Young guns

Robin Brownlee
December 16 2008 02:30PM

The Chicago Blackhawks are living proof that there is upside to long-term ineptitude and utter failure that doesn't exist with sporadic garden variety mediocrity.

One look at the roster Chicago will dress against the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place Tuesday tells you that much. Is there another team in the NHL with more young talent -- players 25-and-under -- than the Blackhawks? I think not, although that's just off the top of my head.

Out of the playoffs, often hopelessly so, for nine of the previous 10 seasons, Chicago has rebuilt through the Entry Draft from 2002-07 better than any other team I can think of.

In six drafts, the Blackhawks have added no less than seven players who are on the roster and contributing to a resurgence in the Windy City.

Finish low

While the Oilers made the playoffs in six of the previous 10 seasons, and just missed in three of the other four years, the Blackhawks were dismal enough that they amassed three, top-five picks from 2002-07.

The Oilers, meanwhile, had none -- Edmonton's highest pick in that stretch came in 2007, when they plucked Sam Gagner sixth overall.

After years as an embarrassment to Original Six franchises and of playing in a half-empty United Center, the Blackhawks have drafted high and drafted well. Here's a look at the youngsters who'll be in Chicago silks Tuesday.

Pick high

2007: PATRICK KANE. Taken first overall, Kane, 20, leads the Blackhawks in scoring with 13-21-34. He tallied 21-51-72 as a rookie. The Oilers selected Gagner, a teammate of Kane's in London, sixth, Alex Plante 15th and Riley Nash 21st with a trifecta of first-round picks.

2006: JONATHAN TOEWS. Selected third overall, Toews, 20, scored 24-30-54 as a rookie. He has 8-15-23 this season. The Oilers didn't have a first-round pick, although they have blueliners Jeff Petry (45th) and Theo Peckham (75th) in the system.

2005:  JACK SKILLE:  This promising forward from the U.S. National Under-18 team is the only Chicago first-rounder from 2002-07 yet to make a real impact. He's got six NHL games on his resume and is in Rockford of the AHL. A big edge to the Oilers so far, with Andrew Cogliano in The Show and Taylor Chorney on the way.

2004: CAM BARKER  and DAVE BOLLAND. Chicago took Barker, a 22-year-old defenceman from Medicine Hat, with the third overall pick. He's already played parts of four seasons. Bolland, 22, was taken 32nd overall. He's scored 5-12-17 in 28 games this season. The Oilers just sent Rob Schremp (25th) back to Springfield and fellow first-rounder Devan Dubnyk (14th) is in the system. Liam Reddox (112th) is on the roster.

2003: BRENT SEABROOK AND DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN. The 23-year-old Seabrook, selected 14th from Lethbridge of the WHL, already has 240 games on his NHL resume and is in his fourth season. Seabrook was a no-brainer at the draft.

Byfuglien, 23, meanwhile, is the longest of shots and is paying off. Selected 245th overall, the massive swingman scored 19 goals last season and has 126 NHL games in the books. The Oilers took Marc Pouliot 22nd overall and got Zack Stortini 94th.

2002: DUNCAN KEITH. After taking Anton Babchuk 21st, Keith was a steal at 54th overall. Keith has scored 2-12-14 so far in his fourth NHL campaign after back-to-back seasons of 31 and 32 points. The Blackhawks also got James Wisniewski with the 156th pick.

Jesse Niinimaki was Edmonton's biggest first-round bust in recent years, but they also got Jeff Deslauriers along with Jarret Stoll and Matt Greene, who they've turned into Lubomir Visnovsky via trade.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#1 nary a kurri
December 15 2008, 08:15PM
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That's a good article, but a great bio.

Too bad about Schremp's demotion, I'd say. Do you think he'll ever get a long look with the Oil, or do you agree with many other pundits that he'll be packaged up and traded away by the end of the season?

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#2 nary a kurri
December 15 2008, 08:25PM
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Despite the risk, it seems to make better sense to send Deslauriers down to the Falcons where he'll have the chance to play some more. It's not doing his already stunted development any good to sit around in the NHL without playing, and I'm not convinced he's ready for The Show anyway. With his mediocre stats, do you think that there's a significant risk that he'd be picked up through waivers if he's sent down?

