I am quite aware that I am late to the party (or blogsphere I guess) when it comes to the regards of our much beloved (and maybe maligned) Oilers, but after a majority of a season expressing my views to friends and co-workers; someone finally stepped up and said share your views with people who care. You see I do not live in Edmonton, and as such I am a vast minority here...
I try to see silver linings in things, and the Oilers this season have given excellent practice in both this traite and patience. We all know its difficult to continually swallow this "rebuild" pill, especially when its to be taken in regular doses over the next five years if we are to believe management. At least there is hope, our owner; though a pharmaceutical provider giant, does not seem to be fond of swallowing this pill for that long either.
So to keep this first blog of mine simple and to the point - I will express opinions of mine in detail later on through the seasons to come in detail as the come. For now I will just give a basic summary of my views this season.
1) H.O.P.E. -> On another site there was a photoshop contest, and the winner had an entry that centered around this. Hope indeed, these for made this first year bearable to watch. Holes were not adressed but at least these four gave us something to cheer for.
2) Depth -> If nothing else this season has shown us that we do have players who at first appearances will adress the constant issue of depth for any team wishing for a playoff run. All these call ups, and some good signs so far.
3) Signings -> No one wants to sign with Edmonton (at least we are not the islanders in that regard). If we burry anymore contracts in the minors, will Veteran leadership (that the Oilers so desperately need) begin to view this as a graveyard... Come play for the oilers and get buried.
4) Draft -> Possible second straight 1st over all draft. Who do we take - probably the most gifted playmaker/goal scorer in this years draft, european D and solid all round player, or surprise predictions and do something unexpected.
Well there you have it... basic skimming into recent thoughts. Just one final thoughts for next year.
Excluding signings (since management expressed they wish to rebuild through draft), and drafts over the summer the team that will probably be iced next year (with some players having good showings at camp):
Hemsky - Gagner - Hall
Eberle - Horcroff - Hartikainen
Pajaarvi - Cogliano - Omark
MacIntyre - VandeVelde - Jones
Whitney - Peckham
Gilbert - Foster
Smid - Petry
Though there is possibility for change - Cogliano with his two way play growth this season is a likely target to be traded either singularly or in a package for a draft pick, and as such Fraiser may remain on the roster (though I would also not be surprised if Landers has a good camp and gets a few starts between Pajaarvi and Omark). Vandermeer has appeared to have stepped up (into) the roll the oilers wanted when they signed him, and he may receive another one year offer - and if such could be the odd man on D. And Khabibulin may not be on the big club if we are to believe talks and a certain european goaltender.
To Me: Doesn't look so bad. Not enough for a playoff berth (unless there are more then a few surprises) but should be enough to get the oilers from the bottom 5. Draft smart this year, and fix holes with short term veteran signings so that depth can spend time developing instead of rushing it under NHL level pressure.
That is all for now, until a later time enjoy your rebuild pills.