Watcher of the Skies

by Lowetide

One day, in the distance, the franchise known currently as the Edmonton Oilers will win the Stanley Cup. I don’t know that it happens in the next four years, and that of course is the timeline all fans of the Oildrop are most interested in.

It’s Connor McDavid’s team, but the Leon Draisaitl time line is the one to watch. The big German center is a free agent in the summer of 2025.

Every day, including this one, is burning daylight. The Edmonton Oilers are building the strongest contender possible using a traditional management and coaching model. How high can they fly?



  1. Elliotte Friedman gifted hockey fans with a 32 Thoughts that dropped last night, wrote an item on Mike Smith and the goaltending. As I’ve mentioned many times here and at The Athletic, Ken Holland is too smart to enter a third playoff spring with the Smith-Koskinen tandem.
  2. I think the goalie situation gets solved at the deadline. Mikko Koskinen plus a first-round pick kind of deal.
  3. Duncan Keith is reportedly going to miss the first week of camp (via Ken Campbell) because his Covid-19 shot window won’t yet be closed. Lots of vitriol about it online and I get it, but I think this may have come together late with some prime pressure from NHL and NHLPA. Kind of an “this industry can’t afford another setback” moment, and that iron position came late for the players. Just my opinion.
  4. The delayed arrival on the ice by Keith gives Edmonton some time to evaluate possible replacements for the veteran on the second pair. It’s a fairly short list, veteran Kris Russell would be a candidate and after that Slater Koekkoek is the final option with more than 150 NHL games. I don’t think William Lagesson would be an option, although he could make the team if there’s an injury or an ineligible player.
  5. Evan Bouchard has to earn the trust of Dave Tippett and that could take some time. One area Bouchard could thrive is four on four, or in overtime. Darnell Nurse and Tyson Barrie will get first run, but Bouchard’s passing is so exceptional one hopes the coaching staff will bring the giant weapon out of the hangar during preseason.
  6. Ken Holland had a long and interesting interview here and talked about a range of issues. He talked about Zach Hyman and his ability to get net front and forecheck. I think that style is what Tippett and Holland are looking for, Jesse Puljujarvi is that kind of player as well.
  7. He mentioned that he traded for Chris Chelios from Chicago when he was about the same age as Duncan Keith is today, and he’s hoping he can come in and play well for the Oilers.
  8. Holland had good things to say about Tyler Benson, saying he’s proven to be a top AHL player. He mentioned waivers, coming into training camp and getting every opportunity. He said, and this important, he has to “play his way off the team” and that’s a very good indication. Holland said Benson spent all summer in the gym.
  9. In regard to Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen, he mentioned Smith looked great a year ago and that he is a big part of the team. Holland said the goaltending tandem has been good since he arrived.
  10. I won’t post the 50-man list, or the ‘Certain’ lists today, there is some uncertainty across several roster spots so I don’t think we’d accomplish much running it this morning. Instead, here are the lists from 2015:


This is a quality group of forwards at the top, some concern about the bottom lines but Mark Letestu will help. I look at that defensive group and think about how much has changed. You know, Oscar Klefbom’s loss is still being felt, what a miserable turn.


I remember having conversations on this blog at the time, several posters believing Draisaitl and Nurse were locks. I didn’t see the window being open so early, and in fact both were sent down to Bakersfield. Where they stayed for about nine heartbeats. Turned out, we were both right.


As it turns out, the distant bells included future NHL players Jujhar Khaira, Caleb Jones, Jordan Oesterle, Ethan Bear and Laurent Brossoit. Those distant bells carry sometimes.


At 10 this morning we’ll hit the air on TSN1260. Ken Holland will address the media at 9, we’ll begin our show at 10 going over the highlights of his avail. Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal chimes in at 10:20 and we’ll go over the training camp roster. At 11, Joe Osborne from OddsShark will get us ready for the final stretch in MLB and we’ll talk NFL Week 3 and who he likes. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!


You may also like

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
unca miltie

wow, this is hard to follow. I often don’t get a chance to look in until late evening and actually like the old comment section the best. lately have been using the oldest first tab and that works ok too. Tonight’s comments seem to have no order to them at all. maybe we need to spring some donations to fund the technical side of things. this is a great blog.


Like 1/4 of comments go offscreen and I can’t scroll over…making it unreadable. I’m willing to pitch in to fix this I’d required as this new comment format is awful.


I’m completely with you I’d be willing to throw 20 towards Allen to help if it would.


I’m poor or I’d definitely send more after reading LTs work since 2009.


Many Oilers fans approach Covid vaccinations from different perspectives. I would differentiate between right and responsibility.

Keith may have had a right to decline the vaccine. But his employer and the league has the right to “require” it given the different, ongoing and possibly evolving health protocols.

Quite sure the Oilers and the league don’t want a repeat of the Canucks last year.

As for responsibility, Keith engineered a trade. Was acquired for his leadership. Is a key piece of the defense.

Consider for a moment if the captain McDavid refused to be vaccinated and possibly submarines the entire season . What would fan reaction be?

If Koskinen or Kassian or Russell refused the fan reaction likely would be good riddance.

Many might suggest replace Archibald with a prospect or waiver wire pick up.

Keith had a responsibility to his GM who traded for him, his employer, his teammates, his community. Glad he arrived at the right decision.


The highest maintenance Oilers are:

1 – Keith
2 – Archibald
3 – Kassian

They very well may end up being the three worst roster players in terms of on-ice value.

The MSM had the knives out for Bear but Kurt Leavins is patting Keith on the head and whispering sweet nothings to him for having had made a difficult decision that 80% of Canadians made on their own. One week late for training camp? No big deal, everyone! He is a leader and knows how to win. Wait, wasn’t there a narrative about Bear being behind because he missed some of training camp?


It’s almost as if…the MSM are complete hypocrites and worship false idols.


If you didn’t think Bear was on his way out when he was benched in his last playoff game your not paying attention.


Ryan McLeod and Slater Koekkoek were also benched in that game.


Patrick Roy


What makes Keith and Kassian high maintenance?

Keith will be a week late for camp, not ideal, but , after that, what makes him (and Kass) high maintnenance?

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

The fact that it took a serious sit-down with the GM and coach to convince him to take a safe and effective vaccine = high maintenance.


I don’t believe that Duncan Keith is going to be a high maintenance Oiler through the season – not for the coaches or his teammates.


It’s brutal. Is this going to be the permanent format?
Cause I’m getting a headache trying to read this.


Not enjoying this new comment section, especially playing catchup. Hard to figure out where a thread starts and who is replying to who.


I find it nearly impossible to scroll through on my phone. It keeps thinking I’m clicking reply and then a comment box opens below and I have to find where I was scrolling again. I hope it’s just temporary.


It’s brutal. Is this going to be the permanent format?
Cause I’m getting a headache trying to read this.


This ain’t no technological breakdown.
Oh no this is the road to hell.

Harpers Hair

Frank Seravalli
#NHL announces investigation into accusations #sjsharks forward Evander Kane bet on hockey has been completed and “found no evidence to support those allegations.”

Lewis Grant

Fuhrious: “That’s not the relevant statistic. The question is, how many dead old people have been transmitted the disease by an under 30 person (directly or as a longer chain of transmission)?”

People are 10-18X more likely to be hospitalized/die of COVID if they are unvaccinated. So presumably 90-95% of the people dead of COVID were unvaccinated.

As an analogy, some people on the #2 die in traffic accidents while not wearing a seat belt. Do we blame their deaths on the fact that other people are driving faster than 80 km/h? No. We blame them for not wearing a seat belt.

Sure, the fact that we drive faster than 80 km/h on the #2 causes additional deaths. Yet how many of us drive 80 km/h or less? Not many. How many of us advocate for a speed limit of 80 km/h? Not many.

We have collectively decided that it’s an undue burden to reduce the speed limit to 80 km/h. Sure, we also encourage people to wear seat belts. But do we have to mandate them? Is someone an irresponsible killer if they advocate making seat belts optional? (Seat belts were optional for most of Alberta’s history.)

It sounds like Archie wants to (metaphorically) make seat belts optional, and to have a speed limit of 120km/h. Maybe his reasons for doing so are unsophisticated or misleading. (He has a grand total of two tweets on this, from a year ago.) But should he really lose his job for it?


It used to be socially acceptable to have a few cold ones and drive home but people collectively decided that’s a bad idea. Does DUI increases accident rates? Yes. Does it cause all the accidents on the road? No. Is there a practical difference driving with 0.081mg/L of booze versus 0.079mg/L? Probably not. Of sout lawing DUI doesn’t prevent all traffic accidents deaths why do we do it?

Some of these anti-vaxed actually sound like DUI lawyers. Technically correct but selfish jerks you’d you’d want to give a good shake.

You can drink to your heart’s content just fxxking stay out of our roads.

You can take your conspiracies believes and live your own “healthy” life, just stay the hell away from the rest of us who is taking on whatsoever risk from the vaccine to try and protect our loved ones. Some of us actually to use the medical resources for non COVID alignments(yes, news ticker, people get sick even if fully vaxed). Some of us have young child who can’t get a shot if we think the benefit outweighedthe risks. Although the fatality rate isn’t high with the kids we wouldnt want them to get hidden side effects, myocarditis or fiberous lungs or otherwise.

