Tuesday, November 17, 2009
A couple of great contributions to the Sphere from Tyler Dellow and Andy Grabia. The comments thread on Ty's post is pure gold, actually the one on the Penner post is as well. A lot of the old guard, so to speak, chiming in. Great to see.
The Oilers seem to be emerging from the mess that the flu wrought upon them and while they are far from healthy the returns of Souray and Horcoff as well as the imminent return (maybe?) of Stone, Nilsson and Jacques will help as well. Well maybe not.
Its all about moral victories these days with the Oilers, same as its been since about December of 2006 when Tjarnqvist and Staios went down, revealing that Lowe's plan to go with a top six that included Matt Greene, Ladislav Smid and Marc Andre Bergeron, as well as shedding a whack of veteran forwards that past summer, may not have been all that great of an idea.
Actually with Lowe, and apparently with his successor as well, its not so much the guys that he dumps really. I mean you have guys who you have to move or cannot sign regardless (Pronger, Peca, Spacek, Samsonov) and you have guys who you can always make an argument against keeping, either because of their salaries or their flaws or they are done or what they bring in return or because they are replaceable. Hell put any of the following in any category that you like there: Dvorak, Laraque, Harvey, Tarnstrom (twice), Garon, Smyth, Sykora, Smith, Pitkanen, Cole, Kotalik, Greene, Stoll, Glencross, Reasoner, Throesen, Brodziak, Winchester, Torres.
Have I forgotten anyone? Probably.
In any case that's a lot of guys who had some use sent out the door these past few years and, as I said, you can argue that Glencross was a gamble or that Torres was overpaid or that Harvey was just a plug or that Thoresen is in Europe now anyways so he's no good. And so on.
But see the problem is and always has not been who got sent out but who has come back. And the answer is precious little but more kids to go into the meat grinder of the NHL. More kids who don't know the first thing about playing in the NHL. And still you get the yokels calling for Tambo to trade Hemsky and Horcoff and Gilbert - bring in Eberle, Petry and bring Schremp back while you're at it. Then they'll win it all. Guaranteed.
And with Fernando Pisani probably on his last legs and Ethan Moreau definitely done, the fact remains that this team is woefully short of players who can do those things that help win games. Again.
So when management ignores, again, the holes in the lineup, whilst they chase the latest video game hero (I wonder what Tambo was offering for Jokinen? probably Smid and Cogliano one would think) one wonders what is a fan to do?
Four years out of the playoffs coming, four years. You can talk about flu and injuries but the St. Louis Blues were ravaged by injuries last year and made the playoffs. It happens. But for some reason fans are happy to make excuses for the club.
Being fan is an odd deal. You are asked to cheer for this club, spend your money (there's the rub), trust in your heroes, trust in management.
But when management fails again and again then what do you do? Watch games in the hope of getting one like the Columbus game a few weeks ago? Wade through the dreck in hope of the one gem? The team has been more entertaining under Quinn but they are still losing and really the whole point of the exercise is to win, right?
I opined during camp that Quinn, already muttering about the roster, an astute politician, might angle for the GM's job if this season is a failure. I still believe that this may happen come the spring when Daryl Katz looks at tens more millions spent, another failure and when he asks his famous coach what went wrong and the big Irishman (and he does have huge hands Vic, btw, saw him on the subway once, the old grump) tells him that his roster is a piece of shit and I told you so back in September, then who lives and who dies? The guy with decades of experience and success or the rookie GM who can't even find a goddamned player to win a puck battle.
What do you think?
Hell this club is already the Florida Panthers. May as well have chaos in management like them too.
P.S. And Hejda!
Posted by Black Dog at 5:00 PM