I always count up the arrows. It probably comes from my Dad, who told me many years ago that decisions get harder as you move along. He would say early in life things seem so black and white—but as you move along in life, relationships, parenting—you end up choosing between two different shades of grey. Same with prospects, so you better count the arrows.
- Bob Green to Jason Gregor: “We’ve really put an importance on making better picks later, or trying to get more players later (who end up playing pro. And in order to do that we have to know those kids better. We have to uncover more on them because a lot of the kids that are picked later, really, there is a reason why.” Source
I think the Oilers must have had something on Dillon Simpson in terms of background, his Dad is a former Oiler and a very successful human being. Even more impressive, Dillon Simpson has had good arrows every season since his draft day. His NHLEs since draft day (12, 15, 21, 20, 9—AHL debut—and 14) showed improvement every year in college and now every year pro. The quotes from coaches and observers always reflects improvement, every year. No idea where he peaks in pro hockey, only that you would have a damned hard time calling that a bad selection—and the young man has never played in an NHL game.
Photo by Connor Mah
Nail Yakupov will forever be known as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 draft, but I would bet my (almost) full bottle of CR he is in his last two weeks as an Edmonton Oiler. I will go to my grave blaming the management—he needed a veteran center as mentor every day of his Oiler life—but it is time for him to go.
Was he a good choice? I believe he was the right choice, but badly needed a mature organization. I hope he finds one—and that the Oilers handle their next Yakupov far better.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN AT THE DRAFT?
I think we can assume trade talk will heat up, but it does seem to me that both Columbus and Vancouver may be entertaining trades. That makes Edmonton less powerful in negotiations (teams interesting will push for the CBJ pick) until we reach the draft floor and the No. 3 pick is made. Here are predictions by selection.
- No. 4 overall—Matt Tkachuk appears to be a lock for Edmonton at this position—I do think they like him more than Dubois (I have Dubois ahead). If the team trades down, my guess is defender Mikhail Sergachev. Why? He is 6.02, 220 and can skate, help at both ends. Some chaos, but a grand resume.
- No. 32 overall—I think they would love to take Tyler Benson or Carter Hart here, but could also draft a defender like Cam Dineen or Lucas Johansen. Cliff Pu may also have some appeal. One wild card? I will give you two: Riley Tufte, and Jonathan Dahlen.
- No. 62 overall—If Edmonton takes Tkachuk and then Cam Dineen, I think we could see the goalie here (Veini Vehvilainen, Tyler Parsons). David Quenneville might also fit here, Luke Green too. I bet they like Libor Hajek too, he may go in this area. Forwards? Hmm. I will say Givani Smith and Boris Katchouk. My wild card here is Tim Gettinger.
Gordie Howe was larger that life when I entered hockey fandom. He was in his late 30s at the time, close to retirement, and would end his NHL career—a dozen years later! My memories of Howe are strong, but also filled with stories from my Dad and my Father-in-law about his greatness, and his grace. Both men called him the best they ever saw, and as neither man was prone to fibbing or hyperbole, suspect that was the case.
Gordie always got even pic.twitter.com/6rTYdsQkV1
— Jen (@NHLhistorygirl) June 10, 2016
I will tell you a story about Gordie Howe from my wife’s family. It is the late 1960s, the scene is Eaton’s in Medicine Hat. My father-in-law had the kids (eight!) and they were in line to meet Mr. Howe, get an autograph and meet the man. It was a long lineup (Howe was a legend then, too), and one of the kids (Karen) was not doing well at being patient. Dad’s ‘Karen’ echoed around Eaton’s many times as they moved closer to the legend. After many minutes and countless Karens, it was finally time to meet him.
What? HOW did he know her name? Across this country, there are personal stories about Gordie Howe just like that, for as much as he was a legend, as much as he was larger than life on the ice, no great athlete I can think of was more of the people than Gordie Howe. Howe connected with people, on a personal level, for many decades. He was a good man with a good heart—who just happened to be the perfect hockey player.
Love this quote from a young Dave Keon, on Gordie Howe, from Sports Illustrated, 1964. pic.twitter.com/BQ1tSdfjW4
— Don Landry (@donlandrymedia) June 10, 2016
If you saw him on the ice, calling Gordie Howe a gentle man would seem folly. Off the ice, he was exactly a gentleman. The world does not seem right without him, this is going to take awhile. RIP, Mr Hockey. A gentle man who would never hurt anyone—UNLESS it was a hockey game.
SAIL ON, OMSK HAWK
— Patricia Teter (@Artful_Puck) June 10, 2016
I hope he plays for many years and enjoys it. I cannot imagine he had many good days in Edmonton and Bakersfield. That is not on him, Nikita Nikitin came to us in a difficult time for the organization. I wish him well.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A sad day, 2016 is going to get coal for Christmas. TSN1260, at 10:
- Steve Lansky, BigMouthSports. Gordie Howe has passed.
- Antony Bent. Copa America and Euro.
- Matt Iwanyk, TSN1260. The No. 1 defensive option for procurement by Peter Chiarelli this summer.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter.