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Was the quick evolution of Draisaitl from prospect to standout THE biggest on-ice element in this positive building project?

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It was a little more than three years ago when Wayne Gretzky predicted the Edmonton Oilers were on their way to big improvement in the National Hockey League.

And he did it in one simple sentence: “We’ll be a really good team when the big guy decides he wants to run his own line.”

Now it’s obvious that “the big guy” was, and is, Leon Draisaitl. Gretzky’s words came as a team-wide selection of alleged experts insisted the Oilers would reach their peak if then-coach Todd McLellan would leave Draisaitl and the remarkable Connor McDavid as allies on the same forward line long enough to allow some solid second- and third-line players to become consistently valuable.

The operative words in Gretzky’s sentence — “decides to” — became memorable only after Draisaitl matured enough to recognize his own potential. The specific turning point from bright prospect to budding superstar Is impossible to define precisely, but it certainly happened last season.

Until then, the German youngster remained only an intriguing prospect. He operated comfortably, and often effectively, with McDavid doing most of the work, getting almost all the attention and still scoring points at a ridiculous level

To state the obvious once again, Draisaitl’s status as scoring champion and likely winner of the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player has erased any fear that he might fall short of the potential that showed in his junior career.

Now, he faces another step: showing his dominance — on his own line much of the time and in partnership with McDavid on Edmonton’s ominous power play. The Chicago Blackhawks are certain to see brilliance from their offensive co-leaders through at least three first-round playoff games, and perhaps as many as five games.

Since almost the moment, months ago,when commissioner Gary Bettman’s dream of completing a Stanley Cup playoff was first circulated, respect has grown for the Oilers as potential champions — this year, not next year.

Coach Dave Tippett and general manager Ken Holland have been extremely strategic in their public utterances: “sure we’re good, but we’re still growing,” is a shared outlook. Holland, in particular, has been cautious. His years of success as the operational head of the Detroit Red Wings showed him that depth and experience are essential to reach the top of any competitive ladder.

The season-long improvement of defender Ethan Bear and winger Kailer Yamamoto has done much to improve team depth, back and front. Evan Bouchard, Phil Broberg and Caleb Jones are all nearing regular play on a big-league blueline crew. Tyler Benson, Ryan McLeod, Ostap Safin show similar signs up front.

These future additions make it obvious the Oilers have potential as serious candidates, both short- and long-term.

Was the quick evolution of Draisaitl from prospect to standout THE biggest on-ice element in this positive building project? It’s hard to argue otherwise.

Coronavirus invasion of major league baseball was bound to happen sooner or later

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Alberta

Alberta’s government honours the province’s top athletes, teams, coaches and officials with 2023 Sport Recognition Awards

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Minister of Tourism and Sport Joseph Schow presents the 2023 Alberta Sport Recognition Awards, honouring the province’s top athletes, teams, coaches and officials.

Celebrating excellence in Alberta sport

Alberta is a global leader in sport, and it’s thanks to the athletes, coaches and officials who dedicate themselves to excellence in their craft. The Alberta Sport Recognition program was established in 1987 to acknowledge the outstanding achievements and commitment of coaches, officials and volunteers in the province.

Recipients of the 2023 Sport Recognition Awards represent the best in sport from across the province, from exceptional athletes to hard-working coaches and officials. Through their unwavering dedication to sport, these individuals are contributing to Alberta’s reputation as a global leader in sport and help make our province the best place in the world to live, visit and play.

“These high-performance athletes, coaches, and officials have demonstrated extraordinary achievement in international and national competitions and are deserving of recognition for their efforts. I am proud of their contributions and grateful for their leadership in making Alberta a province that lives the spirit of sport.”

Joseph Schow, Minister of Tourism and Sport

“The award recipients have demonstrated dedication, passion and excellence which have set them apart as true champions in their respective fields. Many have reached the pinnacle of performance and each of the recipients has demonstrated unparalleled commitment and skill, inspiring others to reach for excellence in all they do.”

