Sunday, January 22, 2012

"Destined for?"

Everyone wants to see their favourite team hoisting the Stanley Cup, but few get to see or experience it in their lifetime. This city was truly spoilt in the 80's with the team that was assembled by Glen Sather. Make no mistake about it, it was not a magic formula that made that team so good. With a salary cap era, no team can afford to have the talent the Oilers once held together, but don't make the mistake of thinking you can't keep a really good team together for 10 plus years.

The Red Wings and Penquins are two teams that despite injuries, change in player management and local economic struggles, seem to stay among the elite of the league regardless. Why you ask? I believe it has more to do with management. Which brings us to the question. Is Edmonton's problems in management, coaching or the players? Well let's look at this...

Players: Some are improving and growing while others seem to be falling off the face of the earth.

Management: Have produced a top end farm system in OKC with the Barons but looking to be a bottom 3 team in the NHL for the 3rd straight year.

Coaching: The players appear to love this current coaching staff and we hear how much Renney is a incredible teacher for these players. So let's look at a couple things about Renney. Is our head coach the problem? 

Personally, I don't like some of his decisions regarding line combinations, who he puts out on the ice at important times or even goaltending decisions. In spite of all that, this team is rebuilding and the most important aspect of this team is about development. So, with that being said, I think the most important question is, "Are we seeing development from the players who are in the long term future of this team?"

Who is improving? Gilbert, Smid and Potter we can all say we are happy with this year. Hall, Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins we can say we are happy with this year. 

Who is struggling? Horcoff, Belanger, Hemsky, etc..  Not sure you notice like me, but I am seeing our young talent improving and the veterans failing at this point. Could it just be, we need to reshuffle the veterans who are filling spots on this team as we continue to grow and develop? 

IMO , I really think you make no move on Tamby or Renney until seasons end. If Tamby can do something between now and the end of the season maybe a 1 year extension. If Renney can continue to grow and develop the important players who will be here in the future give him one more year as well. However, should Tamby do nothing to make this team better between now and season end, it is time in this fan's opinion to bring in new management before the draft in June. If Renney at this time next year is not getting better improvement in systems play from this team as a whole, it will be time as well for a coaching change.

I like all of these guys on a personal note, but not liking what we are seeing on a development note. Patience will be tough for fans as this season wears on. I think all Oilers fans really care about now, is to see some compete, each and every night. Give us a hard honest night's work of effort and we'll be more patient.

For more info on Oiler, Barons and Thunder hockey in addition for info on 2012 and 2013 NHL Draft prospects  you can follow me on twitter at www.twitter.com/revingev

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