Up Around the Bend

Lowetide
September 13 2010 07:28PM

Sheldon Souray has turned over a new leaf. His comments in this tsn story explain away the spring comments and point to the promise of a new season. The question is: will Oilers management feel the same way? 

I'm not certain the Oilers management group will forgive and forget. We have a wealth of case histories on the subject, dating back to Comrie and Smyth and beyond. Oilers ownership/management have traditionally had long memories and short fuses when it comes to star players who won't march in lock step.I believe Sheldon Souray gets traded in the next couple of weeks. It takes two to tango, and when Souray says:

  •  "I'm here in camp, and I'm here to do the best that I can and I want to keep things positive.  I have something to prove to myself first of all and to my teammates and to whoever has doubted me.  I'm using that as motivation for this year.  I'm focused, I'm ready to go and I'm healthy and those are the main things."

it represents exactly half of the equation. If Steve Tambellini tells the media "all is forgiven" Oiler fans can officially consider their blueline upgraded from a couple of weeks ago. However, that would run counter to what we've seen in previous years. This is a very good time for Steve Tambellini to prove he is not only the man in charge, but the man who should be in charge.

We wait.

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#101 SN
September 13 2010, 11:35PM
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Souray said all the right things last year as well, fully knowing he had already asked for a trade. Fans had almost appointed him "C" he was so good. It is all about him getting out and he has decided saying the right things and playing will give him a better option than continuing to look like a trouble maker. I don't think the management will get bitten twice with this show.

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#102 Chris.
September 13 2010, 11:37PM
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Tambellini comment:

http://oilers.nhl.com/club/podcastplayer.htm?pid=98

"It is best for the Oilers, uh, for him not to be at camp right now"

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#103 jeanshorts
September 13 2010, 11:41PM
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David S wrote:

So I guess Souray was joining some of the other guys on the team for an informal skate, which he'll continue to do for the next few days. Real camp starts later in the week. So technically he wasn't at camp today. (per TSN)

Yeah, that wasn't the issue. It was the whole "Look how excited I am to be back with this team that I never actually didn't want to play for, I was just, you know, uhhh, frustrated cause I broke my hand. Yeah.......that's what it was...... So yeah I'm super excited to show up at training camp".

And Tambo knocking on the door and being like "UHHHHH PARDON? We asked you not to come."

It kind of feels like your parents broke up, and then your dad just showed up to your birthday party, and your mom was all like "You're not supposed to be within 100 meters of the house" and your dad being like "HE'S MY SON GOD DAMMIT! I'LL COME VISIT HIM IN THE HOUSE THAT I PAID FOR!" And then you end up eating half melted ice cream cake alone in your room. That's kind of what it feels like.

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#104 jeanshorts
September 13 2010, 11:43PM
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@Chris.

I think you just need to tone down the unbridled optimism. It's a little much.

Seriously though, as it looks right now, there is negative percentage that Souray would have any kind of case in some kind of lawsuit. It's not even a remote possibly as far as I can tell.

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#105 book¡e
September 13 2010, 11:47PM
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I think the message from Tambellini (on the podcast) was pretty clear - the goal for this season is to make changes. One of those changes is to get rid of the guy who said he doesn't want to be an Oiler. I don't have a problem with this. I don't think its punitive, but rather that it is pragmatic.

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#106 bdiddy78
September 14 2010, 12:03AM
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This whole mess is just a gong show. I don't believe what either side says but I am quickly losing the optimism that I felt when Mr. Katz bought the team. Under his ownership, the Oilers are showing a disturbing tendency to say anything, true or not, that they think makes them look better or gets them what they want. I have heard from reliable sources that they have had to buy up tickets last minute to preserve the current sellout streak. And does anyone really believe that they are losing money, as they have told city council?

This reminds me of the behaviour of the men and women that work in parliament and the legislature. "If we get rid of the long form census, we can't be held accountable." "If we muzzle our government scientists, their research can't make us look bad." "If we deny the findings of a respectable scientist and attempt to destroy his name, we don't have to deal with the mess that is the oilsands."

On an unrelated matter, the TSN article linked to in the post refers to the Coliseum as "the Rexall Centre". Did I blink and miss another name change or is this just another example of sloppy reporting in the almighty MSM?

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#107 Quicksilver ballet
September 14 2010, 01:41AM
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bdiddy78 wrote:

This whole mess is just a gong show. I don't believe what either side says but I am quickly losing the optimism that I felt when Mr. Katz bought the team. Under his ownership, the Oilers are showing a disturbing tendency to say anything, true or not, that they think makes them look better or gets them what they want. I have heard from reliable sources that they have had to buy up tickets last minute to preserve the current sellout streak. And does anyone really believe that they are losing money, as they have told city council?

This reminds me of the behaviour of the men and women that work in parliament and the legislature. "If we get rid of the long form census, we can't be held accountable." "If we muzzle our government scientists, their research can't make us look bad." "If we deny the findings of a respectable scientist and attempt to destroy his name, we don't have to deal with the mess that is the oilsands."

