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Friday, March 31, 2017

SCRUFFY'S THIS 'N THAT

Welcome to Friday! Here are the usual weekly thoughts running through my muddled mind, and as always they come in no particular order.

-- When I watched the Edmonton Oilers lose to the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 7 of the 2006 Stanley Cup final, I had no idea what was about to happen. Either did many other Oiler fans!  The decade of disaster was beginning.

862 games, and 177 players later it is over as the Oilers are heading back to the playoffs.  Yes, myself and many others never gave up, but damn it was tough to see one bad team after another get iced. How did we do it? How did we manage to stay with this team through one horrid season after another.

While he gets lots of credit, Connor McDavid doesn't get all the credit.  As 630 CHED's Brendan Ullrich told us on the Sportscage Wednesday, while many like Todd McLellan and Peter Chiarelli are to get a pat on the back, the credit has to lie at the feet of  Bob Nicholson.

The chairman of the Oilers Entertainment Group had a vision.  Yes, having four ping-pong balls bounce your way on a Saturday night in June of 2015 to land a once-in-a-lifetime player helped immensely as well, but Nicholson had a plan. One that was perhaps accelerated greatly after that June night. It involved Peter Chiarelli, it involved Todd McLellan and once he became theirs, it involved Connor McDavid.

Nicholson knew what Chiarelli could do and he quickly grabbed him. Chiarelli went out and got McLellan. He then went out and convinced Milan Lucic to be a part of what was about to happen, he made what at the time was the unpopular trade of Taylor Hall and he also grabbed Cam Talbot. He took a chance on Mark Letestu, he took a chance on Drake Caggiula, he hoped Oscar Klefbom could develop and he resisted the urge to trade Ryan Nugent-Hopkins or Jordan Eberle while stealing Patrick Maroon from Anaheim.  He then allowed McLellan to do his thing, and do it he has.  McLellan has been through this before with the San Jose Sharks.  Those teams never got to the Cup final despite having all the talent in the world. Those Sharks didn't have McDavid.

I don't know who Edmonton will play in the 1st round and they may not win a game once the playoffs hit, but the vision and the plan is there.  For Oilers fans like this blogger, we can forget about the past decade and concentrate on what will perhaps be ten years of triumph.  It will never be like the Gretzky, Messier, Coffey, Fuhr days, but damn it is nice to know that once the quest for the Cup starts, the Oilers will be involved.  

-- The Regina Pats are headed to the 2nd round.  I don't think that will surprise anyone, but did the ease of the four game sweep surprise you. Admittedly, it did to me.  That being said head coach and GM John Paddock and assistant coach Dave Struch are keeping this team grounded by saying they haven't been impressed. Has Calgary been that bad if Regina hasn't been good?  I guess we will find out in the 2nd round.  If Regina didn't play their best, they now go into the 2nd round having won I believe 12 straight. Not too shabby! How much fun will it be now with either Swift Current or Moose Jaw in Round 2.  I see that series going 7.

-- Is there a faster player than Austin Wagner in the Canadian Hockey League?

-- It was great being able to hear Peter Loubardias do the play-by-play of a hockey game again this week. Yes, I'm biased because he is a good friend of mine, but he should still be doing play-by-play in the NHL. His talents are being wasted. Considering what he went through last year, it makes it all that much more special.

Shaw's Darren Dupont
-- I don't know what Saskatoon-based Darren Dupont is getting for mileage, but with all the TV work he does outside Saskatoon, he must be in another tax bracket than I am.  I won't even comment about his well-coiffed lid!

-- The signing of Tyson Jost by the Colorado Avalanche was a surprise.  The Avs now can keep him or send him to the Pats who have his rights. A year in Regina playing alongside Sam Steel, Nick Henry, Jake Leschyshyn and others might be better than playing with what will be a bad Avalanche team.  I am guessing John Paddock will be getting on the phone to speak with Joe Sakic and the Avs soon if he hasn't already.  I also wonder if the signing was an indication he wants to come after a season at North Dakota.

-- Don Nachbaur stepped down as the coach of the Spokane Chiefs on Thursday.  I may be wrong with this one, but did all WHL teams end the year with the same coach they started with? If that is the case, I can't remember a season where that happened.

-- The Blue Jays are back in Montreal this weekend. The love for the game in the city will be showcased again as Toronto finishes off its pre-season against Baltimore. For a while on Wednesday, many got excited when word came out that a group of investors had met the conditions MLB needed for a team. That excitement was doused by both Mayor Denis Coderre and one of those investors who said while some of the conditions were met, there was still a long way to go. I've said it before,  and I'll say it again. Montreal deserves another MLB franchise. The way the old Expos went out was criminal. It will happen, and when it does the team will thrive.  It would seem as if TSN would be a logical television partner which would be huge for the franchise and the sport as a whole.

