SUN Hockey Pool

The Marc and Sid show

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:37 AM ET

Marc-Antoine Pouliot AND Sidney Crosby?

That's dare-to-dream stuff, to be sure, for fans of the Edmonton Oilers, but it's a possibility that exists with the NHL contemplating a weighted lottery to determine selection order for the 2005 Entry Draft.

The Oilers are delighted, to say the least, with the development of Pouliot, who they plucked from the Rimouski Oceanic with the 22nd selection back in the 2003.

These days, GM Kevin Lowe, assistant GM Scott Howson and chief scout Kevin Prendergast are watching Pouliot, Crosby and linemate Dany Roussin, already drafted by Florida, light it up at the Memorial Cup.

So, what are the odds of seeing the dynamic and dominant duo of Pouliot and Crosby reunited in Oilers' silks? Well, that won't be determined until the NHL finalizes the equation for its lottery and all the balls drop, but slim odds are better than none.

"For all of the obvious reasons why you'd want to win a lottery because of Crosby, it would have double significance for us," said Lowe. "They know one another and respect one another. When you hear Crosby interviewed, he talks about Marc-Antoine and about Roussin. He respects those guys, sort of like Gretz did with Jari (Kurri). There's an appreciation for the ability of the other guys."

DOING HANDSTANDS

Whatever team that gets first pick and the opportunity to call Crosby's name will be doing handstands. The Oilers and the Panthers, who swiped Roussin 223rd overall in 2003, might throw in a full twist.

Crosby, Roussin and Pouliot finished one-two-three in QMJHL scoring this season with 168, 118 and 114 points, respectively. Crosby and Pouliot each have six points through three games at the Memorial Cup going into the semifinal. Roussin has five.

"They're exciting. It's a helluva line," Lowe said. "They move the puck very quickly. It's pretty neat to watch. You know every time they get the puck the chances are they're going to create something."

Pouliot, 20, and Crosby have looked like the second-coming of another terrific tandem who toiled in Oceanic silks during the 1997-98 season. That would be Vincent Lecavalier and Brad Richards. Each of them tallied 115 points that season, both ended up in Tampa Bay, with Lecavalier selected first overall and Richards 64th, and both hoisted the 2004 Stanley Cup with the Lightning.

"It's an intriguing possibility," admits Howson. "It's happened before with Lecavalier and Richards, so you never know. Until you know that it's not going to happen, you can still think about it."

It's not as if Pouliot, Rimouski's captain, has simply ridden the coat-tails of the Next One, either. They, along with Roussin, complement each other. The chemistry between them is something special.

"There's no doubt Crosby is the best player," Howson said. "He's an exceptional player, but he must be happy he has someone like Marc-Antoine, and Roussin for that matter, to play with.

"They think the game at similar levels. Every player needs good players around him. Marc-Antoine thinks the game like Sidney and has developed a rapport with him.

"This isn't a line that relies on individual performances. Crosby uses his linemates and finds them, and so does Marc-Antoine."

Having drafted Pouliot after a 73-point campaign with a bad edition of the Oceanic, the Oilers watched him score 45 goals and add 69 assists this season. He hasn't skipped a beat in the post-season.

"He's having a great tournament and he's looking like everything our scouts said he was when we drafted him," Lowe said.

"We thought he had character and leadership ability, sort of an all-around package. It's really hard to pinpoint or describe what might be his biggest strength, but there's a lot there to work with."

SPENDING THE LOOT

Granted, contemplating Crosby and Pouliot together in Edmonton is a bit like spending the loot from a Lotto 6-49 jackpot before the draw, but is there anybody who's ever bought a ticket who hasn't done that?


Videos

Photos