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Friday, August 5, 2011

Summer Prospect OR Summer Suspect

A big hello to all you fanatical oiler followers at Oilersjambalaya.com Looking forward to being a part of a bigger community of Oiler faithful! Not sure about you, but summer can be a real downer for even the strongest of the oiler family. I mean, no playoffs , means a long summer. Thankfully we were fortunate this summer. Following the Stanley Cup we had the NHL 2011 Draft (where drafting #1 overall does not hurt), we had Free Agent frenzy (where we went crazy, unlike many other years). Next up, came
the Edmonton Oiler Summer Development Camp (this camp was loaded with the best talent yet in the system), followed now by the Canadian World Jr's U20 evaluation camp (where 3 Oiler prospects are attempting to put themselves into contention on the team). In fact I plan on attending the Canadian U20 world jr red/white game on Saturday night with several thousands of others. My bet? 70% are there to see the Oiler prospects (Center) Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, (Goaltender) Tyler Bunz and (defenceman) Dillion Simpson. (to which probably 80% of the crowd is there to see RNH.)

So needless to say, it's been a active summer and we still struggle to find things to discuss.
We are discussing topics like "Who plays with who , on what line?" OR
"Why do we keep trading injured players?". All great questions but let's face it, they have been covered how many times? By how many writers? and discussed by how many fans? That's what brings me to my topic today. (Summer Prospect OR Summer Suspect?)

With Summer brings a new feeling (for Oiler fans, a sense of hope we can WIN next year), and with that feeling comes a new sense of hope as well for our Oiler Prospects. I have been asked 'why do you even care about following these young prospects?' My answer is simple...they are still playing for two reasons 1)A Career 2)For the love of the game. Money and contracts are really not a part of their current language at this time. Now don't get me wrong, I know they are looking forward to some big pay cheques one day. But not today, it's one day at a time, working and developing so ONE day, they might fulfill that dream. All you have to do is be around them in their schools, in their communities, follow them on twitter, and you will see, they LOVE the game. It's refreshing.

It makes me want to hurry up and get my community recreation hockey fix in now! Not wait til the end of September! I guess, the other reason I love to follow prospects is because it's always fun to guess who will be the next NHL bound player. Who makes it and who doesn't? Unfortunately for some...they won't. Sad as it is, they got a chance to at least follow a dream many of us only wish we had enough talent to even pursue. Others will continue playing. Maybe not in the NHL, maybe they are career minor pro players. They play as AHL veterans, or continue to play in Europe. Some will continue with great teams such as our Stockton Thunder (who don't forget, is a team that develops our players as well). Is it the NHL? Nope, but it's hockey and it's what they love to do.

Enough said, I could go on forever. Tomorrow I will release my first of a three part posting on the theme "Summer Prospect OR Summer Suspect?". We will discuss and breakdown the Oiler Prospects who fall into 1 of 3 categories. BUBBLE Player (those who this year is probably their last chance to make a impression). DEVELOPMENT Player (those who are still developing and need not worry about job security at the end of the year), and TRANSITIONAL Player (those whose job is to tend the farm. Be leaders within our farm teams, and fill in when needed on the big club, and help the others break through to the NHL). While all the players I mention may fall into what I believe is one of those categories, that does not mean, they could not catch on with yet another NHL club somewhere else. Possibly our cupboards and fridge are starting to overflow and some sifting may be in order?

And I say "It's about time".....STAY TUNED!

-WRITTEN BY REVINEV-

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