It happens every year. The Oilers’ players and prospects arrive and we begin to hear the good news. “He’s grown ten feet” or “his slapshot scared Doctor Manhattan” and on it goes.The truth is usually a little shy of the headline.

In an EJ article from Jim Matheson today, Sam Gagner tells us he’s ‘stronger, faster’ and a few other things.With that beautiful mind, if he can slip the shackles that bind feet of clay to planet earth, Samwise will kill the Oilers in contract negotiations a year from now.

Last season, I was worrying about the defense and this season I’m worrying about the defense.

I’m ignoring the giant black cloud overhead and talking hockey as usual. Perhaps I’ll release the Oilers official training camp roster tomorrow morning. Don’t dare me or I’ll do it, swear to God Almighty!

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18 Responses to "EVERYBODY’S GRETZKY"

  1. PunjabiOil says:

    Hahaha, great pic.

    Yup, the stories every year.

    In 2008 it was ”Moreau and the boys have been training all off-season, Torres has quit drinking,,” etc.

    Raw talent cannot be manufactured, regardless of how well of a summer any player has.

    Yet, one thinks otherwise reading some of these articles every training camp.

    It’s quite sad, actually.

  2. cabbiesmacker says:

    The shoe thing would be very costly if a guy grew 10 feet I bet. Handy when kicking ass though.

  3. jake70 says:

    LOL, “Baghdad Bob” ….me and the brother had a great time back in ’03 imitating and carrying on about this guy…..there is probably an American convoy just out of camera range…lol. where is he now?

  4. DSF says:

    I wonder how Kyle Wellwood’s offseason training went.

  5. blackdog says:

    Wellwood? Probably ate a lot of pie the little fatty. Makes me look cut the little pudgy bastard.

    Pretty good player though.

    Camp is the best. Always get some guy who tears up a game or two with the scrubs, everyone starts talking about trading the vets (welcome to Edmonton!) and then buddy fades, gets shipped out and scores a half dozen in OKC for the year.

    But that’s what its all about. Hope.

  6. Ribs says:

    It’s HYPE now, my man. “O”mark has left the arena.

  7. nelson88 says:

    A slightly off topic question but I doubt LT will mind and it is a well rounded group of readers on this blog.

    Can anyone explain why the KHL salaries are typically described as “tax free” for Canadian players and if this indeed the case? My understanding is that the CRA will still deem you a resident of Canada and tax your worldwide income unless you are a factual resident of the other country. CRA used to use a “time out of Canada” test of 2 years but now uses as “intent” to return to canada and has a number of criteria on which they make those decisions. The three most important being if you have any employment, family or housing ties to Canada while living overseas.

    I think it would be hard for an NHL player to argue it wasn’t their intent to return to Canada. Is there a special loophole for professional athletes?

  8. leadfarmer says:

    I am pretty sure that Gagner has said that he got stronger or faster every year the last 3years. At least he combined the 2 this year.

  9. OilLeak says:

    I am pretty sure that Gagner has said that he got stronger or faster every year the last 3years.At least he combined the 2 this year.

    It makes sense though, he’s in his early twenties he should be getting stronger and faster. Now if he tells us that he’s still getting faster at 30, that will be BS, unless he’s been doing cardio work wrong up until that point.

  10. CrazyCoach says:

    nelson88: Can anyone explain why the KHL salaries are typically described as “tax free” for Canadian players and if this indeed the case?

    I would imagine that the Russian government doesn’t charge taxes to foreign players. The Russian mob may say otherwise though.

    Lots of countries promote tax free wages to attract workers. The UAE comes to mind as one, but once you decide to come home, the CRA will be waiting.

  11. Ribs says:

    I am pretty sure that Gagner has said that he got stronger or faster every year the last 3years.At least he combined the 2 this year.

    I’m pretty sure that he has got stronger and and faster every year. He was really battling physically last year and his stop/start speed increase was very noticeable. It’s small increments but it is improvement.

  12. Woodguy says:

    Right opn cue Ireland has a piece about Theo being in good shape:


    He was working with Norm Lacombe, so maybe its true.

  13. LP says:


    Not sure about the intent to return thing. From my understanding, what determines if you will be paying income taxes in Canads is if you are a resident of Canada or not for that given year. I was out of country on two different occasions for more than 8 months and the way they determined if I was residing in Canada or not was the number of days out of country within a period of time. For both of my trips I was away from say July – June which in my case didn’t make loose my place of residence (Canada). I know you can also elect to file as a non-resident which would normally be the case if you are making money elsewhere. Since the players would be making good money in Russia I suspect it would be in their interests to pay whatever tax required in Russia and file as non-residents in Canada. (if they can). I believe CRA will not tax you if if you are a resident of another country and paying income taxes there.

    I highly doubt that would happen to any NHL regular given the fact there’s likely going to be hockey come Christmas.

    For non-regulars sure.

    As for the EJ hype thing I’m not surprised. How much of those stories are written solely to drum up interest in the Oilers and their column? And how much of it is due to theses writers not having anything else to write about?

    Indeed, don’t believe the hype. And hopefully we’re talking hockey sooner than later instead of CRA tax rules and other random topics.

  14. nelson88 says:

    crazy coach, LP.

    thanks for the response. perhaps what is happening is there is a tax treaty with russia which would mean you only pay russian tax and the russian tax authorities have decided that hockey players should play tax free.

    in the absence of a russia/canada tax treaty i have a hard time coming up with any other situation where Canadian hockey players could be deemed factual residents of russia and not pay Canadian tax.

    i will be more than a little annoyed if the CRA had made some special consideration for millionaire hockey players but as CC alludes it is more likely a situation that the russian government has decided not to tax hockey players. would not make me very happy if i was a hard working russian citizen.

  15. jonrmcleod says:


    The Oilers tweeted about the “slimmed-down” Peckham yesterday.


  16. B S says:

    To my recollection, the CRA won’t double tax you. If you pay taxes in another country for money earned in that country, the CRA won’t tax you again for that money. Granted that was based on working in the US for 3 months, but I suspect Canada has that policy for other allied nations as well. I’m less certain about Russia, though it seems likely they would have some sort of agreement. (as a side note: contrary to popular belief taxes are only lower in the USA if you’re making gobs of money, it’s worse if you’re making low-end income).

  17. B S says:

    B S,

    To finish up, I think in the case of “tax-free” though, as long as you are a canadian resident (ie playing in Russia on a visa) CRA will still charge you canadian taxes since you aren’t paying taxes in Russia.

  18. art vandelay says:

    Your best header ever.
    I recall Hockey Hall of Fame scribbler Dot…Dot…Dot proclaming Marc Habscheid to be the “next Gretzky” back in the day.
    Good to know the tradition continues.

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