal ought to be achievable under the cap.E.g., 2/2/8.

    Doan or Iginla could come in as equipment boys, or maybe they are good with t-shirt guns. Jagr would be a nice add even if it costs some young guys games.

  28. Westchester Oil says:

    anjinsan:
    Roy Sommer.Great to see his name there.I played with him back on the Berkeley Bears of Berkeley, California back in the day.Berkeley Iceland, our home rink, was international size and had hard, super fast ice — fond memories.

    Roy Sommer went on to coach San Jose’s AHL feeder team and become the winningest coach in AHL history, and he’s still going strong.

    Thanks for the update. For some reason, Roy Somner has stood out in my memory. He played one game (on the road, I believe) and scored a goal – on a shot from the right side, halfway between the face-off circle and the blue line (Bruce McCurdy will correct me if my memory is hazy). 🙂

  29. Lowetide says:

    anjinsan:
    Roy Sommer.Great to see his name there.I played with him back on the Berkeley Bears of Berkeley, California back in the day.Berkeley Iceland, our home rink, was international size and had hard, super fast ice — fond memories.

    Roy Sommer went on to coach San Jose’s AHL feeder team and become the winningest coach in AHL history, and he’s still going strong.

    I remember being pleased about Sommer because he was from Oakland. Very cool story and thanks for bringing it to us. 🙂

  30. N64 says:

    Lowetide: It was insane. Raining hockey Gods. Crazy.

    Crazy part is that when the NHL caved (99 refused to waive his personal services contract if forced into the NHL draft) Oil had to pick last in every round as a penalty for being allowed to protect 99 with one of their 2 slots.

    The ensuing karma is hilarious.

    21st pick became Kevin Lowe

    Oil sent 42nd and 63th to Minny and agreed not to take Paul Shmyr in the expansion draft.

    Oil got back Semenko and drafted Messier with Minny’s 48 and Anderson with Minny’s 65.

    It rained Hall of Famers that day. With protection for 99 thrown in.

    Skalbania’s and Pocklington’s biz deals. That’s what gave us those Cups. Pocklington’s biz practices. That’s what send 99 away. I’ll celebrate the former today.

  31. GMB3 says:

    Oscar Klefbom is under a ton of pressure this year. He had a break out season this year, but we fans are placing a lot of hope on some linear progression with regards to his game. He’s only played one full season in the bigs. I hope he has the stones.

  32. jtblack says:

    Jaxon,

    Although anything can happen it’s going to be tough for Benson to be a first-line left-winger. He has yet to dominate the WHL never mind the NHL. Hopefully this year he can do it but he also has the added pressure of being expected to do it.

  33. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Thinker: Doan or Iginla could come in as equipment boys, or maybe they are good with t-shirt guns. Jagr would be a nice add even if it costs some young guys games.

    Doan could be on jockstrap cleaning duty, cup scrubbing. Suits him

  34. Lowetide says:

    jtblack:
    Jaxon,

    Although anything can happen it’s going to be tough for Benson to be a first-line left-winger.He has yet to dominate the WHL never mind the NHL. Hopefully this year he can do it but he also has the added pressure of being expected to do it.

    I always joke about Marc Pouliot but the injuries he suffered from 17-21 kicked the crap out of his career.

  35. Thinker says:

    jtblack:
    Jaxon,

    Although anything can happen it’s going to be tough for Benson to be a first-line left-winger.He has yet to dominate the WHL never mind the NHL. Hopefully this year he can do it but he also has the added pressure of being expected to do it.

    He has basically the same ppg as Kailer.

  36. Thinker says:

    LadiesloveSmid: Doan could be on jockstrap cleaning duty, cup scrubbing. Suits him

    Could show why they call him shane dome.

  37. GMB3 says:

    jtblack:
    Jaxon,

    Although anything can happen it’s going to be tough for Benson to be a first-line left-winger.He has yet to dominate the WHL never mind the NHL. Hopefully this year he can do it but he also has the added pressure of being expected to do it.

    One kid I trained and another one of my buddies brothers both played in the dub and said healthy Benson is an absolute force to be reckoned with, one of the most complete players in the league. This beer is for Branson’s health

  38. jtblack says:

    Thinker,

    Benson has 34 Goals .. in his WHL Career …. 125 games in … that is no where near dominant .. I do agree that injuries have completely hampered him ….

    Well will see what this year brings. health is the most important. If he can get 65 games, hopefully he can put up Kailer type numbers, 99 pts + …

  39. jtblack says:

    Lowetide,

    There is no “good” time for injuries, but the 17 – 21 yr old time frame is probably the worst .. It obviously limits the players own development, but they also get quickly passed on the depth chart …

    Benson just started to roll last year; had a great road trip thru Alberta and then was on the DL again ..

  40. Thinker says:

    GMB3: One kid I trained and another one of my buddies brothers both played in the dub and said healthy Benson is an absolute force to be reckoned with, one of the most complete players in the league. This beer is for Branson’s health

    He’s my buddy’s kid brother. We used to call him fat on the bus.

  41. Munny says:

    Eraserhead is an amazing effort, especially for a rookie. But it has its flaws. Lynch returns to the same ideas with Inland Empire and absolutely nails it. Although one should probably watch Rabbits first… and The Saragossa Manuscript, of course.

  42. Jaxon says:

    GMB3,
    jtblack,
    Thinker,
    Lowetide,
    Surely, he’s getting the best possible care. He has been out (besides 2 games in February) since the end of December, so hopefully those 10 months of rehab will be enough to correct any structural issues with strengthening and stretching and nutrition. A huge confidence boosting season along with a World Junior Championship could do wonders for his future. It seems like Vancouver likely won’t be in the running for a WHL Championship so maybe we see Benson up at the end of the season. I’d like to see him get a regulation game or two just for himself to gauge where he’s at, but maybe that isn’t a good idea as it might erode his confidence even further. So maybe a really good training camp and back to junior is the best medicine. Fingers crossed because if Draisaitl signs for over $8M, and Maroon and Nuge are gone next season, and if Lucic regresses at 5-on-5 again, or if they have trouble re-signing Strome, they’ll really need some firepower upfront in Benson, Puljujarvi and eventually Yamamoto.

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