Friday, November 21, 2008

One Hundred Dollars

The company my best friend works for was hosting a big meeting and he received an email from an employee who works in Columbus Ohio asking him how she should dress. The meeting was in the first week of October.

He replied that she should bring a heavier jacket because it might be cold at night and also that she musn't bring any white clothing. She responded to this, asking him why, and he explained that it was illegal to wear white in Canada after September 30th due to the fact that so much snow accumulates that people who wear white seem to appear out of nowhere, thus causing a surge in heart attacks amongst the unsuspecting populace.

She thanked him for that information.


I lived in Florida for over three years. In the summer of 2001 my wife and I were married in Prince Edward Island. While we were gone my company had its annual conference, this time in Toronto.

A few weeks before the meeting I was in the Florida office talking to one of my coworkers who was flying up to Toronto. I was telling her about a few places she should check out and then she asked me about currency. How much should she get, what denomination, what would it cost her. Because it was only for a couple of days and she just needed some spending money I suggested that a hundred bucks should do her. She asked me what the best way to get that broken down would be.

I explained to her that we used to have a hundred dollar bill but that when Wayne Gretzky retired they discontinued it and replaced it with a ninety nine dollar bill. She commented that we Canadians were so crazy with our hockey and I agreed, telling her that while this may be true the best way for her to go was to get a hundred bucks - get a Gretzky, a "little Gretzky" (the ninety nine cent coin) and a penny.


MacT is reminding me more and more of Daffy Duck in that great old cartoon where he and Bugs Bunny tell poor Elmer Fudd that it is 'Rabbit Season!' 'Duck Season!' Of course Bugs wins out and in the end Daffy is left gibbering 'Its Duckbilled Platypus season. Shoot me! I'm a Duckbilled Platypus! Look at me! I'm a Mongoose! Shoot me! Its Mongoose season.'

Two seasons ago Ladislav Smid came over in the Pronger deal and immediately was handed second pair minutes. The results were as expected.

Then last season he was sent down at the end of camp, played out of a job by Tom Gilbert. Injuries brought him up soon enough and the rest of the year he played a mixture of second and third pairing minutes. He struggled at times although there were a few nice things to see.

So this year he ends up in the pressbox to start the year but comes out pretty quickly. Playing in the third pair now he actually does quite well and begins to show quite a few signs that he is turning the corner until old friend Raffi Torres drops him for the count a couple of weeks back.

So our young friend returns from his concussion and what does MacT do? Sticks him on the left wing.

Smid thought he was joking.

So did I. We have a kid who finally this year gets the type of responsibility he should have received two years ago (if they were determined on keeping him rather then sending him to the minors) and who actually is finally showing that he may be getting it and he gets put back into the lineup completely out of position. He is actually being developed in reverse. In three months MacT will be bringing him to 'Tiny Tots Learn To Skate', tying up his skates in the dressing room and then giving him a hot chocolate after Ladi pushes a chair around the ice for twenty minutes.

Is there a method to MacT's madness? I think there is real pressure on him to win with this lineup (some of this pressure brought on by his own comments btw). I think the reality is that while this team has a lot to like about it there are still plenty of kids everywhere and momma always told me there would be days like these. I think MacT would be a lot happier if he had a couple more veterans he could roll out there on the PK and at ES.

I swear though that last night when Smid lined up at LW for the first time that MacT was going to run out on the ice in a rabbit suit, laughing uproariously, while up in the pressbox Lowe hit Joanne Ireland with a shaving cream pie and Tambellini chased Terry Jones around with a shotgun.

Sometimes I wonder if perhaps the joke is on the fans here.


doritogrande said...

You just let me re-live my childhood to disprove you. I couldn't remember any inclusion of a mongoose in the cartoon, and I was right!

Still a great episode though. It's really odd to watch these old ones and think about how much shit the editors would get into these days from such whistleblowers like PETA, the NRA and of course, the carrot-growers union.

On Smid, the thing that got me more than anything else was the fact that we signed a swingman in the offseason in Jason Strudwick. He hasn't been exceptional with Staios this year to my eye so why they'd mess with the development of a 22 year old is beyond me.

Swabbubba said...

Ok Bugs is cool. I prefer Marvin the Martian though...u r " making me so angry very angry indeed".

OK as I dust off the soap box

Smid as a winger. Kind of worked he was the only guy doing any hitting.

Moreau I see why he got the penalty from Draper. But why did Draper get a pass?

Rollie I knew he need to wear his fancy pads and mask at least once with the 3rd jersey. But I was hoping Garon would have got the start.

