Pronger, Spacek, Smith, Hejda, Tjarnqvist, Bergeron, Tarnstrom, Pitkanen, Greene, Samsonov, Peca, Dvorak, Smyth, Sykora, Winchester, Thoresen, Stoll, Torres, Glencross, Reasoner, Cole, Kotalik, Brodziak.
That is a list of what I would call NHL players that have been moved out since June 19, 2006.
Now in some cases the Oilers did not have a choice and in others they got a nice return and there are others that you can argue whether or not the outgoing players had much value at all.
But here is the problem, its not that they moved guys. Guys get moved all the time. A guy like Marty Reasoner or Kyle Brodziak or Patrick Thoresen can be replaced pretty easily but if you do not do so then what happens? This is the problem. The list of incoming players is a lot shorter than the list of guys heading away.
Two seasons ago the Oilers had a fourth line of Glencross, Brodziak and Stortini. They were terrific. Very effective in the role that they played. Patrick Thoresen and Marty Reasoner were two other fourth liners who are now gone. Brad Winchester too.
So what does the Oilers' fourth line look to be this season? Stortini and then two of Potulny, Jacques, Brule, Pouliot, Reddox, Stone, MacIntyre plus any guy who comes out of nowhere.
What happens if he goes down for thirty games?
Who is going to kill penalties? Who is going to take faceoffs and win them? Nobody could do it last season and there's nobody new in the mix.
Can the kids finally kill the soft parade?
What if it wasn't MacT? What if Nilsson and Penner and Pouliot are just a bunch of dog fuckers?
Can the fourth line do anything worthwhile or will they need to be stapled to the bench? Would you rather a line of Jacques/Brule/Stortini or Glencross (or Moreau)/Brodziak/Stortini? A line that murdered the other team's dregs. A line that got that puck moving the right way.
Who can play the tough minutes? If Penner/Horcoff/Hemsky are one tough minutes line then who centres Pisani and Moreau on the other and what happens if either of those guys or Horcoff goes down?
The coaching move was inspired but far too many things have to go right for the Oilers this year. People speak about how this team was in good shape last season but they also forget that they had pretty nice luck with injuries. A few injuries to the wrong people and this club, too thin up front and in goal, will be in lottery territory. Absolutely healthy they still fall short. Too many holes. They just aren't good enough.
Next we'll enter fantasy land and I'll talk about what I would have done both this summer and since 2006. None of this - oh I traded Pronger for Bouwmeester or I signed Zetterberg to an offer sheet shit. I'll work within reasonable parameters and this club will be more competitive, cheaper and a playoff team. Guaranteed. ;)