RETURN OF THE KINGS

There are times when a relationship has instant chemistry. There are other times when it takes years–stops and starts, time away and together–before a bond is formed. In the case of the Edmonton and the Oil Kings, love came well into spring but is getting hot in time for summer.

These are the Oil Kings I remember the best, the early 70s kids of Phil Russell, Darcy Rota, Don Kozak and Tom Bladon. Living in Edmonton all these years, I’ve met a few Oil Kings from the grand 60s, men like Allan Hamilton and Gregg Pilling.

This new group has been growing for several years now–it seems like yesterday the new uni’s were introduced–and I think some of the kids have learned about Ace Bailey and Bob Falkenberg and Wayne Babych. But the fun memories are still to come, and this spring is alive with them. Edmonton turned out about 8900 strong (from what I’ve read) last night and the games are exciting if you like lots of goals for the home side. There are also stunning prospect in this EDM-MJ series, incuding Morgan Rielly and Griffin Reinhart.

It’s very cool, and perhaps will serve as a reminder to the Edmonton Oilers about just how much fun this city can be when the Oilers are in the playoffs. Maybe they’ve forgotten.

 

Nation Radio goes today at Noon, Team 1260. And don’t forget the archived edition with appear at the Nations in a timely fashion. Scheduled to appear:

  • Corey Pronman, an extremely valuable resource for draftniks. He writes for Hockey Prospectus and his opinion has high value. You can leave questions in the comments section of this blog or tweet @lowetide_ or even email me at nationradio@theteam1260.com to pass along questions for Corey and all of our guests.
  • Kirk Luedeke from Redline Report. Kirk will discuss the 2011 entry draft and the movers and shakers from a year ago, including Rieder. Kirk has the eastern seaboard covered well so I’ll talk to him about some of those college kids who are eligible to sign pro contracts too.
  • Kelsey Myroniuk from FC Edmonton. We’ve had a number of requests for some FC coverage, so we’ll talk to Kelsey about the excitement building for this FC season. The Eddies grabbed their first point of the season in Puerto Rico and look to get their first win tomorrow at Clark Park.
  • Kent Simpson color commentator for the Edmonton Oil Kings. The Oil Kings are ripping up the playoffs and appear to be on a collision course with the Portland Winterhawks in the WHL final. Moose Jaw’s Warriors have incredible fans and they’re saying “not so fast” and we’ll discuss the series with Mr. Simpson.
  • Jonathan Willis from the Nations and the world. We’ll talk NHL, the draft, Oilers and more with possibly Jon. I’ll ask him about recent ON articles that discussed Ryan Smyth’s role on the Oilers next season and the issue of size at center.
  • Kent Wilson from Flames Nation and the Nations. We’ll talk Flames off-season and put Kent in the middle of the room under a bright lamp and get the real scoop on Brent Sutter’s coaching abilities. We’ll also ask about Sven Baertschi and the craziness of this year’s playoffs.

Noon to 2 today, Team 1260. Hope you can tune in.

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62 Responses to "RETURN OF THE KINGS"

  1. regwald says:

    Send a shout out to Corey Pronman. I follow him on twitter and how he answers tweets about players is a valuable source of information. I enjoy his sharing of thoughts and information.

    I was at the last 3 Oil Kings home games. They are a treat to watch. A combination of a super collection of players and great coaching. Watching their defensive coverage and they break outs from their own end make me long for such excellence at the parent team level.

    The Oil Kings depth is amazing from the 4 solid lines through that group of dmen that are just so excellent.

  2. Ducey says:

    Perhaps ask your first two guests who the Oilers should be looking at with #32 (their second rounder).

    As well, is the gap between the Nail and the rest big enough that trading down is an ill-advised idea?

  3. Woodguy says:

    regwald,

    The Oil Kings depth is amazing from the 4 solid lines through that group of dmen that are just so excellent.

    Amazing depth?

    Perhaps Bob Greene and Steve Tambellini should change jobs.

