Saturday, September 2, 2006

Oil find 6 new places to demote Liam Reddox

As far as prospects go, it looks like the Oilers will be loading players into a cannon and shooting them grapeshot at various AHL affiliates across the continent next year, with the team announcing agreements with five different teams, along with a one year single A franchise in Stockon, California, of the ECHL.

The Oilers will send some of their prospects to the Hamilton Bulldogs (primary affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens), the Milwaukee Admirals (Nashville Predators), the Grand Rapids Griffins (Detroit Red Wings), the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (Pittsburgh Penguins) and the Iowa Stars (Dallas Stars).

At first glance, an Oilers fan is thinking, "wtf?," but it seems to be a better deal than last year, in which the Oilers tried to stuff their minor league players on just two AHL teams, the Iowa Stars and Hamilton Bulldogs (their ECHL affiliate, the Greenville Grrowl, folded at year-end). At the very least, our goalies may get to play in actual games against actual competition, which certainly wasn't the case in 2005-06.

Of course, it isn't like there's an available existing AHL team for the Oilers to hog for themselves, and Oilers ownership doesn't seem overly interested in setting up a new team, despite sniffing around Kansas City and Moline, Illinois last year.
I was also gonna complain about the air miles that call-ups would log, but then I took another look and realized there isn't a AHL team within 1500 km of Edmonton's city radius anyway, so there's not much to say about that.

Some fans already hate it, but if our prospects get the playing time, I don't see this being a bad deal for the Oil, especially with six affiliates at their disposal. I'd love to know how much it costs to share a team versus single-team affiliation, but that kind of information isn't exactly whisked out of Google with a few strokes of the keyboard. God forbid that actual paid journalists at the Sun and Journal would flesh out their stories with such details, but nevermind.

(Not bad for a post written after drinking an entire bottle of wine! I think. I dunno, I'm off to bed, now. Goodnight!)


joninabox said...

Given that it is the Oilers' chosen recourse, I'm going to assume that this is the cheapest possible solution available now or anytime.

Alana said...

The Milwaukee Admirals' logo is just plain rad.

Anonymous said...

this is probably better for younger players than is popularly sorta keeps them off the radar while they develop.


cynical joe said...

If money were no object, would any team develop their young players this way? This is not a good thing, its a bad thing. You can put all the lipstick on this pig that you want, but not having an developmental team that your prospects can play TOGETHER is a disadvantage. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but eventually this is going to cost the Oilers in the standings, or in signing FAs or draft choices.

Anonymous said...

You don't think it'd be nice to be, say, Rob Schremp (who won't make the team this year), and be playing for Wilkes-Barre Scranton, where no one knows you, rather than an Oilers AHL affiliate? Up in the air, I guess.