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The Detroit Model?


"It's about competition, and if he comes in and plays better than someone else, we'll find a place (for him)."


-Wings' assistant general manager Jim Nill on signing Fabian Brunnstrom and demonstrating what I believe to be one of the biggest differences between a successful franchise and the Edmonton Oilers.  

Last season as the team approached training camp there was talk of competition.  There was talk of players earning roster spots and talk of accountability.  Instead the roster matched precisely what a roster based solely on contract status might look like.  

The question is this - why is it when Detroit management makes a statement like this I believe it to be true, but if Edmonton management said the same I would laugh at how they tricked someone into playing for OKC?

Certainly contract status is a factor, and training camp does represent a small sample size for player evaluation, but it seems to me that if a team with the depth the Red Wings have had can allow players to regularly compete for, and earn, roster spots the Oilers can too.

Brunnstrom may or may not work out for Detroit, but the team has a history of finding functional and effective players by allowing them an opportunity to fight for a roster spot.  People talk about "following the Detroit model," an idea I  find generally has little merit, but the idea of true competition is one concept I wish The Edmonton Oilers would emulate as closely as possible.

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