Another Year Over

Lowetide
January 08 2012 12:13PM

The brightest story in this Oiler season may come from ownership. With the arena situation progressing, Daryl Katz will have more time to examine the rebuild. What's been happening? Where are the successes? Failures? What should be done?

WHAT'S RIGHT?

  • Scotty Bowman: "Success comes from ownership, goaltending, and I’ve always been thinking that you can have a fire-wagon type of hockey but your ability to play good defence has got to surface. The thread that ran through all of my success was undoubtedly ownership’s commitment to win."

I believe Daryl Katz has the makings of a fine owner. The man has provided his managers with the resources to improve the scouting department and the farm system and the money to spend to the cap. There is evidence that he involves himself on many levels (I'd pay money to find out if he was involved in the Ryan Smyth trade back to EDM) and there's no doubt there is progress.

  • The qualiy of young talent--especially forwards--has been improved since he took over. Stu MacGregor and his staff have used their picks wisely and the two #1's should form the foundation of a winner for a long time.
  • The quality of the farm team is much better, hell OKC plays in Hamilton today as one of the very best AHL teams in the league. It's been awhile for an Oiler farm team.
  • An icon of Ryan Smyth's status returning has to bode well for this organization's future. Smyth mentoring guys like Teemu Hartikainen and Tyler Pitlick has to have some long term benefits for the Oilers, and let's remember Ryan Smyth remains a quality NHL veteran.

WHAT'S WRONG?

The Oilers have been a poor hockey team for years now, really since Ladlslav Smid's rookie season (this is season 6 for Smid). The problems have been pretty much the same all down the line:

  • Not enough "actual" NHL players. An easy way to describe an actual NHL player is Laddy Smid today compared to the Laddy we saw previous to this season (or maybe late last year). It takes a long time for some quality defensemen to develop.
  • Too many kids learning on the job in the NHL. Yesterday, young Colten Teubert was exposed on a goal and you have to allow for it. Teubert's a young defenseman trying to survive the multiple sorties that come his way every night, and due to injuries and other things the Oilers can't give him a veteran hand on the left side of his pairing. These are tough things to endure for everyone, but all teams who play too many young defensemen suffer from it.
  • Lack of balance. The Oilers have an aging goaltender backed up by a young guy they're not completely sure about at this time. They have Smid-Gilbert on the blue and Ryan Whitney who may or may not be a guy they can count on in the future. They have role players like Suttton and a pleasant surprise in Potter plus all the kids like Peckham, Petry and Teubert trying to find their way. I will credit the Oilers with filling in well up front; between the veterans and the gifted kids, only the 4th line is a true black hole at this time.

 

SOLUTION?

I often recommend a book to my friends. It's called "The Road to Hockeytown" and it's by Jimmy Devellano and Roger Lajoie. The book details (among other things) the GM history of the Detroit Red Wings under Mike Illitch's ownership of the team.

  • Jim Devellano (1992 to 1990)
  • Bryan Murray (1990 to 1994) Devellano was bumped up to VP)
  • Devellano, Ken Holland & Scotty Bowman (1994 to 1997)
  • Ken Holland (1997 through today)

The book details the many missteps by the owner and coaches and Devallano and others. Among the most amusing stories are Illitch talking to Mike Keenan about coaching the team (without consulting anyone) and Detroit signing ALL of the college free agents one summer and driving the rest of the NHL to distraction over it.

It's an incredible essay that offers real insight into the maturation of a now exceptional organization.

 

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

The Oilers are making some progress. The minor league team is winning and appears to be developing useful players, the draft picks (#1's and otherwise) are delivering beyond or at expectations. The NHL team has run into the usual problems relating to lack of balance, lack of experience and some bets that didn't work out via trade and free agency.

The Detroit Red Wings had all of those problems too. Did they fire Jim Devellano? Hell no! They bumped his payscale! The man driving this rig is Daryl Katz, and there's every chance the current managers will be here this time next year and the year after that one.

Oilers management talked about competing and pushing for the playoffs early in the season, and now the verbal involves staying out of the lottery. If they end up in the lottery, will things change?

Maybe. But we should be prepared for maybe not. Daryl Katz makes those decisions, has since he bought the team. 

