Thursday, September 16, 2010

It's Getting Clearer / Rookies Go To Training Camp

Last night before the game Dan Tencer tweeted that all the kids at the Young Stars tournament are getting invited to the regular Edmonton Oilers training camp.

Wow! These kids must be peeing in their pants. To think that Tyler Pitlick will be skating circles and lines with Ales Hemsky. Or Hall honing his leadership skills by watching Horcoff work his ass off, on and off the ice. For some of these kids, this is it. This is their one chance at an NHL training camp. Some may never be here again. I'm willing to bet they all make the best of a great situation.

Steve Tambellini says that he wants to show the kids what it takes to be an NHL player and to create a good atmosphere for the team. He wants the Oilers to be class. This is definitely a step in the right direction.

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So, what's this getting clearer thing?

I can see now why he's (Tamby) shunned Sheldon Souray from training camp. Bringing these kids here to experience what it's like to be a real NHL'er, is, and should be, the focus of camp. This Souray mess shouldn't even cross these kids' minds and with Souray being sent home, the kids, and the Oilers, can focus on hockey. I believe that's best for the team.

Could have Tambellini handled this Souray situation better? You bet he could. He could have made it clear last month Souray wouldn't be attending camp. He could have made it clear, he wasn't wanted anymore by the Oilers. God knows he was asked 5000 times about Souray this summer by every Tom, Dick and Harry so it's not like he forgot. And we all know that that training camp question was also brought up countless times and he sluffed it off like the question never was asked. He knew the answer, he just never said it out loud.

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The word cancer has been used a lot in reference to Sheldon Souray. It's been used by TV, newsprint, bloggers, fans. Even Steve Tambellini said it.

But what does the term cancer mean in hockey? What are they saying without saying it?

I look at that and the first thing I think is, is he a shitty teammate? Is that what it means?

They call him and his situation toxic. What does that mean? Doesn't that also mean he's a shitty teammate? Or is it just because he's a constant complainer?

I know he's a good leader and I loved him for it. If he's in the right situation (another hockey cliche), he can be an asset to an NHL club.

Somewhere along the way he made a mistake.

The mistake started with this article with Spector. After that, the avalanche got bigger and bigger till it couldn't be stopped. He was shopped around more than a Vancouver hooker and nobody wanted to trade for him. He was placed on waivers and still, nobody wanted him. That was an eye opener for Souray and probably caused his change of heart for the Oilers and his willingness to come back, but it was too late. The damage was done.

I don't know. I would still have him on my team (until a trade is made) because without Souray, there is a hole in the 2nd defence pairing that none of the current Oilers can handle. Foster? Strudwick? Vandermeer? So until a trade is made, there is a hole in that spot.

I'd say it's clear now (is it?) that there is no turning back. It's clear the Oilers have moved on and I think we will all be better for it.

I want to focus on hockey. I want to focus on Oilers hockey, not more scandals and BS that has surrounded this great and storied franchise in the past. I want hockey. True Edmonton Oilers hockey. The way it was meant.

-Written by Smokin' Ray-

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