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Oilers Flashback 2011: Keeping a Promising Centre in the NHL vs. Sending Him Back to the CHL

How did that argument work out then?

Derek Leung

Four years ago there was a heated debate: send Ryan Nugent-Hopkins back to Red Deer or keep him in Edmonton. Much has happened since, how did that conversation work out?

For me the simple fact is that the team is better right now with RNH than without him. If we win more this season, then we can get better FA.
And if we create a history of winning, then we can even start thinking of getting FA at a discount.
What amazes me is the prognosticating powers of the author. He KNOWS the Oilers won’t be read to compete two seasons from now, or even next season for that matter. Really? I don’t think he understands how quickly things can turn around.
a smart GM can turn around a team pretty quick once it the talent becomes apparent. Kevin Lowe remade the team in the spring of ’06 and the Oilers went on to the Stanley Cup Final.
Like it or not, people will eventually stop buying the product when it’s been years of futility.
Eventually, the people WILL stop buying the shit that’s being forced on them.
If Tambo/Lowe have any sense, they SHOULD be able to manage the contracts without much worry.
The message of sending out a highly marketable asset to INTENTIONALLY lose after stating that the goal is the playoffs while trying to get the public to help pay for an arena is BAD BUSINESS.
Eventually people get sick of being fed shit.
Their D-men are huge and they are one of the main reasons why we are playing so well in our back-end. Witney, Potter, Sutton, Smid and Barker are all over 6’3" or taller ! Gilbert is 6’2". Plus we have added size up front with Eager and Hordichuck. We have enough size to look after the likes of RNH.
What has Petry done in the NHL/AHL that makes him that much better of a player then Barker? I’d prefer they keep Petry over Barker myself, but Petry hasn’t shown that he’s any better. Does he excel at anything?
As long as the Oilers reward the impact players in the coming years, and not spend willy-nilly to keep the kids akin to the Horcoff, Pisani and Gilbert deals, we dn’t have to worry about. A cap crunch.
A better player up front is what will speed up a process, except for the position of goalie.