C13 - Pt1

Wanye
March 31 2010 05:00PM

It stands to reason that Ethan Moreau isn't going to be the Captain of the Oilers for much longer. Even if Dieciocho sticks around for the 2010-11 NHL season fulfilling the final year of his contract, sooner or later the reins are going to be handed over to a new proverbial chuckwagon driver to pilot the next leg of the journey. 

And hey - as luck would have it, not only is the heir to the Captaincy going to be the dreaded 13th Captain in the history of the Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club, but he will be taking over a franchise that counts both its NHL and AHL affiliate as dead last amongst their on ice peers. 

In addition, the Big Club currently sports a dressing room so poor that Oilers brass recently decided to send superstud Jordan Eberle to the Springfield Falcons for seasoning, the theory being that "the Falcons might also be the worst team in their respective league, but at least Eberle will retain a will to live beyond 2011. This cannot currently be guaranteed in Edmonton."

C13

Captain 13 will be inheriting a room that is dead, a team that's in last place in the league and a meddling braintrust/coaching staff that numbers in the thousands - though the decisions they have actually made can be counted on less than a full hand of fingers. Free agents are shunning Edmonton with alarming regularity and a child was recently roughed up at a local school after being caught crying on the scoreboard at Rexall.

In short: things are dire in the OilersNation.

Sounds like it's time for someone to step up doesn't it?

This is something we are going to debate right into the ground over the summer and we thought we would kick it sooner rather than later. There is little else to get excited about locally - though it should be noted that the Rush have clinched a playoff spot in the NLL.

It has been so long since something Edmonton based made the post season we almost forgot how to appropriately cheer as we were in attendance last Saturday night, but luckily remembered at the last possible second and drank everything sold by everyone.

Anyway, back to the Oilers search for a Captain. There will undoubtedly be four separate schools of thought on the matter:

1. GO WITH YOUTH

"Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it."

                                  -- Dwight D. Eisenhower

There are a great many veteran players in the Oilers dressing room who may or may not buy into a new regime in the years to come. There are other veterans who may not want to wait around until the Oilers return to respectability, fearing it will come late in their careers when they will be long past their prime.

Going with a young Captain ensures that this player will be a key part of the new team. Many folks have been quick to jump on this bandwagon screaming things like "that's what Chicago did! That is also what Pittsburgh did!" and these points are valid for some teams looking to go with youth. 

It should however be noted that these two teams were looking at the Toews' and the Crosbys of the world in their internal search for the great big C - established premiere NHL players who can withstand the pressures of leadership and being called on to produce despite their young age.

Standout players of that magnitude aren't exactly growing on trees here in E-tizzy. In the absence of a guaranteed HHOFer (Croz) and one of the most intense players on the planet (Toews) certain Oilers could be considered to fall into the category of "Captain of the Youths." More on Eberle, Gagner, Cogliano, Hall and possibly even a Seguin later in this series.

2. GO WITH EXPERIENCE

"Good leadership consists of showing average people how to do the work of superior people."

                                  -- John D Rockefeller

The counter point to handing over the keys to one of the greatest franchises in Pro Sports to some punk assed kid is to tap a veteran player for the job. This would seemingly go against the "don't trust anyone over 28" segments of the OilersNation but might bear some further thought even if the team is looking to get younger for the 1,575th time in Franchise history.

Know what will be everywhere in the dressing room at RX1? Youth. Know who runs the show of youth quite effectively? Veterans. Perhaps the firm hand of experience is exactly what this team will need for the next few years.

3. TRADE FOR A CAPTAIN

"Leadership is diving for a loose ball, getting the crowd involved, getting other players involved. It's being able to take it as well as dish it out. That's the only way you're going to get respect from the players."

                                  -- Larry Bird

"Can't find a worthy replacement to Ethan Moreau on your current roster of not quite Superstars, unproven talent, bubble players and soon to be forgotten journeyman? Get on the old telematrix and make a deal for one then!" This is what we would suggest to the brain trust of the Oilers, should they ever return our daily letter to Central Command.

