Saturday, July 10, 2010

Oilers Rebuild Should Be In Full Swing

With the additions of Taylor Hall and Tyler Pitlick to the organization as well as 2 other 2nd round picks, the Oilers overall talent level from top to bottom should've gotten a much needed shot in the arm. That said with that shot the Oilers have likely become immunized from a case of the long term suck.

Having a core of Hall, Gagner, Paajarvi-Svensson, and Eberle should ensure that the Oilers won't be a last place team beyond next season. That said next year 3 of the 4 guys mentioned above will be Baptized into the NHL game and the odds of all 3 of them hitting the ground running out the gates next year is slim to none.

So we have an opportunity to break in these kids while also bolstering our chance next season to add another potential impact player in June. Not only that but another shot at a guy like Pitlick that was rated as a 1st round draft pick that falls into our lap in the early 2nd round. This gives our scouts a great opportunity to stockpile some serious organizational depth and show whether or not they are worth their salt. If they cannot produce a few solid NHLers from the '10 and '11 drafts when they get high picks in each round then quite frankly they need to get shit canned.

Successful drafting is one of the biggest components of team building, talent accumulation from within means that you have good assets to build around on the ice, good assets for trade, and that you can fill smaller holes in the free agent market instead of always having to go big game hunting with a pocket knife.

The Oilers have a few players standing in the way of a worst place or near worst place finish, they are a healthy Ales Hemsky, Dustin Penner, and possibly Taylor Hall if he hits the ground running out of camp. The Oilers defense as it stands is sub standard, the goaltending is a question mark, and unless Shawn Horcoff regains his '07-08 or '05-06 form and Sam Gagner finally looks like a 60+ point pivot that doesn't need to leach off of Hemsky and Penner for his points, there is a very good chance that we will once again be fighting for or against (depending on your idea of a rebuild) the worst record in the league.

Ideally the Oilers can keep one of Hemsky or Penner long term and move the other at the deadline this year which would both insure a higher draft pick next June as well as add even more depth to the team in the form of draft picks and prospects. The Oilers need to see this thing through properly and get another top pick next year, preferably one of Larsson, Couturier, and Nugent-Hopkins. The season leading up to the trade deadline and Tambellini's actions between now and then will tell the tale as to whether their talk of a rebuild in the traditional sense was legit, or if it was just more hollow words from management.