A Few Home Truths

This is Dave Gagner with his son. In the fall of 2007 the Oilers kept Sam at the NHL level and this is year three of his career in the big leagues.

If we use Sam Gagner’s first NHL season as the start of a brand new day for the Edmonton Oilers, then this season is looking pretty good.

I think that’s the only way we as fans can view the current edition of the team. Much like the 79-80 Oilers (and maybe the 80-81 or 81-82 edition) this team has tremendous young talent (although not at that level) with the ‘delivery on potential’ and learning curves represented by steep slopes ahead.

The problem for the Oilers is this: can you reasonably expect the fanbase to endure another season of getting run over by Calgary, Vancouver, Minnesota and (incredibly) Colorado? I think that’s a massive business risk, especially considering the incredible amount of good faith that is going to be called upon over the arena project.

Here’s a few other things:

  1. Making the playoffs has never been more difficult. Value contracts and rookies who can perform veteran tasks successfully are extremely valuable currency.
  2. The Oilers don’t have many value contracts and have no rookies who fit the criteria.
  3. There are a lot of “lost soul” veterans, men who signed after the ’06 run and have been playing on a developing team these three (plus) years.
  4. Those veteran contracts begin to expire next spring rolling out several seasons.
  5. Those veterans could be sent away the moment the team feels the playoffs are a distant bell.
  6. We’ve been waiting for some clearance between the two young centers since they were rookies. This is the first season (and it’s early) that there does appear to be a gap.
  7. If it continues, Cogliano isn’t long for this hockey club.
  8. Robert Nilsson has had an excellent chance to show he’s worthy of more playing time in the last few games. I don’t think anyone can argue he’s grabbed the chance.
  9. Steve Tambellini’s job (addressing needs) is made difficult because of the flu.
  10. Making a rash decision now could impact the rest of the season in a negative way.
  11. Chris Minard is tied for 3rd in AHL points (11). So is Charles Linglet.
  12. Whenever I see the name Charles Linglet, I think of Ling-ling. Seriously.
  13. I’m a big fan of math, but have a hard time coming to grips with Jeff Deslaurier’s junior and minor league career and the major league results. Although he hasn’t played in a lot of games, the saw him good group likes him and math finally adores him. If he turns into a player, what does that tell us about SP and its ability to predict the future?
  14. Louise says the problem with JDD is the Oilers didn’t have a minor league team and it cost him development time. I think she’s right.
  15. I miss that feeling of quiet confidence we had during the first 7 games of the season. I’d go through my day knowing it would either be a win or a strong performance loss. Now? I’d like to blame the flu but this is vexing.
  16. The Oilers procurement department has some nice prospects (MPS, Eberle, Nash, VVV, Omark, Dubnyk, Peckham, hell even Petry is playing well).
  17. The Oilers procurement department also has some NHLers (Horcoff, Hemsky, Comrie, Gagner, Cogliano) on their resume.
  18. When do you want me to start the Top 20 prospects countdown? November 30 or earlier? Let me know.

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54 Responses to "A Few Home Truths"

  1. Bar Qu says:

    Linglet makes me think of Lingonberries (sic?) and the need to go to Ikea again.

    If this is the in-between times for this club, then they are doing it poorly. I have a hard time believing that this is the plan, especially considering the off-season involved chasing one D. Heatley ALL summer.

    The procurement department has held up to its end, but I think the planning department needs to be shown the door by season's end.

  2. doritogrande says:

    The prospects are definitely a december thing. Especially this year when we've got a shot at as many as I think 7 prospects that have a shot at their respective U20 teams. Correct me if I'm wrong but all of the following have a shot;

    - Eberle
    - Cornet
    - Roy
    - Paajarvi
    - Lander
    - Hartikainen
    - Rajala

    Definitely a good job with the scouting as far as U20 talent is concerned. I'll admit some of those are longshots, particularly the two Canadians not named Eberle for sure although Roy was supposed to be one of 4 goalies on the shortlist. I'm also unaware of Lander's contribution to the Swedish national development program.

    Keep the list at least until December to buils suspense, but how about a quick teaser of who you think is rising and falling?

    If I was picking a couple of each category I'd have Petry and Motin's stock rising while Omark and Roy aren't having such great seasons.

