Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Those Young Edmonton Oilers

Put the kids in with a few old pappy guys who still like to win and the combination is unbeatable. Conn Smythe

Conn knew a little about hockey. He was also a little nuts. Fought in the inferno of WWI. One story about him had him throwing his pistol at a German soldier after he ran out of bullets if I recall correctly. The true measure of his sanity or lack thereof is that after being a combat officer in that most vicious of wars he signed up for WWII.

Anyhow if Conn's statement was a guarantee then the Oilers are about to go on a nice run because this team, mistakenly called young all through the playoffs by the crack team at the CBC, is once again, well, young. With Roloson, Gator and Staios playing the roles of the "few old pappy guys". After that, if I am not mistaken, their next oldest guys are still on the sunny side of thirty.

At the beginning of the upcoming season Ulanov would be 37, Murray 34, Pronger, Spacek and Peca 32, Tarnstrom and Harvey 31. Even LeGG is almost 30 as is Dvorak. All gone. (maybe not Dvo and Rem)

And I'm thinking any help on D is going to be someone around 27 to 29. At leats the guys who make sense to me are all around that age bracket.

Too young? Well this season may see a lot of 5-4 games for and against. Youth is good if your youth are good - just look at the Sharks. But it can let you down when the going gets tough.

See those same Sharks.

Or not.

See Ward, Cam and Staal, Eric.

Should be fun.

I'm with Lowetide. One guy, among many, to watch. Pouliot. I think he's going to be a player.


Vic Ferrari said...

They will have a much younger squad. When you look at the list of guys who will probably get better next season (Hemsky, Stoll, Torres, Bergeron, Lupul, Greene, Pouliot, Jacques) it's a helluva lot longer than the list of old guys in decline. Even Smith and Staios are about at the prime for defensemen in terms of play, probably on the downside in terms of icetime though. Pisani, Moreau and Smyth are probably right at their prime in terms of quality of play, at the age where every injury takes a bit longer to heal though, a lot of off-road miles on the odometer of the latter two. Horcoff and Reasoner are at their primes in terms of health and playing minutes I would think, both should continue to get a bit better though.

Guys from Conn Smythe's generation would say that you lose an extra game for every rookie in your lineup. Personally, I think you can double that for defensemen.

We'll see. I don't think Lowe is quite done yet.

Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

Not yet, no. Arbitration hearings are about to get under way, I believe.

That's when we're going to see the other shoe drop.

Mirtle had a post talking about how the Penguins have but 17 players under contract.

I think we're going to see another flurry of activity.


And Lowe will be a part of it.