Based on the reaction to Robin Brownlee’s latest post, it appears that the end is near. The 2010-11 Oilers roster has been decided in decisive fashion by a deciding decider, and there will be no further change. Liam Reddox, Linus Omark, and Richard Petiot are banished to the minors forthwith, on pain of death.
Of course, that’s not the way it is. Training camp, for all the hoopla and the weeks of speculation on who will make the team, is simply the first step in the season. Not that it’s an unimportant step, but the reality is that if the coaching staff has made a mistake, they’re going to figure it out in fairly short order, and it’s going to be corrected not long after.
A Bevy Of Training Camp Points
Yes, Ryan Jones remains with the team despite widespread feeling that he was outplayed by Liam Reddox, who now sits on waivers. I’m not nearly as down on this as most are, simply because of Jones’ remarkable penalty-drawing ability. Assuming Jones plays 10 minutes per night for 82 games this season, we’d expect him to generate in the neighbourhood of 25 more power plays for the Oilers than for the opposition, which should result in four to five goals for the Oilers. I doubt that was the deciding factor, but if Jones can bring the same kind of penalty-drawing ability to the Oilers that he did to the Predators, he’ll be a very effective fourth-liner.
Speaking of Reddox, what are the odds he gets claimed on waivers, given the other talent currently on the wire, and the amount of talent that’s already passed through? One in five, maybe?
On that note, I’m having trouble seeing why the Oilers haven’t waived Deslauriers yet. The goaltending market is saturated, guys coming off 30-win/0.911 SV% seasons are signing for the same money, and Nikolai Khabibulin appears healthy.
I want to be clear: I don’t blame Linus Omark for his disappointment at being sent down, and as far as I’m concerned the (thankfully few) people criticizing his candour today need to take a moment and try to picture the situation from his perspective. Has Taylor Hall been any better than Omark, even with the better opportunities to impress that he’s gotten? That sort of thing would irk me, were I in his shoes. That said, politics goes into every NHL training camp, and I don’t think it’s fair to pick on the Oilers for making decisions based on contracts, waiver eligibility, and all the rest of it.
One more minor point on Omark: he was a significantly better scorer than Paajarvi-Svensson in Europe over the last few seasons. That’s not to say he’s the better player, or even that he’s more NHL-ready (given the difference in their respective frames) but I don’t think it would have killed the Oilers to give him one of the top-six jobs held out for the big three, or at least give him an honest shot at unseating one of them. That said, he’ll get an honest chance in Oklahoma, and he has a very real opportunity at earning his way back – particularly if one of the Big Three slumps over the first nine games and Omark’s potting goals in the minors.
I’m a little disappointed the Oilers didn’t look at bringing in a guy like Bill Guerin (released by Philadelphia) or Owen Nolan (working out, hoping for a call). Given the amount of youth on the roster, could the influence of one of those warhorses really be a bad thing?
Would You Like Fries With That?
Normally, I’d leave this particular gem of comment section idiocy, alone, but since it’s a line of attack Mark Spector likes to use (it’s hard to like him, even when he’s right) I’m going to quote JaketheSnake here:
I would like to say to all you whinner on this site "learn a little about the game before you start saying crap you know nothing about". Omark was alright, but what about the rest of the skilled players, should they really keep him over the 3 kids, I don’t think so. What do you want to do play little guys on the fourth line. You have been bitching for years that we are to small and now you want to keep the small players and get rid of the bigger guys. You are the same people that forever said give Schremp a chance, well he got his chance and did nothing. Maybe K-Lowe and ST aren’t that stupid after all. Maybe some of you armchair GM’s should realize you work at Mcdonalds for a reason
Leaving aside the delightful grammatical and spelling choices, the inaccurate generalization that everyone at Oilers Nation is looking for fourth line size, and the inherent irony of criticizing armchair general managing while, well, armchair general managing, let’s look at the logical fallacy at the heart of the argument.
An ad hominem argument is a classical logical fallacy where someone focuses on a person making an argument rather than the argument itself. In this particular case, Jake creates a blanket label for the people disagreeing with the decisions made by the Oilers: they’ve been whining for years, they’re the same ones who loved Schremp, and they work in fast food – the implication being that they’re malcontents forced to work in a job generally deemed undesirable. It goes without saying that Jake has no way of knowing if the people he disagrees with meet these three criteria, and that alone makes his argument decidedly foolish, but even if he was right about that he would still be wrong.
From an article featured at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research:
Among the well-known Americans (hardly dead-enders) who once worked at McDonald’s are Andy Card, White House chief of staff; Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com; astronaut Leroy Chiao; Jay Leno, Tonight Show host, who called the restaurant “a great place to work”; Representative Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio); Carl Lewis, Olympic gold medalist; actress Andie McDowell; architect Maya Lin; former Indiana governor Joe Kernan; Drew Nieporent, owner of Tribeca Grill and other trendy restaurants in New York who started out at McDonald’s, he says, as a “Quarter Pounder grill man”; and Robert Cornog, retired CEO of Snap-On Tools, who worked at the original McDonald’s in Des Plaines, Illinois.
But even leaving aside the (rather obvious) fact that what one does is not who one is, denigrating one’s opponent by attacking something – either real or fictional – about them would still be, at best, lazy. Arguments stand or fall on their own merits, not based on who said them, and anyone forced to retreat to personal attacks is essentially saying they lack either intelligence or the intellectual work ethic to debate the facts.
Or, to put it another way: there are a lot of things that are good about the commentary at this site, but it’s hard to see those positives when people are busy dragging down the quality.