Project: Rebuild, the Prelude

Edmonton Oilers: last place team in the NHL. A team barely alive. Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world's first bionic team. The Oilers will be that team. Better than it was before...

Better, stronger, faster.
So our GM-cum-Oscar-Goldman has tipped his hand on deadline day and I can't yet tell if I'm at peace with it or in an intense state of denial. LT seems to think 2010-11 will bring another Fifty-Seven Million Dollar Team that does less slow-motion roof jumps and a lot more sucking. Truth is, Steve Austin was at the top of his profession before his rebuild; we, on the other hand, are at the bottom. And it's a looong way up.

With deadline day marking the actual start point of the rebuild, I'm going to start tracking the steps of Tambellini's quest for renaissance.



These are cap moves, plain and simple. Losing The Vision is a bitter pill, but Souray's season-ending infection ultimately sealed the Slovak's fate. We also get bigger across the board, which has been Tambo's mandate from jumpstreet and will likely be the rock he builds his church on. My biggest gripe has got to be the return on the Anaheim deal, case in point:

Petteri Nokelainen is a grinder on the wing(!) with size(!!) and a stellar two way game(!!!). He's young(!!!!) and comes with a bonus year for under a milli(!!!!!). Your man was obtained by the deadline wizards in AZ for a fourth. Did we even ask about him? Could Moreau, having scored 2G-1A (all SH) in 2 games versus the Ducks right before the Olympics break, gotten the deal done on a Whitney-Noke package? Ryan Whitney is what he is (lower skill∴lower salary), but it is a travesty that we missed out on an opportunity like the aforementioned Finn who would have been a need-filler, a cap relief, and a potential piece of the future.

Alas, here we are. The Captain remains on the sinking ship, which seems like just punishment. Thank goodness Steady Steve got hauled aboard another vessel, albeit that of a hated rival. For so long Staios was a trusty defender with true grit to spare and he's been given a chance to make a go of it in Cowtown. It'll be hard, damn hard, to deal with that flaming C on his chest over the next season and a quarter, but he's still overpaid and a step-and-a-half behind. I, for one, will cheer just as hard when one of our young bucks lines the fucker up for a hit, assuming he doesn't do it first.

With the deadline past, it'll be a season of casting calls and tryouts. A litter of unfamiliar jerseys skating uphill and looking every bit the non-NHLers they are, but at least it's something. We no longer have to cheer for the Oil to lose, we're going to be bad no matter what (though some of us may have been ahead of the curve in accepting this). The Blue & Orange will get throttled nightly, but Gagner will likely turn it on harder than he ever has (latter-half player, RFA year) and there's sure to be some pleasant surprises as players jostle for pecking order heading into the offseason.

Maybe after we soldier through this long-term rebuild, the Oil will be the ones hip-tossing Sasquatch... Proverbially-speaking, of course.

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