  3. St George says:

    I think unlike the 79-80 Oilers, this team has a big problem around team identity and culture. Culminating with the trade of Smyth, the Oilers seem to have lost an understanding as how to compete hard as a team. We have now been treated to several years of indiffernt effort, a lack of urgency more than not, individual effort over system play, and coaches saying the same sort of thing (if you ignore the words and focus on the message, Quinn has sounded like MacT more often than not through the pre-season and at least 5 of the first 10 games.

    I don't get to post here a bunch because a combo of young kids and time zones means I am watching the games recorded 3 hours after everyone else. That said, I have been of the opinion (for a few years) that the Oilers are caught mid-way between a rebuild and trying to compete, and that's a spot that is unlikely to result in any sustainable success.

    Perhaps I am wrong, but the season is starting to look like the past two, and given we changed the coach, the next step is to look at the players. Fan patience or no, I think the team would be well advised to dump salary and some vets and spend a few years building through the draft. Looking around the league, is there a team other than Detroit and maybe SJ that is successful that has done it any other way?

  4. Smytty777 says:

    When was that picture of Gagner taken, last week?

  5. godot10 says:

    Without Souray, I don't see how the Oiler can contend for a playoff spot.

    And there are no indications Souray is going to be back soon.

    If the Oilers cannot contend for the playoffs, a rebuild is in order.

    Tambellini and Quinn probably need another month or two to conclusively come to this conclusion.

    I think what the people can no longer take is attempting quick fixes and patching.

    The Oilers have a lot of good stuff here and in the pipeline to rebuild around.

  6. spOILer says:

    5. maybe even earlier than the deadline.

    6. agreed, but it is too early to say for sure. Cogs ended last year very nearly treading water,s I'm wondering if linemate, TOI, and sample size are affecting him.

    13. we need EV SP numbers from the A to be sure. Mike Brodeur is a client of mine and I mentioned this to his lady just last week. She's a hokey nut herself, so I'm hopin she starts pestering the AHL to record PP shots.

    14. Louise might be right, but we will never know for sure. Seems very likely that it would have affected his numbers the first two years.

    17. NHLer Rob Schremp doesn't make that group ;oD.

    18. a start on the countdown November 30 sounds fine, LT, but I think all of us here trust your instincts.

  7. FlamingPavelBure says:

    ''Robert Nilsson had his chance and didn't grabbed it…''`

    So are multiple Oilers, but most of them don't get benched when they fault first, and get a promotion when they play well. Not the case here.

    Last night, Brulé Jacques and Nilsson we're the only line Colorado had to worry about at EV. Yet they got no PP time.

    Yet Zach Stortini, who got all the damn chances in the world you can have, isn't even close to being threatened.

    All this points me toward this conclusion:

    Pat Quinn has pretty much the same ways MacT did.

    Sure Nilsson didn't help himself in the 4 last games. But he did pretty damn well in the first 3, all points were on key moments.

    I don't think Robert My boy has any confidence right now. Maybe Quinn could do the same thing he did with Jacques, and let him get in the groove even if he makes some errors, it's normal when you play fewer minutes your used to, scratched some games, and being benched at the first error you do, and not being rewarded for the good things you do.

  8. kris says:

    Godot,

    Rebuild? What's there to rebuild?

    "Rebuild" sounds like something is built and we need to scrap it and start over.

    We've been rebuilding and building since Smyth left, i.e. bringing in young players, drafting, developing: Gagner, Cogs, POS, Jacques, Pouliot, Nilsson, Brule, Chorney, Peckam, Stone, Stortini are all still developing. (About half the roster…)

    Gilbert Grebs and Penner are just now ripened or ripening and could really be counted as developing players. They're building, not built.

    The only players who are built or finished products are: Horcoff, Vis., Souray, Hemsky, maybe Pisani and Comrie.

    If anything, now is the time to finish the rebuilding project, put the roof on the house and start living in it, i.e. get some vets and try to win a few games. We can always improve the house later, add on, renovate, etc.

  9. Mr DeBakey says:

    There are a lot of "lost soul" veterans, men who signed after the '06 run

    Lowe signed Pisani, Stoll, Torres & Moreau to be the framework around which he performed his 5-Asset rebuild.

    Injuries blew up that plan. I don’t think those 4 guys were together in the line-up for more than 10 games over the next two seasons

    Nilsson has had an excellent chance to show he's worthy of more playing time

    To Tampa for Tanguay? Alex could go on the terrible start line with Horcoff & Pisani.