*end rants*

To tie this back to an Edm Oilers related discussion, think about MacT, think about Heatley. Would you take them on your team if they kept their reckless ways?

Lewis Grant

I didn’t say that people don’t get sick if vaxed. I repeated the science on public health: people are 10-18X more likely to get sick if they are unvaxed. That means the number of vaxed deaths should be a very small percentage of the total.

I’d say the DUI example is analogous to somebody knowingly having COVID and deliberately breathing in others’ faces. If Archie knowingly gets COVID, refuses to tell the team, doesn’t quarantine, plays with the team, and passes it on to them, then sure, punish him.

That’s different from not getting vaccinated.

Long COVID/myocarditis/etc is very rare among people who don’t get hospitalized. And it’s very rare for kids to get hospitalized. So kids are at an extremely low risk of myocarditis. I totally understand that people have concern for their kids. But that concern has led to the end of free-range childrearing, and helicopter parenting. This has likely been a primary cause of the huge spike in anxiety among Millennial/Zoomer kids. (See Haidt and Lukianoff on this.

I get the point about Heatley’s recklessness. But lots of NHL players are reckless, and lots of them always have been. Was Heatley any more reckless than a lot of them? I doubt it – he was probably just more unlucky in his recklessness. That’s probably why Atlanta took him back, and why Ottawa was willing to trade Marian Hossa for him, and why we were willing to trade Penner/Cogliano/Smid for him. And I’d bet that every team retained players who were more reckless than the reformed, post-crash Heatley.


Well, if he was a delivery driver that insisted on not wearing his seatbelt and driving 120 km/h on the #2, then yes he should.

If he is a hockey player who travels for a living, and there is a restriction on his travels from country to country, restricting him to half the games while being a potential risk to the well-being of his teammates and those he encounters on his travels… yes he probably should.

Lewis Grant

Well, maybe.


If Archie physically can’t perform in a big chunk of the season due to US entry protocols, then sure, that’s an issue relevant to team/performance. (I don’t like the US law in the first place, but the fact is, it’s the law, and the team has to deal with it.)


On the other hand, if Archie microscopically raises the risk that an unvaxed 98-year-old somewhere dies of COVID, that’s not really related to his team/performance. Even if I think (as I do) that the science generally supports getting vaxed, I don’t want all unvaxed people to lose their jobs.


I’ll be sure to pass this sentiment on to the family of my 66 year old vaccinated neighbor that died the first week of Sept. vaccinated are very well protected, but when infection rates are sky high due to low community uptake of vaccines, deaths will happen (we’re like sub 40% vaccinated in my area).


I feel like you may have missed the point where Alberta’s ICUs and health care system has been so overrun by Covid patients that they’ve cancelled virtually all surgeries? Including cancer surgeries, and neurosurgeries?

This isn’t just a matter of who’s dying of covid, not is it a matter of inconvenience. There are people who are dying of treatable diseases because covid has run so rampant that the health care system has collapsed.

So first of all.. that 98 year old is still human. So is the 70 year old, the 60 year old, the first covid patient under 20 who died in Alberta today. Do yes, their life is still valuable. But it’s been even more than that. This entire time, the lockdown hasn’t been to protect individuals, it’s to make sure the healthcare system can still function so that when you get into a car wreck, when you get a heart attack, when you come down with appendicitis you can survive these treatable afflictions.

Lewis Grant

OK, fair point. I don’t know the current hospitalization/ICU statistics, so I won’t say much in regard to that. And if non-COVID people are getting turned away from the ICU because of unvaxed COVID patients, I think there’s a legitimate conversation about the possibility of reversing that policy.
Yes, I agree with you that everyone’s life is valuable, and that the 98-year-old is still human. (Incidentally, so is the 9-week-old.) I encourage vaccination, and other reasonable precautions to spare lives. The debate is over what constitutes “reasonable” vs “unreasonable.” I hope we aren’t afraid of those conversations as a society, and I’m glad we can have civil conversations here about that threshold. And I’m grateful to LT for his indulgence, and everything else he does for this community.
G’night, all. Remember, the world is a beautiful place.


” I don’t know the current hospitalization/ICU statistics, so I won’t say much in regard to that. And if non-COVID people are getting turned away from the ICU because of unvaxed COVID patients, I think there’s a legitimate conversation about the possibility of reversing that policy.”
So… you wrote out all these huge arguments without bothering to know the facts we are talking about. I wonder if this experience will change that habit or if you and your ilk will keep being Dr. Facebook, D. Sc., M. Phil., JD.?


You’re kind of all over the place on this, but from what I can glean out of it, you seem to think seat belts are self-injury only and refusing a vax is too, so you think we shouldn’t regulate either.

Well, leaving your seatbelt interests aside as settled law, the wave of infections and dead bodies clearly shows that slowing the spread isn’t a self-only issue. Vaccinations don’t stop delta but do slow it’s spread dramatically. This is more akin to turning out your lights at night in WWII London than it is wearing a seatbelt or having laws against suicide.

Lewis Grant

I’m genuinely sorry for the loss of your neighbour. I can understand that my argument wouldn’t strike you as welcome. (And yeah, the 40% vax rate sucks.)
All the same, public policy has to drive from aggregate data, not from anecdote. That’s how science works. Data is not the plural of anecdote, even if anecdotes are compelling and pathos-inducing. The alt-right has compelling anecdotes too; that doesn’t make them correct.
To clarify, I don’t think that refusing a vax is only self-injury. I do think that refusing a vax, when other people can obtain 95% protection against you, creates a very small risk of injury to others. (I’m sorry that your vaxed neighbour happened to be among the very small percentage affected.) The smallness of the risk is especially true when at-risk people can wear N95 masks, to reduce that risk by a further 95%. (How many of those who are concerned about contracting COVID are wearing N95 masks, which protect others and themselves, rather than regular masks, which protect others but not themselves? Why are we not promoting the use of N95/KN95 masks? There’s been 18 months to ramp up production of them, so as not to take those masks away from health care workers.)
We are justified in making laws that protect society against people who cause major risks to others. We can’t protect society against people who cause very small risks. Or at least we can’t do so in a free society.
For example, there is a major outbreak of syphilis going on right now, although you won’t hear about it in the media. To protect society against this risk, we could criminalize sex outside of marriage. But in a liberal-democratic society, we don’t.
“All over the place” is an interesting synonym for “nuance”. Of course, nuance is a pretty unfamiliar thing in debates today. Should it be surprising that a vaxed person doesn’t think unvaxed people should be fired? I don’t think it’s surprising that I can have opinions while contentedly living together in a society with people who have different opinions, including people who put me at some small risk due to the actions following from their opinions? That’s a position pretty consistent with liberal democracy. In fact, a society that doesn’t have those kinds of people is a society that may not remain liberal-democratic for long. That’s my concern.
The WWII analogy is an interesting one. But I don’t see the risk of getting bombed by the Luftwaffe as being comparable to the risk of dying from COVID.
Anyways, Fuhrious, I appreciate the food for thought. Always happy to have civil disagreement.
(Unrelated: LT/Ryan, is there any way that we can get paragraph breaks back, without having to insert markers like asterisks?)


“All over the place” wasn’t a synonym for nuance, it was a *euphemism*
Notably, *I* did not suggest making public policy based on my neighbor, but I am glad that you misreading my post as asking for that had you reply by saying that data-driven decisions are the only way forward. The data is in and the epidemiologists say that we need to keep the unvaccinated out of public places.
Be careful that you don’t convince yourself something is true by inventing your own personal adjectives in front of terms. “Cause very small risks” isn’t convincing if you yourself are inventing the “very” and the “small”. It’s also important to note that even risks that are *actually* small can sum to significant dangers (each cigarette isn’t so damaging, but a lifetime sure is). So is COVID serious enough in aggregate that society should call for action to slow it? Well: ICUs are so full that patients have to be refused, doctors and nurses are burning out so badly they are committing suicide, morgue trucks are still being used, all non-urgent surgeries have to be postponed Alberta wide, the US just passed the death toll from the Spanish flu despite massive medical advancements since 1918. So… yeah, it’s not a “small” problem. People that don’t want to take a safe vaccine will have to stay away from public events and distant trips for a few months–not really that big of an ask by society.

