Taking a cursory look around the news media, one will find most saying that the Oilers have made some good moves. They aren’t yet complete, but for a couple of major pieces. The question is: what if the Oilers whiff once again? Is it more than personnel and deeper organizationally? Of course, it DOES seem as though Craig MacTavish is on the right track.
Just this week, however, Jonathan Willis did a piece on how terrible a job Steve Tambellini did acquiring talent during the rebuild. It’s damning. Not one player from the first year of the rebuild is around!
It proved the last few years were a waste, and that changes had to be made. What’s troubling about the here and now, though, is that Daryl Katz and Kevin Lowe sit atop the kingdom still, despite overseeing that disastrous run.
Scott Howson is back, another familiar face from the past. He will be tarred and feathered if Nikita Nikitin ends up failing to work out, with his ties to the Colombus Blue Jackets. (Why couldn’t he have been the old GM for the Bruins?)
Of course, MacT is an old face, but even though he may not have gotten the Oilers to the promised land, his track record shows a more responsible outlook. At least the team always played somewhat meaningful games when he was head coach.
Now, this has nothing to do with connections to the Glory Days of the 80’s. I could care less about the old guard theory at this point. Any Oilers fan worth their salt, however, is going to be full of doubts after eight years out of the picture.
I am a long suffering apologist for the Oilers. I only wavered in my dedication to them for a spell in the aftermath of the Gretzky trade.
Otherwise, I have and will always stand with the team, even in times like the last decade.
There are some bright lights. We DO have these three first overall picks, and either by way of their careers or the value their cache gets the team by trade, they will be important parts to eventual success. Bob Nicholson and Craig Ramsay also are markers of an organization trying to change its stripes.
At the end of the day, though, the powers that be need to ask themselves hard questions; if the Oilers fail, what hard sacrifices, this time off the active roster, will need to be made? Here’s hoping they aren’t forced to make those choices.