    Chris Minard is tied for 3rd in AHL points (11). So is Charles Linglet.

    Minard had a Hat Trick on Sunday, vaulting him up the table.
    Tied for 2nd in Falcons’ goals scored at 3 with Linglet is my man Colin McDonald; he sure got shorted at TC.
    Stone’s fast, crusty start blew McDonald right out of the water.

  10. Dennis says:

    I hope the Oil keep up with the plan to give JDD at least 20 games; keeping with that idea, I figure we should see him Monday on Long Island.

    Anyway, regarding the rest of the crew, Quinn's idea of splitting up 10-83 worked for one game and then we've been dry ever since. So, I wonder how MacT would've been received in this regard? Or if he played 46 on the PP instead of 13?;)

    The other thing is that if you're OK with the lack of size provided by 91 complimenting the 10-19 combo, then why not try 13 up there?

    He's dying on the fucking vine playing with 18-46.

    Overall, I'm not sure how we look just yet. We weren't as good as our start and we aren't as bad as our latest string; and, no doubt that flu's playing a role in this recent suckage.

    I really like our D and I like our netminding but we need more from 37-77; we need more from 10-19 and we need to indentify or trade for one.

  11. FlamingPavelBure says:

    http://www.rds.ca/hockey/chroniques/285095.html

    Apparently Smid has that special

    H1N1 Flu

  12. Bruce says:

    FPB: I would have given at least the fourth minute of that extended powerplay to JFJ-Brule-Nilsson. You're right that line had a strong game (relatively speaking of course), every second of it at even strength.

  13. Smarmy Boss says:

    Well Dennis the lack of offense from the new lines is as easily attributed to the team being sick as it would be having Horcoff away from Hemsky. Probably moreso as Horcoff has been a complete no show on the offensive side of the game.

  14. Bruce says:

    why not try 13 up there? He's dying on the fucking vine playing with 18-46.

    Agree with that last comment, Dennis. I had a chance to watch those guys live last night and was not impressed. Here's a snippet from my game report:

    Moreau – Cogliano – Stortini: Not a productive unit at all, seemingly mismatched. The trio generated just one shot at evens, a typical "waste one from the boards" shot by Moreau. The Oilers' captain once again displayed terrible decision making with the puck, a long-term problem which I fear is never going to change. To my eye the guy doesn't use his linemates nearly enough, preferring to skate into 1-on-2-or-3 traps and losing possession or trying a "surprise" shot from a terrible angle that doesn't surprise anybody, least of all me as the puck rings the boards and out of the zone with his teammates scrambling to back-pedal. To be an effective fourth-liner Ethan needs to play and actually execute the cycle game, but he's far too impatient. Stortini played his usual robust game on the starboard side, but the puck didn't spend near enough time down low where he's most effective. Cogliano looked kind of lost out there, perhaps flu or more likely due to the fact he had his head driven into the boards on his first shift. I never saw one burst of speed from Andrew, whose skating "should" be a factor that sets him apart.

  15. goldenchild says:

    Dennis Green said it best " They are who we thought they were"

  16. Dennis says:

    Bruce: you'd be shocked at just how many times you'd be right just by the decision to agree with me!;)

    SB: yeah, it could be but I'm not so sure. Remember the 27-89-19 had a good game a couple of Fri's ago vs the Wild; 19 made that play where he bumped Boogaard off the puck and the fed 27.

    Then, all of a sudden, 27-89-19 blow up last Thurs vs CBJ and the other line's forgotten.

    I happen to think that 27 was playing well and 83 was due and that's why it all came together and I firmly support the 10-83 tough min combo and then audition guys for their left wing.

    Everything else will follow.

  17. Steve says:

    So are multiple Oilers, but most of them don't get benched when they fault first, and get a promotion when they play well. Not the case here.

    Most of those Oilers have resumes that show they weather the slumps (not Moreau, obviously, who's entering year fourteen of his slump).

    I don't think Nilsson, unlike Schremp, is a total loss, and I'd be far from shocked to see him rebound with another team. But if all of our forwards are ever healthy, somebody's going to have to come out. I think it's Nilsson, and I think it's idiocy to have $2 million in cap space sitting in the press box.

    I'm on board with trying to pump up his value up until the point that his presence in the lineup is keeping somebody more important to the team out.