    Better not tell Lowe that Greene has “3 scoring lines”, he’d probably be fired for breaking company commandment IV:

    “Thou shall only hast 6 offensive forwards out of 13″

    and company commandment VIII:

    “Thou fourth line shall not have hockey players, but players who contain energy”

  4. Lowetide says:

    and “the forwards who dwell at the bottom of the roster must have hands with no fingers.”

  5. FPB94 says:

    Curtis Lazar. 16 years old with 0,5 PPG in the regular season.

    Just exploding with 12 in 9 games.

    Usually kids who become lotto pick have season like that before. 0,5 PPG then playoff explosion.

    That and damn, 100 points for St-Croix.

  6. DSF says:

    Torres gets a 25 game suspension,.

    Wow.

  7. FPB94 says:

    I’m happy cause it’s about time. Somewhat not happy because it’s so incoherent with the other suspensions.

  8. Lowetide says:

    Stupid NHL. Six year olds put more thought into their games.

  9. cabbiesmacker says:

    DSF:
    Torres gets a 25 game suspension,.

    Wow.

    I was hoping for 6 – 8 but this is outstanding. Maybe now the message will be received loud and clear by all players.

    His hit on Michalek during the 2006 PO’s was brutal. His hit on Eberle was bad. His hit on Seabrook was dirty with intentions. The guy has made a nice living attempting to injure via headshots.

    Hossa just might have been a difference maker in this series so the punishment befits the crime.

    Enjoy your holiday idiot.

    Sad that Shanahan didn’t take action on Ryan’s hit on Potter though. Consistency is still the NHL’s biggest inconsistency.

  10. DSF says:

    cabbiesmacker: I was hoping for 6 – 8 but this is outstanding. Maybe now the message will be received loud and clear by all players.

    His hit on Michalek during the 2006 PO’s was brutal. His hit on Eberle was bad. His hit on Seabrook was dirty with intentions. The guy has made a nice living attempting to injure via headshots.

    Hossa just might have been a difference maker in this series so the punishment befits the crime.

    Enjoy your holiday idiot.

    Sad that Shanahan didn’t take action on Ryan’s hit on Potter though. Consistency is still the NHL’s biggest inconsistency.

    Exactly.

    Duncan Keith should have received a much longer suspension for elbowing Sedin in the head and Weber should have at least got 10 games for his hit on Zetterburg which was an obvious intent to injure.

  11. Ducey says:

    Not so sure this is a good thing.

    Torres is a bad man, but what impact will this have on other players and play in general?

    Sutton was on Oil Change saying Shanny had called him this season and warned him that he would get a big suspension if he had one more head hit.

    By my eye, for the rest of the year he played pretty tentatively. He hardly hit anyone.

    I’d be pretty worried that if I go to hit someone cleanly and he moves at the last second causing me to hit his head, that I get 8 games. I hit one guy the same as I have hit a dozen others, but because he has a history of concussions, he goes out on a stretcher, then I get a big suspension.

    Its a gong show.

  12. "Steve Smith" says:

    cabbiesmacker: I was hoping for 6 – 8 but this is outstanding. Maybe now the message will be received loud and clear by all players.

    …the message being, apparently, “don’t attempt to injure with a dirty hit while being Raffi Torres.”

  13. oilersfan says:

    Is Torres’ suspension over the playoffs and regular seasons combined?

    I have no problem with that suspension although for the first time ever I agree with DSF that Keith and Weber both deserved much more than they received. Is Detroit still playing if Weber gets a 6 game suspension?

    I am really really hoping the Henrik Samuellson is picked by the OIlers in the second round and Mitch Moroz in the third round. Bob Green compared Moroz to Milan Lucic. He says he would score more but is buried a bit on the roster, has a nice shot and decent speed for his size.

    Green also compared Pells to Darren Helm or Yannick Hansen, but he said Pells is better offensively than either. A high end third liner with speed and an awesome shot. He said he is 6’0 and will be 200-210 when he is grown up.

