What do Mark Lamb and Brett Connolly have in common?

Both recently said no to a job offer from the Edmonton Oilers.

Lamb turned down a chance to return to the NHL after telling his good friend and Oilers new head coach Dave Tippett he preferred to stay in Prince George.

Connolly, a free agent in the prime of his life at age 27, chose to play with the Florida Panthers rather taking his talents to Edmonton.

The 54-year-old Lamb decided to practice what he preached when he came to the Cougars last year and that is, in one word, “stability.”

He promised the Cougars owners, players and staff he came to P.G. for the long-term and felt obligated to not turn his back on them and jump ship.

For someone else, to dismiss the world’s top league in order to remain in Jr. would be almost unthinkable but Lamb, who is very well respected in the hockey world, admitted he came here to do a job and it’s not done.

“I’ve been there. I’ve had some success in the NHL as a player and won a Stanley Cup. I’m not downgrading it at all, it’s an unbelievable league, but the situation here is pretty gratifying,” said Lamb.

“The NHL lifestyle is unbelievable, as we all know. And it should be unbelievable because it’s the best league in the world. That’s where everybody wants to be. You’re flying on chartered jets, staying in nice hotels, “but I’m from Cadillac, Saskatchewan — there’s not a lot of jets out there.”

Lamb says his wife, who is from Edmonton, also played a part in his decision to stay in the Northern Capital.

“The timing wasn’t right. I wasn’t going to make the wrong decision.”

Lamb also wasn’t prepared to turn his back on the P.G. players who he said came up to him after the 2018-19 season requesting he stay in his dual role.

“I owe the players on the team a fresh start.”

It’s because of a fresh start that Lamb and associate coach Steve O’Rourke parted ways, with Lamb admitting that O’Rourke and former Cougars head coach Richard Matvichuk came as a package.

Lamb is looking for a right-hand man who will be given the title of associate coach.

That decision is expected this month.

Lamb could have hired PG’s Don Nachbaur or another experienced WHL head coach to take over as the Cougars bench boss.

By not doing so, the pressure is on him and one gets the impression he welcomes that challenge.

Connolly, a former PG Cougar, told mypgnow.com he had two serious offers on the table once he became an unrestricted free agent.

“I would say Florida and Edmonton were the final two. Florida was one of those teams where I was a good fit. You kind of just have to make a gut decision. I liked the way the organization was trending and they checked all of the boxes, so we’re excited,” Connolly said.

“I guarantee my wife’s happy. That’s important. I played in Tampa so I kind of get the weather. In the winter, it’s probably the most perfect weather in North America. It’s pretty amazing.”

Connolly has the security with financial stability for life after signing a four-year deal with the Panthers.

“Definitely makes it feel that much better when you sign a contract for $14 million. It’s a lot of hard work and a lot of people have helped me get to this position.”

With a career-high 22 goals and 46 points in 81 regular-season games with the Washington Capitals in the 2018-19 season, Connolly was coming off his most productive season.

He got an indication early from Washington that they would not be able to offer what other teams did.

No pun intended, but the 2017-18 champions did not have the “Cap” room to give Connolly the $3.5 million a year that the Panthers rolled out.

Although one is twice as old as the other, Lamb and Connolly share similarities with each having a Stanley Cup ring, strong ties to Prince George and now both can say they declined an offer from the Oilers.

 

FROM THE QUOTE RACK:

Frank Vatrano of the Florida Panthers received a Rolex watch from new goalie Sergei Bobrovsky in a trade for his number. Which means Bobrovsky’s jersey will now be sporting the number 7:20.

*Comedy writer Jim Barach http://jokesbyjim.blogspot.ca/

The best way to chase Kawhi out of Toronto is to bring him to more Blue Jays games.

*Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun

Not sure where Kawhi Leonard will sign.  Heck, not even sure he’ll bother to tell us when he does.

*Comedy writer Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California www.leftcoastsportsbabe.com

The Golden State Warriors medical staff is being recruited by the University of Oregon—-Ducks are always looking for more quacks.

*Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California

The Leadville Trail Marathon in Colorado Springs, Colo., was briefly interrupted when a bear crossed the course midway through the race.

For some strange reason, competitors ran the second half of the race faster than the first.

*Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times http://www.seattletimes.com/author/dwight-perry/


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

In Andre Agassi’s autobiography, he says he envies Pete Sampras for his “dullness” and “spectacular lack of inspiration.” Even on his compliments, Agassi goes to the backhand.”

*Canadian comedy writer RJ Currie www.Sportsdeke.com

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Hartley Miller is the news and sports supervisor and morning news anchor for 94.3 the GOAT and Country 97.
He also is the 94.3 radio colour commentator for P.G. Cougars home games.
His column appears Fridays on myprincegeorgenow.com.
Send along a quote, note, or anecdote to hmiller@thegoatrocks.ca