-- What would be your first clue that Flames forward Matt Tkaczuk is Keith's kid. He is going to have a prominent role in "The Battle of Alberta" over the next few years meaning I will hate this kid soon.

-- The commercial featuring the guys playing pond hockey and then enjoying a nice cold glass of milk can go at anytime! If last night was its last airing, I'm OK with that!

That's all I got.  Have a great weekend!

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

With you on the milk ad! So bad!

Anonymous said...

To much hockey talk for me. I will return at a later date. Time for hockey fans .

Anonymous said...

Seriously listen to yourself Scruffy...Paddock has no role in what the Avalanche decide to do for Jost, Sakic would straight hang up the phone on a Junior team requesting services from a possible player on there roster. I seen video of Jost joining his first avs practice and he is very very excited so if he can stick staying in the NHL with the Avs you bet he will...just like any other hockey player would choose to play in the NHL to the WHL.

Anonymous said...

The Tyson Jost comments are so inaccurate and uneducated.

I can guarantee the Pats weren't any part of his consideration when signing with the Avalanche. I would be quite certain that being offered an NHL contract along with the opportunity to get into game action now and earn a big league wage was the motivation to sign.

If Jost is good enough to play and help the Avs he will stay there. Period. The Avalanche do not give a good god damn that the Pats are hosting the Memorial Cup. If they feel he is close and is best served playing in the American Hockey League that's where he will play.

The same applies to Sam Steel. If he continues to play at this incredible pace and is good enough to help the Ducks roster he will stay there. They won't sacrifice their team because the Pats are hosting a junior tournament.

Anonymous said...

Reginans just can't get it through their thick skulls... Jost Left UND to play PRO hockey, the Avs are in total rebuild mode Duchene and Landeskog will be gone in the summer. In the event he doesn't make the big club out of camp he will be sent to San Antonio because he is eligible to play in that league, the pats are not in the plans.

Anonymous said...

Wait and see losers, wait and see!

Devo said...

To the "uneducated" comment and "San Antonio" comments above...I will educate you on Jost's situation. He is either with the Avs or the Pats next season. He is only 18 years of age and is ineligible to play in the AHL. Youngest you can be is 20 years of age, it's either NHL or junior at that age. You're welcome.

Devo

Anonymous said...

Hilarious to see some schlub post about inaccurate and uneducated comments go on to post inaccurate and uneducated comments himself.

Jost was drafted out of the BCHL which means he cannot play in the AHL until he is 20. So if the Avs think he needs more development or don't want to burn a year off his entry level contract at the age of 19 then he will play for the Pats. NOT the AHL. The Avs are going to suck next year, too. Does it make sense for the Avs to burn a year off the guy's entry level contract when it's not like he's going to turn the team around?

Same with your comments for Steel. Lets say Steel is NHL ready and is deemed good enough to be on the Ducks next year. That's not the only consideration: is it more beneficial for Steel's long term development to play 8 minutes a game on the 4th line OR play 20+ minutes per game on a top team and get more big game experience with Team Canada at World Junior's AND a guaranteed appearance in the Mem Cup? This also would mean not burning a year of his entry level contract at 19.

Lots of things to consider, and you clearly considered few of them.

So worry about your own inaccurate and uneducated statements.

Anonymous said...

Tyson Jost can unequivocally not play in the American Hockey League next year.

Denver, Regina or Penticton

Anonymous said...

I agreee. He can't play in the Ahl! If he stays with the Avs so be it!

Anonymous said...

I'll bet ya 1k that steel is here next year

Anonymous said...

No WHL coaches were let go this year.

Anonymous said...

Tyson Jost will be just fine where he is now...in centre on the second line with Duchene and Landeskog on the wing

Anonymous said...

WRONG...

Anonymous said...

He 19 smart guy

Anonymous said...

AHL bylaws state the minimum age of eligibility is 18 on or before Sept 15 of that season. You better go educate yourself some more. And he's 19.

Anonymous said...

Jost is staying with the Avs from here on so get over it...Regina will never see him now.

Ryan Gibney said...

That's a false statement.Depends where the player was drafted from. See: Sonny Milano

Ryan Gibney said...

Being drafted from junior a and not the whl is exactly why he can play in the ahl next year