A somewhat chaotic, somewhat humorous situation developed during the latter part of Ken Holland’s media avail on Wednesday afternoon when the Edmonton Oilers GM was asked about breaking news that the Oilers had signed free agent centre Derek Ryan.
Holland’s response: “I don’t know. I was talking to his agent but then I came down here and I don’t know.”
The usual rule of thumb on hectic days like this is that a team completes all of its business, then holds its news conference, but this is the Oilers we’re talking about so all bets are off.
Seravalli later confirmed that Ryan has indeed signed with the Oil, a two-year deal at a pretty good price point: two years at $1.25 million.
The 34-year-old Ryan took a circuitous route to the NHL that included four years as a standout player with UAlberta Golden Bears way back in 2007-11 then four more seasons overseas. After a further season in the AHL he finally made the grade at age 29 and has since compiled 345 games of NHL experience.
Having watched him play a number of games at Clare Drake Arena, I knew he was a good player more than a decade ago, but I can’t say I foresaw an NHL player. But Ryan is that 1-in-1,000 player who just kept on improving right into his 30s.
After nearly twenty years of continuous improvement as evidenced annually by either increased production or graduation to a tougher league, Ryan finally showed signs of erosion in 2021. He scored just 2-11-13 but a solid +6 in 43 games with Calgary Flames, missing 13 games with a fractured finger and seeing his ice time cut back to about 12 minutes a night. The takeaway is that he more readily projects as a 4C than 3C at this stage of his remarkable career, but still very much an NHL-calibre player.
The 5’10 right-shot pivot is a whiz on the faceoff dot with a career success rate over 55%, a history of mid-range scoring (four seasons of double digit goals), and capacity to play both special teams, checking a lot of boxes for “bottom-six centre” in the process. He’s a modern version of Mark Letestu, who was a pretty useful depth centre for Edmonton a few years back.
Meanwhile, Holland made comments, paraphrased here, about his other moves:
On Zach Hyman: “He can play up and down the line-up, can play right wing or left wing, he can get in on the forecheck. He’s got great hockey sense. He’s played with great hockey players, and he can think the game at their level. He can also play down the line-up, a grinding game or a forechecking game, he can read off those players”.
On Warren Foegele: “Warren Foegele comes from a really good program in Carolina. He’s a big strong guy, 6’2, 200 pounds, he can skate, he goes to the blue paint, he’s dependable. I just wanted to get a bit deeper up front.”
On the multiple changes on defence: “We negotiated with Adam Larsson for many months. Over the last few days we made the decision to get Tyson Barrie signed. Got a call yesterday from J.P. Barrie on Cody Ceci. We did a lot of checking, he had a very good year in Pittsburgh so we got the deal done. Once we had both we didn’t want four right shot defencemen again so we made the decision to trade Ethan Bear for Warren Foegele.”
On trading Ethan Bear: “Ethan’s a great young man, like you say he’s 24 years of age, but I have an obligation to make the team better.”
On further additions ondefence: “Not finished tinkering on the blueline, maybe add one more guy. I’m going to let the dust settle for the next couple of days. With the addition of Duncan Keith behind Darnell Nurse, there’s another young guy in Evan Bouchard who is going to play on an every night basis, we’re hoping later in the season he can push for top four minutes. We’re deeper on the back end. We don’t have a lot of money left, but we do have a little so we’ll see what goes on over the next few weeks.”
On the goaltending situation: “In the last two years our goaltending has been very good. We made the decision to sign Mike Smith for two years. He’s good in goal, good handling the puck, good in the room. Smitty’s 39, Koski’s 33, I understand people are talking about the goaltending, but I’ve got a cap, I’ve got contracts, and I have to make decisions around that. Getting deeper up front and on the back end will make our goaltenders better. The only way I can get in the goalie market is if I trade a goalie.”
Rumour has the Oilers pursuing a Mikko Koskinen for Darcy Kuemper trade with Arizona, with the Oilers having to sweeten that pot to an unknown degree.)
On the changes overall: “My priority was to put together a defence and to get deeper up front. I felt going into the offseason I needed to do a couple of things to make our team better, different… we were pretty good but not good enough. I believe the moves we’ve made so far along with the development of young players, we can move further along the path. I felt the responsibility, the obligation as GM to make us a little deeper. I really believe we’re deeper up front with the additions of Hyman and Foegele. Certainly the continued development of Yamamoto, McLeod, Puljujarvi is an important part of it.”
No question that the forward corps got deeper, especially at left wing with the additions of Hyman and Foegele. The situation at centre is not ideal, but the late add of Ryan certainly adds some stability to a bottom six that might see both of Ryan McLeod and Dylan Holloway making a push. Both youngsters have facility at left wing as well, leaving open the possibility of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins moving to the 3C role at times.
