Drafting high, selling low

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, Last Updated: 7:25 AM ET

Ever have one of those days, weeks, years? When it seems every decision you make - right or wrong - comes back to bite you right now?

It's a good thing the Oilers haven't played the Buffalo Sabres recently. Ty Conklin would have had a shutout.

Let's see, Jeff Woywitka scores his first NHL goal - against you.

Eric Brewer gets a game-winner. Against you.

Meanwhile, Marc-Andre Bergeron keeps racking up assists. Often on a Ryan Smyth goal.

Can it get any worse for the mighty Oil?

The two people left watching on Whyte Ave. arrested each other for "failure to riot."

But I don't want to jump on the bandwagon jumping all over the team.

"How soon they forget" is the classic cliche for this town's hockey fans. Hello - that run to the Stanley Cup final? That wasn't 1990. Bill Ranford is collecting a pension now. That was LAST YEAR!

Get used to it. The NHL has become very much like the NFL as far as putting a team together. If you're close - go for it now.

If it's going away - cash your chips. Now.

Once upon a time, if you were a smart and/or lucky enough, you drafted a solid core and added pieces as you grew. But that was like a five-year plan!

The Canadiens did it coming out of an old era with Lafleur, Dryden and Robinson. The Islanders did it coming into a new era with Potvin, Trottier and Bossy.

The Oil did it with 99, 11 and 7.

But how frustrating was it to be a Chicago Blackhawks fan? They were never smart enough to get over the hump during the Denis Savard years. Not as frustrating - trust me - as being a Boston Bruins fan, where the team was too cheap to make the Ray Bourque-Cam Neely years end in glory.

For Oiler fans now, the question becomes what the team will get for these cashed-in chips.

They do have some high draft selections coming up. That should be of some relief. Then again, the Oilers clearly have a better eye for under-the-radar talent in later rounds. And have a knack for missing empty nets with the high picks. Shawn Horcoff or Jason Bonsignore? And whatever happened to that Janne Ninnipavaalnittymaki guy they drafted?

Oh, I think he's curling this week.

So the Oilers have some high draft selections. Maybe fans should be worried.

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England beat Andorra.

The scary thing is, this made the English football nation happy. OK, any celebration was one of relief that they may still yet qualify for Euro 2008.But it shows you the condition of the national team. This is like Canada celebrating a win over Korea in hockey.

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"Old time hockey, coach!"

NASCAR is in Martinsville. This is old-time stock-car racing, coach.

Bumper cars with expensive bumpers. If your paint-job isn't half-scratched off by the end, then you don't deserve to win.

I can't wait to see Juan Pablo Montoya enter the bullring. Beyond practice runs, I believe this will be Montoya's first go on a tiny track in his brief transition from open-wheel to stock-car racing.

The boy was never shy about meeting his neighbour when he raced in CART and Formula One. I think Juan Pablo is going to luuuv this.

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Baseball this year is all about finding love.

- Can Barry Bonds get any from Bud Selig?

- Will Alex Rodriguez get any in pinstripes? And is $88 million enough to keep him in Yankeeland?

- Can Ken Griffey Jr. ever find love as a hometown hero in Cincinnati? Or will his once fairy-tale career end with another injury and be replaced by the fairy-tale story of Josh Hamilton, the former No. 1 pick who has wrestled his life back - and now maybe a career - from drugs and other demons.

- After spending all that money, can J.P. Ricciardi find happiness with another third-place finish for the Blue Jays?


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