Prophecies of an Anonymous Oilers Fan

Kent Wilson
April 05 2013 09:45AM

Centre ice-man

pic via Gary Blaney

 (I was sent this yesterday from an Oilers fan who wanted to remain nameless. It details, from experience, our suffering to come)

Flames fans, I come in peace to tell you in detail what awaits you in coming years. Not just tales of the agony of losing and repeat humiliations over the course of a season with only a single day in June to truly look forward to - you know that already. The smart ones among you have known the day of reckoning was set in motion, that pieces of the future were dealt for last, desperate gasps at a playoff spot. I also bring prophecy of what you do not yet know - the hopes, the fears, the over-analysis, the fretting about events out of not just your control but the team's. And, in some cases, explanations for what you consider inexplicable.

For starters, you have to wonder where along the rebuild schedule you may be. Edmonton may not have admitted to its rebuild until 2010, but it arguably started with the Gagner draft and continued with the selections of Eberle and Paajarvi in subsequent years. All three have taken their time developing and still have lots to learn. Gagner and Paajarvi were relatively easy picks, but we got lucky with Eberle at 22. How has your drafting been? You may not know for several years - at least six if you've followed Gagner's gradual improvements until his explosion this year. Is Baertschi your Eberle? Or is he the Riley Nash in your system? The Jankowski pick could be a bust like Jesse Niinimaaki or a successful reach.

Prophecy One: You know not the name of thy savior

Most first overalls are the best players in their draft, especially since the mid-2000s and the salary cap, when teams realized they couldn't just outbid for the best players in free agency with no consequences. Ovechkin, Crosby, Kane, Stamkos, Tavares, and Hall. Those second overalls aren't that bad, either - Malkin, Doughty and Seguin make good consolation prizes. They're not the top talent as often though, and while you may get the best player in the draft with any pick, the odds steeply decrease with each step down within the top 5, and then fall off a cliff after that.

Prophecy Two: The gods are whimsical with their cruelty, and April 29th shall precipitate a hasty retreat of thine manly bits

So when that draft day lottery comes, your guts are going to be rumbling and that fog of beer that was hitting you so hard an hour ago suddenly clears up. You will lose your appetite for wings as the NHL taunts you, on live TV, with a mockery, a hideous and downright evil spectacle in which the fate of your team is being decided by a bunch of bouncing balls.

Yet you continue to stare, and then it comes - the Gutshot. You were last, you suffered most, you endured the most humiliation and defeats, drinking $10 beer after $10 beer to choke the pain down. But at 5th overall, the expected Senators weren't there. That can only mean one thing - they won, they're moving up from 5th to 1st. You lose, you draft second. Your scouts can't pick the best player, so the GM picks for need. A wasted year! You won James van Riemsdyk instead of Patrick Kane, Victor Hedman instead of John Tavares. Oh no, what if - WHAT IF ... oh no ... you know, you just *know* those damn Avs are going to get the first overall. Another team in your division stacking up on primo talent!

... but wait! Drafting fourth are the Devils, instead of drafting eighth! They moved up from eighth to fourth in the lottery, so you get to keep the pick - well, not quite. You see, the Oilers lost in 2011 lottery, and the fans watched that happen. The bar went dead quiet once everyone realized what happened with the Senators being bumped.

Statistically, after the Oilers, the second-last team had the best odds of winning, then the third-last, and fourth-last, fifth-last... and any of them could win the first overall. But back then, teams drafting 6th or higher could move up only 5 spots. For you guys, if another team wins the lottery - any team - they get the first overall. This works for you as well, but by being down so low in the standings, you have more to lose under the system - not just losing first overall to potentially the 9th-worst team in the league, but being bumped from second to third and so on. Or hey, you know how you're cheering for us to fall short of the playoffs? Just imagine, you get your wish, we don't make The Show and then, just for kicks, Lady Luck... nah, it wouldn't happen, would it?

Enjoy April 29th.

Prophecy Three: Blameless is the Prophet, as is thine coach and stars, yet they shall suffer

Bob Hartley's only sin was signing on as coach this year. The Flames' prognosis from the hockey media community - and we mocked their predictions too - was 11th-14th in the West. Neither Bob Hartley, Brent Sutter, nor the Most Revered One, Scotty Bowman himself, could have done much to avert that fate. The only thing Curtis Glencross did wrong was be young, skilled, and affordable enough to keep. The only thing Mike Cammalleri did wrong was to be expensive enough, young enough, and not worth enough back in a trade to act as a veteran presence and a cap floor cushion.

Yes, I know it's difficult to believe judging by the Coyotes and Islanders, but teams do have to spend a minimum amount per season, and it's substantial - $44m. Dennis Wideman, Jiri Hudler and Roman Cervenka only committed the sins of greed and pride.

Despite all this, heaps of abuse will rain down upon them all, completely unwarranted on your stars and coach, and in amounts far too severe for the free agents who chose money over a good team, or chose to believe they are good enough to turn the TiFlamic around. They are not to blame for your woes in coming years. Ultimately, what you will hate them for is for not being good enough to carry the team, yet you will never consider that the team will no longer be built to win.

Above all, most of you will not appreciate the shelter that these overpaid or not-quite-good-enough star players will provide to your rookies and prospects. The Oilers were a hollow shell without "third liner $7m captain Horcoff" this year, and are a competitive team with him. During the rebuild Horcoff provided shelter for both Hall (centering his line) and Nuge (by taking on the top competition and letting Nuge play second-tier opponents.)

Horcoff was the goat, the shield against the flame that was the fan's scorn that might have turned on Gagner or other prospects. Horcoff, Hemsky, and to a lesser extent Penner and Whitney weren't the bums who couldn't win, they were the shelter in the storm for the growing youth movement. After the collapse in 2009-2010, the team was no longer built to win. The burden is unfair. Yet you shall deny and denounce your stars and veterans nevertheless.

