Our minds can barely accept the events of last night but they are so very true. The Edmonton Oilers won the draft lottery that mattered and have hockey’s latest chosen one in their sights. There are myriad stories surrounding the Oilers and McDavid but there’s only one thing that matters this morning. They won the damn lottery!
— Wanye (@WanyeGretz) April 19, 2015
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
For fans like you and me? Party! Come the hell on!! These ARE the good old days. Enjoy them. Don’t you dare let anyone get you down today or feel guilty. EVERY NHL city wanted McDavid but too damn bad, they didn’t get him. Maybe next decade. I don’t feel sorry at all for any other team, as a fan I think it’s absolutely acceptable to walk around all damn day with an enormous smile. In fact it’s mandatory, dammit!
Hey @cmcdavid97 left shot black tape left side
— Taylor Hall (@hallsy04) April 19, 2015
Very good https://t.co/EBAW3hDlC2
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 19, 2015
WHAT HAPPENS FOR MANAGEMENT NEXT?
Oilers fans don’t need to think of these things today, but it’s important to acknowledge Oilers management are not heroes in this scenario. Edmonton has been mired in the second division for what seems like a lifetime, and the period that covers Katz ownership is the absolute nadir.
For management, things just got really real because there’s no damn way they can return with the same bunch on defense and in goal. If they go to this year’s draft, use all of the picks, and return with shoddy goaltending and a defensive group that is addled? Mr. Katz needs to fire them all.
— Tyler Hupka (@HBomb1982) April 19, 2015
WHO WILL COACH?
I like Todd Nelson but the Oilers would be wise to wait and see what is out there. We’ve heard the name Todd McLellan mentioned and Mike Babcock to Toronto rumors are so common I’m always surprised to see him in Detroit behind the Red Wings bench.
If the coach next season is Todd Nelson, one assumes the club will have looked about at length before deciding to proceed.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) April 19, 2015
WHO WILL MCDAVID PLAY WITH?
Taylor Hall! After that, I’m not sure. MacT was talking three scoring lines the other day, and if we think of these lines in pairs (Nuge-Eberle, McDavid-Hall, Roy-Yakupov) then maybe we’ll see something explosive on three intriguing lines this fall. Early days, plenty of blacktop remains.
Interesting matchup in OHL playoffs. Sault Ste. Marie (Nurse) vs Eerie (McDavid). Oilers brass will watch this series very closely.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) April 19, 2015
IS THIS THE BEGINNING OF SOMETHING INCREDIBLE?
God I hope so. One thing I wanted to mention this morning, is a story Mark Napier told me on the old Nation Radio show years back. I asked him if free agents would eventually want to come to Edmonton, and he related a story about his own career.
Napier began his NHL career in Montreal, and told me everything there was first class and the expectation was winning. Every year. After a few years, Napier was dealt to the Minnesota North Stars, who were a struggling organization, and Napier found things difficult.
In January 1985, Edmonton acquired him and of course that was a strong team. Napier instantly recognized he was back in a winning situation, and instructed his agent to sign a contract for the following season if the Oilers were at all interested.
For Napier, a winning environment was key. I don’t think hockey players have changed much in the 30 years since, and if the Oilers can get back to winning games consistently, good free agents will come here to play with these tremendously talented kids.
THE HEAT IS ON!
The Edmonton Oilers frittered away the entry-level contracts of Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle and Nail Yakupov. They’re wasting Hall’s wonderful contract as we speak.
Wasting Connor McDavid’s entry-level deal is not acceptable. Buy out the also-ran’s and the never-were’s and let’s get on with it.
The heat is on. Starting now.