GDB 47: One Samwise short of a Fellowship

Jason Gregor
January 27 2009 12:00PM

Sam Gagner will not play tonight, and looks to be out 10-14 days, which means some line juggling.

With Gagner’s ankle still bothering him, Craig MacTavish could have put Liam Reddox in his place, but thankfully he moved Cogliano in the middle of Nilsson and Cole. The lines will be as follows tonight:

27 - 10 - 83

12 - 13 - 26

18 - 78 - 85

43 - 51 - 33

It does look like Stortini will be available to play Friday against the Wild. He still needs a few more practices according to MacTavish and then he should be ready to go. Local 2006 Hero Fernando Pisani is still a few weeks away until he is ready. He’s having some discomfort skating, so the pain needs to subside before he can go full out.

Gagner wrenched his ankle in their last game against Columbus and he did have some treatment on Wednesday before he left for the all-star break, but his ankle hasn't responded and he underwent an MRI yesterday.

He had been playing with the wonky ankle for some time, and according to his coach it has affected his game.

“Greatly, I think. Probably more than he would admit. You see it behind the bench that he comes off normally once or twice a game with a pain inhibition, where he tries to make a move and you get that shooting pain up your leg and it just stops you."

Gagner hurt the ankle in practice in mid-November and has been taping it up every since.

“There is nothing torn, so it is nothing long term or serious. Sometimes it gives out skating, but mostly going into battles is where I feel it, when I have to plant down on the foot,” said Gagner.

“Going into last game it was a matter of going into that game and then getting some rest over the break, but I hurt it twice in that game and now I just need to rest it.”

With Stortini eligible to play by Friday, don’t expect a call-up.

Dwayne Roloson will start tonight, and you wonder when Deslauriers will get a start.

“I thought about possibly today, but decided against it,” said MacTavish. “There was some serious consideration in playing him today. Sometimes you can over-think these things a little bit. Maybe the most important is to go with Roli while he’s playing as well as he is. I don’t want to get into a case where I out-think myself. The situation will present itself and it will be a bit more obvious than it is today.”

For me the obvious case is to play Deslauriers on Friday versus the Wild. Minnesota has owned Roloson and the Oilers the past two years, so give the kid a shot against them and also then he is sitting out to long.

And lastly, JF Jacques is skating pain-free and will be assigned to Springfield around Feb. 5. That way he would be eligible to play in eight games on the 6th, 7th, 8th, 11th, 13th, 14th, 15th and 17th. After he is recalled, the Oilers will have to make a decision on him, since he will either have to clear waivers or stay with the Oilers.

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#101 freeze
January 27 2009, 09:06PM
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One Samwise short of a Fellowship indeed.

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#102 volfman
January 27 2009, 09:14PM
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I wanna see 10-1. go buffalo.

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#103 Travis Dakin
January 27 2009, 09:15PM
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So uh, How is this goaltending tandem looking now?

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#104 David S
January 27 2009, 09:16PM
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freeze wrote:

One Samwise short of a Fellowship indeed.

The post count just went over 100 so I guess Wanye gets his bonus for the night. Pretty much means our work is done here.

...oh yay. Another one.

The most interesting thing about the game tonight is going to be the MacT post game presser.

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#105 Travis Dakin
January 27 2009, 09:16PM
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come on 10!!!

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#106 Travis Dakin
January 27 2009, 09:16PM
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YESSSSSS!!!!!

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#107 freeze
January 27 2009, 09:16PM
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can't we just call the game!

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#108 David S
January 27 2009, 09:17PM
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volfman wrote:

I wanna see 10-1. go buffalo.

Hahahaha!

Dick.

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#109 volfman
January 27 2009, 09:19PM
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I can smell it.

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#110 R-DAWG
January 27 2009, 09:21PM
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the perverbial sh1tting the bed.

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#111 Travis Dakin
January 27 2009, 09:21PM
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do it....

