A looong time ago, after a post on the comparative value of Smitty**, I was asked to join the roster of writing staff over at Irreverent Oil Fans.
To this day I think of it as an incredible honor. I really do. Some very smart people over there. Some very funny people over there. Some are smart AND funny. All are pretty farkin' observant. It is what makes it one of the best blogs on the Oilers out there.
Never did respond. Didn't know what to say. By the time I did, I have to think it was 'probably' irrelevent so I stayed keyboard quiet. My answer was/is 'no'.
I will be posting about more than just the Oilers on this blog and there is no way I would have taken those observations over to IOF (not that they would have let me). Since I had no interest in having two blogs I settled for when I would be ready for this one.
'Ready' happened the moment the Oilers traded Ryan Smyth.
IOF just linked me. Thank you.
But this post isn't about just thanking them for that. It is about thanking them ('royal' them) for some great hockey posts read and hockey discussions joined over the years. Along with Lowetide and mudcrutch, some guy named dawgbone (HF shout-out) and MJ (Oilfans shout out) I consider them to be some of the most observant hockey fans anywhere.
One thing I know for sure - the Oilogosphere is a lot closer to Billy Beane than Oiler team management is.
**Btw - I have posted in the past year on HF that Smyth did not appear to be an outperformer and I have also posted (same forum) that the 2006-07 year was the year to trade away some guys. Over the course of year I found that I was wrong (it happens) about Smyth - it came about in three ways:
1. I got to know the tough minutes and outscorer stats better
2. I watched a host of other players get big, big raises (meaning that I had severely misjudged salary inflation in the NHL)
3. I watched Smyth carry the team more than he had done so, imo, in any year prior
His ability to play at an extremely high level despite the fact that there was no defense worthy of providing offensive support behind him is/was, given NHL standards, a couple steps past heroic imo.
Ryan Smyth is a franchise standard kind of player. I did not know that earlier, much to my discredit.
Have a great evening everyone.