Around the League - Playoff Edition - Wk 6

Jason Gregor
May 27 2010 06:47AM

The Chicago Blackhawks haven’t won the Stanley Cup in 49 years. Since they last hoisted the “toughest trophy in sports to win” they’ve lost in the Finals five times: 1962, 1965, 1971, 1973 and 1992. They made the playoffs 28 consecutive years from 1970 to 1997, so it’s not like they were awful, but hockey’s holy grail hasn’t come close to the Windy City for a long time.

After their 28 year-run they stunk, missing the playoffs nine of ten years until finally getting back to the dance last season. And lots has changed in the world since the Hawks last drank from Lord Stanley’s Cup; Brownlee is the only person who reads, writes or posts on the Nation that was alive in 1961.

1967: The ATM was invented I remember when they only had ATM’s at banks. 1969: Air Hockey debuted, although it didn’t get big until the mid-1970s. The most astonishing fact about air hockey is that is played competitively in the USA, Spain, Russia and parts of the Czech Republic, but it isn’t that big in Canada. How do Canadians not dominate at this game?

1972: Pong, one of, if not the greatest Atari game ever, was the brainchild of Ralph Baer.

1974: Rubik’s cube became the frustration of many youngsters. Wanye has yet to figure it out, and he even tried peeling off the stickers and re-applying them to no avail.

1982: Barry Bonds’ favourite year, as Human Growth Hormone was genetically engineered. Who knows how small his head would be today if HGH was never invented?

1983 The first Cabbage Patch Kid doll was sold. Easily the ugliest doll in history, and one of the most dangerous toys ever made. The heads on those dolls was hard as a rock, and when your sister hit you with it, it stung.

January 24th, 1984 the day that changed the world as the Apple MacIntosh 128K was unveiled. Brownlee was 43 and he told me he lined up for hours outside the SAAN store waiting to buy one. Unfortunately SAAN didn’t carry them, and he left with three pairs of corduroy slacks instead.

1988: Gretzky got traded and digital cell phones entered society. They didn’t become popular in Canada for many years, but those big bulky grey phones were a hit for the first users. (Adam can you get a pic of an old CELL PHONE here?

1990: Tim Berners-Lee, Bingofuel’s hero, invented the World Wide Web. He had lots of help of course, but he was the leader and is the reason we are here at the NATION today. God bless you Timmy….

There have been many more changes: The collapse of the Berlin Wall, Seinfeld, The Vietnam War, Viagra, a Canadian team winning the World Series, OilersNation.com and much more since the city of Chicago had a parade for their hockey team. If they don’t win it this year, I wonder what else we will discover before they win again.

While many feel the Hawks will crush the Flyers, history shows the fans of Chicago aren’t privy to witnessing many championships.

THE CURSE OF THE GOAT

Below is an explanation of the supposed Goat Curse of the Chicago Cubs, courtesy of Wikipedia.

“The Billy Goat curse was supposedly placed on the Cubs in 1945 when Billy Goat Tavern owner Billy Sianis was asked to leave a World Series game at the Cubs' home ground of Wrigley Field because his pet goat's odor was bothering other fans. He was outraged and declared, "Them Cubs, they aren't gonna win no more," which has been interpreted to mean that there would never be another World Series game won at Wrigley Field.”

The best part about this supposed curse is that the Cubs and their fans believe it is true and they’ve tried some hilarious stunts to try and break it.

“Sam Sianis, nephew of Billy Sianis, has been brought out onto Wrigley Field with a goat multiple times in attempts to break the curse: on Opening Day in 1984 and 1989 (in both years, the Cubs went on to win their division), in 1994 to stop a home losing streak, and in 1998 for the wild card play-in game (which the Cubs won).”

“In 2003, a group of Cubs fans headed to Houston with a billy goat named "Virgil Homer" and attempted to gain entrance to Minute Maid Park, home of their division rivals the Astros. After they were denied entrance, they unfurled a scroll, read a verse and proclaimed they were "reversing the curse". The Cubs won the division that year and then came within five outs of playing in the World Series but were undone by the Florida Marlins' eight-run rally, and possibly the Steve Bartman incident; they then lost the following game and with it the series (the Marlins went on to win the World Series against the New York Yankees.) Further salting the wound, the Astros earned their first World Series birth two years later.”