Holland’s claim about greater depth on defence is a little sketchier. The club added Keith and Ceci and renewed Barrie, but the losses are also significant. Larsson, Bear and Caleb Jones are definitively gone to other NHL squads, while Slater Koekkoek and Dmitry Kulikov are in limbo. At this point in time, the d-corps is seven players deep in NHL-experienced players, with two of those rearguards — Bouchard and William Lagesson — have fewer than 50 games between them.
The situation in net remains unchanged, for now, but rumours continue to fly.
Whatever else one might say about Ken Holland, nobody can accuse him of sitting on his hands. We’ll take a deeper dive into his Brave New Oilers in a future post.
The Justice Department subpoenas follow an ongoing probe by the Securities and Exchange Commission into whether Digital World broke rules by having substantial talks about buying Trump’s company starting early last year before Digital World sold stock to the public for the first time in September, just weeks before its announcement that it would be buying Trump’s company.
Trump’s social media venture launched in February as he seeks a new digital stage to rally his supporters and fight Big Tech limits on speech, a year after he was banned from Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
The Trump Media & Technology Group – which operates the Truth Social app and was in the process of being acquired by Digital World – said in a statement that it will cooperate with “oversight that supports the SEC’s important mission of protecting retail investors.”
The new probe could make it more difficult for Trump to finance his social media company. The company last year got promises from dozens of investors to pump $1 billion into the company, but it can’t get the cash until the Digital World acquisition is completed.
Stock in Digital World rocketed to more than $100 in October after its deal to buy Trump’s company was announced. The stock traded at just around $25 in morning trading Monday.
Digital World is a special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, part of an investing phenomenon that exploded in popularity over the past two years.
2:24 U.S. Capitol siege hearings focus on Trump’s pressure campaign to overturn 2020 election
U.S. Capitol siege hearings focus on Trump’s pressure campaign to overturn 2020 election
Such “blank-check” companies are empty corporate entities with no operations, only offering investors the promise they will buy a business in the future. As such they are allowed to sell stock to the public quickly without the usual regulatory disclosures and delays, but only if they haven’t already lined up possible acquisition targets.
Digital World said in a regulatory filing Monday that each member of its board of directors has been subpoenaed by the grand jury in the Southern District of New York. Both the grand jury and the SEC are also seeking a number of documents tied to the company and others including a sponsor, ARC Global Investments, and Miami-based venture capital firm Rocket One Capital.
Some of the sought documents involve “due diligence” regarding Trump Media and other potential acquisition targets, as well as communications with Digital World’s underwriter and financial adviser in its initial public offering, according to the SEC disclosure.
Digital World also Monday announced the resignation of one of its board members, Bruce Garelick, a chief strategy officer at Rocket One.
Janz should not be investigated by the city’s integrity commissioner, or as I would recommend renaming the position, the city’s social media censor.
It should be obvious I’m not a big fan of Michael “Mosquito Mike” Janz, the city councillor most responsible for ending the city’s mosquito-spraying program. The flying pests are noticeably worse this summer; I’ve got the bites to prove it.
Thanks, Mosquito Mike.
In general, I don’t care for Janz’s politics and especially his anti-police harangues. Check out his Twitter feed. He complains about police about once a month, sometimes even more often.
He accuses them of race and class double standards. He thinks they slough off investigations of alleged crimes against lower-income Edmontonians and routinely mislead the public to cover their own misdeeds.
I find it particularly detestable that he is alleged recently to have retweeted a post from a Calgary account referring to police as “pigs.”
(Calling the police “pigs” is not only detestable, but laughably archaic, too. Hey, Councillor, the late ’60s called. They want their tie-dyed shirt and peace medallion back. Groovy, man.)
Yet, so long as Janz must account to his voters, he should be free to tweet and retweet as he sees fit. The relationship is between the electors and their elected representative. If they disapprove of his online behaviour, they can vote him out of office.
Janz should not be investigated by the city’s integrity commissioner, or as I would recommend renaming the position, the city’s social media censor.
It should be up to the voters who elected Janz to punish him, if they so desire, not some appointed adjudicator who doesn’t answer to voters directly.
A complaint has been filed with the integrity commissioner, Jamie Pytel, by sometimes local Liberal candidate, Thomas Deak. In the complaint, Deak says Janz retweeted the following post, “So this week a co-worker got a $409 ticket for failing to stop his bike at a stop sign. It was 7 a.m. in a residential area, the roads were empty, except for the pig hiding in the bushes.”
Get outraged. Compose an email to the Sun. Post your own tweet condemning Mosquito Mike for his retweeting of juvenile, anti-police name-calling.
But don’t go running to the censor asking her to clap Janz in irons just because you find his opinion (in this case his second-hand opinion) infuriating. Grow up. This is a democracy. We get to have opinions, even unpleasant ones, so long as we respect the right of others to opinions we vehemently disagree with.
Remember, that any government tool that can be used to hush-up your opponents will almost most certainly be turned on you one day, too.