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#3 Jason Gregor
December 15 2008, 08:37PM
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@ nary a kurri: What do you mean mediocre stats? He is 3-2, 2.73 GAA and .915 save %.

His save % is better than the likes of Nabokov, Giguere, Vokoun, Ward, Huet, Miller, Fleury and Budaj to name a few.

Deslauriers is practicing against NHL shots every day, and don't be surprised to see him play soon. Is is ideal, but lots of teams would jump at the chance to pick him up for nothing. It makes absolutely no sense to risk it now.

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#4 RobinB
December 15 2008, 08:43PM
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@ nary a kurri: Mediocre stats? You're kidding, right?

No way Deslauriers clears waivers. Look, he's hung in through some difficult seasons when the Oilers didn't even have their own AHL team for him to play on and he gutted it out. The situation now is less than ideal, but you're going to fold your cards on the kid? Give him some credit.

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#5 R-DAWG
December 15 2008, 09:35PM
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we just need to ride out this season and with all likelyhood we will see Garon not resign, and my guess is that Roli will sign as a back-up which leaves J.D. where he should be and thats #1

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#6 Leonard
December 15 2008, 09:57PM
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Hey RobinB. Didn't I tell you 5 days ago that Mc T. was going to send Shremp down in a couple of days. That was his good, long look just to prove averybody stupid and him smart. For whatever reason he killed the kid and he did it with approval of management i.e., like it or not, Kevin Lowe. You can deny it as much as you want and protect them but sooner people realise that this management is not going to do anything for the Oilers better it would be.

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#7 Smokin' Ray
December 15 2008, 10:03PM
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Kinda crazy to see how they drafted and how we did. A little sad on our part. Reading this made me a little jealous but I couldn't stand being that crappy for so many years. Glad to see the resurgence in Chicago. They really haven't been all that good since Roenick left. (and that was with the dinosaurs)

Go Oil tomorrow!

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#8 RobinB
December 15 2008, 10:28PM
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@ Leonard: Get a grip. I'm not the least bit interested in "protecting" anybody in Oilers management.

So what if you guessed right about Schremp being sent down? That was one of several likely scenarios, but you talk like you've got some inside knowledge on why it was done and the motives involved. Right.

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#9 David S
December 15 2008, 10:41PM
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Hmmm...5 days ago Schremp was back to playing like uhh Schremp. Slow feet and no grit. Totally outclassed in San Jose and gets little or no time the next two games. Seeing as he's obviously going to be sent down, lets make it look I'm a sooth sayer by stating the obvious and blaming it on MacT at the same time. Then I'll look like a playa when it all goes down.

Nice one soopa-stah.

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#10 nary a kurri
December 15 2008, 10:42PM
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Okay, my obvious mistake in calling Deslauriers stats mediocre notwithstanding, is there a real threat to loose him through the waiver wire if he was sent down? My line of reasoning is simply that he needs to play in actual games, which he's not doing lately. Furthermore, until there's a trade, it seems unlikely that he's going to get a lot of playing time.

This is by no means giving up on him, as he's shown a lot of patience and loyalty to the organization since being drafted. I'm just not sure how sitting in the press box and on the bench is going to help him develop. He deserves better.

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#11 Leonard
December 15 2008, 11:08PM
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RobinB. I am not insider and I don't have any inside info, just 27 years of watching hockey, and it was clear to me. I know that you love Oilers and want to help them. One of the ways to help is this site. You should understand and make it clear to everybody that this management is not the right one for the team and the team need change of management. I just used Schremp as an exemple because he is not important and if he is realy not good for the team then so be it. But there are many others, like Deslauriers, who are not playing, the stupid draft picks, ideotic trades. You know about it better then I do but you did not make the right conclusions. Use this site to get change.

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#12 David S
December 15 2008, 11:17PM
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http://www.mywii.com.au/img/gallery/full/RSBLDRS8.jpg

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#13 RobinB
December 15 2008, 11:19PM
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Leonard wrote:

I know that you love Oilers and want to help them. One of the ways to help is this site.

Pardon?

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#14 Leonard
December 15 2008, 11:29PM
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Just forget it.

