2009-10 Oilers Goats and Stars

bingofuel
September 30 2009 12:30PM

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It's become a tradition: every year at OilersNation (and at our sister sites FlamesNation and CanucksArmy), our writers and commenters pick their stars — that one player who they will praise without end no matter what — and their goats — their yearly whipping-boy; he who can do no good for the season.

And this season is no exception.

Your stalwart writers running the ship this year, Robin Brownlee, Jason Gregor, Jonathan Willis, Amber McCormick, bingofuel, and Wanye Gretz (who has already picked his star and his goat), have submitted their goats and stars for the 2009-10 Oilers hockey season. Who will you pick?

Jonathan Willis' Star and Goat

Star: Lubomir Visnovsky.

Visnovsky was Edmonton's best defenseman last year whn healthy, and he's the kind of player Pat Quinn loves.  If the powerplay turns around, Visnovsky will be a big part of it; if the team manages to score more goals five-on-five, Visnovsky will be a part of that too.  He was a star last season, and with good health should be more than that.

Goat: Nikolai Khabibulin.

I hope this prediction doesn't come true. I really, really do. There's just too many danger signs to pick someone else, though. He's 36 years old. He's been consistently injured pretty much every season since the lockout. Last time he signed a four-year contract, he stunk up the joint for the first two years, was mediocre in the third year, and came on strong in the fourth year - after management had gone out and spent money on a replacement.

Maybe things will be different this time. For the team to have success, they'll need to be.

Jason Gregor's Star and Goat

Star: JF Jacques

Sure, I could have picked one of the smurf-like forwards, who will undoubtedly outscore Jacques, but they are supposed to do that. Jacques will play in 71 games this year, and that will guarantee the Oilers will dress four forwards who are six feet or taller every game. Regardless of what system they play, they aren’t big enough upfront and having Jacques contribute every night will make a difference. He will be one of the few Oiler forwards to set career highs in goals, assists and points this year. I can’t see many guys matching that, so how can Jacques not be a star.

Goat: Marc Pouliot

If he is on the team, then I can’t see the Oilers improving. He doesn’t hit, he doesn’t check, he doesn’t score and I don’t think he thinks the game well enough to help the Oilers. Sure, he might go to another organization and score nine goals, which will have some Poulioholics whining that the Oilers gave up on another young prospect, but I will say good riddance if it happens. If Pouliot is on this team, they aren’t good enough.

Robin Brownlee's Star and Goat

Star: Mike Comrie

While it's a toss-up for me between Comrie and Patrick O'Sullivan, I'm going with MC because he's got a way of shoving it up the backsides of people who doubt him.

With all the bittnerness that accompanied Comrie's departure in 2003, he's got something to prove this time around. While I'm guessing he'll face a smattering of boos when he returns, fans being what they are, it won't be long until they're saluting him again -- with more than one finger.

Goat: Nikolai Khabibulin

Just a hunch, but The Bulin Wall had more bad seasons than good during his last contract before signing on with the Oilers for the next 17 years. Khabibulin, 36, is on the downside of his career and if he slips and a breaks a hip, it could get ugly in a hurry. With JDD as the back-up plan, what could possibly go wrong?

Amber McCormick's Star and Goat

Star: Ales Hemsky

Ales Hemsky. Over the past couple seasons he has surprised me. In 2006-07 I was always worried he was going to vomit going in circles around the net. Every season he takes more chances. Some work and some don’t but the hunger is there. I really think this is the season that will make him a star.

Goat: Dustin Penner

Without a doubt, Dustin Penner will reside in my dog house (and no, that’s no a euphemism for anything). There was a time when I forgave him for everything due to his purdy eyes but those days are far behind me. It will take a miracle and him giving up donairs cold-turkey to make me care about him again.