“In another bizarre twist, it was reported that a butchered goat was hung from the Harry Caray statue on October 3, 2007, to which The Chicago Sun-Times noted: "If the prankster intended to reverse the supposed billy goat curse with the stunt, it doesn't appear to have worked."[4] While the Cubs did win the NL Central Division title in 2007 and 2008, they were swept in the first round of the playoffs in both years: by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2007 and the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2008. The elimination by Arizona came on October 6, the same date that the goat appeared at Wrigley Field in 1945.

The act was repeated before the home opener in 2009, this time a goat's butchered head being hung from the statue. The act was futile as the Cubs were eliminated from postseason contention on September 26, 2009.”

They actually butchered a goat’s head; Twice. Pure comedy.

The Cubs haven’t won since they won back-to-back World Series in 1907 and 1908. They haven’t won in 101 years; even Brownlee hasn’t seen them win. The Cubs haven’t been to the World Series since 1945, and had they won, they still would hold the longest World Series drought. The Cleveland Indians have the second longest losing streak, having won last in 1948.

The White Sox went 88 years between Championships: 1917 to 2005.

The Chicago Bears have one Championship since 1963; in 1986 Jim McMahon and company shuffled their way to their only Super Bowl title.

The Bulls are the only exception to the losing ways of Chicago, winning six titles in the 1990s.

These five teams have played a combined 435 seasons and have a total of 23 championships. Bears have nine, Bulls six, Hawks and White Sox three and the Cubs have two. Winning hasn’t come easy in Chicago and if the Hawks win you know that city will go nuts.

But it’s not like Philadelphia is a Mecca of success either

The Flyers have two championships in 42 years, and they came back-to-back in 1974 and 1975.

The Eagles have three league titles in 77 seasons and haven’t won a championship since 1960, when they became the only team to defeat Vince Lombardi and his Green Bay packers in the playoffs. Since 1960, the Eagles have lost in the Championship game twice, 1980 and 2004.

The 76ers have three championships since entering the NBA in 1949, but haven’t won since Doctor J (Julius Erving) and Moses Malone took home the Championship in 1983.

The Phillies are the oldest continuous, one-name, one-city franchise in all of professional American sports, dating back to 1883. But they only have two championships in 127 seasons, winning in 1980 and in 2008. The Phillies are currently the toast of the town with consecutive World Series appearances, but you wonder what a Stanley Cup would do for one of America’s most blue-collar cities.

ICE WOMEN OF THE WEEK

I’m not sure if Transformers really needs a third edition, but up until today I was annoyed that Megan Fox wasn’t going to be in it. Fox won’t be back, but according to reports Rosie Huntington-Whitely could be replacing her. Not a bad choice. You decide which one you’d prefer.

RANDOM THOUGHTS

  • Most think the Hawks will dominate the Flyers, but I don’t see that happening. One trend is going to end this year:  Either “The Marian Hossa curse” or “Cinderella can’t finish” will cease after this year. Hossa has lost two consecutive finals, while we’ve seen seven surprise teams make it to the Cup final the last 14 times, only to see all six of them lose. (Florida 1996, Washington 1998, Carolina 2002, Anaheim 2003, Calgary 2004, Edmonton 2006 and Philly this year). Something has to give and I’ll go with the Flyers in seven completing the Cinderella post-season.
  • I keep hearing one of the biggest steals at the upcoming draft could be Finnish forward, Mikael Granlund. Granlund’s best asset is his hockey sense, and one guy who loves him is Kyle Woodlief from the Red Line Report http://www.usatoday.com/sports/hockey/columnist/woodlief/2010-05-18-mikael-granlund-third_N.htm It’s hard to call a player a steal if he goes in the top-five, but Woodlief is the only guy who has him rated this high.
  • Sam Gagner, Andrew Cogliano, Gilbert Brule and the Canucks Mason Raymond are all RFAs. Who deserves the biggest contract? Keep in mind only Brule has arbitration rights. Here’s a quick comparison of the four players.

    Cogliano: 246 GP; 46 G; 65 A; 111 PTS
    Gagner: 223 GP; 44 G; 87 A; 131 PTS
    Brule: 222 GP; 31 G; 41 A; 72 PTS
    Raymond: 203 GP; 45 G; 52 A; 97 PTS

    Raymond is coming off a 25-goal, 53-point season, Gagner and Cogliano had their lowest point totals while Brule set a career high with 17 goals and 37 points. The Oilers can’t over-pay any of their players and with Raymond being the only offensive RFA in Vancouver I bet he gets the most money.
     
