Love Unlimited

This is Barry White. He was incredibly famous in the 1970s for his love ballads and the monster instrumental hit “Love’s Theme.”

White’s singing style featured an extremely low voice that spent most of the time barely airborne. In fact, he actually talked through some of his songs, with wonderful string arrangements building up to liftoff (when he actually sang).

They were all over the radio, and they all had long, long titles. “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe”, “You’re My First, My Last, My Everything” and “It’s Ecstasy When You Lay Next To Me” and several other titles made it to the top of the charts. Basically, Barry White spent the 1970s singing songs that were suggestive in content (for the time), wrapped around string arrangements that made them extremely hummable. The signature was the voice, and if you haven’t heard it there are no words so check him out on Youtube. Suffice to say he romped through the ladies until the ’80s.

The Edmonton Oilers are a little like Barry White, especially in summer. Walking around Edmonton these days one gets the feeling that glory is just around the corner. The new ownership is close to taking over, the team is young and on the way up and there are some nice things happening on every front.

In today’s dailes we got some excellent information. Here are a few, with comments after the quotes (which are in italics):

  • Kevin Lowe in the EJ: “I would like a top-end forward but we’re not in a situation where we have to do something to really improve our team. If nothing happens, we’ll go to camp with what we have and we’ll see what unfolds. I don’t feel like I’m under pressure to do something.” This side steps the lack of a “complete veteran” on the blueline but this team has more balance currently than any Oilers summer roster in memory. There’s no huge question marks in goal and they have enough useful defensemen that they can contend from the get-go and the offense should be better.
  • Kevin Lowe in the EJ: “We like the way he (Glencross) finished the year, I like his enthusiasm, I think he has upside, but we’re piecing a puzzle together. We have higher-end guys making more money, so we have to find the right number where he can fit into our future.” Glencross is apparently asking for 1.8M over several years with the Oilers well south of that number. I believe they should sign Glencross. The LW depth chart of Penner, Nilsson, Moreau and Torres has 2 players who will be coming off injury plagued seasons and Moreau’s health has been a concern for most of the last two seasons now.
  • EJ on Kevin Lowe: Lowe figures the salary cap will be in the range of $53- to $55-million and the Oilers will be able to play in that ballpark, particularly after Daryl Katz officially assumes ownership of the franchise, a transition that is expected to take place in the next month. Good news all around. Anyone who has followed this team for any length of time has to know that money has been a problem forever. It’s still not quite real. I keep expecting a headline saying “Katz decides he’d like to buy Flames instead” or something. I have no problem being a fan of a front runner, though.
  • Kevin Lowe in the Edmonton Sun: “We have too many bodies right now, especially given the way Marc Pouliot played last year. We’ll try to do something.” Well, we’ve seen this story before. Lowe talked about Jason Chimera being a regular long before he became one, and Jani Rita got all kinds of love for several summers. The Mac-proof is in the Mac-pudding, and until Craig MacTavish says Pouliot is a player he’ll send out every night then I think we need to curb the enthusiasm. Only yesterday he was talking about Reasoner being a lock for this team in his opinion. This isn’t over yet, folks.
  • Kevin Lowe in the Edmonton Sun: “The difference now is that we can keep our young guys, we don’t have to worry about teams stealing players from us. We can compete financially. If the young guys continue to develop, and we have no reason to believe they won’t, better times are ahead.” Amen to that. I don’t know what’ll happen if the economy turns but in the words of Barry White, Let the Music Play.

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27 Responses to "Love Unlimited"

  1. Ducey says:

    I took my three kids (8,6,3) to watch the prospect camp today. Unfortunately they were more interested in the swimming and snacks at Millennium Place than a bunch of future Oilers so I didn’t see a lot. Didn’t have a program either so it was tough to tell guys apart.

    It was 4 on 4 for the second period. No real hitting, very fast.

    Goulet and O’Mara looked good to me. Peckham looked real comfortable.

    Plante looks a little uncoordinated in his skating but makes really nice outlet passes right on the tape.

    Basillion looked like he is still hurting, really out of shape, or just crappy. He was the worst of the bunch.

    Saw Rob Daum around, what is he doing there if he is not being kept on?

  2. Dennis says:

    You honestly want to pay 20 ~1.8 mill a season???