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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 TSN 1260.
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#1 Soft Hands McSteeley - FIST Movement
January 08 2012, 12:17PM
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Oh hello sunday afternoon FIST

I think Katz is doing the right thing by being patient early in this re-build. He is doing the right things in setting up the foundation for success for years to come, like investing in OKC, drafted talent etc. But before long he will get sick of the process too if progress isn't made. To me, we're looking at a possible 3rd first overall selection... you have to be real bad for 3 years to do that. When does Katz himself demand results? When will he get tired of the team drafting future super stars only to see Tambi continue to fill the rest of the holes with the wrong pieces.

it's easy to leave it up to the magnificent bastard himself, but at some point the GM has to do some actual work. Make a deal, put the right personal together. Looks to me like this is Stu's team not Tambi's.

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#2 OilLeak
January 08 2012, 08:26PM
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GDot wrote:

I believe the problem with the Oilers goes all the way back to the 90's where coaching/management and even fans always promote the ideal Oiler as a 10-20 goal scoring garbage player who is supposedly good on the PK and "tries hard". We reward losers without any consequences or punishment against players who play garbage hockey, best example is a C on the jersey of Horcoff. We wont move forward until we stop making excuses and get tough on garbage players who don't provide results. Hand the reins over to the kids who actually perform and tell any veterans who stink to beat it. We cant win until we have a culture that promotes winning and punishes losers.

Fans like you are the reason the Oilers have bad players. Persecute the useful players and praise the crap. Of all the crappy players on the Oilers this year, you chose to crap on Horcoff. The man who takes on the best players night in and night out and it's not even close, the man playing with a bum shoulder, but goes out anyways because he knows what the injury situation is like.

Horcoff leads by example, produces decent results, and still gives a crap when others have given up.

Shame on you, because with that attitude good players are not allowed to struggle even after carrying the load all these pathetic years.

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#3 Crash
January 08 2012, 08:44PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

So you think Carolina preferred Boston's 4th rounder over ours? TB preferred Phillies 2nd rounder over ours? You think (dont get mad Crash) Hannan preferred Calgary's million over say 3 million over 2 years from us?

Don't worry.....I won't get mad....I'm all for adding guys who are going to improve things...

Hannan wouldn't improve anything so the Oilers are better off giving Petry and others nhl ice time over having a useless Hannan here.

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#4 Chris.
January 08 2012, 01:56PM
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Katz and Tambellini should have set performance goals together... and the consequence of utter failure should be re-assignment.

If the goal this season was to compete for a championship at the AHL level; to get more rookies and prospects NHL game experience; and to continue gathering quality through the amateur draft while maintaining the fantasy that this rebuild began only two years ago despite the fact that the organization has been six years out of the playoffs, have been sellers for five straight trade deadlines, and will pick in the top ten for the fourth straight year... (Possibly first for the third straight year)... On a side note, it's funny to me that a key component of this ~two year old rebuild~ was drafted in 2008 (was that 2 years ago?) with a pick aquired by unloading a key vetran (He who must not be named) Anyway, If these were the goals... then mission accomplished.

On the other hand: if the stated goal was to surround the kids with quality vetrans and play meaninful games late into the season... well you be the judge.

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#5 Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"
January 08 2012, 02:46PM
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you mention "Smyth mentoring guys like Teemu Hartikainen and Tyler Pitlick" I am far more interested in how he is changing Jones's game the guy is learning how to drive goal tenders crazy. Smyth is so the right guy for him.

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#6 Ken
January 08 2012, 04:43PM
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Our management hasn't been great but our drafting has killed us.In the draft of 2003 ,2004 and 2005 we have only one player on our roster Dubnyk.Of the four who actually got some playing time only Dubnyk and Cogliano are still in NHL.

The 2003 draft is a case of the classic oiler bumbling.Trade down to miss Parise,Getzlaf,Burns.then at 22 pick pouliot passing on Kesler,Richards,PerryErikson Weberand Bergeron.We were not finished because at 51 we pick McDonald passing on Backes,Maarthur and Hejda

The drafts of 2003 to 2005 have given us only one player

All the players we missed out on in 2003 one of the best drafts ever would have an impact on our team now.The players from 2003 to 2005 would be close to their prime

As Tambo wasn't part of that management team I am willing to give him a little more rope.This summer will tell the tale as he has to deal with poor coaching,some good old boy hanger ons,obtain a couple of decent ufa defencemen and trade for some forwards with some skill to go with grit.

