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.

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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.
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#51 GVBlackhawk
November 18 2012, 12:23AM
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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.

And I missed Petr Sykora in 1997. He was a decent 3rd round selection.

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#52 Rob
November 18 2012, 01:38AM
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This President is a classic example of the Peter Principle at work. What a freaking disaster. His bad judgements have set the Oilers back a good 10 yrs. and that may be an optimistic assessment assuming you can even correlate colossal failure to a timeline.

He shouldn't be allowed to even be in a room with an open mic.

I'd like to hear a toilet flush at Rexall Sports right about...now.

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#53 NewAgeSys
November 18 2012, 05:51AM
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That was a nice reminder of what our prospectus was back then.

Unfortunately looking back doesnt tell you where you are going ,just where you have been.

It is nice to have a performance reference for our organisations decision making but I think we can do better than a form letter sent out to the season ticket holders.

I was and still an a KP fan,and I am also a Stu M fan,both are excellent at their jobs,neither carries the responsibility of the organisation on their shoulders,in fact all the heavy lifting is supposed to be done before they take the helm.These guys are going to the store with a SHOPPING LIST FROM MOM,remember??

If the kid brings you back chocolate milk instead of 2% milk then before you chastise him you better read your note again and be sure you were clear and specific.Kids tend to get what they think is the best for everyone including themselves,ha ha ha.

The ingredients are important as a whole but with each individual ingredient we can make many many adjustments,the real key is the RECIPIE,dont you think??

What K Lowe failed to include in the form letter was any type of reference to a SYSTEM--ha ha ha--you know ,the RECIPIE.

The heat could easily have been taken off KP and Stu by simple adding a reference to the SYSTEM we were planning on mixing these players into,instead the pressure was evenly spread between the pro scouts and the incoming players,none was on the COOKS RUNNING THE KITCHEN.

The first thing I want to know when I go eat in a restauraunt is if the cook is any good,the second is whats on the menu and only if something is exceptionally good or bad do I think of the ingredients.Thats the direction crap rolls in universally ---downhill--except in that letter someone was pushing it uphill and we all know what happens when you try to do that.

I highly doubt K Lowe penned that letter himself ,there are professionals who do that kind of PR work at this level,although of course we dont really know.

We are all fairly familiar with each other here and kinda have a feel for the core values the regular posters espouse,so I have no issues saying SYSTEM SYSTEM SYSTEM.

Just adding a reference to a system or a plan beyond the generic teflon references we saw of simply the good intentions, would have provided a pressure release valve to everyone except the man or group who decides which SYSTEM these players will be incorporated into.

Without a clear frame of reference to some type of system or recipie I am afraid we will stay in the dark like mushrooms,reading the menu like good little customers taking our chances on every dish with as little hands on data available as can be managed.

Lets see here------This year we hope that all the salt and pepper and flour and milk and honey that we go to the store and pick up will make something good for us all.Dont worry mom will make something you will really really like ,you just go sit down and wait.MMMmmmm,my moma2 doesnt feed me bullspit like that.

I am sure each of the players we saw on that list were the right indredient--100%--salt is salt and sugar is sugar ,there were no errors there,and all NHL teams take turns using the same stores,so quite plucking obviously the cook has some communication issues,the COOK HAS some communication issues or the recipie is simply wrong.

I dont believe we are seeing the same Cook now,K Lowe has taken a new approach to his methodologys and I have great hope we will see these communicatuion issues put behind us.However we will need to see results to claim this as having happened---in this case we need to see some support type players coming out of our own system immediatly.We need to see continuity of RECIPIE or STSTEM,and to tell you the truth--------ALL THE KINGS HORSES AND ALL THE KINGS MEN COULDNT PUT POOR OILERMAN BACK TOGETHER AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!This hasnt been happening,now that our top 6 is set this is critical.

I am happy with Kevin Lowe and I was happy with PK and I am happy with Stu M.---for gods sakes i was happy with Robbie Schremp!! I AM NOT HAPPY WITH OUR LACK OF SYSTEM IDENTIFICATION AND ACCOUNTABILITY.

I believe it has been a lack of adequate system selection and managment and maintenance that has sunk this franchise,and it is a historic dynamic that began when the real men who were defining the Oilers SYSTEM of play left town,thats Wayne and Mark.Since then we have only succeeded in making one decent run at the cup and this was catalysed by Mac-T completely,that was his vision of that glory SYSTEM.Mac-T has seen the championship system up close and was able to do exactly as moma2 and the NHS say to do,he took a cast of really cool characters and he made them into a winning machine when the chips were down using dynamic system managment,that was 100% Mac-Attack.

Before we all get excited and lose focus here---remember this,,,Mac-T was able to use a still semi-functioning organisational support system that was essentially in place during the great years.That support setup was dying and on its last legs when Mac-T used what it had left to offer.Since then that support mechanism has fallen dramaticlly,its only since last year that we have seen an adjustment that brings the big team and the little team onto the same page.

If we can see another year of paralell system initiation and growth between both clubs or rather the pro team and ALL its support teams we will see sucess on the horizon.