*Sidebar* I hate to admit this but I have a feeling Mike Comrie is hell-bent on making Edmonton eat its words. A lot of time has passed since he left in his huff and now he’s back with the Duff. Hometown pride is a powerful thing no matter how much you’re booed.

bingofuel's Star and Goat

Star: Nikolai Khabibulin

Knowing what little I do about hockey, and the scant few things I know about the Oilers, I'm going with the Bulin Wall for my star. The Oilers are well known for relying on very little other than their goaltender to scrape through games. I don't expect this year will be any different. Also, I just want to see how many boos and hisses I get for this one.

Goat: Steve Staios

I like Steve Staios. I have nothing against the man personally. He has lots of heart. But old, old balls. Staios will be inconsistent at best this year. At worst, the poor man will bust a hip. Hopefully he'll take a few opposing players out in the process.

The competition

You can also read about the competition's goats and stars:

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Bingofuel is the handsome cyborg who pulls all the levers behind the curtains of the OilersNation. When he isn't running the site, he's plugged into a wall socket, recharging. Or Brownlee and Wanye are playing "keep away" with him. He gets little to no respect.
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#101 Ender the Dragon
September 30 2009, 04:10PM
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Harlie wrote:

Stars: Penner, Hemsky Goats: Grebeshkov, Moreau

Ender the Dragon wrote:

Don’t equivocate. Pick one. Be a man.

Harlie wrote:

I’ve sired two kids and I keep them and my wife well fed and happy. That’s man enough in my books.

I'm just saying, that's the height of wishy-washy. If you're going there, why not just pick the defence for your star and the offense for your goat? You may as well cover all your bets, right?

Risk a little. When you win, win big. If you're picking Penner for star, stand by your boy. Hedging and cheering your intellectual profundity everytime Hemmer pots a point too is just so . . . so . . .

Anybody?

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#102 Alon
September 30 2009, 04:10PM
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@ Petr's Jofa:

No. If the Wall gets hurt he gets hurt, and I don't think getting hurt is a good reason to make someone a goat (unless their Marian Gaborik hurt). Especially in Bulins case where we knew what we were getting when we signed him.

If, the wall gets hurt, and JDD can't play worth a (insert your own word here) then that makes him the goat.

Like someone (Lowetide?) said our playoff hopes hinge on JDD's ability to hold the fort when Bulin is hurt. If JDD can't hold the fort (management thinks he can) that makes him a goat.

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#103 The Doc
September 30 2009, 04:11PM
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This was posted on the Uni Watch blog on ESPN.COM; does anyone know of further information on this.

• Nothing official yet, but a little birdie tells Uni Watch that the Oilers may redesignate their alternate throwbacks as their primary home uni in the near future. Stay tuned.

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#104 BUCK75
September 30 2009, 04:11PM
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Deep Oil is going to love this....CIT who helped finance Katz to buy the oilers is fighting off bankruptcy.

They are involved with a bunch of NHL teams - including the purchase of the Habs by the Molsons recently.

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#105 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
September 30 2009, 04:13PM
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@ Alon:

If his cap hit prevents us from making moves that would improve the team and he doesn't contribute enough to justify it, I'd say it's reasonable to call him the goat.

That's my reasoning behind picking Pisani.

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#106 Quicksilver ballet
September 30 2009, 04:14PM
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We'll soon find out if suggestions that Khabibhulin is the No.1 choice for goat this year but there's no way it will be allowed to get that bad......JDD could be No.1 much sooner than later.

Could have had Roloson for 2 yr/5 million...hope this Khabibhulin deal doesn't turn out to be another shinning example of poor management.

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#107 scorecoff hemmercules
September 30 2009, 04:21PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

hope this Khabibhulin deal doesn’t turn out to be another shinning example of poor management.

Isn't it already a example of poor management?? JW's reasons for picking him as goat are prime examples. 4 years to an inconsistant injury prone 36 year old in a market full of goalies.

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#108 I'm a Scientist!
September 30 2009, 04:33PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Could have had Roloson for 2 yr/5 million…hope this Khabibhulin deal doesn’t turn out to be another shinning example of poor management.

