TSN has an article up about the Edmonton Oilers, and as is often the case with the mass media they’ve gone overboard. The worry is that the Edmonton Oilers truly believe this is a “5 year fix” and that we’re in for a half-decade of crazy.
Here are some facts: the Edmonton Oilers went to G7 SCF with precious few “impact players” and should have won that series with their group of skilled men, pluggers, plumbers and the big man on the blue added to the goalie for the ages.
So when tsn talks about “the Oilers have come to realize they can’t win without a superstar” I get a little nervous. Because if this franchise has to wait around until they draft a Crosby or Ovechkin some of us might not be around when this team gets good again.
tsn also gives the laundry list of overpriced contracts and then makes the case that this is going to take awhile.
Allow me to offer a differing opinion. As galling as this team has been, there’s always been talent on this team. The problem has more to do with balance (down the middle and in goal currently along with a lack of quality wingers who can play a 2-way game, but in the past defense has also been a problem. It’s a moving target) and a need to develop kids 12-at-a-time since the Pronger trade.
The Oilers need to sit down and ask one question about each roster player. It goes like this: “can we win a championship with Sam Gagner in the top 6?” or “do we truly believe that Ethan Moreau can be a 4line LW on a contending team?”
If the answer is “yes” these men are worth keeping. If the answer is “no” then by trade or buyout or stuffing on the farm it is management’s duty to rid itself of the talent that can’t help them win. But the Oilers appear to be weak at the top, with a leadership group that feels unable to grab this problem by the nuts and squeeze hard. We as fans should be ready for words like “patience” and phrases like “let’s see how this plays out” until some of us are dead.
The Oilers need to pick their top 6F (Penner, Horcoff, Hemsky, Gagner, O’Sullivan, Nilsson) and decide which small men are going and replace them with bigger skill guys. There is talent in that top 6F, folks. Then the club needs to decide who to keep along the blue, and again there it talent. Finally, the team must come up with some kind of reasonable solution to the goalie problem; I’d suggest they look long and hard at bringing in a co-#1 to work with Khabibulin next season. I’d also get behind placing Khabibulin on LTIR or any other solution that gets him off the roster without impacting the cap. DD and JDD are in no-man’s land now, I don’t think they can do enough in the back half of this season to prove themsleves capable of being a co-starter. It’s a mess, no doubt. But a long term build? No chance. This is the cap era.
Overall I find the tsn article to be a tad over the top. They lack role players, blood and guts guys and they lack a veteran center. They also lack a proven goalie in the heart of his career. To say they need a 5-year rebuild is a cop out in my opinion. The Oilers should get their lottery winnings at the draft this summer and then get the hell to work.
Add a veteran right handed center, make a fricking decision on a small forward, get a goalie who is healthy and has a track record. And for the love of God stop with the silly delays about injuries and the talk of “lots of guys with back injuries in there.” It’s embarrassing. What are you worried about? Oiler fans have endured this crap and we’re still here. Have some faith.
You can’t possibly be this bad.