The Best of the Nation - 11.25.12

Jonathan Willis
November 25 2012 08:42AM

After the jump, the best of the Nations from this past week, including a bunch of lockout talk, whether the Sedin twins are Hall of Fame-calibre players, which unknown Europeans might deserve an NHL shot, the best and worst jerseys in Oilers history, a healthy dose of comedy and a look at the only player to compete for the Grey Cup and Stanley Cup in the same season.

Gerry James: the only player in history to compete for the Stanley Cup and Grey Cup in the same season. This weekend is of some trifling importance to Canadian football fans, and in that spirit here’s the story of the last great dual CFL/NHL star. [Leafs Nation]

What if? Looking back at the 2004 lockout. If the league had just had a little more confidence, the season would have been saved and they would have made themselves a ton of extra money over the next CBA too. [Oilers Nation]

The decertification threat. The NHLPA is thinking about decertifying. What does that mean, and what is it likely to do to the league? [Flames Nation]

You’ll be back. Will hockey fans come back when the 2012 lockout is eventually settled? Or are two serious labour disputes in less than a decade enough to finally drive money away from the NHL? [Oilers Nation]

Are the Sedin twins Hall of Fame caliber players? And what effect will losing a second season to lockout have on their chances of making it to the Hall someday? [Canucks Army]

Scoring in Switzerland. Scott Reynolds looks at four largely unknown players in Switzerland’s top league holding their own with imported NHL’ers and asks if they should get major-league consideration. [NHL Numbers]

Five things: I don’t even know anymore. Because sometimes LOLCats is the only way to express your disapproval of the cancellation of the all-star game. [Flames Nation]

Worst to first jerseys: the Edmonton Oilers. Which threads are the finest in Oilers history? Check out one answer here. [Oilers Nation]

Playing with Crosby and IPP. Or, stripping away the jargon: why it makes sense to put Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby on different lines. [NHL Numbers]

How good is Leland Irving? Is the man Ritch Winter once called the “best goalie in Alberta” really a good option for the Flames back-up job next season or just the next Jeff Deslauriers/Curtis McElhinney? [Flames Nation]

Where are they now? Brad Werenka The travels of the former Oilers and Flames defenceman, as interpreted by the imagination of (and with an occasional factual insert from) Book of Loob. Final sentence: “Of course, seeing as he is a lawyer, I'll end off this piece reminding everyone that this is all done tongue in cheek, and please, for the love of Odin, don't sue us.” [Flames Nation]

How Lazar. Curtis Lazar entered the season as one of the 10 best prospects for the 2013 Draft. November finds him falling, falling, falling. What happened, and will he actually drop on draft day? [Oilers Nation]

How I spent my lockout vacation: Cory Sarich. “I, for one, am so glad this crazy lockout nonsense is over. Because, A) financially, it was a real bummer. Case in point, if you look at my private jet, the Air Sairich, you'll notice it no longer boasts its own dedicated cleaning staff. But also, let's say more importantly, because B) the love of the game.” [Flames Nation]

Jeff O’Neill wants to “make whole” in Gary Bettman’s head. Twitter, a medium reserved exclusively for carefully deliberated statements… and also whatever pops into whoever’s head. [Oilers Nation]

Giving a voice to the fans. Vintage Flame proposes that rather than not buying NHL merchandise as a way to express displeasure with the league, we should all buy jerseys and then… put the name of the guy who sold us the jersey on the back of it (or alternately: all buy tickets to a game and then walk out). Because a pile of money, 100 guys with jerseys labeled “BOB”, and less mess to clean up in the arena will teach the NHL not to have work stoppages! [Flames Nation]

The second friends with numbers podcast. Fun! With Numbers! [NHL Numbers]

And finally, Graphic Comments on the three types of NHL reporters:

For more goodness, check out the full Graphic Comments post at Canucks Army.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including the Edmonton Journal, Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.