Sunday, November 26, 2006


It All Starts Now

Anyone who doesn't want to hear about Chris Pronger's return to Edmonton on Tuesday should probably ignore their televisions, radios, newspapers and computers over the next few days, because the items are already starting to roll in. In a new Globe & Mail article, Allan Maki goes to the source on Pronger, and that source is Mike Comrie. It's an excellent piece, with lots of tasty treats. While he's not overly critical of Pronger's handling of the situation, for example, he doesn't let him off the hook either:

Some of that toxin bubbled over soon after the Oilers lost the seventh game to the Carolina Hurricanes and Pronger's agent began making cryptic comments about his client wanting out "for personal reasons." Instead of standing up and explaining himself, Pronger skipped town and went on vacation. It was the wrong call.

Maki also reports on some of those bogeymen that are out there, fiendishly haunting the streets of Edmonton.

Gossip flowed; innocent bystanders were caught in the line of vile. There was talk of an extramarital affair, that Pronger had to leave Edmonton to save his marriage and family. Some suspected Pronger's wife, a native of St. Louis, Mo., couldn't take living so far north and issued an ultimatum. It was plausible, but not as juicy as a millionaire hockey player caught in a bad position.

Comrie endured much the same thing. There was speculation he had to be traded because he wasn't liked by his teammates and that he had indulged in an affair with a married woman. In the end, Comrie knew he had to leave even if it meant being hissed at by the same people who once cheered his every move.

Huh. Maki better watch himself. According to Kelly Hrudey, he should be "severely punished" for continuing to "perpetuate these stories."

My favorite bit, however, comes from the mouth of Mike Comrie himself.

"Half the reason they boo you is that they take it personally. They're passionate and they pay their money and buy tickets. But to be honest, it's a lot of propaganda in Edmonton."

By propaganda, Comrie meant the Oilers will always be revered while any player who asks for more money, holds out or demands a trade will be tarred and feathered...

I like this bit because Maki actually has to explain Comrie's statement about "propaganda." And the end result is that what Comrie means is that Oilers fans are, shockingly, fanatical about their team. Wow. That must be a complete anomaly in the sports world (I bet they've never thrown batteries at their own players or cheered a guy getting his neck broken in Philadelphia, or made up shirts in Boston saying an opposing player has AIDS, for example). Who knew? Well, I guess Comrie didn't, and based on past complaints, I guess Chris Pronger didn't either. They're probably going to be unhappy when they come to Edmonton, as I doubt the "propaganda" (read well placed, and sometimes ill-placed, passion) will ever go away. But they should be happy playing the rest of their careers in Anaheim and Phoenix. Very few people there will care to know who they are, let alone criticize and judge them for anything they do on or off the ice.


You know a much a happier list would be players who left the team without leaving a bad taste within the mouth of fans. "Oh yeah I remember that guy... Such a shame..."

Agreed. It would have been a good counter. Fans will stick with players through everything, too. Curtis Joseph, Doug Weight and Le GG come immediately to mind, as far as Oilers are concerned.

The oilers are proof that fans cheer for the laundry, not the names.

Though, I suppose one could argue that the reason the laundry is so revered is because of some of the names in the past.

Both CUjo and Weight were booed mercilessly in their returns. There are still Oilers fans out there who think that they betrayed the team.

I'm not one of them, I'm just saying. I also think Comrie has more than a little bit of a point on the propaganda.

"I should have come out and said, 'I'm not happy.' That was my mistake — not talking," he acknowledged. "I was waiting for a trade, then things escalated. It was a hard situation with a lot of drama that wasn't really needed."

Comrie forgets that if he has to explain why he wasn't happy, I'm pretty sure that phrases like "The Oilers didn't think I could be a number one centre on a contender" come into play. He's sure carrying Phoenix these days.

Comrie did the Oilers a huge favour by sulking and asking for a trade. You remember that he was on the 4th line with BG in his last playoff series as an Oiler and what kind of a future did he have as an Oiler anyway? This was about the time when the Oil decided that they were only gonna pay the big coin to guys who could outscore the other team's big line OR drive the PP results. Mike Comrie was the first casuality of that war.

What chokes me about that deal today is that Lowe turned down Corey Perry becuase he didn't want to give Comrie his way and instead settled for Jeff Woywitka. And if anyone believes that Jeff was the turning point in the Pronger deal they should just drink about 30 beer.

Lowe put the screws to Comrie locale wise and fucked the Oilers in the process. Of course later on he would deal Pronger in the West and in return receive an 11 year old defenseman and Bo Belinsky;)

What choked me about Weight was he left to go to a team that had shitty netminding so did he really think he was going to win there? It's one thing if he went to win but he went for money and just didn't come out and say it. Anyway...anyone else remember his first game back? 4-0 SO for the Oilers I believe. Hecht with a goal or two? I know it was a national game back when Sportsnet had the cable rights.

