(Seems Like) A Long Time

Lowetide
August 25 2010 07:54AM

This is David Oliver. Once upon a time he was part of a quality cluster of young forwards in the Edmonton Oilers system. Is the current group as good--or better--than the Weight-Arnott-Smyth cluster? 

I'm a big believer in developing prospects in clusters. Any Oiler fan old enough to remember the Boys On The Bus probably feels the same way, because Edmonton's hockey fans had a bird's eye view of the power of the cluster 30 years ago. That tremendous group had terrific sustain, retiring 20 or so years later with multiple Stanley's in multiple towns.

I don't think it benefits us to compare the current group of young Oiler forwards to the 1984-85 Oilers because comparing any group in the history of the game to the 99 group would just end up in depression. However, the Oilers did have a strong cluster of young forwards 15 years ago that is worthy of a look. Here are the 95-96 Oilers forward group and their numbers:

  1. Doug Weight (24) 82gp, 25-79-104
  2. Zdeno Ciger (25) 78gp, 31-39-70
  3. Jason Arnott (20) 64gp, 28-31-59
  4. David Oliver (24) 80gp, 20-19-39
  5. Todd Marchant (22) 81gp, 19-19-38
  6. Miro Satan (20) 62gp, 18-17-35
  7. Dean McAmmond (22) 53gp, 15-15-30
  8. Marius Czerkawski (23) 37gp, 12-17-29
  9. Scott Thornton (24) 77gp, 9-9-18
  10. Ryan Smyth (19) 48gp, 2-9-11
  11. Kent Manderville (24) 37gp, 3-5-8
  12. Louie DeBrusk (24) 38gp, 1-3-4
  13. Ralph Intranuovo (21) 13gp, 1-2-3
  14. Jason Bonsignore (19) 20gp, 0-2-2
  15. Tyler Wright (22) 23gp, 1-0-1
  16. Dennis Bonvie (22) 8gp, 0-0-0

That's an exceptional group. They never reached the finals (the `06 team had only Smyth left) but there`s a lot of quality on this list.  No HOFers but a few marginal ones (Weight, Arnott, Satan, Smyth) and a nice range of skills in there.Now let's have a look at the current group:

  1. Dustin Penner (27) 82gp, 32-31-63
  2. Ales Hemsky (26) 22gp, 7-15-22
  3. Ryan Jones (25) 49gp, 8-4-12
  4. Liam Reddox (24) 9gp, 0-2-2
  5. JF Jacques (24) 49gp, 4-7-11
  6. Zack Stortini (24) 77gp, 4-9-13
  7. Gilbert Brule (23) 65gp, 17-20-37
  8. Ryan O'Marra (22) 3gp, 0-1-1
  9. Andrew Cogliano (22) 82gp, 10-18-28
  10. Sam Gagner (20) 68gp, 15-26-41
  11. Linus Omark (23)
  12. Jordan Eberle (19)
  13. MPS (18)
  14. Taylor Hall (17)

A few observations:

  • The 95-96 is better and more established. Doug Weight--the leader of the group--was an exceptional player by 25 although injuries would impact him in later seasons. There's size and grit on the 95-96 team and they are deeper in terms of 2-way players (although in fairness some of the current group may emerge).
  • Penner and Hemsky are really cut off from this cluster. The heart of the order is Gagner-MPS-Hall-Eberle (imo) and that means Hemsky/Penner are basically 10 seasons removed from the center diamond.
  • The Oilers pissed away a lot of quality on the 95-96 team. Satan for nothing. Lordy.
  • This list really highlights just how careful the organization needs to be with kids like Cogliano. He's not going to be Marchant unless he learns the finer aspects of the game and three years in it isn't happening. Could he be a small m McAmmond? Don't know, but he's an asset the club needs to grind into something useful.
  • We need to be patient. Very patient. Hall, MPS, Eberle and Gagner won't be dominating the hockey business for quite some time. They're just kids, folks.
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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on TSN 1260.
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#1 Crash
August 25 2010, 08:10AM
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"We need to be patient. Very patient. Hall, MPS, Eberle and Gagner won't be dominating the hockey business for quite some time. They're just kids, folks"

I'm all for patience but don't be so quick to state that it will be quite some time before the kids are dominating. How long did it take Stamkos to score 50?