  14. cabbiesmacker says:

    “Steve Smith”: …the message being, apparently, “don’t attempt to injure with a dirty hit while being Raffi Torres.”

    Or if similar suspensions had been levied prior “being Raffi Torres” might never have happened.

    How many times does a person have to repeat behaviour before the boom is lowered?

    If the NHL followed California law Hossa would still be playing.

  15. cabbiesmacker says:

    DSF: Exactly.

    Duncan Keith should have received a much longer suspension for elbowing Sedin in the head and Weber should have at least got 10games for his hit on Zetterburg which was an obvious intent to injure.

    I agree but Weber and Keith didn’t have the rap sheet Torres does.

    Hawks played this one to the T in that Hossa sat a game with no reports being given as to his condition until the Torres ruling came down. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the lineup tonight.

    Maybe they can call this the Raffi Rule going forward?

  16. cabbiesmacker says:

    oilersfan:
    Is Torres’ suspension over the playoffs and regular seasons combined?

    Yip.

  17. "Steve Smith" says:

    In all seriousness, the suspension is probably roughly right. But is there any evidence that these things have deterrent effects? Criminology says that they don’t really in other contexts, so do we have reason to believe that hockey is different?

    I think we might need to accept that Raffi Torres and his ilk are too stupid to learn from this sort of thing.

  18. MrSmitty says:

    “Steve Smith”: In all seriousness, the suspension is probably roughly right. But is there any evidence that these things have deterrent effects? Criminology says that they don’t really in other contexts, so do we have reason to believe that hockey is different?I think we might need to accept that Raffi Torres and his ilk are too stupid to learn from this sort of thing.

    Cooke learned his lesson from his long stay away from the rink. Maybe Raffi can to. I guess we will find out just how stupid Raffi is next season when he plays again.

  19. FPB94 says:

    SS: Criminology has no damn link with hockey. Not like all the suspended players go in the same place and pump iron while all talking to themselves in a restricted area.

  20. "Steve Smith" says:

    MrSmitty,

    True enough (with respect to the last bit – I make no comment on Cooke), but that’s specific deterrence. What about general deterrence?

  21. cabbiesmacker says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    In all seriousness, the suspension is probably roughly right.But is there any evidence that these things have deterrent effects?Criminology says that they don’t really in other contexts, so do we have reason to believe that hockey is different?

    I think we might need to accept that Raffi Torres and his ilk are too stupid to learn from this sort of thing.

    Concur but it seemed to get the message across to Matt Cooke.

    Tough to deal stupid in any situation.

    btw…I’m still scratching my head re your reference to Buffalo Springfield’s lineup. NBD…I’m just the inquisitive type………….so gimme a fn answer ok?

  22. "Steve Smith" says:

    FPB94,

    Well, it’s why I asked, rather than told (and you’re certainly right that the nature of prisons isn’t exactly helpful). But I think the criminology research speaks to some broader psychological/sociological issues too, that don’t rely on prisons for their conclusions. And as I said above to MrSmitty, I didn’t just mean specific deterrence (which is where the prison environment comes in). The research suggests that sending you to jail for a robbery isn’t going to do much to dissuade me from committing a robbery of my own. Why didn’t suspending Matt Cooke serve as a warning to Torres?

  23. "Steve Smith" says:

    cabbiesmacker: btw…I’m still scratching my head re your reference to Buffalo Springfield’s lineup.NBD…I’m just the inquisitive type………….so gimme a fn answer ok?

    I think I misunderstood what you were saying. I read it as being “Enough with this Neil Young crap, give us somebody else, like Buffalo Springfield”, and my response was intended to point out that Neil Young was kind of an important part of Buffalo Springfield. Your subsequent response suggested to me that you already knew that.

    That being the case, I’m going to reverse what I meant, and say that I was pointing out that Neil Young didn’t play in the “For What It’s Worth” session.

  24. "Steve Smith" says:

    (I was also just about to distinguish criminology from hockey discipline by pointing out all the underlying substance abuse in the former. And then I thought about Raffi Torres and decided not to.)

