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12-05-2003, 08:24 AM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Earth, MW
Originally Posted by
It used to be pretty lean pickings for Oilers fans in terms of draft picks; in fact, I'd wager that Glen Sather got more pure talent through trade by dealing picks/prospects than he did through the draft 92-99. Sure he dealt Rucinsky and Satan, but he brought in Weight and Guerin and a whole slew of quality players from other organizations.
Each year, I'd buy my Hockey News Annual, and it would say "Chris Hajt is the top prospect, he's a quality stay at home defender just like his Dad." I'd read it, and wait. and wait. AND WAIT.
imo the current management group is much better at asset management than the last group became, towards the end. No doubting Sather/Fraser in their first several years, they had drafts that are probably the best ever.
Nobody is saying Lowe is worse than Sather & his cronies were better. Clearly, Lowe has improved the Oilers prospect-wise, but I do not know if he necessarily is on the road to being a very competative team either. I've said this before, but to me, the Oilers have a serious lacking in the department of top-end prospect and youngsters.
Let me give you a few examples of some teams' top players that are now good, but in the past, when they were rebuilding:
Ottawa: Alfredsson, Yashin, Redden, Phillips, Lalime
Detroit: Fedorov, Lidstrom, Yzerman, etc..
Avalanche: Sakic, Foote, Forsberg, etc..
Vancouver: Naslund, Bertuzzi, Ohlund, Jovanovski
What would you say the Oilers have? Hemsky, Smyth, Brewer, and probobly York would be the top players, but how many of 'em compare to the names above? Maybe Brewer is better than Phillips and Hemsky could maybe be another Alfredsson, but I think the problem is pretty noticable.
There aren't a lot of top-end talents in Edmonton, either on the big club or in the organizations depth chart. So is Edmonton going to get better? Sure. But will they be good enough to compete for a cup after they do? That I'm not sure of.
But Lowe and Prendergast have done well drafting high (Hemsky), low (Markkanen, Johansson) and signing undrafted prospects (Conklin, Bergeron).
They look like they know what they're doing in this area. I think even someone who doesn't like Craig MacTavish would have to agree that the Oilers have done well in the area of procurement these last three years.
The Oilers have done a good job in bringing in young players, but it's the top end talents I don't think they have broughten enough of in. After Hemsky, Lowe & company really haven't broughten in a heck of a lot, and that's kind of sad considering the trading chips they've have/had over the years.
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