Lewis Grant

Yes, data-driven decisions are the way forward. But here’s the thing: data doesn’t settle all decisions by itself. *Interpretation* of data makes decision. I’m not disagreeing with the epidemiologists’ data. I’m disagreeing with the risk assessment of the unnamed epidemiologists to which you refer. So how dare I question their judgment? The same way I question Richard Dawkins’ judgment about religion, while accepting his judgment about biology.
Epidemiologists’ job, one properly deriving from their expertise, is to determine how we can stay as healthy as possible. (For instance, they tell us that the vaccine is safe, and they recommend getting it. I agree!) But they are *not* experts in analyzing the societal tradeoffs. If a pandemic gets out of hand, people blame epidemiologists. If we lose valuable freedoms, and small business gets eradicated in favour of making Jeff Bezos a trillionaire, epidemiologists wash their hands of any responsibility. Epidemiologists’ judgments are valuable, but they are not Divine fiat, even when they give us convenient sticks with which to bash the people that we don’t like. We do a disservice when we treat them as absolute, just like we do a disservice when we completely write them off.
As a comparison, most auto mechanics will recommend the most comprehensive (and thus expensive) treatment. It’s what they are trained to do. They want to fix your car as well as they can. But sometimes you have tradeoffs: you need the money for rent and food. So you get the “good enough” treatment. Or you don’t get treatment at all, for now. The mechanic will, of course, give you *dire* warnings. But that’s because he has a sort of tunnel vision, being concerned about one thing. You, on the other hand, are concerned about many things. And you are probably making a better decision. (This view does not mean that the auto mechanic is incompetent, or part of a global conspiracy of Satan-worshipping pedophiles, or whatever.)
Take another example: surgeons. Surgeons almost always recommend surgery. To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail. But surgery often has worse outcomes than what GPs call “conservative treatment.”
I agree with you that small risks add up in the aggregate (like smoking, as you mention). Of course, that is true for *all* small risks. Eating meat is a small heart health risk. 50,000 Canadians die of heart disease every year. Could we not say, “yeah, it’s not a “small” problem.”?
We could heavily tax all meat, like we do with cigarettes. Given that we reduced smoking rates by two-thirds over the years, I’m guessing a meat tax could easily reduce heart disease deaths by at least a third. That would prevent more deaths than COVID death toll in 2020, a year with no vaccine. Isn’t that “not really that big of an ask by society”?

Scungilli Slushy

To be blunt, yes.

I have no time for union speak. I’m not sure or saying that it was your intention or point.

However, it as a person you want more, more is expected. It’s that simple.

If you want to be an athlete in the highest level in the world, there are things you need to do for that to happen.

The lowest paid player in the NHL makes far, far more than almost any other citizen does.

Yes their career is usually short, but that is the reality. They are not forced to participate.

So, they can choose to play or not.

It is not the same as a regular person trying to make ends meet.

A relative is an entertainment lawyer. Athletes are treated with much more fairness and respect than entertainers are, even with me too.

The terms are set, choose it or opt out. No hard feelings.

I didn’t want to take it, I have a big problem with the data being provided and not provided. I’m just a regular Joe trying to keep his business open. So I got it.

My kids got it. Just to support a closer end to this.

Play or don’t play. Your choice, but I don’t feel sorry for millionaires with an opinion and their choice to get paid or not. And X is a millionaire by career pay and it’s a choice.

If he blew his money that’s his mistake.

End rant.

Lewis Grant

Scungilly Slushy, I admire your philosophical consistency as a business owner. And I appreciate your point that professional athletes are pretty spoiled. I’m not weeping tears for Archie here.
But I’m concerned about what happens when businesses all become politicized. What if Lowetide says that you have to provide proof of vaccination to be able to comment here? What if Twitter says that you have to provide proof of vaccination to have a Twitter account? What if Google says that you have to provide proof of vaccination to use their search engine?
Such a progression isn’t inevitable, of course. But it does become more likely when high-profile businesses like pro hockey lead the way.
Liberal-democratic societies don’t politicize *everything*. Far-left and far-right societies do. (And so do societies with lots of far-left and far-right people.) The politicization of everything leads to greater affective polarization, which in turn undermines our ability to live together as a society. This is one case where the business class’s activity of politicizing more and more their businesses might actually undermine liberty. And in the long run, that’s not good for business.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

Do you understand why businesses want proof of vaccination????

Why would twitter require proof of vaccination????

Sports teams are requiring proof of vaccination because COVID can be transmitted to fans and players. Both a safety and a liability issue. No such issues exist online. What an absurd “thought experiment”.

Lewis Grant

Yeah, that’s a fair point. Or at least it’s a fair point if we accept that there’s a big risk of transmitting COVID to vaxed players. But the vaccine is 95% effective in preventing serious COVID transmission.
Last year, without the vaccine, how many players got COVID? Not actually very many. (Fewer than I expected.)
This time around, it should be far lower, even with a few unvaxed.
Yes, I can understand why in-person businesses might want their employees to provide proof of vaccination.
I can also understand why in-person businesses might, for the same reasons, want their customers to provide proof of vaccination. But I do I think that the unvaxed should be prevented from entering all public places? Grocery stores? Police offices? Pharmacies? No. We could try to draw a line between Oiler games and essential services…..maybe. But those lines can be pretty gray. Once we’ve begun to demonize the unvaxed, it becomes pretty easy to push that line further and further. History furnishes plenty of examples of pushing lines against the demonized ever further. How sure are we that we’re not repeating the mistakes of history?


” Surgeons almost always recommend surgery. To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail. But surgery often has worse outcomes than what GPs call “conservative treatment.”
Not sure what kind of cartoon you got this bizarrely over simplified axiom from but I can promise you that my physician wife calls a surgeon and asks his opinion and then trusts it. Like…. do you really think you just proved that you should never trust your surgeon’s advice and, for example, it wasn’t up to the surgeon to decide on whether it was a good idea to operate on my mother’s tumor? I think you can see on the face of it that this is not a clever argument. We have experts and we use them for all decisions in our modern world. When the answer is not certain, we go with consensus of the community of experts.
You’re also imagining for yourself some picture of how epidemiologists and public health officers and govt. officials interface and make decisions and then you’re critiquing your own false picture. I got to listen in and submit a question to one of the Zoom conference calls. between the physician’s community (my wife is one, not me) and a Public Health Ontario officer involved in decision making, and your’e just flat wrong about saying that epidemiologists and the rest of the decision teams do not measure or care about societal impact. And, are you saying that you didn’t notice when these teams of people recommended dropping mask mandates for the vaccinated pre-Delta-variant in order to balance societal function with managing the still-present virus? It’s crazy to me that someone would just refuse to know about decisions like this and all the mathematical modeling going on and still *conclude* that “there’s just no way to trust an expert man, they don’t know what they’re doing”
Anyway, you’ve gone from “hey, no anecdotes, we need to use data” to “but see, data can’t be used because we can’t trust any expert to use it correctly” You’re basically just talking yourself in a big circle so that you can land on “well, there’s really no way to know so I/others can always do what they want.” That might be a fun game to do on your own time, but the government and businesses need to make a decision and they need to use the experts who say that we are in a huge wave of the coronavirus and we need to stop the unvaccinated from mixing in public settings until it calms down.
You also *keep* mixing up personal harm with harm to society. It is not an effective scare to say “but the govt. will get rid of red meat if we let them mandate public access restrictions for the unvaccinated.” Mixing into crowds unvaccinated risks harming others, red meat risks harming yourself.


“Last year, without the vaccine, how many players got COVID? Not actually very many. (Fewer than I expected.)
This time around, it should be far lower, even with a few unvaxed”
–> There was not Delta variant last year. These rules are in response to the wave of the Delta variant.
“But I do I think that the unvaxed should be prevented from entering all public places? Grocery stores? Police offices? Pharmacies? No. We could try to draw a line between Oiler games and essential services…..maybe. But those lines can be pretty gray. Once we’ve begun to demonize the unvaxed, it becomes pretty easy to push that line further and further. ”
—> Where are you getting this stuff from? You can’t just invent stuff that isn’t occurring and then complain about it. No going to pharmacies? Like, where is that even from?
My man, you can’t just say everything is a slippery slope and so no rules are possible. Speed limits were first enacted in Canada in 1923 and I’m sure some guy was like “I do declare, if we allow this heeyah law, they’ll soon tell us we can only run at certain speeds, or throw balls into peach baskets.” Of course there’s imaginary extensions of any rule that shouldn’t be allowed, but we can’t argue about all possible futures, we can only discuss the merits of currently proposed rules.


Few people who DUI did it deliberately (as in, let’s get wasted and run people down), but most dud it because they overestimate their ability/underestimate the risk (as in, I am 200lbs surely I can have a few before hitting the limit). I have at least that little hope for humanity.

Everyone risk assess, it just that the line between calculated risk and recklessness blur.

Sure if one wears masks properly, wash hands compulsively like a surgeon, and maintain social distance, it us unlikely for him to get infected, irrespective whether he us vexed. These are the mitigating factors. The question is can he do it 24/7?

Sure, statistically the number of child getting killed or maimed over DUI incidents are lie. Now go tell that to MADD. Possibly want to prepare an answer why everyone not just planned their damn rides.

The narrative used to be “vaccine is for younger people to protect older people”, why is it changed to “helicopter parenting” when the age group if concerned become little kids?

The Alberta hospital beds are getting near capacity, mostly treating unvaxed people with the virus. Why can’t they sign a waiver to decline all CIVID related treatments if they wish to remain unvaxed?

Unfortunately, we do live in a world with people who take undue risks. If the shits didn’t hit the fan on MacT nor Heatley they’d probably continue to hk on their joy riding ways like thousands of them, and nobody would have know any better. YAs a fan you’d probably laugh it off if you see them staggering onto their car outside the bar. Buuuut, wouldn’t it be nice if they plan their damn rides?