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#112 R-DAWG
January 27 2009, 09:22PM
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I hate my life!!

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#113 Travis Dakin
January 27 2009, 09:23PM
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AWESOME CHANT!!!!!

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#114 Al
January 27 2009, 09:24PM
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Was the crowd just chanting "we want ten"????????

If so, that is sad yet funny..

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#115 David S
January 27 2009, 09:25PM
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THAT was pretty cool!

Meaningless but cool.

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#116 freeze
January 27 2009, 09:27PM
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and they cheer. ouch. poor JDD.

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#117 David S
January 27 2009, 09:27PM
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Aaand 10 it is.

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#118 Travis Dakin
January 27 2009, 09:27PM
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YYYYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#119 Travis Dakin
January 27 2009, 09:28PM
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A shorty is icing on the cake. I love it.

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#120 volfman
January 27 2009, 09:29PM
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YAHOO!!! MY DREAM HAS BECOME REALITY.

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#121 David S
January 27 2009, 09:29PM
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David S wrote:

THAT was pretty cool! Meaningless but cool.

Uhhh...I was talking about Nilsson's goal.

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#122 volfman
January 27 2009, 09:33PM
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David S wrote:

volfman wrote: I wanna see 10-1. go buffalo. Hahahaha! Dick.

Cheer up dave at least we were able to cheer for something.

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#123 we suck
January 27 2009, 09:35PM
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the real Oilers are back!

*clap clap*

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#124 volfman
January 27 2009, 09:39PM
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If tampa fans can rally to keep vinny, we should be able to rally, and get rid of mac-t.

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#125 Dropping Deuces
January 27 2009, 09:41PM
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David S wrote:

Deuces being dropped everywhere you look.

Very true

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#126 Travis Dakin
January 27 2009, 09:53PM
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Well Nation, thanks for sharing that with me. Talk to ya in the morning. Who can we get rid of for Lecavalier again?

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#127 David S
January 27 2009, 09:55PM
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MacT:

"Ok. Fire away."

"A debacle of monumental proportions."

Then proceeds to walk out of the presser after no more than three minutes at the mike.

You know what? I seriously feel bad for him right now.

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#128 RobinB
January 27 2009, 09:59PM
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Chin up, men. At least Gilbert stayed hot with yet another second assist on the 10-2 goal. On fire is Gibby.

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#129 Travis Dakin
January 27 2009, 10:02PM
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RobinB wrote:

Chin up, men. At least Gilbert stayed hot with yet another second assist on the 10-2 goal. On fire is Gibby.

Good thing he's locked up eh?

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#130 douggy
January 27 2009, 10:10PM
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ouch. my oiler balls!

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#131 Jack Bauer
January 27 2009, 10:12PM
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I wish I could say this game is going to have consequences, but I fear the only thing well get out of it is a mentally shattered back-up goalie who the coach will have no confidence in for the rest of the year.

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#132 esa tikkanen
January 27 2009, 10:18PM
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i just have to say...the Oilers are not going to sell all their seasons tickets next year unless they win a few playoff series. i went to the Chicago game and came home and decided I would rather watch LOST than watch the Oilers, it is more entertaining and the chicks are hotter. I have had seasons tickets in the past but doubt i will in the next few years. the mgmt group that put together this sad sack team that is so unprofessional as to not show up twice in two months at home to the poor sorry ass fans who pay their pathetic uneducated ass salaries. i could name every first round draft pick this team has, tell you the lineup of the Springfield Falcons, and spout out to you how Alex Plante and Jeff Petry are doing this year. But right now I could really care less about the Oilers. They are not worth my emotional energy and I am not giving them any of my money. I stayed home tonight, checked the score a couple of times and watched last week's season premiere of LOST. It was time much better spent than going to that pathetic game and I bet there are a few thousand people who went there that wished they had stayed home and watched TV too. If I were Katz and Laforge I would be real worried about selling out that building next year because if people like me would rather watch tv than watch the Oilers they are in real trouble...

