Magnus Paajarvi was taken in the 2009 Entry Draft, in a time before the Edmonton Oilers had decided on a full-on rebuild. As time rolls along, that selection and others have gained the reputation of being poor, or disappointing. Some have started to blame the No. 1 overall picks. A growing number of articles are being written these days about the Edmonton Oilers and their failed rebuild.
First, we need to establish a few things. I hope we can agree that the words ‘rebuild’ and ‘Oilers’ were connected by owner Daryl Katz during the dark days of the Pat Quinn season. Oil Change refers to it in year one of the episodes, crediting Katz with suggesting it and then following Steve Tambellini and Kevin Lowe in their lear jet as they visited Taylor and Tyler. The rebuild began in about January 2010.
Fair? I refer you to this article by Michael Traikos:
Mr. Traikos takes the following statement:
- From 2010 to 2012, the Edmonton Oilers selected the top pick in the draft and still finished with the third-worst record last season.
If NHL teams reject the idea that high draft picks are helpful to winning, they do it at their own peril. Blaming the Oilers 28th overall finish on Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov ignores other, massive and potentially fatal organizational problems. Among them:
- A management team that doesn’t understand the value of possession
- Pursuit over things like “toughness” and “enforcement” over actual NHL players
- Inability to recognize the truly shameful state of major portions of the roster
- exasperating inability to build up the middle
- trading actual NHL players like Hemsky and Smid
- changing the head coach (almost) every season, but maintaining other elements of the staff
Hey, I’m all for punishing the Oilers for the Troy Hesketh pick and the Cam Abney selection, they were NOT good value and verbal spankings are warranted. However, there seems to be a theme that is developing that I’ll frame as “Taylor Hall can’t seem to get this done” and frankly I find it alarming.
I mean, really. It seems to me the Oilers haven’t given him much support since 2010. There’s your article. Millionaire hockey player sues for non-support.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Mr. Traikos mentions the Oilers and the draft, and for me the 2006-09 drafts are fair game. I would respectfully point out that we need to follow the ‘5 year rule’ in regard to the 2010-13 editions. It was just a year ago when the 2010 Oilers draft was being called “Hall and that’s all” and now we’re talking about young Martin Marincin as a big piece of the future.
The Oilers are fair game, and their draft record too. Any time you need backup when raging against the Troy Hesketh and Cam Abney picks, call me—I’ll be there!
But the high picks, and the developing selections? No sale. The Edmonton Oilers 2013-14 were 28th DESPITE Hall, Nuge and Yakupov, in spite of a year long struggle between coach and players, goaltending that gave Northern Alberta nightmates, and on it goes.
Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov the problem? Come on. Come the hell on.
Note: Magnus Paajarvi’s Dad (Gunnar Svensson) will join us on Saturday Sports Extra, today at noon on TSN 1260. We’ll talk about the draft, and more. Hope you can tune in.
(Paajarvi photo by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved)