THE RETURN TO CONTENTION . . .

Robin Brownlee
November 17 2012 11:13AM

There's been plenty of discussion about when, exactly, the Edmonton Oilers realized they'd best forget about patching up the remnants of the team that went to the 2006 Stanley Cup final and undertake a bare-metal rebuild.

Framed in what's happened since that close-but-no-cigar trip to Game 7, namely six straight years out of the playoffs and a streak of futility that's seen the Oilers acquire first overall picks in Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov, I read with interest something sent to me on Twitter today.

It's a form letter from then-GM Kevin Lowe that was sent to season ticket holders in March of 2007 in the wake of the deadline deal that sent popular Ryan Smyth to the New York Islanders. Here it is:

We all, of course, are acutely aware of what's happened in the seasons since Lowe reassured season ticket holders the goal was to return the Stanley Cup to Edmonton. More than five years later, the goal remains the same, but the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

We wait.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
Avatar
#2 kdunbar
November 17 2012, 11:16AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

Can't wait to see the Oilers in first place

Avatar
#3 Jonathan Willis
November 18 2012, 08:30AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers

@NewAgeSys

Shorter NewAgeSys:

1. SYSTEM!

2. Rob Schremp just got demoted to the KHL's minor leagues because they DIDN'T HAVE A SYSTEM.

3. Wayne Gretzky taught Mark Messier to be a winner because SYSTEM.

And yes, those are the same three points he makes in response to every article, ever, after a "short" preamble.

Avatar
#4 Muji
November 17 2012, 12:23PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

Khabibulin signing was genius. That move accelerated the rebuild.

Avatar
#5 TeddyTurnbuckle
November 17 2012, 08:01PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers
Pharmboy wrote:

Those evaluating Hall, Eberle, Hopkins, etc on their AHL performance need to remember they are not giving their 100% effort there, they are trying to stay in game shape and not get injured, nothing more. They are probably all told to avoid the dirty areas where they can really make plays. Schultz? Maybe he is still thinking he has to audition for the Oilers, I hope he doesn't wear himself down if there actually is a season this year.

There is no such thing as not giving 100% in pro hockey. Do you honestly think Todd Nelson gives Nuge, Eberle and Hall a pep talk before every game saying, " Guys just take it easy tonight and don't get injured." Players have to give everything they have every shift or they will look stupid. Besides the Ahl is a great league and the kids have been great so far.

Avatar
#6 Oilfan69
November 18 2012, 07:30AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

Does anyone start reading a post before they read who is posting it and after the first whole page when you realize you are reading the same post say" Damnit this is a NewAgeSys post isn't it"

Avatar
#8 Czar
November 17 2012, 11:24AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Lowe was right about Nilsson and O'Marra joining the others,what a pile of disappointment!

Avatar
#9 toprightcorner
November 17 2012, 11:55AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

This is a great indication of Lowe's ability to recognize future talent. As GM, one would expect a better track record of recognizing young talent then 1 for 7 and then trade that 1 (Brodziak) who would fit well on the team.

Best move was hiring Stu Macgregor right after this letter allowing us to properly stock the cupboards with talent.

Makes me nervous when a GM with this lack of ability still has the final say in alot of the organizational moves.

This tells me that Tambo may have a much better idea of developing talent by shipping off Lowe's "future members of a championship team".

Remove Lowe from having any say in player transactions and we may have a chance at adding the right pieces to make the next step.

Hopefully within 2 years we can make splash like the Blue Jays just did to put them over the top with their talented core.

Avatar
#10 Johnny
November 17 2012, 12:18PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Paajarvi, Lander, Pitlick, Moroz are the new Pouliot, Schremp, Jacques and Brodziak. Brodziak.....if we're lucky....

This staff hasn't done anything except run a franchise into the ground, HARD, and select #1 overalls.

That Brodziak trade was atrocious...

Avatar
#11 PaperDesigner
November 17 2012, 12:33PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Johnny wrote:

Paajarvi, Lander, Pitlick, Moroz are the new Pouliot, Schremp, Jacques and Brodziak. Brodziak.....if we're lucky....

