Monday, August 21, 2006

Gretzky unretires!

Or something.

Kind of a slow week in NHL news, unless you're
really interested in Evgeni Malkin's contract negotiations, which I'm not. Thing is, there's still a few drops of summer waiting to be sucked dry, so I can't feel too guilty for letting the odd blog post collect dust. However, I must admit that the tingling sensation marking the onset of "Hockey Fever" is beginning again, and I've been craving a good game of street hockey more than I should (in my teenage life, street hockey was one of the four pillars of my existence: the other three being, in no particular order, 1) staying up late to catch nudity on CBC Late Night; 2) blowing wads of cash on O'Ryan chips and Gatorade and 3) sneering as much as possible at my dad).

So yeah, I'm getting pretty hyped about hockey again, although for the Oilers this is the traditional "Cinderella Stanley Cup Finals team tanks the next season" season. Mindful of this, coupled with the Chris Pronger defection, The Hockey News has pegged the Oilers finishing 12th in the Western Conference, of course. I'm not reading much into this since Columbus, somewhat inexplicably, is predicted to be a playoff team in the eigth spot (led by Ty Conklin in net, I presume). In a way, it's almost a relief that the Oil aren't likely to be considered contenders; watching the Oilers scrape by and maybe fall ass-backwards into the playoffs is a perennial habit that I've actually grown used to and feel most comfortable with.

The one thing I regret about living in Toronto is that I won't be able to go and catch the Oilers training camp-related games, including the U of A rookie game, along with the three weeks of untelevised preseason matchups. So much stuff to look for! Will Mikhnov sign and be a top six forward? Will pronouncing the names "Daniel Tjarnqvist" and "Dan Hejda" make Rod Phillips into a quivering grand mal retard? How about Robbie Schremp? How many more puck bunnies can he add to his myspace profile as an Edmonton Oiler?

We'll find out in less than a month...

PS: The other night I was watching an old ESPN Classic game featuring the Oilers against the Kings, and I forgot all about those trendy loser Kings fans that suddenly started coming to Northlands in black jerseys. I know you turncoats loved Gretzky more than your own city, but exactly what was the connection between Bonnie Doon and LA, again? Nothing? Oh nevermind, YOU ANNOYING PEOPLE FROM THE 1980s!


Scarlett said...

Oil in 12th? This team just gets no respect. No one picked them to beat Detroit, San Jose or Anaheim last year. So yup, these "experts" are always correct!

Doogie said...

We sure showed those 80s fuckers, didn't we? We traded the entire Dynasty away for a used jock strap and a bag of FoxTrax pucks! Yeah, that learned 'em!

Wonder how many of 'em started wearing Rangers jerseys around 1992? That was effectively the 1990 champs minus Kurri, Ranford, and the Kid Line, anyway.

Chris! said...

Fuck, I miss O'Ryan chips.

Anonymous said...

August 21, Russian Hockey Digest: Separately from [the Malkin situation] two other Russian hockey powerhouses announced that they would sue the NHL clubs. Yuri Lukin, General Manager of Yaroslavl Lokomotiv spoke about two players who Loko has under contract:

"As for Mikhnov - it is a similar story. We will have identical reaction too; we will sue the Edmonton Oilers if they will sign him to a contract. As far as I know this hasn't happened yet. Alexei is in Kiev now, training with Sokol club. I had a conversation with him regarding the issue and he assured me he would send me a copy of the contract with the Oilers as soon as he signs it."

Anonymous said...

Still no Leetch, praise Jebus.

As for Mikhnov (?), why do the Coil share this delusion that somehow they are going to unearth some pot of gold in Europe? If young players in Europe are halfway decent they end up in Junior hockey, drafting them out of Europe comes with too much baggage. When has this "strategy" ever worked for us? Can anyone point to even one example?

Mikhnov = another underacheiving malcontent.

Just thought I'd spread some of my usual sunshine,


pikey78oil said...

good call on the o-ryan's chips...oh how i miss thee....i know you are most comfie with the oil falling bass ackwards into the playoffs, and given their aptitude for it, i'm beginning to think the Oil don't think they can make the playoffs unless they do that, so I think it's their comfort zone as well!!
now I want some o'ryans chips with their thick ridges and wonderful sour cream and onion or sour cream and bacon flavouring.....i guess I'll settle for a taquito

mike w said...

>why do the Coil share this delusion that somehow they are going to unearth some pot of gold in Europe?

Because this isn't some Swiss League Michel Riesen.

The Russian Super League is either the second or third best professional league in the world, depending on where you place the AHL. Mikhnov had a breakout season there (22 pts, 40 GP), so I think it's reasonable for Oil fans to have high hopes for the guy. I just wish he wasn't the only Russian on the team (ie. Bring back Ulanov!). If anyone has been overrated, it might be Robbie Schremp, with Pouliot not getting his due.

O'Ryan chips forever!

Loxy said...

They had that great Sour Cream version right?

Loxy said...

And Onion.

Sour Cream and Onion.


Chris! said...

As Pikey noted, they also had a sour cream and bacon flavour. that's what I think about when I think "O'Ryans." And I think that quite a lot. Like right now. With an orange and grape slushee.

Why the hell are you guys talking about hockey?

Colby Cosh said...

I don't see what's wrong with delicious Old Dutch brand potative-nutriment crisps. It says right on every box that they are endorsed by William Lyon Mackenzie King himself. You can keep your newfangled sweatshop biscuits composed of triglycerides and reconstituted rutabaga meal and whatnot.

Loxy said...

I think I probably ate those chips with a "swamp-water" Big Gulp. It always kinda came out tasting like orange though.

Anonymous said...

OK, so the russian super elite league is the 3rd best league in the world. And Miknov is the ...50th best player in that league? So that makes him what...the 1000th best player in the world? I'm still not getting the fuss. If he really wanted to be here he would have been investigating the charms of Bonnie Doon years ago.

And also no one has shown an example of the Coil drafting out of Europe and making the team. Hasn't happened, won't happen here.


Chris said...

Yea..the Oil have never drafted well out of Europe. You know those fellows called Jari Kuri, Essa Tikkanen were complete crap. While that kid Ales Hemsky putting up 80 points when he's 21, what's the fuss about some of these European talents? They all suck right?

Anonymous said...

Uhh, yeah I guess they're good, but never drafted out of Europe (except Kurri, 26 years ago!) so not really germane to my point. However I will concede that you have provided one example in the last quarter century, so I will alter my thinking on this issue.

My new revised theory is this "The Coilers drafting out of Europe never works EXCEPT once every 26 years."

I guess that means we're due right?


PS - This is not about hating European players (get serious), my point here is the Coilers dismal drafting record. If we can't scout/draft in our own backyard why does anyone expect drafting in Europe to be any different?

mike w said...

First off, admit that Mikhnov has put up better than average numbers in the Russian SuperLeague and he's worth a look.

Then addressing this absurd logic that we've never drafted well in Europe since the 1980s: does this mean that the Oilers, flush with a new, somewhat proven scouting staff, should fold up their tents and not bother? Nay, I say. NAaaaay.

Mikhnov is a wild-card, to be sure, but I don't think you could accuse anything but the most delusional Oilers fans for counting their chickens before they have hatched.

Anonymous said...