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Alberta

The Votes Tell the Story

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5 minute read

The Votes Tell the Story

On this amazing day for hockey fans, especially in Alberta, it’s a personal joy to realize two men I have known and appreciated for decades are now members of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

As much satisfaction as supporters are sure to feel for Jarome Iginla and his selection in his first year of HHOF eligibility, the same level of pleasure is sure to be shared by Kevin Lowe, who has waited many years for his combination of steadiness, competitive fire and team intelligence to be recognized at the highest possible of the game both he and Iginla have loved since childhood.

It’s a bonus for Edmontonians, and for all in sports, that Ken Holland was welcomed as a builder. He deserves the accolade as much as anyone can and the fact that he achieved most of his front-office success before he was hired as the Edmonton Oilers general manager before the start of last season. It’s still a shock to recall how many dedicated Oilers lovers objected in words and in print to the thought that he would be hired after being escorted away from Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

You want another shock? Iginla came much closer to being potentially a career Oiler than media wretches were allowed to know.

He was drafted 11th overall in 1995. Steve Kelly became a mistaken sixth-overall choice in the same year. He was picked as Number 6 — one spot ahead of Shane Doan despite loud demands for the Oilers to go for Doan with their first pick of the graduate draft.

Barry Fraser, Edmonton’s head scout, told me before the draft that Iginla “is going to be a good pick for somebody.” He also Iginla as a potential first-rounder, a clear sign that he would become part of the mid-90s Oilers if rival selections made it possible.

Doan, like Lowe, was a productive but not brilliant offensive player. If his character and leadership are taken into account in a future year, he will also become a more promising candidate for Hall of Fame membership.

Dealing with Lowe during the Oilers’ Stanley Cup run was always a pleasure. When he sensed a criticism, and if he missed some of the credit headed his team’s way, he was likely to be edgy. It was impossible to do a pre-game Sportstalk segment and still find time for a moment to talk. Then I learned that he sharpened his skates very early on game night. That meant he would be available for brief conversation.

Somehow, it evolved that we would speak before the first home game of every series. I still remember the intensity of his preparation.

Iginla’s brilliant junior record and his lifelong connection with Edmonton and St. Albert made it obvious that we would meet during the 1995 junior draft countdown. He and several other top prospects were made available for live appearances for about week.

Iginla was not a logical choice to talk: he did not blow his own horn. Others seemed more interested than he was at the thought of speaking for 30 minutes on radio. After about three days, someone asked about giving Jarome some time on the microphone. Said I: “It doesn’t look like he’s interested” but his supporter suggested that I approach the quiet young man. He agreed to join the chow and was a sensational guest, showing a confident streak that was well-balanced with modesty.

One question was a natural for presentation to any young athlete: “Do you think the NHL will be a good fit for you?” His answer, as I learned gradually over time, was typical for him.

“I know I’ve got a lot to learn,” he said. “I have to improve my skating quite a bit. If I do that, I can probably do all right.”

As they say: Now we know the rest of the story.

Gretzky Was Magic, Now He Sees It

 

 

 

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Alberta

Doctors urge Alberta to hold off on easing COVID-19 restrictions next week

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EDMONTON — A group of health professionals is urging the Alberta government not to ease COVID-19 restrictions next week and to instead toughen measures for bars, restaurants and pubs. 

The plea comes from two doctors who co-chair the Edmonton Zone Medical Staff Association’s pandemic committee. 

Dr. Noel Gibney and Dr. James Talbot say in a statement that new daily active cases have stopped decreasing and that new, more transmissible variants of the virus may cause rapid increases. 

They also say many bars, restaurants and pubs are not following the existing rules and that it will be months before all at-risk Albertans are vaccinated. 

The Alberta government could as soon as Monday ease restrictions on retail businesses, banquet halls, community halls, conference centres, hotels, indoor fitness and children’s sport and performance. activities. 

The province’s chief medical officer, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, has said that while hospitalizations are down, the next reopening phase is not a done deal because the test positivity rate and number of new people infected by each case are rising. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published February 26, 2021. 

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Alberta woman who shot husband, dumped his body in slough appeals prison sentence

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EDMONTON — An Alberta woman who admitted to shooting her husband and dumping his body in a slough wants her 18 -year prison sentence reduced.

Helen Naslund pleaded guilty last year to manslaughter in the September 2011 death of 49-year-old Miles Naslund on a farm near Holden, Alta., about 100 kilometres southeast of Edmonton.

An agreed statement of facts said the husband had a domineering pattern of abuse against his wife.

It said she feared for her safety, but she didn’t want to leave the marriage out of concern for her children and because of her depression. 

Naslund shot her husband twice in the back of his head with a .22-calibre pistol while he was in bed.

A notice of appeal filed Thursday by her lawyer says the sentencing judge didn’t properly consider the domestic abuse she suffered

After Naslund killed her husband, she and her son put his body in a metal box and used a boat to dump it in a swampy area on their farm.

They threw the gun in a dugout and buried the man’s car in a field. 

Police initially investigated Myles Naslund as a missing person and only later, after receiving a tip, opened the case as a homicide. Investigators, with the help of a dive team, found the body six years later. 

The couple’s son, Neil Naslund, pleaded guilty to offering an indignity to human remains and was sentenced to three years in prison.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published February 26, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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