WJC: Thanks for the memories, Team Canada

Regardless of what Willis has to say about Jordan Eberle’s future in the NHL, I can’t help but be beaming at this young man’s performance in the World Junior Tournament. Whether he’s breaking out, or in some kind of weird career Twilight Zone of Goodness right now isn’t really that important to me.

OK, it *is* important. Or rather, it will be important once the memories of the tournament fade. Because despite the fact that Canada lost the gold-medal match (to an outstanding Team USA, can I just say), Eberle was the tournament MVP, and right now we honour his contribution to Canadian hockey.

Later on this week, we can resume the hand-wringing. Right now, let’s be proud he’s playing for the good guys.

Also, to the people of Saskatchewan: you are a classy bunch of hosts, and the way you all cheered on Team USA when they won the game last night was astonishing and inspirational. A lesser audience might have filed out quietly. A douchier audience would have booed, but not you. You applauded a well-fought tournament, and a winning Team USA. You’ve done this Nation proud.

In the words of CanucksArmy General Cam Davie: "The fans in Saskatoon are showing insane amounts of class. Good on ya.

To Team USA: We’ll see you boys next year. Oh yes. We will.

Now I feel like eating a sandwich…

  • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

    I believe the Oilers will win the Cup in the near future, because the only way it will happen is if we all believe. Sounds cheesy, but it's true.

    • PattQuinn'sChesthair

      ummmm…. really?

      In that case I choose to believe that little fairies will visit me in the night and sprinkle my wallet with magic dust. When i wake in the morning, there will be a magic $100 bill that no matter how many times I take it out to spend it, will always reappear the next time I need it. But I need all of you Nationeers to get behind me and believe. JUST BELIEVE. Because then it will happen, no really, it will.

  • J-rock

    I liked how the ref immediately waved off Schremp's goal when he was standing 5 feet away and the swing clearly came in at the waist.

    As for Eberle, it seems he has the hockey sense, and hopefully that will translate from junior to the big time.

  • Jamie B.

    Hey Crash maybe that joker is worried Eberle will take that superstar Horcoughs spot on the team. Now he has to buy a new jersey, redecorate the livingroom, paint over the giant number 10 he put on his garage door. This could be an absolute tragedy for poor OOB

  • I think eberles max upside is something like lucky luc. Hes got the lucky thing down anyways…. unless you buy into the peeair hype and when a puck bounces in off your leg that becomes, "he loaded the team on his back". or.. sweden produces hockey players but Canada produces winners and Jordan Eberle is winner personified.

    ~just bring him up so the oilers make the playoffs…….. already~

    And the saddest thing…. in this schmoz that is the OIlers year… they are probably considering it. Now that wouldnt reek of desperation would it?

  • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

    Damn is it all we do is trash our prospects jesus christ boys lets be positive and excited about what possibly could be. MPS and Eberle impressed the hell out of me. It could be worse we could have those two inbreed d!ck bag Sedins that give Canuck fans hope only to crush it because they cant rise up in the playoffs. That EFFIN sucks. Things are gonna happen and soon Oiler hockey will be back.

    • The Real Scuba Steve

      These discussions about our prospects where brought up last year, the year before that, oh yea and the year before that… Oiler hockey will back soon? It will be much later.

    • PattQuinn'sChesthair

      " lets be positive and excited about what possibly could be"

      Sorry… just struck me as funny…. in a gene principe kind of way.

      So anyone else fill out the OIlers season seat holder survey? Were U kind, did U rip them… did u click the box for the chance to win 100 bucks of Oilers swag?

      • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

        I ripped em and ripped the rumour going around about licensing fees for the new rink. The price of season tickets is high enough without extra fees especially when you have to drive in from Red Deer for every game.

        Yes I did click the box for the chance to win Oilers swag. Afterall, I am an Oilers fan, win or lose.

        • Chris.