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#133 David S
January 27 2009, 10:26PM
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It's OK Esa. They have a waiting list in the thousands for season's tickets. I seriously don't think Katz and Laforge are too worried right now about much more than how much they'll have to shell out for RX2 and the color of the new seats.

It's sport. Ya win some and ya lose some. This one sucked but I bet Friday's game will be pretty good.

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#134 TDSM31
January 27 2009, 10:26PM
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David S wrote:

MacT: “Ok. Fire away.” “A debacle of monumental proportions.” Then proceeds to walk out of the presser after no more than three minutes at the mike. You know what? I seriously feel bad for him right now.

Most coaches, after a lopsided loss, get all pissy and whiny and storm out of the room after about six seconds (ie Jabba Hitchcock after the loss to the Oil). At least MacT manned up and acted half-assed professional about the whole situation.

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#135 TDSM31
January 27 2009, 10:30PM
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Thank Christ the Minny game is PPV so I don't accidentally tune in whilst surfing to find American Idol.

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#136 Drago
January 27 2009, 10:33PM
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@ esa tikkanen:

then people like you can stay home, and people like me will gladly take your seats...such fair weather fans, oh and don't forget to call the talk shows and say that MacT should be fired.

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#137 Drago
January 27 2009, 10:36PM
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To Jonathon Willis,

This is my public apology for ragging you about your "statistical hate" of Staios as I believe I called it. Umm yeah he was pretty awful tonight, brutal giveaways, looked 3 steps behind everyone else. Yikes.

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#138 rindog
January 27 2009, 10:39PM
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@ Jack Bauer:

Yeah they should probably try to pickup a veteran goalie (about 30 years old) that has proven he can win games for an inconsistant hockey club.

I hear Pittsburgh has a guy like that???

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#139 esa tikkanen
January 27 2009, 10:46PM
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fairweather fan? i had season tickets in 1993 and 1994 when they were selling players for cash and lost 15 games in a row at the end of the season. i supported this team with my money when most people would not , when they were broke and when they depended on heart and effort because they could not afford the talent. at the time i was frustrated because they had no money so could not compete, and i cheered for them as the underdog that had no chance but it would be nice to cheer for some miracle. at this point they have tons of money and are barely a playoff team, and have their two worst home losses in their history only two months apart and they have a payroll as high as Detroit, Boston, and 30% higher than the team that just beat them 10-2! i liked the doug weight, todd marchant, mike grier team better. underdogs that fought like hell. these pansies have the fight of a 2 year old girl. oh and those thousands on the waiting list? we will see how many are left after this season, and with $40 oil all those welders and electricians that were making 150k will be making 50 k, and the high school dropouts that were framing houses for 60k will be making 20k and won't be able to afford oilers games when watching tv will offer so much better value... oh and by the way, tambo, you traded the wrong goalie..

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#140 Chief
January 27 2009, 11:02PM
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I guess the mighty Oil decided the fans deserved a righteous sack beating. In your face fans!

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#141 douggy
January 27 2009, 11:05PM
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im still on the waiting list! did anyone else notice that looser sitting behind the buffalo penalty box? wearing a flames jersey to an oilers vs. sabres game? what kind of idiot does that? one more thing that proves calgarians and flames fans are retarded!

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#142 oilersordeath
January 27 2009, 11:08PM
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Brutal!! Pansies is right! This team overloaded with em

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#143 volfman
January 27 2009, 11:13PM
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@ esa tikkanen: couldn't agree with you more. with the salary this team has had for the last three years, they sure have had a pretty pathetic team. If they want this to be a skilled puck possesion team, maybe they should try to get more than just 1 truly skilled forward. Decent job with the Defence But terrible with the forwards. Or is it just that they don't know how to development offensive talant. TAMBO!!!! STEP UP AND DO YOUR JOB PLEASE! If you don't Katz will.