  • I wonder if the Oilers will be a bit gun shy with their young players, and not hand out a three-year deal like they gave Robert Nilsson two summers ago?
  • If I’m the Flames I trade Jarome Iginla to try and re-stock the organization with youth. If Iginla truly wants to win, I don’t see how he feels he can do it in Calgary. It won’t be the most popular move for Darryl Sutter to make, but I think it’s the right one.
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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 rubbertrout
May 27 2010, 10:35AM
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@The Towel Boy

Dude, she could have hooves for hands and I'd still hit that.

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#2 Robin Brownlee
May 27 2010, 07:21AM
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Don't be a donkey, Gregor.

In 1984, the Radio Shack TRS-80 was the cat's ass for young reporters, like myself. It had less memory than my senile uncle Arthur and came with zero software, like an anti-knucklehead filter, meaning your stuff would have read just fine.

And I was 25, not 43. Jackass.

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#3 baggedmilk
May 27 2010, 07:51AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Don't be a donkey, Gregor.

In 1984, the Radio Shack TRS-80 was the cat's ass for young reporters, like myself. It had less memory than my senile uncle Arthur and came with zero software, like an anti-knucklehead filter, meaning your stuff would have read just fine.

And I was 25, not 43. Jackass.

Are you or are you not attracted to Matthew Barnaby? Fact.

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#4 BUCK75
May 27 2010, 08:28AM
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@Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

4mm would be an overpayment for either of them.

I have no problem locking up Gagner for another 3 years. I don't think that he should get that big of a raise. Cogliano is interesting though. Depending on who we draft do we need him anymore?

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#5 rubbertrout
May 27 2010, 10:35AM
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For the necessary huge cell phone image I have a suggestion.

http://funningham.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/2282872616_7956d89378.jpg

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#6 Spartacus
May 27 2010, 12:37PM
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Hello. Long-time lurker, first-time poster.

I'll take the Hawks in five with Pronger getting a match penalty in Game 2 for cross-checking Patrick Kane in the teeth. We haven't really seen CFP lose it yet this playoffs... something wicked this way comes.

And as far as Cogliano goes, was MacTavish right about him being the next coming of Todd Marchant? I scoffed at the remark at the time, as did Cogliano, but now I'm hoping he can be even that effective a player. We could really use a guy with Marchant's skill-set, but I don't think Cogs sees himself as that type of a player.

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#7 wangtaco
May 27 2010, 07:21AM
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Thanks for the post JG. I always look forward to the roundup (and not just b/c of the ice girls). Speaking of which, fantastic work on the brunette! That, in my humble opinion, is your finest ice girl yet.

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#8 wangtaco
May 27 2010, 07:22AM
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Haha, ok that was dumb of me. Just realized who she is....my bad. Great pic though.

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A 3-year deal to Gagner wouldn't be a bad idea would it? I'd agree on Cogs and Brule though, they have been pretty inconsistent.

On the Fox front, the more pictures I see of her lately the more she turns me off. She is starting to look like a junky.

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#10 BUCK75
May 27 2010, 07:57AM
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@Robin Brownlee

The Radio Shack TRS-80 also stars in the internet sketches Homestar Runner.

Hawks in 6, I think Leighton lets in a couple softies, something he didn't do against Montreal.

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#11 Semi moronic
May 27 2010, 08:07AM
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I would sign Gagner to a 3-4 year deal, Cogliano to a 1-2, and Brule to a 2-3. But...If the oil signed one of the RFAs to a 1 or 2 year deal, would they then become a UFA after that?

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Semi moronic wrote:

I would sign Gagner to a 3-4 year deal, Cogliano to a 1-2, and Brule to a 2-3. But...If the oil signed one of the RFAs to a 1 or 2 year deal, would they then become a UFA after that?

You have to be either 27 or have 7 accrued seasons. So we are safe for a few years yet.

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Was just reading Strickland's most recent blog and he is speculating Perron could be asking 4mil per year.

Hate to compare him to Gagner as they are different players, but they are from the same draft class, Gagner was taking 20 spots higher and they are pretty close to the same point totals.

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#14 baggedmilk
May 27 2010, 08:22AM
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@Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

Jesus that would be an overpay. I like Gagner a lot, but not at $4 million.

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@baggedmilk

Strickland kinda suggested that maybe the Blues should just wait for Perron to find an offer sheet. He might find that there is no one willing to pay that much.