          I've e-mailed every Rexall Sport And Entertainment channel I can think of; including sending e-mails to the personal accounts of several people on Katz's Oiler aquisition team asking about potential seat licence fees. I have recieved only one response. (When I get home I will copy this response and post it here)…

          The jist… Lisence fees have not been ruled out.

        • Me too – lot's of 3's in my survey because they have neither exceeded or disappointed in any of my expectations at RX1. Until you build a new rink then we can be disappointed by service & quality of team etc. If you expected them to be a play-off team you would be disappointed I guess.

          The service at RX1 is what it is. Food sucks, will be solved with a new rink. Last years survey was asking about what kind of food we wanted & it hasn't changed. What about all the vegan hockey fans who want sushi? They must just do the survey to tell us that they can exceed expectations in the new rink.

          I also checked the box for the $100. Ending my rambling…

  • Chris.

    Again. With prospects, it's about tools and results/development. Eberle lacks many of the obvious tools regular NHL players have at their disposal. That was why he went 22nd overall and not in the top five. Eberle has been all that and a bag of chips for a late first rounder… But there are no guarantees that he will produce well at the NHL level. Let's take a wait and see approach. The Oilers have to market something…. and they have become experts at marketing the future.

  • There seem to be a lot of talk about his shot, but I don't really know what the problem is. It might not be that heavy but he clearly has a VERY quick release and shoots most frequently from very dangerous areas. I think this well makes up for deficiencies found in the shot itself.

    The bigger problem is that it remains to be seen if he has the other tools to compete against players the size and strength of NHL players. It happens dozens of times a year in almost every sport.

    Here is a question for anyone here who follows college football that relates to the Eberle issue. Where do you think Tim Tebow will be drafted? He is one of the most dominant players in college football, he is a Heisman winner, yet he probably wont even be drafted to play quarterback unless Miami wants him to play wildcat or some fool thing. Maybe he goes in the 5th or 6th round as a fullback or something. He will almost certainly never be an impact player in the NFL.

    Example II: The best college basketball team of all time was the 1990 UNLV squad. The only starter for that team to not play in the NBA was their leading scorer, Anderson Hunt. He was unbelievable against college opposition but had little chance against bigger fast3er NBA players. Best scorer I've ever seen in college was Bo Kimble – complete and total bust in the NBA. Christian Laettner was quite possibly the best college player of all time but was a marginal NBA player.

    The point is simply that an ability to dominate lower level of competition means little in terms of being able to play at higher levels unless the necessary tools are there.

    I have a very hard time getting too excited about any prospect unless they have pretty much every necessary physical tool, and have dominated lower competition levels, because they still have everything to prove.

    • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

      I've brought up his shot, main reason was the same as your college to pro examples. As you've said, he's got a quick release but he still needs to prove it is effective against NHL tenders.

      Also, good comparisons. Theirs been lots of guys that look great at lower levels but never translate.

      • I can agree that he needs to prove his shot certainly.

        It's just that it's almost being referred to as a negative against him, and his release is one of the few things he has going for him that I actually do believe is big league material.

        Almost all his other physical tools are things he will have to improve or overcome to become a player.

    • Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

      Good examples, but I disagree with your assertion that the ability to dominate has little to do with sucess at higher levels.

      Talent scouts look for talent at lower levels. If talent at lower levels didn't have a high probability of translating to talent at higher levels, they wouldn't bother.

      I think we should be viewing the spectacular failures (such as Schremp and the ones you listed as your examples) as the exception rather than the rule.

      • That isn't what I said. Please read again. I said it has little to do with it UNLESS the physical tools are there.

        Calling those guys exceptions is laughable because year after year after year in every sport in the world players dominate lower leagues only to lack the necessary tools to manage the bigs. Skill alone does not translate, the physical ability needs to be there.

        I would suggest that there are 5X as many of these guys as there are guys who manage to succeed in the top leagues without high end physical tools. If Eberle becomes a star he will be the exception, not the rule.

