If we use Sam Gagner’s first NHL season as the start of a brand new day for the Edmonton Oilers, then this season is looking pretty good.
I think that’s the only way we as fans can view the current edition of the team. Much like the 79-80 Oilers (and maybe the 80-81 or 81-82 edition) this team has tremendous young talent (although not at that level) with the ‘delivery on potential’ and learning curves represented by steep slopes ahead.
The problem for the Oilers is this: can you reasonably expect the fanbase to endure another season of getting run over by Calgary, Vancouver, Minnesota and (incredibly) Colorado? I think that’s a massive business risk, especially considering the incredible amount of good faith that is going to be called upon over the arena project.
Here’s a few other things:
- Making the playoffs has never been more difficult. Value contracts and rookies who can perform veteran tasks successfully are extremely valuable currency.
- The Oilers don’t have many value contracts and have no rookies who fit the criteria.
- There are a lot of “lost soul” veterans, men who signed after the ’06 run and have been playing on a developing team these three (plus) years.
- Those veteran contracts begin to expire next spring rolling out several seasons.
- Those veterans could be sent away the moment the team feels the playoffs are a distant bell.
- We’ve been waiting for some clearance between the two young centers since they were rookies. This is the first season (and it’s early) that there does appear to be a gap.
- If it continues, Cogliano isn’t long for this hockey club.
- Robert Nilsson has had an excellent chance to show he’s worthy of more playing time in the last few games. I don’t think anyone can argue he’s grabbed the chance.
- Steve Tambellini’s job (addressing needs) is made difficult because of the flu.
- Making a rash decision now could impact the rest of the season in a negative way.
- Chris Minard is tied for 3rd in AHL points (11). So is Charles Linglet.
- Whenever I see the name Charles Linglet, I think of Ling-ling. Seriously.
- I’m a big fan of math, but have a hard time coming to grips with Jeff Deslaurier’s junior and minor league career and the major league results. Although he hasn’t played in a lot of games, the saw him good group likes him and math finally adores him. If he turns into a player, what does that tell us about SP and its ability to predict the future?
- Louise says the problem with JDD is the Oilers didn’t have a minor league team and it cost him development time. I think she’s right.
- I miss that feeling of quiet confidence we had during the first 7 games of the season. I’d go through my day knowing it would either be a win or a strong performance loss. Now? I’d like to blame the flu but this is vexing.
- The Oilers procurement department has some nice prospects (MPS, Eberle, Nash, VVV, Omark, Dubnyk, Peckham, hell even Petry is playing well).
- The Oilers procurement department also has some NHLers (Horcoff, Hemsky, Comrie, Gagner, Cogliano) on their resume.
- When do you want me to start the Top 20 prospects countdown? November 30 or earlier? Let me know.