Nothing deflates a team like a bad goalie. Back in the 60s and 70s, a team acquiring a truly great goalie could improve tremendously in the standings overnight. There are examples from that era that show teams surging quickly once they acquired an above average puck stopper.
Tony Esposito to the Hawks, Daniel Bouchard and Phil Myre to the Flames, Billy Smith and Chico Resch to the Islanders. There’s more to it than goaltending, of course.
- Scotty Bowman: “Success comes from ownership, goaltending, and I’ve always been thinking that you can have a fire-wagon type of hockey but your ability to play good defence has got to surface. The thread that ran through all of my success was undoubtedly ownership’s commitment to win.”
I believe Daryl Katz has the makings of a fine owner. The man has provided his managers with the resources to improve the scouting department and the farm system and the money to spend to the cap. There is evidence that he involves himself on many levels (Laraque apparently offered a contract via the owner, I suspect some involvement in bringing back men like Comrie and Smyth) and of course he was the first member of the Oilers braintrust to say the word “rebuild.”
I believe the Smyth-Fraser trade may be a turning point for Daryl Katz and his relationship with his managers. The Sheldon Souray conversation with Mark Spector is one thing, but now we’re talking about an NHL General Manager calling this management group into question. No matter the Bettman decision, this has to be a concern. The NHL GM pool is 30 deep, and should enough of them believe there’s something untoward going on in Edmonton, the business of doing business will become very difficult. Sometimes being right isn’t enough.
Nation Radio hits the airwaves today at noon on Team 1260. Among the guests scheduled to appear:
- Dustin Nielson from Team 1260 radio. He has a brand new show beginning later this month and we’ll talk about it. Also on the agenda: the WJ camp going on this week and Dustin’s impressions of the three Oiler invites. If we have time, I’ll ask him about his unusual fanbase.
- Pat McLean from Black Dog Hates Skunks. The blogosphere’s finest actual writer and funniest commentator on life, I’ll ask Pat to discuss his blog’s beginnings, the unique and authentic quality of the subject matter, and his impressive perspective on the Oilers and hockey.
- Todd Nelson, coach of the OKC Barons. I’ll ask the coach about his impressions of the kids who attended the Oilers development camp after the draft. He was there and got a first hand look at some of the young men who will play for him this fall. We’ll discuss the role on an AHL team in developing a big league players and ask him about some of the players who may return for a second season in Okla City.
- Cam Charron, a unique voice who has done some interesting work in recent days. I’ll ask him about two way forwards, the value of the faceoff and we’ll talk about RNH’s future.
Questions and comments welcome as always at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll hit the airwaves on Team 1260 at noon Edmonton time today.