I'd say that's pretty dominating and didn't take very long to happen.

You just don't know for sure.

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#2 Soft Hands McSteeley - FIST Movement
August 25 2010, 08:23AM
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Crash wrote:

"We need to be patient. Very patient. Hall, MPS, Eberle and Gagner won't be dominating the hockey business for quite some time. They're just kids, folks"

I'm all for patience but don't be so quick to state that it will be quite some time before the kids are dominating. How long did it take Stamkos to score 50?

I'd say that's pretty dominating and didn't take very long to happen.

You just don't know for sure.

You don't know forsure... and thats what Lowetide is saying. Sure Stamkos scored 50 in his 2nd season, but it took Bobby Ryan 3 years just to make the team.

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#3 HardBoiledOil
August 25 2010, 08:27AM
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i think our "cluster" of kids is every bit as good as back then. Hall, MPS, Omark, Eberle added to our other young guys Gagner, Brule and Smid makes me a believer!

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#4 Souby
August 25 2010, 08:35AM
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"The Oilers pissed away a lot of quality on the 95-96 team. Satan for nothing. Lordy."

I couldn't agree more with this statement. Let's not forget that this is the same team that let Cujo walk away for nothing.

"We need to be patient. Very patient. Hall, MPS, Eberle and Gagner won't be dominating the hockey business for quite some time. They're just kids, folks."

Well put. This is a rebuilding process and rebuilds take time. Would I love the Oil to make the playoffs next year, of course. Do I think it will happen, not likely. Patience is the key. Give them the opportunity and support they need to develop and wait a few years. IMO.

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#5 dawgbone
August 25 2010, 08:41AM
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@Souby

Lots of teams let UFA's go for nothing. The Oilers weren't really in a position to trade him either. There's a good chance they would have missed the playoffs that year if they had.

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#6 hamslice
August 25 2010, 08:42AM
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Not sure if this comment has ever been made before.

Everyone is expecting this team to develop in 3-5 years like the Caps, Pens, & Hawks. All of those teams with their young prospects had to learn the game before become the powerhouses they are currently. However once those teams started to win, all of their head coaches that help develop them soon got the axe. Michel Therrien 05-09 then goodbye. Glen Hanlon 03-07 then beat it. Denny Savard 06-08 then spin the hell out of town.

Is it fair to say goodbye to the current coaching staff just like those 3 teams.

Oh well Mr. Tom Renney, you stay classy, cause as soon as this team is ready to compete you will be gone for someone else to put the team over the hump.

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#7 vishcosity
August 25 2010, 08:48AM
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Goaltending seems to breed confidence in offensive playmaking. The 84 - 85 group had Moog and Fuhr, the 95 season had Cujo and Ranford. if the Oilers can give the forwards a reason to trust the defense, then I think we can watch for a real offensively minded approach. But until the goal tending and defense are fairly solid, we may be watching kids learning 2 way play.

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#8 Ryan14
August 25 2010, 08:48AM
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So what your saying is that we WON'T be contending for the cup next year? What am I going to do with the Oilers 2011 Stanley Cup Champions mural on my back?

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#9 ubermiguel
August 25 2010, 08:57AM
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vishcosity wrote:

Goaltending seems to breed confidence in offensive playmaking. The 84 - 85 group had Moog and Fuhr, the 95 season had Cujo and Ranford. if the Oilers can give the forwards a reason to trust the defense, then I think we can watch for a real offensively minded approach. But until the goal tending and defense are fairly solid, we may be watching kids learning 2 way play.

Throw in Ron Low in the early 80s coming in with veteran leadership and goaltending and Rollie in 2006.