On an unrelated matter, the TSN article linked to in the post refers to the Coliseum as "the Rexall Centre". Did I blink and miss another name change or is this just another example of sloppy reporting in the almighty MSM?

The Oilers Community Foundation is saddled with the highest administration fee of all the NHL clubs. The Oilers helped themselves to 85 cents out of every dollar given to the OCF, some of these proceeds probably helped keep this sellout streak intact.

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#108 pelhem grenville
September 14 2010, 06:08AM
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Souray put his foot in his mouth a long time ago...management has told him to sit and wait for further instructions! Sheldon, do what you're told, collect your paycheque,the exit door will be shown to you soon.

Our goalie may be next if he fails the physical like I'M thinking he will. Then there will be 2 sitters.

I'M not sorry, that's the heavy price these types pay.

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#109 RossCreekNation
September 14 2010, 06:13AM
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David S wrote:

Dude. They told him on Friday they were THINKING about it - "...Oilers called Souray's agent Friday to inform him they were considering this."

Souray's agent probably tells him there's no firm decision. So he shows up for first day of camp, then probably gets the news after session.

My guess is a trade is in the works and Tambellini doesn't want to complicate things further by having Souray do interviews with the media because he's a wild card.

Man this is a crappy situation. They should have told him to stay away on Friday, not "We're thinking about it."

Dude... camp didn't even start yet.

EDIT: I see you've corrected yourself. Carry on.

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#110 Petr's Jofa
September 14 2010, 06:31AM
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@Chris.

Chris,

I think your bad faith argument is grasping at straws, otherwise any player who gets sent to the minors against his will could take the team to court.

The precident for this was already set when New Jersey sent Moginly to Albany and Tampa waived Andreychuk, the Captain of their Cup winning team.

I know you're going to come back and say that those players were washed up and at the end of their career, however, the Oilers can make the same arguement about Souray. Souray has been a walking band-aid. The proof that his career is over is that he was placed on waivers with no team picking him up. If Big Sexy feels he has more left in the tank and wants to prove it on another team I'm sure the Oilers would be more than happy to void Souary's contract to let him prove it.

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#111 Petr's Jofa
September 14 2010, 06:41AM
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Question - Do players under contract technicaly still need to get invited to camp? Do guys like Hemsky & Horcoff just show up or do they wait by their mailboxes for invitations?

I'm just curious if Tambo needed to give Souary a written email at all telling him he wasn't welcome or if not getting an invite to camp was enough to let him know he wasn't welcome at the party.

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#112 Petr's Jofa
September 14 2010, 06:47AM
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duane wrote:

So why did Tambo lie about 1-2 weeks ago and say he could come to camp?What the hell are these guys doing??

Duane

I think clear that Tambo didn't want put himself into an even bigger position of weakness in his attempt to deal Souray.

He didn't want to broadcast to all the other GMs that Souray wasn't going to be an Oiler thus making any potential deal even more one-sided.

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#115 Gilmore Tuttle
September 14 2010, 07:12AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

The Oilers Community Foundation is saddled with the highest administration fee of all the NHL clubs. The Oilers helped themselves to 85 cents out of every dollar given to the OCF, some of these proceeds probably helped keep this sellout streak intact.

True - it is part of their standard operating procedure. Years ago they did an auction of special "rodeo" Oil King jerseys for the cowboy benevolent fund. They published raising "$x" and then handed over a check for "$x - 85%". There have been a lot of fans disguised as empty seats in the upper deck, even with the 1/2 push every game day.

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#118 Petr's Jofa
September 14 2010, 08:01AM
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@Lowetide

Lowetide,

I agree with everything you said except I don't understand how "Telling Souray to stay away compounds the problem in many ways."

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#119 offside
September 14 2010, 08:24AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

The Oilers Community Foundation is saddled with the highest administration fee of all the NHL clubs. The Oilers helped themselves to 85 cents out of every dollar given to the OCF, some of these proceeds probably helped keep this sellout streak intact.

The reason the OCF has such a high admin cost is because most of their fundraising comes from the annual lottery. As an accountant who has worked for a non-profit that holds a lottery, the percentage that is actually donated back to the lottery is very marginal (ours was about 5%). So basically, if we had $2 million in revenues, we'd only have about $100k in actual profit. This is because all the prizes and admin have to be expensed against revenues. When you add up all the prizes, advertising, salaries, etc the cost is pretty high, plus there is no guarantee that they'll make money. I believe last year's lottery was close to losing money then Katz but up a bunch of tickets. And for the record, the OCF has nothing to do financially with the Oilers (I guess they have Oilers tickets as prizes, but that is minimal). The AGLC is quite strict with were the funds can go.

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#120 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
September 14 2010, 08:24AM
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So how many years before Oiler fans are crying that managment was too mean to Souray?