Prophecy Four: The grass is greener on the wrong side of the railroad tracks

Your fanbase will split and argue pettily as never before. It will fragment and isolate into echo-chamber cells. "We're not big enough!", "This team sucks, might as well play the prospects more!", "We need veterans and depth!", "We need to tank more!", "If we lose any more, we'll develop a permanent losing culture like Florida, Atlanta, or the Islanders!"

The ideas will split and multiply and become like venomous, spitting hydras - you cut one yapping head down and two more appear - and all shall advocate their Golden Path to success, and they will keep their faith strong by repeating what they believe and reading things that support what they believe. They will point to Holmgren in Philadelphia and his quick rebuild a few years ago, or Brian Burke's somewhat surprising success in Toronto this year, or the remarkable turnaround of Montreal. There will be those who point North with envy in their hearts but the belief that ours was indeed the Golden Path. Yet others will pray at the altars of Bowman or Shero.

Yet ultimately all those arguments is pointless, because your path will be your path. The Gods of Odds laid their blessings upon the Oilers - to win our three lotteries in a row (ranking 1st, 1st, and 2nd in odds - and yes, you will soon too count standings in draft positions - like 1st, 2nd, 3rd...) - the Oilers had 48.2% chances to win in their first two years (25% + the combined 23.2% chance of the teams that couldn't win first overall) and an 18.8% chance to win last year. That's a 4.37% chance of winning the lottery all three years combined - just under 1 in 25. With the current odds, if the Flames finished last three years in a row, the odds of winning would be 1 in 64, or 1.56%.

Your path shall be unique. And not as lucky.

Prophecy Five: Thou art heretics, and thou shall burn and Fail in the same flames thou adorn thyselves with

Ultimately, the reason it has been revealed to me that you will fail is because your owner runs CNRL and thought it was a good idea to build a plant from parts made in one country by one people, send to be assembled by mostly by different temporary foreign wage depressor people from three different countries, in a fourth country, with the permission and encouragement of the former Calgarian mayor and premier*. That kind of mentality leads to parts of your plant burning down and trading Sven Baertschi or Mark Jankowski for picks and pucks the draft before they're in the Calder running.

Blue collar city Union Pride, Flamers.

39d8109299a9795cb3b41a4e9b49d501
Former Nations Overlord. Current Fn contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#1 bookofloob
April 05 2013, 09:49AM
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What fresh hell is this?

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#3 Dave Dixon
April 05 2013, 09:58AM
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Going to be very interesting to see if Calgary sells out the building for the next 4 to 5 years the way the Oilers did through their lean years. Somehow I just do not see it happening. The crowds were absolutely dead in Calgary prior to their 2004 Stanley Cup run. Then came the bandwagon jumping with flames jerseys everywhere in the stands. Over the past year and a half I've noticed a significant decrease in the amount of flames jerseys in the stands. And even in the first period of Wednesday nights game, it appeared to be many empty seats. This is not mudslinging, just an observation that the Oilers fans stuck with it and sold out every single game during their rebuild.

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#4 kittensandcookies
April 05 2013, 10:10AM
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@Dave Dixon

To be fair, the Oilers' attendance was pitiful too before their Stanley Cup run.

These days, having Flames tickets is more of a status symbol than actually caring about the team's success, or even having any sort of general hockey knowledge. I don't know why people attend Oilers games - probably to compare mullet styles while absorbing the stench of week-old unwashed vajajays.

We're Toronto West, except we're much nicer to the team. No one's going to be wearing paper bags over their heads here mocking the team.

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#5 Alex
April 05 2013, 10:29AM
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kittensandcookies wrote:

To be fair, the Oilers' attendance was pitiful too before their Stanley Cup run.

These days, having Flames tickets is more of a status symbol than actually caring about the team's success, or even having any sort of general hockey knowledge. I don't know why people attend Oilers games - probably to compare mullet styles while absorbing the stench of week-old unwashed vajajays.

We're Toronto West, except we're much nicer to the team. No one's going to be wearing paper bags over their heads here mocking the team.

The Oilers attendance only sucked in the mid 90s when Pocklington ran the team into the ground.

In the early 2000s when the Oilers sucked, just like our Flames, they sold out.

I suspect our fanbase will be just as "sheepish" as Edmonton and show up. It is easy to say we should, but if I could afford more than 5 games a year I would...

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#6 kittensandcookies
April 05 2013, 10:32AM
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Alex wrote:

The Oilers attendance only sucked in the mid 90s when Pocklington ran the team into the ground.

In the early 2000s when the Oilers sucked, just like our Flames, they sold out.

I suspect our fanbase will be just as "sheepish" as Edmonton and show up. It is easy to say we should, but if I could afford more than 5 games a year I would...

Uh, no, their attendance sucked in the early 2000s... Unless you think 15K is a sell out.

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#7 Potlicker
April 05 2013, 10:35AM
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To Unknown Oiler Fan:

In the end 29 teams all go through a path to Hell and walk down a cold dark back alley knowing there is no warmth or comfort. Just missed opportunity and search for any street light. The difference of those 29 poor souls is the looks of that sinister hooker that lured you down that dark alley.

And now a reminder from ones that were there to you who hath forgotten because of the nightmare you have finally awoken from: "The Curse of Expectation" This curse pushes the norepinephrin through neurons at the start of each season, only to find that feeling of missed opportunity to be as low as the high of the expectation. Remember, once the window is opened, and my Oiler friend, that window hath now opened in the season of 2013, it only begins to close as missed opportunity slowly brings it down. "But this is different" you Oilers cry. "We've been through the pits of Hades & shook off the lost souls in darkness, that wont happen again" Then you suddenly look up & the Captain that delivered you to the abyss is still driving the ship.

