They'd look good in Oilers silks

JOHN SHORT

, Last Updated: 9:13 AM ET

Watching Team Canada struggle to get comfortable before rallying to beat Germany yesterday, it dawned on me that Jason Chimera would look good in an Oilers uniform.

He can skate, shoot and use the body while checking. He'd be a perfect fit.

OOPS!

Shane Doan would be terrific here, too.

He's reliable on the ice, a solid citizen away from the game. He brings offensive skill, leadership, physical presence and consistency.

I'll bet the Oilers would have drafted him, if they had a chance.

OOPS!

Chimera, a great skater, allegedly didn't think the game very well, so the Lowe-MacTavish partnership let him go. Doan thinks the game extremely well but allegedly didn't skate well enough for the Sather-Pocklington organization a few years previously.

Both players developed their skills in Alberta and both of the Oilers regimes keeps and keep on insisting they want local talent when it's available.

OOPS!

Let's hear it again for consistency in drafting and player development.

IN PRAISE OF CUTLER

Warren Moon was the second-best Eskimo player in history - behind only the fabulous Jackie Parker, whose career ended long before today's customers came along.

He'll be worth every penny of admission to the Huskies reunion in June.

Receiving great Brian Kelly, the amusing Fred Fleming and all-time good guy Tom Wilkinson are part of the evening, too. That's fine.

But for me, the best feature will be Dave Cutler as master of ceremonies. Nobody in sport is funnier one-on-one.

One unforgettable line after he missed a 57-yard field goal with a game on the line: "I forgot to factor in the curvature of the earth."

Another one, needling an old friend: "Sportswriters are wannabe athletes with their brains knocked out."

Every time Cutler was interviewed, I used to wonder why he didn't plan a post-football career behind the microphone.

Dan Kepley made a living at it. Craig Simpson did the same. So did Fleming.

They all worked hard to break through in a television world that is tougher than many outsiders can possibly suspect.

If he'd done more than wonder about it, Cutler would have, could have, should have been better than any or all of them.

MIXED EMOTIONS

Mixed emotions kicked into gear for a lot of longtime hockey watchers as the Camrose Kodiaks played their last official hockey game at the Max McLean Arena.

The old place, built about 40 years ago, had gone far beyond the past-due date, but the memories created there will live for many years.

With help from hundreds of other area residents, MLA Leroy Johnson pushed long and hard for the new facility that will be opened this summer.

Corporate support was terrific but progress was slow for many years.

Insiders say the breakthrough came when groups with a legitimate claim to time and space in the new place stopped squabbling in order to compromise on a plan that government money-manipulators could not overlook.

Don't bet that the same thing will happen in providing a new home for the Oilers. Agreed, NHL hockey deserves a lot of attention, but a mechanism is required so that other valid organizations are protected.

There's something wrong when a hockey team controls almost every moment of time in a coliseum or a football team exerts thorough influence on all the proposed uses of another stadium.

Your tax money was used to construct Commonwealth Stadium and what we now call Rexall Place.

It's frustrating that politicians have forgotten that reality - and even more frustrating that so many citizens honestly believe total, complete, absolute, selfish control by the pros is best for everybody.


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