  18. Scott says:

    A trade for Tanguay would be fantastic, but given that they had no interest in signing the guy, they probably aren't jumping at the chance to get him after his horrid start.

  19. CrazyCoach says:

    Most of those Oilers have resumes that show they weather the slumps (not Moreau, obviously, who's entering year fourteen of his slump).

    Ok I just wrecked another keyboard by spitting coffee on it after reading this.

    I love this blog, but it's costing me too much money to replace keyboards.

  20. Baroque says:

    Ok I just wrecked another keyboard by spitting coffee on it after reading this.

    I love this blog, but it's costing me too much money to replace keyboards.

    It is possible (although tricky) to type when there is a layer of Saran Wrap over the keyboard. :)

    Regarding Petry: I don't know how relevant this might be, but at the beginning of the MSU season the head coach Rick Comley was talking about how he was going to use the same kind of breakout that the Red Wings have used for years with the Spartans. Maybe that suits Jeff Petry's style a bit better. (Also the team last year was simply putrid.)

  21. knighttown says:

    Bruce, nice game observations. I'll check out the rest later.

    I've been dissappointed with Zorg's game a few times this season. Not his effort…never that, just his effectiveness.

    My two cents is that he's really missing Broziak. I've said it about their chemistry since the fall of 07; they work together because Brodziak was the best "dumper" this team has had in years. It's overlooked but it's a skill like shooting or passing. Big and fast enough to gain the redline. Knew which corner. Drew the d-man forward a little so the winger got an extra step. Knew whether to dump it soft or hard.

    A guy like Stortini, bless his heart, needs the extra step or he arrives late. A poor dump is just as bad as a turnover since guys are going in full speed, only to have the puck come flying out past them in the other direction. Remember Turco doing this to us in the playoffs for years?

    Anyway, Moreau is the anti-Brodziak in that he:
    -rarely dump-and-chases so everyone is shocked and flat-footed when he does.
    -when he does dump it isn't preconceived, but rather, a whimsical wrist shot at the goalie when his rush has been foiled.

    I play a fantasy baseball game called Razzball where the object is to pick the shittiest guys (statistically) for each position. Brad Ausmus was always a sure fire first rounder because the guy could catch and had an arm so he played 140 games but he hit .190 with 2HR/0SB every season.

    Ethan Moreau is Brad Ausmus without the arm.

    And it's happened again…another post of mine has devolved into a thecaptainethanmoreau rant. Fuck I hate that guy and his John Black eyebrow.

  22. Rob Gilgan says:

    Blame the flu.

    I can't imagine playing hockey with this illness. You can't will your body to do anything in this state. I'm impressed that we haven't seen players being taken off the ice on stretchers, yet.

    There's not that much distance between this flu (seasonal, H1N1, whatever) and concussion symptoms. Weakness. Headaches. Fatigue. Hopefully, it has run its course by the end of November, but I doubt it.

    The only consolation is it will hit every team and Calgary will look no better than Edmonton, when it's in their ranks.

  23. FlamingPavelBure says:

    Now for an odd off topic question:

    Once in junior hockey i dumped the puck before a change, and i was right next to the bench, so i changed a millisecond after, after some weird bounces the puck went in and i scored the goal.

    But if i wasnt on the ice, do i get stripped of my +? Same thing goes for players who make a pass before going to the bench and get the assist.

  24. John says:

    Could not agree with LT more

    The NHL in the salary cap world is ALL about having value contracts. The Oilers have 2 of them (Hemsky and Comrie) with a possible 3rd (Penner) if he keeps up his strong play.

    We have a number of bad and 1 atrocious contract. If Horcoff was making $4 million per nobody would be upset…maybe not happy but not upset. At $5.5 it is simply ridiculous.

    Time to shit or get off the pot. Most of the question marks are no longer question marks. They are known….. Nilsson has not gotten it, Moreau truly is completely ineffectual, one of Grebs/Gilbert must go and be replaced with a defence first D partner

    Tambellini also has to develop a proactive plan to cull out our bad contracts and I do not really care how they do it….giveaways, 2 for the price of 1, sent to minors, waivers….don't care

    If we can get some cap space we might be able to make some money deals to help our team over the next 3-5 years…..Patrick Sharp as the # 2 center is a pretty good pickup at $4 million per

  25. Hockey Noob says:

    I can certainly acknowledge that part of the present difficult is trying to get a sense of what impact the flu has had on the recent level of play. Though the flu certainly has sapped some of the energy from this team, it's probably reasonable to assume that other teams have had to battle the flu as well.