What the Oilers need to do to get better.
1. Take the body. You cannot let the other teams come into your barn and push u around. The Wings even started to push them around. Insert Slapshot Quote "Pussies". If you set the tone with some good clean checks the other teams tend to get happy feet.
2. Keep on moving.. We have all these players that can skate. The PP if they keep on moving, u can still set moving picks pretty rare do they call that.
3. On the PK. Clear the effing puck. Don't pass it to some guy 10 feet from the blue line to make a fancy freakin play. Send it 200 feet and met someone a blue line with a check when they come back. The centres need to get better at the dot. I miss Peca only for that reason
4. Institute a dumb play of game award. The winner has to put 50 in the kitty at the end of the year the money can be given to charity. The players can vote and Joey can collect it. It does not need to made public but by self policing the the team can get stronger.

It is the little things that are killing this team. Win a faceoff, throw a check, in some cases take a check. I see alot I's on this team... need more We's

They have week to get back to basics.

Last thing I bought the PPV. Rob Brown if u want to have strokefest for the Wings maybe go on their broadcast.

Kyle said...

I don't think that it's an unconscionable decision. Maybe he's trying to teach Smid to be more aggresive on the puck at a position where he's not going to negatively impact the team if he fails, maybe he's trying to get him to see the game from a different perspective.

Scotty Bowman did it with Federov.

I didn't track Staios' career early enough to know how his brief switch to LW affected his game.

I'm also pretty certain Brent Burns has been bounced around quite a bit.

I'm willing to allow the experiment.

doritogrande said...


Actually Brent Burns is a converted forward. He played the wing in junior and when Minnesota drafted him, they immediately told him he'd be making the permanent switch to defense. They were so committed to it in fact that I believe they kept him around the year after he was drafted (something the Wild do a lot for the record) so that they were sure he was going to be playing defense. I remember a bit of a story from Hockey Canada talking about Minnesota not allowing Burns to play for them because Minni was committed to converting him to defense. Hockey Canada on the other hand, wanted him to play forward for the Tourney.

I think he played some Wing in his inagural season, but hasn't been up front since. Something about being a couple years away from being a Norris candidate might have something to do with that ;)

Oilman said...

Yeah, i think you're mixing up your Bugs cartoons BD. I believe you're remembering the one where the wolfs(?) wife tells him to go shoot something for dinner and he keeps forgetting what he's after..."now, what was I chasing, an orangutan, a Mongoose, a hippopotamus,, no, no, wasn't a hippopotamus"...and Bugs says, "was it a Rabbit?"

Anyways, I lived in Mobile Alabama for a year in my 20's and I remember when I first moved down there my girlfriend and I went out for some fast food with her friends (Hardy's a think it was), I paid for our meals and when I pulled some money out of my wallet there was a Canadian 5 still in there. Her friends noticed and the Canadian ribbing began about how our money looks like monopoly money and such until finally one of the girls asks quite seriously, "So why is Canadian money all different colors anyway?", to which I quickly responded "It makes it a lot easier for blind people to tell the different bills apart"....they all looked a little puzzled but none of them questioned my response.

Oilman said...

Oh, and if you really want to see some politically incorrect cartoons, tune into some of the old woody woodpecker stuff (it comes on that retro toon channel). There's some stuff in the Andy Panda cartoons that will leave you shocked...seriously. Check out their Pygmies

hunter1909 said...

Yosemite Sam fan here.

I thought Smid looked hilarious playing forward last night. Very defensively responsible to the right of Osgood behind the net, playing defence against a pair of Red Wing players.

Methinks MacT already knows he's doomed, but wants to go out on his own terms.

I actually felt sorry for him last night, when they showed his face after the first Detroit goal. He's between a rock and a hard place. Isolated without Lowe upstairs in the GM's office, it's obvious he's pissed at having to coach an incomplete team.

As a Spurs fan, you already know how vicious frustrated fans can get when not seeing concrete results from their team. MacT tonight is probably the most isolated man in the city of Edmonton.

Black Dog said...

hunter - yeah its a weird situation and there is some sort of bizarre disconnect between coach and management, or so it seems

I know you're not a MacT fan but I give him credit where credit is due. All those years with not a lot going on and he kept them competitive and then of course 2006.

Last two years have been tough but jesus those teams were just put together so poorly. And he cobbled something together last year and put to rest the whole idea that he couldn't coach youngsters with offence

And now this year he's got a team that is a little uneven but he just seems to be unable to get them to get any traction plus he's making some weird decisions that aren't helping the team win.

Strange days and I think he's not much longer with the club myself.

Black Dog said...

kyle - yeah I don't know about those examples though - I guess you can take each one in turn

like dg pointed out though Strudwick is a swingman; I might consider that bring Smid back against the Wings might have been a little much but no way he should have been on the wing

what does that tell a guy like Stortini?

bizarre shit and it makes no sense

Kara said...

while i was transplanted from ontario to edmonton for a few years, i would tell my friends back home whenever they'd ask if gas was any cheaper in alberta.. "huh? we don't have to pay for gas here."

hunter1909 said...