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#7 Kevin
January 08 2012, 09:36PM
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Folks, all this talk about the Oil fans needing more patience on this so called rebuild is quite honestly making me sick to my stomach. Oil brass and media sponsored by Oil have really got us- well most of us brain washed. Just out of curiosity, how long was Ottawa's rebuild ? In case you haven't had a chance to check the standing they are 6 point shy of number one overall. People please wake from this spell Oil brass has and is trying to cast upon us. This is after all, is a level playing field - the salary cap error and has been the case for how many years now ? Management should all be hanging from the rafters at Rexall if not due to pure failure in their task but embarrassment for being in the running for a third straight lottery team. Fans need to stop attending home games for maybe this will send a message. People, this is not and should not be about patience when there are clear examples that these turnarounds do not have to take 4-6 or even 3-4 years. It's about knowing your strengths and weaknesses and targeting and addressing those needs. Yes, easier said than done but yes, there are management teams out there that are making it happen. What we need is a competent management team ! This learning on the job has got to stop and we need to clean house.

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#9 The Real Scuba Steve
January 08 2012, 12:34PM
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I don't think Kaztz will do anything until the arena near completion.

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#10 Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate
January 08 2012, 02:33PM
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Oilers need answers

Tambo asking wrong questions

FIRE his ass now please

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#11 Terran
January 08 2012, 04:01PM
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For all those ripping ST for not making any moves, where's your proof? For all we know he could be working the phones like a madman for 20 hours out of every day of the year.

When it comes to trades, it takes at least one other teams interest to accomplish. As well, what's the sense in trading for a 1D if the other GM wants Eberle or Hall or RNH in return? As far as free agent signings, well, we've seen how much players want to come to Edmonton.

So, once again, who here has proof that ST has not contacted anyone about trades, or has not chased after big name free agents or pursued other avenues to strengthen the team?

I'd rather we trade from a position of strength rather than be fleeced by another GM, and attract players who want to be here, not pay big bucks to a guy looking for a good paycheque for a year or two.

It just seems to me like too many people here don't understand that you can't just say "I need a 1D, gimme yours for Horidchuck". You need to find a team willing to trade with you, and you need to ensure that you're not weakening the team in another area.

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#12 Rama Lama
January 08 2012, 04:14PM
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@The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33

I'm only suggesting that he do this once a year........I know he is media shy, but come on........this comes with the job. If he wants to hide because he is unsure of what to say and why, then he choose the wrong profession.

I suspect he has no plan.......the emperor has no clothing!

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#13 Terran
January 08 2012, 06:05PM
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@cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

Seriously? That's all these threads ever devolve into. "Why hasn't Mr. Dithers traded for a 1D yet?" "Why hasn't ST made a trade to improve the team?" "How can Katz sit by and let ST do nothing" etc etc.

Nobody in this thread has specifically said "Tambellini hasn't even called anyone about trades", but it's quite clear that's what the majority of the negative nellies on here are thinking.

And as I said, ST doesn't operate in a vacuum. In order for him to trade or sign someone, he has to find a willing partner.

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#14 Crash
January 08 2012, 09:17PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

That's where depth comes in.... Oh wait.

What depth players were going to come here to replace what a healthy Hemsky, Hall, Eberle, Whitney, Gagner, RNH and your fav Horcoff provide to the team?

You're only allowed 50 contracts and waiver issues come into play.

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#15 Crash
January 08 2012, 10:11PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

Been over it 2 dozen times (in fact you quoted a post that touched on it briefly).

You don't bring in players to replace the guys you listed, you bring in guys to replace Lander, Petrell, Peckham and Petry.

Then when the injuries come, the depth that was brought in move up the roster and the guys I listed above (in this post) are you're first call ups.

It's not as simple as "SAYING" you just bring in depth....again...who are all these depth players that are going to sign with a 30th place hockey team and play on the 4th line behind Hall, Eberle, RNH, Hemsky, Horcoff, Smyth, Jones? Why do you want to waste many of Stu's picks on middle of the road 35 yr old players just in the hopes that they might move you into 9th place? Isn't Corvo like almost 35 yrs old? And would he even agree to come here or be happy here? I doubt it...

Isn't Smyth a depth player? Isn't Petrell a depth player? I mean he's definitely not a youngster, isn't Jones a depth player? Belanger? Eager? Keep in mind you still have to chew up one of the 50 contracts for each player to carry Lander, Petry, Petrell, Peckham, etc in the minors.....plus you would also have to get Peckham through waivers and I think he's one of those guys you wouldn't get through. I'll give you Lander...I agree he'd be better off playing big minutes in OKC but he's the only one

But the problem still exists, who are all these good depth players that will sign here (in Edm, northern most city in the NHL and 30th place team) to play 3rd and 4th line minutes that will make the team better than playing Lander and Petry? Please spare me the Hannan thing again (he signed in Calgary and they are no better this year) Fact is they don't exist so the big team is better off letting some of the youth play in the bigs and get NHL ice time...What's the point of picking up older guys who don't make the team better? Or who make the team slightly better?