Lewis Grant

Now go tell that to MADD.
I probably wouldn’t hesitate to do that. Our “drunk” driving laws are the strictest in the Western world. 0.05? Personally, I will not have even *one* drink if I am driving, because that could put me over the ridiculously low limit.
We like to think that we’re not Puritans. But we still are.
The question of not treating the unvaxed is an interesting one. If we start asking that question, it’s going to open up a lot more questions about who else we don’t treat in our medical system. That could be good or bad. It would certainly promote the kind of conversation about Medicare priorities that we’re ordinarily unwilling to have. (Speaking of DUIs, how about not treating people for injuries caused by their own drunkenness? Are you willing to go there? Maybe we should, and maybe we shouldn’t, but be careful what you ask for.)

Harpers Hair

TSN (@TSN_Sports) Tweeted:
More than a dozen infectious disease and critical care doctors are calling on the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers to drop plans to play games in full-capacity arenas this season in Alberta amid the fourth wave of COVID-19.

Story from @rwesthead:

Scungilli Slushy

Weren’t you a media person as a career?


Fully vaccinated masked people are not the issue. You obviously read all of the news.

It’s the un vacced. Because they are at higher risk and are plugging up space.

Life has to go on even if Kenney is a blow hard.

Also you can find any opinions you want with ‘scientists’. They have been, as usual, deplorable in their conduct of providing a fair and informative interpretation which gives social media the space to do what it has.

The ‘experts’ can only sort of agree that being immunized is better than not, mostly, sometimes. Or yes, maybe no. What’s the latest study?


“Also you can find any opinions you want with ‘scientists’. They have been, as usual, deplorable in their conduct of providing a fair and informative interpretation which gives social media the space to do what it has”
Speaking as a scientist, go eat a bag of turds.


Respectfully disagree, LT, with cutting Keith any slack. Forget COVID and the vaccine for a moment.

You’re new to any job, you have pledged to play a prominent role (we’ll see who can’t keep up with whom, etc.), you are being counted on by your manager– who really stuck his neck out to acquire you — and you miss your first week of work. You’ve put yourself in a position that…98% of NHLers are not in?

That is a terrible look no matter what field you work in.

The contrast with that kind of behaviour and that of the real leadership core — McDavid, Draisaitl, and Nurse — who were in Edmonton weeks early, is stark. The contrast with other new Oilers — Hyman, Foegele, etc — is equally stark.

I said months ago Keith was done. Seems as though he is at least done in being interested 🙂 The least he could have done is showed up to camp on time for Holland’s sake. I’d be pissed if I were Ken. It’s not professional. If someone stuck their neck out for me I wouldn’t show up one week late, period. If Keith was reluctant on the vaccine he should have divulged that to Ken before the trade happened, as I’m sure the two would have talked, and that certainly would have thrown a wrench in things. Of course, that would go against Keith’s own personal interest, and therefore the only reasonable conclusion is that Keith willingly withheld that information for selfish reasons. Put yourself in the shoes of any other guy in that dressing room. Does this seem like leadership?

If Keith wants to be one week late for work, let him start on the 6th pair and work his way up. IMO if Broberg is ready and shows well he should get in a regular season game or two, during the first week of the season, while Keith reconsiders what his priorities are and gets into game shape.

38 years old and one week behind. Not a great look at all, and a real punch in the nuts to Ken Holland.


Respectfully disagree to this. For whatever reason Keith didnt vaccinate, and that is his right. The rules as it applies to the NHL I think are evolving as far as the practical implications. I would think hes had some discussions with the team, and once understandibg the implications made his decision to vaccinate. Not ideal that he will miss a week, but he will be here to start the season.



Context matters. Yes, Keith is free to make his own choice. I am arguing that ethically, it is wrong to demand a move to an organization knowing that:

A) You will not get the vaccine (it had been available for months and months in the USA).
B) You know the border situation is tenuous.

This is a slam dunk no-brainer. This is not ethical behaviour, and Keith was not being forthright when this deal was initially being bandied about.

The sacred cow I am trying to slay is that Keith is some kind of golden leader. He isn’t. He doesn’t even have basic integrity. He lied about the events surrounding the sexual assault case with the Blackhawks and he lied by omission to Holland. Look, I’ve said my piece on the trade but I feel bad for Holland. He thought he was getting a veteran presence and he acquired a headache. It’s time out of his day dealing with Keith, not time out of mine.

Now if others want to line up and defend Keith again, I’ll just point out that this franchise has done more to accommodate him than they have ever done for McDavid, Draisaitl, Nuge, et al. You tell me if that’s appropriate.


When the trade was made for Keith, there was absolutely zero intel on what the protocols were going to be for non-vaccinated players – there was zero talk about players being vaccinated in draft/UFA frenzy period – this was not a factor in team building at that time.

With respect, you have no idea that Keith was not being forthright or was withholding information – that is speculation and is made taking today’s context and applying it to July.

Lying about the sexual assault matter is also speculation.

To call the man lacking integrity based off of speculation and narrative driven opinion is, itself, showing a lack of integrity, no?


Keith obviously has strong feelings with respect to the vaccine and reasons why he wasn’t planning on taking it. For him to change plan and agree to take it, as opposed to opting out or retiring given the low salary left on his contract shows the opposite of “not interested” – it shows how much he wants to play and compete.

I’m not defending his opinions on the subject nor that he should have made the decision a week earlier but only countering the point that this shows he’s not interested.

No, I am against icing an inferior lineup because of this.


Wasn’t you that called a possible retirement with Keith and Holland looking like a sly old Fox.


Ha – i mentioned the cap recapture benefit many times but never every said or implied it was a legit possibility.


Just because I was pissed that Holland didn’t dump half of Mikko’s salary doesn’t mean I’m not cheering on Mikko and Keith. With Keith being a week late to his 17 boot camp means nothing he’ll be ready after 2 practices with veterans Smith and Ceci.


Does someone with a strong feeling regarding vaccines settle for J+J? I’m a very strong proponent of vaccinations and still passed on AZ.


Recent studies from the UK are showing the effectiveness of Pfizer declines faster than AZ declines, and that the crossover point where AZ is likely to be more effective than Pfizer in the UK is sometime in the fall. Hence the greater perceived need for Pfizer boosters (which is silly, since the developing world should be vaccinated before healthy people in the first world get their 3rd dose). There was less Moderna used in the UK, but Pfizer seems to decline in effectiveness faster than Moderna too.

Hare, meet the tortoise.


Are these just simple antibody studies or are they actually doing population studies of infections? I ask because most stuff I see is just antibody levels but the few studies on B-cells seemed to imply we’d be protected for much much longer. Will be interesting to see when we know more than just the cheap antibody tests.
I certainly haven’t done a deep dive on this stuff and it seems like the experts aren’t sure yet, but it looks like the FDA at least is saying very recently that boosters aren’t needed for most as there wasn’t evidence showing they are needed yet. Maybe those lovely B-cells will come and save the day, wouldn’t that be nice.


Personally, I don’t really feel that strongly about what Keith is doing because I didn’t defend his acquisition and I didn’t want him here at any price. I think there were/are better options for that spot at a price less dear.

It’s not just Holland — there are many here who defended Keith, believed he had more to give, and were willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. If I were one of them, I’d be pissed! You have a 38 year old who is missing one week of camp with a new team solely because of poor planning. It’s a big season and every single core player was in Edmonton early. Hyman was working out with 97 before his contract was signed.

Irrespective of whether Keith plays 2 LHD, it’s not an auspicious start. It’s a guy who — already — has put himself before the team. Remember, he leveraged to get moved here, got his wish — despite Holland having to overpay — and has repaid that favour with…being one week late.

If you factor in core guys who arrived early, Keith is not just one week behind, but perhaps 2-3 weeks behind. He is 1 week behind guys like Broberg who are hungry for a spot.


Point taken. I wasn’t referring to you, but there were certainly some who were on board. Incidentally, nothing wrong with that. They may be right, and Georges in particular brought up some good points. I’ll acknowledge there’s a chance he’s a meaningful contributor, I just don’t like the gambit. I was wrong about Smith, maybe I’ll be wrong about Keith. Plenty of good teams make bets on older players like Smith and Keith, but the Oilers are unique in expecting meaningful, mid-career performance from them.

I do think Keith’s actions change the optics of the deal. Does Holland make that trade knowing what Keith was actually thinking? Does he make that deal not having a 2 LHD for the first week of camp?

It’s not just the player — Ceci is also new and has to gel with his partner, Playfair has a bunch of new D to break in, and you have to think about PK rotations and matchups. Injury is one thing, this is more like a needless complication. It puts the top 4 behind and with Larsson gone that’s the last thing you need.


I have to agree with Bling. Lots of Oilers folks have stuck their necks out for Keith. He puts himself and the team behind the 8-ball in an incredibly important season for the team. It’s early, but his reputed leadership ability is lacking.

Victoria Oil

Very well said Bling.


I’ve read most comments and didn’t see anything regarding “natural immunity”. Was that considered during negotiations? Does anyone know?


Immunity from having had covid wanes pretty quickly unfortunately


And….back to hockey for a minute.

I liked Bourgault’s game, very skilled. He is the Eberle replacement.

