All the things I'm missin'… Are waiting at the end of my ride

Jonathan Willis
July 25 2008 01:19PM

 

 

Reading Matt’s post over at Battle of Alberta the other day, I was remiss in not mentioning the country bar scene from Blues Brothers as one of the best scenes in film. That rendition of Rawhide is just great, and in a really round about way, brings me to my topic today.

Lowetide often uses song lyrics as a starter for various posts, and I think the general theme in Rawhide fits what the Oilers need to do this year with their young players. Keep rollin’ rollin’ rollin’, keep them doggies rollin’ (Rawhide!)

There is a great big hole when it comes to veteran centres in this lineup. Behind Shawn Horcoff, second year NHL’ers Sam Gagner, Andrew Cogliano and Kyle Brodziak will likely be joined by no longer a girl, yet not quite a woman perennial prospect Marc Pouliot. The cautious, safe decision would be to acquire one of the veteran free agents (Brian Smolinski comes to mind) to fill a spot, take faceoffs and PK duty, and otherwise just help shelter some still-developing players. It would also be the wrong choice.

This is a pivotal year. It’s the year where the Oilers can throw the youngsters into a less sheltered role (add Robert Nilsson, Zach Stortini, Tom Gilbert, Denis Grebeshkov and Ladislav Smid to the above list) and make final decisions on bubble players (Rob Schremp, J-F Jacques, and recently acquired Ryan Potulny).

It’s the final year to decide who to keep and who to get rid of, because it’s almost time for this team to make some real noise.

Jonathan Willis is the owner of Copper & Blue, a blog dedicated to all things Oil, and a frequent contributor to OilersNation.com.

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
Avatar
#1 Ender the Dragon
July 25 2008, 03:01PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I hear that, Jonny-boy. These lads made the 'mistake' of letting on that they could play and hold their own in this league at the end of last season. There are no more excuses. You're either good enough to compete at this level, or you're not. We've determined that they have the skill; now, we're just seeing if they have the heart to carry it 82 games and beyond. If they can't, let's find out as soon as possible and give the sweater to someone else who will.

Avatar
#2 1011011
July 26 2008, 11:27AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

If the Oil show glaring holes this year, I think we can expect further renovations on the Oilers. Some cornerpieces might get dealt, guys that will blow up somewhere else but improve the Oilers in the short term.

But that isn't going to happen.

Avatar
#3 Mr. Brightside
July 26 2008, 10:25PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

If any one in the organization has done the least with the most it has to be JF. But this is a guy that is big, can skate and can finish (at least at the AHL level). Give him another shot Craig..........please?

Binary, you still haven't fixed your name....

Comments are closed for this article.