Gut-check time for you...

Jason Gregor
January 19 2010 09:11AM

I think it's fair to say that the last 16 games have really tested the loyalty of many Oiler fans. One win in 16 games will do that to you; so don’t fret — you aren’t alone.

The final 26 games of 2007 were tough when the Oilers went 4-19-3, and they won their last game of the year to finish 25th and draft Sam Gagner 6th overall. In those 26 games, the Oilers were shut out seven times, scored one goal nine times and were outscored 85-37  the Oilers did win two shootouts so you could give them 39 (but it was only 37 goals in regulation).

Fast forward to now and I wonder if you feel the same way? That team was decimated by injuries and had Sebastien Bisaillon and Bryan Young playing defence for goodness sakes. Joffrey Lupul finished at -29, Shawn Horcoff and Matt Greene were -22 and Petr Sykora was -20.

Ryan Smyth led the team with 53 points despite only playing in 53 games before being traded. It was a dreadful final 43 days of the season, but here we are on Jan 19th, the drought is already 35 days old and looking like it will extend another 86 days until the season ends on April 11th.

Many of you said you could handle a season or two of re-building if it meant getting a franchise player or two. Do you still feel that way? This is a test of your endurance, mettle, loyalty and passion for your mighty Copper and Blue.

You thought 40 days and 40 nights was tough, hell you're five days away from kicking Josh Harnett’s ass and could destroy that by reaching 119 days by season’s end.

The fact is, Oiler fans, for most of you these next 86 days will be the toughest test of your fanhood. Even if you were around during the 92/93 season — the lowest point total in Oiler history — you can’t compare because the three previous years you saw your team win the Cup in 1990, and lose the conference championship in 1991 and 1992.

The 1995/96 season is the closest comparison to the despair you are witnessing right now. Back then it was also the fourth straight season of missing the playoffs. However the previous three years saw you draft Jason Arnott 7th overall in 1993, Jason Bonsignore 4th and Ryan Smyth 6th in 1994, Steve Kelly 7th in 1995 and you were once again in the hunt for a top-five pick, which turned out to be Boyd Devereaux, 6th overall in 1996.

At this point in 1996 you still didn’t know for sure that Kelly and Bonsignore would be busts, and Doug Weight was on his way to 100 points, Zdeno "No chin" Ciger and Arnott were on pace for 30 goals... Arnott got hurt, missed 18 games and finished with 28 goals while "No chin" potted 31. Even that season wasn’t this much of a test.

We are in hell right now

I wonder if Quinn will make a speech similar to this to get the boys through the rest of the season. While the rest of this movie was unrealistic, Al Pacino’s speech was spine-tingling.

You guys are the players. You won’t make it through the next 86 days alone. You’ll need Nation readers to get you thought it. You’ll need the humour, the stupidity, the asinine trade requests, the reasonable replies and the level-headed responses.

You’ll need to know that there are many feeling the same pain while watching your team get pummeled again. Now is not the time to be a quitter or a bandwagon jumper. Hell, now is the time to be more vocal than ever. It would be easy to slip into the shadows of real life, start helping around the house or spending more quality time with the missus, or taking that cooking class you always wanted to or reading a self-help book. But what good will that do you? Nothing I tell you, NOTHING.

Because the minute June 1st rolls around you will be playing catch-up, trying to immerse yourself in the knowledge about the upcoming draft on June 25th. Oh sure, you’ll go to a house party and proclaim you watched the horror of the final 86 days, but you’ll do it with a guilty conscience because deep down you’ll know you couldn’t stomach the horror of those days. You didn’t dig deep down and play through the pain, like you expect the Oilers to do themselves.

If you walk away now you’ll be giving up on the one thing that brings you true joy, but also a pain that only compares to when your first girlfriend dumped you for the guy with a cooler hockey jacket. (Don’t pretend it didn’t hurt because we’ve all been there... in grade seven or eight, or last year for my buddy, but we’ve all been there).

Giving up now and turning off the TV, or not listening to sports shows or not reading the Nation would be easy, but like in life, doing the easy thing is sometimes the wrong thing. It will be hard to drag yourself to the game, or watch it at home without channel surfing, and you might cut down your visits to this lovely site that Wanye built from two batteries, some hair from his ex, and a mixture of a 1993 BL and a half a glass of White Zinfindel.