Ostap Saffin – Oh my, things not looking very good there

Lavoie – Reminded me of a Pouliot type player. Looked okay, but not enough drive to the net to make this team in next few years.

Broberg – hmmm. He sure woke up after he was walked and then flattened by the Flames Popsicle guy. He showed some spark but was flattened again. Zegras quite a bit ahead as of today. Broberg will get there, but not this year.

Flames Popsicle guy will be the new Jim Peplinski

For the near future, they really need Holloway to hit, and the wrist is a major setback.
Plus, hey really need Benson, Marody, Macleod to take a step

Where did Klefbom go?


Thought experiment…..What if Connor and Leon both decided not to get the vaccine, based on prior infection and natural immunity….how would the league react? the team? the NHLPA? It would make for great television that’s for sure.


Reid Wilkins such a savage interviewer. Asks Koskinen how he responds to every oiler fan wanting him replaced.

London Jon

That’ll help his confidence

Scungilli Slushy

Maybe it pissed him off and his inner Viking will come out!!


If he would Challenge the shooters instead of sitting low in his crease and giving the shooters in the league a easy top corner shot. Mikko are you there don’t listen to your Goaltending Coach be a man and Challenge. Challenge..Challenge….,


Did he say “all oiler fans” because that is not true. I wouldn’t want to be interviewed by him again.

Harpers Hair

Tyler Bertuzzi refuses vaccinations in Detroit.

Harpers Hair

Alex Chiasson signs a PTO in Vancouver.

Darth Tu

Elias is sure to rush to sign now.


What are your thoughts on this? I believe you were pretty outspoken about the Oilers poor forward depth which included Chiasson.

Harpers Hair

The Oilers forward depth is much improved with Hyman and Foegele. Too bad about the D and goaltending.

Vancouver’s forward depth has also improved significantly since last time we saw them with additions of Pettersson (when he signs), Conor Garland, Jason Dickinnson and Vasili Podkholzin.

Vancouver also has major questions on D but their goaltending should be top shelf.

Elgin R

Jason Dickinson is depth all right: 10 pts at 5v5 in 51 games last year (296th in the NHL amongst forwards) and the Canucks get all this for 3 x $2.65m.
Conor Garland / EP40 – all day long on my team
Podkholzin – wonder how a guy who put up 0.31 pts/game in the KHL (NHLe of 20.7) is even going to make the NHL. Now maybe he is getting tips from Brogan on how to impact the NHL. To add some context to this: Tyler Benson with an NHLe of 39.9 is in tough to make the Oilers.

Harpers Hair

You obviously have no idea of the role played by Dickinson in Dallas…pure shutdown centre.

You obviously have no idea of the knock on effect of adding a big, fast 3rd line centre who wins 54% of his face offs to the roster in that it frees up Horvat and his new line mates Garland and Podkholzin from the hard matchups Horvat has been forced into since he arrived in Vancouver.

You also have no idea how KHL teams yo-yo young NHL draft picks in an effort to discourage them from heading to the NHL.
When CSKA St. Petersburg needed to win in the playoffs they boosted his minutes and he led his team in playoff scoring.

You obviously have not heard any reports from Canucks rookie camp where Podkholzin stood out and observers were impressed by how much his skating has improved dramatically since draft day, nor that he is now 6’4” and 210.

Podkholzin will be playing top 6 minutes in the NHL long before Benson even, if ever, gets a sniff.

I suggest you take a closer look at the PPG stats in the vastly watered down AHL last season since teams played terribly scrambled games played.
Benson wasn’t even in the top 20 by PPG despite playing against depleted rosters and sub par goaltenders due to the good ones being on NHL taxi squads.

Benson is in tough to make the Oilers because he’s a tweener.


I am actually replying to HH, but button not available for that. Anyway HH is wrong again about Dickenson’s face off winning percentage and this was pointed out when he Made that claim the last time. The last 3 seasons dickenson has been been at between 43 and 46% not 54% so not all that good at that part of the game.

Harpers Hair

My mistake Redbird…I was trying to do that from memory.

In fact it was his FF% that I was remembering….54.94%

His SF% was even better at 57.28%.

SCF% 59.56%

xG% of 57.44

Unfortunately, he was done in by a PDO of .970 but I would expect that will regress to the mean since the season before his PDO was 1.021.

Looks like an elite defensive centre to me.


Dickenson’s SF%, FF%, etc. were thoroughly mediocre for his career prior to last season.

He also hasn’t ‘faced the toughs’, he’s been 9th, 9th and 5th among Stars forwards in %TOI vs elites.

Add that to the so so faceoff results and one wonders where the ‘elite defensive centre’ thing even came from.


Sea of Granlunds in Vancouver


Holland was just on Oilers Now if anyone is interested in hearing more from him. Holland does directly point out that Archibald is the unvaccinated player on the Oilers.


It was somewhat reassuring. It sounds to me as if he is leaving the door open for Archibald to change his mind, but that if he doesn’t releasing him is still on the table.

Vaccination is not a personal choice. It affects other people. Individual rights presuppose the common good, and hence are subordinate to it. Every society that has ever existed is based on this principle.


This is such a dangerous mindset, the “common good” is a lot more broad and nebulous than “free and informed consent for any medical procedure” Give your head, (and your keyboard) a good shake.


“ Individual rights presuppose the common good, and hence are subordinate to it. Every society that has ever existed is based on this principle.”

Wow…I’ll keep this non-political as the commentary on the politics that surround a statement such as yours could go on for pages…good gawd.

No. Plain no. Flat no. Wholly incorrect.

1. You are clearly not referring to individual rights.

2. Read some more philosophy.

Where’s the +/- button when you need it…


You are wrong about this. I’ve read them all and know them well. You won’t find a serious philosopher in our tradition of individual rights arguing your position. Not the Greeks, not the Thomists, not Machiavelli, not Hobbes, not Locke, not Rousseau, not Kant, not Hegel, not Nietzsche. No one.

And if you don’t like philosophy, it isn’t in the charter either. The very first clause of the charter limits rights.

Liberal democratic rights are not, and never have been, individual rights in the absolute sense. They are the rights we give each other in order to live together peacefully and safely (which is how we have defined the common good). The hierarchy is clear here. Rights do not trump the legitimate concerns of the public, and the individual has no right to define what is legitimate for themselves.

No one who understands the issues disagrees with this.


So you’re going to move the goalposts (we’ve gone from ‘individual rights’ to ‘Liberal Democratic’ rights (not the same thing).

You’re going to reference a bunch of philosophers who either don’t believe in individual rights at all, or openly contradict the way you’re describing them, such as Locke.

The sorts of rights you referred to in the original comment before you moved the goalposts are not “give(n) to each other”. They are either natural rights or god-given (depending on your starting point being religious or not – mine is not) rights. They are inalienable. We are each born with them. No government “grants’ these rights in the philosophical sense if you are even on the page of the concept of individual rights.

Under your current construction, the absolute worst totalitarian monsters of history that are responsible for hundreds of millions of deaths could be discussed as having a concept of individual rights present in their government and in their actions. That’s flatly untrue and awful.

The reason I raise the point is you’ve always presented as smarter than that and I’m wondering what you’re conflating.

This: “The hierarchy is clear here. Rights do not trump the legitimate concerns of the public, and the individual has no right to define what is legitimate for themselves.” is the definition of tyranny of the majority. It can be used to justify literally anything because “legitimate” must always be followed by “according to whom”…and that’s without even getting into the discussion of “by what standard”.

And your last statement is preposterous and either deliberately flippant or unintentionally lazy.


Per Seravelli:

Not done yet, but sounds like #stlblues are working on an expanded role for former #Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli, who has served as advisor to Doug Armstrong. Official title TBA but perhaps VP of Hockey Ops.

Also, Ken Hitchcock to rejoin STL organization as coaching consultant


Gregor just stated: “…broke down the Oilers schedule and the best case scenario I came up with is he could play 48 games. Realistically it is probably 46 as two of those games he’d have come out of quarantine the day before and only skated once. So the ideal situation is he stays healthy and misses 34 games, but realistically it will be at least 36 and probably more when you consider his conditioning, timing and how the team is playing.” WOW! So why would the Oilers want to have a part time player without a vaccine and all the hassle, when everyone else including Office staff and fans are fully vaccinated? Loyalty and respect is a two way street in any organization. I fear we will lose this player if he does not get the vaccine. Sorry but this team, our team, needs to focus on winning and not have this distraction.


No one player is better than the team. Winning comes from all sacrificing for the common goal. Old saying there is no I in team!😷


Depend on if the team also get the cap hit relief when you suspend said player due to COVID quarantine. If you get unused cap hit accumulation I think this isn’t so bad for a pricier player, but Archibald ain’t worth it because the tweener that share his job doesn’t deserve to give way when Archibald become available.

On the other hand, if Ducan Keith and his cap hit can be accumulated while out if line up its more if a manageable situation. If you have the guy only paying hone games it can be somewhat justified load management for a 38 year old.


If a player is suspended due to Covid-protocols, their pro rated cap hit portion is also gone. Doesn’t really help unless it takes the team below their adjusted cap accrual threshold (Keith would, Archie would not).

