Youth is wasted on all the wrong people. The mistakes made by young hockey players, young pitchers, young quarterbacks, have probably made up about 15% of my television/live game watching life. I’m sometimes reminded of an old Bill Cosby comedy clip in which he’s talking about his kids. They’ve done something very stupid, and he asks “WHY DID YOU DO THAT??” and comes the universal reply of all youth: I. don’t. know.
WAYS TO LEARN VOLUME ONE: EXPERIENCE
There is so much inexperience on this graph the mind boggles. The club began the season with veterans Andrew Ference, Nick Schultz and Ladislav Smid, but currently rocks down the highway with Justin Schultz, Martin Marincin and Jeff Petry as the feature players. Lunacy. Have the Oilers EVER had this much youth on their blue? How DO you build a defense when youth arrives every season?
- 1979-80: featured two 20-year olds (Kevin Lowe, Risto Siltanen) and then a group of mid 20′s gents (Lee Fogolin, Doug Hicks, Pat Price, Colin Campbell) with plenty of experience.
- 1980-81: Paul Coffey arrived.
- 1982-83: Charlie Huddy and an older Randy Gregg arrived.
- 1983-84: The gang’s all here for Stanley. Coffey, Huddy, Lowe, Gregg, with Fogolin for experience and Don Jackson playing the Mark Fraser role.
So, the Oilers did it by adding at the most two in any one season. The current blue saw rookies added like so:
- 2010-11: Jeff Petry graduates after half a season in OKC. Theo Peckham catches on full-time.
- 2011-12: Corey Potter gets his chance after a long incubation in the minors.
- 2012-13: Justin Schultz arrives, representing the first “possible impact” addition to the group.
- 2013-14: Martin Marincin is the big addition, but Anton Belov also debuts.
Unlike the 1979-84 cluster building, there’s a lot of “noise” in this one with guys from Alex Plante to Colten Teubert to Phil Larsen clouding the picture. The Oilers prospects are more suspect than 40 years ago, and that’s pro scouting and the lag in development time to get the Magnificent Bastard blue in place (if you’re bitching about MacGregor’s performance in regard to the blueline, remember this is the time we should be seeing Alex Plante, Theo Peckham and Taylor Chorney taking regular shifts).
It’s a long way to go.
SO MUCH OILER HISTORY IN BOSTON
Mark Arcobello has been assigned to Oklahoma City. Let the rage begin! He had a sweet start to the season, but once Sam Gagner returned the club didn’t see him as a 4line option. With Arco looking at free agency, the Oilers will have to sign him to a contract or lose him this summer. I don’t think this means a lot, he could easily be recalled on Monday after a trade.