    On the other hand, I think that it's pretty fair to recognize that many of the problems identified by the astute Oilers bloggers over the summer are still apparent: lack of real 'NHLers'-LT, lack of faceoff men, holes at LW, lack of roster depth, and others.

    Overall, Gagner's at 46.6% on the dot, but he's still hit or miss on any given night. Cogliano's already at his standard 37% himself. Horcoff still takes too many face-offs perhaps.

    I'm probably not representing it accurately, but LT previously observed that when a team like Calgary gets an injury, they address need and seem to be able to do so with a trade. In contrast, the Oilers put Strudwick on the wing or Stortini at center (more examples, so take your pick)… That pretty much says it all right there to me.

    As for the Oilers, it is trying on the patience and good-will of the fan base to continue to remain a cap team that doesn't make the playoffs. I hope that changes this year and I hope that we choose to make some shorter-sighted roster changes to make it happen.

    As for the Captain, he's certainly struggling himself this year. I hope that Rifles starts playing a more physical and effective game (high sticking not included or trying to beat players one one not included).

  26. logical thinking says:

    Peckham is not ready for the nhl. It's starting to look like he will have a good long career in the ahl.

  27. Steve says:

    But if i wasnt on the ice, do i get stripped of my +?

    I can't source this, but I distinctly remember learning sometime just this season that the answer is yes; I believe an NHL player has been credited with an assist but not a + at some point this season.

  28. Steve says:

    The NHL in the salary cap world is ALL about having value contracts. The Oilers have 2 of them (Hemsky and Comrie) with a possible 3rd (Penner) if he keeps up his strong play.

    Um, Gagner? Smid? Presumably Cogliano once he has some linemates?

  29. Lowetide says:

    logical thinking: A bit early to bury Peckham in the AHL, I'd say.

  30. Woodguy says:

    Want to get sadder about yesterday?

    The Avs were without 3 of their top 6 defencemen.

    Liles, Clark, and Presissing did not play.

    That's 10.2M in defence missing from a team that tops out at 49.5M in cap hit when all are healthy.

    How do you like the flu and injury excuse for them Edmonton Oilers again?

    I happen to think that 27 was playing well and 83 was due and that's why it all came together and I firmly support the 10-83 tough min combo and then audition guys for their left wing.

    Everything else will follow.

    Dennis,

    Couldn't agree more.

    I posted this in the "perfect" thread about Gagner moving up to play with 83:

    No sir I don't like it.

    At least not today.

    The Oilers have been winning games because their soft killers have been better than the opposition soft killers.

    22,10,83 have by far the toughest QualComp 5v5. 22 & 83 have ~+0.60 +/- /60, while 10 is struggling a little at -1.12/60 (only other – 5v5 on team is Stone with -1.46/60)

    So the first line has pretty much held the toughs in check and the rest of the team feasts.

    Moving 10 away from 83 changes that dynamic. I don't think it will be for the better, but I guess we get to see. Like LT, I really fear 27,89,83 gets beat like Reddox step child on the road facing toughs.

    When 83 hits the ice, he will usually bring the best 5 players from the opposing team on to the ice with him.

    So you put 10 with them and neutralize their best players, or on a good night outscore them.

    That leaves 27-83-x to play against softer minutes. The Oilers went 6-2-1 because their soft outscored the opposition soft, and 10-83 held the best opposition in check.

    27-89-83 had one great game.

    A truly great comeback. I was there, it was electric.

    Past that, they are going to draw the best of the opposition, and the Oilers are out of ammo when it comes to secondary scoring.

    In order for this line up to win, 10-83 have to play together, and 27-89 have to play together.

    You can re-arrange the rest of the deck chairs as much as you want, but with this line up, you cannot put 27-89-83 on one line and win more than you lose.

    You will still win, but not more than you lose.

    Also,

    Bizzaro stat of the day:

    Cogliano is 2nd best among Oiler forwards with a +/-ON diff of +0.44

    Cogliano is also has the worst Corsi among Oiler forward with -26.04

    Wha?

  31. Hockey Noob says:

    Jeebus!

    Iginla scored on the first or second shot of the game vs. Colorado. 30 seconds later Jokinen scores.

  32. Hockey Noob says:

    Is Colorado/Anderson coming back down to earth a day late?