John Chambers

If I were Holland I would have Archibald demoted to the AHL if he doesn’t want to get the vaccine. He can choose whether he wants to have an NHL career or not.

The stance of refusing a vaccine in opposition to the entire team and staff is indefensible. It’s also an insult to the medical community in Alberta who have been exhausted by the pandemic, and an insult to paying vans who must be vaccinated to attend.

Vaccines are a necessary part of modern life, and Archibald’s freedom to choose is essentially a freedom to harm his team and the greater public.


If I were Holland I would try to persuade him to change his mind. If that is unsuccessful I would trade him to a Southern US based team. Archie would be able to continue his career in a more “friendly” location for his views and we would recoup cap space and likely a draft pick. This would also provide an opportunity for one of our other players (Marody / Benson / etc.).


Maybe this is why Adam Larsson chose to sign on with an American team…


Ceci for Tarasenko? Niemelainen for a 1st + 2nd? We’ve got to recoup our losses somehow…

London Jon

This made me laugh out loud


They’d better reserve their place in line to trade with STL. Going to be a popular phone call.


I think the Oilers deserve some compensation from any team that gives Chia a place to work! 🙂


One day, in the distance, the franchise currently known as the St. Louis Blues will win a Stanley Cup…


I just want to encourage people to show a little compassion for Archibald. He’s 28 years old. So far, 84 people in Canada under the age of 30 have died from covid. Of that total, how many had no underlying medical conditions? Could we say 20 or 30? Maybe even less. We are asking this person to accept a basically unnecessary medical intervention. For whatever reason, he doesn’t feel comfortable doing that – whether it’s based in logic or not. Sure, I wish he would take one for the team and get the jab, but for whatever reason he doesn’t want to. I’m sure he didn’t make the decision lightly.


I think the consternation towards Archie is due to more than just being unvaccinated but on his overall stance on the pandemic per his public tweets.


I’m not on Twitter so I don’t know anything about that. Way too toxic.


I feel that everyones comments here today revolving around Archibald have been respectful. Theres so much more than just living or dying with Covid though. Even from a pure hockey perspective, avoiding general society discussions, having Archibald unvaccinated and constantly playing and traveling with the team does open the team up to more risk of contracting the virus.

Avoiding any loss of games to anyone on the team due to covid protocol as well as any short or long term symptoms is the priority and wont show up on the 84 deaths list.


Well said.


Also I would greatly question that just because he very likely wouldnt die to Covid, that doesnt mean getting the vaccine is a basically unnecessary medical intervention. If I break my arm (which I have), if I refuse having it properly set and put into a cast I will not die, does that make it basically unnecessary?


Thank you for this.


Case in point, Stalock’s career may be over due to the long term effects of Covid, even tough it obviously didn’t kill him.


How much do you think Stalock got paid to pretend he has long term covid symptoms? Must be a lot more than his NHL salary


Ahhh yes, he gave up.the starting job in Minnesota, didn’t play a year of professional hockey and is now competing for backup duties in Edmonton because he was paid off to fake symptoms.. see to me, that sounds like a good career move.

Darth Tu

If that was meant as a joke it’s in very bad taste Krakman.


You don’t know what caused his long term effects, it could have been the vaccine….he had a clean bill of health mid way thru last season..


Stalock supposedly (he tested positive once and never after that one positive rapid test tested positive again) had covid but . . . . . false positives happen.
Anyway after the “away time” was over he was required to take a heart test and poof he had a heart issue.

Also this was prior to the vaccine being available so no vax heart issue to report here.


I won’t get into a big thing here, but we know more people under 30 die from car collisions than covid. And then another close to 10 times that number suffer severe injuries. The latest number I could find is 1,700 deaths per year. At one time I had the numbers broken down by age group. Can’t find it now, but I know more than half were under 40.


I’m struggling to understand the point your’re trying to make Jimmy. I dont want to assume so if you can clarify that would be useful and maybe I can edit/retract this comment.

It is interesting that you point out the dangers in car collisions in a discussion about covid health implications. The similarities do exist:

Instead of showing driving licenses we have vaccine records (passports), which we do have to renew quite frequently. A very uncanny outrage due to mandatory seatbelts looks pretty similar to outrage due to masks. We are told what we can and cannot do with our cars such as speed limits, traffic signs, etc, sort of similar to what activities we are allowed to participate in during lockdowns. My least favorite is the fact that driving unsafely has and can affect other people. Even people who drive safely and follow all the rules can be hit by a drunk driver.


I heard in Sweden they have no rules for driving cars and they seem to be doing fine


My point is let’s show some compassion because we are asking Archibald to basically accept unnecessary medical intervention.

I pointed out that very few people in his age range die from the disease. Then someone mentioned that vaccines can also prevent serious illness. I used vehicle fatalities and severe injuries to show this really isn’t a logical argument for young people to get the vaccine. In 2017, there were 1,700 fatalities and 10,000 severe injuries, with the majority impacting people under 40. I would doubt the impact of COVID is even a tenth of that for someone in his age range.

Yes. I think he should take one for the team. Yes, I would likely release him if he wasn’t such an important bottom six player. Yet, we should do this with compassion and understanding. People don’t generally refuse these things without strong feelings.

I know nothing about Archibald personally. Maybe he’s one of those people very particular about what he puts in his body. Or he’s afraid for whatever reason. I guess he’s said some weird stuff in Twitter, but I don’t know that. I think there’s a tendency to vilify these people.

Like me, I suspect the vast majority of people on this site are in the high risk age range. It’s easy for us to sit back, throw rocks at young people and criticize them for putting our health at risk, without trying to understand why they don’t want the vaccine.


It wont let me reply to your next comment. I dont agree that comparing covid deaths to car deaths for an age demographic is a fair or relevant comparison. If there was a vaccine to lower car deaths and injuries we would likely take it, instead we have inventions such as crumple zones, seat belts, air bags. We do what we can to lower our risk or we face societal consequences (tickets, safety ratings, recalls).

We seem to differ on a few points that discussing doesnt seem to impact (i.e. the vaccine being an unnecessary medical procedure). I do feel compassion for him, after working so hard to being one of the best ~1000 hockey players in the world, and for whatever reason deciding to greatly jeopardize it. People can be scared and misinformed but being against the vaccine is inherently selfish. The same people scared by the methodologies and resources that developed the vaccine will gladly accept covid treatments if they ever need it that were developed by the same means and peoples.

I am 2 years younger than Archibald. I am no professional athlete but enjoy my fitness and never once felt I was MORE at risk by taking the vaccine than not. Why should I feel more confident in my laymans “research” than the thousands of medical professionals advocating for this vaccine. 85% of Canada 12 or older has received 1 dose or more, why would I assume I am smarter than all of them.

And especially for Archibald, the biggest convincing piece of evidence should be Stalock. There is a teammate who has his career in jeopardy due to contracting Covid. He shouldnt be vilified and if he changes his mind should be accepted back onto the team but for the time being his current stance is stupid and I would rather him not be on the team as a distraction.


Again, this is my point. Ultimately we think Archibald is selfish for making his choice. I use the collision example to simply give perspective on the danger he faces as a young person. Many, many people calling these guys selfish make decisions every day that negatively impact themselves and society. We drink too much. We eat too much. We smoke. Most of us sympathize with the opioid addict, but not people like Archibald. This is my final thought because I’m not trying to win an argument.


Do as your told Comrade or else!


Reja, have you has this view since you were a child when you were vaccinated for a variety of things (which I bet you don’t even know you were vaccinated for)?

Honestly curious.


The stuff he said on Twitter HIGHLY suggests this is not about being careful of what he puts in his body – it was Covid-denier, conspiracy stuff.


I wonder what percentage of pension his 225 games played qualifies him for. I also wonder if the union will step in and aide these players that have refused to be Vaccinated


The union agreed to these protocols.


I couldn’t imagie being a player in the NHL and seeing the toll COVID had taken on players who did get it (like the Canucks) and deciding that, no, I shouldn’t get the vaccine. If COVID could derail an entire NHL team filled with young, healthy individuals who have instant access to medical experts and resources, I, personally, would feel obligated to get the vaccine to help protect myself, my teammates, and the many, many, many other people I come in contact with.

Age is irrelevant, imo. Just because he, statistically speaking, has a better chance of surviving the disease and having no long term effects, that doesn’t mean other people his age will be just as fortunate if Archibald were to be unvaccinated and give the person COVID.

And yes, even when vaccinated you can still get COVID and give it to someone else, but the odds of that happening when you are all vaccinated is even less. And, odds of requiring hospitalization and suffering long term effects are also much lower. Getting vaccinated is just the responsible, considerate and empathetic thing to do. Being a healthy 28 year old should not exempt him from that and it’s not some horrible burden that he has to shoulder. It is just a vaccine. Just like all of the other vaccines we were given so we could help ensure a functioning, healthy society.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

Why should we be sympathetic towards individuals who show complete disregard for the well-being of those in their community? The only reason to not get vaccinated is pure selfishness.

What part of getting a safe and effective vaccine was difficult for Keith?

Fuck me.