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#8 SmellOfVictory
April 05 2013, 10:51AM
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Dave Dixon wrote:

Going to be very interesting to see if Calgary sells out the building for the next 4 to 5 years the way the Oilers did through their lean years. Somehow I just do not see it happening. The crowds were absolutely dead in Calgary prior to their 2004 Stanley Cup run. Then came the bandwagon jumping with flames jerseys everywhere in the stands. Over the past year and a half I've noticed a significant decrease in the amount of flames jerseys in the stands. And even in the first period of Wednesday nights game, it appeared to be many empty seats. This is not mudslinging, just an observation that the Oilers fans stuck with it and sold out every single game during their rebuild.

Oilers marketing a very good job of selling the rebuild. Flames marketing could possibly do the same, and it's actually one reason they might pick a forward over Jones if they're first overall (that aside from that fact that it may just be a better idea to begin with); high-end forwards are much easier to sell to fans than high-end defencemen, for the most part (Erik Karlsson notwithstanding).

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#9 Jeff Lebowski
April 05 2013, 10:51AM
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It's corporate seats that are empty and corporate seats make a big part of Calgary season ticket base. In Edmonton, the corporate factor is not to same degree. The bandwagon jumping or more die hard fans up north is just myth. Nice try at a dig but fail.

In the o&g industry, Flames games are the only thing to do (when too cold to golf). High levels of corporate seats will always be the case here. However, if the Flames are sucking white collar slaves will just pass. They will go home to their wives instead. Hence the empty seats.

oiler fans like to talk about their year with 3 first rounders. The Rikey Nash year. Yes, you did suck at drafting but 2007 was a relatively terrible draft class. There certainly wasn't the hype 2013 has for depth. Essentially the difference is we have 3 firsts in a deep draft where the coil had 3 firsts in a weak draft. Big difference.

Also, the talk I heard is that 2013 is similar to 2003. Look at the quality players drafted at even low spots in '03. If course there are risks for picking a bust but with 3 picks (potentially) you get to hedge against that. Or you can trade one if those picks for a prospect and let some other GM, caught by the allure of a deep draft, to pick the bust.

What I'm essentially saying is screw you anonymous coiler fan. For the most part of your lean years you were horrible, then you got 3 first overalls and lucky with Eberle. It won't happen that way for us. For all of people's complaints about Feaster his draft record here has been quite good.

Also Calgary is an infinitely better city then d'edmonton. In every way possible. Player wives will not refuse to come here like they do to your blighted, run down, frozen city. Once the contracts are all due your prized kids will leave piece by piece. All it takes is one leaving before the others realize how much it sucks to live in edm. Just look at the migration of regular folk out of that sh$thole.

Suck it assho!e.

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#10 mattyc
April 05 2013, 11:18AM
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well written (especially for someone from edmonton). I do, however, think the Oilers/Flames rebuild 'similarity' is just a big 'ol lazy narrative. Yeah, sure, the Flames could end up sucking for 5+ years and garner a lot of high picks, and the results would be the same. But things could also go any number of other ways as well.

I think the Oilers' biggest failing (so far) has been not being able to secure a solid goaltender. In fairness, they tried with the Bulin 'wall'... But look at how successful Ottawa, Montreal and even Columbus have been. I think a lot of that can be attributed to getting solid goaltending (something the flames haven't really been getting either...)

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#11 Subz
April 05 2013, 11:19AM
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Jeff Lebowski wrote:

It's corporate seats that are empty and corporate seats make a big part of Calgary season ticket base. In Edmonton, the corporate factor is not to same degree. The bandwagon jumping or more die hard fans up north is just myth. Nice try at a dig but fail.

In the o&g industry, Flames games are the only thing to do (when too cold to golf). High levels of corporate seats will always be the case here. However, if the Flames are sucking white collar slaves will just pass. They will go home to their wives instead. Hence the empty seats.

oiler fans like to talk about their year with 3 first rounders. The Rikey Nash year. Yes, you did suck at drafting but 2007 was a relatively terrible draft class. There certainly wasn't the hype 2013 has for depth. Essentially the difference is we have 3 firsts in a deep draft where the coil had 3 firsts in a weak draft. Big difference.

Also, the talk I heard is that 2013 is similar to 2003. Look at the quality players drafted at even low spots in '03. If course there are risks for picking a bust but with 3 picks (potentially) you get to hedge against that. Or you can trade one if those picks for a prospect and let some other GM, caught by the allure of a deep draft, to pick the bust.

What I'm essentially saying is screw you anonymous coiler fan. For the most part of your lean years you were horrible, then you got 3 first overalls and lucky with Eberle. It won't happen that way for us. For all of people's complaints about Feaster his draft record here has been quite good.

Also Calgary is an infinitely better city then d'edmonton. In every way possible. Player wives will not refuse to come here like they do to your blighted, run down, frozen city. Once the contracts are all due your prized kids will leave piece by piece. All it takes is one leaving before the others realize how much it sucks to live in edm. Just look at the migration of regular folk out of that sh$thole.

Suck it assho!e.

AMEN

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#12 the-wolf
April 05 2013, 11:25AM
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Jeff Lebowski wrote:

It's corporate seats that are empty and corporate seats make a big part of Calgary season ticket base. In Edmonton, the corporate factor is not to same degree. The bandwagon jumping or more die hard fans up north is just myth. Nice try at a dig but fail.

In the o&g industry, Flames games are the only thing to do (when too cold to golf). High levels of corporate seats will always be the case here. However, if the Flames are sucking white collar slaves will just pass. They will go home to their wives instead. Hence the empty seats.

oiler fans like to talk about their year with 3 first rounders. The Rikey Nash year. Yes, you did suck at drafting but 2007 was a relatively terrible draft class. There certainly wasn't the hype 2013 has for depth. Essentially the difference is we have 3 firsts in a deep draft where the coil had 3 firsts in a weak draft. Big difference.

