Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Beginning That Lies Ahead

It's the beginning of the 2013/14 NHL season coming up, and the beloved Edmonton Oilers fans are starting to get giddy. Lots of speculation and opinions having been flying around for some time.

The latest story is the possibility of Sam Gagner as the next Oilers captain. If you've followed me, you'll know I was and am a huge Gagner supporter. I think he'd make a fantastic captain and he would be a good mediator between the different age groups. So if Sam Gagner is the next Oilers captain, I support that decision.

One scenario I'd like to see played out this year? I'd love to see Ryan Smyth wear the C for this last kick at the can. Captain Canada should have a C on his jersey before he retired. This is that chance.

Another story has been who replaces Ryan Nugent-Hopkins if he's not ready to return at the start of the season. Some speculation has Taylor Hall moving to center. That's easily doable for the fact that now with the addition of Linus Omark into the fold, the Oilers can still have the top 6 filled with goal scorers. Doesn't matter if it's Hemsky or Omark, the Oilers can fill the void.

I've also heard the possibility of Marc Arcobello will fill the void left by the RNH injury. He has experience playing with Eberle and Hall and that could be the way the Oilers start their season.

Although, what kind of message does that send to a player? Right now, good enough to play on the first line, but the minute RNH comes back, back to the OKC Barons for Arcobello. I wouldn't want to have to make that decision.

Will the Oilers have three scoring lines? I'd hope not, but it's looking more and more like that's going to happen. It's very possible that we will see a Omark/Gordon/Hemsky line. I just can't imagine a 3rd line as a checking line with Ales Hemsky and Linus Omark on it. Can you?

Of course a top discussion was, will Oscar Klefbom make the team straight out of training camp? The Oilers are very high on him and it's very possible he's a final candidate for the 6th and 7th spot. I'd personally, if he's not quite there, send him down to OKC and let him play big minutes and develop his skill. That decision never hurts the player.

The YoungStars tournament starts in a couple days. I'm excited to see these kids and see what they can do. Lots of new faces and I'm hoping the Oilers show them via webcast like the previous years. Should be fun to watch.

-WRITTEN BY SMOKIN' RAY BURNT-

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