This staff hasn't done anything except run a franchise into the ground, HARD, and select #1 overalls.

That Brodziak trade was atrocious...

Paajarvi is a better prospect than any of the others ever were.

He has had some actual success in the NHL, and in a few different pro leagues. Probably isn't a high-end scorer, but probably rounds out into a very good second line two-way winger.

It's actually fine if only one of the rest of them turns out to have a Brodziak like career. If either Pitlick or Lander does, that's a good pick in the second round.

The problem is not that the Oilers had a bunch of prospects that turned out to be busts, the problem is that they did not have enough elite talent to cover the fact that they did not all turn out. You don't need every prospect to have a NHL career. All least, as long as you have enough high end talent to cover major holes. The problem is that the Oilers, circa 2007, needed Schremp and Nilsson to constitute their future number one line.

Avatar
#12 Sliderule
November 17 2012, 01:28PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Our fate was sealed in the drafts of 2003 to 2005.nine picks in the first two rounds and the only two who have had any sort of NHL career are Dubnyk and Cogliano.

If any of the picks we passed on like Parise or Perry in 2003 and say Krejci or Dubinsky in 2004 had been taken we would have had a solid group to work with.

If you takeaway our first picks how much better is our scouting today??

Avatar
#13 Pharmboy
November 17 2012, 05:14PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Those evaluating Hall, Eberle, Hopkins, etc on their AHL performance need to remember they are not giving their 100% effort there, they are trying to stay in game shape and not get injured, nothing more. They are probably all told to avoid the dirty areas where they can really make plays. Schultz? Maybe he is still thinking he has to audition for the Oilers, I hope he doesn't wear himself down if there actually is a season this year.

Avatar
#15 @Oilanderp
November 18 2012, 12:26AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

*spits koolaid out his nose*

Avatar
#16 Wanyes bastard child
November 18 2012, 12:51AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Well hello there Mr hindsight, how you doing?

Avatar
#17 nunyour
November 17 2012, 11:21AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

must be hard when you have nothing to trade and free agents don't want to come here.

Avatar
#18 Starving Student
November 17 2012, 11:31AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Czar wrote:

Lowe was right about Nilsson and O'Marra joining the others,what a pile of disappointment!

Well said sir!

Avatar
#19 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
November 17 2012, 11:51AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

the oilers fell ass backwards into the rebuild, and until there are changes at the top i have huge doubts as to whether tambellini and the crew can turn this pile of poo into a pile of gold.

Avatar
#20 Rocket
November 17 2012, 11:53AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
nunyour wrote:

must be hard when you have nothing to trade and free agents don't want to come here.

The Oilers now have plenty of assets to trade and Shultz as a free agent signed here.

Avatar
#21 nunyour
November 17 2012, 12:03PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Rocket wrote:

The Oilers now have plenty of assets to trade and Shultz as a free agent signed here.

yes things are looking much better than they were in 2007.

Avatar
#22 Rocket
November 17 2012, 12:06PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@nunyour

Oh I see you were talking about 2007. My mistake and you are correct, things are better now.

Avatar
#23 nunyour
November 17 2012, 12:14PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

maybe a full season off is in edmonton,s best interest,maybe the bingo ball drops and we pick first again? and the young guns are ready to compete, with a long term agreement signed.

Avatar
#24 Rama Lama
November 17 2012, 12:25PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Not every person is a good judge of talent, and what is sad is that we have two of these clowns running the team.

I don't think that Mac T will be any better. We have built our team with solid prospects, not by design, but by failing more than all of the other teams in the NHL.

Finishing last and drafting first, should not be praised rather we should all be disgusted at the performance of Lowe and Tamby.

Perfect time to fire these two clowns and start fresh.........I for one do not trust them to make a "wow", trade that will benefit the team.

Avatar
#25 Manfly
November 17 2012, 12:58PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

man were they out to lunch with the kids they mentioned in that letter! almost no meat on the bones at all!

Avatar
#26 DSF
November 17 2012, 01:26PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
PaperDesigner wrote:

Paajarvi is a better prospect than any of the others ever were.