If Khabi's healthy and not in jail I think he's that guy.

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#10 Lochenzo
August 25 2010, 08:59AM
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Zdeno Ciger! That's a name I haven't heard in a long time. If only he stayed in North America, I think he could have helped get this late-90's team over the 1st - 2nd round hump. Too bad.

I really like the current cluster of young talent, but I am a little concerned about the centre position. Centre is the most important forward position and the Oil have Gagner, Cogliano, O'Marra and Pitlick as their top young players at this position. Losing Riley Nash really sucked, but he didn't want to be here so he had to be moved. I can easily see Gagner as a #2 centre and maybe Pitlick. Cogs could be a nice low end #2 as well if he puts together a 60 point campaign. But you need an elite centre to take you to the promised land. Name a Stanley Cup champ that won without an elite centre. Now, it's possible some of the current Oiler young guns can develop into this guy, but it's going to take a lot of work for it to happen, if it does at all. "Winning" another lottery pick this year would really benefit the Oil when you consider that kids like Couturier, Larsson and Musil are some of the names in the top 5 (assuming they all stay there over the year). Drafting one of these fine young players would help address either the centre position or defense. So here's hoping for another tough year for Oiler fans!

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#11 Racki
August 25 2010, 09:05AM
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The most important part of your article is this: "We need to be patient. Very patient. Hall, MPS, Eberle and Gagner won't be dominating the hockey business for quite some time. They're just kids, folks."

Please continue to repeatedly beat this into the craniums of Oilers fans.

The biggest thing is that yes, they could have some crazy Stamkos like year, 2 years in, however it is doubtful and it shouldn't be anywhere near an expectation (see your reasonable expectations for what should be expected). If they aren't lighting up the league in 2 years, it isn't anywhere near a failure and we shouldn't write them off. It takes time.

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#12 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
August 25 2010, 09:09AM
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Racki wrote:

The most important part of your article is this: "We need to be patient. Very patient. Hall, MPS, Eberle and Gagner won't be dominating the hockey business for quite some time. They're just kids, folks."

Please continue to repeatedly beat this into the craniums of Oilers fans.

The biggest thing is that yes, they could have some crazy Stamkos like year, 2 years in, however it is doubtful and it shouldn't be anywhere near an expectation (see your reasonable expectations for what should be expected). If they aren't lighting up the league in 2 years, it isn't anywhere near a failure and we shouldn't write them off. It takes time.

Exactly, and the scary part is that we're already starting to see the odd turd pop up trying to run Gagner out of town.... after putting up a 50 piont pace....at 20 years olds....

I hope for Eberle/MSP and Halls sake that they are all 60+ point players within 3 years or the bi-polar Oiler fan will run them right out of here.

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#13 KenL
August 25 2010, 09:13AM
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I wonder if many Oil fans truly appreciated the talent of Doug Weight. Our last 100 point man, and argubably the last real 1st line center the team had. It's unfortunate the economics of the league (no cap) and the 69-cent dollar forced him away.

And the Satan deal...yeesh! I blamed that all on Ron Low, who for whatever reason, didn't trust him nor played him enough.

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#14 db7db7db7
August 25 2010, 09:24AM
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I know if we don't get our hopes up it's hard to be disappointed guys, but I'm tired of everybody low-balling this team's potential. At the height that guys are setting the bar you would think we were the NY Islanders. I think we will see success much faster than most anticipate. I base this on the fact that teams like Chicago, Pits and Washington were brutal before their big drafts not because of injuries, but rather because they had no talent. It took them a long time to acquire a half decent roster. I think the Oilers would have been neck and neck last year to make the playoffs had they not been decimated by injuries. Now take a bubble playoff team and add Hall, Eberle, MPS, Foster, Fraser, Vandermeer and maybe Omark (plus depth on the farm); I think that puts you in the playoffs this year and competes for a cup within 3 years. But then again, maybe I view the Oilers like they were my own kids, with unlimited potential.