And then the only thing the Oilers would have done this summer is get rid of Brodziak and get a new coaching staff. We would have been screwed. At least they gambled a bit... I just hope it pays off.

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#109 BarryS
September 30 2009, 04:42PM
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Star : Oilers Team Goat: Oilers Team

Hockey is a team game, no one player wins the cup, no one player looses. Hint: Calgary beat the oilers one playoff even though oilers had over half a period and gretz and mess.

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#110 bingofuel
September 30 2009, 04:50PM
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@ ScubaSteve:

Similar content, yes, but different.. We'll definitely have some more roundtable content up before the puck drops on Saturday.

ALSO PAY ATTENTION EVERYONE IN EDMONTON: We're going to be rocking the first Oilers PPV game next Tuesday Oct 6 Nation-style at the Pint (10125 109 Street). Be there, or I'm changing my goat to YOU. Stay tuned for more details on that...

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#111 smiliegirl15
September 30 2009, 04:50PM
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apathetic

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#112 smiliegirl15
September 30 2009, 04:53PM
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smiliegirl15 wrote:

apathetic

in response to Harlie's question a page ago.

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#113 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
September 30 2009, 04:55PM
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BarryS wrote:

Hockey is a team game, no one player wins the cup, no one player looses. Hint: Calgary beat the oilers one playoff even though oilers had over half a period and gretz and mess.

In a perfect world, everyone works together and nobody can be blamed for a team's shortcomings.

Unfortunately, people can be blamed for not being team players and impeding the team's performance.

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#114 Alon
September 30 2009, 04:55PM
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@ Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things:

Man in my view, if Khabi can play 50-60 and put up slightly better numbers than Roli, he did what he's getting paid for. But You make a good point

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#115 Poo Czar
September 30 2009, 04:58PM
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@ Ender the Dragon:

Dude, you've used equivocate and profundity today! WORD BONER!

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#116 Jonathan Willis
September 30 2009, 05:05PM
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@ Tayranchula:

Offense-only player who has never eclipsed the 30-point mark and has off-ice issues?

Pass.

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#117 Jason Gregor
September 30 2009, 05:33PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Jason: “He will be one of the few Oiler forwards to set career highs in goals, assists and points this year. I can’t see many guys matching that, so how can Jacques not be a star.” Wow! Career highs for Jacques? That’s setting the bar high.

Hey Rueben, any guy who sets career highs is having a good year. And FYI, I sent this in to Bingofuel before the preseason, so I'm not jumping on the Jacques wagon.

I honestly don't know how many others will be able to set career highs. Ideally Gagner would, but the way he has looked so far it will be hard. O'Sullivan is another good canditate to set career highs, but I still think Jacques needs to make an impact for this team to improve.

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#118 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
September 30 2009, 05:44PM
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Looks like Baum rejected both the NHL and Balsillie's bids for the Coyotes.

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#119 socaldave
September 30 2009, 05:45PM
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I think Horcoff, if he doesn't take SEVENTEEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY-SIX FACEOFFS this year, can set season highs. Remember that in 05-06 and 07-08 he was pretty much a PPG player.

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#120 Joey Moss
September 30 2009, 05:50PM
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Khabibulin signing looked bad to begin with but the disastrous preseaons makes it look even worse.

Can someone explain how it makes sense to payout this guys retirement checks on the basis that he MIGHT play 50 games and MIGHT have a winning record? Would have been better off going the Detroit route focusing on skater depth and taking a flyer on a cheap tender.

Tampon might have shot himself in the foot here - certainly didn't take him long to make a Lowe-esque signing... now that i think of it, i wonder if this bright idea didn't come from the Klown himself.

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#121 Ender the Dragon
September 30 2009, 05:50PM
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@ Poo Czar: lol. It didn't seem odd until you pointed it out; now I'm wondering if it's something I ate for lunch . . . if it was, I have some other things I hope food can improve.

