I've been thinking (yes it happens from time to time)......things are not as bad as they seem. The Oilers have made a lot of changes, but that's not a bad thing. This team was already borderline contenders before the arrival of Pronger. His loss will not be that bad. Sure, we'll miss his 56 points and the minutes he played. BUT.....I didn't think he was the tour de force that broadcasters said he was. I didn't think he was that great defensively. He was only +2 for the regular season (+10 in the playoffs, much better), was tentative at times and not very physical. Sure he played much better in the playoffs, but hell, the whole team did. We can live without him.
Pre-Pronger, the Oilers were one player short of being contenders. I said it for years....all they needed was a goalie. Well, I believe we have the goalie now. Roli will have to be very sharp since our defense is not great. It's good, but not great. The forwards are good, even great at times. So I think we're going to be okay.
The thing is.....the Oilers are the underdog. That's the way it has been for 15 years. We're used to it, so this is nothing new. The Oil are constantly being underestimated, not given much credit and always expected to fail. BUT.....they don't. Sure we had some rough years, going out in the first round to Dallas like twenty times. However, those series, even if lost in five or six games, were always close. The Oilers were always on the verge of making that break. They certainly made it last year and I think that will give the boys confidence this year.
So the moral of the story.....the Oilers are going to be fine.
If I can have one thing, can we please ask the media to stop saying people want out of Edmonton? The media seems to have grabbed hold of the the Pronger mess, twisted it to suit their needs and now any player that doesn't sign with Edmonton, the media say they hate Edmonton and do not want to live here. Stop it (hello TSN.....you're getting on my nerves).
The Oilers have signed our RFA, Shawn Horcoff, to a three year deal worth $10.8 million (3.6 avg/year). I think this is smart....he scored 73 pts last year and while I hate players getting big raises based on one year, I don't think he's a flash in the pants. So good deal Lowe!
''I'm ecstatic, happy to be in Edmonton for three more years,'' Horcoff told The Canadian Press from B.C. ''After last year and us going as far as we did, I obviously wanted to stay with this team and try to get back there to win one extra game.''
''I enjoy the city, they treat me great there.''
So Shawn likes Edmonton....report that TSN!!!