He has had some actual success in the NHL, and in a few different pro leagues. Probably isn't a high-end scorer, but probably rounds out into a very good second line two-way winger.

It's actually fine if only one of the rest of them turns out to have a Brodziak like career. If either Pitlick or Lander does, that's a good pick in the second round.

The problem is not that the Oilers had a bunch of prospects that turned out to be busts, the problem is that they did not have enough elite talent to cover the fact that they did not all turn out. You don't need every prospect to have a NHL career. All least, as long as you have enough high end talent to cover major holes. The problem is that the Oilers, circa 2007, needed Schremp and Nilsson to constitute their future number one line.

Paajarvi is NOT a better prospect than the others.

While he had a nice run for a while while playing the second most minutes on the team over a full season, he only managed 15 goals while getting that push.

When presented with the minutes and second line role he can manage in the AHL, he reverts to his mean.

He's on pace for a 10 goal 40 point season in the AHL.

Please note the following:

Marc Pouliot - AHL 05/06 - 15G 30A 45P (20 year old)

Rob Shremp - AHL 07/08 - 23G 53A 76P

JF Jacques - AHL - 05/06 - 24G 20A 44P

Brodziak managed 14 goals and 17A 31P while playing 3rd line minutes in his first full NHL season.

If you have a winger on your second line that can't produce points, you are playing with one hand tied behind your back.

If Paajarvi can adapt his game to become a physical third line winger and PKer, (see Jannik Hansen) he may have a future in the NHL.

Otherwise, expecting him to be top 6 player is daft.

Avatar
#27 TeddyTurnbuckle
November 17 2012, 01:41PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I've watched most of the OKC games this year, probably more than most of the media guys in Edmonton which I'm not sure if that means I should revaluate my priorities or I 'm just a die hard. Anyways I know its a young team but the Barons aren't nearly as good as I thought they would be. The kids seem to make just as many mistakes as good plays. Last night Eberle had two horrific turnovers on the same power play shift that caused two clear cut break aways for Milwaukee. My point is that I love the kids and they are going to be great but they are still too young to pull the weight on a playoff calibre NHL team. How are these kids going to lead us to the playoffs when they can't even do it in OKC. Unless Tambi significantly upgrades our veterans when the lockout ends, I don't see us finishing much higher than 22nd in the NHL.

Avatar
#28 Craig1981
November 17 2012, 01:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ whoever was bashing Brownlee

Lol. You can read read lowetide and Willis and I will take Brownlee then. I used to hate his negative views, but then after realizing the Oil finished bottome of the league twice and realized his negative views might actually be insight......I also will be quite entertained when he replys to your post. Lol

Avatar
#29 Rama Lama
November 17 2012, 01:52PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Craig1981 wrote:

@ whoever was bashing Brownlee

Lol. You can read read lowetide and Willis and I will take Brownlee then. I used to hate his negative views, but then after realizing the Oil finished bottome of the league twice and realized his negative views might actually be insight......I also will be quite entertained when he replys to your post. Lol

I think RB can handle his own......he is not shy about protecting his turf!

I pity the poor fool who takes him on.

Avatar
#31 Craig1981
November 17 2012, 02:22PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Rama Lama wrote:

I think RB can handle his own......he is not shy about protecting his turf!

I pity the poor fool who takes him on.

Lol. Oh, I know he can (I've seen it and its entertained me for hours). Just showing respect and thanks for the artical more than standing up for him.

Avatar
#32 Fresh Mess
November 17 2012, 02:23PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Which leads to the question: How does Lowe still have a job (let alone get promoted) with the Edmonton Oilers?

Avatar
#33 Hayek
November 17 2012, 03:06PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Thanks for writing great articles Johnathan Willis!

Avatar
#34 Wanyes bastard child
November 17 2012, 03:14PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Hayek wrote:

Thanks for writing great articles Johnathan Willis!

Willis, I thought this was a Strudwick article!?!?!

Avatar
#36 Wanyes bastard child
November 17 2012, 04:00PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Robin Brownlee wrote:

It is. I just put my name on it.

When did Strudwick learn how to write better?

