Mike Commodore

Not everyone is happy that the Oilers plan to add cheerleaders

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Oh, Ice Girls and cheerleaders. Your gyrations and spandex uniforms are fodder for post-goal closeups and frowning house wives in equal proportions. It’s debatable whether they make sense in sports in general and hockey in particular, but anyone who cringes at their presence must also acknowledge that they’re not going anywhere. In fact, their navel-sporting presence is growing throughout the NHL.

Twenty-three American NHL teams already featured some variation on ice girls/cheerleaders as part of their in-arena entertainment. This might be a milestone that leaves some a bit squeamish, but the Edmonton Oilers will become the first Canadian NHL team to employ cheerleaders, as Joe discussed yesterday.

To little surprise, the decision indeed ruffled a few feathers. Jeff Cummings tracked down Lisa Munro, an Oilers fan who started an online petition intended to convince the Oilers to halt their plans to add cheerleaders.

Petition author Lisi Monro, 26, says a cheer team would ruin the longtime traditional experience at Rexall, and the sight of scantily clad cheerleaders on the ice is not part of the hockey culture in Canada.

“This isn’t appropriate for a Canadian hockey team to have this kind of entertainment,” said Monro about her petition http://www.PetitionOnline.com/NoCheer.

“I don’t think this is hockey. (This type of entertainment) doesn’t represent the tradition of the game.”

Cummings reported that the petition garnered 60 votes by this afternoon, although the URL listed in that quote didn’t work properly when I tried it. Either way, it will take far more than 60 votes for the Oilers to backpedal on this decision.

But that doesn’t mean that every portion of their fan base will be titillated.

Derek Roy continues his career in Switzerland

Alex Tanguay, Derek Roy
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Derek Roy will continue his pro career overseas, as he has signed a contract with Bern in the Swiss League.

Roy attended training camp on a professional tryout with the Washington Capitals, but he was unable to claim a spot on their roster.

The 32-year-old had some great years in the NHL, but since the 2011-12 season Roy had suited up for six different teams (excluding his PTO with the Caps).

His best season came in 2007-08 when he scored 32 goals and 81 points in 78 games with the Buffalo Sabres.

Roy will leave the NHL with 189 goals and 524 points in 738 career games.

He will join former NHLers Cory Conacher, Andrew Ebbett, Chuck Kobasew, Simon Moser and Sean Bergenheim in Bern.


Sabres place Lehner on IR; Recall Lieuwen

Connor Brown, Robin Lehner
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They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.

The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.

In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.

Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.

The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.