        But since you think I am cherry picking…lets have another look.

        Here are just the quarterbacks to win the Heisman since 1990 who failed to have meaningful NFL careers:

        1990 Ty Detmer
        1992 Gino Torretta
        1993 Charlie Ward
        1996 Danny Wuerffel
        2000 Chris Weinke
        2001 Eric Crouch
        2003 Jason White
        2004 Matt Leinart

        The only quarterback since 1990 to be the best in his class to go on to a real NFL career is Carson Palmer, and Ta-daaaa, he is the one who had the best tools for the job at the pro level.

        Here are Wooden award winners since 1990 who failed to carry on their play at the top level:

        2008 — Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina
        2006 — J. J. Redick, Duke
        2005 — Andrew Bogut, Utah
        2004 — Jameer Nelson, Saint Joseph's
        2003 — T. J. Ford, Texas
        2002 — Jay Williams, Duke
        2001 — Shane Battier, Duke
        1995 — Ed O'Bannon, UCLA
        1994 — Glenn Robinson, Purdue
        1993 — Calbert Cheaney, Indiana
        1992 — Christian Laettner, Duke
        1990 — Lionel Simmons, La Salle.

        These were the best of the best too, this does not even include other dominant players who fell much much further from grace. At least most of these guys made the league.

        Now a quick look at CHL player of the year winners who also could be considered not great:

        2007–08 Justin Azevedo, Kitchener Rangers
        2002–03 Corey Locke, Ottawa 67's
        2001–02 Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Chicoutimi Saguenéens
        2000–01 Simon Gamache, Val-d'Or Foreurs
        1997–98 Sergei Varlamov, Swift Current Broncos
        1996–97 Alyn McCauley, Ottawa 67's
        1995–96 Christian Dube, Sherbrooke Castors
        1994–95 David Ling, Kingston Frontenacs
        1992–93 Pat Peake, Detroit Junior Red Wings
        1991–92 Charles Poulin, St-Hyacinthe Laser

        True McCauley had a career, but clearly if Eberle comes in and becomes McCauley he is not saving the Oilers either. Plus Hodgson is a wait and see, and I left Radulov of the list because he probably proved enough even though he's gone.

        Now looking at these lists I would definitely suggest that my position is not indicative of the exception, but of a completely normal occurence. It seems to me that dominating at lower levels has very little to do with an ability to succeed at higher levels unless the prerequisite tools are already in place.

        If anyone wonders why I keep using examples from other sports it is because I am trying to show that this is a common theme to athletics in general, not just hockey.

  • Bucknuck

    I think it is great we are having this discussion. He was a 22nd overall pick. That is quite late to have a prospect that is this exciting.

    We have two groups of people here:

    Group A: they want to believe. They have to be hopeful and excited about something, otherwise what is the point of being a fan. Let's embrace the success that the young folk are having and to hell with the naysayers. This is Oil Country and we have an opportunity to get excited, so don't ruin it.

    Group B: they want to temper their expectations. There have been just too many dissappointments in the last few years. Let's keep our optimism in check with a healthy dose of realism. This group will be more than happy to be pleasantly surprised, but don't want to get too optimistic for fear of being dissappointed again. Another fear is setting a young player up for failure.

    I agree with both view points. Neither is wrong. It is just a different way of looking at it. Everyone wants Eberle and MPS to be superstars, not everyone expects it to happen. I don't expect it. I hope. I am excited, but if he even becomes a regular in the lineup I will be happy. If a 22nd pick becomes and NHL regular then the scouting staff did well. Good work; slow clap for the scouts.

  • Everyone wants Eberle and MPS to be superstars

    Bingo. I can say with a fair level of confidence that nearly everyone on this site, minus RossCreek, feels exactly this way.

    However, it is not fair, neither to our sanity nor to the prospects themselves, to expect it. The weight of expectation can be daunting, and I would rather see these guys become as good as they can be without dragging around the extra pounds.

