DEAR JOHN....

Jason Gregor
October 31 2013 09:47AM

Breaking up is hard to do. I remember the first time a girl broke up with me, and after the initial blow to my ego, I vividly remember that I felt relieved. There wasn't going to be any tears. I guess I wasn't that into her, but it is funny to recall the sense of relief of not having to be the breaker upper.

Tears are always the worst part when you are the one doing the breaking up. You tell them you aren't feeling it anymore, and suddenly the waterworks come, then the guilt overrides you and you find yourself staying in the relationship for a few more weeks.

We've all been there, well, at least most of guys have. I'm not sure if a guy crying convinces a girl to stick around. I'm certain Wanye could enlighten us on that scenario...but I digress.

The first 14 Oilers games have been very stressful for you the fans.

Anger, disappointment, confusion, heartache and tinges of depression have engulfed you for the past 30 days. You honestly believed this year would be better. The Oilers told you it would be different.

Craig MacTavish's passionate speech about Bold moves had your loins burning with excitement. You and the Oilers were finally on the same page. Your relationship was on the road to repair. You told the Oilers you needed them to change and they did.

You couldn't deal with their indecisiveness any longer, so they got rid of Steve Tambellini.

You asked for more commitment, and the Belanger Triangle was bought out.

The one part of them that you always blamed; Horcoff, was traded.

You didn't want to deal with their baggage anymore, so Pettrell, Whitney, Peckham, Smithson and Hordichuk were flushed from the roster.

You wanted them to be stronger so Paajarvi was traded for Perron. They got grittier, and added an accent. You were giddy.

From July to September you were satisfied and felt secure in your relationship. The Oilers had listened to your concerns and addressed them. What more could you ask for. They were impressing you.

The preseason came and the so did victories. You hadn't felt like this in months. You started watching games in sweatpants instead of jeans so your excitement was more comfortable.

You started trusting the Oilers again, and then, like a well-placed kick to the junk combined with a knife in the back, the regular season happened.

Suddenly, they reverted to their old habits and as the losses mounted so too did your heartbreak.

The last 30 days have been tough, but I never realized how tough they were for Oilersnation until I received the following "Dear Oilers" letter from Joshua. 

Dear Oilers, 

First of all, let me apologize for taking the cowardly way out and doing this via a letter., We’ve been together so long now that I knew if I did it to your face you'd look at me with those Oil Drop eyes, remind me of the way things used to be, and I'd lose my nerve.

My needs aren't being met in this relationship anymore.

The red light isn't going off for me.
There just isn't enough action in the crease.
It seems like we never go out on a decent power play together anymore.
I don't feel supported in our own zone, and you forgot to kill our last penalty together!

I've loved and supported you through thick and thin, for richer or poorer, and even though I can’t afford to take my kids to the game and share them with you, I always felt like we had a great connection.

But there has to be a limit.

I still care about you and wish only the best for you.
 

Make changes to be better, but do it for you, don't do it for me.  

Until then, I think we should see other teams. Maybe it will re-ignite the passion that's gone from our relationship.

Maybe one day we can both look back on this and laugh. I'll just sit in my corner and look longingly at the standings, thinking of how things were. 

I love you. 

Yours in despair and loneliness,

Joshua
 

That. Was. Deep. Powerful. Poignant. Touching.

I'm sure Josh isn't alone, but will he be able to stay away? Many have tried, most have failed, and that is what is so frustrating about sports.

We'd never let a woman/man treat us that way, yet we continually forgive our favourite team.

For years I've tried to breakup with the Miami Dolphins, but every August I find myself looking at their roster, then at their schedule and I get sucked back in.

Those Bastards.

Joshua, I wish you all the best, and hope that you can be stronger than the rest of us. We say we will leave, but we never do.

Be strong, be brave and become a catalyst for change.

Godspeed.

