Las Vegas gaming and starting to look to next season

Wanye
July 21 2009 02:30PM

Now that we are approaching 45 hours since we stopped partying as though our life somehow depended on it, we can start to reset our brain-o-meter from “Vegas” to “reality.” For those of you who were fortunate enough not to be subjected to our drunken Twittering we went down to LV as part of a 31 man crew, in town to celebrate three simultaneous bachelor parties. We gambled, drank like the Russian Navy on temporary shore leave, unsuccessfully tried to bargain with Ladies of the Night and generally behaved like the type of degenerates that have allowed Steve Wynn’s bank account to swell up bigger than Dustin Penner in the offseason.

Go figure

As part of our vacation we placed our 5th annual bet on the Oilers to win the Cup. We can tell you that the Bitter Disappointment of 2006© was impossibly magnified by the $10 bet ticket that was on our fridge the entire season. It just sat there for almost 9 whole months, judging us. “All it takes is one Cup win Wanye and this rich bounty of 500 plus dollars is all yours.” We alternately yelled and kissed that ticket as the season wore on, until the climactic drunken-tearing-into-shreds post G7 loss.

But this article isn’t about the disappointment of 2006 – it’s analyzing the possible disappointment of 2010.

Placing the bet

betting

Saturday afternoon we walked up to the Sports Book at the MGM Grand to place our $20 bet on the Oilers to win the Stanley Cup. We were shocked – shocked!- that the NHL odds for next season weren’t occupying a prominenent place on the immense odds board being scrutinized by the gambling zombies in attendance. A wide swath of society had turned out to place sports wagers - from the dangerously skinny to the morbidly obese, from all walks of life and every economic station on the line. There they were, milling about and bathed in the warm glow of screen after screen of betting odds.

Once we had made it to the front of the startingly long line, we demanded to place our bet on the Edmonton Oilers to win the Stanley Cup in the 2009-10 season. “The who?” asked the bored lady sitting in the betting cage. “Why the greatest team on Earth my good woman – the Edmonton Oilers” we calmly replied. “Don’t y’all wanna see the odds list first?” she helpfully queried. “Ma’am,” we countered, “simply take this American Currency and place it directly on the shoulders of one Mr. Pat Quinn and one Mr. Tom Renney. It's going to be OK I can assure you.”

“So ya’ll, basically throwing y’all money away?” our newly minted mortal enemy absently asked as she punched the requisite information into her computer. Shocked at her ignorant attitude we tried to explain the sheer genius of the wager. “Well see, what you need to remember is th-” we began before being interrupted. “Cawse at thirty-five to one y’all placing your money on a lawngshawt…”

It was at this point – when a lady whose very employment depends on people placing risky bets calling us out – that we launched into a rant describing of the long road to ruin the Oil have been on of late and made attempts to tell this uninterested stranger how the Vegas odds are incalculably wrong. “Listen honey” the lady drawled, after humoring our impassioned pleas on behalf of a team half a world away, “I just take these here bets, I don’t make them odds.”

It got us to thinking

As we walked away with our betting ticket for next season we started to wonder what a reasonable expectation for next season will be for the Mighty Oilers. Don’t get us wrong – if you ask us how the Oilers are going to do next year we would shout “82-0 BITCH and four straight sweeps right to the Cup!” Then we would laugh heartily and fondly imagine some sort of parallel universe where the Oil are capable of this feat while furiously rubbing a rabbit’s foot for luck.

If someone dares to take exception with our prediction or sadly pats us on the shoulder, we will immediately punch them square in the face. But sometimes late at night, when we lie in our bed beneath the warmth of our Hanna Montana bedspread, we secretly wonder what a reasonable expectation for next year will be.

Really how good can we expect the Oil to actually be next season?

expectations

We always have the highest expectations – and rarely if ever do any of them fall short. But when it comes to the Oilers this season we are caught in a bit of a quandary. Last summer we were over optimistic – fresh off a barn burning run featuring nary a single Oilers veteran player. “Look at all these super rookies!” we can remember excitedly exclaiming to the Nation, “It’s a wonder that four separate Oilers aren’t nominated for the Calder Trophy this season!” Then we would laugh heartily and furiously rub a rabbit’s foot for luck.

This offseason we are dejectedly over pessimistic – or so the hope goes. We can't understand how a team that was picked by some to win the division last year could so spectacularly mess the bed down the stretch to miss the playoffs. There is seemingly little fire in the belly of these 23 professionals. The entire time Dany Heatley was kicking our fair Team in the face, did you see any of the multi-millionaires currently employed by the Oilers publicly coming to the defense of the team?

How about you Shawn Horcoff? Did you come out and say “we will be fine without Heatley. Trust me and my $192 million dollar contract?.”

No.

And you Captain Ethan Moreau. Were you holding a press conference the next day to discuss how wonderful the team is going to be next season regardless of a blockbuster trade?

Right.

Rest assured we are firmly in our seat at the front of the Oilers bandwagon. Even if they go 15-65-0-2 we will faithfully watch every game and spew venomous bile from our seats high up in RX1. If they go 65-15-0-2 we will sass talk that bastard TLP within an inch of his very life and proudly go about town telling anyone who will listen that "we knew it all along."