But why?

Because the team sucks?

Because you know that JDD and DD are overwhelmed at this point and will give up a questionable goal or two?

Because the veterans have decided that taking penalties is the only way they’ll get on the score sheet?

Because Pat Quinn’s pressers aren’t as emotionally charged as they were two months ago?

Because the PPVs are more painful than the games?

Because you truly don’t know who will be better in the long run for this team: Patrick O’Sullivan, Robert Nilsson or Andrew Cogliano?

Those are just excuses; they aren’t real reasons to abandon your love of hockey.

While you ponder what to do instead of watching the Oilers remember that you wouldn’t be the fan you are today without those inconsistent, infuriating bastards...

And things could always be worse. Watch one of the most inspirational sports-related speeches of all time right here:

"If you laugh, you think and you cry that is a full day, that is a heck of a day," Jimmy Valvano.

Keep your dream alive that the Oilers will one day return as a powerhouse in the NHL and that they will do so in your lifetime.

That sums up exactly what it is like to be an Oiler fan right now, I’d bet. You laugh when your buddy tells you they will win. You think hard about which players Steve Tambellini should keep for next season, and then you cry when you watch another trouncing like last night in Colorado.

But wow what an emotional day you will have by maintaining your loyalty to the Nation, the Oilers and hockey talk in general.

And the silver lining is that while the Oilers lost last night, the Leafs, Blue Jackets and Flames all lost. The Oilers have a six point bulge on the Leafs for 29th, and a ten point lead on the Blue Jackets, while the Flames got crushed 9-1 in San Jose and are two points from being out of the playoffs.

And don’t fret if you thought about packing in the season, there are lots of people who have much more stupid ideas than that every day. Check it out and feel good about your decision to get back in the shallow end of the pool with the rest of the true fans.

You’ll feel better about it on June 25th... Unless of course the Oilers go on a winning streak and finish out of the top three.

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
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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#51 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 19 2010, 10:33AM
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Jmask5 wrote:

You can't be serious. This team is much better with Hemsky on this team. Look at Penner, what has he done without Hemsky? Horc can't function without Hemsky. When Hemsky is on the team he takes the attention off the smaller guys who get more favorable defensive matchups. Hemsky is the straw the stirs the Oilers whether you want to admit it or not. This team is boring as hell without him and is a joke. Besides Hemsky is a play maker so he when he turns it on it means the other guys on his line are scoring not him.

These past 25 games give us a pretty clear look at how important Hemsky is to this team. The "dump Hemsky" crew needs to eat a little crow.

Move him if the return is right, but their better be another offensive spark-plug coming back in that deal or a subsequent one.

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#52 OilFan
January 19 2010, 10:34AM
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Yeah .Three years.When he first got the job he should have seen what the team had the year before. Last year and this year.

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#53 Jonathan Willis
January 19 2010, 10:35AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Many of you said you could handle a season or two of re-building if it meant getting a franchise player or two. Do you still feel that way?

It would be nice if it wasn't an accidental rebuild caused by brutal incompetence, but maybe I'm just quibbling.

I like the rebuild. I don't like the men in charge of making it happen.

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#54 oilfan in Kitchener
January 19 2010, 10:36AM
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@The Real Scuba Steve

this isn't the scuba steve that went to the U of L????

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#55 HottScarrison
January 19 2010, 10:36AM
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They WON"T do anything because they are ALL still gettin paid! large! And us blindly supporting them is footing the bill. My brother lives in Phoenix, he took his fiance to a yotes games...all you can eat, drink, free-parking, damn-good seats. it cost him $60. That price gets you ONE seat in nose-bleeds here. ITS A EFFIN JOKE. They have a newer building as well. WE are being fleeced. but GO team go.

BTW they are winning/competitive as well.

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#56 Ninjafoot
January 19 2010, 10:37AM
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OilFan wrote:

Last year when Vish went down. Tambo did nothing, thus making the team not make the playoffs. This year Hemsky and Bulin are out, no replacement, thus not making the playoffs. Am I the only one that sees that? I like the idea of a low draft choice, but really don't think Hall is going to make the differnce the oilers need.

