Saturday, July 3, 2010

Can This Version Of The Edmonton Oilers Become The 1983/84 Oilers?

I have been debating for a while now if the Oilers should have more than two rookies in the lineup next season. Most of you know that --before the changes by Tamby to make the team tough-- I have thought that only Hall and Paajarvi would start the year in the NHL and Eberle and Omark would go to the Oklahoma City Barons.  But the more I talk to people about it, there is just so many questions that need to be answered and scenarios to think of.

Would the rookies be better off spending a year in Oklahoma City instead of playing in the NHL? Probably. It's only logical and makes sense.

Would it be a great way to fill the Cox Convention Center and build a fan base by adding players like Eberle and Paajarvi to the opening day roster? You bet it would and that's what the OKC Barons are going to need. You can't just open the doors and expect people to just come watch a game. Names sell.

But you also need to think that since players like Eberle and Paajarvi are signed to a contract, it would essentially burn up a year on their respective deals. Not exactly a good thing right? Hmmmm....

Then you look at the way that Tambellini is building the current Oilers roster. He's added some big boys with the likes of Vandermeer, MacIntyre and Foster to go with a talented and skilled small team. It seems like he's preparing to ice a young rookie squad with large muscle to surround them. The writings on the wall one would think.

But is it the right thing to do? Is it too soon?

So now I have myself thinking about another young Oilers team. The first cup winning team from the 1983/84 season. That team is a fairly young team much like the current one we may possibly have now.

How did that team from the 80's get so good so quick? Well I have a theory.

Gretzky, Coffey, Messier and Anderson were all just a mere 22 years old when they won the first cup. Jari Kurri and Andy Moog were 23, Kevin Lowe and Charlie Huddy were 24. Grant Fuhr was just 20.

The oldest guys on the team were Willy Lidstrom at 32 years old and Jaroslav Pouzar was 31. The only two guys over 30. Wow!

So here we have a team with no real veteran leadership yet, the won the Stanley Cup. How is that possible?

The kids grew together. They played together as rookies. They became friends and won for each other like winners need to do. Isn't this what this current team should do? Should the opening roster include Hall, Eberle, Paajarvi and Omark? You add those four plus the youth of Gagner, Brule, Cogliano, Smid, Chorney, Peckham, & Dubnyk equals the same youthfulness as the Oilers of old. Maybe this squad can grow and learn together like that team did? Maybe this squad is just like that 83/84 team? Take a look, we even have our Pouzar's and Lidstrom's in Horcoff, Strudwick and Khabibulin. The two teams are building to be sort of the same.

But isn't the smart decision to just let the kids develop slowly? In Oklahoma City?

-Written by Smokin' Ray-

2 comments:

  1. The biggest problem with the theory of growing together: Hall, Eberle, MPS are NOT Gretzky, Messier and Kurri. Sure theyre good kids, maybe great someday, but you cannot compare them to the greatest players in Oilers history. Not to mention theres a huge difference between 18-19 yrs old and 22-23 yrs old.

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  2. Thanks for the comment Krafty.

    I wasn't really comparing the players as much as I was comparing to fact that both teams are young. As far the age comparison, I was also meaning more of three years from now when the 19 year old kids are 22 like the 83/84 team was. Don't forget that that 83/83 Oilers team went to the SCF the year before. That means those kids were even younger than what I listed above.

    If this team gets young quick and grows together, in 2013/14, the Oilers could be the new big dogs in the NHL.

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