I find it hilarious that Janz, in his own defence, insists there is a plot to “erroneously paint me as some sort of anti-police radical.” Nothing “could be further from the truth.”
Apparently, in his own mind, Janz is a big fan of police.
But remember, Janz was recently also hauled before the integrity commish for tweeting, liking or retweeting nearly two dozen anti-police posts near the end of last year.
Hmm, he certainly has an odd way of showing his love and respect for the Edmonton Police Service.
Own it, councillor. You don’t like the cops much.
But that is his right. He gets to have a seat on council and hold juvenile, archaic, anti-police opinions until the voters in his ward tire of his schtick and punt him from office.
Even after that, he still gets to hold his objectionable views, he just can’t do it as a councillor anymore.
In his run-in with Pytel earlier this year, Janz was not sanctioned by Edmonton’s in-house play-nice-children scold.
And he shouldn’t have been, just as he shouldn’t be reprimanded now.
The whole integrity commissioner ideal just gets in the way of democracy.
OMG’s OMD Worldwide Named Media Network of the Year
NEW YORK, June 27, 2022/CNW/ — With a combination of accolades and headline-making announcements, Omnicom Media Group (OMG), the media services division of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC) was a dominant presence at the 2022 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
On the accolades front, OMG agencies earned a total of 39 Lions and its OMD agency, the largest global media network by billings, was named Media Network of the Year. This marks the second consecutive year that an OMG agency took the Network of the Year title, which was awarded to PHD in 2021.
Concurrent with its performance in the competition, OMG earned headlines each day of the festival, announcing a series of first-mover collaborations with retail media networks, as well as the global expansion of its TRKKNanalytics and ad consultancy that is one of the largest Google Marketing Platform (GMP) partners in Europe.
OMG’s Lions’ Share The 39 Lions earned by OMG agencies – 7 Gold, 13 Silver and 19 Bronze – encompassed work from APAC, EMEA, North America and LATAM, spanning the automotive, CPG, Beverage Technology and Travel sectors; and including competition categories that reflect a wide range of both established and emerging priorities for clients – from data-driven targeting and insights to integrated media to corporate purpose and responsibility.
A strong global footprint was also evident in OMD’s Media Network of the Year award, with work from Portugal, France and Australia helping fuel the agency’s win.
“Being named Media Network of the Year is especially meaningful coming at a time when brands are re-evaluating their business, marketing and technology operations to better address new realities – both economic and cultural,” said George Manas, CEO, OMD Worldwide. “They need a trusted partner in transformation – and this recognition helps confirm that OMD is that partner.”
Taking the Lead in Connected Commerce During the Cannes festival OMG announced four first-mover strategic partnerships with retail media networks, beginning Monday, June 20, with Walmart Connect announcing their first-ever agency holding company partnership with Omnicom. The agreement will enable cross-screen planning against Walmart audiences in Omni – Omnicom’s open operating system which orchestrates better outcomes for clients across the entire consumer purchasing journey – allowing Omnicom’s agencies to deliver connected experiences across media and commerce platforms with-in owned, earned, and paid environments.
Over the next three days, OMG also revealed details of its partnership with Instacart, that will help Omnicom clients better understand how media spend drives purchase of products on that platform; how Amazon is supporting OMG’s eCommerce training and certification programs; and its collaboration with Kroger Precision Marketing that will allow planners to optimize in-market retail media, utilizing shopper behavior data to shift spend based on product availability, and still have the flexibility to optimize media while maintaining national consumer demand.
Describing the collective impact of the announcements, Omnicom eCommerce CEO Frank Kochenash said, “With each collaboration, we are adding another layer of unique capabilities to a connected commerce offering that encompasses the totality of client investment across all media channels, screens and environments.”
A Global Expansion for the Cookieless World OMG wrapped the industry’s most global of events with news of a global expansion, announcing on the last day of the festival that it is expanding TRKKN- its digital analytics ad technology and cloud consultancy that is one of the largest Google Marketing Platform sales partners across the European market – to APAC, the Middle East and North America. The expansion will assure global best practices that enable GMP & GCP efficiency and effectiveness, while also giving OMG greater flexibility to help in-housed media operations manage their Google marketing and cloud stacks to drive better business results in the cookieless future.
Summing up the desired takeaway from OMG’s high profile throughout Cannes 2022, OMG global CEO Florian Adamski says, “People were coming to Cannes this year looking for more than the big parties – they wanted big ideas and big actions that will help them solve the big challenges that we as an industry are all facing: privacy, connected commerce, measurement, the cookieless future, talent. Through the work we submitted, the partnerships we announced, the capabilities we’re expanding, and the close to 20 thought-leader forums we hosted over the week with clients and partners, I think the net takeaway for marketers is obvious: OMG is meeting these challenges- and we can help you meet them, too.”
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