Oilers at Avalanche, G17, 09-10

In Quebec province the men go about their business in about the same way as guys do in this part of the country. Always time for a beer or a glance at a pretty girl, always time to talk some Canadian football (believe it or not, Quebec is the new heartland of Canadian football) and hockey holds a special place.

I’ve never really been able to get behind any kind of animosity toward Quebec province with regard to politics.

The one political item I do care about with regard to Quebec is the return of their beloved Nordiques. Quebec’s hockey team always had a personality, a flare, a passion. The really good Nordique teams were fearsome, and those teams played some of the very best hockey the 1980′s had to offer. Their fans loved them just as much as I love my Oilers (I believe that) and in a part of the world where the NHL means the world it is simply bullshit these people don’t have their own team. Bettman’s done a lot of good and bad things in his time as NHL front man, but if he returned the NHL to Quebec city, Winnipeg and even added a club in Southern Ontario it would do wonders for his legacy and “right an historic wrong.”

When the WHA folded into the NHL, the following teams survived: Edmonton Oilers, Winnipeg Jets, Quebec Nordiques, Hartford Whalers. It should be mentioned that the teams who voted against the merger were the Vancouver Canucks, Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins and Los Angeles Kings. Since 1979-80 (the first season for the 4 new clubs) those 5 franchises have won a total of 2 Stanley’s (Montreal, 1986, 1993).

The WHA kids? Edmonton (5), Quebec (2) and Hartford (1). Winnipeg (now Phoenix) dominated the WHA era but have never been able to find sound ownership despite having some wonderful teams along the way.

The Oilers are a mess. Horcoff, Hemsky, Jacques and a thing called “hope” were not on the plane as the team sped off for Denver. According to the Oilers website, this is what we’re looking at in terms of lines:

  • Gagner-Penner-O’Sullivan
  • Brule-Comrie-Nilsson
  • Cogliano-Pisani-Reddox
  • Potulny-Moreau-Stortini
  • Glimmer Twins
  • Strudwick-Staios
  • Visnovsky-Chorney

Smid is on the trip but still has flu like symptoms (did this guy hit a Legionnaires’ convention in Philadelphia recently?) so is unlikely to play. No word on the goalie, this might be a good game for JDD but it’ll probably be the Bulin wall.

I think it is interesting that Quinn has Potulny at center. There are other options (O’Sullivan, Comrie) but I also think the coach might be looking for someone to add more skill to the 4line. Should Potulny (or Reddox) perform well, this could be the end of the line for Robert Nilsson and Steve MacIntyre. I don’t think it’s clear at this point who the team will send away once bodies begin to get healthy.

The Edmonton Oilers are not in a very good place right now.

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