P.S... No one will judge you when you come back. We've all been there.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#51 Quicksilver ballet
October 31 2013, 11:35AM
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Our relationship with the Oilers has similarities to the oldest trade in the world. Fans have a need they would like addressed, the Oilers attempt to provide you with said satisfaction and are more than willing take your money, but the passion only goes one way.

So wash up before you leave Rexall on Saturday. You've been screwed without even knowing it.

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#52 mr common sense
October 31 2013, 11:38AM
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Moving Forward wrote:

Lets move forward people-lets pay a little more and aquire Tootoo and Engelland and see how these two little tweaks add a whole bunch of life, spark and confidence to our soft,soft,small, highly skilled but very,very soft lineup.

P.S. Gazdic and MacIntyre are not soft but we need more Kaboom in our lineup...among other things...hey...its a start...how can things get any worse?

C'mon Mac T get on it!

PPS It's OK to trade Klefbom Mac T - he is very soft!!! ...hint...hint!!!

Steve Ott

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#53 RexLibris
October 31 2013, 11:39AM
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So, basically something along these lines...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dca_pS9bQE0

I can't find it now, but there was a similar "its not you, its me" breakup video done by a Leafs fan a few years ago. Great stuff.

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#54 bdiddy18
October 31 2013, 11:47AM
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So long as you have angry passionate fans who respond to what all is wrong with the Edmonton Oilers - you still have their attention.

However, you always run the risk that continous losing turns into apathy and disinterest. This is where the Oilers are currently at... very soon if there is no sign of postiive things to come

the twitter comments will drop, the comments in these blog posts will be considerably less, the fans will skip watching games to do other things that actually might entertain them...

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#55 bwar
October 31 2013, 11:50AM
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I was just thinking about getting NHL centre ice and just following the Blues. The games have become too painful to watch. I am no longer excited for game days. I dread having to watch each game. The team seems to be showing no progress and after years of rebuilding I just don't know if I can take anymore. But how could I ever leave the Oil? Maybe I will give them just one more chance.

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#56 Hemmercules
October 31 2013, 11:52AM
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This team and season are a steaming pile of crap right now , but I have to agree with Mact. Can't make a trade just for the sake of making one, if and improvement is there and the deal is good, go for it. But don't get fleeced your first season on the job 15 games in.

Start press boxing these guys when they think they can play soft and float around. Someone needs to give Yak another wake up call on how to play a hard shift every shift. I thought I saw on oil change that Eakins isn't even on the ice for practice half the time. Get out there and motivate/teach your system, obviously hanging around in the stands watching practice isn't working out too great.

Anyone who thought they would storm into the playoffs this year is delusional, but this is looking pretty bad. No quick fixes though so we wait.

I will still watch some games but like others here, I need to keep my distance a bit. So many hours watching so many loses takes its toll after a while. Thanks heavens I live far enough from Edmonton that I haven't spent too much on tickets these last few years.

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#57 DSF
October 31 2013, 11:53AM
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Pierre LeBrun ‏@Real_ESPNLeBrun

As @adater first reported, can confirm Max Talbot traded for Steve Downie

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#58 bwar
October 31 2013, 11:56AM
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DSF wrote:

Pierre LeBrun ‏@Real_ESPNLeBrun

As @adater first reported, can confirm Max Talbot traded for Steve Downie

wow just wow.

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#59 Joilers8
October 31 2013, 11:57AM
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Perhaps the Oilers should take down the protective netting around the rink, issue helmets with face guards to those fans affected by the removal of the net.

This way there will be some excitement at Rexall.

Yes I am stretching, but not too exciting at Rexall of late.

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#60 2004Z06
October 31 2013, 11:57AM
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Ron Burgundy wrote:

"I think the most frustrating thing is there is really no quick fix to this mess. The other GM's know we are at a point of weakness and we aren't going to get a break in a trade."

I disagree with this notion. Buffalo sucks and is by your theory therefore dealing from weakness also, but were able to turn their overpaid, soft, skilled forward into a cheaper, pluckier version of the same guy and a first and second pick. The Oilers are also by your own assertion the same team they were in the summer, and they were able to turn MPS into Perron. You never know if you don't try.

