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Saturday, September 15, 2012

"Pondering the future of the Oilers" pt1

  1. This past summer, I was able to get away to my Cousin's cabin on the Shuswap Lake in B.C. Having time to rest and ponder can be both good and bad. The good part was, I got lots of rest time during my week, time to catch some fun in the sun and maybe get a bit of a tan while at it.

You know your a fan of hockey that while on the water in beautiful sunshine, your holding out hope that the potential lockout will not come to fruition. How can something so trivial occupy my head space at a incredible time like that? I tried to come up with idea's on stories, tried to follow the young prospects getting ready for camp in only a few weeks. Nothing! Had no motivation at all, just because I was worried, I was about to miss some exciting hockey to start the year.

Think about it, ever since the 2010 draft with...
 Taylor Hall
There has been excitement about hockey in Oil Country since Taylor joined the club. There should be! Adding a #1 NHL Draft pick is nothing to sneeze at. Talk shows and the conversation everywhere was all about if we picked the right guy. He had the pedigree but was he going to help a team who desperately needed a center? With Development Camp in late June, early July each year, free agency on July 1st, we basically only had to wait from about July 15th-August 15th before Oiler players started turning up in the city for Perry Pearn's 3on3 camp.

The excitement in 2011 was the same with...
 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
Once again, talk shows were all over the stories. Was Ryan big enough to play in the NHL at 18 when he was only 164 lbs coming out of the WHL playoffs? That along with the fact the city was excited about drafting a centermen, the talk was constant all the way through to the new season. A plethora of free agent signings and it was hard to not be able to talk about Oilers hockey.

Off-season 2012, the excitement continued as the Oilers won the lottery and were handed a a free gift in the likes of...
 Nail Yakupov
This guy not only made things exciting, for Oil Country on the ice, but also off the ice. The conversations on twitter, his interviews , all were a blast as Oil Country embraced this Charismatic Russian. We enjoyed development camp and then came the signing of...
Justin Schultz

Justin had his prime choice of almost every team in the NHL but in the end choose the Edmonton Oilers for what I am sure is a variety of reasons. Bottom line? It doesn't matter, cause he is a Edmonton Oiler now!

How can Oiler fans be anything but excited? In 5 years time, the Oilers have added Jordon Eberle, Magnus Paajarvi, Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov and now Justin Schultz. While the last two players still have lots to prove as does Paajarvi, the cast is starting to shape into a resemblance of something exciting.

Add to the mix, Jeff Petry, Oscar Klefbom, Teemu Hartikainen and a future goalie in Tyler Bunz now turning Pro, it makes for some excitement everywhere. The Oilers have some exciting development going on at all levels. From the NHL, AHL, ECHL, the CHL and NCAA hockey to even the SEL. Is there excitement? You bet your bottom end there is, however it's difficult to get excited about something you can't watch isn't it? And why is that? Because of $$$$$$$!

Who's side am I taking on this? Not happy with the NHL Commissioner or the NHLPA representative Donald Fehr. Both waited til last minute and then take hard lines in the sand affecting who the most? Those of us who have made the game of hockey what it is today. The FANS!!! Without fan interest, there is no big pay cheque for anybody. Believe me, if I could, I would forfeit hockey, take my money and walk. Problem is, to make a point, we fans would have to sacrifice the most and we know it is not going to happen. 

At this point of time I feel like the rabbit and the NHL and NHLPA are the bear  


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