    14′s signed for another couple of years, at affordable rates AND he can hang playing tough min.

    I can panic with the best of ‘em;), but when I look at our portside, I see 27-14 hanging even with the tough and Nilsson coming out on top with the soft.

    All we need 18 for in the First place is to kill penalties and play 4th line min and the Oilers have proven they can field a good PK unit pretty much no-matter-what and it’s not gonna be a big kick in the nuts once 18 gets hurt and we’ve got to find a guy to play ~6-9 EV min on the left wing.

  3. RiversQ says:

    This side steps the lack of a “complete veteran” on the blueline but this team has more balance currently than any Oilers summer roster in memory.

    I would say the 05/06 team had better forwards, better dmen, more depth and a pair of goalies with a track record of league average SV%.

    This team has a bunch of kids up front that got ripped at ES, a host of injury concerns and some suspect D.

    I’m feeling better about this club than I have in a couple years, but it’s still mostly about the future IMO. If we’re talking balance on paper in the summer, this squad doesn’t hold a candle to that 05/06 team.

  4. Ribs says:

    Goulet and O’Mara looked good to me. Peckham looked real comfortable

    Goulet? Really? I guess it is early….

  5. Lowetide says:

    Dennis: Torres ripped up his knee. That’s not a small thing.

  6. Jonathan says:

    Glencross still isn’t worth 1.8/yr. I’ll take Marty Reasoner, or Pouliot, or Brodziak or Stortini at half the price, thank you very much.

    Patrick Eaves just signed for 1.4, and I realize he’s an RFA, but he’s had more than 40 decent games, so I wonder. People in Vancouver were up in arms when Kesler got signed to that 1.9mil offer sheet, and I realize that was a while back but I really don’t think the salary frame for end-of-roster guys has changed that much.

    Glencross should walk if he wants that kind of money.

  7. Dennis says:

    LT: True enought but:

    A: we didn’t hear that it was an injury that had a high instance of re-occurance

    B: we haven’t heard that his rehab hasn’t been going well.

    So, I’m just assuming he’s on track to be the old Raffi.

  8. Bruce says:

    I took in part of the scrimmage today as well. I had an incomplete list of “players of interest” and the team provided jack shit to that end.

    I ran into IceDragoon there (the 4-month-old grandbaby was a living, breathing giveaway), and spent much of the time shooting the breeze with her rather than paying full attention to the action on the ice. So I got a few vignettes rather than any real informed opinions.

    The four-on-four format wasn’t predisposed to “real hockey”, esp. with a guy like Peckham playing forward for the most part due to positional imbalance. Not much hitting, although one accidental collision left both players v. slow to get up and off.

    Agree with Ducey that Goulet looked good, some nice finishes against an admittedly overmatched Glenn Fisher. O’Marra made a couple of nice plays but looked lost at other times. Vande Velde impressed with a couple of wicked snap shots that blew by Fisher. Nash looks like a player, good awareness of time and space and excellent all-ice instincts. #67 caught my eye more than once with some nice work in the offensive zone, found out later it was Linus Omark. Peckham has lots of rough edges but is an intriguing player — one play that stood out, he fell awkwardly in the corner, but got up, the puck came to him and he took it to the net and scored, all in about 4 seconds. And Petry grabbed my eye with one play where he gained possession inside his own line, took one quick peek and delivered a perfect stretch pass to a guy stationed at the far blueline. Admittedly all of this was done against non-NHL defence and goaltending, and the calibre of play ranged from creative to comical.

    You know you’re a diehard hockey fan when the morning after the Stanley Cup is awarded you drive way the hell and gone to watch the prospects for next year and many years beyond. Oh well, at least I was in good company. :-D

  9. Lowetide says:

    Bruce: Louise is wise, no? Man she knows her stuff. Last TC (first day I think it was) she and I are talking and she’s talking about Gagner’s smarts and ability. Then I say “he might make the team next year” and she laughs and says “no, honey, THIS year.” FIRST DAY!

    Damn women. :-)

    Dennis: A few questions for you. How many games did Raffi miss? How long does it take an average injury of that sort to recover from? How much have you read about his rehab?

    Raffi’s injury could definitely impact 08-09 imo.

