Fire Sale/ Bloch's 'Not-Yet'

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)

Trade Bait:

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:

Craig MacT


(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.


B.C.B. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
shepso said...

I seem to be unable to edit it. Maybe cut/paste into word and reformat?

Either way...Flush the poo.

as far as an "as-yet Oiler" goes, why not flush the Poo and his one-way contract by seeing if anyone will take him on waivers. I don't care, he is a lost cause, too soft to do anything. The poo is more like something liquid and often explosive that I seem unable to spell today. Replace the Poo with the equally underachieving but potentially more physical playing Brule. That way, if he plays well, we have a useful center, and if he plays poorly, we can use him as trade bait. Few teams would not want a former first round pick (unless its the Poo). Staios is a leader, but at 34, he is clearly trade bait waiting to happen. Why not package him, the Poo, and maybe Garbagekov for Kovalchuk like we discussed last night, and bring up Chorney from the farm?

Or we can fire MacT and bring Torts in. At the very least, he knows how to coach offense and he's not part of the old boys club.

B.C.B. said...

I be ok with firing MacT and bring in Torts, but not happy. I still think it is the lack of good forwards rather then MacT system which is the problem

To get Kovalchuk we would need a far better package then Staios, Poo, and Grabagekov. I would start with
Garon, Grebs, and Penner (we would have to move some serious salary back to make it work under the cap), and still would have to add a first round draft pick.

budorduke said...

maybe try to spell everyones name right, first off. Gagner, Roloson. Not to nitpick but for improvement thats all..

B.C.B. said...

budorduke: I'll spell their names right when they start to win. No I just fixed. You don't seem to have a blog, so I can tell you that formatting and thinking up this stuff takes time, and we all make mistakes.

I would really like to thank you for the suggestions on content (oh wait, only your spell check part of your brain works). I'd understand if you didn't get the first part,: you could ask questions or clear anything up. You seem to understand the second section, but all you could come up with is spelling mistakes. Do you work for a bank that has outlawed critical thought?

sachia said...

easy, Brendan.

sachia said...

having never read Bloch, I'm not able to appreciate him the way you do but I nonetheless enjoyed your 'not-yet' analysis.

however, I'm not sure about your final bloch quote translation to Oilerish. Maybe it's cause I don't understand the quote itself:

"Utopian consciousness wants to look far into the distance, but ultimately only in order to penetrate the darkness so near it of just (a word missing here?) 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.

Isn't the possible utopian function of the team to capture the Stanley Cup? (Maybe I don't understand the sense of 'function'.) I see it as we must build and evaluate our team with the utopian goal in mind. The utopian goal of winning the stanley cup is the telescope we must use to analyse our team. In this sense, your fire-sale analyis is the next step.

as for your fire-sale:
keep charlie huddy? why? I'm not saying he's a bad defensive coach but if we're gonna get rid of MacT why would we keep him? Actually, often assistant coaches stay on. In any case, I definitely don't see him as an 'untouchable.'

admittedly I have only seen three oiler games this year but I think Gilbert is somebody worth keeping. You would like him if you tried. You see, Brendan, your problem is that you were a stay-at-home defensemen who could be counted on for a timely crosscheck and an occasional break-out pass (even if it was off the glass). Now, while your lack of skill with the puck (I'm presuming here) should make you appreciate more the skill of a Gilbert, you, instead, dislike the guy because he represents the kind of defencemen you could never be. This also explains, I think, your hard-on for Huddy and Lowe.

I'll write more later

B.C.B. said...

The utopia is the Oilers winning the cup, or the realisation of the 'not-yet' into the New (I understand the Oilers have won before, but Bloch's conception of time is that the future exist in the past, the past in the future, and traces of both can be found in the present). While the New has to qualities: the finality and the possbile. The finality of the new utopia (the Oilers winning the cup) is just that the Oilers winning the cup. While the possible of the utopia is the transformative element of the utopia: in relation to the Oilers I am claiming the transformative/possible element is the potential of the players. I know it can be seen as a leap (also due to brain cramps and the intention not to bore people I left out the New's relationship to Utopia). Thanks for calling me on it.