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#15 Jonathan Willis
December 16 2008, 12:44AM
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Chicago has rebuilt through the Entry Draft from 2002-07 better than any other team I can think of.

Pittsburgh? Whitney, Christensen, Talbot, Fleury, Carcillo, Malkin, Kennedy, Crosby, Letang, Staal have all had an impact from the 2002-07 drafts, and a bunch of other guys have had cups of coffee, or were used as trade-bait (the rapidly imploding Angelo Esposito being the most obvious case).

Of course, Pittsburgh was even worse on the ice than Chicago was, but they racked up some talent in that five year span.

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#16 Jonathan Willis
December 16 2008, 01:01AM
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Leonard wrote:

You should understand and make it clear to everybody that this management is not the right one for the team and the team need change of management.

Personally, I prefer it when journalists use a little discretion with their soapbox. There's a place for analysis, and for opinion, but I've got a sneaking suspicion that for a connected guy like Brownlee, making sweeping statements ("this entrie management group is made up of idiots") is a good way to get unconnected fast.

Besides which, the fact that the NHL system rewards gross incompetence should tell you that the Oilers track record has been mediocre, not grossly bad.

Leonard wrote:

But there are many others, like Deslauriers, who are not playing, the stupid draft picks, ideotic trades. You know about it better then I do but you did not make the right conclusions. Use this site to get change.

The Oilers scouting staff under Kevin Lowe has done a good job. Given that the current chief scout only got the job in September 2007, it's a little early to hire someone else.

Finally, Daryl Katz isn't running a democracy. OilersNation can say whatever it wants; Katz will make his own decisions, and so on down the line - and that's how it should be.

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#17 Jonathan Willis
December 16 2008, 01:06AM
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Also, 100 points to any commenter who:

a) thinks the Oilers scouting staff is awful b) can name the three scouting heads who have served the position under Kevin Lowe c) can identify the ineligible player selected by the Oilers at the 2002 draft and d) can name four different Oilers amateur scouts

Basically, my point is that the guys you hear brandishing their tomahawks and screaming for blood are generally the same guys who don't have a clue as to who is scouting, which players they picked, or what the average NHL team manages at the draft.

It takes a good scouting staff to do as well as the Oilers have done with their picks. It doesn't take a good scouting staff to pick a Toews, Kane, Crosby or Malkin - any idiot with a THN draft preview could do as well with the first three picks.

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#18 RobinB
December 16 2008, 07:25AM
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@ Jonathan Willis: Let's give them Robin Kovar (oops) of, as I recall, the Vancouver Giants, and they can guess the rest.

Also, you're right about picking as high as Chicago has -- if you tank it every year and can't get it right with a top 3 or top 5 pick, you really should find another line of work.

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#19 Ender the Dragon
December 16 2008, 07:39AM
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nary a kurri wrote:

Okay, my obvious mistake in calling Deslauriers stats mediocre notwithstanding, is there a real threat to loose him through the waiver wire if he was sent down? My line of reasoning is simply that he needs to play in actual games, which he’s not doing lately. Furthermore, until there’s a trade, it seems unlikely that he’s going to get a lot of playing time. This is by no means giving up on him, as he’s shown a lot of patience and loyalty to the organization since being drafted. I’m just not sure how sitting in the press box and on the bench is going to help him develop. He deserves better.

Edmonton's triple-threat in goal has been kept preety hush-hush; almost as tight-lipped a secret as Brian Burke relocating to Toronto (like, who knew?). It stands to reason, then, that teams heading into the Christmas break with goalie trouble would be likely to overlook a young goalie with a current NHL .915%; those teams would probably look to the more conventional routes, like trading some assets for the .919 Khabibulin at the bargain salary of 6.75M.

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#20 The Towel Boy
December 16 2008, 08:10AM
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@ Ender the Dragon:

Oh, fer sure!

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#21 Chris
December 16 2008, 08:23AM
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Willis' Dad must be on that scouting staff...

