Looking to the future...

Jason Gregor
March 12 2010 09:59AM

IIHF World Junior Championship - Canada v USA - Gold Medal Game

When your team is worst in the league, looking towards the future is sometimes the only solace you have. Earlier this week The Hockey News hit the newsstands with their always-anticipated Future Watch edition. It ranks the top 75 prospects in the NHL, and for the first time ever the Oilers had two guys in the top eleven.

The Hockey News gathers info from every NHL head scout and some other scouts and then compiles the rankings. Here are the top eleven across the NHL:

  1. Alex Pietrangelo, (4th, 2008) D-man, St. Louis Blues
  2. Jacob Markstrom (31st, 2008) Goalie, Florida Panters
  3. Oliver Ekman-Larsson (6th, 2009) D-man, Phoenix Coyotes
  4. Cody Hodgson, (10th, 2008) Centre, Vancouver Canucks
  5. John Carlson (27th, 2008) Defence Washington Capitals
  6. Jordan Eberle (22nd, 2008) Winger, Edmonton Oilers
  7. Nikita Filatov (6th, 2008) LW, Columbus Blue Jackets
  8. Colin Wilson (7th, 2008) Centre, Nashville Predators
  9. Luca Sbisa (19th, 2008) D-man, Anaheim Ducks
  10. Brayden Schenn (5th, 2009) Centre, Los Angeles Kings
  11. Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson (10th, 2009) LW, Edmonton Oilers

The only other Oiler prospect in the top-75 was D-man Jeff Petry who was ranked 56th. I put winger beside Eberle’s name because he is comfortable playing either wing. Colin Wilson is ranked 8th, but is currently playing in Nashville. The surprise in the top ten has to be Ekman-Larsson. Many people were shocked when Phoenix took him 6th last year, but clearly he continues to progress. The Coyotes have lots of good young players in their organization.

The THN also ranks the top ten players in each organization and it is interesting to see that Linus Omark is ranked 9th within the Oiler organization.

  1. Jordan Eberle
  2. Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson
  3. Jeff Petry
  4. Taylor Chorney
  5. Anton Lander
  6. Teemu Hartikainen
  7. Alex Plante
  8. Riley Nash
  9. Linus Omark
  10. Johan Motin

Hartikainen is a name to look for in the future. I know the Oiler scouts like his skating, grit and he has some decent finish. The 6th rounder in 2008 is currently playing for KalPa Kuopio in Finland, and he has 12 goals and 28 points in 49 games. He is 6’1” and 200 pounds and he plays with a bit of “crust”. You might see him come over here this upcoming season, but it isn’t guaranteed yet.

Omark’s ranking should calm some of those who have been calling for him to come here and be a lock in the top-six. If he expects a guarantee to play in Edmonton then I can’t see him coming over here. He does have an out-clause in his KHL contract that would allow him to come over next year, and maybe he comes, goes to camp and if he doesn’t make the team he goes back to the KHL and collect $1.2 million rather than $75,000 in the AHL.

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#201 dunciano
March 12 2010, 11:09PM
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It's all about the timing.

We need a group of excellent players playing together at the same time.

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#202 Archaeologuy
March 12 2010, 11:14PM
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@dunciano

Have some unknown MAYBE be part of a rebuild, or have a guy who will just be turning 30 be here when it's time to win?

I'm going to stick with keeping Hemsky until it isnt feasable to believe he will remain an Oiler.

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#203 dunciano
March 12 2010, 11:19PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Have some unknown MAYBE be part of a rebuild, or have a guy who will just be turning 30 be here when it's time to win?

I'm going to stick with keeping Hemsky until it isnt feasable to believe he will remain an Oiler.

Yeah, you may be right that may be the way to go.

I guess it depends on what foundation we can build next year.

And would it be prudent in the long run to suck next year - to get the #1 pick...

will we sufficiently suck with a healthy Hemsky, Penner, Seguin/Hall, Whitney, Gilbert, Khabibulin etc

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#204 dunciano
March 12 2010, 11:21PM
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Minnetonka wins it in the 4th OT on a goal assisted by Troy Hesketh.