A year ago, a great many in the Nation would have been on board with this line of thinking. Virtually every single NHL team currently has a Captain* and with the Oilers shedding salaries like Arizonian Home Builders of late - money does exist to bring in a hired gun to take the helm.

In an era where many US cities are sweating bullets due to the economy, Edmonton has been mercifully spared the worst parts of the economic meltdown currently underway south of the border and is one of few teams with salary cap space and the ability to shoulder large contracts.

However if the embarassing summers of 2007, 2008 and 2009 have taught us anything, its that the Oilers are going to have a tough time luring free agents up this way until they start winning. Spare us the idea that "no one wants to play in Edmonton ever." If the Oilers start winning, the UFAs, RFAs and ZFAs will start arriving en masse.

But until that time the Oilers may elect to save us all from the 56th free agent rejection in the past 36 months and look inside the dressing room for C13.

*16 of 30 teams at last count

4. GO WITH AN INTERIM CAPTAIN

 

"To have long term success as a coach or in any position of leadership, you have to be obsessed in some way."

                                  -- Pat Riley

It has been ages since the Oilers did this hasn't it? This option effectively allows the team to hedge their bets between options 1, 2 and 3 allowing them to see what cream will rise to the top for a long term solution to the problem.

With all due respect to Jon Willis, a Jason Strudwick type player might just be what this team needs to elect as C13 until they can figure out the long term player to fill this role. Not the greatest player in the NHLPA, a Strudwick type player could still command the room with his grizzled veteran presence and allow the next generation of players (including the future C14) to develop free of the pressure of being the Captain of a losing NHL hockey team.

IN CLOSING

This is a matter that is going to be an awesome debate over the summer and we have taken a look at several players. Height, weight, turn ons, turn offs. This will be part two in the series.

In conclusion, we conclude.

Concludingly,

Wanye

09049f03ecb006ab29372206f2a88f75
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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#51 SkinnyD
April 01 2010, 07:05AM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

I've never had a problem with his on-ice work ethic. Plus, what better way to push a guy than make him the Captain? (not entirely serious, please keep that in mind before you respond)

Seriously, I dont know if this team has a captain, and I dont think slapping the C on someone who doesnt want it will help*. Maybe this team goes without a Captain next season.

I am fundamentally opposed to Horcoff getting the C. How are the Oilers going to take it away from him before his never-ending contracts runs out? Plus effort is one thing, but why should effort alone qualify someone as the Captain? Horc isnt a difference maker anymore. He had a good 50 game stretch a couple years ago but that's over. If effort was good enough then I'd take Stortini over Horcoff.

*See Oilers leadership under Moreau

Hemsky would be a horrible choice. His body language when things get rough do not even whisper 'captain'. I hope he has a great year with some new energy (and maybe a couple of new linemates), but he's Sir Lancelot, not King Arthur.

However, fully agree with the rest of what you're saying. I think we've got some potential captains on the roster...but no current ones. Whitney hasn't been here long enough, but an 'A' on his sweater might be OK.

No 'C' next year.

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#52 BUCK75
April 01 2010, 07:29AM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

Remember that time we went to a party together and there was a guy there who made a very convincing case about the Comrie for captain thing? That guy was covered in awesome sauce.

I should pay more attention around here. It is quite possible you planted that seed in my head.

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#53 slick
April 01 2010, 08:08AM
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@The Real Scuba Steve

hahahahahahhahahahhahaha

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#54 Dano
April 01 2010, 08:13AM
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What about Souray? I never liked the idea of your Captain being a 4th liner or a 6 or seventh d-man. Souray can play and is willing to stick up for team-mates and seems to command respect from his peers weather they are team-mates or the opposition.

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#55 Matt Henderson
April 01 2010, 08:53AM
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THEBIGD wrote:

Are you nuts?The best move the Oilers should make,but won't,is to trade Hemsky.And as soon as you can.As what has he done to help the Oilers?Nothing as he won't pass,shoot avoids the media by hiding?This guy could not lead my dog let alone the Oilers.Please tell me why they believe he is such a great player.He is not and will be good trade bait either for young players or draft picks.As this guy drives me nuts.