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#22 Ender the Dragon
December 16 2008, 08:59AM
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@ Chris:

Jonathan has written numerous articles (with actual research and numbers and stuff) that illustrate that the Oilers have scouted with at least an average if not better than avererage record during the K-Lowe regime. He's compared their picks to those of numerous other teams, and while the draft is always a win-some / lose-some animal, the Oilers have landed more than they've let get away. Willis has taken a lot of hours to show us that the Oilers draft record is fine and that it's only the unrealistic expectation of Edmonton fans that has built a gruge against Oilers brass for not bringing in 8 of the top 10 guys from every draft in the last 6 years. I suggest that if you spent as many hours as Willis did to prova a point, you'd be touchy about 'uninformed' fans saying something contrary as well.

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#23 Wanye Gretz
December 16 2008, 09:22AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I'll take the Jon Willis Tuesday Morning Challenge Also, 100 points to any commenter who: a) thinks the Oilers scouting staff is awful Me. Also, Mike Abbamont. b) can name the three scouting heads who have served the position under Kevin Lowe Scout Willis, Lord Robert Baden Powell, Al Griffin (note: these are all real people and applicable to your question) c) can identify the ineligible player selected by the Oilers at the 2002 draft Trick question. A: Grebeshkov picked 18th by a BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD scouting report out of LA d) can name four different Oilers amateur scouts That's easy. I'll go Dennis, Ender the Dragon, Towel Boy and Nary a Kurri

QUESTIONS OWNED

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#24 Jonathan Willis
December 16 2008, 09:29AM
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@ Wanye Gretz:

100 points!

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#25 Jonathan Willis
December 16 2008, 09:34AM
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@ RobinB:

The Duncan Keith pick stands out for the 'Hawks - he's a heck of a player, especially given draft position.

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#26 shakey
December 16 2008, 09:35AM
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Leonard; You need to explain this hard-on you have for Schremp. Did you think this kid was going to be the second coming of Sidney Crosby? Do you see him as a franchise saver or a guy you build a team around for years? If he is anything more than a potential 3rd, or 2nd line at best, scorer then why did he get passed over 24 times in the draft before the Oilers took him? He has the potential to be a useful part of a team but he isn't going to lead us anywhere. He is small, quick and has offensive talent...sounds like a good chunk of our forwards. Big numbers in junior mean squawt (see Jason Bonsignor) and videos on YouTube flipping the puck over your head and into the net mean even less. Schremp gets more press then he deserves for what he might bring to this team. I'm not a fan of coach Mac T but Rob Schremp not playing here is not why this team is inconsistant and soft on most nights.

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#27 Cam
December 16 2008, 09:43AM
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If you need proof that fans are fickle you need to look no further than any fan site for the Oilers.

This summer: "Souray is a bum and so is Moreau, let's trade 'em". If Lowe would have traded any of the kids in the summer, then people would scream for his head.

Now it's "trade the kids, they are too small and not gritty enough". It seems no one wants to touch big gritty guys on the roster anymore, but in the summer two of the biggest grittiest guys were expendable.

I know that Oilers management has made mistakes, but they make far more good decisions than bad, and they have been dealt some pretty tough hands to play cards with (Pronger, Comrie, Free Agent Crap).

Hind sight is twenty-twenty (see Glencross/Hossa), and as fans we have the right and duty to be critical, but let's be somewhat reasonable here. Things can change on a dime, and if they move too quickly they could miss "the best deal". Has anyone else noticed that other GM's in the league aren't making any moves right now? I think that in a mood like this the Oilers woudl have to give up too much to make a move, so I would prefer they didn't.

If they wait 10-15 games there will be more ears listening and more impatience in the air and that makes for bad decisions, which Tambo/Lowe will want to take advantage of. The Oilers are still very much in the hunt, so why rush it.

I want the three headed monster put to rest. I want them to make some decisions on which little forwards stay and which go, but I want them to be good decisions so I am happy to see management being patient. Haste makes waste and all that.

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#28 Ender the Dragon
December 16 2008, 09:59AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Also, 100 points to any commenter who: a) thinks the Oilers scouting staff is awful b) can name the three scouting heads who have served the position under Kevin Lowe c) can identify the ineligible player selected by the Oilers at the 2002 draft and d) can name four different Oilers amateur scouts

Jon,

I'll forfeit the points as I fail with option a), but I'll take your challenge on the rest for fun:

b) Stu McGregor, Kevin Prendergast, Barry Fraser

c) Robin Kovar

d) Bob Brown, Bill Dandy, Kent Hawley, Brad Davis, & Kent Nilsson

And I agree with you: Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt.

