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A Reason to Be Excited

A Reason to Be Excited

As an Oilers fan, by now you must know that cheering for this team requires you to ride through some bumps and this includes a lot of highs and lows. This is sometimes pure agony and sometimes pure ecstasy.

The last decade has seen a lot of this.

From the Cup finals to years of finishing just outside of playoff contention… then finishing dead last or next to dead last for a few years in a row…

What does this year hold in store?

The Oilers have traditionally been quick starters. Last year they were near the top of the division and league for a while before injuries struck.

Injuries can still happen even with a shortened season and the established quick pace.

But it’s hard not to believe – like Yakupov does – that there’s finally a reason to be excited.

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horcoff

With the Oilers’ announcement that the new assistant captains were Eberle, Hall and Schultz, there effectively was a “changing of the guard” happening.

For many years the Oilers have looked to Smyth, Horcoff and Hemsky to do the heavy lifting on this team. Smyth has gone and returned. Horcoff and Hemsky have been serving this team as veterans since the summer of 2006. Hemsky and Horcoff have both seen their fair share of injuries and together with Smyth they probably aren’t the same players they used to be. But nonetheless, they have been the “go to guys” on this team for many years.

But not for much longer.

Since the 2006-07 season the Oilers have been in transition to a younger, faster team. With this rebuilding phase comes its own aches and pains and besides the high draft picks that come with the process there is also a drawn-out growth process where team has to learn how to play team defense and learn how to win again.

It is because of that I don’t see this as a slight on Hemsky, Smyth or Whitney.

These wily veterans may have given up their letters, and – eventually – so will Horcoff and his “C.”

But that’s not today or any time this season.

Rather, it is a call to duty and a challenger presented to the next wave of Oilers. These are the guys who have been the wonder kids for a few years now and Ralph Krueger is saying to them, it’s time to stop talking about the potential of the future, but rather, time to start seeing some results. Schultz is a sign that the team will value a return to team defense. Hall and Eberle represent the two biggest contracts on this team starting next year and with the letter comes the responsibility of being the impact players on the team.

It’s not too soon to do this, as some might think.

It’s about time, I would say.

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P.S. It was hilarious to read some of the criticisms and comments of hockey fans from outside of Edmonton. Apparently some people didn’t realize the assistant captain’s “A” had gone to Nick Schultz and not Justin Schultz.

We’re back…

It’s been about 2 years since we posted but we’re back.

New content coming soon. Stay tuned!

Oilersrefinery.tk

We’ve updated and moved to a new host at the same address.

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Here, let uncle Zach polish off your nose.

Here, let uncle Zach polish off your nose.

THIS POST WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN 2009 ON OUR ORIGINAL BLOG.

THIS IS A TEST PAGE THAT WE REPOSTED.

It’s that time of year again, ladies and gentleman, boys and girls.

It’s just the pre-season and I’m getting the jitters.

Just a couple of thoughts on the team right now:

  • Boy, is that Rob Schremp guy gifted or what? His perfect pass had me mistaking Tom Gilbert for Sheldon Souray
  • Jeff DesLauriers looks up to the task of starting a good chunk of the Oilers’ games this season
  • Mike Comrie could turn out to be steal of the 2009 UFA season, depending on how (McKee, Bertuzzi and Prospal turn out on their respective teams)
  • Shawn Horcoff looks healthy
  • If there ever was a reason for why Kenta’s boy was shipped out of Edmonton, his name would be Patrick O’Sullivan
  • Or Dustin Penner (but for different reasons altogether)

Check back soon for updates on CLS Re-draft developments and a link to my upcoming HockeyBarn article.

Jason Smith Tributes

Jason Smith

Jason Smith

Jason Smith, former Oilers captain (and the longest one to boot) retired this week.

He will be missed.

I made that wallpaper a long time ago but now’s a better time to release it than any.

Here’s some other stuff from the Oilogosphere:

Glimpses of Gator

And I guess the Oilers and the Oil faithful did it better and best than anyone else with this:

http://www.youtube.com/v/x3TjXLjBlIs&hl=en&fs=1&color1=0x006699&color2=0x54abd6

Comrie back in Edmonton?

0-with-chara,-comrie

Check it out, it's Souray, Comrie, and Chara. Ol' buddies.

I believe Comrie to be underqualified for the third line centerman position and overqualified for the fourth line center position. But a guy who produces offense like he does comes relatively cheap at 1.3 million, and produces offense even on bad teams playing tough opposition.

Is he a better option than any of the current centermen?

It’s sad but he’s definitely better than either Pouliot or Brule, but whether or not he’s good enough to supplant Sam Gagner at the 2C position is up for debate. I certainly wouldn’t delay Gagner’s development by bringing back a relic of Oilers history. He’s certainly more experienced, but Gagner’s ceiling is much, much higher.

As for supplanting Horcoff, if he replaced Horcoff on the first line, I would seriously reconsider being a fan of the Edmonton Oilers, because that would be plain stupid.

The only reason Gagner should be supplanted as second line center is if Pat Quinn wants to roll four lines and protect the kid line from tougher competition. This can only be achieved if one or more of the current small skilled forwards are moved A.S.A.P. This would mean one or more of Nilsson, Cogliano, O’Sullivan, or Brule would be gone (not Gagner, of course).

Is it worth it?

A Bad Week For Hockey

JR

The swan song of the NHL

  • Patrick Kane, young millionaire and poster boy for the new NHL and cover boy of the EA Sports NHL 2010 video game, is arrested for assaulting and robbing a cab driver over 20 cents. As per TSN, “Kane, a Buffalo native, had attended a press conference with the mayor to announce funding for a local rink earlier in the evening.”
  • The NHL loses Jeremy Roenick, one of the few outspoken NHL players who knew where to push the buttons and where to draw the line. He’s going to make a great color commentary guy.
  • Theoren Fleury is mounting a come back and the NHL continues to be a haven for celebrated troublemakers (Claude Lemieux) as opposed to the uncelebrated troublemakers (Chris Simon).
  • The NHL continues to shut out one of the most secure potential investors in Jim Balsillie, over what seems to be a grudge against his determination to acquire a franchise and move it back to Canada. It’s great to support small market teams but Phoenix has proven to be a large market incapable of supporting its team. There might be other bidders (Jerry Reinsdorf) willing to keep the team in the city but it doesn’t change the fact that there is insufficient infrastructure running through the Glenndale suburb. Business is business, and leave the personal feelings aside.
  • Tampering by the infamous GM Brian Burke continues as he trades a top rated hockey prospect to his friends in Anaheim for loose change. Is Tomas Kaberle next? Remember when Burke was adamant he “wasn’t” going to Toronto?
  • The NHL and the Tampa Bay Lightning can’t iron out the ownership issue and it’s been going on forever.

2006-oilers-red-wings

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