  25. cabbiesmacker says:

    FPB94:
    SS: Criminology has no damn link with hockey. Not like all the suspended players go in the same place and pump iron while all talking to themselves in a restricted area.

    Not directly but it does link to penalties/fines/incarceration-suspensions being highly overrated as therapeutic or behaviour modifying.

    eg..statistics show that for every DUI charge a person might incur, they have exhibited identical behaviour between 35 and 50 times previously. Obviously suspensions or threats of are not a deterrent in themselves.

    Now if Hossa had suffered a debilitating brain injury and Torres had been mandated as his caregiver for an extended period, or put to work in brain injury rehabilitation facilities he might be educated to the point where repeat behavior would be far less likely.

    3 months working at the Ponoka Hospital might have been a more fitting penalty.

  26. cabbiesmacker says:

    “Steve Smith”: I think I misunderstood what you were saying.I read it as being “Enough with this Neil Young crap, give us somebody else, like Buffalo Springfield”, and my response was intended to point out that Neil Young was kind of an important part of Buffalo Springfield.Your subsequent response suggested to me that you already knew that.

    That being the case, I’m going to reverse what I meant, and say that I was pointing out that Neil Young didn’t play in the “For What It’s Worth” session.

    I was more along the lines that the words:

    “There’s something happening here, What it is ain’t exactly clear” ….were a lovely tie into Oilers management assessments but perhaps not.

    When I resided in Saskatoon I used to imbibe at an establishment by the name of THE ARTFUL DODGER.

    Bastidge.

    As long as you’ve learned your lesson not to question those far older than yourself, with far larger musical repertoires it’s all good. Youngster.

  27. FPB94 says:

    SS: No. That’s because bank robbers usually have nothing to lose. These guys do.

  28. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    and “the forwards who dwell at the bottom of the roster must have hands with no fingers.”

    Forever, and ever.

    Amen.

  29. "Steve Smith" says:

    FPB94,

    There’s certainly something to that. But did Raffi Torres’s behaviour improve after the Matt Cooke suspension?

  30. FPB94 says:

    SS: Nope. I agree it’s always more personal than anything.

    Fact is you can’t catch every criminal activity. You probably can catch every dirty hit in the NHL. They’re under constant surveillance. If Shanahan starts to be regular, it virtually becomes impossible not to be punished.

    (Which is something entirely different than the jail risk/reward)

  31. "Steve Smith" says:

    cabbiesmacker,

    I won’t claim to have the breadth of musical knowledge that you claim to, but as for depth…there are three things that I know: criminal law, Neil Young, and asinine comments.

  32. cabbiesmacker says:

    Jonathan Willis from the Nations and the world. We’ll talk NHL, the draft, Oilers and more with possibly Jon

    So you have a Time Out John and a Possibly Jon as followers or you’re not sure if Jon is sending a proxy?

  33. FastOil says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    In all seriousness, the suspension is probably roughly right.But is there any evidence that these things have deterrent effects?Criminology says that they don’t really in other contexts, so do we have reason to believe that hockey is different?

    I think we might need to accept that Raffi Torres and his ilk are too stupid to learn from this sort of thing.

    At least he’s off the ice and the taxpayer doesn’t have to keep him.

  34. PDO says:

    Was at the Oil Kings game last night as well.

    Was real nice to see Legault light it up; went to high school with his brother, great guy.

    Tough to have a lot of impressions from a 6-1 game, but Lazar really stood out to me. He’s a fire plug but his first step was something else. Kings got a real nice goal that resulted directly from him taking off through the neutral zone to set up a 2 on 1 that he ultimately finished on a great shot on a slick set up from Legault.

    Didn’t seem like Griffen got a ton of ice time; but I think that was partially because the depth on the Oil Kings D is so good. He took a crosschecking penalty in the 3rd where he looked like a man tossing around a kid, but didn’t notice a ton past that.