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#205 Pajamah
March 13 2010, 07:53AM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

It is out. I have a subscription, so I don't recall if I've seen it anywhere. Nazem Kadri on the front cover.

Thats probably why, subscribers generally get it before my local Shoppers Drug Mart

Thank you, Turtle from Entourage!!

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#206 madjam
March 13 2010, 09:53AM
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Still contend R. Nash was/ is our best rookie from opening camp , but they may need to keep him off club to finish college next season . Oilers basically have 2 first round picks , 2 second ,and 2 third round picks this upcoming draft if they finish 30th in the final standings . Each round after first they would choose first making 2-7 round an extention of the round before it (position 1 and 31 every round so to speak , with round one first choice maybe being different if they lose lottery ). Thats about six Oiler picks in top 91 draft picks this draft season already .There may be more coming from trades , etc. before or during draft .Lots to play around with as well .

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#207 madjam
March 13 2010, 10:11AM
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Oilers need to form a contender A.S.A.P. in order to keep valuable incumbents and new players wanting to stay here - not to mention the fans ! A long drawn out rebuilding is not going to be in clubs or fans best interests , as many an asset will want to not be part of a long process . This seasonal draft needs to be expedited and be a contender for next season - forget this waiting crap talk !!

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#208 Aleslav Smidsky
March 13 2010, 11:12AM
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Who wants to bet that Sam Gagner won't be a Oiler after July 1st?

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#209 Robin Brownlee
March 13 2010, 11:15AM
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madjam wrote:

Oilers need to form a contender A.S.A.P. in order to keep valuable incumbents and new players wanting to stay here - not to mention the fans ! A long drawn out rebuilding is not going to be in clubs or fans best interests , as many an asset will want to not be part of a long process . This seasonal draft needs to be expedited and be a contender for next season - forget this waiting crap talk !!

Don't do it right, do it fast. What could possibly go wrong with that plan?

This team won't be a contender next season, but if the cards fall right, management fills some spots with the right players and drafts high and well for two straight summers, can be a team on the rise and in the right direction for 2011-12.

Most fans, unless they're talking through their asses, would be happy with a proper rebuild that sees results that fast as opposed to farting around and doing patchwork to carry out your ASAP mandate.

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#210 Robin Brownlee
March 13 2010, 11:17AM
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Aleslav Smidsky wrote:

Who wants to bet that Sam Gagner won't be a Oiler after July 1st?

I see you're back (for now). You don't have enough money to cover that bet.

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#211 OilCrazy
March 13 2010, 11:20AM
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Aleslav Smidsky wrote:

Who wants to bet that Sam Gagner won't be a Oiler after July 1st?

Are you insane? If we are in a rebuild, why would we trade our recent 6th overall pick who has the leadership ability to likely be wearing a letter next year. He has the type of character and determination that we need to change the "culture" in the dressing room.

I'd rather bet that Cogliano goes before him and they wouldn't trade both. We'd be too weak at centre then.

Gagner is one of the few untouchables on the team in my opinion. Him along with Eberle, MPS, Petry, and this year's 1st rd pick.

Anyone else can be had for the right price. Hopefully not Hemsky, because he's a wizard with the puck and would make the games still interesting to watch when we suck again next year.

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#212 Aleslav Smidsky
March 13 2010, 11:24AM
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@Robin Brownlee

Morning Robin,

Do you honestly think that the Oilers organization would go for a proper rebuild?

I think knowing the pressure of the fan base, they might try to rush it and try to do it sooner then later. With the amount of decent prospects in the come up and Hall/Sequin, I don't think they will.

I believe they will trade MPS and Gagner and go from there.

Can you honestly see them in two years having the following kids in the line up; Sequin/Hall, Eberle, MPS, Gagner, (i can't remember that kids name for the life of me, starts with a O had a crazy shoutout goal last year)?