Also, the talk I heard is that 2013 is similar to 2003. Look at the quality players drafted at even low spots in '03. If course there are risks for picking a bust but with 3 picks (potentially) you get to hedge against that. Or you can trade one if those picks for a prospect and let some other GM, caught by the allure of a deep draft, to pick the bust.

What I'm essentially saying is screw you anonymous coiler fan. For the most part of your lean years you were horrible, then you got 3 first overalls and lucky with Eberle. It won't happen that way for us. For all of people's complaints about Feaster his draft record here has been quite good.

Also Calgary is an infinitely better city then d'edmonton. In every way possible. Player wives will not refuse to come here like they do to your blighted, run down, frozen city. Once the contracts are all due your prized kids will leave piece by piece. All it takes is one leaving before the others realize how much it sucks to live in edm. Just look at the migration of regular folk out of that sh$thole.

Suck it assho!e.

You're completely missing the point.

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#13 the-wolf
April 05 2013, 11:34AM
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On the bright side, Gaudreau was on the Fan this morning and it sounds like he wants to play at higher level next season. Also a finalist for The Hobey Baker.

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#14 ChinookArch
April 05 2013, 11:36AM
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kittensandcookies wrote:

To be fair, the Oilers' attendance was pitiful too before their Stanley Cup run.

These days, having Flames tickets is more of a status symbol than actually caring about the team's success, or even having any sort of general hockey knowledge. I don't know why people attend Oilers games - probably to compare mullet styles while absorbing the stench of week-old unwashed vajajays.

We're Toronto West, except we're much nicer to the team. No one's going to be wearing paper bags over their heads here mocking the team.

Soon enough having Flames tickets will not be a status symbol. I still believe the Saddledome will be sold out (or at least virtually) for most games with more and more empty seats each year. Most corporations and small business will likely stay the course for a few years, and there is a plethora of people waiting on reserve for their turn at seasons tickets. This all but guarantees a full arena. I see that as good news by the way, it will be nice to weed out soft bandwagon 2004 fans from the rest of us that suffered from the 'young guns' era, and couldn't get a shot a seasons tickets.

Remember the old joke: I couldn't go the the Flames game tonight, so I put a pair of tickets with a "FREE" sign on my windshield, when I went to the liquor store. I came back out and someone left me 4 tickets, but the sign was gone. That joke will be funny again.

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#15 MC Hockey
April 05 2013, 11:48AM
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Potlicker wrote:

To Unknown Oiler Fan:

In the end 29 teams all go through a path to Hell and walk down a cold dark back alley knowing there is no warmth or comfort. Just missed opportunity and search for any street light. The difference of those 29 poor souls is the looks of that sinister hooker that lured you down that dark alley.

And now a reminder from ones that were there to you who hath forgotten because of the nightmare you have finally awoken from: "The Curse of Expectation" This curse pushes the norepinephrin through neurons at the start of each season, only to find that feeling of missed opportunity to be as low as the high of the expectation. Remember, once the window is opened, and my Oiler friend, that window hath now opened in the season of 2013, it only begins to close as missed opportunity slowly brings it down. "But this is different" you Oilers cry. "We've been through the pits of Hades & shook off the lost souls in darkness, that wont happen again" Then you suddenly look up & the Captain that delivered you to the abyss is still driving the ship.

I second the above thoughts, which were very well put in the biblical-like prose of the original author, nice job. Oh, and on a less "prosey" note, my friend in California who works on a certain very well-known prime-time cartoon TV show has also chimed in with a note from one of his characters, which succinctly said "HA HA Oilers". Bonus points if you name that character!

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#16 rubbertrout
April 05 2013, 11:53AM
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SmellOfVictory wrote:

Oilers marketing a very good job of selling the rebuild. Flames marketing could possibly do the same, and it's actually one reason they might pick a forward over Jones if they're first overall (that aside from that fact that it may just be a better idea to begin with); high-end forwards are much easier to sell to fans than high-end defencemen, for the most part (Erik Karlsson notwithstanding).

They did a good job of selling the re-build three years after it started.

Sadly, the most inept management in the league (a title which may be taken from Tamblowe by Feaster and Co.) wasn't even sure it was happening and continued to whale hunt. Leading to a last place finish (by accident) followed by a last place finish (on purpose) followed by a 2nd last place finish (thinking they were better than they were).

Even though it looks like the Oil might be trending towards the sunny side of the street now I'm still paralyzed with fear that these idiots won't know what to do with what they have. Their actions thus far and inability to address the holes that any casual hockey fan can see scare the hell out of me.

I lived through the hell that lead us to the top notch talent that we have on the front end and I want my candy damnit!

It almost makes me feel sorry for the Flames but then I remember what cocky bastards the fans where as the Oilers were mired in the outhouse for so long.

Slow clap for the article.

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#17 Jeff Lebowski
April 05 2013, 11:54AM
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the-wolf wrote:

You're completely missing the point.

