Friday, August 21, 2009

The silence is over, but the questions continue

Dany Heatley has spoken and as expected, his words didn’t move mountains.

The City of Champions was not an option for Heatley because “it was the only option,” he said during a teleconference call today.

Are you scratching your head right now after reading that? Edmonton wasn’t an option because it was the only option? What?

That’s like an airplane pilot opting to sit in his chair and give up, even though pressing the eject button is his only option before it crashes.

“This has nothing to do with Edmonton, this has everything to do with options,” said Heatley who refused to answer why Edmonton wasn’t a good enough fit.

Heatley confirmed Edmonton wasn’t on his list of his preferred teams even though Edmonton was the only team publicly interested in the 50-plus-goal scorer.

“I thought we has some good talks with (Steve Tambellini and Kevin Lowe), but we (Heatley and his two agents) wanted options, said Heatley.

“I needed options in order to make the right decision.”

Heatley says he maintained his silence since news broke about his trade request from Ottawa because he never wanted to make his request public.

(Actually he was told to talk to the media before he laces up at the Hockey Canada Olympic orientation camp in Calgary Monday)

And Heatley says he wanted out of Ottawa because he wants to be an “integral” part of the Ottawa Senators, something he feels has “diminished” since he inked his name to a contract two years ago.

“I regret the way it’s been this summer. It’s been a tough summer. It hasn’t been fair, especially to Edmonton and Ottawa but that’s the way it went,” said Heatley.

No it hasn’t, especially in Edmonton.

Fans here still don’t know why Edmonton is not a destination for superstars. It’s a city where hockey fans have had their hearts broken over and over again every summer.

They’re tired of the Prongers, the Nylanders, and now the Heatleys.

If a player doesn’t want to be in Edmonton, or wants out of Edmonton, he should show some balls and explain why the city isn’t the right place. Or why the team is not the right fit.

That’s all we want to hear. Be honest. Tell us Edmonton is a shithole if that's the reason you don't want to stay or come here.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cogliano's days are numbered in Edmonton

Andrew Cogliano has the potential to be a future star in this league, but he won't be shining in Edmonton, suggests Oilers Nation blogger Jonathan Willis this week.

It’s a pretty damn good argument about a great draft pick by the Oilers.

Willis says Cogs has a gift when it comes to his offensive skills and speed. Cogs also has some work to do on the defensive side of the game, but he’s still young.

The only thing that is holding Cogliano back from turning into a power player for the Oil, says Willis, is his lousy stats when it comes to face-offs and the centre position is absolutely flooded right now with depth. This is a strong reason why Cogliano isn't a strong fit in Edmonton, suggests Willis.

Willis is very accurate. Shawn Horcoff is going to be around for the next six seasons as Edmonton’s top line or second line centre. And Sam Gagner is going to be a future top line centre within a year or two.

Cogliano, with all of his talent, is not an ideal candidate for a third or fourth line player up the middle.

Putting Cogliano on the right wing position would also cause some challenges for head coach Pat Quinn, but forget about left wing — it’s been reported that Cogs feels too uncomfortable with the position.

And let’s not forget about the other future guys up the middle like Gilbert Brule, Rob Schremp if he actually has a good training camp this season, Marc Pouliot, and Ryan Potulny.

Then there’s Anton Lander who the Oilers picked in the second round during the draft this summer. The Swedish centre played for Tirma in the Swedish Elite League where he scored 10 points in 47 games as a teenager with his younger linemate and fellow Oilers first round pick, Magnus Paarjvi-Svensson.

As Willis suggests, Cogliano is a good player for the Oilers only on a short-term basis, but he’s ideal for trade bait and that’s exactly what Steve Tambellini did by using Cogs to lure Dany Heatley from Ottawa.

It’s too bad for such a player that has such promise in the NHL, but it must happen. Staying in Edmonton would only hinder Cogliano’s development.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Heatley saga is over, Tambo. Now go and enjoy your summer

Say it ain’t so, Steve.

You say it’s finally over between the Edmonton Oilers, the Ottawa Senators, and disgruntled hockey star Dany Heatley in working out a deal.

But, Steve, why give up now?

You and Kevin Lowe only paid Heatley a visit at his summer home once in Kelowna to convince him to play for the copper and blue. That wasn’t so successful.

Your rich boss paid cash to send someone to his summer home a few weeks later to deliver him a special video package of how great the Oilers really are.

Now all of a sudden you announce your decision to throw in the towel yesterday.

Why not keep trying? Why not send some Edmonton women his way? You know — those women that you see along 118 Avenue.

Your boss has a lot of cash. Why not send a Hummer or a high priced vehicle his way?

Heck. Why not put on a French maid dress and clean up his summer home? That right there would convince him to come to Edmonton.

Give me a break.

Trying to swing a trade for a guy who wants out of his town because he doesn’t like his ice-time is one thing. Trying to play desperate to get him is another.

Meanwhile, the only thing that has been upgraded with this team is your coaching staff and your goaltending situation so far this off-season. Kudos to you on that.

While you were begging, you and your crew lost one of your only two players who was over 50 per cent on the faceoff circle in Kyle Brodziak. Then you lost Ales Kotalik to the Rangers.

The offence really didn’t upgrade, in fact, it's a step backwards. Don't forget, this is the same team that has missed the playoffs three years in a row and it's the same offence that produced little on the faceoff circle, which led to an atrocious powerplay and penalty kill last season.

We also remember that "culture change" speech the day you announced Craig MacTavish was no longer head coach for the copper and blue. What you have done so far this summer isn't much of a culture change when it comes to your offence.

Now, here we are in August — the peak when it comes to the dog days of summer. You more than likely don’t want to be by your phone. You probably want to hang out in your summer cottage somewhere, like everyone else does in the league.

Enjoy your summer, Steve. Relax and take it easy.

After all, your going to need it come October, or later in the year when the Oilers miss another round of playoffs.