As training camps start to wind down and rosters start to take shape, the anticipation grows for that opening night. But let’s not forget how we got here, and the summer that was. It would be too easy to go over what the Flames did this offseason, and I’m not really like that, so instead, we’re going on a journey to the desolate wastelands that many don’t like to talk about (no, not Vancouver’s STILL barren trophy case) but we’re going to take a gander at those smelly, sweatpant wearing, Old Dutch loving, rivals of ours (barely), Edmonton Oilers’ offseason.
As the season ended we found the Oilers in last place (for the ____th year), and although many were unhappy with this placing, GM
Kevin Lowe Steve Tambellini assured the fans that they are going to do the rebuild correctly (for the ____nth time). As the draft approached, and murders tensions rising, they ended up taking Ryan Nugent Hopkins, a British Columbia native, because no one in Edmonton can get out quick enough (see: Penner, Dustin and/or Souray, Sheldon and/or Comrie, Mike, and...)
As RNH was drafted, the city rejoiced, saying that it was another building block to their future dynasty. Well, let’s see how the dynasties in Long Island, as well as Florida, and Phoenix are coming. Oh, back so soon?
As July 1st came and went, and many teams were inquiring into the services of many free agents, one of whom was Ryan Smyth. Rumored to have requested a trade closer to his home, Ryan-lust was growing in the 780. As time went on, the Flames entered the bartering in order to sweeten the pot, which at that time was a rusted out 1983 Gremlin, and a U2 cassette from Steve. The price was eventually raised to a broken down Brule (who only went to deliver the U2 tape to Tambellini).
The trade was rumored to have gone through, but the Kings wanted a fitness test just to ensure that they weren’t getting ANOTHER broken Oiler. Thing is, their doctors were on vacation at the time. The Oilers did them a favour and enlisted the services of one Dr. Mark Recchi. Didn’t go as well as many planned, as he was ‘living’, which is good enough in Edmonton nowadays. Lombardi was unsatisfied and responded with "Send us your other injured forward…", expecting Ales Hemsky, instead getting Colin Fraser. Flames fans breathed a sigh of relief, while many Edmontonians were already growing their mullets in anticipation of Smytty’s return.
Ben Eager and Darcy Hordichuk were signed as free agents to bring the muscle and ensure that the future of the team was protected (note, this does not take into account the actions of S. Tambellini and/or Kevin Lowe).
Re-Khabibulin has since come out of his jail term, and looking at upon looking at the lineup in front of him, will proceed to start drinking again. Taking a hint from Ed Belfour, when pulled over, he will offer the police 1 billion goals against to drive away without penalty.
Oilers fans have been treated to their young stars talents during this pre-season, with dreams of somehow winning more than 25 games this year. Oh, the excitement!
Eventually the time will come when all of the young stars will have to sign their next contracts. As their young talent blossoms into full-time NHLers, we can look forward to some entertaining hockey from these young kids. Its just too bad that they’ll be sold off to Los Angeles for 15 million, along with a no-talent goon (Eager? Hordichuk?) for 3 first round picks and $15 million to enter, YET ANOTHER rebuild.
Not that such a thing has ever happened...