Kevin Lowe spoke of the “Chicago model” again yesterday. That model involves astute drafting, signing undrafted college, Junior and European free agents as opposed to spending millions on a quick fix.
This plan of action runs counter to a few things already in place for this organization. Pat Quinn, Nikolai Khabibulin, Ethan Moreau and others won’t be in the league by the time the Chicago model begins working. I would think the team’s performance in 2010-11 will have a major impact on the desire of these men to stay Oilers.
It is very good news for the kids. Jordan Eberle, Magnus Paarjavi-Svensson and the first overall draft pick are going to be touted as “the future” in the same way Chicago trumpeted Toews, Kane and Keith.
This is also good news for young men like Chris Vande Velde, Teemu Hartikainen and Alex Plante. The Edmonton Oilers are planning on building a strong young cluster that matures as we enter the ‘teens.
The Chicago Model requires patience from management and the fanbase. In all honesty, I think the Oilers (if healthy) are probably going to be too good a hockey team to pick in the top 5 again next season.