I think its a lot of small kids and I can't see a future here for all of them. That is why I feel the Oilganization will speed it up a little and trade a few of them for someone older and established.

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#213 Aleslav Smidsky
March 13 2010, 11:26AM
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@Robin Brownlee

Well how much are we betting? Or are you just being a funny guy, so I say something insulting to you so you have bases for your (for now)?

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#214 Pajamah
March 13 2010, 11:27AM
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RB, how much can I pay you to read the entire "Hockey News Future Watch 2010" edition to me in that monotone voice of yours.

Seriously though, knowing our picks are starting to look like the cream of the crop, its hard not to be a little excited for the future.

I dont think we should rush anything, in terms of being competitive in the near future. However, if we can keep developing the young kids down in OKC and have a few cheap vets for next season, like the Coyotes did this season, it might make for a more enjoyable wait.

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#215 Aleslav Smidsky
March 13 2010, 11:29AM
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@OilCrazy

I love how you ask if I'm insane and then offer nothing but your opinion.

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#216 Robin Brownlee
March 13 2010, 11:34AM
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Aleslav Smidsky wrote:

Well how much are we betting? Or are you just being a funny guy, so I say something insulting to you so you have bases for your (for now)?

Get this straight: With your history of posting essentially to piss people here off, I don't need a basis for anything. I can run your ass any time I feel like it. And I will.

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#217 Aleslav Smidsky
March 13 2010, 11:41AM
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@Robin Brownlee

Piss people off? Come on now. I say what I feel, and I'm sorry if it doesn't sit right with all the Ralph Klein voters. I've never disrespected anyone personally(unlike some), the two times I have been banned was for having a difference of opinion and peoples problem with my name.

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#218 Robin Brownlee
March 13 2010, 11:49AM
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Aleslav Smidsky wrote:

Piss people off? Come on now. I say what I feel, and I'm sorry if it doesn't sit right with all the Ralph Klein voters. I've never disrespected anyone personally(unlike some), the two times I have been banned was for having a difference of opinion and peoples problem with my name.

And you're getting banned now because you insulted me by listing "Brownlee" as your goat on your profile. That's three strikes, and no snivelling to anybody is going to bring you back from that. Adios.

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#219 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
March 13 2010, 11:49AM
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Aleslav Smidsky wrote:

Who wants to bet that Sam Gagner won't be a Oiler after July 1st?

still drunk from last night?

edit: and, for a bet how about:

you win - i give your mom a night off

i win - you go away

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#220 Heavyd
March 13 2010, 11:51AM
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@Aleslav Smidsky

I'll bet you 1 million dollars?

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#221 RossCreekNation
March 13 2010, 12:12PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Get this straight: With your history of posting essentially to piss people here off, I don't need a basis for anything. I can run your ass any time I feel like it. And I will.

Can I run him this time?

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#222 RossCreekNation
March 13 2010, 12:14PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

And you're getting banned now because you insulted me by listing "Brownlee" as your goat on your profile. That's three strikes, and no snivelling to anybody is going to bring you back from that. Adios.

Oh... nevermind :(

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#223 Robin Brownlee
March 13 2010, 12:14PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Can I run him this time?

Too late. Blowing snot bubbles and out the door already.

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#224 OilCrazy
March 13 2010, 12:14PM
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Aleslav Smidsky wrote:

I love how you ask if I'm insane and then offer nothing but your opinion.

I figured your comment justified the question all on its own merit, and I added my opinion to provide an explanation for my questioning of your post.

I asked if you were insane because I don't know you well enough to state it as fact. Perhaps cableguy is right and you are just still drunk from last night.

Either way, there has to be some reasoning behind making such a comment in the first place.

Usually a rebuild consists of a foundation of youth, and allowing top prospects to develop. What would trading Gagner accomplish?

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#225 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
March 13 2010, 12:15PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Can I run him this time?

YOU carry that kind of power around here?

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#226 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
March 13 2010, 12:39PM
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cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan wrote:

YOU carry that kind of power around here?