  • Chris.

    Season seat holders may be asked to pay a one time fee for the right to transfer their tenure as seat holders over to the new building. Corporations can "write off" a portion of these fees… private citizens cannot. It's simple economics. If 30 000 people want 15 000 seats; a fee can be set to weed out those less serious, or financially capable of maintaining access. I can't afford additional fees… and I don't want to watch three or four more years of a rebuilding team in an aging facility only to be forced out by those with deeper pockets just as a competative team is launched downtown. I suspect, loyalty means little in the face of a potentially new revenue stream.

    • Bucknuck

      Holy crap…fees in TO are huge. I'm in agreement. I can't afford these fees…if these fees are coming then I may as well back out of my season seats now.

      Oilers might have to be careful. From what I understand at least 80% of the season seat holders are just regular fans and not corporations. This seat licence thing could backfire on them.

      • Chris.

        I'm sure the fees will be less exhorbitent… Based on careful market research the Oilers will charge exactly to the maximum of what the current Edmonton market will bear (much like PPV, beer, parking, etc.)

        Katz runs a business. I get it. It's okay. I just want some honesty. Let's face it: It's poor timing to be talking about additional fees…. But I'm not going to be financially committed to the Oilers through these tough times if I'm going to get the shaft three/four years from now.

        BTW. Just conducting some independent market research: Is $1000.00/seat acceptable? $5000.00? What? Season ticket holders… What is your breaking point?

        To those on the waiting list: What would you pay to snag my seats in a new building to watch a competative team?

  • Eddie Shore

    I am really hung on what to do as far as a renewal goes, IMO its been really poor value as an overall experience, the on ice product will be variant and I get that but the scoreboard and the lounge and the entire RX1 schtick is getting old and frankly tiresome.
    I did not tick the swag box, I couldnt find one of those killer bags that gregor has on the gdb .. too bad.. Id be all over one.

  • Chris.

    As promised. The response I recieved from the Oilers regarding Seat license Fees:

    Hello Chris,

    Thank you for your email and I appreciate your feedback. With the plans of a new building in the future, many rumors have circulated that the organization does not endorse or support. Unfortunately because so few details have been decided, we are unable to confirm or deny all of the questions the public may have. I have personally heard nothing of “seat licensing” and believe that Mr.Laforge was ensuring he did not rule anything out that may in the future be considered. Once again with so few details completed, even the most remote of possibilities shouldn’t be publicly dismissed.

    Your feedback is very important to us Chris and if this option is considered in the future, your valued season seat holder feedback will be extremely important resource. I would hope that you continue to be a Oiler season seat holder knowing that no action would be considered without extensive input from yourself and the rest of our season seat holder base. Thank you again Chris for your feedback and please don’t hesitate contacting me if you should have any further questions.

    Regards,

    Tyson Lazaruk

    Edmonton Oilers, Oil Kings, Capitals

    tlazaruk@edmontonoilers.com

    (780)414.GOAL (Main Line)

    (780)409.3704 (Direct Line)

    ~Seems good.~ Tyson Lazaruk didn't hear "anything about seat licensing… He even called such a thing the most "remote possibility"… Too bad LaForge doesn't want to "rule out" anything that may be considered "in the future".

    I was looking for an outright denial… In my experience: You don't buy land without advance funding planning… And you don't ever give disgruntled customers a straight answer.

    • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

      maybe it is just the cynic in me, but doesnt that look like it could be a generic form? all they do is insert your first name in a couple of spots to "personalize" it and fire it off?

    • Chris.

      I don't know who Tyson is… but I e-mailed everybody! (Including Rexall Sport Lawyers like Shawna Vogel for example…) Laforge says in one interview that the Oilers are looking at all the funding models used by other franchises (like Toronto); and then he later avoids making a comment when specifically asked about potential license fees… For Tyson to say he's "heard nothing" on the matter smells a little false.