I have seen the same team the last four years, and will not watch anymore this year and next if the same team is in place. I'm never going to cheer for the Flames but I'm looking for a desent team to watch. As far as paying money to see the Oilers never. I used to like going to games but Rexall is brutal then crowds always blow. Has anyone seen the flames games ? Fans are into the game and they only score two goals a game. I think everyone here likes watching hockey, I just with the Oilers would play hockey. At least make the games respectable.

You guys can discusss Hall or other top picks all day. Thats just what the Oilers Brass wants.

I'm not happy and want change. That means players gone and Management changes.

Lets make rexall look like and southern states team, no fans.

Don't let the door hit ya in the @ss on the way out.

Have you considered "cheering" for Florida?...or maybe the Islanders?

If you are only happy when the team wins, and do nothing but whine if they lose, you may as well go cheer for someone else.

We will still be here when you feel like crawling back up on to the bandwagon.

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#58 Jmask5
January 19 2010, 10:37AM
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Dman169 wrote:

But if you look at Hemsky outside of games, even the coach has said that he is always the first person off the ice during practice and the first to leave the rink. On top of that Quinn was also quoted as saying that he doesn't give nearly as much effort during practice as the other players. That paired with his inconsistency and turn overs from show boating lead me to want to get rid of him.

Yeah that's definitely a bad thing but I think he does that more to avoid the media and not because he's lazy or doesn't want to work hard.

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#59 Jonathan Willis
January 19 2010, 10:37AM
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Dman169 wrote:

But if you look at Hemsky outside of games, even the coach has said that he is always the first person off the ice during practice and the first to leave the rink.

I don't mean to be a jerk, but so what?

What happens off the ice only matters insofar as it affects what happens on the ice. And whatever Hemsky's practice habits, there's no doubt that the team is vastly improved with him on the ice than off it.

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#60 swany
January 19 2010, 10:37AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

What % of mid season moves happen within a few weeks of the deadline? 80%? 90%?

OOB I think you missed the point, I think Tambo has waited to long to do anything, our players have been exposed of this loosing streak, nobody wants them, Our D is sopposed to be pretty good but getting beat 6-0 by the Avs is a testiment to how bad our D really is, I listened to Stauf, and Rod last night Souray was brutal, Gilbert is a 4 mil peewee tell me who could they move they are the same types of players out there with a year left on there contracts or they will be UFA's how do you compete with that. Look at Boston they could trade Morris who's a UFA next year would you take Souray with 3 years left at 5.4 mil of Morris that done at seasons end? We could be stuck for a long time and that's the killer

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#61 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 19 2010, 10:39AM
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OilFan wrote:

Yeah .Three years.When he first got the job he should have seen what the team had the year before. Last year and this year.

He was signed in July of 2008, by my math that is 19 months not even 2 full years yet. He really had no choice his first year either. Lowe went and made all the signings and trades before he brought Tambo in, it's not like he was going to try redo everything that Lowe did his first year here.

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#62 BBOil
January 19 2010, 10:41AM
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Its simple folks. When, and I do mean when, the Oilers become a competitive top tiered team, those of you that jumped off the wagon only to jump back on the wagon will be happy. Those that toiled in misery for years will be overwhelmed with joy and will be able to say that they are true Oilers fans.

Now that being said, I'm not adverse to watching other quality teams play. I love hockey in general. The Hawks and Caps are great teams and a model of what we could be, and damn entertaining to watch. Hell I may even get a Toews jersey, but its going to get hung among my numerous Oiler jerseys. Fact is I'll watch other teams play, and even cheer for them (unless they are in the NW division, to hell with that), but I am, and always will be an Oilers fan at the core and will accept all the joy and misery that comes with it.

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#63 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 19 2010, 10:41AM
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Gregor

Like the interview with Short, that was the first time I heard him but for some reason I knew who it was before I heard you say it was Short. I haven't agreed with a lot of Short's articles over the past year or so, but I gained a new respect for him yesterday.

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#64 Senator Theo
January 19 2010, 10:42AM
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I'm wearing my Oilers dress socks at work, and still proudly drinking out of my Oilers mug and clicking my Oilers mouse.

In a weird way, it's almost easier right now, because I'm not expecting them to win every game.

Also, it's nice to see the Flames struggle a bit.