Besides, what are you complaining about...didn't they send PRV down, Omark down, plus have many other young players down on the farm?

What I'd like to see more than anything else is for the Oilers to have a full season of health to most of their high end guys....If they continue to lose Hall, Eberle, RNH, Gagner, Hemsky and yes even Horcoff for long periods of time they will never win a lot of hockey games no matter what older slugs they add for depth.

It's true, I agree, they need some good d-men....good being the key word....I'm not sure there is a quick way to do this....Ottawa drafted Karlsson....the Oilers are going to have to draft themselves one or throw a gross amount of money at someone and then "HOPE" he signs here and then "HOPE" he doesn't disappear after signing the big contract.

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#16 Crash
January 08 2012, 10:51PM
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Gazmort wrote:

I agree with every word of that.

People assume (I catch myself doing it too when I'm pissed off after a game) that ST can just acquire desirable players. I wrote something to the same effect after one of Brownlee's articles, and it stands: sure, everyone wants an elite d-man, but the teams that have them either aren't interested in moving them - period. Or, they would require one of Edmonton's untouchables.

Way too easy to cherry-pick management on stuff that we simply do not have full disclosure on. It's impossible to know what kind of conversations ST has had with other teams. People call him hesitant to the point of handicapping the team, but frankly, give me that and a plan (he has one - don't argue otherwise) over a GM Milbury-ing a team anyday.

We talk about players like they are tools - and they are - but keep in mind there's a host of other dimensions - personality, family situation, team culture - that play a role, and they're as important as anything on the ice. Problem is, we can't quantify it or measure it, so we as fans are approaching a problem with a problem of asymmetrical information. Long story short - we aren't privy to full disclosure, so you can't make fully-informed judgement calls.

I"m one of the guys who is neither a ST backer or ST basher....I think people just don't realize the challenges of anyone who has to be in charge of manning a team in Edm.

Other cities have advantages that Edmonton doesn't.....Edmonton is a fishbowl and is in the extreme north....Calgary has the same issue. They can't attract high end FA's to them either

Add to that Edm is right now a bottom dwellar and it makes it difficult for the Oilers to acquire players that "1" want to be here and "2" will stay awhile after they get here.

I think we've seen how bad players want to come here...top end ones I mean....Hossa didn't, Heatley didn't, hell even Nylander didn't and Pronger wanted out of here after one yr and he even signed a 5 yr contract after he came here....

To get guys to come here my perception is you have to overpay them grossly.....ie: give Wisniewski a sick contract like Columbus did or like the Oilers did when they got Souray and Penner.

I sure hope one of Kelfbom, Gernat, Marincin can turn into the top end d-man we need or maybe Ryan Murray or Matt Dumba....I'm not sure how else this will get fixed.

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#17 Gazmort
January 08 2012, 10:51PM
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@Terran

And furthermore, it seems as if Versteeg was challenged in playing for Philadelphia and Toronto, while he flourished in Chicago and Florida.

If ST was aware Versteeg was available (first assumption), he would have done the following (second assumption) - attempt to identify the factors behind the player's success on some clubs while struggling on others. Due diligence. Perhaps even speak with the clubs' GMs to glean insight. So, perhaps after doing his due diligence, it appeared that the player was not a fit, and so to sacrifice anything more than a token asset (say a seventh rounder) would be an unreasonable gamble.

I guess the point of this hypothetical scenario is to illustrate how little we know of a situation, yet how quickly we jump to the conclusion that we could have and should have acquired a player.

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#18 Gazmort
January 08 2012, 10:56PM
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@Crash

I'm not a ST backer or hacker either. I just feel that GMs and Coaches get an unfair shake from a generally ignorant fanbase that figures its as easy as snapping ones' fingers.

As for the inability to attract free agents, you're right, it is tough. Climate, travel, etc play a factor. Conversely, there's positives that wash those out - quality of education for children, size of city (not everyone wants to take the train to practice or live an hour away in the next state over). I think these can balance each other out.

