Saturday, 27 April 2013

Edmonton Oiler nuggets - 7-2 over Vancouver

 A  few things to chew on after the Edmonton Oiler’s 7-2 win  Saturday night over the Vancouver 


•Oiler new GM Craig MacTavish said he isn’t afraid of making some bold moves — and they will happen over the summer.  So who could have played their final game in Oiler silks Saturday?

My list has Ales Hemsky, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Ryan Whitney — and keeping with the three R’s — Ryan Smyth.

Hemsky: He has been on borrowed time, I think, for a while. Should have been moved last season rather than re-signing.

Nugent-Hopkins: I hate to say this but his shoulder could mark him as damaged goods. And that’s too bad. Great young player, but if the Oilers move on of the young guns, No. 93 could very well be it.

Smyth: The old warrior has really slowed down in the last half of the season. He will admit it.  I don’t think Smyth will be on the bench next year: he will be behind I as an assistant coach.

As Saturday night's win, and 12 days on the job, MacTavish — who always has a one-liner on the tip of his tongue — told Hockey Night in Canada's After Hours: "Mission accomplished."


•There has been some comment —right, Don Cherry? — about Nail Yakupov’s celebrations after scoring goals. Yakupov showed his emotion in the third period when he scored the Oilers’ second goal.
For all those who don’t think he should be so exuberant, three words: he’s a rookie.

•Overheard interesting comment over lunch last week could Phoenix Coyotee Tippet be replacing Ralph Kruger as head coach? Now, wouldn’t that be bold?


•And … was Saturday the last time the CBC Hockey Night in Canada crew will be at Rexall Place? The CBC TV rights deal with the NHL is up at the end of the season.

It's all Marty's fault

It took 25 years, but my buddy Marty Forbes finally  agreed to do something with Tait Talk.

The first time I called Marty with the idea was 1988 when I was staying at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Vancouver.

Somehow, I got into little screw-top bottles with my favorite adult beverage.

Marty was program director of KISS FM in Vancouver.

I was writing a daily editorial on K-97 called Tait Talk,  but it had a different slant.

I have cerebral palsy and don’t speak that clearly. I always wanted to be in the radio business, but my voice didn’t let me.

So I wrote the copy. And announcers Randy Kilburn, Robin Allen and Barrie Harrison (shown bellow) read my words.

The focus of the show was to create awareness about people with disabilities.

I always wanted to take it to a national level.

So I called Marty, that afternoon in Vancouver, and pitched the idea.

There was a long pause at the end of the phone line.

“It might not work here in Vancouver,” Marty said, which was a nice way of saying ‘have some more fun with the little screw-top bottles.'

So I did.

Then, on Thursday, Marty and I had lunch with Bryn Griffiths at Ruth’s Chris in Edmonton.

“Why aren’t you writing a blog?” Marty asked, in that tone of voice that tells me I should know better.

Frankly, I did not have an answer.

I’ve been writing newspaper columns since 1979 for the Edmonton Journal, but a blog?

I’ve been humming and hawing.

Marty reminded me of how fortunate I am to meet hundreds of people in Edmonton who have great stories to tell.

So we’re going to do that. In fact, I have one in coming up about my son Darren and Mr. Hockey, Gordie Howe sharing a great moment in west Edmonton Friday.

We might even have a few opinions on things in Edmonton. I hear they are building a new arena in town …

And we will also share some tender moments.

Marty looked up from his Rueben Sandwich.

“Why don’t you call it Tait Talk?” he said — and then offered to set things up for me.

So here we go.

And I will try to stay away from little bottles with screw-tops.