Top 10 Oilers questions for the 2009 season?

 

Deploying Pat Quinn

Deploying Pat Quinn

 

Thinking back to the good times that I’ve been fortunate enough to have in my early 20’s, I can remember some of the fun nights that I’ve experienced clubbing during my summers in Toronto.  Yeah, if you can get around the center of the universe mentality that pervades Toronto, there’s actually some pretty exciting night spots in that city.

One night, in particular, I can remember being at a club around 1 am while I was out with a group of friends.  Looking around that night, it was a relatively dead night in terms of attractive women.   One of my friends looked around the club and proclaimed, “Boys, tonight we’re scrapping the barrel!”  Ever since then, the phrase, “scrapping the barrel” has just kind of stuck with me.  That’s also pretty much where I am at right now in terms of writing a blog post, yup, I’m scrapping the barrel.

Since I am already on my 4rth Blackberry phone, I’m not going to write a post about making it seven, or Jim Balsille.  Alternately, I could pull out the Ekund rumor generator and make up a trade that’s just not going to happen.  If I truly had any journalistic ambitions, perhaps I would go to the trouble of writing an in depth article about how the recent NHLPA personnel changes might lead to yet another lockout in the NHL.  Other than that, I basically have two choices–write more crap about myself that is of interest to no one, or revert to the blogger’s lifeline–the Top 10 list!

Top 10 Questions facing the Oilers this upcoming season!

10.  Will the Oilers actually sign Mike Comrie? Okay, this is certainly a topical question, but I’ve ranked it as number 10 since I don’t really see it as being of huge importance one way or the other.  However, if we do sign Mike Comrie and make a significant roster change afterwards, it could have a much bigger impact.

9. Will Rob Schremp crack the roster? Again, another topical question, but one of more importance to Rob Schremp himself than the Edmonton Oilers.

8. What chance do we have with JDD as our backup goaltender? Like Rob Schremp, there’s a number of Oilers fans that seemingly chant the slogan, “We need to give JDD a chance.”  On the other hand, astute blogger in the Oliogsphere note that JDD’s AHL numbers don’t really suggest that he will do much with it.  If Bulin gets injured, we could be looking at a very high draft pick this season.

7.  Where’s the beef? Earlier this summer, there were suggestions by Tambellini that our team would get grittier and tougher to play against.  Many fans looked no furter than at our smallish top six and assumed that there would be some roster changes to address our overabundance of  talented ‘smurfs.’

6. Where’s the balance? The prevailing wisdom amongst the Oligosphere seems to indicate that our roster is quite unbalanced in terms of having too many small, skilled players whose skills are duplicated on the roster while lacking faceoff men, penalty killers, a legit sniper,  as well as size and grit.

5. Who will we play down the middle? To me, this is a huge question…  Cogliano has suggested that he wants to play in the top six even if it means playing the wing.  O’Sullivan has stated the same preference for the wing as well.  This leaves what for our 3C/4C positions?  Pouliot/Brule?

4. When and if we will make some roster changes? If I were a betting man, right now I would have to say all signs suggest that we’ll be starting our season this year with our current roster of players and perhaps make some adjustments prior to the trade deadline.

3. Who will step up this year? Already, Cogliano’s spoken out and addressed the need for some of our promising and talented younger players to step up in order for this team to have a chance to see the second season.  Right now, I am looking at Gagner, Cogliano, Nilsson, Penner, and O’Sullivan.

2.  Which rookies/prospects will impress Quinn? We’ve got a long list of first round and other higher draft picks that will be looking to impress Pat Quinn at training camp:  Marc Pouliot, Gilbert Brule, Ryan Potulny, and Rob Schremp among other possibilities.

1.  Will we make the playoffs? Yes, as Oilers’ fans, we’re all hoping that we’ll get a taste of the second season this year.  We’ve lost Kotalik, Brodziak, and Roloson, but  we’ve also brought in the Bulin wall as well as  some truly great hockey minds that will be standing behind the bench.  I am looking no further than Pat Quinn himself to have an impact on the results of our team this season.  However, with our current roster of players, even optimists see our team as maybe 7th/8th in the western conference.

Maybe if the Oilers were competing in a Zumba competition, their small size, lack of beef, and speed would be useful.

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