Hockey’s Different Here

My dad used to tell me to acquire “tools you can use” in every job I had growing up. I learned the value of packing some water with you while picking rocks for Bud Leetchman. I learned the value of getting things in writing early in my work life courtesy a forgetful but well meaning boss of mine.

“Tools you can use” must be the theme of the Oilers coaching staff’s breakfast meeting today. And tomorrow. And the next day.

Folks, they just don’t have the horses to compete against Calgary and Vancouver this season. The Oilers (as currently constructed) are going to use lots of at-bats to see if men like JF Jacques and Ryan Stone are “tools they can use” in constructing the future.

It’s all well and good, I like the idea of building. However, we’ve been in this pattern since 2006 summer and at this point the Edmonton Oilers are in real danger of becoming a development club for the good teams.

While we as fans fret over a Robert Nilsson, the Calgary Flames are picking up a Nigel Dawes on waivers. While we pray in silence for the further erosion of Kipper’s career to the south, we also know that their management group will move swiftly in that area should the need arise.

Edmonton? We’re the roto baseball team that acquires as many new kids as possible then throws them out there to see who develops. And then we shed a few each summer (Glencross last summer, Brodziak this season) because the rules forced the issue.

I honestly thought Steve Tambellini was going to be a different GM, address need, pursue balance, give this team a chance to hit the highway and take it to the limit.

Not so. We’re porridge.

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