Dale Henwood, chair, Alberta Sports Hall of Fame

The 2023 award recipients are:

  • Junior Male Athlete of the Year – Nikita Ciudin – Sprint Canoe
  • Junior Female Athlete of the Year – Julia Bartlett – Biathlon
  • Junior Team of the Year – Team Tao – Curling – Johnson Tao, Jaedon Neuert, Ben Morin, Adam Naugler, Zach Davies and Skip Wilson (coach)
  • Open Male Athlete of the Year – Jeremiah Lauzon – Athletics
  • Open Female Athlete of the Year – Alexandria Loutitt – Ski Jumping
  • Open Team of the Year – Team Canada 3×3 Basketball – Michelle Plouffe, Katherine Plouffe, Paige Crozon, Kacie Bosch, Jamie Scott, and Kim Gaucher (coach)
  • Coaching Recognition Award: Rachel Koroscil – Biathlon
  • Coaching Recognition Award: Marty Birky – Basketball
  • Technical Official Recognition Award – Barb Bush – Springboard Diving
  • Technical Official Recognition Awards – Matthew Kallio – Basketball

Quick facts

  • In 2002, the Athlete and Team of the Year awards were added to the awards program to acknowledge high performance athletes and teams who are promoting Alberta on the national and international stage, and recognize their pursuit of sport development goals.
  • The Coach Recognition Award recognizes coaches for their outstanding achievements in developing Alberta’s amateur athletes.
  • The Official Recognition Award recognizes outstanding achievements in and commitments to officiating.
  • Award recipients were selected by a committee and considered results from the 2022/2023 competition season.
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Alberta

Free Alberta Strategy petition demanding PM Trudeau fire Steven Guilbeault passes 13,000 signatures

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News release from Free Alberta Strategy 

Are you tired of watching elected officials flout the law and disregard public concerns with impunity?

Are you frustrated by a federal government that prioritizes arrogance over accountability?

If so, you’re not alone.

Over 13,000 people have signed our petition calling on Justin Trudeau to fire Steven Guilbeault.

Once one of Greenpeace’s most disruptive forces, Guilbeault has spent enough time in an orange jumpsuit to build up a reputation for deliberately ignoring both law enforcement and the courts.

Since then, his career has been marked by a troubling disregard for both legal boundaries and public sentiment.

In 2001, Guilbeault was found guilty of mischief for scaling the CN Tower in Toronto and displaying a banner.

He received a sentence of one year’s probation, was mandated to complete 100 hours of community service in Montreal, and was ordered to pay $1,000 in restitution.

The incident incurred approximately $50,000 in costs for the tower operators.

Shortly thereafter, Guilbeault orchestrated another audacious act, leading a Greenpeace team in a demonstration at the Calgary residence of then Alberta Premier Ralph Klein and his wife, Colleen.

They erected a banner, positioned ladders against the house, and ascended to the roof to install a solar panel.

The intrusion deeply unsettled Colleen Klein, who was alone at the time and feared a home invasion – she resorted to grabbing a broom for defense.

Despite his controversial background, Justin Trudeau’s decision to appoint Guilbeault as Minister of Environment and Climate Change raised eyebrows and elicited criticism.

Jason Kenney, then premier of Alberta, accurately predicted the consequences of Guilbeault assuming a significant role in Justin Trudeau’s cabinet.

“His own personal background and track record on these issues suggests someone who is more an absolutist than a pragmatist when it comes to finding solutions,” Kenney said.

It’s perhaps no surprise then that Guilbeault’s response to legal setbacks in his political career, such as the Supreme Court’s ruling on the unconstitutionality of his Impact Assessment Act, has been dismissive, indicating a stubborn adherence to his own agenda rather than a willingness to heed judicial guidance.

Instead of accepting that he was wrong and repealing the law, Guilbeault wants to pass minor amendments and pretend like the Supreme Court ruling never happened.

Worse, the amendments – buried 552 pages into a 686-page budget implementation bill – don’t fix the problem.

Guilbeault still has the power to control projects that fall under provincial jurisdiction.

Consequently, tensions between the federal and provincial governments have escalated, with Alberta poised to immediately challenge the amended legislation in court once again.

This charade is getting old.

This pattern of defiance and disregard for legal constraints has become wearisome, eroding public trust in the integrity of federal institutions.

The rotation of headlines proclaiming federal overreach and constitutional breaches underscores a troubling trend within the governing party, where arrogance appears to have supplanted prudent governance.

Guilbeault, with his checkered past and continued ignorance of the law since becoming Minister, are crippling public confidence.

A few months ago, we launched a petition calling on Justin Trudeau to see the light, and fire his most controversial Minister.

Since then, things have only gotten worse.

If you agree, and think Guilbeault should be fired, please sign our petition today:

 

 

Then, send this petition to your friends, family, and every Albertan so that they can sign too!

Regards,

The Free Alberta Strategy Team

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