I have seen a lot, and been involved in more than a few, conversations about what could occur in Florida between Friday evening and supper time Saturday. It’s a no-brainer that Edmonton is going to select Connor McDavid with the first overall selection and that the heavens will open and all the angels rejoice at the rebirth of the saviour. Well maybe that last part won’t happen but McD is a lock to be in Oilers silks come June 26th. Every basement dwelling blogger, myself included if I had a basement, will be going insane with anticipation on Friday night watching the first round to see what will actually occur after this horrendously long off-season. Yes I know there are a ton of rumours flying around about the Oilers 16th overall pick and I for one am hoping that they turn out to be completely baseless and false. Most times I am seeing this pick mentioned in trade it involves acquiring goaltender Cam Talbot and I am adding my voice to the overwhelming number of Oilersnation faithful in saying that the guy just isn’t worth it! Don’t get me wrong the guy played fantastic down the stretch when the King went down but he has limited games played and I for one don’t feel comfortable paying that amount for an as of yet unproven goalie. Especially one on the final year of a contract that sees him reach unrestricted free agency should he be so inclined.
The rumour mongers are going absolutely ape shit like normal at this time of year and all I am here to ask is that fans and bloggers alike, please be realistic in your expectations for Friday night and early Saturday morning. Talbot very well could be acquired by Chiarelli but I think it is much more likely for the 33rd pick. No I am not including Marincin as I have seen some others do because again that is an overpay in my opinion and the Rangers are not in that strong of a position to demand it. The 16th overall pick, if moved at all, will be better spent on acquiring help on defense as that is the biggest hole that is going to be the hardest to fill. No we are not going to see Brent Seabrook or Brent Burns as Oilers next fall so don’t even bother suggesting it.
I have no idea who the team could be targeting with the pick if it is traded but should the team do the boring thing and use the selection there is a better than good chance that this will add another elite prospect to an already young franchise. That’s not necessarily a bad thing considering where the team finished last year and what we will likely see as far as improvement this coming season. When I am saying that people need to be realistic I’m not just talking about the upcoming draft and free agency. I am also including the 2015-16 NHL season. Last season the Oilers finished 35 points out of the playoffs in this league a deficit like that is nearly impossible to make up in one season. I mean teams have gone from bottom dweller to playoff team in one year, most recently the Colorado Avalanche in the 2013-14 season and the vastly over achieving Calgary Flames from this past season. Neither did much in the playoffs but at least they made it there is my thought. IS Edmonton going to be the odds defying team this season? They very well could be the belle of the ball but I really have my doubts on that. With the outside possibility that the team will actually bring in two legit defenders and a new starting goalie there could be a possibility but I don’t think Mr. Chiarelli finishes his shopping list this summer with another top defender hopefully joining the team next summer if Nurse and Klefbom don’t develop into the role first. I think that if we are being realistic and even a little optimistic we can expect a jump of roughly 25 points next year which unfortunately in the extremely deep western conference wouldn’t even move the team up 1 spot in the standings but would like see some meaningful hockey come February and March. And at this stage of the game that is really all that we can ask for!
I really hope that I am wrong and we do get the players we need this summer and go on a miracle run that takes us to the second season for the first time in a decade. God knows that the fans sure deserve it but when have what us fans deserve ever entered into the equation? If you think I’m wrong let me know. What do you expect to happen over the next couple of weeks as we pass the draft and head into free agency? Hit me up in the comments or get at me on twitter, @cooke_rob. Until next time Beer Leaguers!