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#29 freeze
December 16 2008, 10:02AM
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RobinB wrote:

Chicago has rebuilt through the Entry Draft from 2002-07 better than any other team I can think of.

Washington too has had a pretty good run of picks due to shitanusly bad seasons. Given how well they've played during their rash of injuries, I'd say they will be ok for a few years. Can't argue with Ovie, Semin, Backstrom... From TSN: (1997-2003) 1st rnd Draft Choices: 7yrs - 7 draft picks - 6 NHL Players = 85.7% success rate

Total: 7yrs - 22 draft picks - 8 NHL Players = 36.3% success rate in first 3 rounds

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#30 RLH
December 16 2008, 10:18AM
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@ Cam: Exactly my thoughts. There is strangely little activity going on right now. The fact that fan sites (such as this) are jumping on every single waive indicates two things:

First, there's a definite lack of activity. There are other teams out there with problems, and Chicago is a pretty good example. But there is such a fixation on the wire that it's difficult to move anyone through. I agree with earlier comments, sending down JDD at this point is a bad idea. To many sharks in the water.

Second, it's a buyer's market. We all saw the recent analysis of cap situations. While I would hesitate to say that salaries are the reason for the lack of movement, I feel confident in saying that the lack of deals indicates that terms can't be agreed upon. Do the two go hand-in-hand? Are we in a situation where teams in trouble simply can't make deals for blockbusters?

In short, I think everyone, Oiler's management hopefully included, agrees that the three-headed beast is not ideal. Let's all take a step back, and think about the fact that a hastened move would probably (though not definitely) cause more damage in the long run than we want.

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#31 Jonathan Willis
December 16 2008, 10:21AM
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@ Ender the Dragon:

Nicely done.

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#32 Ender the Dragon
December 16 2008, 10:22AM
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Cam wrote:

Hind sight is twenty-twenty (see Glencross/Hossa), and as fans we have the right and duty to be critical, but let’s be somewhat reasonable here. Things can change on a dime, and if they move too quickly they could miss “the best deal”.

I don't think the Oilers need to apologize about Hossa. They did what they could to bring him in; Hossa said no. What else could we have done; offered to relocate the team to the city of his preference?

Regarding Glencross, yeah, it's easy to point fingers now. For all anyone knew at the time, however, he could just as easily have turned out to be another Brule except that instead of spending the season in the Springfield, he'd have been eating up 1.5M on a one-way deal. If he was sitting in our press-box tonight at that salary and with 2 or 3 points to date, you'd have been just as upset. K-Lowe doesn't need to apologize on that one either; he acted as responsibly as he knew how, and if Glencross hadn't been so childishly impatient, he might be here today. We probably would have spun the wheel on him, but we needed to take care of the big things first. I'd have been WAY more choked if K-Lowe had signed Glencross and then found out that we missed signing Hossa by $1M that we might have had otherwise.

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#33 Sean
December 16 2008, 10:26AM
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Way to call it like it is JW!

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#34 Chris
December 16 2008, 10:43AM
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RE Scouting.

It's a fair comment that I haven't devoted the hours that Willis has rationalizing his undying love and support of Oilers Scouting. Get too close to the BS'ers and you end up smelling like BS. Speaking in large generalizations: It is my contention that there has been a philisophical shift in scouting towards small, skilled, and generally unservicable NHL players since about 04; The idea is that in the "NEW NHL" size isn't as key as in years past. Well the "New NHL" could revert to the "OLD NHL" in a hurry and the Oilers will be stuck holding the bag....wait isn't that already happening? Why did Schremp and Reddox have to sit for Stortini and Strudwick Saturday? I know, I know, you pick the best player...not what you need...blah blah blah. Why on earth would you draft players you need?