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#65 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 19 2010, 10:42AM
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HottScarrison wrote:

They WON"T do anything because they are ALL still gettin paid! large! And us blindly supporting them is footing the bill. My brother lives in Phoenix, he took his fiance to a yotes games...all you can eat, drink, free-parking, damn-good seats. it cost him $60. That price gets you ONE seat in nose-bleeds here. ITS A EFFIN JOKE. They have a newer building as well. WE are being fleeced. but GO team go.

BTW they are winning/competitive as well.

That's non-sense, theirs 1000's of empty seats in Rexall. The team know's the bottom line will soon be (if it isn't already) affected by poor performance on the ice.

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#67 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 19 2010, 10:43AM
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swany wrote:

OOB I think you missed the point, I think Tambo has waited to long to do anything, our players have been exposed of this loosing streak, nobody wants them, Our D is sopposed to be pretty good but getting beat 6-0 by the Avs is a testiment to how bad our D really is, I listened to Stauf, and Rod last night Souray was brutal, Gilbert is a 4 mil peewee tell me who could they move they are the same types of players out there with a year left on there contracts or they will be UFA's how do you compete with that. Look at Boston they could trade Morris who's a UFA next year would you take Souray with 3 years left at 5.4 mil of Morris that done at seasons end? We could be stuck for a long time and that's the killer

Our d is exactly what it is 4 offesnive d-men who are average to below average defensively. Add Staios and Strudwick who are on the downside of their careers. The only bright spot is Smid's defensive development.

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#68 JB
January 19 2010, 10:43AM
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Part of the problem is that over the last few years the Oilers haven't had to really compete for the entertainment dollar; there is no incentive for success, beacuse the building is sold out, people buy gear and PPVs and the Oilers rule the local sports scene regardless of how the team performs.

This has led to a lack of accountability for a management team that has mangled the organization at every level. I would argue that the threat of irrelevance is one of the triggers that might actually lead to action. I consider myself a fan but I have no interest in wasting my time watching this team play until the organization demonstrates a plan of action indicating both a brain and pulse.

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#69 Jmask5
January 19 2010, 10:44AM
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I have only one problem with Tambo and that is this offseason. First off that trade deadline deal he made was at the time a very good move and many people thought so too. No one could have predicted that POS would be such a bust. Kotalik was good when he was here as well.

What I didn't understand is why he kept the same team from last year even though there were some glaring holes. Its as if he was saying it was all MACT and Pat Quinn will fix everything that was wrong. Well he was dead wrong and I hope he has learned from his mistake. The Khabibulin deal was also bad but he was playing pretty well until he got injured. Its not like he was playing as terrible as when Chicago first signed him.

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#70 OilFan
January 19 2010, 10:46AM
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@ninjafoot

I don't only cheer for them when they win. I just won't spend time or money on this team. I love the game of hockey and will watch anygame of HOCKEY.

Skating around while the other team plays Hockey isn't that much fun to watch.

So yes throw team names out for me to watch, I probably will.

You have nothing to worry about the oilers are going to get Hall. LOL.

Like I have said before I like the rebuild just have no faith in Tambo or K Lowe.

Having twenty midgets on your team will not make them hard to play against.

Tambo = all talk no _____.

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#71 Milli
January 19 2010, 10:46AM
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the only way this season is salvaged is if the flame outs miss the playoffs!!!!! Man would that be sweet, and it'd save Me $100...

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#72 swany
January 19 2010, 10:47AM
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@Jason Gregor

I agree Jason but if Katz doesn't then Tambo should us as fans are very loyal in Edmonton but this silence crap and treating us like "we can't handel the truth" is getting old. I own my own buisness, and you address problems for CUSTOMERS staight on that's who pays you, you don't ignore there request. I believe most fans have requested what is going on with the club WE pay for. Katz owns them but we pay for them we should be treated with some respect. I'm not talking about comming out and saying "we suck and are going for Hall" I'm saying that it should be "we know there are problems with this club we are working on things to make us better for next year and beyond.