    Oil Kings played a great team game. Could probably count their turnovers on one hand, went hard to the net… just a simple hard nosed game that Moose Jaw just couldn’t keep up with and was extremely frustrated by. Howden was trying to dangle and couldn’t get anything going.

    Liked Riley. Could see there was a lot of rust in his game, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up being the best defensemen taken. Fast, creative with the puck, makes a great first pass, and was really good at finding shooting lanes before letting a quick, hard shot go.

  35. cabbiesmacker says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    cabbiesmacker,

    I won’t claim to have the breadth of musical knowledge that you claim to, but as for depth…there are three things that I know: criminal law, Neil Young, and asinine comments.

    Zero argument from me re you being far more knowledgeable on asinine comments

    :)

  36. MrSmitty says:

    PDO: Was at the Oil Kings game last night as well.

    How did the Riverboat Gambler play? (Gernat) I am up in Fort Mac for 3 more days. Hoping to get some games in when back in Edmonton for the next two weeks.

  37. Woodguy says:

    PDO,

    Thanks for the trip report PDO.

  38. Ribs says:

    Soccer…Oy. I still can’t get into it. I watched some highlights a few weeks ago because I saw it was a Canadian squad and figured I’d give it a look. They were playing some small no-name country in some tournament. The “highlights” were about 6 shots of guys kicking the ball 20 feet wide of the net. The game ended 0-0. I just thought…People pay to watch this? Really?

    To each his own, I guess.

  39. Bos8 says:

    Pelss and Reider 6′ 200, two fireplugs that can skate and create. Pardon me while I get excited. Pelss with 95 P/min so he’s chippy. If Pelss can kill penalties like Reider (seven count em seven SH goals) it might get orgasmic. Hockey players right there, Yeehah

  40. oilersfan says:

    Bob Green was on the Dan Tencer show earlier this week for an hour. It is in the archives at Ched. Worth listening to, especially his comments on Pelss, Gernat and Ewanyk. He thinks all three will be solid NHL players, Gernat a top 4 the other two very good bottom 6 forwards,
    Not sure why but he says Pells is a big strong kid. He says he is strong for his size and projects to get bigger. Plus he is the best skater in the WHL with one of the best shots.

    Like I said earlier, he also compares MItch Moroz to Lucic.

  41. FPB94 says:

    I don’t know why people seem to like PIM. It doesn’t mean you’re tough. Just stupid / a fighter.

    Alexei Emelin’s one of the toughest guys out there and he had 30 PIM’s this year. Very low for a d-men.

  42. Lowetide says:

    FPB94:
    I don’t know why people seem to like PIM. It doesn’t mean you’re tough. Just stupid / a fighter.

    Alexei Emelin’s one of the toughest guys out there and he had 30 PIM’s this year. Very low for a d-men.

    Yeah, agree with that. Larry Robinson was super tough, an absolute rock and he never got close to 100pims during a very penalty filled era.

  43. Bos8 says:

    All i’m interested in as far as P/min, is will the kid will stand up for himself, establish a pecking order. If the other guy has lunch, he’ll at least have a sandwich. Maybe a little rack of buttend with his lunch. Just enough for people to leave him be.

    Robinson is on record as saying that he would wrack someone at the beginning of the series and that would be enough. Gainey didn’t rack up P/min either but his board rubouts should be standard video fare for all aspiring hockey players.

  44. edwards_daddy says:

    Ribs:
    Soccer…Oy. I still can’t get into it. I watched some highlights a few weeks ago because I saw it was a Canadian squad and figured I’d give it a look. They were playing some small no-name country in some tournament. The “highlights” were about 6 shots of guys kicking the ball 20 feet wide of the net. The game ended 0-0. I just thought…People pay to watch this? Really?

    To each his own, I guess.

    You know that’s like watching the Dundalk Bulls a couple of times and deciding that hockey is a bit slow and boring.

  45. FPB94 says:

    Not to look like a 20/20 guy. But a guy who’s junior PIM were mistaken for toughness might just have cost Boston the series with a stupid/useless penalty.

