Crystal Ball

Look out, Mama, there’s a white boat comin’ up the river
With a big red beacon, and a flag, and a man on the rail
I think you’d better call John,

‘Cause it don’t look like they’re here to deliver
the mail
And it’s less than a mile away I hope they didn’t come to stay
It’s got numbers on the side and a gun

And it’s makin’ big waves.
-Neil Young

Just got back from 9 days in America with my family. It was a great time, the kids are growing up and it is a lot of fun seeing them turn into the people they’ll be for the next 70 years or so (God willing). My son has found his dream (the Vancouver Film School, and he’s paying for half of it; either that or my wife better find a second husband with deeper pockets :-)) and my daughter is completety devoted to classic rock.

I never pushed my kids into a sport or a musical taste, thought they should find their own way. Of course, it didn’t hurt that Neil Young was on in the background most days but still she was free to choose the Grateful Dead if she liked them (thankfully, she does not).

Anyway, the soundtrack of our trip this summer was Neil Young, Traffic, Jimi Hendrix, the Doors, Pink Floyd, Spirit, Jethro Tull, the Allmans, Lynyrd Skynyrd and a few others thrown in (Fleetwood Mac and Bonnie Raitt for Mom). I’d damn near forgotten how good Traffic was, and Jethro Tull still sounds fresh 100 years later. Neil Young? He’s written more great songs than anyone I can name. “Helpless” is the best track on CSNY’s Deja Vu and you never hear a thing about it.

Its good to know all that good music is getting passed along, and especially good to know it wasn’t force fed. It is especially good to be reminded of how wonderful that music is by your own kids. Its pretty cool.

Every July I make 10 predictions about the Oilers in the following season. The list for the past two seasons is here and this year’s top 10 is below.

  1. The Oilers will find a way to get all three phenom’s onto the opening night roster.
  2. Linus Omark will start the season in Oklahoma City, but rip it up in the minors and force a decision through his fine play by the end of December.
  3. The Oilers will start the season with 3 goalies.
  4. Jason Strudwick will retire at the end of training camp, taking on a coaching role.
  5. Chris Vande Velde will have a very strong training camp, and be one of the last players sent to the minor leagues.
  6. The Oilers will invite at least two former roster players to training camp.
  7. The Oilers will sign Mike Comrie, late summer.
  8. JF Jacques will start the season on IR.
  9. We will be shocked by Gilbert Brule’s contract.
  10. Tom Renney will drive many Oiler fans crazy with his systems and emphasis on disciplined play. MacT 2.0 is going to win some hockey games with an undermanned group because of it though, and he may turn some of these kids into actual NHL players (just like MacT did with Ales Hemsky).

I think the 10-11 season is going to be a lot of fun. We’re going to be watching these kids for a long damn time, enduring the growing pains, the missteps, the trail of lost prospects due to injury. But there’s a lot of promise on this roster, and watching them grow up will be payment enough for some of us who’ve seen it before. I hope I’m around to see them hug Stanley.

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