THE RETURN TO CONTENTION . . .

There’s been plenty of discussion about when, exactly, the Edmonton Oilers realized they’d best forget about patching up the remnants of the team that went to the 2006 Stanley Cup final and undertake a bare-metal rebuild.

Framed in what’s happened since that close-but-no-cigar trip to Game 7, namely six straight years out of the playoffs and a streak of futility that’s seen the Oilers acquire first overall picks in Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov, I read with interest something sent to me on Twitter today.

It’s a form letter from then-GM Kevin Lowe that was sent to season ticket holders in March of 2007 in the wake of the deadline deal that sent popular Ryan Smyth to the New York Islanders. Here it is:

We all, of course, are acutely aware of what’s happened in the seasons since Lowe reassured season ticket holders the goal was to return the Stanley Cup to Edmonton. More than five years later, the goal remains the same, but the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

We wait.

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  • Craig1981

    Paajarvi, Lander, Pitlick, Moroz are the new Pouliot, Schremp, Jacques and Brodziak. Brodziak…..if we’re lucky….

    This staff hasn’t done anything except run a franchise into the ground, HARD, and select #1 overalls.

    That Brodziak trade was atrocious…

    • Paajarvi is a better prospect than any of the others ever were.

      He has had some actual success in the NHL, and in a few different pro leagues. Probably isn’t a high-end scorer, but probably rounds out into a very good second line two-way winger.

      It’s actually fine if only one of the rest of them turns out to have a Brodziak like career. If either Pitlick or Lander does, that’s a good pick in the second round.

      The problem is not that the Oilers had a bunch of prospects that turned out to be busts, the problem is that they did not have enough elite talent to cover the fact that they did not all turn out. You don’t need every prospect to have a NHL career. All least, as long as you have enough high end talent to cover major holes. The problem is that the Oilers, circa 2007, needed Schremp and Nilsson to constitute their future number one line.

      • DSF

        Paajarvi is NOT a better prospect than the others.

        While he had a nice run for a while while playing the second most minutes on the team over a full season, he only managed 15 goals while getting that push.

        When presented with the minutes and second line role he can manage in the AHL, he reverts to his mean.

        He’s on pace for a 10 goal 40 point season in the AHL.

        Please note the following:

        Marc Pouliot – AHL 05/06 – 15G 30A 45P (20 year old)

        Rob Shremp – AHL 07/08 – 23G 53A 76P

        JF Jacques – AHL – 05/06 – 24G 20A 44P

        Brodziak managed 14 goals and 17A 31P while playing 3rd line minutes in his first full NHL season.

        If you have a winger on your second line that can’t produce points, you are playing with one hand tied behind your back.

        If Paajarvi can adapt his game to become a physical third line winger and PKer, (see Jannik Hansen) he may have a future in the NHL.

        Otherwise, expecting him to be top 6 player is daft.

  • Rocket

    maybe a full season off is in edmonton,s best interest,maybe the bingo ball drops and we pick first again? and the young guns are ready to compete, with a long term agreement signed.

  • toprightcorner

    This is a great indication of Lowe’s ability to recognize future talent. As GM, one would expect a better track record of recognizing young talent then 1 for 7 and then trade that 1 (Brodziak) who would fit well on the team.

    Best move was hiring Stu Macgregor right after this letter allowing us to properly stock the cupboards with talent.

    Makes me nervous when a GM with this lack of ability still has the final say in alot of the organizational moves.

    This tells me that Tambo may have a much better idea of developing talent by shipping off Lowe’s “future members of a championship team”.

    Remove Lowe from having any say in player transactions and we may have a chance at adding the right pieces to make the next step.

    Hopefully within 2 years we can make splash like the Blue Jays just did to put them over the top with their talented core.

  • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

    the oilers fell ass backwards into the rebuild, and until there are changes at the top i have huge doubts as to whether tambellini and the crew can turn this pile of poo into a pile of gold.