Because it has been shown that outright hostility towards the vaccine hesitant is one of the worst strategies to convince the vaccine hesitant to get vaccinated.


Way way too extreme


Many were willing to die for the common good and for our ability to choose! Have you ever wondered where we would be without there sacrifice and how they might feel about an individual unwilling to get a vaccination.


It most certainly is his choice to throw the balance of career in the dumpster. I have no sympathy. Alberta is in the 4 th wave. Our hospitals and ICU departments are overwhelmed. All surgeries have been cancelled. Over 70% of covid patients in hospital are unvaccinated! Yes a lot are older but not all. An acquaintance of mine, a healthy 62 yr old died of covid. He wasn’t vaccinated because he never got around to it. Choose not get vaccinated and you will be denied a lot of things. Playing pro hockey will be one of them.


Archie can enjoy Bakersfield where he does not have to cross any borders. Works for me.


That’s not the relevant statistic. The question is, how many dead old people have been transmitted the disease by an under 30 person (directly or as a longer chain of transmission)? Nobody has been killed by their own automatic weapon in Canada in the last few years, so why can’t I hunt with one?


It doesn’t seem to be stated clearly anywhere but from the various tweets I am reading it sounds like the problem for Keith is that he thought he was vaccinated because he had the single dose Johnson & Johnson shot in the states but the problem is that it is not recognized or approved in Canada so he could not use it to cross the border so he went back and either got the two dose regimen or at least a second shot.

At least that it how it sounded to me but I agree it has not been explained very well and that could be because you can’t talk about a person’s health condition as an employer.


I don’t think that’s quite right.

I think he just recently made the decision to get vaccinated and the quickest route is to go to the US, take J&J, and do the quarantine upon arrival to Canada.


Faster than going to a Canadian clinic?? I find that hard to believe…


I think Keith would have to wait a few weeks between 1st & 2nd dose in Canada


Hence why he went to the US to get J&J and is subject to quarantine on his way back – quicker process.


It’s a one shot approach; J&J in US = 14 days quarantine whereas phizer takes two shots and a minimum of 21 days between shots. It is the fastest way and J&J is approved in Canada


So one dose J&J is recognized as fully vaccinated in Canada. (

If Keith had his first dose of an mRNA vaccine getting the second while he was already in town would have been the fastest so for whatever reason (his own personal decisions) that seems unlikely but still possible (maybe adverse reaction after the first shot who knows)

The only way that a mandatory border quarantine would be faster (if you didnt care what vaccine you were getting) would be if Keith had no vaccines. Getting 1 dose of J&J is fasting then 1 dose of mRNA, waiting, then getting the 2nd dose.

It sucks it took so long but at least hes vaccinated now. Hopefully after 16 other training camps Keith knows what he needs to do to be good for the season.


Thanks for clarifications! This is more encouraging than the assumption he wasn’t engaging in this process at all…


Although if he was supposed to be quarantining after coming back from the States, why was he at the Captain’s skates?


Captain skates were before he went to get the shot on the States.


Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is approved in Canada, but hasn’t been used because the doses we received had to be destroyed because of manufacturing issues at the Maryland facility where they were manufactured.

Because of the availabllity of the two mRNA vaccines became unconstrained, and AZ, and constraints Biden put on exports of vaccines, Canada did not acquire more J&J subsequently, so it is not available in Canada.

Turning Tikkanese

A Classic Genesis music reference. Sweet.

Really excited for this camp and this season. Too bad about Archibald, get the shot already. Your job depends on it and the livelihood of your family.


Per Gazzola:

To clarify, sounds like Duncan Keith received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine which is administered in the US. Thus him having to wait until next Friday to get the all clear to join the group in training camp after returning to Canada.

Also, as for Keith not being motivated for the season, etc. and just wants to be near his kid, I call BS. Keith is making $2MM this year ($1.5MM next). Of course, not chump change but in the scheme of his life, not material I wouldn’t think. From accounts, he really struggled with the decision to get the vaccine but he’s doing it so he can continue playing hockey and I doubt it’s for the money. I am fully confident he is as motivated and ready as Tippett has been saying all summer.


Keith is a future Hall of Fame player.

He’s no Andrew Ference.


The Gazzola explanation actually makes sense, why couldnt Holland explain that the quarantine is due to him just receiving his vaccination in the states so he doesnt count as fully qualified and has to quarantine due to crossing the border. A lot of the confusion stems from the fact he was skating in Edmonton recently so no one would have assumed its a border issue and it all makes sense now.


That was my take from Gazzola’s tweet as well. I think Holland is constrained by law from commenting on an employee’s personal health.


Yeah I am sure it can be tricky talking about it in this situation. Still Holland could have mentioned he has to quarantine due to crossing the border back into Canada.

Its a non issue at the end of the day but just a weird way to communicate.


So a covid suspended player is off cap. My question is this means you have to carry someone on the roster to play those days, and they count. So unless they expand active rosters or you can add a waiver exempt player it means someone could be claimed off waivers calling then up and back again.

Explains our PTO. Basically Archibald for half the cost


Any player called up to replace the suspended player would either be waiver exempt or already have cleared (although would need to re-clear upon demotion if 30 days had passed).

Randle McMurphy

So if Archibald is forced out due to a Covid rules and/or Stalock due to Covid rules and a heart condition, do they both get put on waivers and sent down to Bakersfield? What are the cap implications? Could Stalock go on LTIR?


Stalock could go to LTIR but not Archie.

Archie could be waived and assigned saving $1.25M on the cap (but his replacement on the roster would take up most of that).

Archie could opt out of the season and the team would get to decide if his contract tolls or not.

If on the roster, the Oilers could suspend Archie when not available for games and other team matters. Wouldn’t do much for the cap on the end given they will be in LTIR and not accruing any cap space daily.


Is the pimping of Benson yesterday by Holland because Archie’s goose is cooked.



Darth Tu

The Sceviour PTO is the backup plan for Archie.


It’s to bad Holloway is in limbo or else he makes this team and takes a run at Calder when he finds chemistry with Leon.


Holland was very clear after his surgery was announced that he was almost for sure heading to Bakersfield even if healthy.

Darth Tu

Holloway could still make a run at the Calder in 2022-23 season to be fair. Wouldn’t be a bad thing to slow play him if we’re looking set at LW this year anyways. Nuge, Hyman, Foegele, Benson and then all the others is a fine depth chart for that wing.


Didn’t USA change their entry requirement for foreigners to be fully vaxxed? Archi was born in Canada, I assume he doesn’t hold a USA passport…how is going to cross the border?


I’m not sure his history, but he’s a dual citizen and even played HS hockey in the US.

Harpers Hair

Shane Wright will go #1 in the 2022 draft.

He projects as a generational player.


Make sure you play this soon, otherwise the book is going to be closed and that’s it.

Hopefully the technical team gets to work and amends the current cut off date, or else there might be another controversy lol


Holland essentially confirms that Broberg will be heading to the AHL to start. No real surprise there but when asked about how close he was to making the team, his response was “I’m cautious”. He did go on to talk about be able to take someone’s job but we know that’s not happening.

Russell has some neck pain and will miss the beginning of camp – without him and Keith for the first bit, the kid d-men will get lots of ice, including Kemp and Kesselring.

Up front, it will be more about Tip finding his lines than giving kids ice and games.

Skinner and Konovalov will get about a game and a half each, maybe two for a Skinner.

At this point it looks like the team will have on unvaccinated player and, as of now, Holland is not precluding that player from coming to camp. His calculations are that the player would likely miss 30 plus games due to protocols though.


But Keith has to quarantine. Makes perfect sense😉


Did the unvaxxed player just cross the border? Why would he need to quarantine if he’s been in the country all summer?


Im confused why Holland specifically calls out Kemp and Kesselring (both RD) after mentioning Russel/Keith/Samorukov (all LD) will miss preseason games.


I did think it odd Holland neglected to mention Niemelianen. Probably slipped his mind. Or perhaps it’s more of a tell as to who the organization values more.


In my opinion this will reflect badly on Holland and the Oilers if Archie is allowed to participate in camp if he is unvaccinated. Edmonton already has a black eye due to how the Elks mismanaged Covid risks. Not to mention the absolute crisis the province is in with it’s handling of covid! Yikes!


No Keith or Russell early in camp. No Samorukov. Broberg has a clear runway to seize an NHL job right now. Broberg can already do everything Lagesson can do. Koekkoek is a career #6-7.

#HeiskanenLIte #HereWeGoBroberg #HereWeGo.

He will be the #2LD (of the D in camp) by the end of the first training camp practice, with a week until Keith and Russell arrive.


Keith will be in camp for the last few exhibition games and it doesn’t sound like Russell’s neck is any more than precautionary.

In his presser, Holland did everything but say straight up that Broberg is going to Bakersfield.


There likely will be too much ice time in camp for Broberg for anyone (management, coaches, players, media) to think it is a good idea to send him down. Broberg can build incredible momemtum towards a spot while all the competition is in quarantine or injured. After watching Broberg all the time for a week, can you imagine what looking at Russell or Keith will look like.

Nurse Barrie
Broberg Ceci
Keith Bouchard


I like it.


