Tuesday, July 14, 2009
When the girl from Rawlins Cross and I broke up for the first time my Dad was not really all that sympathetic. I was too distraught to really wonder why plus I'm pretty thick when it comes to these things. We got back together and then another eight months or so passed and then the whole thing died a quiet, sad and totally necessary death. Very soon after I was on an airplane to the Island, going into willing exile from the city where I had lived on and off for over a decade. I didn't see my folks until nearly a year later when I got home for Christmas. I was about to move south to Florida after an eventful year which left me, in the end, with a wife, one of my best friends and the big fellow. On Christmas Eve I had no idea where the road would lead me and so I talked about the girl I had met to my folks and I wondered where we would end up once I lwft the Island. My Dad said that I would figure it out and in any case they were glad that I had moved on from my last relationship. He said it in such a way that I asked him what he meant and he shrugged and said:
We're just glad it didn't work out - the truth is that we never liked her.
I never knew. My folks just bit their tongues for over two years. If we had gotten married they would have taken it to their graves.
Its an odd spot to be in - you want to be happy for your friend or family member who brings the new person over to meet you. You want to like them. You want to love them. Your pal is happy and you want this to work out, to be able to go out for beers and to hang out with the new couple. For the most part my friends are all with terrific girls or guys - we're all lucky that way.
But of course there have been the cases where when the night is over and they have left we who have remained have looked at each other and wondered what the fuck? She's dull/cold/stupid/annoying/cunty.
This is not going to work out or so we hope. Because if it does then we are going to have to spend a lot of years smiling and lying our asses off.
Usually they don't work out (my folks weren't the only ones who applauded my good sense, although truth be told it was just luck in the end - I would have married her if she had asked, almost right up until I got on that airplane) but sometimes they do.
The key is if they don't work out then you had better hold your tongue until you know that its truly over and done with because if you want to see awkward then tell your pal that its the best thing that he ever did, breaking up with that so and so, only to watch them put it back together shortly afterwards. My wife had a friend who was dumped and came for a shoulder to cry on. She was pretty clear about how she felt about your man (my wife hasn't an issue with beating around the bush and she was never a fan of this fellow). And then soon after they ended up patching the fences.
Try and explain that one next time you're over for dinner.
I think that every week that passes says a lot about what Steve Tambellini thought about Craig MacTavish's work behind the bench last season. He's just too much of a gentleman to say anything.
But his lack of action speak volumes about what he thought about the longterm Oilers' bench boss.
Coming into this offseason I would have thought the Oilers would have had the following plans:
1/ Ensure that there is quality goaltending. With Roloson a UFA and only Deslauriers on board this was an obvious necessity and Tambellini ensured that it was addressed immediately. One would suggest that this was his top priority based on the speed with which it was addressed as well as the obvious overpay to make sure that the Oilers got their man.
2/ A LW to play with Hemsky. The Heatley pursuit shows that the Oilers are serious about trying to upgrade their top line LW but the fact that they did not move to plan B on the FA market or via trade makes me think that they are going with Heatley or with the status quo.
3/ A C to play tough opposition, win faceoffs and kill penalties. There are still available and known qualitities out there (Malholtra, Moore, Betts, to name a few) and one would think that if the Oilers were going to move on any of these guys they would have already. As July moves along their price is likely dropping but at some point if you want a guy you should get him. Tambellini's swift consummation of the Khabibulin situation would make me think that if he really had someone in mind out there they would be signed already.
4/ Size, toughness, grit - whatever you want to call it - personally I think this club needs guys who are just plain hard on the puck for starters. Tambellini referred to this specifically and yet nothing has been done yet. Again there are available options remaining, vets who could slot in on the bottom line, guys who could add to the PK. And yet nothing is doing.
Its one thing to have a hard time picking up a first line LW. Its not like there are a lot out there. Heatley is definitely the best option although I think I would pass, to be honest. Too much risk - I can just see him wilting in Edmonton and asking for a trade a year from now and at that point what type of value would you get for him?
The contract is a bastard too.
YKOil makes probably the most convincing argument against the Heatley pursuit - scathing stuff - you wonder why someone in the mainstream media could not a) write something as critical and b) write something as well.
In any case that's not the point.
The point is that this club was not a playoff club last year and on paper, right now, very little has changed. A healthy Khabibulin who plays like did last season is an upgrade over Roloson, imo, though not a huge one. And Brodziak out and Brule in? A downgrade.
And still not much is happening and I would bet that very little does before September. With every passing day clubs spend their money and get against the cap or their budget and soon enough there will be nothing doing.
I think Steve Tambellini may be willing to go into next season with almost the same club as last season.
I think that says a lot about the confidence he has in Pat Quinn and Tom Renney.
I think that says a lot about what he thinks about Craig MacTavish.
I don't think he looked at Craig MacTavish and thought happy thoughts. At all.
Posted by Black Dog at 4:00 PM