^^^^^ is crazy speak. First off, props to me for predicting the fact that you'd call me crazy. If watching the best forward on the team, the guy who averages a point a game, drives you nuts then you must have been in heaven this year watching no one doing all those stupid things like creating offense and quarterbacking the powerplay.

~Hemsky sucks~

Read the rest of the posts I made. I lean towards having no Captain next year.

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#56 Matt
April 01 2010, 08:53AM
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@RossCreekNation

Gregor

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#57 Matt
April 01 2010, 08:54AM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

So according to capgeek.com:

Robert Nilsson is 24 years old on the buyout date of June 15, 2010, putting the total buyout cost at $833,333 spread over 2 years. His contract was originally valued at $6,000,000 with an annual cap hit of $2,000,000 beginning in 2008 and ending in 2011. The following is a season-by-season breakdown of the buyout. A negative buyout cap hit number indicates a credit.

ROBERT NILSSON BUYOUT FROM CAPGEEK.COM
2010-2011: $-83,333
2011-2012: $416,667

Patrick O'Sullivan is 25 years old on the buyout date of June 15, 2010, putting the total buyout cost at $795,833 spread over 2 years. His contract was originally valued at $8,775,000 with an annual cap hit of $2,925,000 beginning in 2008 and ending in 2011. The following is a season-by-season breakdown of the buyout. A negative buyout cap hit number indicates a credit.

PATRICK O'SULLIVAN BUYOUT FROM CAPGEEK.COM
2010-2011: $935,417
2011-2012: $397,917

See ya's.

Gregor had this over a month ago..lol...Try to keep up Flames fan... Sorry for double post, hit send to early

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#58 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
April 01 2010, 08:55AM
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THEBIGD wrote:

Are you nuts?The best move the Oilers should make,but won't,is to trade Hemsky.And as soon as you can.As what has he done to help the Oilers?Nothing as he won't pass,shoot avoids the media by hiding?This guy could not lead my dog let alone the Oilers.Please tell me why they believe he is such a great player.He is not and will be good trade bait either for young players or draft picks.As this guy drives me nuts.

I really don't understand how the Hemsky haters could still be out in full force. Look at our offensive production these past 50 games vs the first 20 man... or these past 50 vs any of the last couple of seasons.

Wake up please.

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#59 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
April 01 2010, 08:57AM
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Gotta admit the Comrie for captain stuff makes me laugh a little. I think theirs a resonable chance the guy wont even be in the NHL next year let alone a captain.

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#60 Matt Henderson
April 01 2010, 09:05AM
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@OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

I dont know what's going to happen, but he was one of the Oilers' more productive players this season. I'm sure he could find a spot somewhere. I dont think his effectiveness has dropped to below NHL standards.

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#61 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
April 01 2010, 09:10AM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

I dont know what's going to happen, but he was one of the Oilers' more productive players this season. I'm sure he could find a spot somewhere. I dont think his effectiveness has dropped to below NHL standards.

Ya, don't me wrong I've been plesantly suprised with his production, but he's getting older and I'd bet their will be questions about his durability. I'd also say given his late signing last year that their wasn't a whole lot of interest in his services then.

I wouldn't be suprised if he gets another year or two somewhere, but IMO he's got Jason Allison written all over him in the next 1-3 years.

I wouldn't be opposed to keeping him around for another year or two either, but I'd rather keep the C vacent until Whitney or Gagner step up or this years first shows their a leader.

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#62 Poo Czar
April 01 2010, 09:45AM
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There's really only one choice here. An unheralded veteran who held the Captaincy for this team before handing it off to the next great Oilers superstar:

LEE M.F. FOGOLIN

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#63 Ender
April 01 2010, 10:11AM
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I think it's got to be an interim captain. We don't have anyone currently on this team that would make a good permanent choice (more in a sec), and I have a hard time envisioning anyone that we would trade for that would walk into the room and command the respect of every Oiler before playing game 1. That's a pretty special player, and I think the guys that could do that (Modano, Brind'Amour, Kariya, etc.) are going to cost too much for the limited time they'd be here, during which time we'd still suck anyway.