  46. gd says:

    FPB94,

    I’d say it’s more accurate to say a goalie, who was Conn Smythe winner last year, and kind of throw his forwards under the bus after game 4 definitely cost his team that game.

    The more I watch the playoffs this year, the more I am convinced that DD should be good enough to carry the Oilers to a playoff spot. There’s at least 4 playoff goalies that he should be better then.

  47. gogliano says:

    The most persuasive of the deterrence theories is probably that you won’t deter Torres (but you can “incarcerate” him for a wihle) but you might players who are considering becoming Torres-types. Torres won’t stop because it is what got him into the league and he has his own problems but if you’re an 18 year old bruiser you might move away from the head shots and go for something else to establish your bona fides (unless you want the big suspension to establish it, which is one of the problems here that doesn’t track well with criminal deterrence). I’d also be wary of concluding that a lack of easily discernible individual effects precludes the possibility that these large suspensions have large cultural effects that are harder to suss out over time.

  48. Lowetide says:

    The problem with using Torres as an example is that it means nothing to the Weber’s of the world. The NHL is basically saying “if you want to addle brains, you better be an impact player. If you are, please proceed.”

    What the hell is that?

  49. FPB94 says:

    LT: Well. Never said we weren’t down with punishing stars too.

  50. DSF says:

    Lowetide:
    The problem with using Torres as an example is that it means nothing to the Weber’s of the world. The NHL is basically saying “if you want to addle brains, you better be an impact player. If you are, please proceed.”

    What the hell is that?

    Weber’s fine was the monetary equivalent of a bottle of wine for us mortals.

    Keith got a nice rest for the playoff push.

    Perhaps the Torres hit on Hossa was karma for the Hawks.

    The panel on HNIC quoting several unnamed GM’s as being outraged at the Torres suspension because of the double standard it implies.

  51. DSF says:

    In other news…Tallon’s Panthers could soon end up the top seed in the EC playoffs.

  52. Lowetide says:

    How in hell is Ottawa doing this to Sather? Are there no leeches in the Hudson?

  53. DSF says:

    I picked the Rangers to come out of the east but the Senators are a really well balanced team.

    Guess it does;t take 6 years to rebuild. :)

  54. Traktor says:

    Gilbert Brule is a bad, bad man.

  55. Clay says:

    So Brule opens the scoring on a great pass from MA Pouliot. Now that’s awesome!

    Is Sugartits playing for PHX too?

  56. DSF says:

    Traktor:
    Gilbert Brule is a bad, bad man.

    From Pouliot.

    LOL.

  57. DSF says:

    Clay:
    So Brule opens the scoring on a great pass from MA Pouliot.Now that’s awesome!

    Is Sugartits playing for PHX too?

    The Hawks were softened up by Torres.

    :)

  58. Lowetide says:

    good for both Pouliot and Brule. Hope they play 1,000 games.

  59. regwald says:

    MrSmitty,

    I was at the game as well and I liked how Gernat looked. He was on a couple of the PP’s and he appeared to pick his spots well and looked good overall. BUT, it’s hard to say how much is because of the strong back checking and positional plays of the forwards help that along.

    Like I said earlier, this is a well coached, disciplined team. They look great.

    I also liked the game of Samuellson. Looked good. Plays a chippy aggressive game. I know an NHL team that could use his grit.

    I also saw the previous two home games for the Oil Kings. I sure hope Pelss isn’t out for long. They will miss him. He has a super shot. Like his game too !

  60. bookje says:

    Oilers Tweet

    Oilers management takes bold new direction and is now following Nashville model and dumping Detroit model #changeofplans

  61. bookje says:

    63 days until Draft day (or something like that).

  62. hunter1909 says:

    bookje:
    63 days until Draft day (or something like that).

    Just hope no more old timey rock types drop dead, otherwise Lowetide’s going to keep subjecting us to his record collection.

    Hall, Yakupov, with Eberle and RNH…just how can even this management not gain 3-4 cups in the next 10 years? No more dwarfs, please Mister Tambellini.

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