The best way to attract quality - as Gregor says - is to win. Or at least, put your team on a winning trajectory.

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#19 Spydyr
January 08 2012, 12:31PM
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Bottom line IMO . Either Tambo is one of the worst GM's ever or he is purposely not filling holes.Yet.I'm going with the later.

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#20 D Day
January 08 2012, 12:34PM
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There has to be a demanding of results soon...

Injuries aside... holes in the team have been exposed for some time now. 3 years of lottery... Whether we end up as the Islanders or the Penguins the results will most likely fall on management,

Great quote from 30 thoughts a couple weeks ago which I have been stating for sometime.

"Had a really interesting conversation with a player last week. He was saying his (struggling) team needed an identity. Then, he went on to list some teams that did have one. "You know that Boston is going to pound you and make you pay physically. You know that Chicago is going to dare you to try and skate with them. You know that Vancouver is going to try to get you to take penalties and make you pay on the penalty kill. And you know that Detroit is going to turn the other cheek while winning all of the one-on-one battles." Then, he added, "We need to be more like the Red Wings.""

Was that an Oiler? Because if I was a player on the team that is what I would be asking...

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#21 knobby
January 08 2012, 12:35PM
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I am not encouragnig'ed'...sorry.

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#22 PerryK
January 08 2012, 12:39PM
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Hello LT. How about the podcast of Nation Radio. I unfortunately missed the show yesterday.

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#23 Rama Lama
January 08 2012, 12:41PM
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is Tamby a player, slayer, or delayer? It seems to me that everyone is trying to figure this out and in the absence of a vision of what the team is going to look like, we are all left speculating.

Brian Burke has stated what kind of team he is going to build and then gone about doing it. Tallon has demonstrated that you can draft and acquire talent at the same time........all the while articulating what his team will eventually look like.

I have never heard Tamby clearly state what his plan is.......if in fact he has one? This lack of vision and plan will provide much fodder for writers and fans as we try to figure this guy out.

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#25 FastOil
January 08 2012, 12:54PM
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Things don't resolve overnight. My main concern with ST if that I don't see a deal maker, and I think that deal making is key to the health of a successful, mature club.

I truly hope we see the first signs of this from ST when he trades Hemsky for good value. If he gives him away, I likely won't sleep until the draft!

Although I like both he and now Gagner, somebody has to go to fill holes unless they find UFA's at the right price, which isn't likely. Of the players worth anything they are the most expendable.

I think we also are going to have another bad year after this one before they try to improve - gut feeling. Of course the team could get to the playoffs now with 2-3 more NHL D and more sense with the bottom 6, maybe a goalie. We'll know what they are planning by the start of next season, if there aren't significant changes on the roster. If things remain largely the same we shouldn't expect much of a climb.

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#26 oilbaron
January 08 2012, 12:59PM
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in my eye's its always been stu mcgregor, without his picks we have zero. the only thing steve has done that has helped the oilers is brining back ryan smyth. but it was ryan smyth that told dean lombardi that he wanted to come back to edmonton. once that happened tambo had lombardi against he ropes. the only other positive i can think of that he has done for this team is the dustin penner trade. he hasnt signed any free agents to help out the team and the ones he did sign havnt panned out at all. yet i hear him getting too much credit for the players he brought in like hall and nuge. if it wasnt for all of his blundering we wouldnt even have these players. i say we keep him around, get another couple top 5 picks in the next two years and than bring in a GM who actually know's how to piece together a deal that makes us a better team. After all the best loser always gets the best player. ;)

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#27 Dave
January 08 2012, 01:20PM
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Funny you mention Smid, if I remember correctly, wasn't he NHL ready when he came to the oil. He certainly is now, 6 years later.

On another note, was it a really good attitude that MPS projected when sent to the minors, or just happy to get away from Renney?

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#28 Al Davis
January 08 2012, 01:21PM
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Everyone seems to jump on Tambo right away for his lack of moves, but then they don't give any suggestions to what he should have done (what player he should have gone after).

For the record I am not a Tambo supporter or hater, I am just an outside observer. But if you're going to rip a guy for all these moves he hasn't made, please inform us unenlightened individuals of the players that should be wearing Oilers uniforms right now.

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#29 Mac962
January 08 2012, 01:31PM
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LA Clippers- Washington Nationals=St.louis Rams [ wait ! thats my team as well] Edmonton Oilers..Hmmm My Rams canned their inept Coach and Mgmt even with some High Draft Picks [ Bradford] Yet our owner refuses to believe any of this has to do with the crap Kevin and ST and even Renney give us. What pisses me off most is these clowns continue to hide. We never hear anything from them. Home you guys sleep well cashing those massive pay cheques Katz signs for you.

