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GENE'S BLOG: Hockey Lives On

In his latest blog, Gene Principe remembers several Humboldt Broncos and their ties to the Oilers

by Gene Principe / EdmontonOilers.com

EDMONTON, AB - My plan today was to write a blog on the end of the Edmonton Oilers season. As much as I tried I just couldn't find words to describe a season after what happened last weekend.

I woke up Saturday morning intent on covering the end of a season and the end of careers for Daniel and Henrik Sedin. By 9:00 am I was on my way to cover the end of young hockey lives. The Humboldt bus crash had become the biggest story in the nation. Instead of simply saying goodbye to the 2017-18 regular season and to the 19-year careers of the twins. Me, you, family, friends and the entire country was saying a very premature and unnecessary goodbye to the kids and the adults on that bus that tried so desperately to watch over them. Try as we might to protect the young, sometimes it's just not possible to keep everyone safe. It became impossible when timing, speed, and human element met on a normally quiet stretch of highway in Saskatchewan.

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GENE'S BLOG: The Old College Try

In his latest blog, Gene Principe writes about a few of the Oilers college hockey experience

by Gene Principe / EdmontonOilers.com

ST. PAUL, MN - It is one of the great hockey differences between Canada and the United States.

It's the importance and maybe the respect university hockey receives in the two countries. In Canada, the step to university play can be considered a step that isn't necessarily the first choice. Either you haven't been drafted or you were but weren't signed or your options to move to a reasonably high level of pro hockey are limited. Now please don't get me wrong these kids who go to the University of Alberta for example, are highly talented kids. Some were junior scoring stars but for some reason, they have fallen through the cracks or have simply decided that education has become the priority. The Golden Bears just won a 16th national championship. That's no accident. It's less about the product and more about the perception because U sports could and would do fine versus NCAA squads. 

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GENE'S BLOG: Bear Comes Out of Hibernation

In his latest blog, Gene Principe writes about Ethan Bear recording his first career NHL goal

by Gene Principe / EdmontonOilers.com

EDMONTON, AB - During the winter, bears go into hibernation. It's when bears tend to slow down. Black bears, brown bears, grizzly bears go into a deep sleep. They do so to escape the cold and because food is scarce. 

However, at least one bear (named Ethan) came out of hibernation Sunday night. It happened on a power play in the third period of Edmonton's game against Anaheim. Hard to believe but point 99 for No. 97 was overshadowed by goal one for No. 74. 

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GENE'S BLOG: Make His Point(s)

In his latest blog, Gene Principe writes about Connor McDavid's quest for a second straight Art Ross Trophy

by Gene Principe / EdmontonOilers.com

TAMPA, FL -- Stopping Connor McDavid isn't easy. In fact, sometimes it's impossible. Getting him started on the ice is fluid, smooth and explosive but getting him started, when it comes to talking about himself, isn't anything like that. He does it because he has too. Everyone wants to know about Connor or what Connor thinks about Connor. Expect it to be like that from now until the end of his career and likely beyond. For now what everyone wants to discuss is the scoring race. 

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GENE'S BLOG: The Montoya Story

In his latest blog, Gene Principe writes about Al Montoya being the first player of Cuban descent

by Gene Principe / EdmontonOilers.com

EDMONTON, AB -  It's a label or a title Al Montoya might love more than any of the others used to describe him.

It's not being an NHL goalie which he does truly enjoy. It's not being a first-round pick by the NY Rangers in 2006, which of course he's very proud of accomplishing, but it's being the first at something or as a someone in the NHL. Check out his mask and it's easy to see what it is. On it is 'The Big Cubano'. Montoya is the first NHL player of Cuban descent and he can thank his 'Abuelo' - grandfather Manuel Silva - for the opportunity. "He came over right around the time of the Bay of Pigs," explained Montoya. "He was doing well back home. My grandfather was a lawyer and a property owner, a cattle owner but he left it all behind."

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GENE'S BLOG: Achieving their goals

In his latest blog, Gene Principe writes about Milan and Brittany Lucic's plan to get the less fortunate to Oilers games for the rest of this season

by Gene Principe / Special to EdmontonOilers.com

Milan Lucic scored on Monday night in a 4-3 OT win against Arizona. A sold out crowd gave him a rousing ovation after he stopped a 29-game goalless streak. There were two people who wouldn't have been there to cheer on Lucic if it wasn't for Milan and his wife Brittany.

"Actually it was her idea," explained the Oilers number 27. The idea was to give those who are less fortunate or had some bad things happen in their life a chance to come to Rogers Place to watch the winger and his teammates play in the brand new home of the Edmonton Oilers. 

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GENE'S BLOG: Hockey is for Everyone

In his latest blog, Gene Principe talks about Darnell Nurse and the influence on him by Willie O'Ree

by Gene Principe / Special to EdmontonOilers.com

It is the last day of February. It's the end of the shortest month of the year and also the end of a month which was home to 'Hockey is for Everyone'. An NHL driven initiative to make the game inclusive to anyone and everyone. Your race/gender/religion are examples of things that don't matter or shouldn't matter. It wasn't always like that. There may be no better example of what it used to be like (and sometimes still is) in the world and in the game of hockey than Willie O'Ree. A man who broke the colour barrier and brought black to a game that was white. A person whose opponents weren't only the ones he saw and played against on the ice. 

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GENE'S BLOG: Family Day

In his latest blog, Gene Principe writes about Family Day for the Oilers

by Gene Principe / EdmontonOilers.com

EDMONTON, AB - Don Getty is a name many young kids may not recognize and I can't say as I blame them. Yet they probably should know that he and his government are the reason they had a chance to sleep in Monday.

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GENE'S BLOG: Great 'Karen' Scott

In his latest blog, Gene Principe writes about an Oilers fan almost winning a million dollars

by Gene Principe / EdmontonOilers.com

EDMONTON, AB - Since I started hosting Edmonton Oilers games in 1998, almost like clockwork, sometime in the first period out of a TV timeout or on a stoppage in play I read the Safeway (and now Sobey's) Million Dollar Score and Win contest script. 

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GENE'S BLOG: Holy Goalie Interference

In his latest blog, Gene Principe writes about goalie interference calls not going the Oilers way

by Gene Principe / EdmontonOilers.com

LOS ANGELES, CA - Imagine being at your desk. Your laptop is out. Phone parked beside it. Maybe you have a cup of coffee near. There might also be a pen next to it. Everything you might need to accomplish your job until people start invading your personal space. They start jostling you, bumping you, pulling your hands, pushing your shoulders all while you're still supposed to get your work done. Your boss walks by and you give him a look like, 'Are you going to do something about this?' He surveys the scenes, stares you right in the eyes, puts his palms up, shrugs and on his or her way he goes. Welcome to being a goalie in the NHL.

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