In other words once again if we see SYSTEM continuity between the NHL club and its prospect and player support mechanism then we can expect positive results.

It is this system continuity that has sunk the Oilers,everyone has been working their butts off for years here,but without the right recipie the kitchen has been a disaster.

My greatest fear is that the sparks of sucess we saw last year both on the NHL club and in OKC will not be rekindled,I am concerned that the Oilers organisation has failed to properly select and prepare to engage an adequate system of play that will allow the current crop of men to suceed at a champonship level.I say this because I havent witnessed anything but a mess for so many years that I have no reason to believe there is change on the horison here.

Is it going to be a 4-1 front loaded Northern Star offense or a 3-2-3 backend high Hotrod system??

You see its all bullspit,absolute bullspit,without a clear and defined and stated SYSTEM intent we are plucked again!!

Mike Tyson really kept his sytem secret didnt he??Wayne Gretzky kept his secret didnt he?Steve Nash keeps his system secret doesnt he??

None of these champions kept any secrets in fact champions tell you exactly what kind of thunder is coming at you they telegraph your doom all the way,it is a critical part of the winning formula.Its called confidence.We need to start acting like champions before we will come anywhere near becoming champions,we need integrity ,honesty and forthright communication on every level,that 100% confidence in our system and assets must be REAL--not a salesjob or spin-doctoring.

Its time to buy the Emperor some real clothes and end the illusion here in Edmonton.

If managment and the entire organisation from Katz right down the line dont have the wherewithall to beg borrow or rent a superior SYSTEM of play to initiate that will bring a championship to this city--then could we all please simply ask them to do this instead of wasting our time pointing at the holes in our own shoes???

For gods sakes,it seems like everything but the kitchen sink has been thrown at this problem and the only thing that has show positive results is the "imaginary"NewAge Hockey System,and because even that seems to be "imaginary"where do we go from here??

Ralph Kreuger,Mac-T,Kevin Lowe and the round table are great--who in their right minds could question that group??No one would and this is the problem,there is no Oiler response to a direct challenge other than to turn the other cheek,just like our team has been doing for so long.I say find out the source of the NHS and throw it at the problem ,the kitchen sink didnt solve anything so what do we have to lose?

Ask the hard questions and demand answers,EXACTLY why was Mac-T brought back here??I challenge that answer if it doesnt include some reference to the NHS or moma2.I believe I know exactly why mac-T was flown in here,and its because last year moma2 and the NHS hit so many nerves that it caused a knee-jerk reaction,an absolutely correct one but still knee-jerk and forced.The NHS is a SYSTEM,a philosophy of excellence,it touches on every concievable aspect of winning at every level.It cannot be denied,it can be ignored or suppressed,but not denied.The NHS is based off of the 80s Oilers PP and their special system that Wayne catalysed in his head and gifted to Messier in its entirity,and also to the other men who were interested in learning from him,mac-T being a perfect example.But it wasnt written down,it wasnt formalised or recognised,and because it was so new and revolutionary no one was ever able to put their finger on how to stop it,had the players stayed the dynasty would have operated unabated for five or six more years.And the legacy would have remained.

Put this in perspective,why didnt Wayne gretzky win a Stanley Cup as a coach in his first year??Or ever??Is it at all possible that there is a simple communication issue surrounding the vision and perspective that Wayne manifested into such sucess???That many many great players cannot find the proper communication conduit to get their ideas through to others without being able to go out and manifest it with them??

Sure there is,thats why I write 2000 words to make what seems like a simple hockey point,because IT AINT SIMPLE JACK---nothing is simple when you are trying to win,every tiny detail is critical.

How many words do you think Wayne would have to write to engage the forums the way I do or moma2 and the NewAge Hockey System did back in the fighting days??20 words??200 words??2000 words?Or maybe because he is the greates ever 20000 words?

Imagine for a second every single detail that was present in gretzkys mind in one freezeframe of his on-ice career,just one single on-ice moment ??How many details was he processing???because that my amigos is what we need to reproduce,and so far only the "imaginary"NHS has even had the cojones to challenge convention and claim this ability.

Maybe Wayne was seeing a 3-1-1 backflip triple twist play forming out there eh??ha ha ha.

or just maybe it didnt matter what set plays you tried to use against him ,he scrambled your breakfast for you because he could intuatively and accurately guess what decisions conventional hockey thinking and system play would pressure guys to do out on the ice,Wayne was in their heads and in their back-pockets at the same time.Does everyone think that he is and was the only man who can think this way????Does everyone attribute his sucess to the wrong things??I believe they do,enmasse.I believe I am right and the NHS is an exact duplicate of waynes thinking process.

He who begins with the least and manifests it into the most is called a visionary--in laymans terms a visual thinker--literally--a person who thinks in pictures like a running video in their mind,when a visual thinker thinks "bob has a ball"it aint just plain old bob and a nondescript ball,a visual thinker can describe every detail of bob from head to toe and the ball isnt just a ball it has a color and a size and specific degree bouncability,ha ha ha.

Rember FYI that all of the data i just listed about bob and his ball is processed IN THE SAME TIME AS YOUR AND 90% OF NORMAL PEOPLES GENERIC THOUGHTS WERE PROCESSED IN.

