Monday, June 26, 2006

Love will tear us apart


I'm such a sad little man.

Last night I had another Stanley Cup Finals dream, where, for some reason, the Oilers have only just won game 6 and there's still hope in Game 7. It's the type of recurring dream I've had since I was kid, right up there with the one where my teeth keep falling out, and it's the only anxiety dream where waking up actually makes things worse.

The road salt sprinkled into this still-festering wound, of course, is a week from hell: Chris Pronger wants out, and every team in the Northwest gets a little better in collusive draft day deals meant to ensure that the Oilers never emerge from the Northwest ever again.
Talking to the Edmonton Sun, apropos of a possibly scuttled Ottawa deal, Kevin Lowe said that "when the request was made, the No. 1 choice was a team south of the border" which pretty much killed my favourite "personal reasons" theory in which Pronger has a nutjob girlfriend in Edmonton that he's trying to escape at any cost, and therefore any city. Nope, Pronger wants to be closer with his wife, the big baby.

Unfortunately for us, if Pronger gets his way we're pretty much looking at the Central Division, which features some of the worst teams in the NHL that also happen to be in the Western Conference. Using my handy and horrendously crude "Chris Pronger on the Move!" map, seen above, I've drawn a loose 600 miles radius around the home of Lauren Pronger. I've kept the circle slightly closer to the Eastern seaboard and well away from the Minnesota Wild, a division rival that we have to play eight times a season.

What sucks is that most of these teams, except
Detroit, don't have a 2007-ready stud worth trading for, and the Wings already have signed Nik Lidstrom. And as nice as a Seabrook and a Cam Barker package may be, the Oil will need a decent player in 2007, not 2010. As far as great players go, Columbus has Rick Nash, with a GM dumb enough to go for the deal. Otherwise, it would likely have to be a sensible package of top shelf prospects and up-and-coming players, which would do nothing to fill the gaping hole on our already-thin defence.

Of course, teams like the Rangers and Philly might be close enough, and even a Norris-winner like Pronger would be pressing his luck if he didn't accept a trade -- I guess I just wanted to PhotoShop Chris Pronger with love hearts on a map, really.

Speeds over at
Irreverent Oil Fans has a better run down of possible Pronger trade bait, with the Flyers being the front-runners (Clarke is looking for a defenceman and doesn't mind spending tomorrow's money on yesterday's success, although the salary cap is an issue). There's also horrible rumours of Pronger for the Leafs' Kaberle and Alexander Steen, which makes me want to puke in my boots -- Kaberle is obviously no Pronger, and we have plenty of guys who score less than 20 goals, thank-you very much. Phoenix is interested (Shane Doan, Keith Ballard?) but does that really get Pronger much closer to his beloved, Edmonton-hating wife?

Guh, this is depressing.

34 comments:

Andy Grabia said...

Would you ever sleep again if by some chance what's-his-face ended up in Carolina? I wouldn't, though I wouldn't mind getting my hands in Eric Cole. Too bad he is probably untouchable, now. The Canes were willing to move him a year ago.

Paul O-the O stands for Sports said...

I keep wondering how much this move has to do with the fact the Lauren Pronger and the kids probably feel like landed immigrants in this country.

Alex said...

I don't see why everyone is acting like we have to send Pronger where he wants to go. He doesn't have a no trade clause. I say trade him wherever the best offer is, not where Lauren wants to live.

As far as the rest of the division getting stronger... here is something to look at:

First, Calgary now has a decent offence. Not an amazing offence, and not quite as good as the Oilers even with Tanguay.

Second, Vancouver got Luongo but they lost Bertuzzi (who could still be a 90 point scorer again) and likely Jovanovski as well. Whether Vancouver is stronger is still up for debate as far as I'm concerned.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Lidstrom is still negotiating... But the chances the Wings will let him go, or trade him for Pronger are next to nothing. I'd love to see him in the Wild though... It'd suck for you guys, but it'd be a good step in that teams development.

Anonymous said...

Greensboro? Ah so your trying to fit the Hurricanes inside your 600 mile radius of love. So would you take Jack Johnson? Think of it, you have a Pronger who doesn't wish to make Edmonton his home and we have the rights to the next coming of Scot Stevens, who for some reason doesn't wish to play for the Stanley Cup Champs or is unwilling to leave the University of Michigan. I say you should send him to Chicago. The Blackhawks have a nice collection of up and coming blueliners, none of them with Pronger like studliness of course but you might make a 3 or 4 for one swap. Better yet Pronger goes to a team with zero upside.

Matt said...

That's a fantastic Photoshop, sir. Even in grief, Still Got It.

Colby Cosh said...

I wouldn't, though I wouldn't mind getting my hands in Eric Cole.

