The Edmonton Oilers are constantly being compared to the Chicago Blackhawks based on the rebuild route they have chosen. Rebuilding is FINE, but don't be convinced that this is the same type of rebuild as the Chicago Blackhawks. I'm going to go over the breakdown of the Chicago rebuild in comparison to the Edmonton rebuild. CHICAGO MISSED THE POST SEASON FROM 02/03 - 07/08 (5 years) before making it back to the show. EDMONTON HAS MISSED THE POST SEASON FROM 06/07 - 11/12 (6 years) so if the rebuilds are the same - shouldn't the Oilers be in the post season this year?
There are really 3 main things to look at when assessing a rebuild: Drafting, Trades, and then Free Agent Signings that are made after to top the team off and contend for the cup. You need to rely on all 3 to rebuild successfully in order to obtain the personnel that will make a successful hockey team.
Lets take a look at how Chicago rebuilt from 02/03 - 07/08 and became one of the powerhouses in the NHL today.
Keith 02 - 54th
Seabrook 03 - 14th
Byfuglien 03 - 245th
Bolland 04 - 32nd
Bickell 04 - 41st
Brouwer 04 - 214th
Hjalmarsson 05 - 108th
Toews 06 - 3rd
Kane 07 - 1st
FA's (these are made after the 5 year period to push for the Stanley Cup)
So, first thing to notice is the amount of draftees that were vital to the cup winning team. Besides Toews and Kane, many were not high draft picks. They did well drafting deep into the rounds to find key players and role players. Second, they were active in the trade market and able to bring in talent via trade. Finally, top end free agents like Hossa and Campbell added to an already solid team.
(I know many of the players have left the team now but they were part of the Cup team and Chicago was able to get assets back because of the talent going the other way)
Now lets take a look at how Edmonton has rebuilt.
Petry 06 - 45th
Gagner 07 - 6th
Eberle 08- 22nd
MPS 09 - 10th
Hall 10 - 1st
Nuge 11 - 1st
*Yakupov 12 - 1st
N. Shultz 11/12
J. Shultz 12/13
Ok, so whats wrong here? Besides the top end draft picks... the Oilers have no notable players drafted out of the 1st round besides Petry. So the only thing they have built through the draft is their Top 6 forwards. Next, only 1 player of importance on the club as of now came through trade and that is Nick Shultz. Lastly, the best FA signing was Justin Shultz and even though he is a high quality talent and fits into the core of the team he is still inexperienced.
-Blackhawks drafted for entire club depth (Top 6, Bottom 6, Top 2, 4, and 6 D)
-Oilers have drafted only Top 6
-Blackhawks have brought in core players through trade (Sharp, Havlat)
-Oilers have brought in fillers through trade (N. Shultz)
-Blackhawks filled needs through Free Agency when saw contention (Hossa, Puck-mover Campbell, Goalie Niemi)
-Oilers have not filled many needs through free agency besides J. Shultz (Belanger, Eager)
Yes, the Oilers and Blackhawks have some similarities in their rebuilds (drafting corner stones of franchises) but there is not enough proof there to confidently say that the Oilers are following the same rebuild. So its clear as to why I get annoyed when I hear how the Oilers management are doing so. Fans are getting impatient just as the Blackhawks fan must have been. But the difference is after 5 years they were back in the post season and then won a Cup and have been competitive ever since. And if the Oilers were under the "same" rebuild, then they should be in the post season this 2012/2013 campaign.