I never knew a man could tell so many lies
He had a different story for every set of eyes
How can he remember who he’s talking to?
Cause I know it ain’t me, and hope it isn’t you.
And there ain’t nothin’ like a friend
Who can tell you you’re pissin’ in the wind.
This is Kenny Reardon, a legendary hockey figure. He was fearless and then some, with a few news items in his resume that could turn your stomach. He injured a lot of players and endured plenty of pain during his NHL career. According to Legends of Hockey:
Reardon retired before he turned 30, partially because of the many injuries he’d sustained due to his style of play. Even an incomplete list of his scars and breaks is daunting. He never seemed to allow himself to heal. One shoulder injury was supposed to keep him in the press box for three weeks but he returned to the Canadiens’ lineup after only 10 days. He attempted to hit an opponent in his first game back, missed, and slammed the tender shoulder into the boards. He completed the game and then asked the team physician to look at the throbbing arm. “It’s your head I should be examining, not your shoulder,” replied the doctor.
After he retired, Reardon became a very respected man in the Montreal front office. Accounts of his being an important part of Montreal’s success over the 50s-60s-70s are in several books from the era. He was a valued advisor and his input was sought and relied on through the Hab’s glory years.
I’m wondering if Kevin Lowe needs a Kenny Reardon. Maybe he’s already there, maybe it’s Craig MacTavish. Knowing those two men have spent much of their professional careers together it would seem logical that all things are talked through at some level before a move is made.
Which brings us to the events of the past two summers. In order:
- June 28, 2006: Oilers decline the $1.9 million option on the contract of G Ty Conklin, making him an unrestricted free agent as of July 1.
- June 30, 2006: Oilers decline the option on the contract of F Todd Harvey, making him an unrestricted free agent as of July 1.
- June 30, 2006: Oilers sign RW Fernando Pisani to a 4-year, $10 million dollar contract.
- July 1, 2006: Oilers sign G Dwayne Roloson to a 3-year, $11 million dollar contract.
- July 3, 2006: Oilers trade D Chris Pronger to Anaheim for RW Joffrey Lupul, D Ladislav Smid and draft picks.
- July 4, 2006: Oilers sign C Marty Reasoner to a 2-year, $1.9 million dollar contract.
- July 6, 2006: Oilers sign D Daniel Tjarnqvist to a 1-year, $1.625 million dollar contract.
- July 10, 2006: Oilers trade a 7th rd pick in 2007 to Buffalo for D Jan Hejda.
- July 12, 2006: Oilers sign C Shawn Horcoff to a 3-year, $10.8 million dollar contract.
- July 21, 2006: Oilers sign D Tom Gilbert to a 2-year professional contract.
- July 21, 2006: Oilers sign C Jarret Stoll to a 2-year, $4.4 million dollar contract.
- July 25, 2006: Oilers sign RW Ales Hemsky to a 6-year, $24.6 million dollar contact.
- Summer 2006: Oilers do not pursue a long term contract with Ryan Smyth.
- August 11, 2006: Oilers sign F Petr Sykora to a 1-year, $2.9 million dollar contract.
- August 28, 2006: Oilers sign F Toby Petersen to a 1-year contract.
THAT is a lot of team building in one summer. Massive change on the blueline with a lot of experience headed out (especially considering Tarnstrom and Spacek, two rentals, did not return) and they signed their young star (Hemsky) to a long term deal. Plus they put off making a Ryan Smyth decision (or more to the point, make their thoughts known on his future by passing over an opportunity to sign him long term but giving out contracts to several others).
This spring we were told coach MacTavish was out pro scouting and that he would have more input into the roster moves made by the club. Here’s this season’s laundry list:
- July 1: Oilers sign D Dick Tarnstrom to a 1-year, $2 million dollar contract.
- July 1: Oilers sign D Denis Grebeshkov to a 1-year, $950,000 contract.
- July 1: Oilers trade D Jason Smith and RW Joffrey Lupul to Philadephia for D Joni Pitkanen, LW Geoff Sanderson and a 2009 3rd rd pick.
- July 3: Oilers sign G Mathieu Garon to a 2-year, $2.2 million dollar contract.
- July 3: Oilers sign LW Raffi Torres to a 3-year, $6.5 million dollar contract.
- July 3: Oilers sign D Matt Greene to a 2-year, $2.3 million dollar contract.
- July 5: Oilers trade a 2008 2nd rd pick to NYI for their own 3rd rd pick in the 2008 Entry draft and D Allan Rourke.
- July 6: Oilers sign F Tomas Vanek to a 7-year, $50 million dollar offer sheet.
- July 12: Oilers sign D Sheldon Souray to a 5-year, $27 million dollar contract.
- July 17: Oilers sign RW Colin McDonald to a 2-year professional contract.
- July 26: Oilers sign LW Dustin Penner to a 5-year, $21.5 million dollar offer sheet.
Massive change (upgrade in terms of veterans and puck movers) on the blueline and they are trying to sign a young player to a long term deal (currently Penner). They’ve added some very nice goalie depth and traded their captain.
So my question for you is this: how much impact has MacT had on this roster? And a secondary question, do you believe (as Louise has suggested) that the Oilers will return to the old days of having the opposition’s best line facing a checking unit and abandon the power v. power setup?