The finished product of this Edmonton Oiler rebuild should last a decade and receive all kinds of awards. Sooner or later, you need to edit the movie and have the premiere.
THE FREDO REBUILD
The Fredo rebuild might look like this: adding draft pieces forever without putting together an actual team. Columbus would be a recent example, and the Islanders of the Milbury years are the same. These teams drafted high, did not draft well and surrounded these young players with subpar and inadequate teammates.
THE SONNY ON THE CAUSEWAY REBUILD
The Sonny rebuild might look like this: building by trading draft picks and making kneejerk decisions that impact the team in a very negative way. Toronto might be a recent example of this, dealing three high draft picks (including Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton) for a one dimensional scorer. Signing touted Swedish goalies is also a pratfall of this group.
THE "WHAT WOULD MICHAEL DO?" REBUILD
The Michael rebuild might look like this: vicious and unerring disposal of weak and untrustworthy elements. A recent example of this kind of rebuild might be Boston, who stole a big brain from Ottawa, had that big brain hire a giant from the same city, and then used the draft to meticulously build an annual contender.
WHICH ONE WILL THEY CHOOSE?
Everyone wants to be Michael but the facts are there are very few winners in a very dangerous game. Michael followed the adage "start as you meant to go" by settling all family business in one day (poor Abe Vigoda).
How would we recognize Michael in this Oilers rebuild? Well, Michael was a ruthless fellow, one of the most brilliant movie anti-heroes in the history of film. Let me ask you a few questions:
- If Michael Corleone was GM of the Oilers, what would that mean to Nikolai Khabibulin?
- If Michael Corleone was GM of the Oilers, how aggressive would he be in finding a way to improve the defense?
- If Michael Corleone was GM of the Oilers, how many more years would Taylor Hall finish outside the playoffs?
Clearly I’m using hyperbole and a movie classic to make a point and apologize to anyone who is offended by the words and images. The point I’m making is that tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone and inaction (Fredo) or ill advised missteps (Sonny) could be devastating for the rebuild.
Take the #1 overall pick as an example. Taking the Russian is the wise thing to do, but how long before the Oilers have to address defense via trade? If they don’t get some quality help there soon, the organization runs the risk of watching these #1 overall picks complete their entry level deals outside the second season.
WHAT IF IT DOESN’T LOOK GOOD A YEAR FROM NOW?
I have some questions:
- Can we all agree that if we’re discussing Nathan MacKinnon as a possible Oiler pick next season that this rebuild has gone on too long?
- Can we all agree that if the Oilers can’t improve this blueline with small moves, drastic action is going to be required?
- Can we all agree that if the Oilers have to take "drastic action" that action may include trading one of their best forwards for help on the blueline?
- Can we all agree that trading an Eberle, Hall or the Nuge is madness?
I think that’s the main reason Edmonton would consider drafting Ryan Murray with their lottery pick. Murray or Reinhart or Rielly, the one that MBS and his team decide is the best available defenseman.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
The Edmonton Oilers are dangerously close to becoming an excellent comp for the French in World War 2: all of their cannons are pointed in one direction.
What would Michael do?