Lemme guess--this is from your other weird dream about the finals.

Anonymous said...

For sure this is not about Pronger anymore or it shouldn't be...I think there is/was a girlfriend...and he was given one choice by his wife...you are leaving this town!!

Send him where we can get some players...not where he is closer to family...

Kevin knowns the story...the reasons...the mess it has caused...let Pronger sit for sometime...make him pay...

An agent made this announcement on the eve of the draft...the only time for awhile that ALL GM's will be under roof...make the trade nice and easy...

BAH

The ball is in the Edmonton Oilers court...it would have put alot of egg on Pronger's face had he still had to say he wanted to be traded...after winning the Stanley Cup...

This is because an ultimatum was made to Pronger...your family or divorce...I am more than sure of this

Andy Grabia said...

They can't really trade Pronger wherever they want, because the teams on the other end of the deal will want to be assured that he will report. Although really, who else other than the Blues can be assured that he will report? The guys credibility has gone right out the window. I can only imagine the locker room talk.

Anonymous said...

...JOY DIVISION!

Anonymous said...

Hmm I don't think that his character is questionable to anyone...I mean I am sure all of them are thinking Yah Edmonton hick town why would you want to play there...I bet most of them are thinking the Prongers would love it anywhere else but Edmonton...and probably USA

IF we had won the cup for sure people would question his actions but being that we came *sob* that close...I don't think what others think of him has changed at all...I think they see a great hockey player...and lets try and sign him

I just think there should be some punishment from all this

Laforge said this...

"He was a star player who I think genuinely loved playing here. He signed a five-year deal with us. He pursued it. He wasn't one of those new NHL free agent off-season signings. He only had a year left on his deal and we re-upped it to five at his request. We didn't push him into servitude. He wanted long term. He wanted stability. He wanted Canada."

This whole deal was all about him...what HE wanted...and he got it...and now HE screwed up somewhere..so why should we have to pay? I know I know there maybe aren't alot chopping on the bit..but the Oilers should get some gratifaction from this...it was a bloomin' contract made special for him...and this ticks me off the most...

I don't believe any story about his wife hating anything...there are a kazillion ways of keeping the family together and happy...she did marry a sports figure after all...unless she is a complete idiot that thinks trades aren't part of the NHL...she is not the only hockey wife who has had to deal with living in another city...another country...

Laforge again...

"We'll certainly look around because the request was made but we're certainly not going to knee-jerk to anything. We'll do it, as we always have, if it's in the best interest of the hockey club. It's just tough to accept, tough to take."

He is the loser not the Oilers...and they shouldn't have to pay

Anonymous said...

fuck pronger man, if we can get rick nash or kovalchuck or havlat then i will be happy.

Doug said...

wasn't the Joy Division post title supposed to go with the picture of the noose?

Pleasure Motors said...

The Blackhawks have a nice collection of up and coming blueliners, none of them with Pronger like studliness of course but you might make a 3 or 4 for one swap

Kind of like we did when we swapped Brewer, Lynch and Woywitka for Pronger last year? How did that work out for St. Louis, by the way?

Since this isn't a salary dump, we need players who can play now. I'm not saying we sell the farm for 38-year-olds, but at the very least one or two guys who were legitimate candidates for the all-star team last year, and who'd be likely to stick around for a few years before bolting as free agents (assuming this is what free agents do to the Oilers). I still like a potential Philly scenario, though what some people have suggested about Florida (Bouwmeester/Van Ryn, though I don't see it happening) or a top forward (Nash and Hossa have come up) is palatable too. We start trading for prospects, though, and we get back to the unending rebuilding phase we just sort of broke out of.

Michael Turner said...

"As far as great players go, Columbus has Rick Nash, with a GM dumb enough to go for the deal."

I think if Doug MacLean went and pulled a stunt like that, you'd see rioting down in Nationwide Arena. Nash is pretty much the face of the Blue Jackets and is our biggest draw, in large part because he's our first ever team superstar in the young history here. To trade him off for Pronger -- even if he is good -- would just be like ripping out the heart of Columbus and stepping on it.

Garnet said...

Yeah, I didn't figure Columbus would really go for a Nash deal. But fans can dream, can't they? 22-year-old scoring sensations may not be ready to lead a team to the Cup, but at least they don't tend to be married.

Anonymous said...

Looking at the possible destinations out east, I think that Buffalo could be a possible location for the love-sick sasquatch. They have a plethora of young forwards and a starting goalie rotting as a backup. I think a package that started with Biron, Vanek for Pronger could be a good move for the Oilers

Jes Gőlbez said...