Lawd knows he don't carry it in the NationDraft.

Ba-zing!

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#227 Hem
March 13 2010, 12:59PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote

And you\'re getting banned now because you insulted me by listing \"Brownlee\" as your goat on your profile. That\'s three strikes, and no snivelling to anybody is going to bring you back from that. Adios.

C\'mon, listing you as the goat is just amusing, Wanye would laugh if he came upon a profile with him listed as goat (or the 50 that probably DO list him as such).

http://www.batmancomic.info/gen/20100313115806_4b9bee4ea9450.jpg

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#228 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
March 13 2010, 01:03PM
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Hem wrote:

Robin Brownlee wrote

And you\'re getting banned now because you insulted me by listing \"Brownlee\" as your goat on your profile. That\'s three strikes, and no snivelling to anybody is going to bring you back from that. Adios.

C\'mon, listing you as the goat is just amusing, Wanye would laugh if he came upon a profile with him listed as goat (or the 50 that probably DO list him as such).

http://www.batmancomic.info/gen/20100313115806_4b9bee4ea9450.jpg

The ban was for being an idiot for all seasons.

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#229 Hem
March 13 2010, 01:05PM
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@Ogden

Ya, I agree it was an idiocy ban - but state such. Such a weak reason for strike 3 stated though... even though Strike 3 not even needed (Brownlee can ban when he wants, doesn\'t need to make up 3 strike rule and find weak reasons for strikes I\'m sayin)

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#230 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
March 13 2010, 01:09PM
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Hem wrote:

@Ogden

Ya, I agree it was an idiocy ban - but state such. Such a weak reason for strike 3 stated though... even though Strike 3 not even needed (Brownlee can ban when he wants, doesn\'t need to make up 3 strike rule and find weak reasons for strikes I\'m sayin)

If a cop pulls you over for speeding, he'll probably also give you a ticket for having a tail light out.

If you're not speeding, odds are he's not going to pull you over for the tail light. On its own it's not a big deal.

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#231 Hem
March 13 2010, 01:10PM
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At least for my ban it was for A) Standing up for myself when he turned into Raging Robin. B) Explaining the etiquette that he was using was reminiscent of 13 year old boys on net, like most people do their first time on the internets. And C) Calling him a douche.

My 3 strikes didn\'t need no weak arse \"You picked me as goat\"

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#232 Robin Brownlee
March 13 2010, 02:29PM
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Hem wrote:

At least for my ban it was for A) Standing up for myself when he turned into Raging Robin. B) Explaining the etiquette that he was using was reminiscent of 13 year old boys on net, like most people do their first time on the internets. And C) Calling him a douche.

My 3 strikes didn\'t need no weak arse \"You picked me as goat\"

It was a joke, a reach for effect. Does everything need to be spelled out?

When a guy has 5, 10, 15, 100 dickish comments in the database, when he's in the Matt Cooke Division of commentors, there is no slack. He can get gone at any time. He shouldn't have been back in the first place.

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#233 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
March 13 2010, 02:39PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

And you're getting banned now because you insulted me by listing "Brownlee" as your goat on your profile. That's three strikes, and no snivelling to anybody is going to bring you back from that. Adios.

Hopefully this one is permanent.

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#234 TigerUnderGlass
March 13 2010, 03:04PM
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@Robin Brownlee

the Matt Cooke Division of commentors

That made me laugh. Very amusing.

Although, recalling last time I said you were amusing maybe I should take that back.

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#235 Pajamah
March 13 2010, 11:31PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:
the Matt Cooke Division of commentors

That made me laugh. Very amusing.

Although, recalling last time I said you were amusing maybe I should take that back.

I'm just picturing RB going Joe Pesci on you

you find me amusing?

What part of me amuses you? Am I ha-ha funny, like a clown?

As he proceeds to put his boot up your ass

on another note, how bout that loss to the Leafs, I think 30th is a wrap

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#236 dunciano
March 13 2010, 11:57PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Don't do it right, do it fast. What could possibly go wrong with that plan?

