Monday, December 11, 2006

Is the Future Now?

Lowetide has his December list of the top twenty prospects for the Oilers. Its terrific stuff.
There are three graduates from the June top 20 - Matt Greene, Brad Winchester and Patrick Thoresen. Add to these players Laddy Smid, a regular since the season's beginning, and JF Jacques and Marc Antoine Pouliot, two more youngsters called into service with the injury bug biting, and you can draw a few conclusions:
- After a long dry spell it appears that the Oilers' scouts are getting it right. Now, every team's fans overrates its prospects and players (I remember "the best outfield in baseball" that the Jays had in the 80s and also the guys who were supposed to replace them - Glenallen Hill, Sil Campusano, etc - superstars and future stars each one) but the Oilers do look like they have some promising youngsters at almost every position and for every role. Will they all make it? Of course. :) Well, maybe not. But its still a step forward.
- They have some tradebait
- They have the makings of a terrific team in two or three years
- Despite a tough division, obvious shortcomings on the blueline, some lacklustre play from their "vaunted" offence and a few key injuries they are in first place with less then two weeks until Christmas
So here, with all of that in mind, is the question.
Parity is here. Other then the Ducks and les Sabres, who really scares anyone right now? The Sens have come back but still they are lacking. The Canes will be a factor but they are feeling the loss of a few pretty good players. The Sharks? Bell has been a bust. The Preds? Maybe but I say no.
Anyhow, point is that while this looked to be a rebuild year for the Oilers (though not officially) they are at this point in the secondary tier of contenders. Add a Dman to play with Smith in the top pair (heck I'd likely add two Dmen if I could) and all of a sudden they are in the first tier likely. And who would you rather have in a seven game series, Roloson or Giguere?
Hey, anything can happen. The Oilers might not even make the playoffs, although I think they're going to win the division to be honest. (Some division, huh - pretty solid) And once you are in, there are no guarantees. But in a year where after the two top teams there isn't a lot to choose from, do you give up some of that promising future for a lot of right now? I'm not talking about Brodziak or Winchester. I'm talking about a guy who might be a big part of what Lowe is building towards in two or three years - say Tom Gilbert or Schremp or Pouliot.
Keep in mind that bringing in Eric Brewer maybe increases the Oilers' chances from 10% to 15%. What if the cost drops their chances from 25% to 20% in two years?
So. Do you go after Brewer if the cost is Pouliot rather then Almtorp? Schremp rather then Stortini? Gilbert rather then Roy? And I haven't the foggiest what Brewer would cost - likely it might be one of those three plus ... or maybe it would be Mikhnov and a second.
Do you go for it or do you play it safe? Further to that do you take a step back now and build for '09 and move Jarret Stoll if you can fill in that one glaring hole and pick up a Seabrook or a Z. Michalek or another D prospect like Marc Staal? Once again, I have no idea what Stoll would bring but do you move him if you can?
Maybe if we can engineer a coup in Chicago and have Pierre Maguire replace Tallon. Christ, he'd probably ship Seabrook and Keith over just for the opportunity to have Stoll on his squad.
"Uh, Pierre, why are you in my room?"
"Bedcheck, you monster, I mean, Stoll!"
"Uh, Pierre, why are you naked?"


BK said...

The end of that was golden ;).

Well, there's a couple more options there that you haven't gone into..


Can we sign the guy we trade for? What's he going to cost? If we can lock up a Brad Stuart... that trade suddenly makes a lot more sense than if he's just a rental.

That said, I think this is a damn good year to gamble. We have one of the elite goaltenders in the league, we have several guys who should be a lot more grown up than they are right now...

I think this team is missing two parts right now, albeit the parts are on different teams. Part #1 is Ludomir Vishnovsky. Trade Stoll for him without even thinking about it. Awesome contract and he's signed through for next year. Can play the PP, can make the pass AND LA is terrible. I see a lot to love about a trade like that. Stoll fits in with nice with the youth movement going on in LA, so I'd hope/assume that's enough.

Secondly the target is a center. The dream would be that Peca would want to come back - but clearly he doesn't. That said, we need someone to fill the role he did last season.. someone who can chip in a few goals, lay a few hits and play tough minutes.

My choice?

Well, I don't see enough of the Eastern Conference ;).

But I'd say Wayne Primeau fits that bill. Maybe Dennis could chime in and make sure I'm right about hte tough minutes? Assuming he does, you role your lines accordingly...

(Primeau is 20, not Toby, Vish can't be 17, so I'll just give him 4 because we'd treat him like Bobby Orr with the shit show we've witnessed here.)


10 gets the tough matchups, you'd have to think that 18 there combined with 83's experience makes the 71 line legitimate against anyone who isn't Joe Thornton, 14-19-15 were looking pretty good for a while there, and that 4th line can kick some ass and take some names.

The PP gets 94, 83, 71, 15 and 4 on the first unit, and who cares on the second unit ;).

4 goes with 21, 29 goes with 21, and 2 and 5 takes turns sitting while 49 gets the cherry minutes.

Eh? That's what I want anyway.. ;)


swabbubba said...

Back to homoerotica.... agggghhhhh blind got a visual....

Rachel Hunter I can see again.....

Black Dog said...

sorry swabb - but if you saw the Canes' game last week you'll know of what I speak

pdo - The Vishnovsky deal makes sense - guy has a killer contract indeed - and I agree with the idea that we also need a centre of that type - Peca would be a good choice (and if the Leafs slide continues he will be available and in demand) but it probably would be someone like W. Primeau

We've been talking about Stuart for a while but the Bs are in the mix so I can't see them moving him.

Signing the guy we trade for makes sense but a guy like Vishnovsky would be beautiful with that contract.

Graham said...

Glenallen Hill was the shit, dude!