Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Let's Hear it for High Draft Picks

My team, the Wilkes-Edmonton/Barre Oil Penguins - err, Edmonton Oilers - is terrible. The roster is made up of players from the AHL, QMJHL, and players who are just plain underperforming. I'm not going to use injuries as an excuse, because our veterans suck, too. Former Oiler (and current Islander)/whipping boy, Marc-André Bergeron has more points than most of Edmonton's forwards. And the Oil was officially eliminated from the playoffs with Calgary's win over Detroit last night.

Luckily, there are more hockey leagues out there. My favourite player, Igor Ulanov, is currently playing for Yaroslavl Lokomotiv in the Russian Superleague. And they're in the playoffs. Besides Ulanov, this team also has quasi-Oilers Alexei Mikhnov and Denis Grebeshkov (whose rights Edmonton acquired from NYI in the trade that gave them Bergeron) on its roster. I can have two hockey teams without them being in conflict with each other.

When it comes to the NHL, though, I agree with Sherry that just because your team might not be in the playoffs, it doesn't mean the season is over. There are 16 teams out there that are gearing up for exciting playoff rides. I know many people got behind my team in last year's run. Who I'm cheering for now might be slightly strategic now. Edmonton is 24th in league standings, and I wouldn't mind the highest draft pick possible. I can't cheer for Anaheim, because Edmonton got their first round pick in exchange for Chris Pronger. I can't cheer for the Islanders, either, because we got their first pick in exchange for Smytty (I admit, I also don't want to see him lift the cup for another team. His greed is what sent him to Long Island). And well, I'm sorry but the rivalry with Calgary is just too strong. I don't want the joke (What's the difference between Calgary and a bra? The bra has two cups) to become obsolete. I have soft spots for Buffalo and Montréal, so I wouldn't mind seeing either of them take it. And I have a friend who is a rabid Penguins fan, so I might be taking a road trip there to see them play.

Am I a bandwagonner? I don't think so. I won't rush out and buy another team's jersey if they start performing well, but hockey is hockey and I like watching it no matter who is playing. That being said, Edmonton is my team. Always has been, always will be.

1 comment:

american oil said...

sad but true...i am an oilers fan...tried and daughter is a pens my cheering will go for them for the remainder of the playoff run.....

....don't really consider it "bandwagonning" so much as a necessity to continue watching playoff hockey.....