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#121 Gilmore Tuttle
September 14 2010, 08:26AM
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Lowetide wrote:

I could be totally wrong on this, but have been told in the past that extra tickets are purchased by a large company in town and then passed along to those who wouldn't ordinarily get to the game. Could be wrong, but I've been told that a few times.

Yea, Rexall Sports and Entertainment or one of Katz's friend's companies/sponsors through some tax donation process with the Foundation. They then would give some to kids. The interesting thing is the offer to give season ticket holders "face value" receipts if they "donated" the tickets they weren't going to use (ie. couldn't give away). I am sure that the Canadian Revenue Agency might have an issue with that on a couple of levels.

The team was also keeping track of who wasn't sitting in their seats in the lower level and then calling to see why they weren't going and then ask them to donate the tickets (so it wouldn't look empty on TV). Seems to me that I can use or not use my tickets as I want as I have paid for them. There were also complaints by season ticket holders who paid and went that some of the kids that were given tickets being disruptive and ruining what little enjoyment there was at the games.

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#122 Zamboni Driver
September 14 2010, 09:02AM
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jeanshorts wrote:

Come on guy, this is hockey. EVERYBODY gets a nickname. I'm pretty sure no one has ever named their kid "Sparky" but I could be wrong.

(Day late and a dollar short, I know...)

Okay...let's name some good GMs and assign their nicknames:

Ken Holland Brian Burke (okay, maybe bad example re: Good) Brian Murray

GMs do not get nicknames. Especially lousy ones.

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#123 Crackenbury
September 14 2010, 09:50AM
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offside wrote:

The reason the OCF has such a high admin cost is because most of their fundraising comes from the annual lottery. As an accountant who has worked for a non-profit that holds a lottery, the percentage that is actually donated back to the lottery is very marginal (ours was about 5%). So basically, if we had $2 million in revenues, we'd only have about $100k in actual profit. This is because all the prizes and admin have to be expensed against revenues. When you add up all the prizes, advertising, salaries, etc the cost is pretty high, plus there is no guarantee that they'll make money. I believe last year's lottery was close to losing money then Katz but up a bunch of tickets. And for the record, the OCF has nothing to do financially with the Oilers (I guess they have Oilers tickets as prizes, but that is minimal). The AGLC is quite strict with were the funds can go.

It's amazing how a case of poor reporting can completely distort how people view a charitable foundation. Your breakdown of how charitable lotteries work and the high "admin costs" associated with them is an accurate description. Unfortunately, the average idiot won't grasp the concept and will continue to bash the Oilers for somehow skimming off a charity.

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#124 mike
September 14 2010, 10:47AM
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Staples nailed it:

"'I wouldn’t be a distraction: ... I was planning on coming in, planning on being focused and ready to do whatever to be a professional,' said Souray, who is back in town skating with the other Oilers at Kinsmen Arena"

Whether for trade value or not the Oilers spent the summer treating Souray at training camp or not as something they did not have to commit to.

Whoever's to blame for the events this year, the agent certainly understood Friday's call. With the team saying no training camp is an option he asked for it in writing.

If anyone wonders why the team wants him far away from the dressing room, look no further than Souray using veterans as a backdrop Monday to gush about a camp he had no invitation to. Fortunately the young guns were in Penticton and missed out on the spectacle.

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#125 Quicksilver ballet
September 14 2010, 11:26AM
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offside wrote:

The reason the OCF has such a high admin cost is because most of their fundraising comes from the annual lottery. As an accountant who has worked for a non-profit that holds a lottery, the percentage that is actually donated back to the lottery is very marginal (ours was about 5%). So basically, if we had $2 million in revenues, we'd only have about $100k in actual profit. This is because all the prizes and admin have to be expensed against revenues. When you add up all the prizes, advertising, salaries, etc the cost is pretty high, plus there is no guarantee that they'll make money. I believe last year's lottery was close to losing money then Katz but up a bunch of tickets. And for the record, the OCF has nothing to do financially with the Oilers (I guess they have Oilers tickets as prizes, but that is minimal). The AGLC is quite strict with were the funds can go.

This must be the difference between running a charity compared to a foundation. I'm sure the acceptable level of administrative costs are different for one versus the other. I have to believe selling out this years lottery will be a much tougher sell than last years was.

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#126 Reggie
September 14 2010, 12:31PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

This must be the difference between running a charity compared to a foundation. I'm sure the acceptable level of administrative costs are different for one versus the other. I have to believe selling out this years lottery will be a much tougher sell than last years was.

Bruce Saville as a board member of the Oilers Foundation addressed some of the high costs in an article that he wrote for the Sun. Sorry, no time to dig up the link.

For instance, the amount of expenses related to a 50-50 draw are tracked as $100,000 in tickets sold with 50% being paid out to the lucky winner. The remaining 50K is then used to handle the other costs (guess here say $5K for tickets, admin, the little pouches the volunteers use, advertising, etc.).

So this simple example shows 55% of the fund raising goes against costs.

Make sense ? So, by this accounting method, the percentage will be higher than we would normally expect.

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