By golly, they said, this is going to be the year.
Now anyone who has been around the sphere for any length of time know that LT is the most optimistic guy here. Its his nature and this is reflected in his writing. And they would also know that the second most optimistic guy would be me. Can't help myself. Again, its my nature.
So why the negativity?
The first thirteen years of their existence the Oilers made the playoffs every season. They won five Cups and lost one final. Even as the dynasty was being dismantled they made it to the conference finals in 1991 and 1992.
An amazing run. Probably the greatest team ever assembled, in my opinion, considering the number of teams in the league and the fact that they had to break up the core of the team far too early. If this were a six team league and the players had no freedom of movement how many Cups would they have won?
Then a four year period where the club was poor and missed the playoffs every season. To be expected considering they were moving out players to contenders for prospects and draft picks for the most part and the team drafted very poorly after they hit the home runs that set up the dynasty. Four years out of the playoffs. Remember that number because these were the darkest days in franchise history.
You know what's interesting? You know the team that some commenters deride as being a bunch of pluggers and palookas? Those little clubs that could between 96/97 and the 05/06 (well that last club wasn't so much an underdog anymore but its core was made up of the holdovers from those years).
Those lousy clubs.
Out of nine seasons they made the playoffs seven times. And one year that they did not they had 92 points.
Seven times in the playoffs. They won series in three of those years.
Those teams sure were rotten.
And since 2006, with three clubs that can (and pretty well have) spent to the cap.
If they miss this year then they will equal the darkest point in club history.
So forgive me if I am a little cranky. I'm kind of tired of the losing. I'm funny like that.
So I am going to write a few pieces in the next few days. In one I'm going to look at why this club should be better than last year and how and why they will make the playoffs. I want them to make the playoffs and I think they have a shot at it but considering that once again they have holes that have not been filled this summer I think that they are not in as good a position as they should be.
In another I will look at why they are going to equal the franchise record for futility.
In the third I will talk about what I would have done this summer if I was Oilers' GM and why I would have done it.