An article in the Journal today says that the Oilers staff is feeling a little torn over Anaheim's playoff success this post-season. On one hand, if the Ducks make it to the finals, Edmonton gets their first-round draft pick in 2008; on the other hand, if the Ducks make it to the finals, there's an unreasonably good chance that Edmonton will have to endure pictures of Chris Pronger (spits) hoisting the Stanley Cup above his big, stupid, Bob-Hope-resembling asshole face slathered liberally over every Sports front page in the country.
As a fan, I feel no such dichotomy. If Pronger (spits) feels even one fleeting moment of joy the rest of his miserable, deal-skipping life, it'll be one moment too many for me. The man does not deserve happiness, and if there is any justice in the world, his boyhood dream will go forever unfulfilled. The 29th pick in 2008 would offer little consolation.
Nope, with Calgary and Vancouver now out, I think it's safe to say that Oilers fans have recalibrated their hate rays to focus squarely on the Ducks. They need 20 cc's of sadness, stat. Which I guess means I'm pulling for the fucking Red Wings, again, because I just can't see San Jose getting the job done in the Western Conference finals.
Finally, in case you're interested, here's Brian Burke's tale of the origin of this coveted bonus first-rounder. As you can see, that Kevin Lowe sure drives a hard bargain.
Burke certainly remembers his conversation with Oilers GM Kevin Lowe when he was trying work the complicated deal.
"Kevin said, 'Burkie, I'm handing you a ticket to the finals.' I told Kevin, 'OK, if that's true, I'll put another first (rounder) up,' '' said the Ducks GM.
" I was happy to do it at the time, and I'll be happy to do it if we get there. It would be arrogant for me to look too far ahead, but, trust me, if we get to the finals we will happily forfeit that first-round draft choice in 2008. That would be a pretty good trade-off.
"I'm sure the Oilers are cheering for us to go as far as we can go."