After last week’s state of the union from MacT to season ticket holders, we can make sweeping statements about the coming season with some authority. I kid. There are some things we can probably surmise though, and one of them is that Shawn Horcoff’s time as captain is coming to an end. He might pass it along to the new captain opening night, or he might be traded or retire or maybe the Oilers will have co-captains or several captains (another gift from Jacques Lemaire, who singlehandedly ruined the entire idea of a captain by passing it out monthly in Minnesota–it became an employee of the month award!).
I think it’ll be Taylor Hall. It doesn’t have to be–Jordan Eberle would be an excellent choice, or maybe they’d like to give it to another of the under 25 set. No matter, I think it’ll happen before Labor Day. –
Last week on the radio show, I mentioned the book ‘Road to Hockeytown’ by Jim Devellano. It’s a great book for Oiler fans because (imo) it says ‘you are here’ and then in great detail passes along the decisions and years and careers that it took in order to get to the promised land. When I read the book (have many times) it occurs to me that I may not see an Oiler Stanley in my lifetime. I’ve seen 5, so can’t imagine anyone will feel sorry for me, but as a fan looking back can only sustain you for so long.
Sooner or later, the current team becomes the focus. A passage from that book is a nice way to frame the issue.
As always, you’ll have to click on it to read the entire passage. The Wings were disappointed that Pat Lafontaine had been selected in front of them (by Bill Torrey) but Yzerman turned out to be the best of the lot (in fairness, Lafontaine was an absolute killer until the concussions ended his career). From that day forward–1983 draft–it took Detroit FOURTEEEN YEARS to win their next Stanley. FOURTEEN YEARS!
So, when we argue over when the rebuild started, it’s kind of crazy. History will tell us–already has–that the rebuild started the day Pronger headed for the coast and the Oilers decided it would be okay to run a defense by replacing 44, Jaro Spacek and Dick Tarnstrom with Ladislav Smid, Jan Hejda and Daniel Tjarnqvist.
The good days started the day Stu MacGregor told the scouts, Oil Change and the fanbase the club would select Taylor Hall. I don’t know where this train is headed, but the trip started that day. A great day.
And because it’s my blog, here’s my top 10:
TOP 10 (SECOND DRAFT) 2013
- L Jonathan Drouin: Moves up to #1, impact offensive player might be the best this decade. Willis convinced me.
- D Seth Jones: I know defensemen are hard to predict, but there’s just too much talent to rank him lower.
- C Nathan MacKinnon: Huge Memorial Cup moves him up 1 slot, still undecided about this area of the draft. Impact prospects!
- C Sasha Barkov: This is such a deep draft, I think he’s got a chance to be something special.
- C Elias Lindholm: Overlooked talent, Stu MacGregor never mentioned him during the first round of 2013 draft talk with media. Counter trey?
- L Valeri Nichushkin: Last guy on the board who could be an impact offensive player in the NHL. This is an insanely deep draft.
- C Sean Monahan: I believe he is the Oilers target, the key tumbler for new GM MacT in terms of building up the middle.
- D Rasmus Ristolainen: I stubbornly believe he’s the second best D option despite growing evidence to the contrary.
- C-L Max Domi: A nice kick at the end puts him here. Talented hockey player. Who knew?
- D Nikita Zadorov: Huge defender with speed, I don’t see the offense everyone is talking about but he can move and blocks out the sun.
Redline has Nurse and Erne on the top 10 and exclude Ristolainen and Zadorov. I’ll have my final list draft week.–
The Lowdown with Lowetide is on the air this morning at 10 Edmonton time (Team 1260). Scheduled to appear:
- Tyler Dellow from mc79 hockey. Tyler has an interesting item up on Jordan Eberle, we’ll talk about MacT’s watershed phone conference and the Champions League.
- Michael Speidel from hockey symposium. speeds has great info on the salary cap, the draft and MacT.
- Ryan Batty from Copper and Blue. We’ll talk Oilers, Oil Kings and Barons.
- Erik Rodgers will drop by again to discuss the OKC Barons. They went 1-1 on the weekend and prepare for a huge week against Grand Rapids.