Tuesday, August 30, 2011


When I moved to PEI I didn't know a soul there so looking back things worked out pretty well. After eleven months there I ended up with a girl who would become my wife, my wonderful dog and a number of friends, including one fellow who I would have to count amongst my best friends. He worked at the company I signed on for and after a few weeks he asked me if I wanted to get out one night and as Rick Blaine once said, it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. He's a bit of a madman and a great fellow most of all and we've had some terrific times.

Every year when we get back there he and I get together a few times and one of those involves a night out on the town and some heavy drinking. Last summer's episode was the usual good fun but overall it left us cold. Dealing with the kids, the sad cougars and a fairly high percentage of arseholes (maybe we're just getting old but it seems like said number is increasing), all while spending a boatload of money got us, and especially him, thinking. So this year when he suggested that we head down east to his family cottage with some steaks, some beer, a few cigars and a bottle of scotch I wholeheartedly agreed that this sounded like a capital idea (twirls cane and wipes monocle with monogrammed handkerchief).

The weather out east has been the shits but it broke for us when we got out there. After working for a few days my holiday started on the Thursday and from then on it was sunny skies so when we headed down to the Montague River it was a hot beautiful day, just perfect. We sat on the porch and polished off the beer and steaks and then settled in to smoke and drink scotch, which I am beginning to acquire a taste for. We traded tales and solved the problems of the world and sometime after nine he remarked that it was strange that his old man had not called him yet, he did every Friday night to briefly shoot the shit. About fifteen minutes later, on cue, the phone rang.

Unfortunately I can't, writing this, make you hear his voice or his accent. He has a unique sound, so to speak, thick, growly, mumbling PEI brogue. After a few hellos and some laughs, he asks us if we're going to be getting some tail. We laugh and say no and he then says the following:

Well now lets say you do want to, this is what you want to do. Drive into Montague and go to the Kentucky Fried Chicken. OK? Get yourself a bucket of chicken and you want to put that bucket of chicken on your dashboard and drive up and down the main street of Montague in your truck. And guaranteed you're going to get all the tail you'd ever want because the girls there are going to see that bucket and think you're rich!

We stopped laughing sometime the next afternoon I think. That evening we (Jenn and I) went to my pal's place for a party and his old man was at the top of the drive having a smoke when we arrived. We walked up, I shook hands, nodded at my wife and thanked him for the bucket idea, it had worked like a charm.

Haw haw haw, he said. Haw haw haw.


This season, like last season, the bucket for us Oiler fans, as noted already here a few times, will be the future. There are rumours of a trade for a defenceman and of course something may shake loose from some capstrung club but the Oilers need at least two top four defencemen (unless one of the kids makes a leap) plus some goaltending to really make a move. Plus some luck, yes?

Do we agree on that?

Even the most jaded Oilers' fan would have to agree that the kids look to be alright. The list of guys who showed they have chops last year is a long one: Hall, Everle, Paajarvi, Omark, Peckham, Petry, Dubnyk. Shit is going to happen but barring injury or other disaster we're talking seven guys who are going to have NHL careers. Add in Hartikainen and this year's collection of up and comers led by Lander and Hamilton and then all of the kids in junior and in Europe and who are in limbo right now (Nugent Hopkins, Pitlick and so on) and the future looks bright. If Hemsky and Smyth are dealt at the deadline then more pieces will be added and of course the likelihood is another top ten (and very likely a lottery) pick will be added next summer.

The question for the fan (or this fan, anyhow) is when will the future arrive? Will Hemsky and Smyth get moved at the deadline or Smyth ignored as a possible veteran presence for next year's club when it comes to summer signings? How about when Whitney and Gilbert's deals come up? This is coming sooner than we think. Will the club keep pushing the future back? Or is the signing of Belanger a sign that finally the present is almost here? Is the rumour being floated by Bra and Panties a possibility, that the Oilers are going to bring in a top four Dman for a kid or two? Is this a good thing or is it too early?

I'm tired of losing and I am sure the players are too. We're looking at six years out of the playoffs coming up around the bend. Thing is this club is still probably so iffy that a top four Dman might not be enough to get it out of a top ten pick anyways. We may be able to have our cake and eat it too, getting a player who can help when the team becomes good while still getting that high pick.

Personally if the right player is available and the right guys are going back (I know I know hedge your bets you fencesitter, right) then I think its time to start shoring up this roster, adding to the kids, making amove. And I'd sign Hemsky too as long as he's not asking for the moon.

Its time to get things moving in the right direction.


Coach pb9617 said...

I don't know, sir. I don't think I want Tambellini making that decision.

Black Dog said...

sorry, which decision? when its time to make a move?

I doubt he has it in him either but I think this year is a wash for Katz and then the following season may be where Tambellini is on thin ice.


So are we willing to wait that long? Or do you think he's just such a colossal fuckup that that may be best?

shepso said...

Pat, I should come by with a bottle of something decent the next time I am in town...which should be soon...until then, I recommend cragganmore as a good place for you to start if you want to develop a real taste for the scotch. If you want to stick to something from your more established history of Irish appreciation, forget your bushmills and your Jameson's (except the 12...that is delicious) and try either red breast on connemara. By the way, if the Barons play the Marlies again this year sometime before January, we should really all go again.

nanaimo oil said...

Pat, I hope your drinking the good scotch from one of those Glen's?
I really have a feeling that the plan is to have another training year, secure more top draft picks then next year start filling the D and G holes

Coach pb9617 said...

Yeah - trading two forwards for a D. I'd rather someone take the pipe than screw that up.

Black Dog said...

Derek - unfortunately I can't see him getting canned before we get to that point, unless they are done for this year, this season is a disaster and Katz decides he's had enough. Don't see it though.

nanaimo - yeah I think that's it exactly

can't remember the Scotch, it was pretty smokey and peaty though, which I like, it was fair quality I believe

Black Dog said...