Perhaps it’s time to start thinking about reasonable expectations for 2009-2010.

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Blog so hard motherf**ckers try and find me. Email me at wanyegretz@gmail.com or tweet me @wanyegretz provided it is about Jordan Eberle or babes.
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#101 Ogden Brother
July 23 2009, 12:34PM
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DanMan wrote:

@ Chaz: Schremp wont get many breakaways (not because of his speed, anyway, broken plays happen), i get that. But he’s more playmaker than scorer. Playmakers dont need to have speed. I think speed is the most overrated skill at the NHL level. There just aren’t many goals scored off the rush anymore. I would rather have players with vision and creativity that can set-up in the offensive zone and put the puck in the right places. Speed or no speed (and the difference isnt even that big, Cogliano played with Penner last year and it wasn’t a disaster), the guys creates offence. And no heart? What exactly are you basing that on? Please explain. I hope you don’t just regurgitate what MacT tells you.

The same questions have been brought up about Schremp at every level. It really has little to do with MacT.

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#102 DanMan
July 23 2009, 12:52PM
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@ Ogden Brother:

Have you ever heard Steve Ludzik talk about Schremp? He coached him in junior. I don't know if Ludzy has the cred from ON, but aside from sometimes coming off as a blowhard, I think he's a really good analyst.

He absolutely loves this guy. There is a reason we are even talking about him. Everyone seems to bring up the negatives with this player. If you dont like him, it doesnt matter if he gets 3 points in 3 games or 6 points in 3 games, you still wont like him.

He deserves at least a 10 game trial, the Oilers dont have a lot to lose at this point. We have missed the playoffs 3 years in a row, and yet every game is sold out. If nothing more than to showcase him, even on paper. There are many teams who would give a nice return for say 8-10 points in 10 games.

I think we should have traded him after 06-07 when his value peaked, I really wonder where Lowe and MacT saw him fitting in here long term.

Oops, I'm sorry. Lowe and MacT having a long term plan? I gotta get off the Oiler-Aid.

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#103 Chaz
July 23 2009, 12:59PM
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@ DanMan: No I don't have a problem with Schremp, I just think it's ridiculous that people think he's this amazing player who's been stuck in the minors because Mac T didn't like him. If he was good enough to play in the show, that's where he would be.

The heart comment comes from the fact that he hasn't seemed to respond very well to his short comings which are his skating and his lack of two-way play. Players like him, who can't skate very well and who also don't play physically have a very hard time sticking in the show and must adapt thier play to stay up. Marty Reasoner was an offensive guy in minor hockey, but had to adapt his game to get a regular spot in the NHL. I haven't seen that same commitement from Schremp.

Like I said, I don't hate the guy, I'm actually indifferent. I just find it amusing when people regard him as the answer to our problems because IMO he most definitely is not.

For the record, I'd be more than happy to be proven wrong because he has mad hands. We'll see...

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#104 DanMan
July 23 2009, 01:07PM
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@ Chaz:

Chaz, he ain't gonna get faster. I'm sorry, he is who he is.

It's too bad that Brett Hull, Luc Robitalle, Adam Oates, and others didn't improve their skating, they could have been really good players.

As for the backchecking, Schremp doesn't sit at the red-line waiting for the homerun pass, he skates back just like everyone else but a step slower. I dont think he is the guy you want to go and get the puck, I would rather have him get in a good position for the transition.

In MacT's system, a lot of minor penalties are taken on the backcheck. He wants you to basically water-ski and stay close man-to-man. Quinn's game is all transition, if minors are taken, hopefully it is one of our d-men obliterating the guy with the puck. He's gonna get a shot this year, I can't imagine Quinn liking Nilsson over Schremp.

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#105 David S
July 23 2009, 02:15PM
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DanMan wrote:

It’s too bad that Brett Hull, Luc Robitalle, Adam Oates, and others didn’t improve their skating, they could have been really good players.

So now we're talking about Schremp with these guys for comps?

Just when I think the heights of delusion have been reached with Schremp, there's always one guy who lives to push the envelope. Congrats DanMan.

You're the Chuck Yeager of the Schremp fan club.

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#106 DanMan
July 23 2009, 02:27PM
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@ David S:

I wasn't comparing him to anybody. I was listing examples of guys who were thought to fail because of their lack of skating ability at the NHL level.

Pay a little attention to the words I actually used before you start running your mouth off.

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#107 David S
July 23 2009, 04:52PM
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Chaz wrote:

If he was good enough to play in the show, that’s where he would be.

Exactly.

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#108 David S
July 23 2009, 05:02PM
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DanMan wrote:

I can’t imagine Quinn liking Nilsson over Schremp.

I can. Easily.

Nilsson for all his faults busted gut over the last part of the season. Often I saw him go into the hard places that Rob Schremp wouldn't even consider, and he wasn't above splatting opponents against the boards while he was there. Whether either of them makes the squad is up to their commitment and desire. But from what we've seen so far, Nilsson at 100% beats Schremp at 100% ten times out of ten. It seems that Oilers management would agree because Schremp didn't get $2 Million and a full time job like Nilsson did.

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