Canadian Finals Rodeo

In 2015, the Oilers will battle the rodeo in Edmonton

Just like the Chicago Blackhawks have an annual circus trip when the clowns and elephants take over the United Center, the Edmonton Oilers have an annual rodeo trip when the cowboys and bulls take over Rexall Place.

In fact, the Oilers are on their rodeo trip right now, with the Canadian Finals Rodeo running from today until Sunday at Rexall.

But what happens when the Oilers get their new downtown arena in 2015? Theoretically, the rodeo could still be held at the old barn, with hockey and/or concerts in the new building.

The Edmonton Sun posed that question to both the mayor and the Oilers.

Mayor Stephen Mandel: “I would hope the Oilers would continue to have a hiatus and do a little traveling.”

Oilers CEO Pat LaForge: “If the rodeo is across town, I think we’d like to blend hockey with entertainment. There would be no reason we couldn’t blend into it.”


I expect we’ll see more issues like these arise in Edmonton. Two arenas for a city of around a million people is probably one too many arenas.

In the meantime, I have to side with the Oilers on the rodeo issue. Why limit the number of things tourists can do when they visit? Friday night at the rodeo, Saturday night at the hockey game, Sunday back to the rodeo. Sounds like a good weekend to me. Then run to the airport and get on the first plane out of town. No offense, Edmonton. Pretty cold in November.

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    Kings GM says Mike Richards went into ‘a destructive spiral’

    Mike Richards

    The Los Angeles Kings may owe Mike Richards money until 2031 (seriously), but in settling his grievance, the team and player more or less get to turn the page.

    Not before Kings GM Dean Lombardi shares his sometimes startling perspective, though.

    Lombardi has a tendency to be candid, especially in the press release-heavy world of sports management. Even by his standards, his account of Richards’ “destructive sprial” is a staggering read from the Los Angeles Times’ Lisa Dillman.

    “Without a doubt, the realization of what happened to Mike Richards is the most traumatic episode of my career,” Lombardi said in a written summation he provided to the Los Angeles Times. “At times, I think that I will never recover from it. It is difficult to trust anyone right now – and you begin to question whether you can trust your own judgment. The only thing I can think of that would be worse would be suspecting your wife of cheating on you for five years and then finding out in fact it was true.”

    Lombardi provides plenty of eyebrow-raising statements to Dillman, including:

    • He believed he “found his own Derek Jeter” in Richards, a player who “at one time symbolized everything that was special about the sport.”
    • Lombardi remarked that “his production dropped 50 percent and the certain ‘it’ factor he had was vaporizing in front of me daily.”
    • The Kings GM believes that he was “played” by Richards.

    … Yeah.

    Again, it’s a powerful read that you should soak in yourself, even if you’re unhappy with the way the Kings handled the situation.

    Maybe the most pressing of many lingering questions is: will we get to hear Richards’ side of the story?

    Coyotes exploit another lousy outing from Quick

    Jonathan Quick

    Despite owning two Stanley Cup rings, there are a healthy number of people who aren’t wild about Jonathan Quick.

    Those people might feel validated through the Los Angeles Kings’ first two games, as he followed a rough loss to the San Jose Sharks with a true stinker against the Arizona Coyotes on Friday.

    Sometimes a goalie has a bad night stats-wise, yet his team is as much to blame as anything else. You can probably pin this one on Quick, who allowed four goals on just 14 shots through the first two periods.

    Things died down in the final frame, but let’s face it; slowing things down is absolutely the Coyotes’ design with a 4-1 lead (which ultimately resulted in a 4-1 win).


    A soft 1-0 goal turned out to be a sign of things to come:

    Many expected the Kings to roar into this second game after laying an egg in their opener. Instead, the Coyotes exploited Quick’s struggles for a confidence-booster, which included key prospect Max Domi scoring a goal and an assist.

    It’s worth mentioning that Mike Smith looked downright fantastic at times, only drawing more attention to Quick’s struggles.


    After a troubled summer and a failed 2014-15 season, Los Angeles was likely eager to start things off the right way.

    Instead, they instead will likely focus on the fact that they merely dropped two (ugly) games.