On another note, before E-town turns into Jonestown after some mass suicide, lets look East. The New York Rangers were a playoff team last year, but this year sit 13th. Derek Stepan in particular was just under a point per game and was a plus 25 in 44 games. This year his point production is down and he's a minus 8 in 11 games. My point? New coach, new system - these things take time. If you want to get to the other side you don't change horses in midstream. Maybe I'm that classic domestic violence victim who always forgives and comes back, but I'm not Joshua - I'm not strong enough to leave this relationship, so all I've got is hope.

Now, if this team is still this mind-blowingly frustrating at the game 40 mark I'll buy the barrels and the kool-aid mix - might need some help on the cyanide...

And how are Vancouver and Colorado doing under their new coaches/systems? The problem here is a lack of commitment to any coach/system!

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#61 Jay
October 31 2013, 11:59AM
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Has there been a worst franchise in professional sports over the last 8 years? Pretty pathetic stuff here

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#62 No more Xcuses.
October 31 2013, 12:01PM
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It sure is getting easier not to care. The cowpies in cowtown have called the Oilers rebuild an Infinibuild cuz it never stops and there is no end in sight. It's pretty bad when the other fans don't even ridicule us anymore. We aren't even a joke, we are just a sad organization who are too arrogant and pig headed to see this rebuild has taken a turn in the wrong direction. Hey 6 rings, since u know so much about winning, how about you pass it along to the team because it's damn obvious they have no clue what winning is. If I hear anybody elase say "when we're challenging for a cup again" I'll lose my mind. How about you string a couple more wins together without losing four more in between. Until then we wait.

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#63 2004Z06
October 31 2013, 12:01PM
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Joilers8 wrote:

Perhaps the Oilers should take down the protective netting around the rink, issue helmets with face guards to those fans affected by the removal of the net.

This way there will be some excitement at Rexall.

Yes I am stretching, but not too exciting at Rexall of late.

No helmets or face guards....maybe they can finally put some of us out of our misery!

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#64 DSF
October 31 2013, 12:06PM
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bwar wrote:

wow just wow.

Max Talbot is a centre and Colorado now has 6 bonafide NHL centres.

I wonder if another shoe is about to drop there.

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#65 DSF
October 31 2013, 12:09PM
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John Shannon ‏@JSportsnet

Hurricanes announce Manny Malhotra has signed a 1 year/two way deal.

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#66 Jason
October 31 2013, 12:11PM
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Oilers management is stuck on stupid.

Seriously I bet any poster on this site could have done just as well at running this team in the last 8 yrs as management.

These people are suppose to be professionals.

Perhaps we should lower our expectations and accept the reality.

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#67 Gaz
October 31 2013, 12:17PM
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@DSF

This proves that there are deals to be made out there with players throughout a team's lineup.

Oilers seem to suffer from paralysis by analysis (and that's being generous, as I may be wrongly assuming that they're spending time analyzing their players against others in the league).

I don't give much weight to the argument that "Old" GM's are trying to fleece MacT the "New" GM.

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#68 DSF
October 31 2013, 12:20PM
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Gaz wrote:

This proves that there are deals to be made out there with players throughout a team's lineup.

Oilers seem to suffer from paralysis by analysis (and that's being generous, as I may be wrongly assuming that they're spending time analyzing their players against others in the league).

I don't give much weight to the argument that "Old" GM's are trying to fleece MacT the "New" GM.

Yeah, I hear ya.

The Oilers have dreadful centre depth but both Colorado and Carolina who both have very good C depth just added to theirs today.

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#69 D'oh-ilers
October 31 2013, 12:20PM
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As a former Nordiques fan, I can honestly say I'd rather watch 18 years of godawful hockey, than not have a team to watch at all.

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#70 ubermiguel
October 31 2013, 12:22PM
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Offline fans I know have started talking about seeing other teams. I might go back to my ex (the the team I cheered for before the Oilers were in the NHL), if they'll have me back.