No I'm not. I know the Flames are going to be bad but it doesn't necessarily mean it will be as bad as the coilers or other desert wanderers (it might be though). And given a three firsts, potentially, and a deep draft it could speed up the process quite a bit. Look at 2003:

1 Marc-Andre Fleury (Goaltender) Canada Pittsburgh Penguins (from Florida) Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (QMJHL) 2 Eric Staal (Centre) Canada Carolina Hurricanes Peterborough Petes (OHL) 3 Nathan Horton (Right Wing) Canada Florida Panthers (from Pittsburgh) Oshawa Generals (OHL) 4 Nikolai Zherdev (Right Wing) Russia Columbus Blue Jackets CSKA Moscow (Russia) 5 Thomas Vanek (Left Wing) Austria Buffalo Sabres University of Minnesota (NCAA) 6 Milan Michalek (Left Wing) Czech Republic San Jose Sharks HC České Budějovice (Czech Republic) 7 Ryan Suter (Defence) United States Nashville Predators U.S. National Team Development Program (NAHL) 8 Braydon Coburn (Defence) Canada Atlanta Thrashers Portland Winterhawks (WHL) 9 Dion Phaneuf (Defence) Canada Calgary Flames Red Deer Rebels (WHL) 10 Andrei Kostitsyn (Right Wing) Belarus Montreal Canadiens CSKA Moscow (Russia) 11 Jeff Carter (Centre) Canada Philadelphia Flyers (from Phoenix) Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL) 12 Hugh Jessiman (Right Wing) United States New York Rangers Dartmouth College (NCAA) 13 Dustin Brown (Right Wing) United States Los Angeles Kings Guelph Storm (OHL) 14 Brent Seabrook (Defence) Canada Chicago Blackhawks Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL) 15 Robert Nilsson (Right Wing) Sweden New York Islanders Leksands IF (Sweden) 16 Steve Bernier (Right Wing) Canada San Jose Sharks (from Boston) Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL) 17 Zach Parise (Centre) United States New Jersey Devils (from Edmonton) University of North Dakota (NCAA) 18 Eric Fehr (Right Wing) Canada Washington Capitals Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL) 19 Ryan Getzlaf (Centre) Canada Mighty Ducks of Anaheim Calgary Hitmen (WHL) 20 Brent Burns (Right wing) Canada Minnesota Wild Brampton Battalion (OHL) 21 Mark Stuart (Defence) United States Boston Bruins (from Toronto via San Jose) Colorado College (NCAA) 22 Marc-Antoine Pouliot (Centre) Canada Edmonton Oilers (from St. Louis via New Jersey) Rimouski Océanic (QMJHL) 23 Ryan Kesler (Centre) United States Vancouver Canucks Ohio State University (NCAA) 24 Mike Richards (Centre) Canada Philadelphia Flyers Kitchener Rangers (OHL) 25 Anthony Stewart (Right Wing) Canada Florida Panthers (from Tampa Bay) Kingston Frontenacs (OHL) 26 Brian Boyle (Centre) United States Los Angeles Kings (from Colorado) Saint Sebastian's School (USHS-MA) 27 Jeff Tambellini (Left Wing) Canada Los Angeles Kings (from Detroit) University of Michigan (NCAA) 28 Corey Perry (Right Wing) Canada Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (from Dallas) London Knights (OHL) 29 Patrick Eaves (Right Wing) United States Ottawa Senators Boston College (NCAA) 30 Shawn Belle (Defence) Canada St. Louis Blues (from New Jersey) Tri-City Americans (WHL)

Yes there will be dissent and hard times but the length of these hard times is not pre determined.

What happend elsewhere does not necessarily predict what will happen here.

Hard to predict the future is, always moving.

Also more points for coiler fans:

Most youth rebuilds have the day of reckoning with maturing contracts. It's happened everywhere because you can't pay everyone. However moving forward that window has likely closed a little more due to the new salary cap. The coil rushed to sign Hall and Eberle before the lockout, without knowing what the new rules will be.

So you better make it now cause your team will look different a lot quicker than say CHI or PITT did. The CNRL thing is quite a weak dig but if true reprehensible. At least our owners haven't contacted other cities to look at relocating the team. Nor have they threatened the city with demands for paying for a new arena that will spark some renaissance of the city (by demanding the city break it's own rules and force municipal workers to move to a building on your development. That is beyond shady. Yes, the future is bright in d'edmonton

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#18 rubbertrout
April 05 2013, 11:58AM
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Jeff Lebowski wrote:

It's corporate seats that are empty and corporate seats make a big part of Calgary season ticket base. In Edmonton, the corporate factor is not to same degree. The bandwagon jumping or more die hard fans up north is just myth. Nice try at a dig but fail.

In the o&g industry, Flames games are the only thing to do (when too cold to golf). High levels of corporate seats will always be the case here. However, if the Flames are sucking white collar slaves will just pass. They will go home to their wives instead. Hence the empty seats.

oiler fans like to talk about their year with 3 first rounders. The Rikey Nash year. Yes, you did suck at drafting but 2007 was a relatively terrible draft class. There certainly wasn't the hype 2013 has for depth. Essentially the difference is we have 3 firsts in a deep draft where the coil had 3 firsts in a weak draft. Big difference.

Also, the talk I heard is that 2013 is similar to 2003. Look at the quality players drafted at even low spots in '03. If course there are risks for picking a bust but with 3 picks (potentially) you get to hedge against that. Or you can trade one if those picks for a prospect and let some other GM, caught by the allure of a deep draft, to pick the bust.

What I'm essentially saying is screw you anonymous coiler fan. For the most part of your lean years you were horrible, then you got 3 first overalls and lucky with Eberle. It won't happen that way for us. For all of people's complaints about Feaster his draft record here has been quite good.

Also Calgary is an infinitely better city then d'edmonton. In every way possible. Player wives will not refuse to come here like they do to your blighted, run down, frozen city. Once the contracts are all due your prized kids will leave piece by piece. All it takes is one leaving before the others realize how much it sucks to live in edm. Just look at the migration of regular folk out of that sh$thole.

Suck it assho!e.

Wow. Way to keep some perspective.

Feaster's draft record has been quite good?

Look at Jankowski's stat line:

2012-13 Providence College H-East 34 7 11 18 10 0

A real physical presence at 175 lbs. Taken about two rounds before anyone else might have thought about taking him. Well played good sir.