Huddy: I think he is the best coach we have (and possibly our future head coach). I say he is untouchable while the rest of the coaches (moores, bucky, and peters) are not. While a fire sale could happen, I would be against getting rid of everyone. So I choose him as the one we don't want to lose.

Is Gilbert untouchable? If the right deal came along would you turn it down? Somedays his contract looks like a steal and other days it looks terrible. I just think if the right deal came along Gilbert would be gone. Also in todays world, there has to be an equal trade of salary too: he has a large contract and we would be taking back a large contract (if the player was that good and on a small contract he would be untouchable- see Hemsky). That is why Gilbert is on the fence list.

So what if I was a stay home defenseman who liked to cross-check. It doesn't mean I am unaware of the talents of others . . . I just think that teams still need a physical presence for the front of the net in this day and age.

sachia said...

the bloch thing is more or less cleared up but I still think you're missing a word in his original quote.

Huddy: if he becomes our future head coach, I will cry. not that I dislike him, but I want a new coach. We (all those claiming for macT's head), demand a new coach. We need somebody with fresh ideas, we need somebody who has won as a head coach at the NHL level (although I would have taken San Jose's new coach).

Maybe you're right to say that Huddy would do a good job and become a good head-coach eventually but he's just another part of the old-boys club. Evidently, this isn't an issue for you right now. But I want a good (maybe even a great) coach here. I want somebody who is an asskicker. I want a big name. I want somebody who commands respect. I want a head coach who will reassure my concerns that the Oilers will not make the playoffs. I want to hope, Brendan. That's all I (and most fans, I think) want. But we've lost hope in the current coach-management team. There's no hope left. new coach = new hope

really, hope is so important that I'd be ok if we downgraded a bit in terms of our roster and coaching staff as long as hope was restored.

(Incidentally, I agree with your assessment of Bucky. He's nothing but MacT on retard)

I agree with Hemsky as an untouchable. In fact, if they were to trade him, I would do some serious fuckin flag and jersey burnin

yes, I would trade Gilbert if the right deal came along and yes, I do appreciate the stay-at-home defencemen who cross-checks, BUT my problem with your evaluation of Gilbert was that you said you didn't LIKE him.

B.C.B. said...

OK: I was missing a word, but not where you thought is was. Now it is fixed.

I didn't mean to imply I thought Huddy should be our next coach. But he could be a possible interm coach till we find a new one. I think he needs to learn under an experience coach (not named MacT or Lowe) before he is put in charge.

I do oppose this train of thought you described as new coach= new hope. I don't think a big name will bring hope, but a good track record might. An asskicker might bring me hope. I think winning would bring me hope, and only winning. I don't care how they do that trade/firing/etc...

rest assure: the Oilers will not trade Hemsky, unless they all want to be fired. I think my point about Gilbert is valid: you agree that he is not untouchable, but he is better then most other defense- which is why he is on "The Edge" list. I see positives in him (I quote myself here: "young, confident, good passer, and almost always poised with the puck"), but I am not sold on him that he is on the untouchable list, yet,

I maintain my position that MacT is a good (if not great) coach. Who has been dealt crappy hands (rosters) for years, and this year he continues to look for a ten of spades (right handed vet center). Unfortunetly it is almost the river, he is just running out of time, lets hope the dealer (lowe) gives him that card.

sachia said...

I was one space off on the missing word.

yes, Huddy could use head-coaching experience before he becomes a head coach. But why should that be here? Why should we keep him? There aren't other better-experienced coaches available?

a big name will bring hope. it may not be justified hope, but it will be hope. You're right, a better record will bring hope. But change will bring hope for a better record too.

thanks for your reassurance about Hemsky even if I didn't really need it.

you're not listening to me about Gilbert. I'm telling you that you should LIKE him.

