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The Top 25 Under 25 Returns! I'll Pass.

Is our obsession with "next year" hurting the Oilers?

Look over there, it's the future!  Again.
Look over there, it's the future! Again.
Mitchell Leff

We kicked off our semi-annual Top 25 Under 25 voting last week, and although I cast a ballot (and let me say - ranking after about number thirteen is divination and dowsing), I won't be participating in our annual review (build-up?) of the organization's future this time.  In fact, I don't know that I'll participate until the organization begins to focus on the present, rather than the future.

It may seem silly, but the prospectophile (credit: Colby Cosh) culture in Edmonton has become both a business and a self-fulfilling prophecy.  The organization focuses on the future on the team website and broadcast, the beat writers write about the future on a regular basis, Jim Matheson writers about drafts going back two decades, Bob Stauffer stops drooling about fights and begins focusing on the draft in January and bloggers (like me) fall in line and focus on the young players and prospects with zeal.  Fans, in turn, try and figure out when the 5th-best defensive prospect will crack the starting lineup or when an also-ran WHL overager will finally bring that winning attitude and legitimate shut-down pivot defense to Edmonton and lead the Oilers to the playoffs.

All of this serves as a giant distraction to the issues at hand, except rather than "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!", it's "Pay no attention to the lack of player development, inability to acquire and keep NHL players, inability to successfully negotiate contracts, lack of defense, lack of centers and our mismanagement!"  "Look over there at the shiny young players!" has become a way of life in Edmonton, so much so that there is a popular radio show and blog devoted solely on the next big thing.

Sure, I'll still post a monthly draft rankings list, but with a focus on general interest, not the man the Oilers will draft 2nd or 3rd overall.  I'll discuss Oklahoma City, and chat about the steps made by guys who may be close to the show.  But until the organization gets it together, I decline to participate in Edmonton's annual version of "The Fappening".  It's been 8 years of  rebuilding - the prospectophile culture has to go.