Friday, March 08, 2013

The Wheel In The Sky Keeps On Turning

Apparently Shawn Horcoff may be underpaid. Who knew?

Taking the piss a bit there but since the captain went down the Oilers have gone absolutely in the tank and that is with a save percentage near the best in the league. Tambellini's response to Edmonton burning? Trading a pick for a guy they could have picked up on waivers.

As Tyler Dellow put it yesterday. A fourth round pick is probably going to be a terrible hockey player. Mike Brown is a terrible hockey player.

And we have him, Eager, Smyth (sigh I said it) and Belanger signed for another year.

A fourth line of Smyth, Belanger and Jones with Eager and Hartikainen part of the mix (feel free to arrange these however you would like) might be reasonable but the problem with the Oilers, again, is not enough good hockey players. With Horcoff out there literally is no third line so these guys have to shuffle up the roster and they can't do it. So with half the lines not old enough to shave, the other half basically non existent and one D pair abysmal you have what we have today, a club in freefall, mere points from last overall.


I figured this team for the playoffs with some luck but they have had luck with injuries for the most part and the save percentage is very very good and still they've stepped into the elevator shaft.

Its tough to watch. You want to have a good hockey club? Get good players and keep them. And what's worrisome is that on a club which is slowly (oh so slowly) gathering up good NHL players the following looms on the horizon:

- Smid, one of three young(ish) defencemen on the roster is an unrestricted free agent this summer and there has been no talk of an extension. Remember Smid was a big part of the Pronger deal. We went through the growing pains and now, well now he might walk.

- Hemsky is unrestricted next summer

- Gagner is a restricted free agent again this summer and due a big raise, perhaps pricing himself out of town

- all the noise points to Paajarvi being trade bait

On a club with few good players and nothing in the pipeline in terms of top six forwards coming the fact that it is possible that these players could all be gone within eighteen months is an awful thing to consider. After that what is next? Does anyone think that Taylor Hall is willing to wait another five years for the Oilers' young defencemen to mature (before you laugh it took exactly that long for Smid to become quality)?

I've said for a while that the make and break for the Oilers would be the period between last season and next season. Since last season the Oilers have added two excellent rookies and then sat on their hands and waited.


Chicago, with a bunch of nice looking kids on cheap contracts, signed or traded for Marian Hossa, Brian Campbell, Andrew Ladd, Tomas Kopecky, John Madden, Brent Sopel and Nick Boynton. And they won the Stanley Cup.

Pittsburgh, with a bunch of nice looking kids on cheap contracts, signed or traded for Craig Adams, Phillipe Boucher, Matt Cooke, Pascal Dupuis, Mark Eaton, Ruslan Fedotenko, Mathieu Garon, Hal Gill, Sergei  Gonchar, Bill Guerin, Chris Kunitz, Miro Satan and Petr Sykora. And they won the Stanley Cup.

Seven years without the playoffs folks. Four coaches in five years, an almost complete roster turnover (lol Stauffer again blaming veteran leadership for this club's failure), new GM, new director of scouting, new training staff.

A last place team spending to the cap, another last place team, a 29th place team and now another team with the lottery in its sights.

And the official twitter account of this sad sack club celebrates some grunt's fight.

Loser franchise run by losers.

The Islanders basically unless they get it together this summer.

I've said for while that I don't think they have it in them. I hope hope hope I am wrong.

But I think I am right.



@eastcoasteh said...

What a depressing year. I agree with everything you are saying. We have the personnel for a decent 4th line, but that leaves NO 3rd line and no big rugged forward on top6. Detroit beat us with their 3rd and 4th lines last night. Handily. Horcoff could help rigtht the ship a bit for sure, but coach K doesn't seem to like to line match anyway, hence RNH/Hall/Ebs are taking their lumps on the sheet and physically.
When comparing to Pit and Chi, remember those teams Keith/Seabrook and I believe Letang/Gonchar/Orpik/etc. Oil have nothing close currently to that and it really starts on the back end. When every breakout is a fire drill you don't get much flow going offensively. I also am not a big fan of our skilled guys playing dump and chase when they have no hope of recovery. Watch Detroit, they don't just hand over possession.
We also lack size up front that can play but so does everyone.
I really think Tambo should have traded the #1 this past June to address one or both those needs. Now we are overloaded at the small forward position.
A trade is inevetiable. The makeup is just not right at the moment. I expect Hemsky to go at the deadline, and probably one of our younger guys, like MPS or Gags. Those are critical trades that have to result in us getting an NHL player in return. But what team heading to playoffs would give up a significant piece to get any of our guys?

Arrrghh.i'm talking in circles. I'm going to watch the game tonight, but can't say for how long.

Go Blue Jays.

Anonymous said...

Stauffer as of late is a joke. He is blaming the wrong leadership, that is for sure. Needs to look at those calling the shots, not those playing the game. Too bad he will never see the light (because management pays him).

Said it before and will say it again. The future is always promised. Just don't be surprised though when it is not delivered.

- mattwatt