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#35 Ender the Dragon
December 16 2008, 10:54AM
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@ Chris: OK, maybe you have something. Can you prove it? Give us, say, 6 examples of the larger type of player that you contend we needed that was available to the Oilers at their position in any given draft and then explain how these individuals are outperforming the players we actually selected. If you can do that, (and I'm not saying you can) then you'll at least have proved that it was in theory possible for a psychic scout to have done better at the draft than he did.

If you can't put up, then . . .

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#36 Jonathan Willis
December 16 2008, 10:56AM
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Chris wrote:

It’s a fair comment that I haven’t devoted the hours that Willis has rationalizing his undying love and support of Oilers Scouting. Get too close to the BS’ers and you end up smelling like BS.

Of course, that makes sense. Obviously you wouldn't want to have too much knowledge before you formed an opinion - it might make you seem credible.Chris wrote:

I know, I know, you pick the best player…not what you need…blah blah blah. Why on earth would you draft players you need?

Let's take a look at one Oilers example of your policy - here's the link. Quote:

Best Player Available is still the mantra, but fans won’t see another goalie selection in the first round even if the top rated keeper is still available when the Oilers pick at 25. “We would go off that (policy) then,” admitted Prendergast. “As much as I love Carey Price, it just wouldn’t serve our purpose to take him.”

God forbid that a team takes BPA. Draft for need! The Oilers don't need Carey Price - between Dubnyk and Deslauriers they have two bonafide starters!

Picking the player with the best chance at an NHL jon is the only policy that makes sense. Otherwise you get into Soviet-era five-year projection.

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#37 Chris
December 16 2008, 11:10AM
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@ Ender the Dragon: It's not my job to scout prospects, compare progress etc. That is the scouting staffs job. I'm too busy. As a fan, however, I have noticed a shift in scouting philosophy and am alarmed by it. When Prendergast took over scouting, for the first three years, he tended to draft large physical players (Stortini, David Rohlfs, J.F. Jacques). Many of these picks were deemed by fans and pundits as busts. Prenergast under pressure did exactly what was right for his career (and wrong for the Oilers); He started down an easier path: drafting small players. It's easier to draft a small player with potential because many teams (for good reason) won't. So all us morons in Oilerland can rejoice and celebrate Predergasts genius watching U Tube Schremp videos for three years never realizing that all this skill on a small body isn't servicable in the NHL. Linus Omark will be the same. Believe it! Now to justify their record Oilers Scouts talk of the "NEW NHL". I say B.S. MacT has to scramble to ice a physically competeative lineup, the kid line is ineffective, and there is little on the farm. Sure our scouts have thier reasons... I call them excuses.

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#38 Jonathan Willis
December 16 2008, 11:18AM
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@ Chris:

Tell you what - I'll watch Andrew Cogliano's NHL career. Meanwhile, you can watch youtube videos of David Rohlfs (can you even get youtube videos of Rohlfs?), content with the knowledge that despite all the evidence, that's the way to draft.

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#39 Ender the Dragon
December 16 2008, 11:23AM
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Chris wrote:

@ Ender the Dragon: It’s not my job to scout prospects, compare progress etc.

For a guy who's job it's not, you seem to have an awful lot of opinions on Oiler's scouting based on moonbeams and fairydust. If you're going to offer the opinion that you know more than the professionals, then you had better be able to show that you know more than they do. Any asshat can point to 100+ players that were drafted and never panned out in the NHL. You prove nothing by doing that except what your level of capability is.

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#40 Wanye Gretz
December 16 2008, 11:23AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ Chris: Tell you what - I’ll watch Andrew Cogliano’s NHL career. Meanwhile, you can watch youtube videos of David Rohlfs (can you even get youtube videos of Rohlfs?), content with the knowledge that despite all the evidence, that’s the way to draft.

Can I watch Thundercats while you guys watch all this? Man, I love that show.

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#41 Chris
December 16 2008, 11:32AM
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Ender the Dragon wrote:

For a guy who’s job it’s not, you seem to have an awful lot of opinions on Oiler’s scouting based on moonbeams and fairydust. If you’re going to offer the opinion that you know more than the professionals

Thanks. My opinion is invalid.

As For Willis. Rohlfs was a bust...drafted by your man Prendergast...