The whole Cujo thing reall ignited my hatred for all things Leaves. I of course was a hardcore Oil fan growing up but Dad was a TO fan and I'd cheer them in the playoffs when the Oilers weren't around. But when Joseph went there and all of Ontario and HNIC began tossing him off on a regular basis..that was the beginning for me. Plus he must've won like 8 times in the first 10 that he faced off against Edm so that didn't help.

To be fair to Dougie W., at the time St. Louis seemed to be that close to being a real Stanley Cup goaltender, and were there not some goalies on the market that year that St. Louis could potentially have signed?

But that's not really why I posted here. It's because I just had to share my laughter with you all that Mike Comrie, all these years later, is still spouting that "it's like Communism here" line. At least I'm not the only one who hasn't gotten over it.

That was supposed to be "Stanley Cup contender", not "Stanley Cup goaltender", obviously.

Was it a brain tumour, or did I not hear lustful booing when Mr. Janet Jones returned to Edmonton, at least at first.
Oilers fans are ingrates. That's what Comrie means. And he's right.
Not one fan would be expected to walk into the boss's office and accept LESS money than he thought he was worth. But we pile on every hockey player who ever wants what's coming to him. Andy Moog is on the bottom of that pile and on top is the entire season we sacrificed so the Mothers Theresa who "saved" the Oilers so they could be spared actually having to pay market value for their on-ice employees.
Next up: Ryan Smyth, who will be painted by a compliant media as "greedy," "unreasonable," and "disloyal" just before he's run out of town and into the arms of the Red Wings. Mark my words.

Cool, a anonymous poster =).

EDMONTON - All eyes were on Wayne Gretzky when he stepped onto his old home ice Wednesday night wearing the black and silver of the Los Angeles Kings. The sellout Edmonton crowd cheered and chanted his name and the four-minute standing ovation would have lasted longer if the announcer hadn't decided to seize the moment and start the national anthems while everyone was still on their feet. -Edmonton Journal, Oct. 20, 1988

Better go get an MRI done stat there, buddy.

It's true that we can be harsh on people that leave, but a) what die-hard sports town doesn't that happen in? and b) in most instances, it only lasts so long. The Comrie and Pronger cases are exceptional because the players made exceptionally bad calls in the way they communicated their desires.

Has anyone heard anything about the Anaheim goaltenders? Giguere is out with a broken finger, and it looks like Brysgalov (I KNOW I spelled that wrong) is out too, with an "unspecified injury". Why else would they start someone from TELKWA last night? Does anyone know what their net plan is for tomorrow night?

Does anyone know what their net plan is for tomorrow night?

Later today, TSN will announce that Anaheim will be going with no goalie for the rest of the season. As both Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer can play over 30 minutes a game, as well as walk on water, they will take over the Duck's tending duties.

Mike Wall was a pretty good WHL goalie... and his numbers in Portlant were excellent. I'm sure they'll be fine with him for a game or two. I'm guessing Giguere just tweaked his groin, but who knows.

Has anyone heard anything about the Anaheim goaltenders?

Anaheim has been tight-lipped about everything goaltending-related since playoffs last year.

Today's L.A. Times:

Giguere didn't offer specifics for his injury but said it isn't similar to the groin and hamstring problems that plagued him last season and that he's "99 percent sure I'm going to be playing in Edmonton" on Tuesday. The Ducks could also get Bryzgalov back by midweek.

Broken finger is what I heard for Giguere.

OK, this is jumping back quite a few posts...

What choked me about Weight was he left to go to a team that had shitty netminding so did he really think he was going to win there? It's one thing if he went to win but he went for money and just didn't come out and say it.

Doug Weight was traded to the Blues, and then he re-signed there. Besides, St. Louis consistently finished in the top four of the conference. The Oil at the time?...well, not exactly. Yet somehow he bolted for money over the chance to win? Somebody must have started on those 30 beer. :-)

- Rod

Rod, leave your witchcraft at the door. Logic is the devil's work!

While Weight was traded to the Blues, he was a restricted free agent at the time, meaning he and the Blues (and any other teams K-Lowe would have been looking at) would have had the chance to talk salary. Certainly, Weight could have scuttled a trade to another team by just saying he wouldn't sign with them.

Yes he could've and he did when he said the only teams he'd accept being traded to were the Blues and Wings.

I might have 10 beer in;) but even I can remember that..unlike Rod of course;)

And if anyone's won a Cup without great netminding, well outside of Det and Osgood in '98, then please let me know. Weight honestly didn't expect to win a Cup with the netminding the Blues had did he?

Hey Sarah,

Good ol' Telkwa, is about 10kms from Smithers, BC. Smithers is quite a little hockey haven. The Watson boys are form there, Ron Flockhart, Dan Hamhuis, and now MIke Wall.

OH wait, that's Pronger's team.

Telkwa sucks!

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