  10. goldenchild says:

    I’m a little leary of Glencross I mean isn’t his last 20 games we watched with the Oilers the definition of “Saw him good”? If the choice is 1 of Torres or Glencross gimme Raffi, even off the knee injury. When he is playing like a bull in a china shop we dont have another player on the roster that plays his game, in the run for Stanley he was an impact player that changed games and series.
    Also I live in Vancouver and Raffi is a bonafide cancuck killer. They hate is guts in GM place surely thats an endoresement no?

    The thing that wories me most about the Lowe comments is he never mentions upgrading the defence.

    OT -Its amazing how many people thought Barry White was chef on South Park, it was of course Isaac Hayes, although he was on the Simpsons once. RIP Barry White

  11. doritogrande says:

    “When he is playing like a bull in a china shop we dont have another player on the roster that plays his game.”

    Keyword in that sentence for me is “when”, which usually winds up being once every 10 games or so. He’s the most inconsistent player on the Oilers roster, rookies included. GlenX did his “good raffi” impression every fucking game, and that’s why so many of us gravitated towards him. If Torres can bring any semblance of consistancy to his game he’ll be a valuable (albeit still overpaid) 3rd liner for the Oilers, and if he can’t then he’s PB meat.

  12. Doogie says:

    So, I’m just assuming he’s on track to be the old Raffi.

    Physically, sure, assuming rehab and retraining all went/continue to go smoothly. Mentally, he’s always been a head case, alternating as he has between Raffi Smash and Raffi Float, but someone (Jonathan?) mentioned the other day that he hasn’t had that je ne sais quois that made him Raffi Smash since he damn near decapitated Jason Williams last year, and looking back, I don’t know that I can dispute that.

    Glencross, as Dorito noted, was more like Raffi Smash (though maybe not as balls-to-the-wall crazy) than Raffi himself was at any point last season. High shooting percentage, sure, and there’s no way any sane GM pays him $1.8M over a medium-term contract (paging Don Waddell…), but I still want him to stay, if at all possible. If he’s inflexible on the salary demands, he can go elsewhere — it’ll hurt if he turns into a younger, faster Ethan Moreau, but shit happens — but if he can be talked down a bit, he’s definitely a useful piece.

  13. PunjabiOil says:

    Talk about good asset management. Syvret traded today for Ryan Potulny.

    Exceptional trade. Getting an asset out of nothing

  14. Jonathan says:

    Concur! Potulny seems like a useful player- as in, NHL-ready, to boot.

  15. Ribs says:

    A good fit for Dany. He could learn a lot from Kimo Timonen if he can stay in the show for a bit.

  16. Doogie says:

    Whoops, beaten to it. That’s what happens when you spend an hour watching old hockey clips (okay, mostly old BoA fights) on YouTube.

    Good to see Syvret will get a second chance somewhere else. Always felt bad for him that he seemed like such an afterthought all the time.

  17. Devin says:

    Lowe shows once again that he’s really quite good at dealing small pieces. I can’t fathom why the guy gets clowned when it comes to the big ones.

    This move seems to me to be a little farm team insurance in case one of Schremp or Pouliot are dealt at the draft (or make the big team, forcing a roster forward to be sent away). Anyway, here’s hoping Potulny can become a useful NHL player for us.

  18. gary b says:

    you get my Conn Smythe trophy vote, LT, for combining 3 of my favourite thing – vintage LPs, 70′s soul and the Oilers – into one tasty blog.

    awesome.

  19. Dennis says:

    LT: I don’t rightly know. But until I hear it’s worry-worthy, I won’t bother to worry about It:)

    I just don’t like lumping him in with Moreau because Ethan’s older and considerably more brittle and even though Raffi might not bang like he used to, he can still play tough min.

  20. Bruce says:

    Lowe shows once again that he’s really quite good at dealing small pieces. I can’t fathom why the guy gets clowned when it comes to the big ones.

    Maybe cuz he usually has one hand tied behind his back? Between player demands and suspected ownership interference, it hasn’t always been a level playing surface in such transactions.

  21. IceDragoon says:

    Good day.

