Typical of the prevailing wisdom is this quote from Bleacher Report: In the 2006 Stanley Cup run, it was one star and lots of slot fillers. Any chance to repeat in the near future could depend on a simliar roster, which has seen the gap between the stars and fillers widen the past three seasons.
If I recall, the Edmonton Oilers of 2006 spring had several impact players: Chris Pronger, Dwayne Roloson and Ryan Smyth were the team’s best players, Shawn Horcoff, Ales Hemsky, Raffi Torres and Fernando Pisani played important roles, and a large number of quality NHL veterans played a consistent, dependable style. These would include Mike Peca, Sergei Samsonov, Jaroslav Spacek, Steve Staios, Jason Smith, Ethan Moreau, Dick Tarnstrom and Radek Dvorak. Jarret Stoll and MA Bergeron were youngsters who helped out along the way, as did Brad Winchester with some important moments (Octopus, big goal against DET). I think Jussi Markkanen deserves a mention too.
How many of them were “slot fillers?” Todd Harvey, Georges Laraque, Ty Conklin, Rem Murray, Matt Greene. Or does “slot filler” now mean Michael Peca?
I think the Oilers under new GM Steve Tambellini need to add some Peca’s and Dvorak’s and maybe a Raffi Torres or two. Dany Heatley can’t play the whole game, and it’s amazing how often the team with the most actual NHL players actually wins the game.