Friday, September 30, 2005


On the side

I quite enjoyed this prediction from the Puck Stops Here -- Oilers finish 5th in the Northwest Division:
Kevin Lowe learned from Glen Sather. As soon as he got a chance to spend money, he did, and not necessarily in any smart way. The team still lacks any great goaltending, or any really big time scorers, or much defensive depth beyond Chris Pronger. Their other big addition, Mike Peca, is probably just an expensive downgrade from Mike York. The Oilers offseason looks too much like the Rangers many times unsuccessful strategy for me to buy into it.

Clearly, more plausible than two-thirds of the things I've heard since August 1st.


Sadly, what this prediction fails to acknowledge is that the Oilers payroll is virtually identical to their pre-lockout payroll.

I'm not taking issue with the Oilers total payroll. It could go up or down or stay the same. I am taking issue with the way they used the newfound financial room they had with the 24% rollback in salaries and the contracts that expired over the lockout. They traded away their future to bring in older more expensive players who won't be nearly enough to improve the team to contender status. Its the same technique the Rangers tried repeatedly with no success. The fact the Rangers did it with much higher payrolls or the fact that the Oilers did not significantly increase their payroll by doing it are irrelevant details.

The Oilers lack any big scorer, top goaltender or defensive depth. Trading for older more expensive established stars like Pronger and Peca won't improve the team - but its a good short term move for public relations.

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