On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me Twelve Basement Dwellers, Eleven Loverboy Tunes, Ten Brilliant Nights, Nine Final Papers, Eight World Juniors, Seven Aching Bodies, Six Fucking Douchebags, Five ... Straight ... Road ... Wins ........ Four Pints of Beer, Three Frenchmen, Two Sausages and Lubomir Visnovsky
Oh its bad, really bad. The Oilers are a deserved last place in the Western Conference right now.
Their big free agent signing from the summer, an aging goaltender with health issues signed to a four year deal that is a cap killer, is on the shelf with back problems as it comes out that the total amount of due diligence the Oilers, a multimillion dollar business, did before signing him was to ask his agent how he was feeling. The contract is completely unmovable and now one of the few strengths of the Oilers from the past few years, their goaltending, always pretty reasonable with Roloson and Markannen or Roloson and Garon, is in the hands of two unproven rookies who have no track record of success.
Their D, supposedly their strength, looks overmatched.
Their corpse of forwards consists of three quality NHLers now that Hemsky is on the shelf (Thank God that happened!) and one of those has a bad shoulder and another is twenty years old.
A generation of kids are dying on the vine. Where Ales Hemsky got to play with Ryan Smyth opposite him and Raffi Torres played with Mike Peca and Fernando Pisani in the spring of 2006 and Torres and Stoll got Pisani to shepherd them the following year, now guys like Nilsson and Cogliano and Brule and O'Sullivan get fucked. One gets to play with two NHL players, one gets to play with Horcoff and an AHLer and the other two get the dregs.
And we wonder why the kids regress.
For the fourth straight year the club is seriously unbalanced with almost nobody up front who can kill penalties, check their hat, play their position properly, win faceoffs, hit somebody, the list goes on an on. Basically beyond Horcoff, Hemsky and Penner and by the looks of it, Gagner, they have nobody who can play top nine minutes and come out on top.
And even better, we get to do this all again next year unless Lowe and Tambellini's replacement (oh please Santa make it so!) can find someone dumber than them to take the long list of big contracts that they have handed out like candy at Halloween.
Four years ago this was a terrific club filled with young veterans that came within a break of winning it all. Within a year the heart and soul of the club was torn out of it and all that remains is four years of shitty hockey, four years to match the longest stretch of futility in club history.
The fish stinks from the head and so the front office needs gutting for starters, Lowe and Tambellini have to go and probably immediately.
This squad is going to be awful next year too. May as well bring someone in who knows what they are doing before these guys give Brule a massive extension and pry Jason Blake from the Leafs the next time he has a nice week. I exaggerate but only so slightly. They are that terrible. The proof is on the ice.
Which is also crappy, by the way. It hasn't been quality in years.