This team won't be a contender next season, but if the cards fall right, management fills some spots with the right players and drafts high and well for two straight summers, can be a team on the rise and in the right direction for 2011-12.

Most fans, unless they're talking through their asses, would be happy with a proper rebuild that sees results that fast as opposed to farting around and doing patchwork to carry out your ASAP mandate.

Ya man' ya

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#237 madjam
March 14 2010, 09:14AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Don't do it right, do it fast. What could possibly go wrong with that plan?

This team won't be a contender next season, but if the cards fall right, management fills some spots with the right players and drafts high and well for two straight summers, can be a team on the rise and in the right direction for 2011-12.

Most fans, unless they're talking through their asses, would be happy with a proper rebuild that sees results that fast as opposed to farting around and doing patchwork to carry out your ASAP mandate.

Do it your way and their is no guaratee it will be any better two years from now . Just what is this infinite wisdom and great plan of yours doing it right ? Their certainly is no guarantee doing it A.S.A.P is going to be any worse than your "if" we do it right ( of which you and all management ) have little idea of how it would/will pan out over that process . To me, if you do it right is like saying because or if , because no one truly knows exactly how and or what your trying to impliment ( vague in other words ) .Spell the entire right process out if you can so management can carryout your illustrious plan . They have tried everything the last 4 years and where has it got us - 30th place with more bad years to endure ? Can they really do much worse ? If there were a proper plan the club would have done it by now . We were not that far away from being a contender at seasons start if management had done it's job of filling the season before voids that were left unfilled . Continuing to lose does not benefit club or fans - i disagree with your long drawn out approach and it's ultimate success . Too many clubs have been there , done that with minimal success. Put in a managerial and coaching team that can reach it's goals firstly , then your going to see a proper expedited process .

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#238 alberta beef
March 14 2010, 01:02PM
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madjam wrote:

Do it your way and their is no guaratee it will be any better two years from now . Just what is this infinite wisdom and great plan of yours doing it right ? Their certainly is no guarantee doing it A.S.A.P is going to be any worse than your "if" we do it right ( of which you and all management ) have little idea of how it would/will pan out over that process . To me, if you do it right is like saying because or if , because no one truly knows exactly how and or what your trying to impliment ( vague in other words ) .Spell the entire right process out if you can so management can carryout your illustrious plan . They have tried everything the last 4 years and where has it got us - 30th place with more bad years to endure ? Can they really do much worse ? If there were a proper plan the club would have done it by now . We were not that far away from being a contender at seasons start if management had done it's job of filling the season before voids that were left unfilled . Continuing to lose does not benefit club or fans - i disagree with your long drawn out approach and it's ultimate success . Too many clubs have been there , done that with minimal success. Put in a managerial and coaching team that can reach it's goals firstly , then your going to see a proper expedited process .

since the lock out - salary cap era started, look at the successful and/or improving teams teams - Chicago, Pittsburgh Washington,LA.....teams that have all grown through the draft. The biggest reason the Oilers are where they are now, I believe, is because of the decision to have no farm team for years. Another big reason is because we caught lightening the a bottle one year, went to the finals,and management foolishly rewarded too many average players for 20 above average games. Although we still have too many great "Oiler" minds, instead of great "Hockey" minds in the organization, 2 or 3 years of proper biulding is the only way to hope for long term success.

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#239 madjam
March 15 2010, 07:52AM
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3 years ago we had 3 first round picks going the draft pick way ( Gagner, Plante and Riley Nash ). Nash also cost us an additional second rounder i believe .Petry ,i believe, was also in that draft year as i recall . Now , where are we today, and how many of them are on team ,or from last two seasons so called blue chip gems ? Now you people are trying to tell Oiler fans to do it again and wait (a good chance same thing will happen with present management group ) and see what happens ? I'm not biting on that failed route again , not with present management group . 2-3 years of so called "proper rebuild" has got us 30th place !

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