Hawks at Oilers, G51, 09-10

This photo was taken in the 1971 SCF. The three Habs in the picture are Frank Mahovlich (behind the net, notice the room back there), Yvan Cournoyer who is in the crease and Jacques Lemaire at the far left. Esposito is in goal, Bobby Hull is cross checking Cournoyer (who is his check), Keith Magnuson is between the Big M and Lemaire and Pat Stapleton is the man with the puck heading up ice.

That was a great series, a 7-game affair that was as memorable as the Oilers classic in 2006 (wrong team won both times, too). That Chicago team was unique in many ways; one of them was the number of college kids who played key roles for them. Magnuson was joined by fellow U. Denver grad Cliff Koroll and Michigan Tech’s Tony Esposito and Lou Angotti.

College free agent signing season is coming in the next 90 days and the Oilers should be in the game. Kyle Woodlief tells us a little about one of the possible signings, a young man named Casey Wellman. He’s the son of former major league ballplayer Brad Wellman. The Oilers have signed college free agents in the past (most recently Bryan Lerg) but if procurement is really the name of the game management should prove it to the fanbase by signing some of these kids.

The Oilers have been a more successful franchise than Chicago in the expansion era. Oilers have won 7 pennants to Chicago’s 3 but one gets the feeling they’re going to be gaining on the Oildrop over the next few seasons.

Things I’m looking forward to this evening: the camera panning over to the 8×11 cardboard cutout of Steve Tambellini watching the game from his drawing room; his signature frown at the “feeding Christians to the lions” activity below; Pat Quinn looking like Popeye the sailor man when he’s about to blow; defensive gaffes and more awkward moments than two teenagers in a parked car from the blue; empty seats; hearing “lets the shot go” 50 times; Sam Gagner, Lubomir Visnovsky and Dustin Penner.

And that visiting team is a beauty. I’ll enjoy watching them too.

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