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#19 suba steve
April 05 2013, 12:05PM
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@rubbertrout

Flames admitted at the draft, Janko was going to take time (3 to 5 years) to fully develop. Judging his progress after one year as one of the youngest players in NCAA hockey...maybe just a little unfair.

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#20 Scary Gary
April 05 2013, 12:05PM
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Why do oiler fans so desperately want to liken our rebuild to theirs? Is it sympathy or do they want us to suck for as long as they did?

Maybe the rebuilds will be the same but I doubt they will be. Are any two rebuilds the same?

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#21 kittensandcookies
April 05 2013, 12:06PM
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ChinookArch wrote:

Soon enough having Flames tickets will not be a status symbol. I still believe the Saddledome will be sold out (or at least virtually) for most games with more and more empty seats each year. Most corporations and small business will likely stay the course for a few years, and there is a plethora of people waiting on reserve for their turn at seasons tickets. This all but guarantees a full arena. I see that as good news by the way, it will be nice to weed out soft bandwagon 2004 fans from the rest of us that suffered from the 'young guns' era, and couldn't get a shot a seasons tickets.

Remember the old joke: I couldn't go the the Flames game tonight, so I put a pair of tickets with a "FREE" sign on my windshield, when I went to the liquor store. I came back out and someone left me 4 tickets, but the sign was gone. That joke will be funny again.

Heh, I used to get tickets by waiting around the LRT station until the scalpers finally gave up trying to sell their tickets and just gave them away for free. Good times.

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#22 Jay
April 05 2013, 12:06PM
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Feaster is not in it for the long haul. He will cripple your franchise, and bail on you, just like your captain did. Greeting from Van City.

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#23 rubbertrout
April 05 2013, 12:09PM
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suba steve wrote:

Flames admitted at the draft, Janko was going to take time (3 to 5 years) to fully develop. Judging his progress after one year as one of the youngest players in NCAA hockey...maybe just a little unfair.

You don't use first round picks on a project with potential. I guess that is unless you have traded all of your other picks away. They could have traded down easily if they really wanted him.

Lots of kids his age playing junior with much more upside.

All I'm saying is let's not congratulate Feaster on his drafting prowess just yet.

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#24 Jeff Lebowski
April 05 2013, 12:10PM
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rubbertrout wrote:

Wow. Way to keep some perspective.

Feaster's draft record has been quite good?

Look at Jankowski's stat line:

2012-13 Providence College H-East 34 7 11 18 10 0

A real physical presence at 175 lbs. Taken about two rounds before anyone else might have thought about taking him. Well played good sir.

Look at the Jankowski's teammates and the leading scorers on his team. Consider he was 17 and still growing. The team did not score a lot. He was a freshman... Not to mention Baertschi, Gaudreau, Wotherspoon, Gilles etc. Or did you conveniently forget those? Clearly you looked him up hockeydb, just click on providence college to see how the rest of the team did.

Why don't you try thinking things through, then get back to us.

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#25 beloch
April 05 2013, 12:10PM
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I honestly hope there is an alternative to following the oiler's wasteland tour.

Arguably, the oiler's aren't out of the wasteland yet and, despite having some elite talent, may never be more than a bubble team unless their management improves drastically.

Great team's are often great because they're getting high performance/dollar ratios from elite prospects signed to cheap ELC's. The Oilers have wasted most of theirs. Hall and Eberle's cap-hits jump up to $6M next season. (Sidenote: I'm not convinced Hall will even make it to 30 the way he plays, so the clock is ticking especially fast for him!) As the Oiler's scoring leader, Gagner is going to demand similar cash. That's $10M more to keep just those three players next season! The year after that Schultz and the Nuge are going to be demanding big raises too, plus there are a lot of expensive UFA contract's expiring in the next two years. With the cap coming down, the Oilers are headed straight for cap-hell. They might manage to keep all their stars, but they're going to have very limited cash to spend on the supporting cast.

Put simply, the Oiler's luck at the draft hasn't solved all their problems. Some very big ones remain, and Steve Tambellini has to be replaced or magically develop an IQ higher than that of a bag of hockey pucks for those problems to be solved.

I'm not saying Feaster is smarter than Tambellini. I would not dare say something like that after the Bouwmeester trade! I actually think it's time to start calling for Feaster's head. He might redeem himself this summer, but it's probably not worth taking the risk. As much as landing a new star rookie would help the Flames, landing a good GM is the single most crucial thing to avoiding the oiler's fate!

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#26 Post Apex GM
April 05 2013, 12:12PM
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Scary Gary wrote:

Why do oiler fans so desperately want to liken our rebuild to theirs? Is it sympathy or do they want us to suck for as long as they did?

Maybe the rebuilds will be the same but I doubt they will be. Are any two rebuilds the same?

It's NOT a rebuild... Weren't u listening ?

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#27 Jeff Lebowski
April 05 2013, 12:16PM
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rubbertrout wrote:

You don't use first round picks on a project with potential. I guess that is unless you have traded all of your other picks away. They could have traded down easily if they really wanted him.

Lots of kids his age playing junior with much more upside.

All I'm saying is let's not congratulate Feaster on his drafting prowess just yet.

You are an idiot. You don't use first round picks on projects with potential. All first round picks are projects with potential.

You are also a moron or borderline retarded if this is your reasoning.

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#28 Jeff Lebowski
April 05 2013, 12:17PM
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Jay wrote:

Feaster is not in it for the long haul. He will cripple your franchise, and bail on you, just like your captain did. Greeting from Van City.

Shove it dick. Good luck the the Luongo fiasco.

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#29 Keyser Soze
April 05 2013, 12:18PM
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Jeff Lebowski wrote:

It's corporate seats that are empty and corporate seats make a big part of Calgary season ticket base. In Edmonton, the corporate factor is not to same degree. The bandwagon jumping or more die hard fans up north is just myth. Nice try at a dig but fail.