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@BUCK75

I'm assuming Gagner gets in that 2.5-3mil range depending on years.

As for Cogliano, I'd like to see him play wing and the PK. The guy's speed creates a lot of chances. I hate to give up on him, unless we are getting something we need back.

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#17 Oil_Loc8or
May 27 2010, 08:59AM
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I say don't resign them, let them play the final year of there deal then decide what to do.Do you guys really think Sam,Cogs or Brule will get a offer sheet ? If they resign I hope its for around 2mil a season no more. ~Can't wait to see Gagner get overpayed, then produce his 50 points average for the next three years~

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#18 Matt Henderson
May 27 2010, 09:05AM
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Gagner no more than 3 million, Cogliano no more than 2 million, Brule gets no more than 1.75 million.

Gagner for 3 years, Cogliano for 2, Brule for 1-2.

That's how I see it. They have lots of potential, and I wouldnt mind paying them if they actually put up points last year. They didnt, so I cant see how any of them will make the big bucks.

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#19 baggedmilk
May 27 2010, 09:05AM
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Oil_Loc8or wrote:

I say don't resign them, let them play the final year of there deal then decide what to do.Do you guys really think Sam,Cogs or Brule will get a offer sheet ? If they resign I hope its for around 2mil a season no more. ~Can't wait to see Gagner get overpayed, then produce his 50 points average for the next three years~

They've already played the 3 years of their entry level contract. Time for a new deal, baby.

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@Oil_Loc8or

What do you mean don't re-sign them and let them play their final year of their deal?

They are all RFA's come July 1st 2010.

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#21 Oil_Loc8or
May 27 2010, 09:32AM
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You can't play as a RFA?

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#22 Matt Henderson
May 27 2010, 09:35AM
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@Oil_Loc8or

You dont have a contract if you're an RFA

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#23 Oil_Loc8or
May 27 2010, 09:44AM
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Sign them all.

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#24 Oil_Loc8or
May 27 2010, 09:46AM
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Gagner 3yr/2.4m , Brule 2yr/1.5m and Cogs 1yr/1.5m .

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#25 Ccubed82
May 27 2010, 09:51AM
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I think Cogs and Sam will both get 3 yr deals. One key reason being that at the end of the term of the contract they still wont have arbitration rights. I think Cogs will get 2.2-2.5 mill a year, Gags 2.4-2.7 a year. As for Brule, 2 yr deal with an option for a third, depending on production and health. My bet would be 2-2.3 mill a year.

If they do turn out to be top 6 forwards in the next two to three years, a 6-7 mill cap hit for the three is acceptable in my mind.

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#26 The Towel Boy
May 27 2010, 10:00AM
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Megan Fox was the hotness until I saw pictures of her big toe shaped thumb. Pretty much a boner killer in my books.

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@The Towel Boy

What she has that too?

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#28 Ball Buster
May 27 2010, 10:08AM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

Was just reading Strickland's most recent blog and he is speculating Perron could be asking 4mil per year.

Hate to compare him to Gagner as they are different players, but they are from the same draft class, Gagner was taking 20 spots higher and they are pretty close to the same point totals.

Does Strickland mention who he thinks Perron's league comparables would be?

Never mind . . . just read it.

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#29 SirFozz
May 27 2010, 10:20AM
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The Towel Boy wrote:

Megan Fox was the hotness until I saw pictures of her big toe shaped thumb. Pretty much a boner killer in my books.

Just put a bag over her thumb...

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#30 Matt Henderson
May 27 2010, 10:41AM
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@rubbertrout

I was thinking more along the lines of the Zach Morris from Saved By The Bell

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#31 BUCK75
May 27 2010, 10:46AM
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In other news Pocklington is a convicted lier.

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#32 baggedmilk
May 27 2010, 11:24AM
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rubbertrout wrote:

Dude, she could have hooves for hands and I'd still hit that.

PROPS! Hells yeah

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#33 yegCopywriter
May 27 2010, 11:28AM
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Ccubed82 wrote:

I think Cogs and Sam will both get 3 yr deals. One key reason being that at the end of the term of the contract they still wont have arbitration rights. I think Cogs will get 2.2-2.5 mill a year, Gags 2.4-2.7 a year. As for Brule, 2 yr deal with an option for a third, depending on production and health. My bet would be 2-2.3 mill a year.

