Deadlines & finish lines
TRADE DEADLINE RECAP
Like many of you, here at the EdmontonOilers.com command centre, we didn't find out about the Cole/Kotalik/O'Sullivan trade until shortly after the deadline passed. As the deadline approached, we were keenly watching Sportsnet and TSN and praying that they didn't break the news of an Oilers trade before we did. We heard rumblings about Kotalik near deadline time, and then news started filtering in about O'Sullivan shortly after. Both sports networks were reporting the same thing mere moments after we heard, which tells me that the inner circle is a lot larger than I would like to believe (or perhaps, I'm not even IN the inner circle, which is a depressing thought).
Of course, the difference between EdmontonOilers.com and the sports networks is that they can report rumours and we cannot. So while they could change the trade story as more information was provided, we waited until the paperwork was completed and the official press releases were forwarded to us. At that time, we posted the press releases on the website and distributed them to our media contacts and Pipeline subscribers.
Marc, Steve and I then teamed up to clean up the loose ends. From the team's hotel in Ottawa, Steve spoke to GM Steve Tambellini and Head Coach Craig MacTavish and prepared the audio and video from those interviews. I updated our roster page and Marc pulled Kotalik and O'Sullivan's highlights and posted them on the site.
Later in the afternoon, we listened to a conference call between Tambellini, Kotalik, and O'Sullivan and – with Dan Tencer's help – were able to post audio from that stat. Thursday was a game-day, and like the rest of the media, Steve was eager to interview the newest Oilers after their first skate with the team.
After that, it was business as usual with the Oilers website. A lot of waiting around, but Deadline Day turned out to be pretty busy for us.
MOOSE GAME RECAP
As I wrote in last week's blog, I visited my friends and family in Manitoba this past weekend. A highlight of the trip was my triumphant return to the MTS Centre to watch the Manitoba Moose host the Providence Bruins. I had planned on providing you with a thorough assessment of the difference between AHL and NHL hockey, however with all the visiting and waver-signing (more on that later), I didn't get to watch very much of it.
But I will tell you this: It's very strange to go back and watch a team that you used to know inside and out. I used to be able to rattle off Moose players, stats, streaks, and milestones without missing a beat, but at Friday's game I felt very out of the loop. My dad informed me his favourite Moose player is Guillaume Desbiens. Guillaume Des-who? And when I visited the press box, I ran into Zack FitzGerald and had a brief moment of panic when I realized that I had no idea how his season was going -- if he was a healthy scratch, injured, any call-ups to the Canucks, etc. It's difficult to tip-toe around touchy subjects when you've completely lost track of your subject. (Thankfully, Zack was only a day or two away from returning the line-up from injury. Good job, buddy!)
After my press box visit, I was quickly summoned back down to the concourse where I was confronted by my friend Andrea: “Jen, sign this form. We're participating in the Puck Race at the second intermission.”
When you work for a sports team, you are ineligible to participate in between-period on-ice entertainment. BUT, the moment you leave the organization, your name is back in the running. And when you visit your former employer with two other former employees, you triple your odds of being selected. That's how the Moose run things, anyway.
So in the second period, I joined my former coworkers (who also don't work there anymore) Andrea and Erin in the loading dock. We traded our high-heels for sneakers stolen from desks in the office and were presented with the giant puck-suits we had agreed to wear.
I wave to my fans after being introduced by Manitoba Moose game host Dave Wheeler at the MTS Centre.
Erin, Andrea, and I were introduced by Moose game host Dave Wheeler, and I made sure to wave to all my fans in the crowd (Oil Country extends to Manitoba, you know). Before I knew it, Dave yelled “Go” and we roared up the ice. Mick E. Moose (mascot) knocked me down a few times, but I used the inside lane to my full advantage and gripped the net at the far end to help launch myself around the corner.
I surged up the left wing (the slowest surge possible, but still a surge) and was the first to cross the goal line. I believe Dave yelled “Oilers win!” but that may have been the giddy delirium. My prize? A 1st Place plaque and jeans soaked in Zamboni water.
If you learn anything from this story, let it be this: Take the inside lane, don't let a stinky Moose on skates get ya down, and friendship means nothing when a plaque is on the line.
Until next time.