You guys are way over paid...

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#30 Dave
January 08 2012, 01:33PM
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Al Davis wrote:

Everyone seems to jump on Tambo right away for his lack of moves, but then they don't give any suggestions to what he should have done (what player he should have gone after).

For the record I am not a Tambo supporter or hater, I am just an outside observer. But if you're going to rip a guy for all these moves he hasn't made, please inform us unenlightened individuals of the players that should be wearing Oilers uniforms right now.

I'm with you AL, were they the right players not deployed properly, or the wrong players not deployed properly by the coaching staff?

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#31 Dave
January 08 2012, 01:42PM
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Lowetide wrote:

Ken Holland came up through the amateur scouting side. Just saying.

MacGregor for G.M., Renney for Figure Skating Jamaica.LMAO

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#32 Guggenheim
January 08 2012, 01:54PM
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Katz is just fine, the quiet, behind the scenes cheque signer is my preference. For comparison, that greatest moment of a completed season, handing the Dean Lombardi trophy over to the team owner or the Stanley Cup going to the team captain.

ST I haven't given completely up on yet. It's possible that our elusive #1-2 d-man just isn't available or at least not at a reasonable price right now. If you were a competing GM, wouldn't you do everything to fleece the Oil since they -need- that d-man and the perception may be that ST's employment future is riding on doing something?

It took the late 80's/ early 90's Nordique's and the early 00's Penquin's a number of years worth of drafts and some significant trades to get their fecal matter organized, we may have to deal with a couple more years of it here too. Hopefully at the end of it all we have the same payoff.

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#33 Rama Lama
January 08 2012, 01:56PM
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@Dave

Then how are we going to judge this guy? We are not talking about minor moves here but the lack of a major move that spells out direction.

In the absence of a clearly articulated vision, we will be speculating what the best direction for this team is.

Some GM build from within, some build through the draft only, some trade too much, some do both, some dont do anything.

Im suggesting that Tamby falls in the latter......no vision, no big deals..... just let things happen.

If you are not a leader.......then you are a follower.

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#34 Colin
January 08 2012, 02:27PM
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Yeah I'm calling BS on the 2 years into the rebuild. It's been a rebuild since Gagner was drafted 6th overall. Pathetic and embarrassing especially compared to how well other teams have turned themselves around.

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#36 Mac962
January 08 2012, 02:44PM
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And when exactly was the last time the Red Wings were horrible ? Or the Bruins ? Bruins were bad for a while but rebuilt fairly quickly. Or the HABS for that matter, granted- they always seem to be in the middle of the pack, but come playoff time, they always put up a great fight and perhaps could have advanced if they were bigger up front. My Point i guess is other than 06-we have licked sac for a long time. Too many are comfortable with this now.. Let me tell you, a rebuild is not only done thru the draft, its trades-sigining quality free agents etc. Yes, not everyone wants to play here [yet] but some aggression by our fat wallet management could speed this up somewhat. I dont expect the cup in 2 years but i do expect to be talked about as being a contender. The Edmonton Pretenders has worn thin with me.

Perhaps K-LO and ST Really are not good Hockey minds plain and simple. MBS would get my vote to take over, he sure couldnt do any worse than the Jokes we have making decisions here now.

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#37 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 08 2012, 02:44PM
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Al Davis wrote:

Everyone seems to jump on Tambo right away for his lack of moves, but then they don't give any suggestions to what he should have done (what player he should have gone after).

For the record I am not a Tambo supporter or hater, I am just an outside observer. But if you're going to rip a guy for all these moves he hasn't made, please inform us unenlightened individuals of the players that should be wearing Oilers uniforms right now.

Every year theirs a handful of quality guys traded for mid range pics, and others signed for peanuts as free agents. Maybe one middle 6 forward, 1 4th liner and 2-3 defenders and this could have been a playoff team.

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#38 ubermiguel
January 08 2012, 02:47PM
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Lowetide wrote:

The thing that re-set all of this is change in owners. Katz buying the team meant starting all over again imo.

Couldn't disagree more. The rebuild started with the Heatley fiasco (Summer 2009). That's when the organizations's attitude clearly shifted from "brig in big free-agents and buy a winner now" to "build a winner over time through the draft and minor leagues".