In the o&g industry, Flames games are the only thing to do (when too cold to golf). High levels of corporate seats will always be the case here. However, if the Flames are sucking white collar slaves will just pass. They will go home to their wives instead. Hence the empty seats.

oiler fans like to talk about their year with 3 first rounders. The Rikey Nash year. Yes, you did suck at drafting but 2007 was a relatively terrible draft class. There certainly wasn't the hype 2013 has for depth. Essentially the difference is we have 3 firsts in a deep draft where the coil had 3 firsts in a weak draft. Big difference.

Also, the talk I heard is that 2013 is similar to 2003. Look at the quality players drafted at even low spots in '03. If course there are risks for picking a bust but with 3 picks (potentially) you get to hedge against that. Or you can trade one if those picks for a prospect and let some other GM, caught by the allure of a deep draft, to pick the bust.

What I'm essentially saying is screw you anonymous coiler fan. For the most part of your lean years you were horrible, then you got 3 first overalls and lucky with Eberle. It won't happen that way for us. For all of people's complaints about Feaster his draft record here has been quite good.

Also Calgary is an infinitely better city then d'edmonton. In every way possible. Player wives will not refuse to come here like they do to your blighted, run down, frozen city. Once the contracts are all due your prized kids will leave piece by piece. All it takes is one leaving before the others realize how much it sucks to live in edm. Just look at the migration of regular folk out of that sh$thole.

Suck it assho!e.

You:

D elusional. U neducated. P athetic. E motional. D esperate.

Me: schadenfreude (You'll probably have to google that)

PS Iggy couldn't get on a plane out of Calgary fast enough.

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#30 Jeff Lebowski
April 05 2013, 12:21PM
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@Keyser Soze

You : Retarded glue sniffer. (You probably have to look in the mirror)

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#31 Jay
April 05 2013, 12:29PM
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Jeff Lebowski wrote:

Shove it dick. Good luck the the Luongo fiasco.

We have two NHL Starting goalies. How many do you have.

Mod edit: Let's all grow up a bit, shall we?

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#32 the-wolf
April 05 2013, 12:31PM
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Is it just me or is FN starting to devolve a little bit? Seriously, what's with all the name calling? This used to be a place for intelligent debate where people could argue any and all sides without personal attacks or trash talk.

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#33 SmellOfVictory
April 05 2013, 12:38PM
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Jay wrote:

Feaster is not in it for the long haul. He will cripple your franchise, and bail on you, just like your captain did. Greeting from Van City.

Don't worry, the Canucks missed their window and their prospect pool is even worse than Calgary's was. Enjoi.

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#34 mattyc
April 05 2013, 12:38PM
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@the-wolf

"the-wolf" - isn't that french for stupid-head?! ;)

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#35 SmellOfVictory
April 05 2013, 12:39PM
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the-wolf wrote:

Is it just me or is FN starting to devolve a little bit? Seriously, what's with all the name calling? This used to be a place for intelligent debate where people could argue any and all sides without personal attacks or trash talk.

Not to be a website hipster, but the discussion devolved because the userbase grew. It used to be a very niche kind of community that a very specific type of person frequented, and it has since expanded; entirely expected, I'd say.

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#36 Keyser Soze
April 05 2013, 12:42PM
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Jeff Lebowski wrote:

You : Retarded glue sniffer. (You probably have to look in the mirror)

Your brilliance continues to shine...

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#37 suba steve
April 05 2013, 12:43PM
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@rubbertrout

"You don't use first round picks on a project with potential. I guess that is unless you have traded all of your other picks away. They could have traded down easily if they really wanted him."

Why don't you go back and read your own words. Then look at what happened on the day the Flames made that pick.

Janko was listed as an early 2nd rounder by The Hockey News, having climbed from much lower on their rankings earlier in the year. It is not unusual at all for such a prospect to be selected in the later part of round one. He may be the second coming of Joe Nieuwendyk or he could be the next Scott Allison (Oilers 17th overall, 1990). That's how the draft works, every year. Enjoy the weekend.

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#38 Kevin R
April 05 2013, 12:43PM
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Jeff Lebowski wrote:

It's corporate seats that are empty and corporate seats make a big part of Calgary season ticket base. In Edmonton, the corporate factor is not to same degree. The bandwagon jumping or more die hard fans up north is just myth. Nice try at a dig but fail.

In the o&g industry, Flames games are the only thing to do (when too cold to golf). High levels of corporate seats will always be the case here. However, if the Flames are sucking white collar slaves will just pass. They will go home to their wives instead. Hence the empty seats.

oiler fans like to talk about their year with 3 first rounders. The Rikey Nash year. Yes, you did suck at drafting but 2007 was a relatively terrible draft class. There certainly wasn't the hype 2013 has for depth. Essentially the difference is we have 3 firsts in a deep draft where the coil had 3 firsts in a weak draft. Big difference.

Also, the talk I heard is that 2013 is similar to 2003. Look at the quality players drafted at even low spots in '03. If course there are risks for picking a bust but with 3 picks (potentially) you get to hedge against that. Or you can trade one if those picks for a prospect and let some other GM, caught by the allure of a deep draft, to pick the bust.

What I'm essentially saying is screw you anonymous coiler fan. For the most part of your lean years you were horrible, then you got 3 first overalls and lucky with Eberle. It won't happen that way for us. For all of people's complaints about Feaster his draft record here has been quite good.

Also Calgary is an infinitely better city then d'edmonton. In every way possible. Player wives will not refuse to come here like they do to your blighted, run down, frozen city. Once the contracts are all due your prized kids will leave piece by piece. All it takes is one leaving before the others realize how much it sucks to live in edm. Just look at the migration of regular folk out of that sh$thole.

