116

STOP REWARDING FAILURE

Why should the NHL continue to reward the Edmonton Oilers for on-ice failure and organizational ineptitude by giving them a better chance to select the cream of the crop at the Entry Draft while more successful teams line up behind and wait their turn? It shouldn’t.

19

EARLY RETURNS: RNH DOMINATES

While it’s probably prudent to curb ones enthusiasm, given Team Canada’s opening game at the World Junior Championship in Russia amounted to little more than a controlled scrimmage against an overmatched opponent, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins gave fans plenty to cheer about in a 9-3 waltz over Germany today.

26

MONEYPUCK: RICH MAN, POOR MAN

If you’ve had difficulty getting your head around the numbers being tossed around during the NHL lockout regarding the financial situations the league’s 30 teams find themselves in, there’s good reason – at least if you look at the numbers published in Forbes Magazine today.

112

FRIDAY THE 13th: NHL PLAYS LOW-BALL

Multiple media outlets are reporting the NHL has tabled its first CBA proposal to the NHLPA. Based on what’s being reported, it’s a proposal that can only be characterized as a swift kick in the nuts low-ball offer to the NHLPA and the first volley in what stands to be a protracted and likely ugly…

89

LARAQUE: NHL STEROID USE WIDESPREAD?

Former Edmonton Oiler Georges Laraque doesn’t name names, but the retired tough guy says the use of steroids and performance-enhancing drugs was not uncommon during his time in the NHL. In a book to be released by Viking Canada, The Story of the NHL’s Unlikeliest Tough Guy, that is bound to send ripples through the…

72

MORE TRAGEDY: LOKOMOTIV PLANE CRASHES

With the NHL still coping with the deaths of players Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien and Wade Belak, the hockey world is reeling with today’s tragic news out of Russia about the crash of Jaroslavl Lokomotiv’s team flight shortly after take-off. Here’s the story, starting with the original report by the Associated Press, as it has unfolded…

113

THE HUMAN TOLL: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

With Sidney Crosby’s hockey career hanging in the balance because of concussions and Marc Savard’s apparently over, the NHL’s overdue decision to address headshots in the game is a classic case of being a day late and a dollar short.

56

LOOK AROUND YOU: GIVE THANKS

The Edmonton Oilers are 2-0, but they could easily be 0-2. If it wasn’t for Nikolai Khabibulin, who swiped a couple of points in a 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers Sunday, the mood around town might be considerably different today than what it is.

72

Those $%#@&# bloggers: what to do?

Hockey blogs and hockey bloggers aren’t going anywhere. That’s a reality the Edmonton Oilers and other NHL teams have to accept and come to grips with, and the sooner the better.

Looking out for number one

Back in 1970 when the Vancouver Canucks joined the NHL, it didn’t really matter that they were destined to stink like rank limburger for seasons on end because fans like me were thrilled just to have a team.