I care for your poker analogy like I care for your continued, unjustified, support of MacT: not very much. I don't think MacT is necessarily a bad coach, but he isn't the right coach here anymore.

B.C.B. said...

Hey Sachia,

I never said that Huddy should be our Head Coach, I just want to keep him as an assistant coach. I never said an better/experienced head coach isn't necessary, I just don't think we need to throw the baby (Huddy) out with the bath water (MacT), if that is necessary at all.

If you want me to like Gilbert (I am willing to change my position), I want reasons- and logical ones too. Not just an order from up on high. I watch the games, I see what he can do sometime, and what happens when he gets down on himself (or his defense partner). I don't have him listed as trade bait for a reason: he is good, but I don't see him as essential to the team either.

I think I have justified my comments about my support of MacT. I have identify (and blamed) the person I see where the fault rests at: K-Lowe and the players. I want you to give me reasons, not just feelings, for why you want to see MacT fired. His PK has suffered this year, I am blaming this on lack of personal, and his PP has improved, not due to change in strategy but rather Souray and Vish are better then MA Bergeron. This is a demonstration that MacT strategy had merit when it was crappy. I don't care if you don't like my analogies: come up with logical reason why they are wrong, or better analogies and I will listen.

Flush the Poo: I think this comment is getting lost in the arguing.

shepso said...

Flush the Poo...That is the first thing that needs to be done. Sure, now he's centering the fourth line with Reddox and Huggy-Bear, at least according to the most recent line combos, and Brodz will be centering Moreau and Hamster Balls (by which I mean Cole...reference to Mr. Alton's comment from the other day). This doesn't really look much better on paper. The Poo is the weakness in the center of the ice. He is too soft on the puck and can be eliminated without too much of a loss. This should be the first change. Not a benching, but an all out, full scale, use the plunger if necessary, flushing of the Poo. He has next to no upside and after 4 years of floundering, he should be the first to go.

Maybe coach should be next, especially considering he is trying to convince the media that he thinks the effort is there. If I were him, I would take a page out of the Ron Wilson school of coaching and tell the media what I really think. We suck. No heart. Period. If we lose to St Loo and the (falling) stars, the two worst teams in the west, we have some major issues.

shepso said...

Oh, and to throw my hat into the Gilbert debate, I say keep him. Long term upside is just too great. He could be and likely will be a Souray/Coffee hybrid when all is said and done. I love Grebs too, but good Grebs is a Markov/Zubov type D-man, whereas bad Grebs (Garbagekov) is a Bobo type. I think he has incredible potential, but Garbagekov came out against LA, and that side of his Jekyll/Hyde playing seems to be more common. I hate to pick on him after he broke his face, but if anyone is the ideal trade bait (Garon and Staios aside), it's him. People would also be afraid of Gilbert's mega contract, not in terms of money but length. My utopian vision of the Oilers has Gilbert as the anchor of our defense for the next 4-5 years. He's got a weird personality, sure, but his game has a huge amount of upside, too much to consider even being on the bubble. I do see your point as to why he's on your fence, he's just not on mine.

B.C.B. said...


I see your point of Grebs, but I still think he is second on trade bait list. If we want a LW or C that can play 22+mins and score goals we have to come to the conclusion it will most likely take both Grebs and Cogs to get him (or one, a first round pic and parts)

As for Gilbert, you are right it is the length not the amount of the contract that bothers me. I'd be fine palying him that for a few years and then seeing if he is worth resigning. In a period where the cap might go down it is worrisome. And you hit the nail on the head when you said weird personality. I like how you are disagreeing with me. Maybe you, or Sachia (if he is still speaking to me), should write your quick list of the fire sale and the debates can really start?

shepso said...