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#15 PabstBR55
August 25 2010, 09:24AM
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KenL wrote:

I wonder if many Oil fans truly appreciated the talent of Doug Weight. Our last 100 point man, and argubably the last real 1st line center the team had. It's unfortunate the economics of the league (no cap) and the 69-cent dollar forced him away.

And the Satan deal...yeesh! I blamed that all on Ron Low, who for whatever reason, didn't trust him nor played him enough.

During '96-'97 Satan was viewed as having a similar skill set to Mariusz Czerkawski, but wasn't performing as well.

He was traded to Buffalo where he went on to pump 30 goals / season for the next 7 seasons. Satan, Ray Whitney, and Czerkawski were the ones we didn't have enough patience with, and that prevented us from doing some damage at the end of the '90's.

Who on the current Oilers roster does that story line sound familiar to?

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#16 Stone Hands McOsta
August 25 2010, 09:30AM
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Solid post once again LT,

Just hoping MPS and Eberle don't turn into a re-make of Oliver and Ciger.

Patience is more important then we could possibly imagine with these young bucks. We are all expecting monster performances from the big 3, but hopefully Oiler fans will be prepared and not lose their hats over 1,2,maybe 3 seasons of hiccups. Nothing wrong with a couple more lottery picks.

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#17 ubermiguel
August 25 2010, 09:37AM
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KenL wrote:

I wonder if many Oil fans truly appreciated the talent of Doug Weight. Our last 100 point man, and argubably the last real 1st line center the team had. It's unfortunate the economics of the league (no cap) and the 69-cent dollar forced him away.

And the Satan deal...yeesh! I blamed that all on Ron Low, who for whatever reason, didn't trust him nor played him enough.

And he was a class act too. If any Oilers fan ever bad-mouths Bettman or the current CBA remind them of why we lost Weight and Guerin.

Under the new CBA we lose players for completely different reasons, but at least it's not over money.

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#18 Racki
August 25 2010, 09:42AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

Exactly, and the scary part is that we're already starting to see the odd turd pop up trying to run Gagner out of town.... after putting up a 50 piont pace....at 20 years olds....

I hope for Eberle/MSP and Halls sake that they are all 60+ point players within 3 years or the bi-polar Oiler fan will run them right out of here.

Oh yah, I often see a lot of posts from people about how Gagner's development was wasted, and how he'll never be a #1 center. Quite honestly, I can say that he shouldn't have been rushed, yes (although I was one of many, many, many Oilers fans who wanted Gagner playing in the NHL rather than Junior at 18), but he's still very young... and that is me just using hindsight.

He's also shown that he has been developing in the right direction. He might not have had a rocket of a development path, but he's shown the tool set necessary to be a very good player in the league some day. When playing with our team's best players, he fits in very well, can keep up, and put up good numbers. He doesn't look lost out there in the offensive zone and can be a key part of our PP. We just have to remember that he's only 21 (now) and prone to making mistakes, such as defensive issues.

I have complete confidence that he'll be a #1C for our team within a few years (and not just by default), unless someone with some pretty remarkable skill is added.

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#19 madjam
August 25 2010, 09:45AM
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Low balling our so called rookies . Only one with no professional experince is Hall or maybe Hartikanen to start with . Eberle , Omark , Svensson and even Plante have had pro experience already and the first three have excelled already . Hall is likely to be the equal of Duchenes or perhaps even better .

Don't judge our new talent as one does with Gags , Cogs , Brule , etc .. I doubt new talent will take that long to develop for starters. I'm with db7 on his call and expectations ,as being more realistic than low ball projections !

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#20 Sean
August 25 2010, 09:48AM
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The Oilers have a 20 year old rookie who has totally dominated at every level of junior hockey and did well in his brief show in the AHL. Another is a 19 year old rookie with 2 years in the SEL playing against men. The only 18 year old rookie, like Smyth was, is Taylor Hall. He is a a total wild card. But if these kids gel, he could put up Patrick Kane numbers. I wouldn't bet on it but I'm not gonna write it off either. Hall was as dominant a junior player as Kane, Stamkos or Taveres.

