SUN Hockey Pool

Need another reason to hate Oilers?

ERIC FRANCIS -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:50 AM ET

How much would Dion Phaneuf had signed for annually had there not been the relatively new threat of receiving an offer sheet this summer?

Had Edmonton Oilers general manager Kevin Lowe not thrown out offers to restricted free agents Thomas Vanek or Dustin Penner last summer is there any chance Phaneuf would have signed for more than US$5 million a year. Maybe less.

The irony is thick that the GM in Phaneuf's hometown of Edmonton likely boosted Phaneuf's bottom line somewhere in the neighbourhood of $10 million over six years.

We can only assume the cheque is in the mail Kevin.

Now more notes, quotes and anecdotes from a sports world wondering who forgot to tell the Avalanche that without their top three forwards they weren't supposed to remain in the playoff hunt?

AROUND THE HORN

Indeed, that was Ken King sporting the Beer Guy uniform and selling suds on the concourse at Thursday's game. It was part of the team president's annual staff appreciation gesture where he picks a name out of a hat containing every one of the 1,200 'Dome employees. He then does their job for the evening. "I'm praying it's not one of the Fire and Ice Girls next year," said a laughing King, who forwarded what he considered to be "a lot" in tips ... Believe it or not, the class-of-the-league Detroit Red Wings sport a lineup with just one first-round draft pick: Daniel Cleary. By comparison, the Flames have 10 opening rounders ... Mike Keenan when asked by a TV newbie if he'd ever seen anything like Saturday's fisticuffs: "I've been around a long time -- that was quite tame compared to what I've seen. In Chicago, we had to make the penalty box bigger."

PARTING GIFTS

Shame on Fox TV for showing replays of the circus catch by David Tyree just twice and failing to mention it after the fact. If Eli Manning doesn't make his great escape and Tyree doesn't make the grab, we're talking about the Pats going 19-0. One of the biggest plays in football history and Fox essentially overlooked it ... Former Olympian Jim Peplinski on the Russians at the 1988 Calgary Games: "They were all for trading sticks because our sticks were better." ... Happy 88th birthday to Stampders legend Sugarfoot Anderson who celebrated his big day yesterday in Honolulu watching former Stamp Jeff Garcia play in his fourth Pro Bowl ... Eric Godard after being one of the first to lose all his money at the Flames charity poker tourney: "I'm gonna get it back outside." He may not gamble much on the ice, but Cory Sarich finished fourth in the event that raised over $450,000. Rick Tocchet did not compete.

PARTING SHOTS

With their audience dwarfed by TSN and Sportsnet, The Score has decided to drop all its reporters outside of Toronto as of today. That means Calgary's Deb Matejicka will be looking for a job once she returns from maternity leave. Yet, the network continues to employ the same, tired old act that is Al Strachan ... Marc Boerigter was inducted into the Hall of Fame at tiny Hastings College in his Nebraska hometown last week. The 29-year-old former Stamp receiver is living in Calgary and contemplating his football future after being released by the Toronto Argonauts ...Those intrigued by the Blackhawks' 250-lb. defenceman-turned-winger Dustin Byfuglien may be interested to know his name is pronounced BUFF-linn. ... Thanks to a new marketing deal with Eternal Images, the logos of six teams can now be emblazoned on caskets or urns. Appropriate timing, given the league's last shred of integrity recently died with the Mitchell Report ... Phaneuf nets the biggest deal in Flames history and one game later, the media's pre-game meal goes from sublime to sandwiches. Coincidence, we're sure.


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