--Peter Chiarelli is gone and Oilers fans like me are rejoicing. However, the reality still is that Edmonton has the best player in the game, Leon Draisiatl and very little else. It's not going to get better overnight either. Chiarelli has destroyed the Oilers to a point Connor McDavid can't even get them to a level of competitiveness that is needed. McDavid stood up this week and said if players don't believe in what is going on, they should leave the room. That was followed by another dud against Detroit which was the final straw for Chiarelli. Was that a message?
With the Oilers sitting three points out of a playoff spot, there is still time, but time is running out. McDavid can't do it all, but he seemingly is. Where is the help going to come from and what is it going to cost them? Even if the Oilers do get their act together and they squeak into the playoffs, does anyone realistically think at this time they could beat the Flames or Jets in the first round. As much as I would love to see it, it won't be happening. That takes us to next year and there is only so much you can do. This team needs to succeed and succeed now so that the NHL's top player is not on the outside looking in again. Players need to come in and help not only the Oilers out, but McDavid out. Good luck to whoever is next in cleaning up the mess Chiarelli has left. Someone get a mop! Maybe two of them.
Someone asked me this week how I could be an Oilers fan. I gave him a strange look and said why not? I've been a fan of the team since they came into the NHL and I've been there for the good years. I'm not one of these guys who abandons a team because of performance. I stick with them thick and thin which makes the good times great. Calgary fans are enjoying the run they are on and they haven't had something like this since 04. I don't like the Flames, but their fans should enjoy what is going on much like Jets fans who have enjoyed the last couple of years after a few years of futility when they came back to Winnipeg. Hey, I understand when one has had enough, but I don't give up on my teams. God knows I would have given up on the Cubs a long, long time ago.
--David Rittich has had a better year in Calgary than what Mikko Koskinen has had in Edmonton. Both were relative unknowns at the start of the season and now both are the number one goalies for their respective teams. Will Rittich get a Koskinen-like deal in Calgary?
--While people complained about the KC/NE overtime game in the AFC Championship, why didn't anyone complain about the LA/NO overtime? Was it the fact the defence did what it was supposed to and got a stop leading to the offence getting the points needed or was it the Patriots hate that was out there. Would the complaining had been as loud if KC wins the toss and Patrick Mahomes takes it down the field? As stated earlier this week, there is nothing wrong with NFL overtime.
--While Saints fans are busy filing lawsuits demanding the NFL replay the final two minutes of the NFC Championship, one can only wonder what type of Pandora's Box would be opened if Roger Goodell said "What the hell---why not?" I thought Jays fans petitioning MLB saying everyone was biased against them because they were Canadian a couple of years ago was stupid. We have a new clubhouse leader.
--As for Goodell, grow a sack and face the music. The NFL admitted a mistake was made and a pass-interference call should have been made. There were reports a statement would be coming out on Monday acknowledging the mistake, but there has not been a peep from the league. Its as if they are expecting this to just blow over. Does Goodell really think he won't be put squarely on the hot-seat in Atlanta next week when he gives his "State of the League" address? C'mon Rog. Quit being a coward.
--Has a trade ever been made in the CFL to get a head coach? Paul Lapolice wants to come here, but the Bombers won't grant permission for the Riders to talk to him. If they offered a first round pick and a Canadian starter, would the Bombers go for it? Would the league go for it? Could the league even step in if they didn't like it?
--The talk of Mike Benavides as Riders HC scares me. Just sayin! At the end of the day, I still think Craig Dickenson is getting the job. I would expect an official announcement by the end of January.
--If Mike Reilly goes to BC or stays in Edmonton, will the Riders, REDBLACKS and Calgary get into a bidding war for Trevor Harris? Would Trevor Harris be the answer in Riderville? I would certainly take him over Jonathan Jennings and he is in my mind a more realistic option than Reilly. I guess as time goes on, we can't forget about Zach Collaros either. While a good portion of Rider Nation doesn't want to see Collaros on the field again after a dismal 2018, they also know they aren't the ones making that choice. Jeremy O'Day hasn't said the team is moving on from Collaros, but he hasn't said they aren't either. There is no way Collaros can come back at the price he was making last year and I am guessing he doesn't really want his pricetag to go down.
--Word is the Everett Silvertips had a deal in place to get Stelio Mattheos from Brandon at the trade deadline, but it fell apart at the last second. Mattheos would have made Everett a tough team to beat and I am guessing Brandon would have gotten a boat-load in return. One has to wonder what held things up.
--For the most part, Regina is a very knowledgeable hockey community and they know what is what when it comes to junior hockey. There are also some who have no clue. Those are the ones calling for Dave Struch and Brad Herauf to be removed from behind the bench of the Pats with John Paddock returning. WOW!!! Did those calling for that think this team was going to be able to make another championship run at the start of the season? Admittedly, I thought the Pats would have a few more wins that what they have, but I knew this was a team that wasn't going to be playoff bound unless every break went their way.
The trades that were made this year is to get this team back to a level where they can compete for a division title and more. Next year will be better, but whether or not its a team that can battle for a playoff spot isn't known. Have faith in what is happening. Oh yeah, John Paddock has no problems with what is happening either. If he doesn't, neither should you. Then again as we all know, someone has to be the whipping boy right?
--The WWE's Royal Rumble is Sunday. The Rumble is always great. Try and try as you might, you can't take the wrestling fan, whether it be the local stuff like High Impact Wrestling or the big guys, out of me.
--That's all I got. Have a great weekend!
(Follow Mitchell Blair on Twitter at @scruffyregina)