ENS Headlines: 06/14/17

Times are tough. It’s mid June. We’re still a week away from the awards, the expansion draft, the entry draft, the jersey unveilings. We’re also half a month away from free agency. So there’s not a lot to write about.

So naturally, both the Journal and Mark Spector have been doing all the talk about Kris Russell and his future contract with either the Edmonton Oilers or any other team. First, Staples banged out this piece about how keeping Kris Russell would almost certainly mean the end of Darnell Nurse and/or St. Albert’s Matt Benning as part of the Oilers future defensive core:

To be fair to Staples, this one actually favoured keeping both Nurse and Benning over Russell. We shouldn’t be celebrating a decision like that because dammit that should be pretty fucking obvious. But like I said, times are tough. And when you’re dealing with the three amigos like we’re forced to do on a far to regular basis it’s almost insulting how refreshing it is to see them publish something that makes complete and logical sense.

But they weren’t done, specifically David. Today, Staples once again published another piece on Russell — his second in as many days:

The context of the second article was more focused on a conversation Mark Spector had on Oilers Now with friend of ENS, Brendan Ullrich:

“I think he’s a $4 million defenceman now. I’d rather him three years than four. My sort of judgement on the guy who plays the game as hard as Kris Russell plays it, when the injuries come and when the erosion occurs, it occurs very quickly because, let’s face it, pucks are banging off him all the time. I love his game, but those guys, they just don’t gradually descend down a hill in their career. Sometimes they fall right over the cliff. I would take him. I don’t mind the money, but I would only want him for three years, if possible. But that’s going to be tough because a team like Calgary might offer him more, a team like Vancouver offer him some money. He’s a good player. Toronto is interested in him. There’s a lot of teams out there that may preclude you from getting a shorter term deal on him.”

Christ, Mark. First and foremost, we should not be offering Kris Russell a contract. This shouldn’t even be a discussion and yet, here we are. Kris Russell is not good. In fact, most would argue he is actually quite bad. But god forbid you say that to Spector, or Staples, or Jimmy Mouth Breather, who are not only willing but are also entirely ready to dump three years and multiple millions of dollars into Russell’s bank account.

Next — and this should be quite obvious — if a team like Toronto or Vancouver or mother of god, CALGARY, is thinking about signing Russell then by all means, let them sign Kris Russell. Picture Kris Russell, draped in Calgary red, standing behind their net with the puck for 65 minutes, waiting to see which player he’ll inevitably turn it over to. Picture the other team being us, and picture Connor McDavid on the ice with saliva literally plummeting down the side of his mouth knowing damn well he’s about to intercept that feeble clearing attempt. Now picture Calgary absorbing four years and $16 million worth of that sequence. That’s a world I could get down with.

Oh and Spec absolutely continued:

“I’ve been hearing Toronto is interested in Russell as well because he’s the kind of guy that can play for (Toronto coach Mike) Babcock. Listen, we all watched him in the playoffs. Corsi be damned and all this other stuff. Everyone listening to this show saw his value with their own two eyes all through last season and the playoffs. So did everyone else in the NHL.”

Ah, the old eyes game. The same eyes that couldn’t decide whether a dress was black and blue or gold and white. Those are what we’re throwing our money on. Not the stats, which will factually show you that Kris Russell is all kinds of hot garbage. This is like debating between science and the Bible. I’m sorry (not really), Mark. But your eyes don’t mean shit. None of ours do. Stats are the only thing that truly matter in a game of winning or losing, and Russell’s stats absolutely stink. Do not sign him, Edmonton. And please for the love of all things good in this city let somebody like Calgary or Vancouver lock him up.

PS – This is either a burner account for Dave Staples, Mark Spector, Jim Matheson, or all of the above:

“Pat” is clearly taking the good stuff because in no world ever is Kris Russell even remotely necessary to build a contender.

One Timers

Ugh. Four more months until hockey. Christ.

Toss up: Did these players just get obliterated in the NBA Finals, or beat a low payroll team of nobodies in the first round?:

I mean… pardon?? PK Subban was choked up and at a serious loss of words following their defeat in six against the Pens. Meanwhile, LeBron and Kyrie are out there with choreographed handshakes following a five game crucifixion against one of their biggest rivals because they know they’ll probably sign Melo in the offseason and be right back to the Finals next year, against the same goddamn team. I hate it.

Moments after winning their second NBA title in three years, the Golden State unanimously voted to skip their White House visit. The Penguins, meanwhile, will accept a White House visit, assuming they’re invited. No word yet on if Trump will allow Evgeni Malkin to go.

Jeremy Maclin signed with the Baltimore Ravens. Normally, nobody outside of diehard Ravens fans and/or obsessive fantasy owners would give a rat’s shit about this, however, his deal includes… wait for it… free crab cakes for LIFE!!!

WHAT?! Maclin could realistically catch 11 of 116 for 32 yards and no TDs next season and the man will still be eating the most delicious fancy appetizers for the rest of his time on Earth. Incredible. Connor needs to find a way to work free steak and sushi from Joey into his next contract or else his agent failed him.

The Panthers named former defensive liability Bob Boughner as their fifth head coach since 2011. Five head coaches, and I still don’t have my jerseys.

This is mental:

Vegas is about to start wheeling and dealing:

For those unsure, the NHL’s protected list will be available to the public on Sunday.

Oh, and here’s Terry Jones saying something incredibly stupid:

All Kessel has ever done is battle through testicular cancer and took the Cup to a sick kids hospital in Toronto — the city that booed him out of the country. But Terry Jones knows all about image things:

Yep. That’s definitely an image I’ll never be able to get out of my head.

This Day in Oilers History

June 14, 2006:

The shorty heard around the 780:


I think almost all of us can tell you exactly where we were and what we were wearing the day Fernando buried that goal.

Remember that Oiler?

Might as well be Fernando Pisani. It’s his day, so why not. Pisani (GREAT Edmonton boy) spent seven seasons with the Oil, scoring 80 regular season goals while adding 73 regular season assists. But that, of course, is not what he’s most know for. He’ll always be remembered for giving us 24 electrifying games in the 2006 playoffs, where he buried a ridiculous 14 times, including that big one up top. Big one up top… reminds me of Hank’s wife.