As much as we need to need to curb our enthusiasm, this team could very well surprise.

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#21 Ender
August 25 2010, 09:50AM
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Ryan14 wrote:

So what your saying is that we WON'T be contending for the cup next year? What am I going to do with the Oilers 2010 Stanley Cup Champions mural on my back?

The 2010 Stanley Cup Champs were crowned last spring. It was a long time ago, but that was the year the Oilers came in 30th and we knew it was going to be like that for months. If you had that mural put on your back at any time before mathematical elimination, you were a hopeless optimist. If you installed the mural after that, I'd have to go with a different adjective.

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#22 Matt Henderson
August 25 2010, 10:00AM
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@Ender

Maybe it's a sarcastic mural...are there tildes?

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#23 Milli
August 25 2010, 10:05AM
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I still remember when we had to tare apart the Weight , Guerin, smyth line. I think they where the hotest line n hockey at the time...

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#24 Rogue
August 25 2010, 10:06AM
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Cogs? Who knows what kind of player he will turn out to be. Could be a 25 goal player in the right situation, or not. Speed is not end all. I remember one of the Oil coaches talking about speed with Messier. The coach said Mess needed to learn when to use it properly. Players need to learn 1st gear and 2nd gear. That is one thing Cogs has to learn. Going like a bat out of hell is one thing, but the ability to turn it up a notch and get a dman turning or taking a penalty to stop you is a skill.

Satan was disliked by Ron Low because of his lack of commitment to defence. You would of thought Low would of been smarter than that. Goal scores are not a dime a dozen. I said let Satan score and put someone else on the line to back check.

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#25 Crash
August 25 2010, 10:11AM
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Soft Hands McSteeley - FIST Movement wrote:

You don't know forsure... and thats what Lowetide is saying. Sure Stamkos scored 50 in his 2nd season, but it took Bobby Ryan 3 years just to make the team.

Like I said, I'm all for being patient but what LT said was that the kids "WON'T" be dominating for quite some time.

To me that doesn't sound like there's any chance of it happening. Either that or I don't understand what the word "WON'T" means. I guess it depends on what the definition of quite some time is.

Stamkos is not the only younger player to not take very long to contribute in a more than average way. Patrick Kane comes to mind, Tyler Myers, Nicklas Backstrom, Anze Kopitar, Ryan Getzlaf, Jonathan Toews....just to name a few.

I'm not saying the Oilers young stars "WILL" be dominating before too long but I'm not prepared to say they "WON'T".

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#26 spOILer
August 25 2010, 10:28AM
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I think the importnant thing to remember about that 95-96 cluster is that not all of it came from the draft.

If Penner and Hemsky can be turned into equivalent pieces 3-4 years younger than their present age, that's a pretty damn fine cluster.

I think it is important to include Dmen in the cluster.

The 84 Oilers had Coffey, Huddy, and Lowe as part of their youth and some other up-and-comers in the system. The 95 Oil was a bit of a mess on D although they had Marchment and Richardson and Bobo. I think we're still weak there right now and that's an issue that will have to be addressed if the cluster is to pan out.

The 95 Oil also had the ultimate wet blanket as their coach.

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#27 Souby
August 25 2010, 10:30AM
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dawgbone wrote:

@Souby

Lots of teams let UFA's go for nothing. The Oilers weren't really in a position to trade him either. There's a good chance they would have missed the playoffs that year if they had.

I hear you, but they could have tried to get him locked up prior to that season, or traded him then. Easier said than done though.

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#28 Ender
August 25 2010, 10:33AM
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@Matt Henderson

Oh, I know it was sarcastic, tildes or no. I was just good-naturedly busting his chops for getting the year wrong.

:-)

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#29 Ender
August 25 2010, 10:44AM
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On an unrelated note, I'm somewhat surprised that it's been common knowledge all morning now that Torres is going to Vancouver and that no one has ventured an opinion. I don't think it's a big deal myself, but I'm surprised that no one cared even a little.

