Wednesday, June 22, 2011

"Consolation Day" approaches

"i can't lose anything
so what's left is mine
and I win this time

consolation day
i'll make up a way
i'll know now just what to say

i'll get away from you
wait and I'll be begging
i'll pull you down

i saw it all again
fading memory became clear to me
i try but I can't say
that I'm yours for good
support me you said you would

i'll get away from you
wait and I'll be begging
i'll pull you down

awake and dreaming
 I'm only sleeping"

- Scott Anderson of Finger Eleven. From the album "Tip" circa 1998

This is before Finger Eleven, a west coast Canadian Rock group, changed their sound and became somewhat commercial.  They lost a lot of soul between 2000 and 2003 and even more after 2003.

I'm having trouble getting enough sleep.  I'm involved in Draft Hysteria.  I'm reading everything, before it becomes stale (news changes by the hour now, seemingly) and also trying to invest my time, for the first time, in reporting my side of things.

But the truth is I'm Excited with a capital "E".  This draft could be enough to cement the Oilers as "the next team".  I also would have to say part of me has a sense of anticipation that is less than positive.  I think that the future of this franchise, as far as reaching our upper limit, could be drastically altered at the draft if the team management doesn't keep calm.  I didn't feel this last year.  I had zero doubt that the Oilers would a) pick first, b) make an exceptional selection and c) not screw around.  Today I would like to say I'm about 90% sure of those things.  I sure hope those 10% feelings are unjustified.

I want "my" players this year.  If we do things right this year, we go from walking to running.  Before Taylor Hall we were having trouble getting to our feet.  If we maybe make some decisions that are a little "rash", we could be stalling progress (not regressing mind you, but still, I want things done right). By 2013 - 2014 I want to have Lord Stanley's Mug squarely in our sights.  A Pittsburgh / Edmonton Final maybe.  I truly believe that Hall is likely to be better than Stamkos.  That's a big suggestion but I believe in the guy.  Team Canada's best players in 2014 could be 1) Sydney Crosby (hopefully he fully recovers from that concussion, best player of this era) and 2) Taylor Hall.  If we can find that guy to pivot Hall and Eberle, watch out.  That being said the back end is where we need the most improvement.

I have not seen enough of Adam Larsson or Dougie Hamilton to say for sure, but I think we need to take a forward 1st.  I would suggest that that guy is Ryan Nugent-Hopkins but I won't be really disappointed if I hear Landeskog, Couturier or Strome's name on Friday at #1.  Obviously we need help at the back end but maybe that will be easier to find with later picks than some would suggest and also, D-men are much more available for trade on free agency than top flight offensive forwards.  In Stu we must all Trust.  And Steve, god help him make the right moves (or no move if that's best).  I feel that you can grab a difference maker with any of the top 25 players I'd say.  At 19 we will be fine if we choose well.  No need to overpay to move that pick up.  31 will be an ok pick too, much like Pitlick last year.  Please don't give away too may bullets Steve, unless you trade multiple body shots for a headshot (i.e. for sure kill shot).  I suppose it is possible to hit one from this distance, but at what cost?

All of this and Ryan Smyth wants back in.  So much to think about, so much to anticipate.  Maybe only fans in Winnipeg have more to think about these days.

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