Monday, April 5, 2010

Springfield Definitely Got The Short End of the Straw

The Springfield Falcons and their fans have suffered through three seasons of their affiliation with the Edmonton Oilers. Injuries to the big club, a lack of talent, poor team depth, you name it, the Falcons and their faithful simply got the shaft in terms of the on ice product.

Suddenly a number of the Oilers NCAA prospects are turning pro (Jeff Petry and Chris Vande Velde) Jordan Eberle may get an extended look in the AHL next season, Linus Omark is signed sealed and delivered and could see AHL time next season as well.

Yes the Falcons have had some very solid AHL players in the last 3 years. Most notably Pouliot, Jacques, Schremp, Deslauriers, Potulny, Dubnyk, Minard, and Linglet. But at no point did they have the depth to be a very good AHL team.

Next years Oklahoma franchise could be a Riley Nash or Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson away from being a potentially dominant AHL team. It's sad that at the very end of their partnership with Springfield that the cavalry is arriving with a second wave possibly just moments behind.

The Oilers really hurt their AHL franchise by putting so much stock in NCAA players at the draft before and while they were affiliated with the Falcons. Petry, Nash, and Vande Velde would've all been in Springfield at least from the start of this season had they been CHL players.

The Oilers owe it to Oklahoma to provide a better on ice product than they did for Springfield. Hopefully they've learned from their mistakes and look to add other NCAA and CHL FA's to help the club next year. And best of luck to the Falcon faithful as they welcome the Columbus Blue Jackets as their new team affiliate.

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