Friday, January 08, 2010
After Ryan Smyth was traded the Oilers went on a twenty game death march which netted them Sam Gagner. It was the worst stretch in Oiler history, I would opine. Smyth was gone and with his departure went the Oilers' heart (still MIA all of these years later). The injuries mounted until the blue line consisted of Jason Smith and a brigade of rookies and minor leaguers. So bad was it for the blue that even the replacements, like youngster Tom Gilbert, were knocked out of the lineup almost immediately after entering it. And up front was not much better. The vaunt, down Smyth and Stoll and Moreau, with other players playing hurt (Hemsky iirc), being wildly inconsistent (Torres) or completely useless (Lupul), went down without a whimper.
It was awful. Awful.
You know what? As I get older I realize that you have to enjoy yourself every day because no matter how bad things are, they can always get worse. Its true. Trust me. Well, you knew that.
So here we are, almost three years after Smyth hit the highway, with a team against the cap, probably next year as well, and we have a club that is giving us an entire season of joy. Hemsky, a guy who makes this dullard team fun to watch, is long gone. Visnovsky, in the same class, is out. The D, supposedly a strength, has fallen apart. The goaltending is a joke, as many predicted (hey Tyler!) it would be. Their big money keeper is out with a bad back and the kid goalies have been thrown to the wolves, with JDD looking to be found wanting, imo.
And I won't even bother with the rumour about Biron. If true and this comes to pass then Lowe and Tambellini should be fired immediately.
And up front the lack of experienced players, as expected, has been a death knell, just as it has been (the lack of experience) for the past four seasons, four seasons spent out of the playoffs.
All while spending to the cap. Did I mention that?
And the guys who were supposed to lead the next cluster, the guys who have kept this club from being a disaster the past couple of seasons, as opposed to just plain bad, Hemsky and Penner, well their contracts are up in just over two years now. How quickly do you think they will extend with a loser franchise?
Like last season the number of guys having good seasons can pretty well be counted on one hand. Penner. Gagner (maybe). Brule. Stone. Smid.
A once proud franchise, a club that stood for something even in the years we thought were lean (96/97-05/06), has become a joke, irrelevant, porridge, the Panthers or Islanders of the north.
Nobody cares and we are left to 'cheer' for them to bottom out, although its hard to see it getting worse than it is right now.
Oh right, I already addressed that.
The problem is that clubs that they are not chasing, like the Leafs, have guys that they can move in order to get worse. The Oilers cannot even do that.
I am left without words to describe this sack of shit that Lowe and Tambellini have delivered to Oiler fans and the city of Edmonton.
Posted by Black Dog at 2:40 PM