Sunday, May 09, 2010
When I was younger I used to have very vivid dreams. I guess maybe I still do but I can't remember them most of the time, they certainly don't stick with me. I think I'm just too tired to recall them.
Surprisingly there were a lot of sex dreams. I know, hard to believe! I had a lot where I would be driving too fast and lose control and get thrown from the vehicle, at which point I'd wake up. Quite a few where I actually didn't have my degree yet and was back in school and fucking shit up, which was pretty close to my actual academic career. And a lot of epic action dreams, which I don't have anymore, where I would be a commando or resistance fighter of some sort, think Nick Rivers in Top Secret (!). These were sweeping violent bloody monstrosities where I would finally end up getting cornered and shot. Funny thing is I would survive getting machine gunned at which point my dream self would realize it was a dream and that I could not get killed and then I would stride across the battlefield killing all of my enemies without any fear of getting hurt. And then I'd wake up because I was bored.
One type of dream that I still have that I have had all of my life is the hockey dream. Usually in these I am late for the big game or I am getting ready for the big game and I have forgotten a key piece of equipment or I am playing in the big game and suddenly I lose a skate blade or two. The very odd time (I had one of these a few weeks ago) I am the hero of a big game, the Olympic gold medal game or the Stanley Cup playoff game. I am still me, small and slow and old, but I am unstoppable. We're talking Bill Mosienko unstoppable.
Those are my favourites. Those and the sex ones.
So the other night I had a dream where its draft day and the Oilers pick number one and they pick Taylor Hall. Its totally Taylor Hall, not someone else who is called Taylor Hall (you know what I mean, you have a dream and there is a person that you know but physically its somebody else), although his grotesque features are even more oversized. The lips, the bulging eyes, the gigantic noggin. Plus he has enormous eyebrows. This is not the interesting part of the dream. The interesting part is that my best friend, whom I have known since I was five, is the Oilers' director of scouting. He looks like he did twenty years ago (he's been grey since he was thirty, just like his old man and he's a bit heavier) but its totally him.
In the dream I have no idea that this is his job so I call him after they interview him on TSN and he tells me will go out for a steak the next night and give me an explanation of what the Oilers were thinking, an exclusive as it were. Of course I'm extremely excited.
One last odd addendum. The dream ends the next morning when I wake up and begin to surf the web to get reaction. In every draft story going, not just about the Oilers, he's in the background shouting at the camera, photobombing every pic taken at the draft.
Try and analyze that.
We're a long way from the draft but its already making me mental. Already there are geniuses who are arguing that Seguin or Hall will not only be the wrong pick but that they will never play in the NHL.
Seguin did not have a great series against Windsor which establishes him as a choking dog at eighteen. I can barely even believe that he will bother showing up at the draft now myself. What a loser. In related news, based on the same logic, the Penguins will be dumping Crosby as soon as the playoffs are over. He does not even have one goal against Montreal. What a twat.
Maybe the Oilers can pick up that loser for JDD and Nilsson or something. What do you think?
Listen, I have never seen Seguin play and I've barely seen Hall play so I have no idea who the better player is. They're both terrific juniors and my guess is that they both will be excellent professionals. I like Seguin just because I think a franchise centre has a bigger impact than a franchise winger but that is just my personal preference. I think if the Oilers pick either one it will be a great get for the franchise.
The thing is this and I just commented over at LTs about this so forgive me for repeating myself. The idea is not to pick the guy who is the better player right now, I would say that this is Hall, the idea is to pick the guy who will be the better player five, ten, fifteen years down the road. Whether this is Hall or Seguin I have no idea but this is the question. The fact that Hall is tearing up the OHL even in the playoffs is impressive but I'd be a lot more impressed if he were blowing by Reghyr without getting his head ripped off, know what I mean?
Now obviously this is all a bunch of mumbo jumbo and voodoo because its almost impossible to project what an eighteen year old will look like as a player in three years, never mind ten. You can go through nearly every draft and find your guys who were picked higher or lower than they should have been. I'd call it an inexact science except its not a science at all.
Its a tough gig. If not then Todd Simon, Bobby Russell, Max Middendorf, Jamie Matthews and Rod Schutt would all be household names. A few of them would be in the Hall of Fame if their professional careers reflected their prowess in junior. But some of these star junior players are too small, some are too slow, some are too dumb. Some drank too much. Some didn't put in the necessary effort. Some got hurt. Some just got unlucky.
This isn't to say that the scouts aren't responsible for their work or that its all blind luck. Its not. If you go off the board and pick someone in the first round who isn't anywhere on the radar then you had better hit a home run and its very likely that you will not. If you have a top pick then its pretty well made for you to a point. Its not like there's huge discrepancies between the guys who are touted to be the top of the list each summer.
And there is no accounting for bad luck or injuries.
But its no science or Zetterberg and Datsyuk and a whole lot of other guys would not have fallen as far as they did. Hell, Hemsky would have been a top five pick and so would Myers from Buffalo. And if Eberle shows well then people will be talking about how the Oilers stole him where they did.
Except for all that Eberle has done (and he definitely has tracked well so far) he still hasn't played a game in the bigs and we may not know if he is a hit or a miss until five years down the road.
So please spare me the surefire pronouncements on the can't miss qualities that Hall or Seguin possess. They will likely both be stars. Lets certainly hope so for if that's the case then the Oilers will be in good shape.
Posted by Black Dog at 3:10 PM