I'm not a MacT fan, but the cup run nearly made me one. Too bad Lowe never knew how to build a team from the ground up either, because I really wanted to be a fan of his also.

I work in a medium where your first big mistake often ends up being the end of your upward career trajectory. People love winners, and love putting the boot into losers.

It's really no different in pro sports.

Give MacT a veteran team led by a Hart winning d-man, and he's actually a pretty good coach. MacT can then appear to them like an older dude who knows the score, having been there and done that etc.

Unfortunately for MacT, he's lost that team. Instead he has to suddenly learn how to play father figure to a group of kindergartners. Suddenly he's forced to become a mentor type coach, which clearly is something he has never been.

On a side note, Terry Jones wrote a wonderfully scathing attack after the Detroit home fiasco. I found myself agreeing with everything he wrote, since that was exactly what I thought myself during the humiliating loss.

All the other mainstream writers by comparison are no more than extensions of the Oiler's marketing department. I've stopped bothering to read them. I know journalists tend to be drunken hacks, but their templates don't even contain anything remotely like criticism. It's arguably not even journalism. Just advertising.

Black Dog said...

hunter - your take on the msm in Edmonton is one that a lot of people subscribe too - Covered In Oil came into being with that being one of their main reasons

As for Terry Jones, remember when he basically called Katz a drug lord and attacked him at every turn while coming just short of giving EIG the reacharound? Guy stood up and gave Nichols an ovation for chrissakes.

I actually think that MacT has been a good teacher - he has too long a list of players who have come up in Edmonton and learned their trade there to discount that part of his work. That 2006 team's core was made up of a lot of his guys, so to speak.

I do think that he is not getting through to this group though, I will give you that.

As for Lowe, well like MacT I think he did a decent job up to 2006 (that drafting has really become a strength) and that of course he was brilliant that year.

After '06 though I was strongly critical of his work. I think he had a good summer this past one but he got a free ride for the last two. Just brutal.

hunter1909 said...

"As for Terry Jones, remember when he basically called Katz a drug lord and attacked him at every turn while coming just short of giving EIG the reacharound? Guy stood up and gave Nichols an ovation for chrissakes."

I can't comment on that as haven't read a lot of Terry Jones recently. He's too much at the point of his career where he writes about esoteric things that have little to do with anything I want to read about.

My own take on the EIG is, they saved the team from leaving town therefore they're aok in my book. Of course am certain it wasn't all what it appeared to be, I just write that kind of thing off(EIG shenanigans) as part the cost of my getting whatever I want to out of life.

Katz I know little about, other than my perception is he's a fan like me, and is very very ambitious for the Oilers. This is of course light years ahead of the cornpone EIG style, and after this season I'd be worried to be any of the current operation Joey Moss aside. Things are just too cushy over at Northlands. It's made everyone there soft, and lazy, and unmotivated to achieve.

What do you think would have happened had Oilers won game 7? I was expecting a renewal of the golden age myself. No doubt this galls me all the more, my own perceptions about these matters.

It was so cool how former greats were starting to show up at games, as the playoffs progressed. I always want to see the boys on the bus to be hanging around, making themselves at home around the team. And if it puts pressure on the current players, great. No point in paying players millions of dollars, then have to shield them from pressure.

If players don't think they want to play in Edmonton for any reason whatsoever other than not wanting to play for a loser I'm all for getting rid of them/not worrying about them. If they're married to gold digging whores who pussy whip them out of playing for the Oilers, because these said tarts are not able to blow their husband's money quite in the same way than if they were living in NYC etc, then see you later. If players want to go to the Ducks, just so they can lie on the beach, and prance around town unnoticed, that's also fine. There are lots of players who would kill to play for a team as glorious as the Oilers.

And for the ones who just don't like living under the expectations of a fanatical hockey town; if they don't want to make millions of dollars here, then let the Oilers find the players who want to play here and get rich.

For pure sophistication, and sheer quality of life, I'd rate the 80's dynasty team miles above 90% of all current NHL players today, no matter what city they play in. Even if they weren't making the same money as today, they were one of the top teams in North American sport. Far above the status level of the Red Wings, Quacks, etc today.

And when all is said and done, it sounds a million times better to tell your kids you played for a great great hockey team, in a town with a hockey tradition that stretches back nearly to the days of covered wagons.

amw said...

If they're married to gold digging whores who pussy whip them out of playing for the Oilers, because these said tarts are not able to blow their husband's money quite in the same way than if they were living in NYC etc, then see you later.

classic, just classic... after a line like that i feel the camera should pan right and those dudes from Wisers should tip their glasses and begin their slow, appreciative clapping...