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#30 Matt Henderson
August 25 2010, 10:44AM
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@Ender

I know, I was playing along. Sarcastic back tatoo...tildes...

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#31 Ender
August 25 2010, 11:16AM
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@Matt Henderson

Ahhhhhh . . . I see that thing there that you did . . .

[pulls turtleneck sweater over face]

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#32 The Real Scuba Steve
August 25 2010, 11:20AM
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Crash wrote:

"We need to be patient. Very patient. Hall, MPS, Eberle and Gagner won't be dominating the hockey business for quite some time. They're just kids, folks"

I'm all for patience but don't be so quick to state that it will be quite some time before the kids are dominating. How long did it take Stamkos to score 50?

I'd say that's pretty dominating and didn't take very long to happen.

You just don't know for sure.

I agree, I think we might be up for first pick overall next year. But how are the fans going to react? I heard season tickets holders dropped, can the Oilers afford another season finishing neat the bottom of the standings? The Esks and the Oilers both the worst in their leagues, I thought I would never see the day... it's sad.

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#33 Hemmercules
August 25 2010, 11:20AM
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Ender wrote:

On an unrelated note, I'm somewhat surprised that it's been common knowledge all morning now that Torres is going to Vancouver and that no one has ventured an opinion. I don't think it's a big deal myself, but I'm surprised that no one cared even a little.

Torres for 1 mil isn't a bad signing IMO. Sounds like he got his sh*t together a bit in Columbus as far as partying and training goes. I wonder if the Oil had any interest in bringing him back this year? Tougher 3rd line type of guy. Terribly inconsistent though.

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#34 Whitney27
August 25 2010, 11:26AM
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The Oilers pissed away a lot of quality on the 95-96 team. Satan for nothing. Lordy.

The only players they ever really pissed away from that team was Doug Weight, Miroslav Satan & Jason Arnott other then that the rest really was never pissed away. I mean for Weight we got Reasoner and Hecht, Reasoner was a good PK man and faceoff man but thats about it. And for Satan all we got was Craig Millar and well he failed. Arnott had his personal problems which didn't help but we did get Guerin & Zelepukin who both turned out great for the team. The rest of that team were pretty much 3rd & 4th liners on any other team. And just to add Curtis Joseph was never a loss because he was nothing but good regular season goalie and after that was choke artist when the pressure was on AKA 1996 World Cup. The team we have coming is better then that team in 95.

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#35 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
August 25 2010, 11:33AM
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Ender wrote:

Ahhhhhh . . . I see that thing there that you did . . .

[pulls turtleneck sweater over face]

haha, turtleneck?

not that there is anything wrong with that

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#36 Soft Hands McSteeley - FIST Movement
August 25 2010, 11:35AM
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@Crash

So you pick the best players to come out of different draft years... after the fact and say that because these guys had an immediate impact on the league... we should expect our "big 3" to do the same?

But then your not saying that they "WILL" be impact players immediatly... but your not saying they "WON'T". So what your saying based your expert opinion is that we have some prospects who may or may not become "dominant players" quite possibley very soon, but we should also be patiant because it might take time for them to "dominate".

GOOD TALK BUD!

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#37 book¡e
August 25 2010, 12:09PM
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A big factor in why that team never went anywhere was Ron Low. Bad coaching can make a huge difference.

The reason we sent Satan away is that Low didn't like him. Ray Whitney came in, looked pretty fantastic to those of us watching and then Low told him to sit in the press box until Sather finally dumped him.

Tambi's biggest and most important move this year was getting rid of Quinn.

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#38 Let's Rebuild
August 25 2010, 12:14PM
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The Real Scuba Steve wrote:

I agree, I think we might be up for first pick overall next year. But how are the fans going to react? I heard season tickets holders dropped, can the Oilers afford another season finishing neat the bottom of the standings? The Esks and the Oilers both the worst in their leagues, I thought I would never see the day... it's sad.