I am not kidding--.Wayne "taught"Messier to think like a winner,quite seriously and once you have the recipie you never lose it.Once you are taken outside the box you can never be confined in it mentally again.This mindset can be TAUGHT,but you need to be a kind of perfect storm to be able to even understand this never mind teach it,first you need to understand the dynamic,then god needs to make you a competitor in athletics,then you need to enjoy what you are doing,then you need to become a constant learner.Then you need to become an effective communicator which is the absolute hardest thing because nature doesnt usually match these talents together,like a perfect storm doesnt happen every day.

Listen,wayne played undersized his entire life and was ultra-sucessfull,he was a visual thinker who actually thought opposite everyone else first then adjusted his perspective to everone elses and found sucess in the adjustment process,Wayne could NEVER think like everyone else because he was always in some tangible manner disadvantaged--so what doeas a visual thinker do??ha ha ha,they reach into their minds and begin to utilise intangibles that they actually SEE clearly,and they make a dynamic mockery of their opponents regularly and consistantly.

You want to be a contender??Great,I dont.I want to be the Champion,therefore the last thing I want to think like is a contender.

If this organisation wants to WIN they need to rediscover some more championship grade integrity,they are working on it but not hard or fast enough.What do you think happens on the ice if you lie to yourself about things??Oh yes,I can catch him before he breaks coverage,oh yes I can get back in time to stop something from happening,----as soon as individuals become honest about what they can and cant do and what they are actually seeing out there the sooner they can properly aknowledge and asses their own actual abilitys and lean on their teammates more and thereby form a team mentality which can be developed into victories and championships.

First you discover what you CANT do ,and then you find a way to do it using your teammates,like the Great One did it.If thats how Wayne started then thats how everyone needs to start.Every game is a new build,this realisation and adjustment needs to be enacted every game as a new page.The same set plays wont accomplish this type of winning result only on the fly dynamic managment will accomplish this,and that means there needs to be at least ONE visual thinker on board either on the ice manifesting and teaching or on the bench manifesting and teaching and literally living vicariously through the youthful players ha ha ha.

The world is full of nuts,and its also full of competitors,but there are very very few winners,so what do you want to be??You want to be part of the majority and popular??Then be a competitor there are lots of them ,you will never be lonely,and its easier than cherry pie to hide in the shadows.You want to be a winner,you want to be a champion??Then you better find a way to be like a nut brother because you will not become neither a winner nor a champon by sitting in the box with the majority.

It is risk vs reward,did anyone expect it to be different than that in a competative dynamic??

That was a nice letter to send to people who pay for the teams way,it was par for the course it was in the box,no risk agenda,vanilla as it gets,not wrong not risky,as Plain Jane as it gets.

What the heel do I know eh?I am just another nut that doesnt fit into the box,ha ha ha.Thank god.

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#54 PeOiler
November 18 2012, 07:36AM
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@newagesys

Honestly, I read down to "recipe" and realized what lies in wait.

You are obviously a bright guy. You could be using these comments/rants/punctuation-nightmares as actual blog posts and likely generate positive feedback.

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#55 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
November 18 2012, 08:49AM
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@NewAgeSys

NewAgeSys wrote:

my moma2 doesnt feed me bullspit like that.

then why do you keep trying to feed me your bullspit?

and for f sakes, it is RECIPE

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#56 gongshow
November 18 2012, 02:59PM
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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.

Also, to be fair to KP, how many of his picks had the benefit of a proper minor league system to grow up in? MBS has had the luxury of watching his picks grow in far more fertile soil, has he not?

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#58 Cervantes
November 21 2012, 12:22AM
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Oh man, what a great list of "the Oilers future". It's so good it hurts.

Nilsson - Scrubbed out of the NHL in barely two years and playing in some Scandanavian league now.

O'Marra - Couldn't even keep a role as a 4th line AHLer on the farm team, shipped off for nothing.

Plante - The 1st from that Smyth deal, currently struggling to be any kind of bottom pairing AHL defender. A poor mans Peckham, who might eventually find a few big league games if he can get over his several concussions.

Pouliot - Our "promising 3/4 centre", bounced out after only a handful of games, currently struggling to be an injury fill on the Lightning. IIRC he's getting scratched in AHL games too.

Jacques - JFJ, our former first line winger, currently doing scrub duty in California. He's supposed to carry the bags to the bus, but somehow one keeps doing an inside/outside on him and getting lost.

Stortini - The prototypical 4th line fighter, moved out to make room for... Lennart Petrell and Darcy Hordichuck? IIRC he'll be likely to do some training camp invites this year.

Brodziak - The only success out of this whole group, Brodz is a consistent 3 C for the Wild, shipped out for next to nothing, so we could rush to get Eric Belanger in to our lineup.

Schremp - Bouncing around second tier european leagues, proving that scoring touch is no substitute for being a good team player.

Ladies and gentlemen, the 2007 Edmonton Oiler "Stanley Cup Contender" team. I love my team, but this letter and list are proof positive that you simply can't believe a word that come out of managements mouth.

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