Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Candygram For Mister Mongo!

 Saturday evening an old friend of mind from up north came over for dinner and he had a candygram for Mr Mongo, meaning he brought me some beer from the microbrewery up there, a whole lot of big cans of good beer. We had the first barbeque of the year and shot the shit and it was a very good evening. We were heading out to the new pub that opened up about a sixty second walk from my house (I will never live anywhere where I need to drive to get a good beer man, let me tell you) and realized that the lottery was coming on and so we turned on the teevee and of course you know what happened next.

 My pal is a Bruins' fan so we had joked about either them or the Kings getting McDavid but when Daly smirked and revealed the golden ticket we laughed and laughed. Unreal.

 I didn't think the Oilers would win the lottery, I knew it was possible of course, but the odds were the odds. I wanted McDavid but like many I never considered that they would have a chance to draft him. And here we are. Some thoughts:

 - the NHL is run by a collection of billionaire sociopathic grifters so the idea that someone was more or less deserving of a franchise player makes me laugh as does the comment that certain fans are more deserving than others. They pulled a name out of a hat. It has nothing to do with karma. The teams with the best shot at your man were the worst of the worst, choosing to sewer their year while keeping a hand in their fans' and / or local governments' wallets or better yet, so hilariously incompetent that they stumbled into the race despite their best efforts to win win win. Nobody will ever beat the Oilers who signed Khabibulin and made move after move to cap out and return to the playoffs and still finished dead last. And in true Oiler tradition everyone kept their jobs. Oh it is to laugh.

 Anyhow spare me the sobbing that it is Edmonton or the cheers that somehow Edmonton are deserving. Deserve has nothing to do with it whether the Oilers got it or not or whether anyone else got it. The Oilers are run by incompetents. The Sabres tanked completely. The Coyotes did the same all while bleeding Glendale. And the Leafs charge over five hundred dollars for each of their best seats and nearly twenty bucks for a terrible beer despite not winning the Cup in nearly fifty years.

 What this league needs is a relegation system. I could get behind that.

Until they abolish the draft altogether it will always be a roll of the dice weighted towards the worst the league can offer. From the people in Toronto moaning that Edmonton will ruin McDavid to the usual suspects in Edmonton bleating about the eastern media here's a tip for you, same as I tell my kids when they act up.

 Stop your crying.

- Positives? Other than the obvious fact that the kid is going to be a star I also think that one effect of this is that management is about to be on a short leash, finally. I may be wrong but I cannot see Katz sitting idly aside much longer. What excuse do MacT and Lowe and company have now? The club needs D and goaltending still but Garth Snow showed last summer that this can be done without giving up roster assets. And with the cap flat this summer there are going to be teams dumping salary and UFAs who will be left without a spot when the music stops.

 So it's time. Personally I would still fire them all now anyways, except for my pal Dellow, christ he'd do a better job than these fucking monkeys, and I'd start with the guy who thought Nikitin was a top four D man and the guy who thought he should be paid as such. I don't think it's going to happen this summer but I think these guys are on thin ice. If you can't fill in the blanks now then get out.

- As noted they need D and a goaltender. So what do you do? I think you can trade anyone if the return is right but it has to be right. No trading sure things for picks or prospects or gambles. People are talking about trading Hall. Now Hall took a step back, sure, and last season he was in the top ten in scoring as a 22 year old. So do I trade him? If I get a number one Dman under contract for a long time then I do but I am talking Subban, Doughty, that type of guy. My friend Olivier Bouchard said he's not worth that and he is  right and so I don't trade him then. Not for some top four D man or a guy like Phaneuf or any of that shit. Real value on the blueline or don't trade any of these guys.

 That's the way the Oilers need to roll. The market is perfect if you're a buyer. Pick up what you need for cheap. See how these kids roll with a couple of real NHL Dmen back there and an honest to goodness goalie and then go from there. Will they need to move a guy or two from the core? Most likely but right now your top six is Hall/McDavid/Yakupov Pouliot/Ted/Eberle. Unless you get an absolute stud young D back why would you break that up? Right? RIGHT?!??!!

- And there has to be some urgency here. They have three years before McDavid gets paid. Once he starts getting paid then they have real troubles, just ask the Penguins about that. Then you need to start moving guys and not more value, just to move them. Look at Chicago's roster and try and figure out what they will do this summer. They need to win this year because if not then it's a few years down the road to reload and then Hossa and Keith may be done.

 So they need to get on their horse right away. Two (or three) D. Dump Nikitin. Dump Ference if you can. A real guaranteed goalie (although I think if you fix the D then the goaltending will follow even if you don't add a big name). Get in the mix for the playoffs. And then go from there.

- the scary thing of course is that even with McDavid there are no guarantees even if he stays healthy and is all that. Look at Crosby, even with Malkin as his running mate he has one Cup and the only reason he got that one is because Lidstrom almost lost a nut and Datsyuk and Hossa were hobbled and Fleury played like Georges Vezina and Osgood played like Osgood and they still barely eked one out. It's not easy winning a Cup, not with thirty teams and a cap system so after all of this we may end up with nothing.

 It's the lot of a fan eh? Like Mongo we are just pawn in game of life.


Anonymous said...

Came across this piece re: what it would take to get McJesus from the Oil. I think the idea is repugnant, but the haul could set up the the team for years. http://thehockeywriters.com/what-would-you-trade-for-connor-mcdavid/

Thoughts? As a quick editorial, your blog is on par with Lowetide, but with even more anecdotal insight (high praise). Keep up the good work, but don't stay dark so long.

Black Dog said...

Thanks anon, very kind to say, hoping to post more but time is a problem usually.

Interesting article. I wouldn't trade him, mostly because I think what they need they would not get what they need. The teams that are in position to trade for him (building) don't have what it would take and the teams with the assets are all in win now mode. That sort of speculation is fun though!

mysterysock said...

The only problem is that the Oilers have enough cap space to fix the defense or the goalie, but not both. If you dump Nikitin and/or Ference then you probably have to retain some of their contracts or take back a bad contract. Maybe MacT is smart enough to make it work, but he hasn't shown it so far. I worry that because they are getting McDavid they will feel that RNH is expendable. I hope I'm wrong.

Mr DeBakey said...

Step 1: Remove at least two of Ference, Nikitin, Schultz.
Step 3 : add two RD at least as good as Petry
Step 4: Add Neuwirth, Anderson, or, maybe Bernier. Plus the G needs deepening, seriously.
Step 5: Re-sign Roy, or someone like that. Otherwise the forwards are OK for now. Good enow to get into the pay-offs.

Other changes, dump Purcell etc, dictated by Cap.

(I was kidding about Step 2)

Black Dog said...

I like the way you think Debakey, you're going to go far!


But yes that is it right there.

mysterysock - I think RNH is the last guy they want to move. Loaded up the middle now, finally.

I think it's doable (fixing the D and G) though not easy. We'll see ...