Wednesday, July 29, 2009

It's all uphill from here for Dustin

It was a deal to dream about in Edmonton after a rotten season. At least according to many, and I mean many, fans of the Oilers.

You’ve heard the talk before.

“You mean we have to give up a promising young hockey player, a dependable defenseman and a sack of hockey pucks for a guy like Dany Heatley? That’s fucking awesome, eh!”

Yeah, well it didn’t happen. Andrew Cogliano was left wondering where he was going to play come training camp.

There’s also Ladislav Smid who was probably thinking the same thing at his summer home in the Czech Republic or wherever he hangs out during the off-season.

Then there’s Dustin Penner. Need I say more?

Penner, who was scorned by fans and Craig MacTavish all season long, had a lot of expectations ever since Kevin Lowe stole him from the Anaheim Ducks.

Well, it wasn’t quite a steal. It was more like a hostile takeover as Lowe signed the restricted free agent to a five year $21.25 million offer sheet back in July 2007.

It was a big salary for a guy who only had one good season — something Oiler fans will never forget.

Ever since he was signed as an Oiler, Penner has done it all for the copper and blue. He’s played on the first line one night, played on the fourth line another night, and then he watches a few games from the press box. Maybe he had to diversify to earn his annual $4.25 million.

Penner was the Tin Man and Fat Albert all rolled into one in Craig MacTavish’s eyes, and everybody knew about it.

The coach would lash out by saying Penner had no heart on the ice and the fact that he’s a lard ass.

Ah, memories.

With training camp only a month or two away, could it get any worse for Penner? Maybe not.

MacTavish is gone. Pat Quinn and Tom Renney are in. And new coaches could mean a new outlook for the troubled left-winger.

Penner might also play like a man on a mission each game as he may have something to prove to Oiler fans and to prove how wrong MacT was in lashing out at him.

Who knows? But he does have 4.25 million reasons to not suck down pop and inhale cheeseburgers this summer. Everyone in the City of Champions knows that.

Monday, July 27, 2009

You were screwed by Heatley. Now show some balls!

Getting a massive coaching team assembled was a step in the right direction this summer for the Oilers and so was the move to solidify its goaltending situation for at least the next three to five years.

Locking Denis Grebeshkov to a one-year $3 million contract was also a smart move.

But acting desperate to lure a malcontent hockey star all summer long is embarrassing.

Dany Heatley obviously doesn’t want to play here, nor does he want to play with his teammates in Ottawa.

Heatley wants to be with a contending hockey team, a team like the San Jose Sharks where GM Doug Wilson wants to make a major shakeup with his roster.

His mind is set and his silence says it all. Heatley hasn’t gone public about his actions up to this point because he’s scared about pissing off Canadian hockey fans, especially in Alberta.

But Kevin Lowe, Steve Tambellini and company are obviously not good at taking any hints and they should have bruises on their knees with the amount of begging they have done this summer.

Flying to Kelowna to Heatley’s summer home was fine to avoid a looming deadline back in July 1, but to pay someone money to deliver a video package last week to his agent is absolutely absurd.

The video was supposed to show off players like Ales Hemsky and Sam Gagner, according to Dan Barnes with the Edmonton Journal last week.

That same DVD is more than likely unopened as it continues to sit on Heatley’s kitchen counter.

He probably hasn’t had time to watch it. He’s too busy riding his motorboat in the Okanagan or he’s too busy shooting hockey pucks into an empty net in his backyard.

They would have been better off sending the 40-plus goal scorer a soother with an Oilers logo on it.


Instead of begging, Tambellini should ring him out in front of the press. Show some balls for Pete’s sake.

This player has strung along two NHL teams. He demanded a trade, but he has a list of preferred teams like a six-year-old’s Christmas wish list for Santa.

And guess what? Edmonton is not on his list.

Fans are fed up about the saga, so after trying to please a spoiled rotten NHL superstar, it’s time Tambellini should go to the fans and say “we’re sorry we couldn’t lure Heatley, and here’s why…”

There are other teams out there looking to unload talent because of the salary cap and the economic situation. Why focus on one player this whole time?

Time to move on.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Time to stop the shit from hitting the fan

Things haven’t been brewing that much at all in the Oil Patch and, quite frankly, there’s a bunch of cobwebs still inside the patch ever since Pat Quinn and company were hired. That was a long time ago.

A lot — and I mean a lot — has happened to me personally in the last little while, however.

My wife and I lost our condo to a flood three months ago and we are still trying to get back into it.

I lost my media job, I am contemplating another career path and I feel like shit is really starting to hit the fan in my life. And when I mean shit, I mean elephant shit.

I haven’t been interested in tapping anything on my computer or publishing anything since I was let go from Metro in their last wave of downsizing — it’s been tough.

And just when Steve Tambellini might cheer me up in luring a superstar in Danny Heatley, another selfish player decides the City of Champions is not a destination to play hockey. Same old story over and over again.


I feel like I have just been shit-rolled on Whyte Avenue or kicked in the groin continuously by a group of angry teens.

But now it’s now time to get on my feet and I have just decided to do just that tonight. Maybe this blog will go somewhere or it will take me in a new path? Who knows?

I just hope you read it and maybe telling others about it.