Avatar
#37 Fili
November 17 2012, 05:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I think it's funny all those names mentioned were Pendergast picks, not macgregor. Stu's first pick was gagner, ebs, paajarvi, hall, RNH, and yak. Not to mention the "cupboard fillers" marincin, gernat, pitlick, Hamilton, fedun, etc... Point is everyone is blaming klowe, when in fact they should be looking at drafting. Oilers have been a quick fix team for years. This is the first time in years, since the boys on the bus, that we have been building internally.

I for one, am excited about this teams future and don't need to look at the past. I'm looking forward to seeing these kids together for a long time.

Avatar
#39 Craig1981
November 17 2012, 05:26PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Fili

Totally agree. If the oilers drafting was on par with Detroit or even Nashville, there would be a lot more Lowe supporters. I was so relieved when Pendergast left........but sad when I found out Pendergast would be in charge of Canada's junior team (who cuts RNH!!!!!)

Avatar
#40 Taylor Gang
November 17 2012, 05:28PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

People need to keep in mind that 2007 was a much, much worse roster compared to today. The fact that I even have to say that to some of you is hilarious

Avatar
#41 Craig1981
November 17 2012, 05:29PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Robin Brownlee wrote:

To be fair to KP, look at where he picked in the first round during the patch-and-go era compared to where MacGregor has picked.

No question KP had some big-time, brutal whiffs at the plate, but when you're constantly picking outside of the top 10 it can get muddy.

He cut RNH from worLd juniors! I wonder if he was still in charge if the Nuge would be wearing an Av white and red uni

Avatar
#42 Johnny
November 17 2012, 05:50PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

It's still not determined who will be a better player...Skug or RNH...

Avatar
#43 GVBlackhawk
November 17 2012, 09:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Robin Brownlee wrote:

To be fair to KP, look at where he picked in the first round during the patch-and-go era compared to where MacGregor has picked.

No question KP had some big-time, brutal whiffs at the plate, but when you're constantly picking outside of the top 10 it can get muddy.

Unless your team is Detroit.

Avatar
#44 oiler/hab
November 17 2012, 09:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Ok, this just in...

To Nashville: 1st round pick 2013 2nd round pick 2014 Belanger, Peckham,Omark

To Oilers: Shae Weber, Michael Latta

To Anaheim:

1st round pick 2014 Plante, Paajrvi, Bunz

To Edmonton:

Bobby Ryan, Mat Clark

Ok, ship the cup to PO box ??? Edmonton AB

Avatar
#45 kdunbar
November 17 2012, 10:04PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

KP just kept trying to hit a homerun. Stu doesn't always try to make that Homerun hit with the first round (and usually the second).

I have seen articles which explain Stus philosophy quiet nicely. If KP played things a little more safe in the first round or two by going strictly BPA, he would have done much better.

Avatar
#47 Giggsunited
November 17 2012, 11:14PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I laugh at "Stu the magnificent bastard" title. Get back to me when his 2nd and on draft picks do something. Until then he is no better then KP at this moment in time.

Avatar
#48 Giggsunited
November 17 2012, 11:14PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I laugh at "Stu the magnificent bastard" title. Get back to me when his 2nd and on draft picks do something. Until then he is no better then KP at this moment in time.

Avatar
#49 Time Travelling Sean
November 18 2012, 12:16AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I'm curious, if the lockout doesn't end in time can RNH go to the WJC?

Avatar
#50 GVBlackhawk
November 18 2012, 12:16AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Robin Brownlee wrote:

List all the brilliant picks the Red Wings have made past the 10th selection in the first round over the past 20 years.

And don't try throwing in shots in the dark like Zetterberg and Datsyuk from late rounds. When players taken that late turn out it's as much good luck as good drafing.

Okay sure we will choose to ignore those 'lucky' picks and focus on the ones that were chosen based on drafting prowess.

Hudler and Fillpula in 2002. Franzen in 2004. Abdelkader and Helm in 2005.

Jurco in 2011 and Frk in 2012 look promising.

This is more impressive than it looks considering Detroit has had only 3 first round draft picks since 2006, and those were 27th, 27th, and 30th.

Comments are closed for this article.