Tuesday, April 06, 2010
Besides being a cracking Styx song, the title of this post also refers to many glorious wasted days in years gone by. I'm one of those folks who believes that life is indeed short and it needs to be enjoyed but I also think that that doesn't mean that you need to go a million miles a minute, that one of life's great pleasures is in doing absolutely nothing. That might be an afternoon nap or an evening watching bad TV or wasting a few hours catching a crappy hockey team. Luckily for me I am set with the latter. ;)
Once you have kids there's a certain pleasure that doesn't come into the equation anymore. Back when I was in school and then on weekends once I was actually in the workforce many days were spent sitting on my ass. It might be a day after a night of drinking, lounging about with pals, shooting the breeze, killing time until we started at it again. There were Sundays when I lived in High Park with my best friend, sleeping in after our Saturday night out, waking up and drinking some coffee, watching football until we both dozed off, waking up again, more football, asleep again. There were Saturdays laying about the apartment with a girlfriend or the girlfriend and then wife, reading the paper and then back into bed and then a little lunch and then back to bed, a nap, lazing about and then back to bed.
Nowadays our rare times without kids are out of the house usually, out for dinner, or after they are abed and while we have some fun its not that long stretched out layabout we used to have years ago.
And so while my trip last week had a lot of things to recommend about it including a lovely day in old Dublin town which included pints in three of my favourite pubs and then a wonderful Irish wedding in a tiny village it may have been the Good Friday afternoon that was my favourite part of the whole damn thing. I got up late in the morning and grabbed some lunch and then wandered out to the lounge just outside the pub where one of the groomsmen and another pal of the groom were sitting and shooting the shit. As I said it was Good Friday and on Good Friday you can't buy a pint in Ireland, the only day of the year if you can imagine, but we had an in at our inn, so to speak. The hotel was in a little village (we're talking a blink and you miss it deal) and was built around a pub that had been there forever (current proprietors in charge for fifty years, mention of the pub in a ninety year old newspaper clipping telling more of the tale) so while anyone looking to get in from the street might find a locked door, we on the inside were told early on that the Guinness would be flowing that night because Leinster and Munster had a big rugby match.
So while we waited for them to get the show on the road we sat and we shot the shit. We talked about the night before and about Ireland and Canada and South Africa. We talked about having kids and getting married and travelling and buying houses and work. We talked about drinking and smoking and eating and Dublin's roads and roundabouts and cars and trains in Canada and rugby and surfing and hockey. We talked and talked and we talked some more and people came and went and pulled up chairs and pushed them back and went for walks and ordered food and went to their rooms for quick drinks or outside for a smoke and then they came back and talked some more. For hours we talked and then at five we went into the pub and watched some rugby and drank some pints and talked until eight when we went for dinner and then we ate and drank wine and talked until it was time to get to bed.
A great great time.
This long awful season is almost over and then the braintrust (hahahahahahahahahahaha) will have time to go over what has gone wrong this season, another lost season, the worst one in Oilers' history in what will now match the longest playoff drought in franchise history.
Four years out after coming within a break of winning it all. Four wasted years. A cap team with not a lot of room for next season either, dead last and in a big big way.
The positives are so very very few, oh its so awful, the kids have been chewed up and spit up, left to sink or swim, mostly sinking. The D which looked so quality has been disbanded. The goaltending remains in the hands of a broken down guy with an anchor of a contract. And up front there's not a lot going on, a bunch of bums for the most part.
Is there anything positive to look at? Well both directly (Tambellini insisting that Eberle will stay in Springfield all season) and indirectly (Matheson's column on Sunday basically carving up the Oilers development of youth at the NHL level these past three seasons) it looks like the Oilers will not be bringing in MPS and Lander and Eberle and Petry and Hall/Seguin and Omark and any other player under twenty two with a pulse to start next season and that's a start especially based on the mess made of the team and of individual players these past three years using that tactic.
What was the plan for Andrew Cogliano anyhow? Winger or centre? Soft minutes offensive guy or tough minutes two way player? It changed from week to week and month to month and while its hard to say if Cogliano will amount to much its likely that a year in the A and then a defined role playing with veterans might have better served him than the mess they have made of it.
Anyways this team is dead last and so a lot of guys are getting moved along, as it should be. The Oilers will probably be poor next year, they just have too many holes to fill, but I'd expect some of the young redundant guys will be dumped, hopefully to clubs willing to send a cagey vet the other way. A team willing to take a shot at a guy like Nilsson might be willing to move a vet with one year left on their deal, a guy who can play in the corners and along the boards, maybe move the puck the right way for a change, maybe a little overpaid, a salary dump.
Or maybe not. Still the Oilers need to add a few Malholtras and Betts types, just to help do the heavy lifting and help the youngsters along (and make no mistake there will be youngsters, just not as many as we are used to). They'll still be crappy, the Oilers that is, they just don't have enough good players, its as simple as that, but adding a few vets won't hurt, no matter how they need to do it, just as long as those contracts will be expiring.
So here's hoping that Tambellini and the rest of the geniuses have been talking and talking and talking and that its not just idle talk. That sort of shit is a lot of fun but I hope this summer that for the first time in years we see some semblance of a plan, something more than 'Holy mackeral we have a lot of defencemen' or 'We want you Nikolai, just name your price' or 'Plan A was Heatley, um, there was no plan B' or 'We will shed as many NHL players as we can without replacing them'. Of course the last has been the plan for four summers now so maybe that's the new mission statement or something.
Posted by Black Dog at 9:15 PM