A superstar player can lead to winning and thus towards a new arena, LaForge says. “You win championships and motivate a community to say, ‘We can do better. We’re bigger, more important, more valuable to Canada and to hockey, if you will. So we need to invest.’ ”
- The Cult of Hockey
This is David Staples speculating that the Oilers' flurry of activity (including the
Me, I'm at the point now where I'm willing to bow to the inevitable and accept that a new arena will be built with a heaping helping of taxpayer dollars. Since I don't actually live in Edmonton anymore, my objections to welfare for billionaires have always been a matter of principle. But to be perfectly frank, if a pile of public cash for a new arena is the price to pay to see Stanley back in Edmonton, it's one I'm willing to let you all pay.
Enjoy your potholes, suckers!
Another point from Staples that I want to address is the following:
From a hockey perspective, there would have been absolutely nothing wrong with standing pat this summer, giving Jarret Stoll one more year to see if he can fully recover from his concussion, giving Joni Pitkanen another chance to show he just might be an All-Star puck-moving defenceman, giving Matt Greene a much deserved chance to establish himself as the new Jason Smith of the Oil blueline, a rugged team leader capable of playing against tough opposition.
Frankly, that would have been the prudent course of action if the Oilers focus was slowly building towards a Stanley Cup winning team, putting pieces in place around the likes of Sam Gagner and Andrew Cogliano.
That makes sense and is all well and good, but if recent history has taught us anything, the days of the slow rebuild seem to be over. The onset of the cap, early free agency means teams are now in a constant state of flux. Even with a solid core locked up, finding the right supporting pieces year after year to ensure a consistent contender is going to be a challenge for most teams not named the Red Wings. Against this backdrop, it makes perfect sense to shorten the time frame for your standard rebuild. Put another way: for the Oil, the last two years were rebuilding years. This year, with new deep pocketed ownership, there's a good chance for this team to make a hard charge for a long playoff run. Why not go for it? Isn't winning now the whole fucking point?