    It was a real pleasure meeting Bruce. His intelligence comes thru in his writing, but it was nice to see him good and confirm my opinion. When I mentioned to #1 that he was a goalie, she said, “So… you have crazy in common.” smart ***

    Remember our first few meetings, Lain? Yeah… Bruce’s head may still be spinning from my disjointed tidbits.
    ;-D

    Taking my grandson, I knew I wouldn’t be able to focus much on the players. I was having too much fun watching him.
    :-D

    Throughout period 1 my young darling was completely enthralled with the action on the ice. He had a nibble before period 2, then watched the action and flirted with Bruce before falling asleep at the start of the third period.

    Just a few impressions…

    I like Riley Nash… a lot!!!
    He took faceoffs then played D. This one’s a play maker… head on swivel, utilizes his teammates, exceptional play support for one so young and playing out of position. I think he got 2 primary assists from his many deft set-ups.

    Petry’s another smart one. He has really good vision, calm feet, and is a confident puck handler who can zip the puck ahead of coverage or feather a pass in traffic. I think he’ll be a discerning high event player.

    Omark was buzzing and is getting some media love today… BUT, one play stood out for me. In the first period he battled the puck out of his own zone, deked-lost-and-recovered thru the neutral zone and into the O-zone, then lost possession between the circles. Not once did he look around to see where his teammates were.

    Man she knows her stuff.

    I may know my stuff, but communicating my stuff is another matter altogether. I always lose something in the translation.

    Last TC (first day I think it was) she and I are talking and she’s talking about Gagner’s smarts and ability. Then I say “he might make the team next year” and she laughs and says “no, honey, THIS year.” FIRST DAY!

    Damn women. :-)

    Far be it from me to correct your selective memory, Lain, but I have never called you… “honey”. AND… I think we were lamenting the lack of veteran savy when I suggested, “IF Gagner progresses thru TC the way that he did thru the super series, he could stick.” Tho, I expected him to go back to junior and tear the OHL a new one.

    If you recall, Gagner was very quiet on day 1. It was day 2 that he started adapting to his teammates as MacT played him with everyone on team blue. He didn’t get to play with Hemsky till the practice before the Joey Moss Cup. Both Schremp and Cogliano had looked lost when playing with 83, but Samwise kept up.

    L8r
    Louise

  22. Bruce says:

    Bruce: Louise is wise, no?

    Wise beyond her years, LT.

    It was a real pleasure meeting Bruce.

    Thanks Louise. It was my pleasure as well. Times three, including the progeny.

    See you at traiing camp maybe. :)

  23. IceDragoon says:

    It takes one to know one ;-p … or… something like that.
    ;-D

    Bruce: I generally try to go on day one of TC and at least one other day. I’ll move heaven and earth to adjust my plans for more days if I really like what I’m seeing. Attended every day in ’05… The kids got me out to three days last year. I meant to enjoy what I could, because the season looked really scary.

    I think there is too much chaos on the first day to get a decent baseline read AND have an ongoing discussion tho, so this year Lain and I are aiming for day two. I know that he is a very smart and gregarious gentleman, so I’m sure he would welcome your input to our discussion. Care to join us?

    Between sessions I’ll let Lain drive again, but this time lunch is on me.

    L8r

  24. Lowetide says:

    Bruce: I hope you can make it, I’m looking forward to it like a kid at Christmas.

    Fair warning though: I have my favorites (as with Trukhno last year) so you’ll hear things like:

    1. I think Trukhno looks slow.
    2. Is Trukhno hurt?
    3. The numbers said he was a player, they might as well release him.
    4. All hope is lost.

    And I’m NOT kidding. :-)

    By the time the Joey Moss game came along (and Trukhno played well) my wife was so used to me worrying about him she just played P-Jongg and rolled her eyes every time I mentioned his name.

    Plus of course Louise is great company.

  25. Dennis says:

    I have to agree with Bruce here: we should cut Lowe slack for fucking up the big deals.

  26. IceDragoon says:

    I’m looking forward to it like a kid at Christmas.

    HA!!!

    It took you 57 minutes to jump all over the free lunch.

    I was tempted to sign off my last post with:

    3… 2… 1…
    ;-p

    Fair warning though: I have my favorites (as with Trukhno last year) so you’ll hear things like:

    1. I think Trukhno looks slow.
    2. Is Trukhno hurt?
    3. The numbers said he was a player, they might as well release him.
    4. All hope is lost.

    And I’m NOT kidding. :-)

    I can vouch for this.
    :-)

  27. Bruce says:

    Count me in! Thanks. :D

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