By Sebastian Jackson
It has been well over 20 years since the Dynasty in Edmonton subsequently came to an end. There is something about those days for a lot of Edmonton fans that has really set the tone for what is being expected in Edmonton, AKA the City Of Champions. Since the last time the Oilers lifted the Stanley cup in 1989-90 season, the only champions that have brought the city of Champions a "championship" where the 1993, 2000 and 2003 Edmonton Eskimos CFL football team! So what is Expected out of the Edmonton Oilers hockey team of 2013-2014?
The last time the Oilers were in the Stanley Cup playoffs was the 2005-2006 in what was a great seven game series with the Carolina Hurricanes! Outside of that the last seven seasons in Edmonton have been consistent to the point where you can almost guarantee that the oil will finish in the bottom eight of the western conference. Things started to look up with the drafting of solid future NHLers in Jeff Petry, Sam Gagner, Jordan Ebrele, Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
and Nail Yakupov
and formerly Magnus Paajarvi-Svenson. Now in 2013-2014 will the drafting of such high profile players pay off? Not so much....
Already off to a shaky start this season the Oilers are still looking for answers. Why aren't they winning? Why aren't they dominating? My answer to that isn't about the pressure that management, ownership and lastly the young players are putting on themselves. Simply put, just because you have the first pick in three straight drafts doesn't make your team a winner. Yes, it gives you positives and a future to look forward too but it is by no means a guarantee.
A lot of fans are comparing the situation in Edmonton to the situation Pittsburgh was in not too long ago. It's a fair argument, but what most people don't realize is Pittsburgh addressed more than one issue simultaneously and they did it without three consecutive first overall picks.
With the first pick in the draft, the Penguins brass drafted Marc Andre Fleury.
They started from the position that was in greatest need . The next year the Pens took Evgeni Malkin, Alex Goligoski, Tyler Kennedy
. The pens followed up in 2005 with the likes of Sydney Crosby,Kris Letang
, and Joe Vitale. Add in 2000 first rounder Brooks Orpik
and the Penguins have given themselves winning teams for potentially the next 10-15 seasons. So really, you can't make a comparison to what Pittsburgh did.
We can't sit here and say that Edmonton has been unsuccessful at drafting, they haven't. They have had a few great drafts but at what cost? Five Straight years of drafting a forward in the first round isn't the answer to any teams problems if you're not addressing other needs.
But here are some fun facts for everybody.
-Since 2007 the Edmonton Oilers have drafted 55 players. Of those players 35 of them forwards, 16 defensemen, and four goalies.
-Most of those defensemen were drafted in or after the 4th-5th round of the draft.
-Since 2007 the Oilers to date have played 474 games, winning 186, losing 234 and a additional 54 in the extra time/shoot out.
-In that time averaging 2.6 goals a game while allowing almost four.
So why were twice as many forwards vs. defensemen drafted in a time when a majority of the issue was goals against? and why were there only four goalies drafted in a time where there was never a clear cut number one? That is not a knock against Devyn Dubnyk
but how many years are you going to give a guy before turning the page!? He has showed promise, but promise is all Edmonton has talked about over the past six yo seven years and the word has really lost its meaning at this point.
This is a project that slowly needs to end. It's not working. A lot of Edmonton fans are hell bent on keeping Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov. But my question to you is why? You're not winning with them. In my Opinion I would Keep Jordan Eberle, And Taylor hall. Substitute Nail Yakupov for Ryan Murray, The second overall pick from 2012 and this team instantly looks better.
It's 2013-2014 and the Oilers are off to a shaky 4-12-2 start. Allowing almost four goals a game. I think it's time to set up a real rebuild. Starting from the back end.
A lot of questions will continue to remain unanswered. Tune in at the 41 game mark where I will go more in depth to the current situation!
My name is Sebastian. I appreciate you taking the time to read.
Follow me on Twittier at: @brownsugar1990