NEVER LET GO

I’m not sure if this is a sign of age, I’m going crazy or it’s a reflection of current turmoil, but my love for the 2006 Stanley team continues unabated 88 months later. 

Many believe the 2006 team got "hot" or "lucky" during their run, but the fact is the 2005-06 Oilers were a powerhouse in search of goaltending pretty much the entire year. Much has been made of their just slipping into the playoffs, but once Dwayne Roloson came over from Minnesota the club was a tight unit, and after the deadline they were loaded for bear.

They were deep, ladies. Deep at center (veterans Horcoff, Peca and Stoll), deep at defense (Pronger, Smith, Spacek, Staios, Tarnstrom) and deep on the wing (Smyth, Hemsky, Samsonov, Pisani, Torres, Dvorak) and deep (but not deep enough, as it turned out) in goal.

They were a wonderful team, they caught fire and they ran deep into the spring and then well into summer.

VALUE CONTRACTS

The Oilers had a tremendous 6-pak of value contracts in 2005-06, and that helped increase their depth and quality to Stanley calibre levels:

  • Ales Hemsky ($901,740). Hemsky played 1375 minutes in the 05-06 season, slightly over 400 of them on the powerplay. His PP/60 number (6.17) was very nice, his EV number 2.25 but that PP number helped him lead the team in scoring (19-58-77) and he delivered 6-11-17 in the playoffs too. A wonderful payoff for less than a million, a season to remember.

  • Shawn Horcoff ($1M). Horcoff played almost 1600 minutes, almost 300 on the PP and 225 on the PK. In 05-06 he went 3-3-6 on the PK (about 1.6/60), went 4.82/60 on the PP and then 2.44 at EVs and this was against the other team’s good players.

  • Fernando Pisani ($611,800). In 05-06 he was excellent in the regular year and ridiculous in the postseason. Pisani played 1100 minutes in 05-06, 150 on the PP. He did a lot of heavy lifting at EVs and still managed to score 1.84/60 and 3.59 on the PP. Pisani was Guy Lafleur in the post season, 14-4-18 in a run I will never forget. At $611,800 he was ridiculous value.

  • Jarret Stoll ($501,600). Stoll played 1500 minutes in 05-06, 410 on the PP and 200 on the PK. He was a pretty valuable hockey player. On the PP he was 4.53 and at EVs he was 2.35 on the way to 82gp, 22-46-68 totals. At the price, he was extremely valuable.

  • Raffi Torres ($875,000). Raffi played 1100 minutes in 05-06, 224 of them on the PP. His EV number in 05-06 was 2.07 and his PP number was 2.95. Torres biggest moments in the season came during the playoffs when he made some massive hits (one of which had an impact on the SJS series). At this price, he was a bargain.

  • Marc Andre Bergeron ($931k). Bergeron played 1600 minutes in the 05-06 season, 350 of that on the powerplay. He delivered 2.74/60 with the man advantage but was pretty solid at EVs (1/60) and his 15-20-35 for the season was exceptional for the price.

  • The quality of the youngsters in their entry level deals is actually higher now (Nuge, Yak, Schultz, etc) but the pricetag (that includes bonus dollars) is very dear, and gives the current team a distinct disadvantage. All those #1 overall’s come at a significant price, and there are few value deals on the current club that compare to the 2005-06 group (Petry, Arcobello, Belov being the best of the current group so far this season to my eye). 

     

I am writing this in the exact spot I was sitting the night of G7 SCF. It’s a new sofa, but I never sit on this side–it still reminds me of G7 SCF 2006. Maybe I should sell the house.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Oilers Nation needs new memories. Soon. Situation critical. Shirts off for Yakupov? Soon, please. And one more thing: when this thing turns around, how about we make a deal that crushing Toronto every time is job 1?

Thanks. 

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    @Hug….i was in the stands in the 90’s watching a lot more lousy hockey than good hockey. i wonder how many forks i can actually fit into my eyes?

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    Sigh. Another game, another soul-crushing loss with continual exposure of the team’s flaws and shortcomings.

    Just checking in here to what has become a support group of fans who keep getting abused by this lousy organization which keeps icing some of the worst teams people in these parts have ever seen.