  33. Schitzo says:

    Liles, Clark, and Presissing did not play.

    And we had no Souray, no Staios, Vish left because he literally couldn't play anymore, and Smid and Gilbert are only days removed from being sick as dogs.

    That's more than $18 million, if you're keeping score at home.

  34. logical thinking says:

    Peckham will end up being a career ahl player. His role model should be the Dean of Mean Arsene.

    By next year it will be obvious that Johan Motin is a much better D man.

  35. hunter1909 says:

    Calgary have an excellent and healthy hockey team. Oilers have something else altogether.

  36. hunter1909 says:

    Peckham's coming off injury isn't he? Seems a trifle hard to condemn the kid this quickly. Then I remembered this is the Oilers we're talking about.

  37. Steve says:

    Is Colorado/Anderson coming back down to earth a day late?

    That'd be my fault: I picked up Anderson in my fantasy league this morning.

  38. Hockey Noob says:

    Avalanche has tied it up 2-2 now.
    It's interesting to watch this game. Calgary and Colorado play fairly similar styles. Lots of dump and chasing, corner puck battles, shooting the puck at the net on simple plays, chasing rebounds, and clogging the neutral zone…

    It's been a pretty physical game too–Colorado's run Kipper twice already.

  39. Woodguy says:

    And we had no Souray, no Staios, Vish left because he literally couldn't play anymore, and Smid and Gilbert are only days removed from being sick as dogs.

    That's more than $18 million, if you're keeping score at home.

    That's my point Schitzo.

    We are not the only team without the full line up, and the Oilers played a team yesterday missing much of the same parts they were.

    The MSM and others is willing to give them a pass due to missing players, but the team they played were missing almost the exact same units, and the Oilers still were never in the game.

  40. Lowetide says:

    logical thinking: Good job backing up your argument. No way to counter that kind of mad verbal lockdown.

  41. Hockey Noob says:

    Watching the Avs play the Flames, I get the sense that winning hockey games isn't rocket science. In contrast, the Oilers often seem to be 'over thinking' the game.

    So far, dump the puck in–chase after it… battle in the corners… Try to get a clear shot or pass it to the point for a shot on net. Skate to the net and try to bang in a rebound. Create pressure down low… Hit some players…

    Neither team has managed to put together any highlight reel plays on the rush. No turnovers in the neutral zone or guys caught pinching leaving odd man rushes. I haven't seen either team gain possession in the other team's end and try to pass the puck into the net either.

  42. Dennis says:

    WG: when I posted that, I was thinking of the 5-2 win over the Wild and also about the post you just repeated. The problem was we needed someone to flesh out 10-83 but the way the matchups were going, it was fine.

    KT: I don't mind anyone criticizing the likes of 18, in fact I have encouraged it for years:), but I cannot stand idly by while you take digs at John Black!

    You're right about 46 needing a guy to sit the forecheck table for him, though; and, count 22 in that pile as well. JFJ would be either destroying people or cruising into corners unmolested.

    BTW, I used to run a similar pool to the one you participated in but it was a hockey pool called the Goon Pool and all guys had to play at least 50 games and the winner was the guy who had the least amount of accumulated points. But for every game you're player missed under 50 – be it because of injury or HS – you'd be penalized with a point for and that was death because the points were as scarce as hen's teeth.

    So, you had to find guys who were garbage and durable and who were trusted by their coaches.

    Finally, a couple of baseball notes. I can't watch Buck and McCarver on Fox so I'm watching the alt feed on SN. Rick Sutcliffe is the colour guy and at the start of the game he's talking about how the Phils looked bigger than the Yanks in warm ups. Later on in the game, while talking about Ben Francisco, he says that when, "the Phils players ran out onto the grass for the introductions, they loped out so confidently, just like a horse."

    Finally, to LT and all the Expos fans that post here, what would you give to have the Expos alive and well in a World Series? I was 15 when the Oil won in '90 and then I was much older and more able to enjoy the run in '06; the every day following of a club that runs nearly two months is something in itself.

    But, I think I would trade two Oilers cups just for a chance to watch the Expos in the WS; I wouldn't want a guarentee they'd win, I'd just want the experience.

  43. Lowetide says:

    1981 and 1994 were the closest, although the Expos had some chances in the late 1970s and I think it was 1973 when the Mets won the east barely over .500 and Mauch had them in it until very late.

