Sunday, July 12, 2009

Is This Shaping Up To Be The Off Season From Hell?

Ever since Daryl Katz came aboard and even to a lesser extent when the EIG were running things, it seems like the Oilers refuse to take a step backwards to take some steps forward towards the future. Sure Kevin Lowe went for youth in the Pronger trade, but he has also added a number of vets that year and in '07-08. He also sacrificed draft picks for Dustin Penner in the summer of 'o7.

The problem remains, the vets (in particular the forward vets) just aren't good enough to take this team deep into the playoffs, hell even getting there is more than a little bit of a question mark. The forwards up front are either under performing, young, or flat out not good enough. Unless the Oilers get a major league face lift up front or the young guys progress by leaps and bounds next season, it could be yet another long season.

On the bright sides we bolstered our short to mid term goaltending situation and we had what could be seen as an excellent draft. Other than that we've moved an established young NHL player in Brodziak, and to date have been played for fools in the proposed Heatley deal while also leaving potentially 3 solid contributors next season including one of our top young forwards twisting in the wind.

Enough of the "life is short so we need to win now" mentality. If we are able to make some moves like the proposed Heatley deal, great if not enough overpaying players and keeping the team running in the same circle for over a decade. If Daryl Katz wants a winner in this city he should be willing to rebuild this team right. If Steve Tambellini can't work miracles, then Katz needs to put trust in him to tear this thing down and rebuild from the ground up.

At this point I'm starting to wonder if the past and present ownerships greed could be what has led to Kevin Lowe's seemingly desperate trades and signings in the past, and has Steve Tambellini anxiously awaiting Dany Heatley's answer like a Golden Retriever anxiously awaiting its owner to throw the damn tennis ball already! If Tambellini fails to land Heatley and he makes what is deemed to be a questionable trade, it probably has more to do with managements pressure to win now than his hockey IQ.

If Daryl Katz wants to build a perennial winner, add to the scouting and prospect development areas. He already proved that he's willing to spend on the coaching, that's part of the battle. It's time for him to commit to the organization building areas. Adding other perks that aren't regulated by the cap would be another way to win over players. Daryl Katz is used to getting whatever he wants, unfortunately in this business and in the city of Edmonton, it doesn't work that way. Getting a crack team of marketers for the team and the city wouldn't hurt either.

The bottom line is that the team needs to move in what direction is best for the team, not in the hopes of landing the big fish perennially and continue coming up short.

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