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#39 bumblebpete
January 08 2012, 02:55PM
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Dave wrote:

Funny you mention Smid, if I remember correctly, wasn't he NHL ready when he came to the oil. He certainly is now, 6 years later.

On another note, was it a really good attitude that MPS projected when sent to the minors, or just happy to get away from Renney?

Very interesting!

MPS wasn't played where he could succeed this year.However,I believe Renney was forced to play the cards that Tambo dealt him. Last year Renney played the kids where they could shine, but the signings of Tambo hamstrung him.

This season is not Renney's fault, it's the mismanagement from above that made this turkey.

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#41 bumblebpete
January 08 2012, 02:59PM
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MacGregor for G.M.,is a future I would like, as long as he finds a good replacement for his current talents.

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#42 a lg dubl dubl
January 08 2012, 03:02PM
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I think imo this team needs a new gm and a new coach.

ST the only thing other than speaking into the mic at draft day(even though Stu tells him who to pick) is keeping his cards close to his chest, nobody outside the team really needs to know what the everyday goings on( I'd still like to be a fly on his office wall sometimes). Other than that he's done sweet @#$% all for this team.

Renney- maybe its just me but he reminds me sooo much of Ned Flanders without the 'stache, nice guy good teacher just not really good at getting the absolute most out of every player every game, what this team needs is a Torterella type coach yes the Rangers have a few better players but with the record they have right now says to me that's coaching, and watching 24-7 he holds the players accoutable and holds them to it, Renney doesn't seem to do that.

Next season it HAS to be playoffs or bust with Katz, I'd give ST til the deadline this season to make the nessesary improvements to get the team into that position(proper vet leadership, proper NHL depth etc) if ST can't do that by the DL, adios!

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#43 Zack
January 08 2012, 03:18PM
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Rebuilds are constructed through various facets throughout the organization. On the on ice product side of things they are built through solid drafting + prospects (Thanks Stu + team), weeding out certain players, sly transactions (Jones, Potter, Fedun, Penner Trade), and a few big name transactions (Yet to be done) among a few other things.

The rebuild and complete reconstruction of an entire organization takes time and in my eyes I believe that management has be doing a pretty good job of it so far. Yes there are blemishes but we only get a fraction of what actually goes on behind the scenes, most the time we only know the player(s) through media and what are on stat sheets.

I believe that this will be a detrimental season for ST, not entirely based off how the team does in the standings but how he handles up and coming transactions both at the deadline and over the off-season. I expect the organization to go after a big fish (most likely a d-man). Obvious? Yes but this season should be the season where actual transactions are made, I'm not sure how but prepare for some bigger moves which adds actual "NHL players/talent" to the team.

We may be adding another top five prospect to our organization come draft day but by next fall unlike this year, we may actually look a team that goes deeper than having 3 NHL d-man on opening night.

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#44 Semenko and Troy
January 08 2012, 03:33PM
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Next year the team should be legitimately competing for a playoff spot. Eberle and Hall will be in their 3rd year and RNH follows. Another lottery pick this year paired with Hall can give us another effective attacking line. MPS, Lander, and Teemu, will all be a year older, stronger, and more NHL savvy. Focus on acquiring two legitimate NHL D through trade/free agency.

If, a year from now, we are still this far away from being a playoff contender, then I’ll join the cries for a new coach/management.

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#45 Chris.
January 08 2012, 03:36PM
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@ubermiguel

What do rebuilding teams do?

a) Move out established NHL players for picks and prospects.

b) Make developing young players a priority... even if putting young players in key positions on your main roster costs the team wins.

c) Sell your fanbase on the notion that there is a plan and that the team will be better in the near future.

Now I know the team said they would compete for the playoffs after Katz bought the team. I also know they tried to sign big name UFA's like Heatley... But the fact remains, in a practical sense, by all their actions, this team has been rebuilding ever since Pronger demanded a trade. I don't care if they called it rebuilding or not...

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#46 Romulus' Apotheosis
January 08 2012, 03:46PM
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@Lowetide

I appreciate the consistent Det RW comparisons because they sit as the standard bearer for competitiveness over time and they do that through their steely ability to turn everything into an advantage even if only measured by a tiny ruler... they will find the edge that turns in their favor.

And for that these kind of posts serve as a kind of aspirational reprimand. "This is what you should be! Be better"

However, the tone in this piece feels a little too forgiving. It's like you've compared the Oil to the RWs so long you are starting to buy into the narrative that we are projecting along their path of the last 20 years.