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#74 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 19 2010, 10:48AM
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swany wrote:

OOB I think you missed the point, I think Tambo has waited to long to do anything, our players have been exposed of this loosing streak, nobody wants them, Our D is sopposed to be pretty good but getting beat 6-0 by the Avs is a testiment to how bad our D really is, I listened to Stauf, and Rod last night Souray was brutal, Gilbert is a 4 mil peewee tell me who could they move they are the same types of players out there with a year left on there contracts or they will be UFA's how do you compete with that. Look at Boston they could trade Morris who's a UFA next year would you take Souray with 3 years left at 5.4 mil of Morris that done at seasons end? We could be stuck for a long time and that's the killer

- The only ones that thought our D was really good was a faction of fans. Lots of us have been saying for 2+ years that the defense isn't that good

- People are getting way to wound up about years left on contracts. 3-4 years ago teams WANTED players with years left and AVOIDED UFA's, now it is the opposite because of one (and maybe now 2) years of cap stagnation. The cap will start to rise again shortly (maybe even this summer) and all these "long term worries" will go away.

- I agree that moves should have been made in the summer, but no one at that time wanted to move Souray/Gilbert etc. By game one, it became "too late" because large ticket deals rarely happen mid season.

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#75 swany
January 19 2010, 10:50AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

I will say this about the Oilers, excluding the Heatley fiasco most of the trades they have made in the last five+ years came without any speculation beforehand.

No talk before, the Human Rake, Peca, Tarnstrom, Spacek or Roloson arrived. Visnovsky trade wasn't talked about...not even the Garon to Pitt deal, even though everyone knew the Oilers needed to deal a goalie.

I know the Oilers have taken some calls and made some calls. I wrote that Ana and Ott were sniffing around for #18...Something will happen before the deadline, but I'd be lying if I said I knew exactly how many deals.

I'd expect two players to be gone, Moreau and Pisani and I'm sure they will think about others. I wish I could tell you more, but Tambellini keeps things tight to the vest.

I see your point but I hope Tambo isn't holding out for a home run with any of these guys if this is a rebuild it's time to move what doesn't help 2 or 3 years from now I hope we see 4 or 5 deals and in the summer 2 buyouts.

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#77 HottScarrison
January 19 2010, 10:50AM
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I know. I was exagerrating because of emotion, I can't afford to go to games. I am jealous of my bro down south or anyone with an affordable/competitive team...we are getting neither and they prob will raise prices again up here for the same bunch of bums. Granted they might not have that team for long.

Emotion=exxageration=mistakes=MY BAD. But go team go no matter what the cost eh.

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#78 Harlie
January 19 2010, 10:51AM
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losing sucks and it is embarrassing but the big picture still remains. Getting a high end draft pick. So suck it up cuz it's gonna be painful for a few more months. Remember, you need the bad times so you can realize when it is a good time and that you should be enjoying it while it is happening.

I once had a VP from a company out of California come to Edmonton for some meetings. It was a beautiful spring morning with the sun coming up and the sky was blue and it was still cool but you knew it was going to warm up nicely. So the first thing I say to this guy is "looks like it's going to be nice day today!" And he gives me this weird look like "who cares" type of thing and then he tells me that was third time that morning he had someone mention the weather to him. He said "everyday is like this in California, only hotter". And I said yeah I know, but we don't get days like this all the time and the people around here appreciate it when we do.

So yeah it sucks right now but there may be a silver lining at the end. And the sun should rise again tomorrow.

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#79 Ninjafoot
January 19 2010, 10:52AM
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Gregor...

This is probably a few years early, but since we are talking rebuild I started thinking about it.

I think it is safe to say that Steve Staios has lost a step or two and while he is stil valuable, his days playing are probably numbered.

Since Staios always seems to be the guy that is not afraid to sacrifice it all in order to stop a shot or take one for the team, do you think he would be a good fit to try and help develop our young defencemen in Springfield?

I am NOT a fan of the Oilers previous system of promoting coaches from within, but Buchberger has been a pleasant surprise, so I thought maybe Staios would be another possibility.

What are your thoughts on Staios' future?

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#80 Jmask5
January 19 2010, 10:53AM
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From the so called big contracts. I only want to get rid of Moreau, POS and Souray and if we can Staios but I don't know if we can. I don't mind Lubo and Gilbert so much. Horcoff's contract is god awful but I'm hoping he can get better.

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#81 Jonathan Willis
January 19 2010, 10:55AM
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@ Jason Gregor:

Very true.

I guess what I mean is that I like the idea of tanking the rest of the year, but I don't think Lowe and Tambellini should escape blame just because they decide midseason that's the way to go.