    Plus there was the lockout Raines/Martinez team that won 91.

    So, yeah I'd give two Stanley's for my Expos in the WS, but the truth is I'd give two back just to have them in MLB again.

    I miss that damn baseball team.

  44. FlamingPavelBure says:

    To have a club, and a WS.

    I would trade all my seasonly 10 montreal games in the 8th row at center ice for that.

    I just love Baseball and it's atmosphere, if we had a new ballpark, we would have survived.

    Washington just sucks.

  45. Lowetide says:

    Did you know that the Expos drafted Cliff Lee about two weeks after the Oilers drafted Alexei Mikhnov.

    Kill me. Kill me now.

  46. FlamingPavelBure says:

    Alexei is not as much as a bad pick as he's someone that's been mishandled.

    He's almost PPG in KHL right now, which is a very hard thing to accomplish in that league.

  47. DangerMan says:

    LT – Yeah, the Expos traded Cliff Lee and Grady Sizemore for the beloved Bartolo Colon. That was the last gasp attempt by the Expos.

  48. Ribs says:

    Don't worry, once the swine flu takes out half of the team the Oilers will be foreced to give Mikhnov his one way deal and he will destroy the NHL's scoring records. Traktor Boy to the rescue!

  49. DangerMan says:

    LT – I think Brandon Phillips was a part of that deal too. The Expos really got bent over in that deal.

  50. Dennis says:

    LT: I remember the night they made the Colon trade. It was a Thursday night, I believe, and I was drinking with some buddies and we were watching the Jays on Sportsnet and they did an update with all the details.

    It was a killer because Sizemore was a guy that only fell in the draft because he had full ride offers to QB at major schools but Loria drafted him and paid him the bonus money to choose baseball; Phillips was a high profile pick and looked to be that middle infielder with real power; Lee was honestly the after thought and I'll post his career minor league stats and you can see why

    http://tsn.ca/mlb/teams/players/bio/?id=3060&hubname=mlb-phillies

    Anyway, I can remember following him in AA via the old usatoday box scores because if you cared about Rich Rundles:D, you certainly cared about Lee:)

    But, yeah, I always say this and only guys like you can understand but I felt such a loss when they moved and I still feel it sometimes in the summer and always at playoff time and they've been gone for five years now.

    There's just something about all the possibilities of the game that always did it for me; along with all the minor league affiliates that you could follow.

    And you know, even with the unbalanced set up, and all you need to do is read Blair's column today in the Globe to see just how much worse/better it's going to get in terms of Yankee finanical dominance, there's always something about rooting for the underdog.

  51. Lowetide says:

    I remember when they made the Langston deal (Randy Johnson, Brian Holman and Gene Harris I believe). I was doing the morning show at CKCK in Regina at the time, and Mitchell Blair called me at home at about 2 in the morning to tell me.

    I was thrilled to get Langston (Expos had a shot) but Johnson was a freak and it hurt to hear it.

    Of course, my wife wasn't impressed with the timing of the call, she thought someone had died. :-)

  52. R O says:

    That Anderson is an annoying SOB.

  53. danny says:

    I was definitely less savvy than LT (age) or Dennis (freak), but as hardcore an Expos fan as I was an Oilers fan during my childhood.

    Just like Gretzky made me an Oilers fan, Gary Carter made me an Expos diehard. I'm a blindly loyal type in all walks of life but those two teams gripped me fierce as a kid. I had trouble sleeping after losses.

    September almost always had the Spos flirting with a gargantuant comeback to get within reach of the division. Always the little engine that could.

    1994 was really tough for me, and I easily lost interest in basball after that… usually whenever the floundering expos werent close (usually by game 80) minus a couple Vlady crusades of course.

    The early-mid 90s expos though, what a collection of talent. wow.

  54. Bruce says:

    Liles, Clark, and Presissing did not play.

    Brett Clark played, and played well. Perhaps it's Ruslan Salei that you're thinking of as the third guy. Not sure how much Liles and Pressing help that club 5v5 in any event.

    Brandon Phillips was indeed the third prospect lost in the Sizemore/Lee/Phillips for Colon robbery. Can't seem to find it on Youtube, but last year Phillips stole third base … from first! The other guys were playing the shift (against Adam Dunn I believe) and instead of sliding into second Phillips just rounded the bag and beat the third baseman down to third. Best answer to the shift I've ever seen. Audacious.

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