Thanks for the advice on the Scotch Stephen, I appreciate it. Bit of a babe in the woods when it comes to this stuff.

And yes on the Barons, I am going to start looking into that again.

spOILer said...

Weird... around my buds, we call KFC "Dirty Bird"... which sort of plays into your last post... but not really.

From the wonderful filth that bird Bra & Panties is laying down, it seems that the Oil have made some attempts to improve the club even further over the summer. I think management would prefer to be in the playoffs sooner rather than later, but are having difficulty finding a deal that makes sense.

Hopefully one comes up and they can find a dance partner for that quick & dirty summer fling before autumn is officially here.

shepso said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
shepso said...

Smokey and Peaty you say? In that case, Cragganmore might be a bit too smooth and sweet-try Lagavulin if you feel like spending a bit more. If not, give Laphroig or Talisker a try. Quite often the Island malts (Lslay, Skye etc.) have that little bit of extra kick, while the Highlands and Speyside malts have more depth but tend to be a bit softer. That's a pretty big generalization though. If you happen to leave Ontario, grab a bottle of Dalmore, either the Gran Reserva or the 15 will do you nicely. It's a shame the LCBO won't bring them in...

Keep me posted RE: Barons, and any other time the Toronto bloggers happen to be getting together. I'd really like to make the prospects game an annual tradition.

Black Dog said...

SpOILer - we also call it the Dirty Bird, had a buddy who would become physically ill if he smelled it even, no word of a lie.

Based on the signings they have made I would say they hope to make a move but still a long way to go imo.

Stephen - looked it up and the Barons' game in Toronto is January 6th, hopefully you can make it? Its a Friday evening.

Will try and keep you posted on other activities. Chris! Boutet was talking about perhaps an opening night gettogether (HNIC I mean).

Again thanks for the Scotch advice.

Clay said...

BD - You casually mentioned trading Smyth at the deadline. Do you think they'd do that twice? The team's been wandering the wilderness since the last time...

My very first bottle of scotch was a Glenfarclas 15 year old that I won as a door prize at a Christmas party. It's easy to learn to love scotch if you start there!

shepso said...

Jan 6th, eh? That'll be my last weekend in Canada before going overseas to do my field research.I'm scheduled to leave on the 9th or 10th. It's too early to plan something that far in advance, but it's likely. I think the HNIC thing could work out nicely, however.

As to the actual details of the post, I just don't trust that the trigger is going to be pulled on any sort of a deal any time soon. This team will be marginally better, but they're still not quite ready for prime time, and while Tambs has improved the team immensely, the pieces that need the biggest upgrades aren't coming. Quick and dirty just isn't Tambi's style...He's more the slow and sloppy type.

Black Dog said...

Clay - yeah I don't think they have a lot of interest in Smyth's desire, which is to finish out his career with the Oilers. My guess is he'd be willing to do it on the cheap too.

Now ... part of me looks at their LW depth and can see why this is, if Hartikainen and Paajarvi are LWs and you have Hamilton as well and Hall and Eager then is there a spot for an aging Smyth?

I would say yes but I don't know if Tambo sees it that way.

And I would think that if Smyth is healthy and productive and he was last year then he could get a nice return at the deadline.

Peacecountry said...

Oh Scotch..... I almost wish I had never found you.
The old man had to go to Scotland a few years back for work so I agreed to meet him there on the tailend of his trip. I was never a big scotch fan until we toured around a couple distilleries. Beautiful country, beautiful couple of days.....
As for the Oil. I don't think Tambi is to concerned. If he can steal someone he will but I wouldn't expect any blockbusters. He will wait and see what happens with development and what comes around July 1, 2012. This year is still committed to the suck.

Peacecountry said...

And for the love of god please don't get rid of Smyth at the deadline again. I can see the logjam at LW but I think he can find a place on the team.

LittleFury said...

I would definitely be into another night at the Marlies/Barons. This time, though, there needs to be more drinking goddammit.

LittleFury said...

That or an HNIC night. Oct. 15, boys.

shepso said...

I'm in for Oct. 15th...and yes, more drinking...

Anonymous said...

Hi Pat,

Long time lurker so to speak infrequent poster. Really enjoy reading your posts. If you're ever over in Scotland please get in touch. I can introduce you to some great malts in particular that you wont get in Ontario.

I work in the licensed trade and have many contacts in the whisky industry in particular.

Ditto on the recommendations above. Redbreast 12 is a belter. The Cragganmore is a great introductory malt. Others I would recommend include Old Pulteney 12, Glenfiddich 15, Dalwhinnie 15 (all rounder), Balvenie 12yo Doublewood (sweeter sherry influence) or Balvenie Signature 12yo. With regards to smokey malts. Lagavulin 16 is great but tends to be expensive. Caol Ila 12, Bunnahabhain 12, Bowmore 12, Talisker 10, Highland Park 12, Ardbeg 10, Laphroiag 1/4 cask & 10yo all have varying degrees of phenol levels.

Hope this helps


Black Dog said...

Awesome thanks oiler_kiwi, really appreciate it. And while a return to Scotland is not in the near future when I return I will take you up on it.

LF/Sheps-agree on the drinking. October 15th sounds good, I will fire off an email Tuesday. Also Barons are in town Jan 6th.

B.C.B. said...

I am in for both the Barons game and the HNIC shin-ding. I promise that I drink!


Black Dog said...

Dead thread but thanks Oiler-Kiwi and Sheps, went by the local LCBO and found a lot of what you recommended - will start at it as soon as I can. ;)

B.C.B. - I think I still have your email - if not, drop it to me at pat_mclean@opticalonline.com