I'm fine with Lowe/Tambellini tearing the team down for the rest of the year. I just hope that someone else replaces them when it comes time to put things back together.

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#82 OilFan
January 19 2010, 10:57AM
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Sorry 18 months. Now lets see what he has done. Traded for Piece O Sullivan. Signed Bulin and another small foward Comrie. He made this team small and easy to play. What he will do we don't know. But his track record is not very good.

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#83 Lisa McRitchie
January 19 2010, 10:59AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Dont even joke about that winning streak, Jason.

Completly agree! This is my biggest fear.

I bought all of the PPV games at the beginning of the year, so I'm still making it a priority to watch them, or at least record and watch them later. I'm still making trips to Edmonton to see occasional games and even the skills competition. Hell I still have a tip to Phoenix and LA in three weeks to go and watch three road games.

I remember the ugly years, I guess I just assumed its my age that made those years ok and this one so tough. Oh well, now that that fall for Hall is publically accepted it has made life in Calgary a little easier to deal with.

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#84 Harlie
January 19 2010, 10:59AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

John is still a beauty. He has a way with words. Great man.

I worked with John's brother when I was in Vancouver. First thing he asked me when I met him was "so...you're from Edmonton eh? You probably have heard of my famous brother, John Short?". I was like, of course I have, anyone that knows hockey and is older than 30 from the Edmonton has heard of John Short. He's a classic! He's like, yep that's my brother. Haha six degrees eh!

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#86 dragon
January 19 2010, 11:00AM
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OilFan wrote:

Sorry 18 months. Now lets see what he has done. Traded for Piece O Sullivan. Signed Bulin and another small foward Comrie. He made this team small and easy to play. What he will do we don't know. But his track record is not very good.

Let's not forget he managed to land 2 coaches to replace MacT. I still believe that was his best move so far.

Expect the unexpected: summer of the Oil!

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#88 Archaeologuy
January 19 2010, 11:09AM
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@Ninjafoot

Not sure I would call Buchberger a "pleasant surprise." I cant see anything from him that would lead me to believe he's done a good job at any level he's coached.

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#89 Jmask5
January 19 2010, 11:09AM
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Whatever he does it will have to be from within because this UFA market is not going be very good.

If I were Tambo I'd see about getting Metropolit and Volchenkov. But only if they can get rid of a lot of guys first.

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#90 Senator Theo
January 19 2010, 11:15AM
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Harlie wrote:

losing sucks and it is embarrassing but the big picture still remains. Getting a high end draft pick. So suck it up cuz it's gonna be painful for a few more months. Remember, you need the bad times so you can realize when it is a good time and that you should be enjoying it while it is happening.

I once had a VP from a company out of California come to Edmonton for some meetings. It was a beautiful spring morning with the sun coming up and the sky was blue and it was still cool but you knew it was going to warm up nicely. So the first thing I say to this guy is "looks like it's going to be nice day today!" And he gives me this weird look like "who cares" type of thing and then he tells me that was third time that morning he had someone mention the weather to him. He said "everyday is like this in California, only hotter". And I said yeah I know, but we don't get days like this all the time and the people around here appreciate it when we do.

So yeah it sucks right now but there may be a silver lining at the end. And the sun should rise again tomorrow.

If you can only appreciate the peaks after you've been through the valleys, then I think Oilers fans are *REALLY* going to appreciate it when this team turns it around.

The team doesn't owe us as fans anything. we have chosen to invest our time and money into watching this team, but if you as a fan think the cost is too high, you can also choose to stop.

Being an Oilers fan is not easy right now, but I will continue watching games and wearing paraphernalia even though they break my heart. Like Harlie was saying, if you can make it though these times, it will be so sweet when (if) they can ever pull thier sh*t together. Being an Oilers fan is part of who I am, and that isn't going to change regardless of how terrible the team is.

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#91 Jonathan Willis
January 19 2010, 11:16AM
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@ Jason Gregor:

I look at where Tambellini wanted to spend his money this summer, and outside of the Heatley trade his two big targets were Khaibulin and Neil.

Khabibulin's injury history has come back to haunt the Oilers, and deservedly so. Signing him to a four-year deal was an incredibly risky, and stupid, move on Tambellini's part.

