Thursday, November 08, 2007


Two minute drill

Well, the original title of yesterday's post was going to be, "We won!!!," and I would have pooped in my pants in that one. Sadly, Tyler Arnason and Ian Laperierre continue to kill the Oilers, so I had to modify. The refs didn't help much, either. There were two pretty clear-cut tripping calls they missed in the 3rd (on Nilsson and Cogliano). Might have made the difference. Might. Maybe. Maybe not. Doesn't matter now.

I really don't get too worked up about this team and its hockey any more. I've been responsible in managing my expectations. My sanity depends on it. Not too high, not too low. Despite the inevitable optimism that comes in the fall (you know, that one September Saturday morning when you roll out of bed and think, "yes, this is TOTALLY our year!"), I never had high hopes for the 2007/2008 Edmonton Oilers. Which is fine. Truthfully, I watch Gilbert Gilbert, Master Samwise, Cogs, and Hemmer, and I'm pleasantly surprised. The foundation for a really strong future is there. The key word, though, is "future." Where I have a problem, and where I get worked up, is in the multitude of conflicting tales being spun by management and ownership. They simply don't add up. They'd be better off sticking to one story, one plan, and then trying to follow through on it. I'm one of those guys who'd be fine with being told, "we are going to be terrible for three years." I really would, as long as I saw evidence that they were building to succeed beyond that point. I just don't want my intelligence insulted. There are only three stories that can ever by told about a hockey team: a) "this team is full of suck," b) "it's going to be a mix of stink and sweet," or c) "Stanley Cup or die, bitches!" You can move from one to another, at certain times during the year, in response to realities that have either made your team better or worse than you thought. That's fine. But it can't be all three at the same time. Pick one, and own it. Manage expectations, the same way I've managed mine.


Completely agree. After last season, I was hoping they would just write the year off and subscribe to a proper rebuilding plan.
Than they signed Vanek to an offer sheet. I am so very, very glad that it didn't work out, because than we'd be forking over our beautiful first round picks for four years.
Really, I was fine with signing aging veterans (Nylander, Souray, Tarnstrom) and not expecting anything. It's the bloody offer sheets in a rebuilding year that kill me.

Hot Doorknob's been called up.


The year is going to be a long one. Who knows if the Oilers ever get healthy we might have something. I hate watching the mullet play in an Avs uni. The battle he had with Staios in front of the net was epic.

I guess I can SEE what the Oilers plan is, I'm just not sure sure it's a really good one.

If the Oilers decide to leave Cogs at centre, my guess is that they keep one of 10 or 16 to play the toughest min, Cogs takes on the second toughest min and Gagner gets the soft, currently known as the Stoll Minutes when everyone's healthy.

On the wings they'll build around Hemsky-Torres-Penner-Pisani in the top four wing slots. Brodziak, Thor, McDonald and Trukno are all candiates for wing slots in the bottom two lines. Pouliot might be thrown in there too, let's see what he does when he comes back.

The D corps, if Pitkanen wants to remain an Oiler, and I'm no sure sure he does, is Pitkanen-Smid-Greene-Gilbert, Chorney and the untradeable contract of Souray, unless the cap goes into the 60's. If young Petry has a great freshman year in college, he might be worth talking about, too.

In goal, IMO, the Oilers are hoping that Garon goes off at some point this year and allows them to get rid of Roli and that JDD is a suitable backup for '09. And then '09 in the A, Dubnyk gets to play just about everyday.

So, there, as I see it, is the plan. Guys like Schremp and Nilsson might come into play, though I'd wager that at the very best, only one of them makes it going forward. I really can't see vets like Staios and Moreau factoring into the next Oilers playoff win unless say a guy like Moreau comes back for like 750K to work the 4th line.

So, that's the plan the way I see it. Have I left anything or anyone out? The only guy I didn't mention was Grebs and I really don't know what to make of him. With guys like Pitkanen, Smid and Gilbert in the mix, plus Chorney in the pipe, there's only so much room for so many puckmoving guys. That being said, he's getting a major push now so it's hard to say how long that will last.

"The only guy I didn't mention was Grebs and I really don't know what to make of him."

I have no idea what they're doing with him. It isn't a pump-and-dump, because he's playing tough minutes, and after 11 games of doing it he has 1 assist and is -8. I can't believe with the options that the Oilers have, they want to go forward with the league's second-best tinted visor-toting Russian.

The problem with having hope for a better future is that it remains in the hands of the same assclowns who fucked the team into the ground in the first place.

If the past couple of years have taught us anything, its that Lowe just can't help making terrible decisions. And so you just know he's going to make a lot more of them over the next four years. I'll put my faith in the future when it's the here and now.

Okay Dennis, I think you've laid it out pretty well. My question is, where do Penner and Souray come into play? I guess Penner is young enough to be at the head of that cohort. I always forget that. Hmm. I need to look at ages and the contracts again.

My own belief is that they wanted to sell the fans on plan "C", were actually figuring they'd get plan "B", and instead have been stuck with plan "A".


Has Moreau played since the lockout?

He's played seven games since Game 7 of the SCF.

Prices for scalped tickets are dropping well below face value. Haven't seen that since maybe 02/03. Then the Oilers were claiming sellouts to try and create advance purchase demand, but tonnes of extras were comped to sponsors and floated by scalpers.

I thought that the "give your extra tickets to military families!" idea was brilliant, because I thought this team would be bad, and that this initiative would relieve the pressure without costing the EIG a cent. It doesn't seem to be the case, though. And that's a very dangerous cusp to be on the wrong side of in this business.

If it continues in this direction (cheap tix available out front, a lot of empty seats even with sellouts) ... then a change in direction is inevitable. IF this happens, then youth will be traded for veterans. Book it.

IF this happens, then youth will be traded for veterans. Book it.

That may happen, but I think it is unnecessary. It gets back the point of this post, which is about being honest with your fan base. You can't sell false goods forever and hope to get away with it. Unless you live in Toronto, that is.

Jon: I would chalk up the Grebs thing the same way I did with Smid last year. This is the case of playing a guy that you gave up something for. Yes, I know we gave up just a little more for the latter than former;) but I think it's simply a case of playing a guy because of the optics. Granted, I could be all wrong becuase if the fans in Edm really cared that much about assets in and assets out, the place wouldn't be full every night;)

AG: Penner's young enough that, yeah, I'd have him-Torres-Pisani-Hemsky pencilled in as the wingers in the top six, and I'll frame that in terms of EV TOI.

Of course, maybe a Nilsson or Schremp could slip in there as well. The way it probably plays out is the 14-83 tandem always takes on the tough, Penner plus someone else gets the soft and then some guys take on the second toughest.

of course, we'll see what happens when Fernie's contract is up. if his numbers don't climb, he may run into a Mike Johnson situation and we could have him for a tough min gig and get it on the cheap

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