I am an Oilers fan, I wasn’t born into it – I love supporting the home team and have chosen to be an Oiler fan. It is painful, exciting, frustrating and in 2006 – it was rewarding. I assume if you are reading any of the blogs on this website, you are also a fan, if not of the Oilers at the very least, you are a fan of hockey.
Listening to talk radio yesterday, I could not believe the number of fans that called in to comment on Arcobello and what to do with him once Sam Gagner is back. The majority of fans that called in said: sorry, but once Gagner is back we should send him back to the minors. This made my ears and brain sore. Don’t get me wrong, I am not of the belief that Arcobello is the second coming of Martin St. Louis but, give me a freaking break. There are actually fans that want to send our leading scorer, who happens to be tied for the league lead in assists, back to the minors. He is also plus 4 on a team that has allowed a lot, and I mean a lot of goals. Now, if you are an Oilers fan I can almost, maybe, kinda, sorta get it. Our team is small and you want some size back in the lineup and we aren’t gritty enough and…..ya, I get it. But, if you are a hockey fan and a fan of people in general, shouldn’t you be a raging fan of Arcobello’s story? He is working his tail off to stay in the NHL, he has seized an opportunity and he is an unlikely candidate to be leading the talent laden Oil in scoring 10 games in. At some point, shouldn’t we be happy that the Oilers identified some talent, made them earn their ice time and are happy about their success?
I would also like to point out that assembling an NHL team is not as easy as it is in EA Sports’ NHL ’14. You don’t just load up a roster full of talent and expect it to win. You also can’t trade two first round picks in 2019 and 2020 and Martin Marancin for Ryan Getzlaf. That’s not how it works. The Calgary Flames are a case-in-point. It isn’t just about talent. It’s about dressing room buy in and commitment, not even to a system, but to doing what it takes to win. The Calgary Flames roster is dismal, but they work hard, commit to themselves and to each other and make the sacrifices it takes to win. But, that’s the hard part of running and NHL team and since that it is hard, fans would prefer to constantly suggest trades that should be made. Guess what? Roster make up is a very small piece of the puzzle. The mental aspect of the game is what separates winners from losers. The game is not won on paper, it is won on the ice, in the trenches and in an athlete’s head.
Stop armchair GM’ing and start enjoying. Lots of room on the Canucks bandwagon if you want to banter uneducated comments and run quality players out of town. How did calling for Ricky Ray’s head go for Eskimo fans?