Thursday, June 28, 2007
I guess we'll see a few years down the road how things turn out for the Oilers from last weekend. I'm no draftnik, learning much of what I know from Lowetide's blog, the sites he links to and the comments made in the threads there.
I figured this year would be what it was, although some of the picks were beyond me. After the top few picks it figured to be fluid, although I think nobody figured how fluid it would be. Seeing the Russian and Esposito not only fall out of the top ten but nearly out of the top twenty was a huge surprise to me. Interesting to see if the Rangers and Pens stole top notch talents or if half of the league was right in passing on them. Bob Mackenzie said before the draft that teams would be making picks all over the place and that some selections would seem out of left field and so it was. The Kings picked Hickey and it got weirder from there.
I like Gagner a lot. I was sold on Voracek but Gagner is a two way player (excellent) with speed, skill and a bit of an edge. Sounds pretty good to me.
Plante - well, who knows? Like nearly everyone else in the draft there was divided opinion. Some speak really highly of him. Others think he's riding on Alzner's coattails and will be Matt Greene II (the bad Matt Greene, not that we've seen much of the good Matt Greene).
And Nash - well I think the problem many had with him (and with Plante for that matter) is that they felt they could have been had with lower picks. And the fact that Lowe moved two picks to get Nash rubbed a lot of people the wrong way.
I've never seen any of these guys play (and when I say these guys I mean every single guy who was drafted except Alzner who I can't remember and Gagner who I do a little bit) so I couldn't tell you the first thing about them. My thoughts on drafting are this - its a crapshoot. Projecting 18 year olds as NHL players is not an easy thing to do. Some teams do seem to better then others and Lowe and company do alright. Certainly much better then the previous regime.
I think if they wanted Plante and Nash then they had to go after them. Would they have been available later? Maybe but who's to say? I would rather Lowe be aggressive and go after the guys he wants and be carried out on his shield (likely coming) then sit back and talk later about how they tried to move up to get this guy or that. Not that that's ever happened.
As for acquisitions for the big team, well nothing doing yet and we'll see what happens. Big talk ahead of this Sunday's foolishness but we all know that when the dust settles Briere, Drury and Gomez will likely not be wearing copper and blue, instead plying their trade elsewhere for some completely insane amount of money. After last year nothing surprises me (of course until I saw Timmonen and Hartnell's deals). Someone put it well the other day - take what you think each guy will get and then pile loads more money on it. Gomez, who scored 13 goals this year, is that right?, will likely be making over 7M a year after all is said and done.
And Lowe the other day - well, he says, we need to replace Ryan Smyth's goals and we need another top six forward and a puck moving dman.
Never mind Smyth's ability to play tough opposition and all of those intangibles.
Presently the lineup looks like not a whole hell of a lot.
Joffrey Lupul, Marty Reasoner and a bunch of kids
Smith, Staios and a bunch more kids
We're the Phoenix Coyotes. Maybe worse.
Here is what Lowe has to do. Good luck to him.
Add a puck moving dman - maybe Zidlicky? Who knows what the fuck is going on in Nashville? And Gary Bettman - fuck you, you little weasel twerp. Are you going to try and arrange for a team to fail in every American market before one returns to Canada? Read a great line on the front of the Post today - when hockey was threatening basketball's popularity in the early 90s David Stern took serious action and dropped the bomb on his rival - by recommending Little Gary to be commish he essentially guaranteed the destruction of hockey as a viable big four sport.
Anyway, bitter asides aside.
Sign Jan Hejda. We know the Oilers are hellbent on Smid getting top four icetime again but sign Hejda as insurance.
He also needs a LW who can score and a couple more wingers who can chip in 15 goals each and take care of business as well as a backup goalie to spell Roli, Stoll's head to clear, Torres to figure it out, Hemsky to become an elite guy, Pouliot, Thoresen and Greene (at least) to take the next step and someone dumb enough to take Joffrey Lupul and his millstone of a contract off his hands.
And a partridge in a pear tree.
In other words, barring a miracle, things are looking ugly.
And if I am saying that, you know what?
Its going to be awful.
The good news is the summer is beginning and its going to be wonderful.
So enjoy. But try not to think about our beloved Oilers. In twelve months they've gone from toast of the league to just plain toast. With a turd on top.
Posted by Black Dog at 2:15 PM