"I heard season tickets holders dropped, can the Oilers afford another season finishing neat the bottom of the standings?"

I heard Season Ticket sales were just fine. Plus if you look at the Cap numbers we might be over 10 mil under the cap and the actual amount isn't far behind. That would account for any potential lost season seat holders (but there won't be any). Besides the allure of Taylor Hall will fill the seats.

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#39 book¡e
August 25 2010, 12:14PM
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ubermiguel wrote:

And he was a class act too. If any Oilers fan ever bad-mouths Bettman or the current CBA remind them of why we lost Weight and Guerin.

Under the new CBA we lose players for completely different reasons, but at least it's not over money.

The funny (as in sad funny) thing is that just as the new CBA came in we were shifting from a have not team to a 'have' team. The stands were full, the dollar is up, and a few years later a billionaire bought the team.

It wouldn't have lasted, but for a couple of years we could have been one of those teams trying to buy a cup.

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#40 D-Man
August 25 2010, 12:16PM
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madjam wrote:

Low balling our so called rookies . Only one with no professional experince is Hall or maybe Hartikanen to start with . Eberle , Omark , Svensson and even Plante have had pro experience already and the first three have excelled already . Hall is likely to be the equal of Duchenes or perhaps even better .

Don't judge our new talent as one does with Gags , Cogs , Brule , etc .. I doubt new talent will take that long to develop for starters. I'm with db7 on his call and expectations ,as being more realistic than low ball projections !

I think you and db7 are still setting the bar a bit too high... Eberle played well in the AHL, Omark and MPS played well in the Swedish league (which isn't even the 2nd best league on the planet - that belongs to the KHL) and Plante took a step forward in the AHL, but is still two years away according to most pro scouts.

All though these players are progressing, we can't expect that production to equate to NHL success. We're still rated to be a bottom feeder this year (with alot of upside). To expect Hall, Eberle and MPS (the rookies that I believe will make the team) to get more than 30 to 40 points each - depending on how much power play time they get - would be unfair.

Granted, that doesn't mean we as loyal Oiler fans, need to accept losing. This year, we need to expect a young team giving it 100% game in and game out. The effort along should mean more than 27 wins like last year; but not significantly more to take us higher than 14th or 15th overall in the West.

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#41 Let's Rebuild
August 25 2010, 12:17PM
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book¡e wrote:

A big factor in why that team never went anywhere was Ron Low. Bad coaching can make a huge difference.

The reason we sent Satan away is that Low didn't like him. Ray Whitney came in, looked pretty fantastic to those of us watching and then Low told him to sit in the press box until Sather finally dumped him.

Tambi's biggest and most important move this year was getting rid of Quinn.

Every time my dad I have a discusion about the Oilers not playing well, it somehow always comes back to how Ron Low messed up the whole team, and usually Satan and Whitney are mentioned as evidence of his grand failings. It looks like the hate for Low runs deep in Oilerland, and rightly so.

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#42 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
August 25 2010, 12:20PM
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Whitney27 wrote:

The Oilers pissed away a lot of quality on the 95-96 team. Satan for nothing. Lordy.

The only players they ever really pissed away from that team was Doug Weight, Miroslav Satan & Jason Arnott other then that the rest really was never pissed away. I mean for Weight we got Reasoner and Hecht, Reasoner was a good PK man and faceoff man but thats about it. And for Satan all we got was Craig Millar and well he failed. Arnott had his personal problems which didn't help but we did get Guerin & Zelepukin who both turned out great for the team. The rest of that team were pretty much 3rd & 4th liners on any other team. And just to add Curtis Joseph was never a loss because he was nothing but good regular season goalie and after that was choke artist when the pressure was on AKA 1996 World Cup. The team we have coming is better then that team in 95.

Also known as the era where we were forced to move players because of money. How is trading Weight any different then what happened the past couple years with guys with higher caps that were traded? Gagner was dealt for nothing, but had to be dealt because of cap issues.