Specific thoughts:

Hemsky:
I think he wants the job, which is a step in the right direction, but he's never shown me anything to make me think he can be a motivator on this team. The captain should not be the first guy off the ice. Pass.

Horcoff:
He's going to be here a long time (I know the word untradable is extremely overused, but it actually fits in this case) and tries very hard, which is a plus. On the other hand, he doesn't have much WOW-factor on the ice and the kids in the room may be a tad underwhelmed. Not awful, but . . . Pass.

Whitney:
Are you kidding? Do you know nothing of psychology? Suppose you do decide to pin the C on this kid; what have you just told every other Oiler in the room? "You suck, and we'd rather give the Captaincy to this kid who has been an Oiler since about your last oil change and never worn a letter in the Show. Enjoy your new leader, Losers." That has to make him an incredibly popular fellow with his teammates, yes? ~They'll be lining up to follow him.~ Pass.

Souray:
On the surface, not a bad choice. Good on-ice skills, some demonstrated leadership ability, been in the room awhile . . . it's all good as far as it goes and I could understand this choice if it were made. Still, this nagging feeling in my big toe says that Big Sex won't be an Oiler past next season, either due to a trade or a horrific injury. Tough call, but . . . Pass.

There is one guy I thought of that they might be able to call in to do the job. Ex-Oiler, good on-ice skills, good leadership experience, reletively affordable, and could still be a factor the next time the Oilers make the playoffs.

Eric Brewer.

Edit: After Original Ogden Brother's comment, I looked up Brewer's +/- that I had neglected to check. I withdraw the suggestion. My bad. Thanks be to the Brotherhood.

If they can't find someone from outside, they may as well just have a big election in the room for next season and award the C for a year to the most popular guy until a real leader shows up. Couldn't hurt our 2010-11 Cup chances much at any rate.

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#64 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
April 01 2010, 10:15AM
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Ender wrote:

I think it's got to be an interim captain. We don't have anyone currently on this team that would make a good permanent choice (more in a sec), and I have a hard time envisioning anyone that we would trade for that would walk into the room and command the respect of every Oiler before playing game 1. That's a pretty special player, and I think the guys that could do that (Modano, Brind'Amour, Kariya, etc.) are going to cost too much for the limited time they'd be here, during which time we'd still suck anyway.

Specific thoughts:

Hemsky:
I think he wants the job, which is a step in the right direction, but he's never shown me anything to make me think he can be a motivator on this team. The captain should not be the first guy off the ice. Pass.

Horcoff:
He's going to be here a long time (I know the word untradable is extremely overused, but it actually fits in this case) and tries very hard, which is a plus. On the other hand, he doesn't have much WOW-factor on the ice and the kids in the room may be a tad underwhelmed. Not awful, but . . . Pass.

Whitney:
Are you kidding? Do you know nothing of psychology? Suppose you do decide to pin the C on this kid; what have you just told every other Oiler in the room? "You suck, and we'd rather give the Captaincy to this kid who has been an Oiler since about your last oil change and never worn a letter in the Show. Enjoy your new leader, Losers." That has to make him an incredibly popular fellow with his teammates, yes? ~They'll be lining up to follow him.~ Pass.

Souray:
On the surface, not a bad choice. Good on-ice skills, some demonstrated leadership ability, been in the room awhile . . . it's all good as far as it goes and I could understand this choice if it were made. Still, this nagging feeling in my big toe says that Big Sex won't be an Oiler past next season, either due to a trade or a horrific injury. Tough call, but . . . Pass.

There is one guy I thought of that they might be able to call in to do the job. Ex-Oiler, good on-ice skills, good leadership experience, reletively affordable, and could still be a factor the next time the Oilers make the playoffs.

Eric Brewer.

Edit: After Original Ogden Brother's comment, I looked up Brewer's +/- that I had neglected to check. I withdraw the suggestion. My bad. Thanks be to the Brotherhood.

If they can't find someone from outside, they may as well just have a big election in the room for next season and award the C for a year to the most popular guy until a real leader shows up. Couldn't hurt our 2010-11 Cup chances much at any rate.

I don't think it would cost that much to pick up Brewer. Blues fans loath him like Oiler fans loath Horcoff.