You wouldn't be a true Oilers fan if you didn't bitch and moan and worry too much :)

The offseason is just getting started and the Canucks still have many of their own holes to fill. If they lose Jovo (likely), their defense is going to be really thin. Carter may get overpaid elsewhere, leaving the Canucks thinner up front. Sure, we got Luongo, but we also have an unhappy Naslund and a roster in a state of major flux.

The Oilers, if they trade Pronger, can get a pretty good return. They also have some room to get some free agent help and perhaps get Roloson under wraps.

As for Pronger himself, he has every right to want to play elsewhere. How would you plebians feel if you signed yourself to a 5-year contract and then, after one year, regretted doing so. I'm sure you'd just love working somewhere you didn't want to be for four more years. As long as Pronger doesn't pull a stunt of not playing, then he has every right to ask for a trade.

Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

I think Florida is out of the running unless Jovo is a sly fox which I doubt. He's not playing very coy about the fact that the Panthers are the frontrunners for his services.

TigerCheeks said...

Then you get Al Strachan chiming in again:
http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL/Edmonton/2006/06/27/1656079-sun.html

'notoriously subservient Edmonton media'

As opposed to the national 'this is the year for the leafs' camp. What a guy. I am sure K.Lowe is going to trade 'the Prong way' to Vancouver. Why not suggest Calgary as well?

Paul O-the O stands for Sports said...

Pat Morris was on the fan 590 yesterday and said that this move has nothign to do with the team, the fans or the city from Prongers perspective, but rather irreconsilable personal matters that will not allow him to play here another year.

you can listen to it here: http://www.fan590.com/features/hotaudio.jsp

Chris said...

If Calgary wanted to give use Reghier, Tanguay and several first round picks it wouldn't be terrible. I think I'd also laugh at Pronger being wanting to be moved and being moved all of 3 hours away.

Anonymous said...

Phoenix traded Mara, which I thought would be a nice piece, so I think they are out of the running. I still think maybe Florida is the destination. Keenan can land Pronger for 4 years and you know he loves Pronger. Pronger for Horton, straight up. Then sign McKee and Mitchell, or McKee and Spacek.

Jes Gőlbez said...

Thank the hockey gods that you did not get Mara. He's a chunkier version of Tom Poti.

Colby Cosh said...

How would you plebians [sic] feel if you signed yourself to a 5-year contract and then, after one year, regretted doing so. I'm sure you'd just love working somewhere you didn't want to be for four more years.

Prediction: within 24 hours, either Golbez or MC79 or Lyle Richardson will finally release the sphincter and write the words they've been aching to: "You know, when you think about it, Pronger is really the hero in all this."

mudcrutch79 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
mudcrutch79 said...

Prediction: within 24 hours, either Golbez or MC79 or Lyle Richardson will finally release the sphincter and write the words they've been aching to: "You know, when you think about it, Pronger is really the hero in all this."

Prediction: within 24 hours, the Edmonton Sun will announce that Colby will be teaming with ace reporter Graham Hicks to follow this story. A grainy videotape of Cosh and Hicks beheading Mike Comrie as they scream "Death to the infidels" and furiously produce copy condemning any hockey player with the temerity to not do as he's told will be released at this time.

Colby Cosh said...

"Do as he's told"? You mean "do what he signed a contract to do", right? Or maybe that's a meaningless distinction.

"Hey, duuuuude, Prongs is a maverick who refused to do what he was told. Anarchy rocks!"

mudcrutch79 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jes Gőlbez said...

Colby,

Pronger is certainly not a 'hero' in this, and handled the whole situation quite poorly. On the other hand, he's not your piece of meat (as much as you might be hungry for some beaver) or your slave. People quickly forget that players often have *Gasp* personal lives, needs, wants, and desires.

Colby Cosh said...

If expecting someone to meet freely accepted ethical obligations is "enslaving" them, then we're all slaves anyway. And if doing so is turning them into "meat", then sub specie aeternitatis we are all bratwurst. And we have no reason not to treat each other thus.

That's not how I see it, but I think I see the point you're really trying to make, if it's not presumptuous to say so. There still exists some non-zero possibility that Pronger has made reasonable, even heroic efforts to live up to his word. Despite a pattern of behaviour that (to me) permits summary judgment, we should allow for the possibility of a surprise. And some people, possibly including me at times, aren't doing a good job of that.

Scott Hennig said...

I still pray every night that Pronger will come back and explain that due to patchy cell coverage in Punta Cana, his agent mis-heard him.

"I clearly said to Pat: Sorry to do this to you, but could you call Kevin and let him know that I am not requesting a trade to a US team, because my wife's purse is too heavy due to your silly Canadian currency"

See I said "not"!

It could happen.

Anonymous said...

The rumor I hear (4th hand) is that Lauren is/was pregnant by a local media type.

Colby Cosh said...

No comment.