And Joseph? He was the reason why we would win games in the playoffs.

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#43 D-Man
August 25 2010, 12:22PM
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Ender wrote:

On an unrelated note, I'm somewhat surprised that it's been common knowledge all morning now that Torres is going to Vancouver and that no one has ventured an opinion. I don't think it's a big deal myself, but I'm surprised that no one cared even a little.

For $1 million, the Torres signing ws a good deal... The problem is the Canuckleheads still have problems on their back end and way too much cap tied up in Luongo. Vancouver will (unfortunately) win our division with Colorado close behind, but won't have enough depth to make it past the 2nd round of the playoffs...

But again - not that big of a deal either... I guess we won't have anything worthwhile to talk about (asides from how good we think our rookies are) until we see our roster opening day.

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#44 freeze
August 25 2010, 12:24PM
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I AM STOKED FOR THE SEASON TO START!! even if it will be a painful one!

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#45 Quicksilver ballet
August 25 2010, 12:25PM
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They're just kids, folks.

Why are they charging Hall Of Famer prices for tickets....

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#46 Let's Rebuild
August 25 2010, 12:32PM
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Putting "Reasonable Expectations" aside for a monoment, I have felling we will a great player emerge in Taylor Hall this year. The guy loves to play but especially loves to win. He obviously steps it up when more is on the line (back to back Memorial cup MVPs). His eyes will be on the Calder trophy this year and he'll do anything to get it ( no nights off). I think his intensity will force Renney to play him with Hemsky so he can maximize his point potential. I'm sure the other young guys will do fine but for me Hall will be the guy to watch this year.

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#47 Cheesenaka
August 25 2010, 12:34PM
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Ender wrote:

On an unrelated note, I'm somewhat surprised that it's been common knowledge all morning now that Torres is going to Vancouver and that no one has ventured an opinion. I don't think it's a big deal myself, but I'm surprised that no one cared even a little.

I think its an OK signing. I know that he will bring more toughness, I'm just surprised that they would take Torres over Ryan Johnson or for another cheaper energy forward. I don't follow the Canucks that closely so I'm not even sure what Johnson was seeking.

I question what they are going to do with their cap problem. They are 3.6M over the cap, and even with Salo's 3.5M salary on the LTIR they still have no wiggle room. I know there are rumors about Bieksa getting traded and them signing Mitchell instead but that could blow up in their face.

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#48 Cheesenaka
August 25 2010, 12:39PM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

Maybe it's a sarcastic mural...are there tildes?

I had the sarcastic tildes added to my "I heart Heatley" back mural

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#49 Cheesenaka
August 25 2010, 12:41PM
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Kyper tweets that LA will announce the signing of Willie Mitchell soon.

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#50 Crash
August 25 2010, 12:47PM
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Soft Hands McSteeley - FIST Movement wrote:

So you pick the best players to come out of different draft years... after the fact and say that because these guys had an immediate impact on the league... we should expect our "big 3" to do the same?

But then your not saying that they "WILL" be impact players immediatly... but your not saying they "WON'T". So what your saying based your expert opinion is that we have some prospects who may or may not become "dominant players" quite possibley very soon, but we should also be patiant because it might take time for them to "dominate".

GOOD TALK BUD!

Holy crap man, where did I say that I "EXPECT" anything??? Show me please. T

hat was the whole point of what I was saying...you jump all over me for saying we don't know how the players will turn out and how quickly...that is the actual fact.

What I was pointing out was that the writer of the article was already stating as though it was already a fact that it will be quite some time before our young players are dominating....that is what we don't know is a fact yet he is saying it like it already is...

Don't jump on me...get on the guy who wrote the article..

That is correct I am saying I don't know that they "WILL" be dominant quickly or if at all nor am I saying they "WON'T".....the whole thing of it is again, is, we don't know...and neither does Lowetide.

Do you get that? I didn't have an opinion on it because we really have no way of knowing and neither does Lowetide.

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