If they do turn out to be top 6 forwards in the next two to three years, a 6-7 mill cap hit for the three is acceptable in my mind.

I don't think Cogliano has earned that kind of money. Oil_Loc8or's 1.5M seems more reasonable.

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#34 Lofty
May 27 2010, 11:30AM
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I would put more value in Brule than Cogs. He plays center and he has more offensive upside.

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#35 Oil_Loc8or
May 27 2010, 11:34AM
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If Tambo could get Cogs to sign a low risk contract he could use that in a trade . A throw in guy to move Souray etc

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#36 Matt Henderson
May 27 2010, 11:35AM
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@Lofty

He might potentially have more upside, but Cogliano has proven that he's an everyday NHLer for 3 years, and Brule has done it for 1. That has to be a knock against his chances at getting a bigger payday. This was a career year for Brule and he still hasnt matched what Cogliano did as a Rookie and 2nd year player.

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#38 Senator Theo
May 27 2010, 11:47AM
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I heart Sam Gagner, but not at 4 mil.

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#39 Senator Theo
May 27 2010, 11:48AM
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@Jason Gregor

I'm not sure if it's just me, but I can see your HTML stuff and your comments to Adam in the beginning of the article.

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#40 Dyckster
May 27 2010, 12:06PM
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Informal poll:

Who's everyone's early pick for playoff MVP?

ME:

Hawks win - Toews Flyers win - Leighton

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#41 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
May 27 2010, 12:08PM
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Oil_Loc8or wrote:

Gagner 3yr/2.4m , Brule 2yr/1.5m and Cogs 1yr/1.5m .

you are on glue if you think gagner gets signed for as low as 2.4

see brassard, derrick

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#42 Quicksilver ballet
May 27 2010, 12:30PM
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Gagner is the late bloomer here, to sign him short doesn't make sense to me. He's still 3 or 4 yrs away from reaching his full potential. I think he has shown enough to warrant a four year deal for between 10-12 mill total. Gagner reminds me of a young Marc Savard and when things get turned around here our patience with him could be well worth the wait. There isn't a bad deal to be made with Cogliano or Brule either.....give them two years each and wait and see if they get bumped by the newer kids.

Getting back to your list i'd put these amigos in this order.....Gagner, Raymond, Cogliano and Brule.

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#43 baggedmilk
May 27 2010, 12:36PM
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@Jason Gregor

But they're not Matt Barnaby.

*swoon*

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#44 Milli
May 27 2010, 01:38PM
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Gregor, after reading your early posting about the Flyers and pronger, I was looking for an upset special. I took Chicago and Philly to the finals with Philly winning!!!! $190 bucks if they do! You made me look like a genius, and if Philly delivers, I owe you a cold one next time I come for an Oilers game!!!!

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#45 Oil_Loc8or
May 27 2010, 01:45PM
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@cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

Hahaha, what should he get then ? Are you still banking on him being a first line center ? He isn't worth more then that yet. Give him a one year deal and see what he does. edit: Gagner could be a first line center but with them drafting Seguin how much do you want to pay a kid when you know he's your number two.

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#46 Matt Henderson
May 27 2010, 02:42PM
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@Spartacus

Welcome to the party.

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#47 Oil_Loc8or
May 27 2010, 02:51PM
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@Spartacus

Agree with you on Cogs and Pronger will get that match penalty in Game 1 .

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#48 Oil_Loc8or
May 27 2010, 02:57PM
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What ever the Oilers throw at Gagner, Brule and Cogs will more than likley have a impact on what Hemsky and Penner will ask for down the road. When I give out numbers let it be known I haven't a clue what money players are worth, even some GMs haven't a clue.

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#49 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
May 27 2010, 06:43PM
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Oil_Loc8or wrote:

Hahaha, what should he get then ? Are you still banking on him being a first line center ? He isn't worth more then that yet. Give him a one year deal and see what he does. edit: Gagner could be a first line center but with them drafting Seguin how much do you want to pay a kid when you know he's your number two.

there is a difference between what he SHOULD get and what he WILL get.

SHOULD he get 3mil per? no, probably not

WILL he? yup, he probably will.

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#50 Team Hall
May 27 2010, 10:11PM
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If I go multi-year for Gags, I try to lock him into 2m per. If I go one year, maybe 3M. I still think that boy could be great, if he had a Hall on his left. I say multi year, 2M per. 5 years. If he went superstar, we'd look like geniuses in a bottle.

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