Thread: Speculation: What must Edmonton do
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03-06-2013, 09:53 PM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Red Deer, Alberta
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Ok. History lesson for everyone. The Oilers, up until mid 2009-2010, were not in rebuild mode. Yes, they weren't a good team, but they were trying to be competitve by going after high priced free agents (Hossa), trying to trade for big names (Heatley), and sacrificing their team youth, depth and draft picks to do so. The wheels fell off in 2009, and Oil management finally realized they needed to rebuild. The team was filled with holes at that time, basically every position was filled with AHL'ers. Go back a little further, and aside from Chris Pronger for one year, the only real top end talent the Oil had since the late 90's was Ales Hemsky. So Oil management correctly decided that they needed to bring in some skilled players.

That was three seasons ago. While the Oilers certainly needed top end skill, and I think they have gotten it, they neglected to fill in the support roles properly. They got Smyth, who isn't what he used to be. They signed Belanger, who aside from killing penalties and winning faceoffs, has been useless. The only real decent depth pickup was Ryan Jones.

The easiest part of this "rebuild" is done, getting our star players. Now we need management to focus on getting some real good depth role players to fill out the lineup, and some more muscle in our top six. A more competent GM could have brought in those types already, but that's the next step.

The key I think, is to realize that this is only the third year of the rebuild. As crappy as it is to accept it, expectations for this team to contend for the playoffs were probably unrealistic. We need more gritty, hard workers and veterans who can teach the kids how to win. Easier said than done, but that's what they need.

Thanks for reading my essay.

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