It must be the verge of Hockey Season because I think the Oilers have a shot at making the playoffs. But then again, I seem to think that right before EVERY Hockey Season.
Summer is the silly season for general managers and for fans. In a few short months all the disappointment and frustration from the year that just passed is forgotten and hope is renewed. If you’re an Oiler fan you’ve had all of that hope stomped on year after year to the tune of 30, 30, 29, and 24th place finishes. Yay us!
Somehow we all believed that the plan of “Be so inept that the NHL Draft saves us” would actually be enough to turn the fortunes of the Oilers. However, it turns out that the NHL draft really only yields about 1 immediately useful player at a time if you’re lucky enough to draft in the top 3. So to fill out a 23 man roster the Oilers will need Taylor Hall to play until 2033 as an Oiler and have the team be horrible that whole time.
Yes, shock of all shocks it takes more than drafting 1st Overall to make a good team. So Steve Tambellini’s timeline might work if you’re interested in studying erosion but if you want to assemble a good hockey team it might not actually be appropriate. Thankfully Steve Tambellini
was pushed down an elevator shaft was fired and replaced by someone who doesnt think they should time trades to coincide with the arrival of Halley’s Comet.
So is this year different? I think it could be.
We have a new GM with a less patient mandate. He hasnt been afraid to trade out young talent for more proven players. He also hasnt been afraid to load his camp up with bodies who can actually compete for roster spots. This is the 1st season in a very long time where there may not be a raw rookie who can make the squad for opening day. Oscar Klefbom has the best shot and even he is in tough to crack the top 6.
Is that enough?
Maybe not. I dont think the defense is good enough even with added depth. The Oilers bottom 6 forwards are loaded with question marks.
But here’s the difference between this year and others. If things arent going the way we hope the new GM is a lot more likely to make the necessary changes than the last one. We probably wont have to wait until trade deadline day before management tries to address its needs.
That, I hope, is why this year is different.