Kenny a little testy for the start of the year. That and he made zero sense. Someone is feeling the pressure.


Yeah this was not a good look. Not horrible train wreck but the man wasnt answering questions and was in a mood. Season hasnt even started yet. All the rambling and non answers was surprising to hear from professional management.


What rambling? What non-answers? I just watched the whole conference and saw neither. He was asked about the logic and reasoning behind Keith’s quarantine vs Archibald’s ability to attend camp unvaccinated. His answer was “I don’t make the rules, I’m not a public health person” He was essentially agreeing that it makes no sense, without saying it.


I wasnt taking notes of each instance but it was in an overall general vibe. Maybe I’m being a bit harsh and its just a long winded way of answering questions with all the pauses. We can disagree but even with your example we have to read into what hes saying and assume. None of Hollands answers were concise other than telling Spector he cant think for him.


He’s not in the softball leagues of Detroit anymore he’s in the real Hockey Town.


Reading between the lines on KH verbal in presser and recent verbal on Turris at RW and Sceviour PTO…Archie will be squeezed off the NHL roster if he doesn’t get vaxxed.


Hope whoever is unvaccinated likes Bakersfield. If it is Archibald, he doesn’t earn enough to prevent the Oilers from sending him to the AHL.


Holland confirmed Archibald on Oilers Now.


Eeek. KRusty also not starting camp due to some neck injury but will be getting in later in camp. Poor Sammy and his broken jaw. This was a major knock-knock moment for him with Keith and KRusty late to start camp. Too bad. Expect to see lots of Bro/KK/Lags in some of the first exhibition games.


Holland talks about the unvaccinated player needing to quarantine for 2 weeks when returning from the US to Canada, then basically says “if we are playing well, low odds that player is drawing in on day 15 after not playing”.

If it is Archibald or another F, wonder how likely Sceviour contract is. (and Archibald waiving)


I wonder if anyone will know because even Holland doesnt. In the presser right now he confirmed Keith got his second vaccination but is in quarantine until next friday and wont be in camp until then.

In the mean time the Oilers have another player they expect to be unvaccinated who is fully able to attend camp. Holland passed the buck to the province/league/PA and provided a non answer talking about how it will be different in the regular season.


Could Stalock be another LTIR candidate? That woukd give Holland a bit more room to deal, wouldn’t it?

Darth Tu

Well, it’s being reported that Stalock is missing the entire season:

If so he’s definitely LTIR. I hope he’s alright, what a shitty thing to happen.

For the Oilers I guess Skinner and Konovalov are next men up


Mark Spector asking a good question to Ken Holland.

Why is Keith quarantining after his 2nd shot for 2 weeks, while unvaccinated oiler is participating in camp?

Holland’s response makes no sense.


Yes his answer did not make sense. He then insulted Spector. He then said it is the governments rules, which of course, don’t make sense.


I think reporters should get called out for dumb questions but that was perfectly reasonable and Holland was an ass there.




Great leadership!😉


Is anyone really surprised when the rules surrounding restrictions and protocols aren’t founded in reason or logic?


Spector can go read the damn rules agreed to by the NHL the NHLPA and relevant governments. Holland doesn’t make the rules. He probably doesn’t even know the precise rules. That is the trainers job, and the dressing and equipment room and security personnel.

Does Spector think that Holland is going to waste his time understanding the reasons for particular rules or the reasons for them, other than from a high level?

“The health experts set the rules, Mark. I am not a health expert. I am sure they have their reasons for the rules.” a rough paraphrase of Holland.

Spector was being an a$$, as per usual.


Holland can and should know why their player is in quarantine. He failed to mention anything about Keith crossing the border from the USA which would have cleared this up completely. This was a failure to communicate on Hollands behalf. I dont like Spector but he did nothing wrong in trying to clarify Hollands word soup jumbo.

It is my understanding that Keiths quarantine has nothing to do with the NHL or NHLPA since unvaccinated players can attend camp as well as play games but rather the Canadian Federal government requirements of unvaccinated individuals entering the country.


I said “NHL, NHLPA, and relevant GOVERNMENTS”.


How would Spector know that this was due to federal governments restrictions. He honestly could be 100% aware of the protocols (likely is) but Holland never once mentioned the border crossing. This created confusion because Keith was just in Edmonton and no one mentioned he went to the states for the vaccine. Theres so many details missing in Hollands initial answer its not the fault of the reporter or viewer for questioning it.

Litke 94

Great stuff this morning Lowetide. Unquestionably, the best time of year.

Super encouraging to hear Holland’s words on Benson. If nothing else, it sounds like he is hyper-motivated, maybe similar to Bear’s tremendous offseason two years ago. If Benson pops, we might finally see 4 lines that could arguably hold their own in GD. Could you imagine?


IF the Keith rumours are true and he is now only getting vaccinated – Not a good start for his “leadership” on this team.


As I say every year, are Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith considered winners because they lead, or are they leaders because they win? Not shocked at this whatsoever, I’m almost surprised the list of non-vaxxers isn’t higher.

Keith is here because he wants to see his son, that’s crystal clear. What we have to wonder is whether the closer access to his family will make him less distracted or more distracted.


I bet the record books say he sits at the head of the table!


Holland dancing on a pinhead with questions as to why Keith was on ice with Captain’s skate if unvaccinated.
Great work Duncan!


One player is still unvaccinated. Archie?? Say good bye to your career bud.


I’m guessing Captain’s skate isn’t under NHL or NHLPA umbrella, restrictions didn’t apply. Holland didn’t want to state this and point the finger towards the captain or the team. Any person or entity who doesn’t take the absolute utmost precautions is labelled as a murderer these days.


Agreed that this is quite disappointing. Not a great start for a star veteran player who has been hyped as a great role model.


Comments like these are DAF, when Keith gets his shot, how Keith gets his shot, all of that has nothing to do with leadership. Kinda pathetic.

Not a single person will be living in March wondering about Keith’s handling of his second dose in September other then insane miserables.


Only when he doesn’t show the responsibility of getting it done properly to be able to attend camp on schedule. Like the rest of his teammates.


Leaders are expected to do so by setting a good example as well as in numerous other ways. Talk the talk and walk the walk!

Harpers Hair

Mike Johnson nails another one.

Rasmus Dahlin 3X$6 million in Buffalo.

Randle McMurphy

Not revealing any Freidman 32 thoughts, just the vibe.

“Fantastic weather, everyone in a good mood, the players don’t hate the media — yet. Everyone relaxed, tremendous vibe….So here we are. Another training camp. Knock on wood: a full, 32-team, 82-game season. Eight pre-season games on Sportsnet, starting with Montreal/Toronto on Saturday. Let’s go, already. My family is sick of me.”


Is the Holland presser being streamed anywhere. Doesn’t sound like it’s on 1260 or Ched and I’m not seeing it in the Oilers Twitter or Oilers TV.


Oilers youtube

Randle McMurphy

McCurdy, a Holland avail, and a bonus thought from Friedman……What a day!

Randle McMurphy

I’m concerned that we’re all too high on Bouchard and his trajectory.

No comments on “Norris Material” please.


Will be very interested to see if Archie is in camp – if not, what will Holland say about it? I think he’s supposed to address the media today.

Stalock as well, there are rumours he may not be there to start camp, or at all. It’s odd given Holland’s verbal on him a week or so ago.

Randle McMurphy

Week 3 NFL

Can the Raiders go 3-0 ? Against the fish.

Mark it in your calendar, Oct 24th…Eagles @ Raiders

Please LT, sometime in the next 4 weeks, find it in your heart to utter the phrase, “Eagles defeat Raiders, BOOK IT!”


1-2 – For me, I’ll take a wait and see approach. I don’t anticipate Smith’s play this season will garner Vezina votes again but I also don’t presume, with a reasonable workload, that Mikko will be sub-900. This tandem has been good enough the last two seasons. Playoffs may be a different story but it’s early. Stalock is also in play and, heck, for all we know, Konovalov is real and spectacular and arrives soon. It happens to other teams.

3-4 – My presumption is that Keith is the 2nd of the two Oilers rumoured to not have taken the vaccination – for me, I’m just happy he’s on it now. It’s too bad that Samorukov isn’t available as this would have provided him an even greater opportunity to show the coaches what he can do. Broberg will shine in camp.

5. The verbal from the off-season by the coaches leads me to believe that Bouch is already trusted and I imagine that is going to develop positively this season. Bouchard is so hockey smart that, while he’ll make mistakes, he won’t make the same mistake twice (see Jones last season). He’s big and in great shape and he’s long and with his brain, defensive positioning and awareness will come quick. This player is going to be a star.

6. Human and Foegele are high end at being aggressive on the forecheck and winning puck battles and getting to the tough areas. Jesse and Kailer have some of those skills and will learn from these older players in that area. Can McLeod do the same? If so it will be massive for him and the team. Holloway is in the same mold and will arrive when it’s time. If Perlini could learn to play that way, he’ll earn a lot of money – I’m not so sure it’s in him.

8. Heartening verbal on Benson – here is hoping the coach is on the same page.

Randle McMurphy

Watcher of the Skies….McCurdy’s here!

Randle McMurphy

To infinity and beyond!