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#144 Lofty
January 27 2009, 11:18PM
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I wanna know how you loose 10-2 and there are no scraps? We have Stortini, Strudwick, and most of all the captain, Moreau and not one of them through a punch. When it got to be 4-1 someone should have tried to get something going! I feel bad for people who went to the game and the only entertainment they got was chanting for the visiting team to break into double digits.

This Reddox thing has to stop there should be talent or grit being brought up from the minors not useless pluggers. Brule, Schremp, O'Marra, or maybe Potulyny who is heating the AHL up right now.

Time for the oil to call up the sens and swap some useless talent for some useless talent. Spezza isnt playing well but neither are the oil apart from a few D-men and 2 forwards.

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#145 leonard
January 27 2009, 11:52PM
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That Garon trade looks good now? Ah? Oh I forgot, we don't blame the golies when the whall team stinks. If it wasn't for Hemsky they would have lost last 3 games and not one. But should we blame the team for beeing what it is? No. It's the management that build that team. It is KEVIN LOWE who did it and can't fix it. From time to time he spreads the roomor that he is trying to land a big name player but it is all a jock. You don't think its him spreding roomors? How would anybody know if he called about Vinny or not if he would not tell that to a reporter? McT has to go but he will not untill K. Lowe is gone.

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#146 leonard
January 28 2009, 12:00AM
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I had two Oilers tickets sitting in plain view on my car dashboard. Some bastard broke my window and left two more.

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#147 David S
January 28 2009, 12:05AM
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Man it gets testy in here after ONE BAD GAME.

Fire Mact! Fire Lowe! Burn Rexall! Trade Horcoff!

Gregor is going to have his ear chewed off tomorrow.

Unbelievable.

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#148 Colin
January 28 2009, 12:26AM
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David S wrote:

Man it gets testy in here after ONE BAD GAME. Fire Mact! Fire Lowe! Burn Rexall! Trade Horcoff! Gregor is going to have his ear chewed off tomorrow. Unbelievable.

10-2 isn't one bad game, it's refusing to sit up in bed to scratch your bed sores after a week of laying on your ass.

You would think after their min-roll before the break that players would be motivated to try and keep it going, but for the most part this team looked like they would rather be on the golf course. They're in luck though, play like that a few more times and they can tee off in April.

Not too surprised JDD got lit up though, no support in front of him and he's been sitting on his ass for two months thanks to our awesome "player management".

And why is Staios allowed to play? A pylon would have done a better job tonight. Surely there's a promising young guy or two who could use some NHL time to develop?

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#149 Colin
January 28 2009, 12:30AM
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Two monumental asskickings in little over a month(let alone a season, learn your lesson the first time) is just unacceptable for a non-expansion team.

If players don't want to show up there are quite a few boys in Springfield who would love their spots(whether or not they're ready is another question, but you'd have to think they couldn't put in less effort)

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#150 Joey Moss
January 28 2009, 01:07AM
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here is what i sent to the oilers, i encourage all of you to voice your concerns to the team:

To whom it may concern,

I thought about starting this email by saying I have been a life long fan of the Oilers, but I cannot say it to be true anymore. Over the last several years I have witnessed some very sad moments in Oilers history and the game tonight has pushed me over the edge: I can no longer call myself a fan of the team. How could I possibly? To say I am a fan of this team would be a discredit to my character because of what the Oilers have come to represent. What this team has come to mean to me can be summed up with one word, nepotism.

It has been said for quite some time, whether it started with the EIG or Sather leaving I am not sure, that the Oilers have been guilty of nepotism. To better explain this concept, nepotism as I understand it, is a system of bureaucratic management which rewards familiarity rather than merit. That is to say, it does not matter whether one is actually qualified for a position, but rather if that person knows the right people. I am not here to say that this practice does not have some value, as it certainly is helpful to work with people you know and trust but it should be noted that familiarity is meaningless if the people you work with are incompetent, lazy or simply don't care.

