Monday, July 04, 2016

Quoth The Raven: 'Oh Those Oilers!'

Well ... I wanted to come up with something pithy to segue into a look at the Oiler's moves over the past week but honestly I have nothing. So here's what I think:

- the Oilers are going to be better this year. They would have finished 21st or 22nd this past season if not for getting ravaged by injuries. A full season of McDavid and Klefbom alone would have done the trick. So they were going to be better in any case and as the roster is presently constituted I think they probably will be around 20th, maybe even higher in the standings. If they can add another top four Dman without moving Ted then I think they are in the conversation for the playoffs but they fall just short. Reminder - anyone who says after the Oilers improve 'see we improved because we got rid of Hall' either is trolling you or is someone whose opinion on hockey you can totally ignore. One has nothing to do with the other.

- the Lowe/Tambo/MacT/Howson years crippled this franchise beyond measure. The gift that just keeps giving, these clowns, never mind the decade of failure. Sign Jeff Petry and the Hall trade is likely not necessary as Chia would have needed one, not two, Dmen.  And remember that three of these guys STILL work for the Oilers, two in hockey ops. In an organization where the talk of accountability is a metronome that never stops that whole idea somehow goes no higher than the coach

- the Hall trade was and will always be terrible unless Larsson turns into Lidstrom (this is not going to happen) but if he is Hjalmarsson, and he may be, then he is going to help this team a lot. Trading your best chip, an elite NHL forward, for less than an elite Dman is unforgiveable and Chiarelli should be fired for it of course but he would have run this by everyone so we know this is not going to happen. Remember how I said I always expected the worst when it came to this team but knew that this was not fair to Chia? Well, unless he hits a home run getting Barrie or an equvalent we know what we have and that is another guy who is over his head. I never would have thought it. We can only hope that he does no more long term damage to the franchise.

- you overpay of UFAs, they always get term and money (unless you're Demers in Florida or a few others, man after last year when there were so few bad deals everything was mental again this summer) and so the Lucic deal is of course completely nuts. He was the best F on the market though and he is no David Clarkson. He is the real deal. And I don't give a hoot about how he is being framed as Mark Messier II by the dummies, what I care about is that he is a real 1LW. His deal is moveable at the end if he falls off a cliff and while he is not Taylor Hall he is, as noted, a real 1LW. He is a very very good player and he will help this team win games. (and of course he will be a fan favourite, he is in that Messier/Pronger mold, he is not at that level obviously but he is a very talented thug and that player type is beloved more than any other)

- Mark Fraser couldn't play in the NHL his last goround here and I expect he won't make it to Edmonton this year, his job is to protect kids from the goons in Bakersfield, I can't get worked up about this either way though knowing the Oilers he will play 1st pair for the Condors and destory some kid's development. (See what I say about expecting the worst.) Seriously though, who cares.

- I expect that Brossoit is already pencilled in as the backup, Gustavsson is absolutely awful and always has been. I don't like this at all and would have preferred they throw more money at a better alternative. If Talbot gets hurt then they will be desperate for a replacement and we have already seen how Chia does under pressure.

- the Korpikoski buyout was necessary, talk about a disappointment, at least they weren't afraid to cut their losses there

- when you look at Florida and how they added three RHD to their roster for Kulikov, money and futures, do you get aggravated? I sure do.

- if anyone tried to frame it as Hall for Larsson and Lucic tell them, as the boy would say, to get wrecked. Hall was traded for Larsson, Lucic cost nothing but cash. Framing it otherwise is either being dumb or trying to sell a version of events that is untrue (although the Oilers would love for you to see it this way)

- we talk a lot about process and results, I remember Tyler Dellow saying once that if he were a GM then every single move would be geared to one goal, that of winning the Cup. The results of what we have seen so far this summer is a better Oilers' club and as noted if they could add another top four D we might, might, be talking playoffs. The problem is the process, again, stinks, and so that end result, the only one that matters, remains a distant bell. The Oilers had two elite talents and traded one for a good player. If you want to win the Cup you need elite talent first and foremost, dumping it for 60 cents on the dollar is a good way to end up being a first round and done type of club. The sad thing is that this would be a huge improvement for us. In the short term the team is better, no doubt and there is still a lot of quality there. I haven't given up on Nurse at all and find it hard to believe that so many people already have. That said he should either be first pair in California or bottom pair in Edmonton this year, if not then we know they haven't learned a damn thing. If he's in the top four it's Ladi Smid all over again. And Gord help us if Oscar is toast ( I think he will be fine but that may just be my old man talling, sunny days and all that).

 The ironic thing about Chia talking about standing pat now is that after panicking with Hall he is looking at flushing another season if they don't add that other top four D. Man oh man.

 Thanks MacT, Howson et al. Eat me.