Is it just me? It's just me, isn't it?

D-Day 2010

It's hard for me to blog these days.

I could say that it's because work is the busiest it will be all year. I could say that it's because I've begun a new workout plan. Hell, I could say it's because Red Dead Redemption is out. But it's not any of that.

While the above is all true, I'm simply too busy reading all the fantastic draft coverage out there in the O-sphere and beyond. I spend all day at work on the computer, shifting stealthily from work to the endless stream of prospect reports, mock drafts, trade rumors, and on, and on...

A quick trip through our Required Reading over on the left could take hours just because it's all so damn interesting. From our little corner of the Oilogosphere, I would like to extend a genuinely earnest "Thank you" to all the bloggers that make this time of year a hockey nerd's wet dream.

So for D-Day, almost one full year after we started this thing, I'm just going to make a post out of some odds and ends that have been running through my head for the last week.


While debate over The Pick rages, I try to spice up the later rounds of the draft by picking a few horses and rooting for them to finish strong. While they may not all be in the Oilers' wheelhouse, I'll cheer if I see them go to good Orgs and I'll groan if they drop too far... Unless the Oil get them.

Here's my horses for this year:

Devante Smith-Pelly
5'11" ~200 lbs. (most sites list him at 180, but he's gotten stockier this year)
CSS: 76 / ISS: 69 / THN: 65 / BobbyMack: 52
From a Yahoo interview: "[My best asset is] combining the physical part of the game as well as the offensive aspect. I get most of my offence by being a bang-and-crash guy, finishing my checks, working the cycle. Running a guy over, then contributing with the offence, I’d say that is my biggest asset."

Devante here is my thoroughbred. The longshot champ. Secretariat. I've tracked this guy since he was a late addition to Team Cherry. A bulldog on the ice with a nose for the puck. Not afraid to make hard plays and, in fact, seems to relish the opportunity to make one. Low center of gravity and thicker than he's given credit for. With his spot in the draft, I'm really hoping the Org gives him a hard look at 61, but I'll enjoy tracking his progress to the Bigs regardless of where he lands.

Jordan Weal
5'9" 165 lbs.
CSS: 30 / ISS: 32 / THN: 41 / BobbyMack: 48
From Remmerde: Great instincts for the game. Excellent creativity. High compete level... Very good inside the offensive zone. Very creative and makes things happen with the puck. Really distributes the puck smartly... Really competes and isn't afraid of battling physically or taking a hit to make a play.

Jordan Weal is a smurf. We hardly need another one, but there's something about this guy's motor. A pest in the offensive zone with a penchant for turnovers. Eberle's linemate could be a great addition (see: Lander, Anton) and could be had late in the second. I like him at 48, but here's hoping he'll slip much farther down due to his size concerns and the Org takes a chance on a potential steal. Again, should be fun to see what he can do for whichever club that picks him.

Patrik Nemeth
6'3" 212 lbs.
CSS: 11 (Euro) / ISS: 37 / THN: 61 / BobbyMack: 42
From Copper & Blue: He's a physical force on the ice who moves well and will likely be a shut-down-type defender and penalty killing expert, yet he's going to last well into the second round because he has zero offensive ability. The closest comps that come to mind are Matt Greene and Jason Smith, prior to his knees totally failing him.

Opinions on this Swede are scattershot, but there is consensus on his high-grade defensive skills. Another potential slider, Nemeth could be a steal if his mean streak and physical presence translate to the pro leagues. I think he'd fit into the Oilers' prospect pool just fine and might be on the radar due to StuMac's taste for Swedish meatbal--err--talent. IMHO, he'll be knockin' heads around in the NHL sooner than expected.


"I have to go to those places."

Those seven little words, spoken earnestly by Hall in Oil Change, have converted me to preferring the winger. While as hardline Seguin as a guy can be through this whole process, it's hard to ignore the fire that Taylor has in every word, every play. I masking taped "HALL" on the back of my jersey today and I'll be wearing it to the Draft Party. Of course, I'd be thrilled with Seguin, but the 8-year-old inside me wants the Spitfire.


...Deslauriers gets traded in the first round? I heard he'll be at the RX1 Draft Party. Am I allowed to yell, "Pack your shit!" at him? Is it rude to start a chorus of "(Na Na Hey Hey) Kiss Him Goodbye"? Can I throw things?

That last one's probably over the line, but anything I threw would probably sail over his shoulder anyway.

So here we are: T-minus 5 hours until the big moment. The Pick will be the climax of a depressing season and happy days will be here again. Looking forward to the offseason going full bore once D-Day settles all the prospect talk and, assuredly, gives way to some big trades. We'll get a GM and Head Coach in OKC, an Assistant GM with the big club, and the rounding out of the Oilers coaching staff (something has to happen after the Quinn move). While shallow, the UFA market will be intriguing and we'll have a long summer to relish the anticipation for that first day of Training Camp.

We here at SLOW FRESH OIL have had a blast blogging the Oilers' travails this year. We look forward to doing so in the future and maybe even gaining another reader!

...Well, a guy can dream, can't he?



Stadium Status

A fascinating look at the development of new multi-m(b)illion dollar professional sports facilities from Internets Celebrities. The pair, a duo of chubby, satirical New Yawk bloggers, take a street-level look at the so-called "revitalized" areas around New Yankees Stadium, CitiField, and the pending Brooklyn Nets stadium. Focusing on the practice of leveraging public moneys into these projects, Dallas and Rafi expose what we already knew: owners are after profit and profit alone. Damn the residents, the area, and the taxpayers, these stadiums are pure moneymakers. The doc is a worthwhile watch, especially for those of us looking down the barrel of a similar gun here in Edmonton.

Now we're far removed from the high political corruption and intrigue of the Gotham State ("[Bruce Ratner] went to law school with the old governor"), but we've got our own Old Boys Club currently on the payroll of pretty much the only gun in town when we're talkin' billions in net worth. Mr. Katz is on his own warpath to "stadium status" and, though he may not be evicting tenants (yet), he has already convinced the majority of the populous that we're waiting on the rain to let up in order to break ground.

Exaggeration aside, the Katz Group seems to be performing some sleight of hand to push the public hearing of the zoning issue past the election. Could this be a bargaining chip with his Mayorship? Katz & Co. may be holding off on breaking it to the proles that they will be paying for the building, which would remove one more obstacle between Mandel and re-election. With no arena issue dangling above him during his campaign, the incumbent might just look that much more favourably on The Org's Arena District when the zoning approval is tabled. Public outcry is easy to ignore if the numbers work.

The mainstream media is playing a pawn in this affair as well. The widely-read daily METRO gave this headline: Katz Group OKs delay to zoning proposal. Another interesting (and oddly anonymous) article popped up in the Journal today: Breathing room. Both articles posit that the KG and the City are making the "wise" move, the move that's right for "everybody." It's easy to see through the ratty wool they're trying to pull over our eyes, especially when supposed negative-bent articles (here and here) still read like a rousing huzzah for the new building.

This is all really a meditation on the inevitability of it all because, as readers of SLOW FRESH OIL know, the plans have been in place for quite some time.

SIDE NOTE: In other sad arena news, looks like SanFran is losing the Niners to the hardcore sports city of... Santa Clara? Sigh... So long, Candlestick, you've had a good run and you know we'll leave our hearts in San Francisco.