Last week, I smashed my face on my desk until I could put together 3 thoughts to talk about. I don’t know how Elliotte Friedman (huge pickup for Sportsnet by the way) manages 30 thoughts every week, the guy must do nothing but ponder life’s mysteries. Either Friedman is constantly in a state of wonder or my brain is an empty warehouse that echoes with every pin drop. (You don’t need to answer that). Either way, this week I wonder about buyout windows, trading NHL players for picks, and the Draft Party. Let the arguments begin!
#1. I WANT YEAR LONG BUYOUTS
One of the more interesting parts of the summer is the NHL’s buyout window. Right now, teams have the opportunity to pay out a chunk a player’s remaining contract to get rid of them. It’s basically a get out of jail free card. It’s a good deal for GMs that may have signed a guy to a long term deal that really isn’t working out. Personally, I don’t think the buyout window is long enough. I think teams should be allowed to buy out players at any point during the year. I like the idea of seeing teams buy guys out if the player gets into a cold stretch. I also like the idea of my team being able to sign said bought out player without giving up assets apart from money. At the very least, it would definitely make cap management more difficult.
Having a season-long buyout window would really put pressure on the players to perform, AND it would create continuous interest from fans about how players from other teams are doing. If teams were able to pay out 2/3 of a guy’s contract at any point in the season, there would be so much more drama in the NHL, which in turn is more fun for fans. Hypothetically… wouldn’t it be cool if a guy like Mike Richards got bought out mid season and the Oilers got an opportunity improve their roster without making a trade? Not only would the player movement be interesting, it would also be cool to watch how teams would manage their cash and bid on the in season free agents.
It seems like trades are infrequent during the season, so it would be interesting to have another way for teams to acquire players through the year. How great would it have been if the Leafs had the option of buying out David Clarkson at Christmas? It would be hilarious! The NHLPA would never let this kind of tomfoolery happen to their players though. It would be a nightmare of uncertainty for the players as any struggle could end up in a pink slip. But wouldn’t it be great for the fans? Dare to dream.
#2. TRADING PLAYERS FOR DRAFT PICKS
Yesterday, on Oilers Now, MacT told Bob Stauffer that the Oilers aren’t in a position to trade NHL players for draft picks. To me, that was encouraging to hear. For years the Oilers have liquidated actual players for magic beans and it wasn’t getting us anywhere except the podium on draft day. To me, this meant that the Oilers won’t be trading a guy like Gagner just to replenish the missing in the 2nd and 3rd round. IF a guy like Gagner is traded, it’ll be as part of a package or for an actual NHL human being!
If you need reminding, the Oilers won’t have a 2nd Round Pick (Perron trade) or a 3rd Round Pick (Scrivens trade) this year, so day 2 of the draft could be a quiet one for the Oilers. I think the players we got in return for the picks are waaaaay better than anything we would have taken in those rounds. If you were to trade Perron and Scrivens right now, you would likely get more in return than a 2nd or a 3rd round draft choice. They were good deals for a team that needs players and really doesn’t need more bullets in the gun.
I’m also curious about what you guys think… do you care that the Oilers don’t have a 2nd or 3rd round pick in this year’s draft?
#3. THE DRAFT PARTY
On Friday, June 27th, we’re throwing a party to celebrate the torturous hilarity that is being an Oilers fan. We honestly hope that this is the last time we have to ask the fine folks at the Pint to let us take over the bar and celebrate another season of failure. Celebrating a miserable season for the 300th consecutive year is annoying, and feels like a kick to the junk – we get that. Regardless, this is the spot we’re in. The Oilers sucked again, and now it’s time to reap the rewards.
Even though we may have said we’re not going to watch it this year, we all know that the draft will be on our TVs anyway. The least we can do is stop lying to ourselves and watch the draft for a good cause. This year, we’ve lined up two great charities with the goal of raising as much money as possible. Tickets are $20 and all party proceeds will be split between the Boys & Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters of Edmonton and the Inner City Children’s Program. It means is you’ll be partying for charity! I’ll give you a minute to let that sink in.
As if partying for charity isn’t cool enough, each ticket will also get you a Draft Party t-shirt (pyramid logo above), a $20 gift certificate from the Pint, and a $10 gift certificate from Oodle Noodle. You spend $20 to help out two charities, and you get $50 worth of stuff in return… even the dumbest of accountants can tell you that’s a good deal. As an added bonus, we’ve recruited Chelsey Smith to attend the party and help us create awareness for our two charities!
If you have to scrounge through couches to scrape together the money – do it. If you have to sell your belongings and internal organs – that’s excessive but we appreciate your dedication! Whatever it takes, just be there. Tickets are available online or at the door on the day of the event. Did I mention we’ll have $4 Nation Draught available?