    This year’s team is right up there with the mid-90’s Oilers in terms of their hopelessness. You just **KNOW** they will lose.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    As an Oilers fan living in Calgary, I just gotta say RELAX people. These guys are still boys, 20 and 21 and 22 and 23…. wait til they are a few years older, then the Oilers will dominate. Look at Kessel, it took him a few years, but now he’s 26 and he’s top level elite.

    Our team will get there, you’ll just have to wait a bit longer, sorry to say!

    • outdoorzguy

      Really Phil Kessel

      That guy is a 30 goal sniper . . . .for the last 6 years! They are naming pucks after this guy.

      Please when or who was last 30G we had?

  • Rob...

    Last night the refs missed an obvious no-brainer call and I didn’t get upset about it. That has never happened before. Likely because I’ve realized that the current team isn’t worth it. Hall and Perron show fiery need to win, none of the others do. Without both of them in the lineup this team doesn’t have a chance of willing themselves to a victory.

  • Nuge&Connorvs.Sam&Sean

    I can think of a few things the Oilers can let go of:

    1. Kevin Lowe
    2. Dallas Eakins (the bold move)
    3. Craig McTavish
    4. Bucky
    5. Steve Smith

    It is obvious that something has gone way past rotten. All these people have proven that they are not the smartest men in the room. Now we find out if Batman really is the savvy business man we all think he is.

    • 2004Z06

      Yet you don’t mention a single player? The only constant other than Lowe, Bucky and Smith has been the players. Bigger issues here than coaching and mgmt.

      • Nuge&Connorvs.Sam&Sean

        Hello I don’t include the playas because I have learned that in situations like the present one, it has to addressed starting up top. We see their performance or lack off firsthand. Remember the rangers a few years back after the Tortorela change. Or the lightning and Melrose. My point is that the needed shake up has to be made up in food chain. Anybody with a masters degree can tell you that.

    • They should start at the top and then a few of the other pieces:

      1. Lowe
      2. LaForge
      3. Howson
      4. Olczyk
      5. Buchberger
      6. Smith
      7. Chabot

      Too soon imo to make a call on MacT and the revolving door of head coaches

      • PutzStew

        You realize Laforge has nothing to do with hockey operations. He runs the business aspect of the team. To even mention his name here is just a total lack of knowledge, and malicious with no need to do so.

  • SmokeyXIII

    I can’t help but feel that I’m the only one to make the realization that the last time we were in the cup finals was the last time we had Zombie Nation as a goal song. Everyone tells me that I’m crazy and that this doesn’t matter but you have to admit there is not much incentive to score goals when they just end up playing some Pitbull song.

    Our problems might not be defence, offence or goaltending. Just sayin’

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      Seriously I was explaining to my friend recently that arena music has to have a huge effect on the mentality of some players.

      I noticed Pittsburgh’s arena in particular just seemed to send out an intimidating vibe, one that the home team could really feed off.

      We should write a letter to Mr Katz suggesting that YOUNG THE GIANT might not the best music to pump up your team

      • Zamboni Driver

        I remember when the Black Eyes Pea song played before every playoff game in 06, it was ok for like a game or two then I just ended hating it(Louder).
        I kept thinking play me some rush or something.

  • Old School G

    Thanks LT that post made me smile. I will continue to sit on my couch and watch my team, shaking my head at their lack of desire, while the rest of us working stiffs dream of having their job for one minute.

    A “spark” is bound to happen to get the boys going…there I go again.

  • Serious Gord

    Is this post lowetide’s attempt at shouting “squirrel” in order to distract oil fans from looking at the bloody mess that is this franchise today? I refuse to be a chicken wearing rose-tinted glasses. I see the blood – and so do you.

    When can we expect you evisceration of the present-day team (including) management LT?

    Ps – love TW – been a fan since “Martha” and everything since then.

    Pps- the ’06 team didn’t get, nor did they deserve, much love until very late in the season until that point MacTs(and lowes) job(s) were very much on the line. And it was those few weeks of success that are largely to blame for the failures of the team post facto. Your memories of that team are deeply distorted.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    sad to think this team has sucked since 1992!! if it wasn’t for the ’06 cup run, we’d be into our 22nd straight year of more or less sucking!