Editor's Note: This is the first entry in our drunken Nikolai Khabibulin FanPost contest.
There has been a lot of talk about the Edmonton goaltending situation for a long time now. Basically since the team sent away Tommy Salo for Tom Gilbert, the Oilers have been looking for a new "better-than-average" to "great" goalie. You can claim that Roloson was the guy and we let him get away, but I'd say that's hindsight, and that I don't remember seeing much (if any) talk about keeping him on for more than another year - it was believed that his time with the org was in the past. That of course lead to a long long debate here in the sphere about where to go from there. Which of course was all thrown out the window when Stevey-T signed the Bulin Wall last summer.
Which was of course followed up with this awesome (and somewhat prophetic) picture and post by PunjabiOil.
To be totally honest, I'm apathetic about the whole thing. I feel dead inside now when it comes to this team, how it is run, who is brought in to "fix" things, and how the team is performing. There was a time that I cared. I cared when Pronger et. all left town after the cup run. I cared more when I found out why. I cared when Ryan Smyth was traded. I wanted to cry when I saw the man at the airport. I cared when Jason Smith (the only player whose name and number I sport on my now ancient NHL2000 jersey) was dumped with Joffrey the floater for a disinterested skill d-man Pitkanen, a broken Geoff Sanderson, and the pick that would become Cameron Abney (joy of joys...). Hell, I still care more about that trade than I do about this news soundbite.
I felt something when Curtis Glencross left the team for Calgary (and while the Oilers did offer something to Glencross, it definitely wasn't what he was worth, so while I'd love to blame the Oilers, they both F'ed this up). I felt something when MacT was chased out of town, and I felt more after I realized what a mistake I had made in believing he was the problem. I felt something when we let Dwayne Roloson go for nothing, and when we dumped a 2nd round pick for Mr. Hemsky's BFF Ales Kotalik. I felt something when we ignored Anderson in FA last summer. I felt something when Khabibulin was signed to his POS (not to be confused with #19 Patrick O'Sullivan, I actually mean Peice of ****) contract. I felt something when we nearly beat Calgary (TWICE!) at the start of the season, and managed to lose both games. I felt something when Ales Hemsky and Khabbi went down, and when Ethan Moreau refused yet again to take responsibility for his part in ensuring this team is the worst it can be.
Each time I felt something, a part of that love I had for the Oilers, for the team that could, for the team that somehow managed to be better than it should have been, to be more than the sum of its parts, died. Dripped out of a tiny wound in my heart. I used to bleed copper and blue. But when you have been dying a slow death by a thousand cuts over four years… this incident in Arizona is just a drop in the bucket for this terrible Oilers organization.
Once upon a time there was accountability on the Oilers. There was respect, and there was pride. Now we have only shame. I don't have any more love in me for this team.
If I was in Khabibulin's shoes and signed with this team for 4 years... I'd drink too.