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#122 Ender the Dragon
September 30 2009, 05:58PM
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Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things wrote:

Looks like Baum rejected both the NHL and Balsillie’s bids for the Coyotes.

Yeah. Weird. I wonder if this means Moyes still technically owns the team. That's gotta be one sad guy. What are they going to lose this season; like, $80M?

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#123 DonDon
September 30 2009, 06:00PM
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TonyT wrote:

Star: Souray Goat: Tambellini

Totally agree. Tambellini as the goat for making big promises and failing to deliver. Souray as the star because he will be the new captain and bring cohesion to the dressing room.

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#124 mjsh
September 30 2009, 06:03PM
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I am a little nervous about the West Edmonton Wall as well, but let us not forget that he has not played a regular season game yet. Perhaps in a month we will know which Bulin has showed up the one from last year or the one from 3 years ago.

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#125 Rigger
September 30 2009, 06:10PM
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Anyone know why Gagner isn't listed on the roster? Pretty sure he was there this morning, and now he isn't. Still listed on the depth chart though. Are they updating pics or profiles or something?

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#126 olderthendirt
September 30 2009, 06:24PM
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Gotta go with this. The Star The oiler team that makes the playoffs.

The Goat The Flames team that bows out in the first round even though they are being talked about as a cup contender.

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#127 Jonathan Willis
September 30 2009, 06:52PM
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@ I'm a Scientist!:

Change for the sake of change?

And you call yourself a scientist...

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#128 Dustin Terpstra
September 30 2009, 08:00PM
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my star as I stated a few articles ago

Mike Comrie - simply because he's got something to prove.

Goat - Staios. Your time has come and gone. He played good for us but hes gettin on in age and it's time for him to bow out gracefully

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#129 Jkumar
September 30 2009, 08:10PM
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My Star:

Patrick O'Sullivan

Watch him bury 25 goals, and put up 65 points, For how much this guy shoots the puck, he will have magic with Comrie this year.

My Goat:

Marc Pouliot

There are so many goats on this team, we could have a barn, but this choice is very self explanitory.

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#130 EddieEdmonton
September 30 2009, 08:19PM
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star; sam gagner

goat; macedonian mauler steady steve staios

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#131 Victoria
September 30 2009, 08:25PM
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scorecoff hemmercules wrote:

Isn’t it already a example of poor management?? JW’s reasons for picking him as goat are prime examples. 4 years to an inconsistant injury prone 36 year old in a market full of goalies.

Yup. Plus, the fact that he already left a game because his sweating got the best of him (*sigh*), definitely doesn't help.

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#132 David S
September 30 2009, 08:58PM
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Jkumar wrote:

There are so many goats on this team, we could have a barn

THIS should be beside the Oilers Nation logo up top. Bah ha ha ha!!!!!

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#133 The Menace
September 30 2009, 09:17PM
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OK, we got Bingofuel, Wanye, Amber, Gregor and Brownlee covered - now where's the JSBM love?

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#134 BigE57
September 30 2009, 09:25PM
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DonDon wrote:

Totally agree. Tambellini as the goat for making big promises and failing to deliver

Yeah, becuase it's his fault the team is loaded with contracts he can't unload. He made what changes he could and installed a new coaching staff.

It's unfortunate but the changes the fans want and the team needs aren't going to come until some of those contracts end or players increase their value by playing to or above their potenstial.

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#135 RossCreek
September 30 2009, 09:35PM
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Just wanted to make sure this quote didn't go to waste in an old post...

Robin Brownlee wrote:

There’s a line between expecting reasonable discourse and being a prim panty-waste and you crossed it.

Read more: www.oilersnation.com/2009/09/fourth-line-sam-i-am/#comments#ixzz0SeRf9qdx

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#136 Travis Dakin
September 30 2009, 09:41PM
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The Doc wrote:

This was posted on the Uni Watch blog on ESPN.COM; does anyone know of further information on this. • Nothing official yet, but a little birdie tells Uni Watch that the Oilers may redesignate their alternate throwbacks as their primary home uni in the near future. Stay tuned.

