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10-31-2013, 09:25 PM
Roof Daddy
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With this team through thick and thin, but man is it getting harder to say that. Had the privilege of becoming a fan during the glory days (85 is the first cup win I can actually remember watching) and so short of the devastation of the Gretzky trade, all I knew was good times as an Oil fan. Then Pocklington went into his desperation mode and tore apart a dynasty in cost saving deals or trades that flat out involved cash. Those times were tough, but there were two things that kept me going:

1) No matter how ugly the result, Doug Weight was an absolute treat to watch. Skill, vision, compete, sometimes even a little nastiness. Don't ever recall the guy taking a night off. Then you see/hear him in an interview and realize how smart and articulate he is. None of our young guys have all those intangibles (Nuge would be closest IMO).

2). Despite being financially handcuffed, Sather always seemed to deal a better player for futures and have them pan out to be just as good or better, or sell off washed up players/prospects before their value became zero(one of the ultimate ones was Marchment, Bonsignore and Kelly for Hamrlik).

That dark period was survivable because we knew we were a financially crippled team in a non-cap era. A true underdog story. We also had a fine evaluator of talent in Sather. While it stung to be that bad, the days of being the last true dynasty weren't that far behind us. Add to that the troubles all Canadian teams were having financially due to the disparity between Canadian and American currency and it was easy to rally around that losing edition of the Oilers as a sense of weathering the storm.

Fast forward to our current team. Waiting lists for season tickets. Nearly par dollar with the US, in a salary cap world, with a billionaire owner willing to spend to the limit. 3 first overall picks that are supposed to provide the level of talent unavailable in trade or free agency. Yet the final product hasn't changed. It would appear there is a major flaw in the evaluation of talent by those in charge of evaluating. Every conceivable position in this organization has seen a firing but one. A man who knows a lot about winning... as a player, yet somehow believes this translates into success as a manager/executive. That man is making it very hard to remain a faithful Oiler fan, but for the time being, I will remain unchanged.

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