Willis you are proving my point. Oilers scouting can't pick good prospects with size/ grit. So they draft Schremp and Cogliano and you rejoyce!

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#42 Chris
December 16 2008, 11:42AM
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Let me dumb down what I said.

Three years of failure drafting big players.

Three years of medium success drafting small ie (Cogliano)

Predergast's job safe.

Future Oilers Teams screwed.

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#43 Ender the Dragon
December 16 2008, 11:44AM
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Chris wrote:

Oilers scouting can’t pick good prospects with size/ grit. So they draft Schremp and Cogliano and you rejoyce!

Sheesh, man. I don't suppose, of course, that you can cite even one example of who they should drafted instead of Cogliano or Schremp? Just one. That's not asking too much of you, is it? Just one reason why a single person should listen to a single word you say.

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#44 Ender the Dragon
December 16 2008, 11:52AM
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Chris wrote:

Let me dumb down what I said.

If it get's much dumber, there's no point in sending it as we won't be able to read it.

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#45 Cam
December 16 2008, 12:22PM
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They have drafted plenty of players big and small, and it seems only the smaller ones have worked out - though in the first rounds it always seems we get little guys.

The mantra at the draft is to take the best player available at the time. That includes big and small or European or North American or whatever specifications you want in place.

Since it usually takes three years for a draft pick to be ready for the NHL (there are obviously exceptions), you don't know what the makeup of your tea is going to be by that time. Three years ago no one would have dreamed that we would lack grit. You grow assets through the draft and what you do with those assets is up to the GM (trade em or play em)

@ Ender I don't think the Oilers have to apologize about Gelncross either, but in hindsight if they had known Hossa wasn't going to come here they probably would have gotten a deal done with Glencross. I was just giving an example of how easy it is to see in things clearly in hindsight.

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#46 Chris
December 16 2008, 12:27PM
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@ Ender the Dragon:

I apologize for offering a dissenting opinion. Since I'm unwilling to play your game of offering up names of various prospects for you to in turn criticize etc... my observations AS A FAN are completely invalid. I'm not nor have ever claimed to be a pro scout...I'm not suggesting that I could ever be a better pro scout than Predergast and his 12 disciples. I do, however believe that better scouting staffs exist in this league and maybe Katz should offer up a boat load of cash to steal personnel away from organizations like Buffalo, or Detroit.

You and bloggers like you are the reason many people choose not to offer up any opinions at all.

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#47 kris
December 16 2008, 12:49PM
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Oy, this debate between Ender and Chris is revolting. It makes me want to puke, blahhh...

Please note, everyone on these intertube-bloggy discussion thingies is an ignorant neophyte to some degree. That is, if you tell people who don't know everything about Oiler scouting to not post about scouting, then there's no Oilersnation.

But please also note that the basic idea of Jonathon's '100 point chalenge' is correct, even though he overstated his point; criticisms of scouting -or anything else for that matter- should be thoughtful and not just empty cries of disdain. For example, "We coulda had Parise... oh man...." is not worth my time to read. But a brief note about some prospect you liked or like still would be quite interesting

Anyway, all of this is obvious to civil people.

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#48 Ender the Dragon
December 16 2008, 12:50PM
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@ Chris: An opinion is fine if you can offer up something to defend it intelligently. For example, let's say I offered you my opinion that the moon is made of green cheese. After all, who hasn't heard that, right? Now, I'm aware that there are these so-called 'professionals' at NASA who claim differently and say they've actually been there (As if.) and I thought about calling them out. I thought about doing a little research beforehand, that way, if they tried to discredit my source and prove that Mother Goose doesn't in fact have credible knowledge of the composition of the moon, then I could, as a mature and open-minded individual, rethink my position before I responded and not feel like NASA was attacking me. That seemed like a lot of work, though, and it's not my job to look this stuff up. Conversely, if I were to do no research whatever and simply offer my own opinion (to hell with looking up everything a damned Goose had to say), then NASA might have no choice but to attempt to discredit me, but good luck with that . . .

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#49 kris
December 16 2008, 12:59PM
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Ender: "Where is that dead horse, I'm gonna kick its ass."

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#50 Ender the Dragon
December 16 2008, 01:00PM
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@ kris: Fair enough.

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