As I see it there are several key problems with nepotism as it relates specifically to the Oilers (the order does not indicate the severity as each issue is equally important):

Number One: It is difficult to know how sincere the people you surround yourself with are. Are they yes men or are they offering qualified, constructive criticism when needed?

Number Two: It is possible that unneeded positions may exist simply to employ a friend or an unqualified individual may be employed in a position beyond his experience or mental ability (possibly at the expense of one more qualified).

Number Three: It is difficult to be businesslike (that is to say, offer criticism or fire someone when needed) if you work amongst friends. I would ask you to imagine how hard it might be to fire someone that you have been friends with for decades, but I suspect whoever is reading this is well aware of the seemingly insurmountable difficulty of this task.

Number Four: Due to the inability to let blood (fire or restructure) in a nepotistic system it is likely that some may become irresponsible in their given position. That is to say, there is a fundamental breakdown of what binds an effective corporation or institution; meaningful reciprocity has ceased to exist. If it is impossible to be fired, then you can basically do whatever the hell you want, regardless of the consequences for peers or the firm.

A secondary problem which has, in many ways, helped produce the current nepotism that embodies the Oilers is that of a strong-fan base. What's that you say? How can a strong fan base be a bad thing for a sports team!? I'll tell you how - It means that people will show up, buy your gear and cheer for the team, regardless of what happens. This means that if the team does not succeed, the stands will still be full, the concession and beer stands will still be lined up, the jerseys and ball-caps will still sell. This has created a safety net for the team, the only possible reason they might have for succeeding (as personal pride apparently does not matter) is the prospect of playoff revenue. I don't know if it is one or two million per game or if that figure is way off but each home game must be a massive boon to the team. In summation; there is little meaningful fiscal consequence (beyond lost playoff revenue) if this team fails.

I would now like to present some anecdotal evidence to support my theory regarding this team:

One of the only things that has stopped people from attending a game recently (a very big game indeed) was the trading of Ryan Smyth. A move I believe still haunts this team as the exact type of forward lacking from the lines is that which Ryan typified; a hard-nosed, grinding, versatile, power forward. Furthermore, the team subsequently lose twenty games in a row and the coaching staff was not fired... and then wins the last game of the year to put the organization out of contention for the top draft pick!

The team can suffer the two worst losses in team history inside of two months and the coaching staff will not be fired. It is public knowledge MacTavish is guaranteed a job until seasons end.

The team hires several former players to positions that may not be best for the organization; I cite MacTavish to coach; Lowe to GM and then Senior Executive; Buchberger to coach of the AHL team and then assistant with the big club; Simpson to assistant coach. The talent passed over in favor of these cronies is impossible to quantify.

I would go on to cite the numerous errors made with the roster in the last decade, but that is not the purpose of this email....

In closing: I hope that the declining economic status of the province will have an adverse effect on the attendance for the Oilers as I believe the only possible thing that might motivate the organization to change is money. When people realize that their time and dollars are better spent elsewhere, the waiting list for tickets will shrink, as will the number of people in the stands. I had hoped that Mr. Katz would be a little more dramatic in his management approach, but sadly it remains the status-quo. Were this a 'real' business and if losses actually equated to dollars I doubt Mr. Katz would be so accepting of the current management team, but given the complete lack of urgency displayed I doubt we will see any changes soon.

At this point in the email, I thought I would threaten that I will not watch a single game, at home or in person, or buy a single piece of merchandise until the entire management team has been fired, the coaching staff has been fired and at least 2/3rds of the team turned over; sadly the threat is empty, as there are hundreds, if not thousands, of idiots waiting to take my place in the beer line or at the scalpers.

I would hope that some sort of non-automated response will be returned to me, but I will not expect it given how this organization operates. I challenge you to surprise me.

Sincerely,

Adam

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