First Star, Worst Star: December 7, 2014


Death, taxes, and the Oilers never winning a game. Some things in life are certain, just like I’m certain that it’s time once again for another edition of First Star, Worst Star. 


When I was growing up I don’t remember them doing this type of thing, but as a full grown man I’m very jealous of these little kids who get to skate around with teams during warm ups. I bet it’s the coolest feeling in the world! Loud music, fans going crazy, skating around with heroes you look up to an admire. Then BAM, a 6’7″ Flames prospect (of course) comes out of nowhere and levels you with a blindside hit! 

You have to admire this kids gumption. He takes his lump, gets right back up and skates it off as if nothing happened. Take a hit to make a play, as Don Cherry has said over 14000 times in my lifetime. I mean, I’m sure he probably lost the ability to do math the next day but it was ALL worth it! 



Look, I don’t want to pile on the guy, but HOLY CRAP BERNIER! For those who missed it Leafs goaltender Jonathan Bernier was in attendance at a Raptors game where they spent the night celebrating the life of Nelson Mandela. When asked about his thoughts on Mandela’s legacy this somehow ended up spilling out of his mouth…

Reporter1 (SportsNet mic): Alright Jonathan, how important is, uh, the legacy of Nelson Mandela to you?
JB: Well obviously he’s been, uh, a tremendous, uh, athlete and you know obviously what, uh, he means to all the sports you know when you know the worl- the world can uh be changed by the sports it’s pretty amazing. And I think he’s definitely uh got a lot of respect in every sports and uh he’s definitely one of the athletes I watched growing up as well.
Reporter1’s mic disappears from frame
Reporter2: Why is it important for you to come show support tonight?
JB: Well I think any good cause is, uh, sorry (he’s apologizing to someone to the left of the screen, not sure who/why), it’s always, uh, you know I love supporting, uh, any kind of cause obviously it’s for the Afri-, in Africa it’s obviously it’s, uh, a great cause, and enjoying, I guess, the basketball game.
Reporter2: Thanks.

That thud you heard was everyone’s jaws dropping to the floor. NOW, I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. English is his second language so perhaps he misunderstood what the reporter had asked. And he was also right in that Mandela WAS a tremendous athlete. I mean, they even made a movie about the prominent role Mandela and the South African rugby team played in helping bring South Africa together after the end of apartheid. So perhaps he got his wires crossed a little bit and his thoughts just came out wrong. But HOOY BOOY he does not come out of this looking good at all. 

Thankfully for Bernier he plays for the Leafs so I’m sure it’ll only be a day or two before something insanely trivial and dumb happens to the Leafs that the media will spend weeks dissecting. I CAN’T WAIT!  

  • Batfink

    This is why it’s unfair to expect a professional athlete to have an opinion on one of the most influential people in history. Just like it’s unfair that Bono has an opinion on world affairs such as climate change, berates an entire stadium for driving to the concert, then has his hat flown on a first class seat of it’s own.

    The point is, if we’re looking for an ok NHL goalie to provide a succinct insight on a man responsible for the greatest social upheaval Africa has seen, we’re doing it wrong. Should have asked Scrivens.

    • paul wodehouse

      Any professional ADULT hockey player should have some basic knowledge of what is happening in the world, our country,province, city and community. Every one of us should have the basics of being a citizen. Reading,listening and watching what is going on is quite easy. 15-20 minutes a week helps.
      As ADULTS, more of us could be less apathetic. Even hockey players!

  • alledmonton

    Hockey players know hockey. Just ask them to play hockey. This is why most ex-hockey players make bad managers (Kevin Lowe). They know hockey: not managing.

  • We need to see more hits like that from the Oilers. Hockey is a simply game. Show a bit of emotion and it does wonders for your overall game.

    The last game I recall any sense of emotion was when Ferrence destroyed Stempniak.

    Fired up the team and they won. Go figure.

  • Batfink

    Today begins a new countdown, end of the beginning kind of a thing hopefully.

    C’mon Nicholson step in today and begin the rebuild for real this time.

    First step for Nicholson, get a real NHL coach before next season.

    No hard feelings for Eakins however I am fine if he takes that job in Uzbekistan beer league.

  • RedMan

    Head shots in warm up, on a kid no less, I’ve seen it all!

    And hey Bernier, it’s called reading a book, listening to talk radio or catching the odd newscast buddy, look into it. Face palm of the highest order.

  • vetinari

    I think that it would be funny if 20 years from now, the player opens the door to his house and *wham* he gets knocked to the ground by a haymaker from this kid.

    “Remember me? That’s been waiting for you since 2014.”

  • paul wodehouse

    Oilers fan here. Would like to give the Flames a big thank you for beating up San Jose so my crappy team could get off the losing skid. If every team could go through Calgary before hitting Edmonton we might be a much better looking team in the standings. Go Flames Go! You guys grind them up so we can have a better chance of winning. Thanks also to Flames fans for cheering for the toast of Alberta. See you Draft day. Where WE will beat YOU to the podium.

  • If one is going to judge Mandela as a noble and wonderful historical figure, at least judge the man in full.

    Or ask one of the thousands of victims, black and white (mostly black), of the ANC’s bombing campaign before it renounced terrorism.

    I admire Mandela’s later life, but am aware of his violent and bloody beginnings.

    Before declaring this man a saint, at least spare a moment for the thousands he and the ANC killed indiscriminately.

    • paul wodehouse

      Nelson Mandela and most of the population of South Africa were under Apartheid. Mandela became one of a half dozen in the World to be am Honourary Canadian Citizen. He was a Nobel Peace Prize Receiver. The first Black President of South Africa. The UN some 5 years ago declared July 18 as Nelson Mandela International Day.The City of Edmonton and other communities around the World have declared the 18th as NM Day.
      Because of Apartheid, Mandela spent some 27 years in prison and forgave the previous people and governments.

      In a brief blog I have given a bit of history.Thankyou.