There was a time years ago when the Oilers had two wonderful young goalies. Each wanted and deserved the right to be a starter and each was a workhorse type so as time rolled on it only made sense that someone would be unhappy.
The math implies Edmonton may have chosen the wrong kid to trade but honestly they were going to win either way.
Moog eventually demanded a trade, jumped the Oilers and played for the Olympic team until Sather finally dealt him to Boston.
Many times in Oilers history the team and players have reached a point where something has to give, something has reached the boiling point and must be addressed immediately.
I think there are two such examples on the current edition of the Edmonton Oilers.
Cluster: If we can agree that the prime period for a player’s career is 27-30 and that a player past 30 is going to get grumpy if he continues to make the playoffs, then the recent comments coming from the veterans are understandable. The men born in the 1970s (Cole, Horcoff, Moreau, Pisani, Souray, Staios, Visnovsky, Strudwick, Garon) plus the one guy born in the 1960s (Roloson) have hung around a long time, seen the development curve on a lot of phenoms, and signed their long term deals with a team who had quite recently gone to G7 SCF.
In his first full season in the NHL, Dwayne Roloson was watching a 19-year old Jarome Iginla and a 22-year old Cory Stillman developing their skills. I can only imagine how many Sam Gagner’s or Ladislav Smid’s Roloson has been witness to and their development curve takes the one thing Roloson cannot afford: time.
Recently, some of the veterans are getting a bit testy about this (if we’re to believe a few quotes and some things that have been mentioned in the newspapers) situation. Ethan Moreau’s postgame comments sound like they were lifted from another time, another place. Apparently Steve Staios said something like “it’s not the same” after last night’s game. It sounds (from an outsider’s point of view) that the veterans have lost the room, the old line “the beatings will continue until morale improves” has been replaced by a scene from 12 Angry Men (the original) in which Lee J. Cobb tars all youth with the same brush. There is (apparently) a disconnect brought on by:
Lack of Success: I admire the Oilers commitment to continuity. These teams who change management every 5 minutes never get any kind of sustain because the deck chairs are all getting moved constantly. Credit to the Oilers, who have had the same evaluation group in place for the entire decade, the same coach since 2000, and a management team that is largely the same as it was at the turn of the century.
This is what winning teams do, with examples being the Habs (Pollock-Bowman), the Islanders (Torrey-Arbour), the Oilers (Sather) and more recently the Red Wings (Holland, Nill, etc). The problem is that the Oilers forgot the key item in the equation: winning.
Having a consistent management team watching over the mediocre is kind of crazy, and although there’s no doubt talent does exist at the management level of the Edmonton Oilers it does appear a fresh start of some sort is in order.
It may be something as simple as a trade, or perhaps an overhaul of certain portions of the roster (sending down three and calling up three new guys would have an impact on the roster). But it’s clear this team and organization have reached critical mass, just as clear as it was in the Moog situation, the Coffey situation, the Arnott situation, the Comrie situation.
This is no longer a must to avoid for the ownership of the Edmonton Oilers. This is about veterans starting to chirp and as the great actor Woody once said “someone’s poisoned the water hole!” Not surprisingly, it looks for all the world like it was the veterans.
There’s trouble here in River City.