First off, I don't want any trouble. I'm the calm, rational one at HS/HS, the "glue guy." I just wanna talk hockey, because for me, it's all about the game. You know? Unfortunately, some of us here have a burning desire to see the spotlight fixed on them, and that means controversy. Right, Washingtron? The first thing everyone should know is that Wash is a stand-up guy; a class act. But, I think this requires an explanation. Especially in light of this.
Let's not rush to judgment. I'm sure everything will be explained in the near future. In the meantime, we ask our readers for their support and understanding. Back to hockey:
It's been a while, eh? In fact, I'm not sure I'm actually allowed to post on here anymore. I half-expected to try and login today, only to find that Greener had removed my posting privileges. Anyway, today seemed like a good day to talk Oilers hockey, what with nothing else going on in the sporting world. Plus, you don't really want ANOTHER post analyzing Boyd Devereaux's 8 minutes of ice-time, do you? Oh, you do? Shit. Well, indulge me.
2007-08 Edmonton Oilers = Dry Toast
The Oilers turned "seller" a bit earlier than I thought they would, when they dealt Dick Tarnstrom to Columbus for Curtis Glencross, on Friday. The surprise didn't stem from any belief that they can make the playoffs (they can't), rather the expectation that Tarnstrom's value would have been higher closer to the deadline. That being said, Tarnstrom has had a really rough year, and it saves the Oilers a bit of money.
On the surface, the trade ticks all the required boxes of any Oiler trade:
- Lowe throws his buddy (Scott Howson) a bone.
- Glencross is a local kid (Born in Kindersly, SK - but grew up in Red Deer).
- Oilers get a MacT-type player.
From a personnel standpoint, Glencross is an RFA making $522k, and the Oil should have no problem re-signing him in the off-season. On the depth chart, he should be a nice (and cheaper) replacement for Sanderson (pending UFA), and could have enough upward mobility to crack the top 9 forwards.
This deal also signifies the organization's waning faith in what's down on the farm, namely Pouliot and J.F. Jacques. Pouliot is an RFA this summer, and at $942k I suspect he may not even be qualified this summer. Speaking of jam, Jacques is a guy with great size and skating ability and seemed poised to finally bring the spread this year. I'm talking about a nice, seeded, boysenberry preserve. Turns out he's more like a shitty, pectin-infused, Smuckers packet you get on the table at Denny's. That being said, he has size (which the Oilers need) and a smaller salary ($650k), so he'll probably get another contract.
How About Now, Greener?
Remember this moment? Remember that feeling in your gut? Knowing that we were the best team in the NHL, and Stanley was coming back to Edmonton? That was before Marc-Andre Bergeron, Andrew Ladd, and torn knee ligaments. It was before Ty Conklin, before G7 heartbreak, and yet the future still seemed bright. That was before Chris Pronger made like bitch, before Ryan Smyth was just about the fucking money, and before our lottery pick was headed to Anaheim. It's been two years of hell, but maybe the hockey gods are finished with us.
Word today is that Daryl Katz has closed the deal to buy the Edmonton Oilers and has near 100% of the desired shares (Note: Greener's sources are still reporting otherwise). The final holdouts on the board have now recommended acceptance of the deal to the shareholders. It might be the best thing to happen to the Oilers since the Spring of '06. This deal isn't just about an owner spending to the cap, building a new training facility, or building a new arena. It's about image. It's about the city of Edmonton. Everyone knows the Oilers have had problems attracting free agents. In the long term, what this deal does is give a facelift to the city of Edmonton. The new training facility at the University of Alberta will, without a doubt, be one of a kind in the NHL. The new downtown arena, coupled with the proposed shopping and hotel complex, will help revitalize a city in need of a boost.
Daryl Katz, much like Mark Cuban did for the Dallas Mavericks, will give a face of legitimacy to the Edmonton Oilers in a way the "mom and pop" EIG couldn't. That's no knock on them, they're heroes to every Edmonton Oiler fan, and Katz has pledged to honor them appropriately. But it's time for the "Little Engine That Could" to...well, "could!" I want to get back to those times when we "coulded" five times in seven years. With the right tweaking, this team is capable of "coulding" again. Suddenly, the future seems bright again.