It’s been a LONG time since I wrote a hockey blog of any sort. Actually, as far as I can recall, the last blog I wrote on hockey or the Oilers was the day after Ryan Smyth was traded to the Island.
That’s a long time for me.
But, the itch to hold an open forum to air out my thoughts on the game as been fed, and now needs to be scratched. (If that makes any sense)
Truth of the matter, being a fan of the Edmonton Oilers right now is an exciting thing. Frustrating, exciting, and every emotion all rolled into one. However, this Friday is a cornerstone moment for the organization, and I for one, am happy to finally see this day come. Sure, the player selected is [hopefully] the next big piece in an organizational rebuild, but I’m more excited just to get all the ‘speculation’ over with and finally put to rest.
So…who will it be?
Now, I don’t want to do what every single other blogger/columnist/writer has done in the past three months and debate the merits of Taylor versus Tyler, because I think everyone knows what each player brings, and they’ve been compared more times than I even want to think about. That being said, I do wanna voice my thoughts on who “I” would select if I was Steve Tambellini.
And it’s not Taylor Hall.
I know you’re thinking I’m likely out of my mind, but let me explain why. Make no mistake, right now, I think that Taylor Hall is a better player, and will most likely put up better numbers than Seguin in his first season. That, I think most people would agree on. But in terms of longevity, and who’s better for an organization going through a supposed ‘rebuild’, I think that Seguin is your guy.
Every year, after teams win the Stanley Cup, critics, coaches and media folk alike all talk about the team’s strength “down the middle”. Whether it was Crosby, Malkin, Staal or Towes, Bolland and Madden, teams seem to be more successful when they have solid centremen. Another concern teams usually have in the off-season is that “need for a first line centre”. Look at Calgary. They need someone to set up Jarome. In Columbus? Rick Nash needs a pivot to play with. The glaring need for that “go-to” middle man seems to be league-wide.
Don’t get me wrong…I don’t think that Seguin is going to step in and be the next Crosby or Malkin…but for some reason, I have this gut feeling that he’s going to be more in the mold of a Jonathan Toews. He’s going to be that guy you build around, and a guy that will put up 65-70 points to Hall’s 80-90, but will give you that strong presence defensively and on the PK. A solid leader for the future, and I know it’s not a fair comparison…but did you SEE Seguin at the NHL Combine?! The kid is shredded. (Yes, I know Hall was injured and didn’t take part in it, but still…Seguin looked impressive)
At the end of the day, it’s win-win for the Oilers. In Hall, you get a dynamic goal scorer who has a history of winning and someone the fans can really rally behind and get excited about for next season. With Seguin, it’s not as sexy a pick, but probably a little more stable at the end of the day, giving you a better overall player, and a potential future captain for years to come.
HOWEVER, as a good friend of mine told me…drafting on ‘potential’ can kill teams. That’s why the Oilers will take Taylor Hall this Friday.
Either way, it’s a fun time to be an Oilers fan.
AROUND THE RINK…
QUINN OUT, RENNEY IN…No surprise here, as though this seemed to be the plan from day one of hiring both to the bench. Seems Quinn was a little surprised by the move, but he’s taken on the “Bowman” role with the Oilers, so at least the team was nice enough to offer him that…HORTON TO BOSTON…Love it for B’s fans. If Ryder can score 20-25 in Boston, Horton could be good for 30+ playing with Savard and company. Campbell is a nice throw in too. How ‘bout Florida though? 5 of the first 50 picks in this year’s draft. Dale Tallon is going to have fun on Friday…COOKE EXTENDS…Aside from his dirty cheap shot on Savard, he played well for the Pens during the season and playoffs. Nice guy to have on your team, horrible guy to play against. Three years though? BOOGIEMAN IN EDMONTON?...Okay, so there’s nothing to this, other than I heard Rob Kerr on FAN 960 comment on the Staubitz to Wild trade and wonder whether or not there was room for Derek Boogard in Minny. His thought was that Boogard in Edmonton with all those young kids might not be a horrible idea. Interesting thought…but I don’t think the fans would welcome him, but he’s a nothing more than a plug. Size and toughness wouldn’t be enough to sign him though. Stortini is a middleweight at best, but at least he’s trying to improve his hockey skills, which is enough to keep him in the lineup over a guy like Boogie. You never know though…