If you're not being sarcastic, it was announced last season that they have made their retro jerseys the actual home jerseys Now. They are only wearing the dark jerseys something like 13 times this year.

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#137 RossCreek
September 30 2009, 09:48PM
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ScubaSteve wrote:

I’ve read the blogger roundtables at the two sister sites... any plans to get the ON writers together for the same type of session?

Seconded

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#138 Jaime
September 30 2009, 09:50PM
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Nikolai Khabibulin has the potential to be a goat.

Steve Staios WILL be a goat. It's time to hang 'em up, Steve. How many holding, hooking, and general interference penalties does he have to take before we realize that he just can't keep up anymore? He's not the physical presence that he used to be, there isn't one forward in the northwest division that is afraid of him, and he is one of the slowest guys on the team. On the first pairing with Souray? Really? He scares me enough when he's playing with Smid.

Steve Staios, at this stage in his career, consistently leaves something to be desired on the ice. He's been a great Oiler and a great leader on this team, but this is the one contract that bothers me the most and I will be happy when it's off the books and he's off our team.

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#139 Joey Moss
September 30 2009, 09:58PM
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@ The Menace: really? this site started looking infinitely better after they stopped posting.

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#140 Gunner
September 30 2009, 10:11PM
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Star: Patrick O'Sullivan Goat: Ethan Moreau (surprise surprise)

;)

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#141 The Menace
September 30 2009, 10:11PM
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We had very good goaltending last year, and we still missed the playoffs. Unless Khabbi is great, he won't be the reason we make the playoffs. If he's horrible he might be the reason we miss, but even if he's everything we hope, it's not going to be a huge upgrade over Roli last year.

@ Joey Moss: bite your tongue - you don't recognize awesomeness when it's staring you right in the face!

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#142 The Menace
September 30 2009, 10:13PM
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Further to that, Khabbi's really in a no-win situation here. If he stinks, he's the goat. If he's average, then people will complain that he's not a superstar. if he does stand on his head, then we'll all say that's what we signed him for. I really don't see a way where he can have a year that he gets any praise for.

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#143 Gunner
September 30 2009, 10:34PM
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Anyone watch the NHL preview show on TSN tonight? Mcguire tried to rip into the the young players here saying the Oilers will go as far as the young "stars" take them. Mac T came to their defense like a knight on a white horse. It was rather comical.

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#144 Gunner
September 30 2009, 10:35PM
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P.S. TSN Consensus is the Oilers finish 11th in the West.

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#145 Gunner
September 30 2009, 10:37PM
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P.P.S The Oilers segment is on TSN2 right now.

That is all.

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#146 Word
September 30 2009, 11:00PM
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Gunner wrote:

P.S. TSN Consensus is the Oilers finish 11th in the West.

What did Mac say?

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#147 Gunner
September 30 2009, 11:15PM
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Mcguire said it was the kids fault that Mac T got canned. That because they didn't step up, Mac is sitting at a desk in the TSN studios. Basically Mac told Mcguire to shut up and it isn't fair to put all that on the young guys. Looks like Mac still bleeds copper and blue.

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#148 Gunner
September 30 2009, 11:15PM
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@ Word: Mac thinks the Oil can make it in if their PK is better. He voted yes they are in.

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#149 David S
September 30 2009, 11:45PM
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The Menace wrote:

OK, we got Bingofuel, Wanye, Amber, Gregor and Brownlee covered – now where’s the JSBM love?

They're on uhhhh..."sabbatical".

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#150 David S
September 30 2009, 11:48PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote: There’s a line between expecting reasonable discourse and being a prim panty-waste and you crossed it.

Maybe Robin is just getting warmed up for his "Irritants" segment tomorrow (which is some fine radio BTW).

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