Monday, December 11, 2006
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?"
Posted by Black Dog at 8:51 PM