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#65 Dan the Man
April 01 2010, 10:19AM
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I say we try to sign the best UFA out there this summer and when he refuses to come here we offer him the captaincy to sweeten the pot.

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#67 DoubleJ
April 01 2010, 10:58AM
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Whitney or Penner could handle it for a year or two.

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#68 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
April 01 2010, 11:20AM
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Ender wrote:

I think it's got to be an interim captain. We don't have anyone currently on this team that would make a good permanent choice (more in a sec), and I have a hard time envisioning anyone that we would trade for that would walk into the room and command the respect of every Oiler before playing game 1. That's a pretty special player, and I think the guys that could do that (Modano, Brind'Amour, Kariya, etc.) are going to cost too much for the limited time they'd be here, during which time we'd still suck anyway.

Specific thoughts:

Hemsky:
I think he wants the job, which is a step in the right direction, but he's never shown me anything to make me think he can be a motivator on this team. The captain should not be the first guy off the ice. Pass.

Horcoff:
He's going to be here a long time (I know the word untradable is extremely overused, but it actually fits in this case) and tries very hard, which is a plus. On the other hand, he doesn't have much WOW-factor on the ice and the kids in the room may be a tad underwhelmed. Not awful, but . . . Pass.

Whitney:
Are you kidding? Do you know nothing of psychology? Suppose you do decide to pin the C on this kid; what have you just told every other Oiler in the room? "You suck, and we'd rather give the Captaincy to this kid who has been an Oiler since about your last oil change and never worn a letter in the Show. Enjoy your new leader, Losers." That has to make him an incredibly popular fellow with his teammates, yes? ~They'll be lining up to follow him.~ Pass.

Souray:
On the surface, not a bad choice. Good on-ice skills, some demonstrated leadership ability, been in the room awhile . . . it's all good as far as it goes and I could understand this choice if it were made. Still, this nagging feeling in my big toe says that Big Sex won't be an Oiler past next season, either due to a trade or a horrific injury. Tough call, but . . . Pass.

There is one guy I thought of that they might be able to call in to do the job. Ex-Oiler, good on-ice skills, good leadership experience, reletively affordable, and could still be a factor the next time the Oilers make the playoffs.

Eric Brewer.

Edit: After Original Ogden Brother's comment, I looked up Brewer's +/- that I had neglected to check. I withdraw the suggestion. My bad. Thanks be to the Brotherhood.

If they can't find someone from outside, they may as well just have a big election in the room for next season and award the C for a year to the most popular guy until a real leader shows up. Couldn't hurt our 2010-11 Cup chances much at any rate.

We're always here in your time of need.

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#69 common sense
April 01 2010, 11:30AM
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Is that a pic of Lecavailler? Brainer wants us to trade for a capt and Lecavailler is the guy? That's a April fools joke right?

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#70 RossCreekNation
April 01 2010, 12:21PM
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Matt wrote:

Gregor had this over a month ago..lol...Try to keep up Flames fan... Sorry for double post, hit send to early

Hm... either forgot or missed that one. My apologies.

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#71 Matt Henderson
April 01 2010, 01:44PM
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Wanye wrote:

While I have nothing but admiration and respect for both you and the rest of the Archaeologists around the globe I must disagree.

Not naming a Captain would be a mistake for a rudderless Franchise such as this. Co-Coaches, a President who thinks he is still GM, a GM who still thinks he is an Assistant GM, no AHL squad these past few years and now no Captain too?

Any wonder why this team is in last place?

I think this team is in last place, in part, because it has no solid leadership. If someone doesnt grow a set and take control from within the locker-room then I think it's a mistake to name a Captain. It's something that should be earned, not given by default.

I'm not privvy to the kind of access that would confirm my suspicions about the heartlessness of the club, but from the outside looking in, that's what I see.

They could rotate the C or other gimmicky things, but that's just hiding the fact that no one cares enough to take the duties full time.

It's my hope that, Moreau present or not, stripping the team of a Captain would stir something inside some guys enough create a desire to prove their leadership. Do it at the end of the year and let them think about who wants to lead over the summer. Someone needs to take initiative.

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