Neil at the kind of money getting tossed around this summer would have been as big a mistake. He'd be a fourth liner on a contending team, and those guys aren't worth overpaying.

More importantly, though, Tambellini has never - in his entire tenure - made a move calculated to address the penalty kill. The one guy he added (O'Sullivan) came at the expense of another guy (Cole) and then to make matters worse he moved Brodziak away over the summer, ostensibly to make room for one of the AHL players currently hanging out on the big club.

I have no issue with tying a big part of this to Tambellini, because every move he's made - with the possible exception of the Comrie signing - has made matters worse rather than better.

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#92 JorgeR
January 19 2010, 11:17AM
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But didn't Mac T say we were going to be competing for the divisional title? Haha.

Oh Btw Leafs won last night. And I think the Al Pacino speach is way overused.

If you become mildly unaware of hockey games does that mean you have jumped off the bandwagon? I am still an Oilers fan but I don't think I've watched a full game in 2 months. I just laugh when I hear the scores.

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#93 OilFan
January 19 2010, 11:18AM
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Yes Tambo did replace Mac T. This being his best move I'm not sold on that. He got rid of Mac T and left Quin the same team. Even Joey Moss would have known that changes were needed. Lets think about it. Has Quin or Renney Won anything? Oh yeah they coached a staked World Junior team. Both Quin and Renney have not been great NHL coaches.

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#94 JorgeR
January 19 2010, 11:19AM
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I am still very shocked by the Brodziak move and then never finding a replacement. When that happened is when I started doubting Mr. Tambo

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#95 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 19 2010, 11:22AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Not sure I would call Buchberger a "pleasant surprise." I cant see anything from him that would lead me to believe he's done a good job at any level he's coached.

Hold up here, after your MacT rants it should be pretty clear your ability to evaluate coaching is pretty poor.

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#96 Muji 狗
January 19 2010, 11:24AM
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Could be worse. At least we have our own 1st rounder this year. Not to mention our 2nd rounder. And next year's 1st rounder. Would suck to not have those and be one of the 3 worst teams in the league.

This is pretty depressing though. Management really does need to shake things up ASAP; even if the trade makes the team worse in the short run (as it should), they need to do something; change needs to be made for the sake of change.

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#97 Ninjafoot
January 19 2010, 11:28AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Not sure I would call Buchberger a "pleasant surprise." I cant see anything from him that would lead me to believe he's done a good job at any level he's coached.

I suppose I should clarify...

That is more of a comment on his candor and honesty when assessing the team and their play, than it is his input into the game plan.

I thought he would be a COMPLETE bust (because really, how many guys does he need to coach how to get punched in the face)...so anything positive he has contibuted so far has been the pleasant surprise for me.

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#98 Archaeologuy
January 19 2010, 11:29AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

Hold up here, after your MacT rants it should be pretty clear your ability to evaluate coaching is pretty poor.

based on what?

Last I recall MacT still coached this club out of the playoffs more than he coached them into it. All the same complaints about him were still valid. The Oilers were a better team last year than they are this year, as a roster.

What place did your friend MacT place in the Spengler cup this year?

Now, name me one good thing a Buchberger team has done?

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#99 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 19 2010, 11:33AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

based on what?

Last I recall MacT still coached this club out of the playoffs more than he coached them into it. All the same complaints about him were still valid. The Oilers were a better team last year than they are this year, as a roster.

What place did your friend MacT place in the Spengler cup this year?

Now, name me one good thing a Buchberger team has done?

You serious? How about the fact that this years team has a chance to be the worst Oilers team ever iced.

It's completly clear that coaching wasn't the issue here. Time to man up and scrape the egg off your face.

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#100 BUCK75
January 19 2010, 11:41AM
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@OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

I totally agree. The only thing that everyone should agree on at this point in the season & during the past 3 seasons is that coaching hasn't been the problem.

To throw MacT under the bus because he couldn't win a semi final game in a single game elimination format is over simplifying things. He lost that game 4-3, it's not like it was a blow out.

Face the facts, Kevin Lowe, Tambellini & MacT are highly regarded people in Hockey Canada. These aren't volunteer positions. They must have some talent in coaching or player evaluation.

Although I would like to have seen some better player evaluation out of Lowe & Tambellini on the oilers...

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