“Watch out for that last step, she’s a lu-lu!” I wonder if Daryl Katz knew what he was getting into when uttering the famous “rebuild” word that cold, dark winter day in January 2010.
The underdog is always something I can get behind. I enjoy the team building as much as watching the championships. As a fan, there’s not much worthwhile you can invest in a team aside from time and the devotion, and for that, hopefully, you are rewarded with a trip to the top of the mountain. I am spoiled as a hockey fan, having watched my beloved Oilers win 5 and my original favorite team (Boston) win it thrice.
But I know pain. 2006 G7 SCF, or game 1 for that matter. Rick Monday on a cold October day in Montreal “he’ll touch ‘em all” and Jim Fanning’s John Wayne pose as the 80s fell away from the wonderful Montreal Expos. The ’79 Expos won 95, with 5 guys who drove in 73 or more; ’80 Expos won 90 games and the ’81 bunch won their division and came with a hair of going to the WS.
Blue Monday. Pain.
As a fan–or an owner–you only get so many sorties before Jeff Loria trades your team for swamp land, or Murray Cook turns your infield from Perez, Scott, Speier and Parrish into Driessen, Flynn, Speir and Wallach (that’s a massive downward spiral).
This season reminds me of the Montreal Expos when Jim Fanning was the manager. They went from Tony Perez to Al Oliver to Dan Driessen so quickly it would make your head spin, and the result was devastating. Sure, the Expos still had Carter and Dawson and Raines and Rogers and and and, but for every impact player there was Doug Flynn or Dan Driessen to GIDP or strike ‘em out throw ‘em out. It was horrible.
Dan Driessen and Doug Flynn are represented on the current Edmonton Oilers, and one hopes management figures out how to bring in competent role players to keep things at do until the Chance Machine returns to the ice. Everyone knows what the problem is, because the Oilers have been using binder twine and rusty nails to fill the holes since 2006 summer. They need Dap, not the generic type.
The Corsi really shows how wide the gap is getting between the kids–who are getting it now, not just Hall–and the Petrell’s and Eager’s. If you look around the NHL, to names like Kyle Brodziak and Andrew Cogliano and Jarret Stoll, maybe the Oilers are better off staying the course.
With that as the backdrop, the rumors we’re hearing about adding size to the skill lines doesn’t bode well for names like Paajarvi and Hartikainen. Mistake to trade them? They’re progressing, especially Paajarvi.
As for names of possible acquisitions, we’re starting to see specifics filter in:
Stewart has skill and he’s a big, tough winger. His Corsi is not good this season, ranking 14/15 among forwards who have played more than 5 games. He’s posting good offense at 5×5 though, his 2.69/60 ranks him second on the team and is a good number league wide. Two things: why is he in play? The Blues are a team expected to go deep, why would they want to offload him? Is that Corsi true?
And what would they want in return? Dreger suggested a “Stewart for Kulemin+” trade which suggests the Blues might be looking for more of a 2-way type with good speed.
Hitchcock would love to add Hemsky to that group of PF’s I’m sure. If St. Louis acquired Hemmer, I think you’d have to give them an elevated chance of getting out of the west.