Monday, 18 July 2011

Trouble for the Oilers?

Sheldon Souray states that the organizations he played with during his career, New Jersey and Montreal, are “top shelf”, but he specifically excludes Edmonton.

First, the LA Kings's General Manager Dean Lombardi rants about their conduct during the Ryan Smyth trade, and now this. Is it a statistical blip, or is this something indicative of something broken in Edmonton?

I want the Canadian franchises to be healthy, and Edmonton has me worried. Sure they have young talent, but they are almost automatically excluded as a free agent or trade destination because they are a small-market, cold-climate destination. If their management team and organization is also viewed as bush league, what happens five years down the line when the Canadian dollar weakens and Taylor Hall et al all become free agents and leave?

The secret to a small-market team is for word-of-mouth between players to praise it as a place to work and live. Montreal doesn’t fit the label of small-market, but we suffered in the past with players refusing to come here, and that seems to no longer be the case. Players who are here want to stay here, and they tell their colleagues as much. Edmonton seems to be headed down the path to disaster.

Does anyone have any insights into the Oilers situation? Is this a Steve Tambellini problem? I remember his work with the Canucks, he was seen as a bright young executive and set to do some good work for whoever hired him.

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