Suck it assho!e.

Ditto!

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#39 suba steve
April 05 2013, 12:47PM
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the-wolf wrote:

Is it just me or is FN starting to devolve a little bit? Seriously, what's with all the name calling? This used to be a place for intelligent debate where people could argue any and all sides without personal attacks or trash talk.

You're not wrong. Rebuild seems to be drawing THEM out.

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#40 Kevin R
April 05 2013, 12:48PM
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Scary Gary wrote:

Why do oiler fans so desperately want to liken our rebuild to theirs? Is it sympathy or do they want us to suck for as long as they did?

Maybe the rebuilds will be the same but I doubt they will be. Are any two rebuilds the same?

Misery loves company.

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#41 Petemaherrocks
April 05 2013, 12:48PM
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YAWN.......enjoy 9th or 10th place oilers. They havent proven anything yet,

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#42 Purple Hazze
April 05 2013, 12:55PM
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I'd have to say that the Flames appear to be in a much better position than the Oilers were when they "officially" started their re-build in 2010.

You had Gagner drafted at the time, we have Backlund, both will be great 2nd line centres. I would say Magnus is comparable to Sven.

Thats about where the comparison ends in my mind. We still have assets on the team in Glencross, Stempniak, Cammilari, Hudler, and Gio. Other than Hemsky and Horcoff the Oil didn't have much else on their roster.

In the farm we have some great d-men prospects in Brodie, Wotherspoon, Sieloff, and Culkin. We have couple of great goalies in the system in Brossoit and Gilles. Oilers were lacking in both of these categories, and if wasn't for Shultz signing I'd say the blueline would still be looking pretty weak for them.

What will slow our rebuild the most is that we won't win the lottery 3 years in a row, we might not even win it once, which is why it still might take us anywhere from 3-5 years to get out of the dessert.

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#43 Captain Ron
April 05 2013, 01:14PM
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Post Apex GM wrote:

It's NOT a rebuild... Weren't u listening ?

The wolf in sheeps clothing?

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#44 Captain Ron
April 05 2013, 01:17PM
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Jay wrote:

We have two NHL Starting goalies. How many do you have.

Mod edit: Let's all grow up a bit, shall we?

Is the moderator sleeping in today?

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#45 rubbertrout
April 05 2013, 01:25PM
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Jeff Lebowski wrote:

Look at the Jankowski's teammates and the leading scorers on his team. Consider he was 17 and still growing. The team did not score a lot. He was a freshman... Not to mention Baertschi, Gaudreau, Wotherspoon, Gilles etc. Or did you conveniently forget those? Clearly you looked him up hockeydb, just click on providence college to see how the rest of the team did.

Why don't you try thinking things through, then get back to us.

If Johnny G makes the NHL I'll be surprised. Scoring lots in NCAA as a little guy doesn't make me consider him to be a top prospect.

Baertschi really lit it up while he was here didn't he? Lots of room on the top six up here now to give him real minutes at the NHL but he's still down in Abbotsford. I think he shows quite a bit of promise, but one pick that high in the draft does not drafting acumen make.

I guess we'll wait and see on Wotherspoon and Gilles. I know everyone tends to overvalue their own prospects but I just recall back when everyone was saying Backlund was going to be the number one centre and we all see just how well that worked out.

Then again, I'm not the one touting Feaster as some kind of draft guru am I?

I've thought things through. All I'm saying is that it is pretty early to start referring to someone as having a good drafting record with the limited data that you have.

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#46 rubbertrout
April 05 2013, 01:31PM
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suba steve wrote:

You're not wrong. Rebuild seems to be drawing THEM out.

I hope you aren't referring to me. I'm happy to have reasonable discussion with people and enjoy some spirited debate. I don't like it when it devolves into name calling and don't engage in that.

If by "THEM" you are referring to fans of other teams take a look at the gems put out by Jeff Lebowski (an apparent flames fan)

Comment #27 "Moron" "borderline retarded"

#28 "dick"

#30 "retarded glue sniffer"

I'm not sure why people can't disagree with one another and not devolve into name calling.

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#47 Captain Ron
April 05 2013, 01:32PM
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Clearly it must have been one of the two literates, Rex or Wayne (barely literate) from up there that wrote this bit of mockery.

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#48 Derzie
April 05 2013, 01:34PM
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Great article. You speak the truth my hillbilly brother.

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#49 rubbertrout
April 05 2013, 01:35PM
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suba steve wrote:

"You don't use first round picks on a project with potential. I guess that is unless you have traded all of your other picks away. They could have traded down easily if they really wanted him."

Why don't you go back and read your own words. Then look at what happened on the day the Flames made that pick.

Janko was listed as an early 2nd rounder by The Hockey News, having climbed from much lower on their rankings earlier in the year. It is not unusual at all for such a prospect to be selected in the later part of round one. He may be the second coming of Joe Nieuwendyk or he could be the next Scott Allison (Oilers 17th overall, 1990). That's how the draft works, every year. Enjoy the weekend.

My point was that if Janko was the guy they wanted and projected as an early second rounder they probably could have traded down a few more spots, still got the guy they wanted and got another asset. That's all.

The pick was a surprise to most. Most of the pundits thought he would have gone later. He may well turn out to be something in a few years. There are always diamonds in the rough. Again, I'm not the one touting Feaster as some kind of draft superstar. I know you aren't either but that's where my initial comment comes from.

Enjoy the weekend too!

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#50 rubbertrout
April 05 2013, 01:37PM
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SmellOfVictory wrote:

Not to be a website hipster, but the discussion devolved because the userbase grew. It used to be a very niche kind of community that a very specific type of person frequented, and it has since expanded; entirely expected, I'd say.

Still makes you kind of wish for the halcyon days of yore though?

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