This is Ernst Bloch: he is one of my favorite Marxist philosophers. He used to write a lot on just about everything (music, proletariat, history, utopias, time, etc...). He developed a very important concept called 'not-yet', through his work on Utopia and Hope. This will be the foundation of my rant today.
The concept of 'not-yet' is the basis of Bloch's thought. It forms his ontological structure, which is an open system where nothing is static and everything is in a constant process of formation. 'Not-yet' can be seen to have many meanings, including:
- the literal not yet,
- still not,
- not so far,
- not yet but expected,
- conceivable now but not yet possible, and
- present now in a problematic manner but still to come in its actual realization
Each of these meanings has a relationship to time, that the desired utopia (the Oilers winning the Stanley Cup) is possible but not guaranteed. All of these meanings focus on the future, or the anticipation of the collective utopia of the Oil Diaspora.
For Bloch anticipation does not guarantee hope for the utopia, for fear is possible as well. As the Oil Diaspora has lived through the nineties we are familiar with the anticipation of fear (of losing our team, of failing to make the playoffs again, and of facing Dallas if we don't), but Bloch thinks "a feeling that suits us better is overdue." This feeling, for both us and Bloch, is hope. Since the lockout, and the beautiful run of '06, we have learned to hope again. And these last few weeks are putting all that work in danger of becoming fear again.
Key to Block's 'not-yet' is the possibility of the future. I still have hope that the Oilers can win the Stanley Cup, but I am in the minority right now. We need players to exceed their 'not-yet-consciousness' of their abilities, and start playing like they are living in the possibility of achieving our utopia. I am naming these Oilers the "Not-Yet-Oilers".
To stop us from losing our hope and maintain the "not-yet-Oilers", I think we need to remember some words of Bloch (and I'll repeat them for us in case we have forgot):
"Utopian consciousness wants to look far into the distance, but ultimately only in order to penetrate the darkness so near it of the just lived moment, in which everything that is both drives and is hidden from itself. In other words: we need the most powerful telescope, that of polished utopian consciousness, in order to penetrate precisely the nearest nearness."
Translation in Relevance to the Oilers: We need to start looking at the possible utopian function of the team (the potential of the roster players) with our collective desire to win the cup, in order to penetrate how we could increase the lived moment (us winning games). I propose we attempt to do inventory for a fire sale.
fire sale - who should stay and who should go?
Alex Hemsky (he is our best player)
Shawn Horcoff (it makes no sense to get rid of our best, veteran center if that is one of our weaknesses)
Sam Gagner (he is our future and one of our highest draft choices ever)
Lubomir Visnovsky (he is good, we just got him, I like him)
Charlie Huddy (I think he is our best coach, we get a lot out of veteran defence, and the defence system play is sound, I don't want to lose him)
Steve Tambellini (we have been begging for an upper office manger who has experience and not one of the old boys, we finally got one: lets give him a chance)
Kevin Prendergast/Stu MacGregor (I have loved their drafting lately, but one could get demoted)
On the Edge:
Sheldon Souray (has been having a huge season, one of the bright spots for the Oilers)
Tom Gilbert (young, confident, good passer, and almost always poised with the puck: but I don't really like him for some reason)
Laddie Smid (he has too much potential for me to give up on, he is still a couple years away from his prime)
Fernando Pisani (first he is hurt, but his defensive play is needed in the utopian vision of the cup)
Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers (the only Hopeful part of the three headed monster)
Dwyane Roloson (we need a veteran goalie for our Utopia)
Billy Moores (I like the old man, but can't find a reason to not axe him)
Can't be moved (unless we pull a Mogilny):
Steve MacIntrye (he is hurt, and no one in their right mind would give up picks for him- maybe Burkie would, see 2nd round pick for Parros)
Zack Stortini (if he had any value, he would be gone)
Steve Staios (I just don't think a 35 year old making that many mistakes would have any takers)
Eric Cole (wouldn't bring back the value we gave up for him)
Ethan Moreau (who wants a undisciplined, easily hurt $2 million fourth liner? I sure don't)
Robert Nilsson (young, affordable contract, who is under-performing)
Andrew Cogliano (high potential, repeats Gagner's position and size, he has the ability to bring the best return)
Dustin Penner (why not trade the fat man if anyone wants his contract. at least he is better than Ryder)
Mathieu Garon (maybe the easiest goalie to trade)
Denis Grebeshkov (after Cogs, he would bring back the best return, I think)
Jason Strudwick (younger, more defensively sound then Staios, I'd say fetches a 9th round pick, oh wait they got rid of the upper rounds)
Kyle Brodziak (I see no reason to keep him, other then the Press Box position)
Marc Pouliot (flush the Poo)
Others to Fire:
Chad Moreau (at least camp Mandelbaum didn't hurt anyone this year)
Peter Peters (goalie coach: when was the last time the Oilers had success with goalies)
Kelly Buchburger (what is his experience? what is his roll?)
Jury's Still Out:
(Please guys pull it together, I shed tears when you left town the first time, I don't want to run you out of town, with a pitchfork, now)
I am not saying trade and fire every body, just who my utopian lens think could go. What do you think, Oil Diaspora? I'd like to hear your suggestions on who could stay and who should go. Also, if you have any thoughts on the not-yet-Oilers, I'd like to hear them too.
Update: For those of you who have a life and don't read Oiler Blogs and the Internet all day, check this out. An Oiler Vet said: trade someone and fire the coach. For a discussion on who it could be click here. My advise to Tambo: start the witch hunt, then trade (unless Roli, then waive him) that individual as fast as possible for anything you can get. As soon it is official, call a press conference and publicly state why you traded them. Proceed to threaten the rest of the team with abortion by coat hook if they don't smarten up and start winning for MacT.