That is, by constantly comparing oneself to Detroit one can tend to under-appreciate the value of what one has (against the gold standard), or (as in this case) over-appreciate the value (as if Detroit had rubbed off on the Oil somehow).

Well. Katz gives the appearances of someone committed to the team and willing to spend and build. But so does one C. Wang on the Island. I'm not saying we're that bad... but I think there is a danger in looking through the Oil to Det too often... you might lose track of the Oil in its own right.

So far I see no evidence to definitively say Katz is taking us in the Mike Illitch direction rather than the Charles Wang direction. I hope it's the former, but I think (at this point anyway) you could make an equally strong case (if not stronger) that things are tending toward the latter.

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#47 Ted Sheckler
January 08 2012, 03:48PM
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Is Trevor Linden the clearly contacts man?

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#48 FastOil
January 08 2012, 03:54PM
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Al Davis wrote:

Everyone seems to jump on Tambo right away for his lack of moves, but then they don't give any suggestions to what he should have done (what player he should have gone after).

For the record I am not a Tambo supporter or hater, I am just an outside observer. But if you're going to rip a guy for all these moves he hasn't made, please inform us unenlightened individuals of the players that should be wearing Oilers uniforms right now.

I assume you were responding to my comment. What you said is easy to say, but is off the mark because it is not my job to be able to asses all of the talent in the NHL.

NHL teams employ many people and spend buckets of money to know these things. What I can know is that other NHL teams remain competitive, over many seasons, and don't have high draft picks. And if you are an observer of Oiler sites, there is enough stat info for fans to have a good idea of who delivers results, so there is no excuse anymore for GM's to not know as well. Where I am in my family's life, I don't have hours to look on rosters, Gabe's site, and find the gems.

So we can assume that after you obtain a few high end players, the rest is done through development and smart trades. We have seen no sign yet that ST can make deals that improve the team.

Perhaps they are waiting on a certain time frame. That in itself is a debatable approach. The handling of Hemsky and Whitney after management making statements regarding changing the culture and of the team and the handling of players isn't ringing true with me and many other fans.

At some point in the near future we need to see some signs of the plan that we are told is unfolding. Continual sitting on hands is hardly a plan, and taking years to unfold the plan is a recipe for problems. Patience is necessary, but on the other hand tomorrow never comes.

Despite what management says, we have been awful for years including the '06 run season, the rebuild truly began when Pronger was dealt at the very soonest, and we have seen nothing but waiting for tomorrow for far too long. As I said, I feel they'll tank next year as well, but given the time frame trades could secure the draft pick they want for 2013.

I think (lacking evidence) that they want a run at one of the two great centres in that draft year, and tanking doesn't give them a better chance at it given the talent they have, without risking alienating the fans. Then again, winning changes opinion quickly.

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Rama Lama wrote:

is Tamby a player, slayer, or delayer? It seems to me that everyone is trying to figure this out and in the absence of a vision of what the team is going to look like, we are all left speculating.

Brian Burke has stated what kind of team he is going to build and then gone about doing it. Tallon has demonstrated that you can draft and acquire talent at the same time........all the while articulating what his team will eventually look like.

I have never heard Tamby clearly state what his plan is.......if in fact he has one? This lack of vision and plan will provide much fodder for writers and fans as we try to figure this guy out.

I'm not a ST hater or supporter yet. Maybe next year I'll pick a side. But as far as him not being vocal about the teams plans etc, I'm guessing this is directly from Katz. The one thing that's been consistent with him is he likes to keep a low profile. I'm betting (hoping) that everything about this franchise goes thru Katz. He's a proven success.

PS - Burke has to say something. He's a media addict.

I'm also not getting all the love Tallon is getting. He had a big part with the Hawks rebuild and Cup but he also had a lot of luck and his share of blunders. Didn't he sign Campbell and Huet for huge money. Toews and Kane were high draft picks. Keith and Seabrook were huge surprises. And didn't Tallon get fired as a gm because he didn't qualify RFAs on time?

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#50 hemi
January 08 2012, 04:26PM
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Stu for GM.........yes indeed! This team has been longing for real talent (from my armchair critic thoughts)at that position for years. Rebuilding is a must for all areas of this organization and for the vast majority of us fans, it is visible. Can we not include the GM position as being in need of an overhaul as well? Stu for GM!

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