Oilers captain exposed

TERRY JONES, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:28 AM ET

As much as the Edmonton Oilers exposed themselves in the final minute of regulation last night, it'll be nothing compared to the exposure of three of them today.

ESPN The Magazine comes out today with an issue in which three Oilers are featured buck naked.

Kinda like Ethan Moreau, one of those players, will feel when he reads Pat Quinn's quotes about him this morning.

Moreau, the Oilers' captain, who was spanked by coach Pat Quinn for first getting in a fight with Calgary's Jarome Iginla after the Calgary captain took Sheldon Souray off his skates and into the boards, leaving him with a mild concussion.

"I don't understand the players of today. If that had happened in the old days he would have got hit over the head with a stick. Right after," swore Quinn.

"It was a dirty play in my opinion. Poked his feet out! And then piled on top of him!

"The area I come from, you do dirt with dirt. You don't give him honour with that kind of play. Why would you give a man honour? Why would you honour him with a fist fight?"

Quinn also criticized Moreau for the play which resulted in the puck coming down to the other end of the ice and Calgary scoring with 1.5 seconds to play to send the game into overtime and eventually as shootout loss.

"You don't try to score another goal. The guy who did it trapped ourselves," he said of Moreau.

In nether case did he mention his captain by name.

Quinn wasn't nearly so hard on the guy for appearing in the magazine buck naked.

"They didn't ask me," said the 66-year-old.

"Times have changed," he said, then amended that.

"Beef cake has always been beef cake as long as I've known."

Last night Calgary Sun scribe Randy Sportak was showing around an e-mailed copy of a page from ESPN The Magazine which is due to hit the newsstands today.

And there they are. Three Edmonton Oilers, representing hockey, nude in the dressing room, three of 30 athletes featured in the "Body Issue" of the publication.

OK, in this case you'd have to call it partially nude.

Sheldon Souray is sitting in his dressing room stall with only a helmet covering his family jewels. Captain Ethan Moreau is posed beside him wearing only hockey gloves and holding a stick, which covers up most of his pubic area.

Andrew Cogliano is wearing a towel.

Souray isn't anywhere near as handsome this morning as he was in the photo thanks to Iginla mashing him face-first into the boards.

The Oilers are featured in the section called "Exposure" which features three LPGA golfers in a sand trap in their birthday suits as well.

Boston Bruin Zdeno Chara also is featured in a full length pose. And tennis star Serena Williams is another big name star involved in the magazine's answer to Sports Illustrated's long running swimsuit issue.

"I wouldn't have done something like that if it wasn't a respected sports publication like ESPN The Magazine," said Cogliano. "It features top athletes and it's good for marketing the sport and the NHL. The NHL approached us. I'm not worried about the reaction, other than my mom. She hasn't seen it yet."

GM Steve Tambellini was shown a copy of the picture on a Blackberry screen last night and had only one comment: "It looks like they're in real great shape."

His boss Kevin Lowe had no problem with it. Indeed, he endorsed it.

"It's an issue dedicated to the body and it features pro athletes all over the world."

Business side boss Patrick LaForge chuckled.

"I think we have the best looking team in the NHL. I don't think we have a problem with it. I don't know why we would. It's not Oiler branded so much. I'm fine with it. Fifty-one percent of Canadians will like that shot.

"Maybe it opens more sponsorship opportunities," he laughed.

If nothing else, maybe the photo of three naked Edmonton Oilers hockey players in a major U.S. sports publication is an attempt to prove it's not a quite as cold up here as people think.

In fact, if you're Ethan Moreau today, it's pretty hot.

TERRY.JONES@SUNMEDIA.CA


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