Hemsky: Obvious
Horcoff: See BCB's original list
Cogs: He's our real future #1 center. I see him as a Paul Kariya like player; he's got too much upside to walk away from
Gilbert: See my above comments
Tambo: A good new voice in the office, not a part of the old boys club, which gives hi major upside in my book.
KP: agree with Brendan's assessment completely

Livin' On The Edge: (Defined as practically untouchable unless a serious non-Gaborik related blockbuster deal can be reached causing us to give one and only one of these guys away in a package)
Souray: The heart and soul of our team right now. Hard to put him here, but he has the most value on the entire team
Lubo V: We gave up a RH center to get him, could we not get rid of him for the same?
JDD: Looked great in 5 of 6 appearances. Clearly the future of the team between the pipes
Laddie: See BCB, original list. Plus as the last piece of the Pronger deal, I hesitate to get rid of him
Fernando: He is the best defensive forward on the team. Period. We need him to get healthy.
Chopper: They're not going to trade the undisciplined captain of the undisciplined ship. He's got a bit of a spark left in him, and still healthy. He's got too much upside. On paper.

Won't be moved:
Roli: Too old to be moved, and we need a vet with playoff experience to mentor our young Frenchman. Plus his contract makes it harder.
Staios: Too old to get much for him, again unless he is part of a big time package. He has lots of intangibles and leadership qualities and blocks shots like mad, so the Oilers won't part with him.

Can't be moved:
S-Mac/Huggy Bear: Both have minimal value unless a team is willing to part with a 2nd or 3rd round pick beefing up for the playoffs
Hamster Balls Cole: Losing value faster then the TSE. In the final year of a large contract...
Gagner: I wish I could see some progress in his game. He's got so much upside so he is a lock to not be moved.

Robert Nilsson-Loads of talent. We just might be the wrong team to utilize him. He'd be dynamite on Pittsburgh though.
DP: Could be another Lupul. Anaheim-Edmonton just doesn't seem to work, but may have great success elsewhere, where there's less pressure to not suck. Has big ticket trade value as his game has improved since the public execution.
Grebs: See above comments in the Gilbert debate.
Matty Garon: He needs to play. Atlanta needs a good goalie, we need Kovalchuk. Package him?
Strudwick: He's a solid guy, good locker room presence and leadership. I like him, he's versatile. That sounds like trade bait to me.
Brodz: He can go. There, I said it.
Brule: Serious trade bait. First round pick who has an edge to his game, plays center or wing. He can be packaged.

Poo: Right now we have a level one clog. I'm breaking out the plunger. (I could make these bad shit jokes all day...)
Billy Moores, Chad Moreau, Pete Peters (to be replaced by Roli next year in my ideal vision of the future). What is Billy's function?

Waiting for results:
Boys, why are you here? What are your roles? Can you coach this team fundamentals? You both had so much heart and passion in your games. Please bring that character to the locker room.

Mact: Don't tell the media you think we're trying too hard. That is a bold faced lie. We all watched the game the other night. The inability to gain the offensive zone for almost the entire game is not indicative of a team that's trying too hard, but rather a team filled with suck.

That's my list.

B.C.B. said...


if we are really considering a blockbuster trade, we have to believe either Gagner or Cogs is going back. (Espessially if we are going after Kovalchuk). Do you really rank Cogs over Gagner, in your utopian future?

I'd put Vish in your category for Gilbert (an anchor for the next 4 years) and don't think he'll be moved at any cost.

What do see in Bucky? No experience, no real skill set that he be good at coaching. Did he think the game, or just play with heart? If he didn't think it, then he'll be a bad coach.

Billy Moores: I think needs a demotion, not a firing. He has put his years in here, he is settle and will not be finding another job somewhere else. Have him be the man up stairs, just helping to develop kids (was a great coach for the Golden Bears) and be another set of eyes on strategy (his speciality).

Good list Shepso . . .

B.C.B. said...


My boy Souray is defending my coach on the the Oilers TV, at the Oilers web site. I knew the Souray was not the cloak and dagger type, and now he is doing what the captain should be doing.

Give Souray the C,
Don't fire MacT
Go Oil Go
Love live the Oiler Diaspora