Photo courtesy Rob Ferguson. All rights reserved. Five years from now, we may not remember this time and how it might be an important juncture in the Oilers rebuild. If Teemu Hartikainen emerges as a useful 15-20 goal winger who can play the physical style Edmonton so badly needs, maybe we’ll look back and point to another moment in time as being the turning point.
I don’t think we will, though.
I love this 1972 video of the Stones working on Tumbling Dice. Mick Taylor is a ridiculous guitar player and plays some terrific things in this video but you can see they’re working out a few things–and the Richards guitar lines toward the end where he stretches out the riff a little is brilliant too. Plus the best rhythm section in history and the world’s greatest frontman (ask him!) and that’s a helluva band right there.
Anyway, I think the Oilers are trying to work out their future in OKC. Aside from the three established kids, and Yakupov in west Nizhnekamsk, there are few seats available for the Boys on The Bus 2.0:
- a big physical winger with enough skill to keep up with the Glimmer Twins.
- a center who can complement the Nuge with unique skills not possessed by the mature midnight rambler (whatever they may be).
I’m onside with keeping Samwise as the 2C, and if Hartikainen can fill that W role (score enough, hit enough and be in front of the net enough) then that’s a huge item for the future. When I hear Kevin Lowe talking about a 2-for-1 I get a little worried, because if he’s talking about forwards that (in my opinion) would be a mistake.
Hartikainen is 2nd in team scoring (8, 3-6-9) and on track for a career year. They’ve invested the time, money and energy in his development and he’s worked like a bugger on footspeed and adapting to North America. And God bless him, he’s a Finn.