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#71 bwar
October 31 2013, 12:24PM
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Just had a thought I wanted to throw out there. If a random joe off the street was coaching the Oilers, would our record be any worse?

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#72 NJ
October 31 2013, 12:25PM
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My wife summed it up perfectly when I asked if she wanted to buy Oilers jerseys this year. She simply said "No Thanks".

It was in that moment I realized something. It is easier to cheer for the leafs. The penguins. Colorado. But it takes a true fan to stick through the thick and thin... Til death. So Oilers... Despite the continued suckage, our live affair will continue because I'm just that guy. When even my closest friend refuses to cheer, I will cheer on. Through every missed one timer, through every lackluster effort, through everything, we are here.

That is the problem. Are we stupid? Probably. But that one atom of hope rings through that MacT isn't dumb and that his Bold Move finally happens. (Yakupov, Klefbom and 2nd rounder for Lucic please)

Fml.

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#73 Gaz
October 31 2013, 12:29PM
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@DSF

Their depth across the board, with limited exception, is poor.

You don't have to "win" every trade in the long-run. People might argue that the Avs will be worse off long-term because Downie is younger (I'd probably disagree anyway, but these arguments will surface), but they upgrade an area with the acquisition of Talbot.

Too often, I feel like the Oilers put a checkmark beside an area and then focus only on the biggest holes.

Good organizations are always open for all business. MacT had me optimistic with the Perron trade as an example of this, but its been silent since then and the team is floundering.

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#74 Harlie
October 31 2013, 12:39PM
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Hi Oilers,

At this point and I just shake my head and laugh at your continued futility. Instead of dreaming about wins I now dream, about the draft.

FU Oilers.

You suck!

Sincerely,

Harlie

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#75 Serious Gord
October 31 2013, 12:40PM
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Greatest song about breaking up - ever.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHOf3s70w-c

Do give it a listen.

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#76 vetinari
October 31 2013, 12:45PM
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Harlie wrote:

Hi Oilers,

At this point and I just shake my head and laugh at your continued futility. Instead of dreaming about wins I now dream, about the draft.

FU Oilers.

You suck!

Sincerely,

Harlie

I hear your pain, brother.

I let my Hockey News subscription go the year that we ended up drafting Yakupov and I just recently reactivated it when the preseason results seemed to show that maybe we were turning a corner. Now, I got my first issue and all I can think of is when do we get to the draft previews.

As an aside, in their top 30 goaltenders of the NHL for the 2013/14 season, neither Dubnyk or LaBarbera is listed and our best goaltending "prospect" is listed as Bachman. Ouch.

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#77 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
October 31 2013, 12:48PM
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Just some general comments cause this sucks to always be talking about a losing team

When Mact was hired at the press cinference he said he was and impatient man and things were going to change quickly, now he says that patience is required. Lie here somewhere? And wasn't Tambo fired for being to patient?

When eakins was hired one of the pluses about him was that he could develop the young guys. Sportsnet and some media were quoting regularly the last few weeks on how Eakins said that they are not here to develop but win instead. Lie here somewhere?

About Tambo I don't understand how he was at fault since everything he did was run through Lowe.

Seem Kevin Lowe subscribes to the Fox News theory of "Stick to our narrative no matter what the facts say"

Sorry longer rant than I had planned. I am a longtime sufferer of crap teams I have been a Raiders fan since 81 Been a long time since I have been able to cheer for a quality team. Oh yeah i am also an eskie fan.

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#78 madjam
October 31 2013, 12:49PM
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What can we surmise why J.Schultz not on the ice for practice today , and believe it or not , Smyth playing defence at practice.

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#79 Serious Gord
October 31 2013, 12:51PM
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reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan) wrote:

Just some general comments cause this sucks to always be talking about a losing team

When Mact was hired at the press cinference he said he was and impatient man and things were going to change quickly, now he says that patience is required. Lie here somewhere? And wasn't Tambo fired for being to patient?

When eakins was hired one of the pluses about him was that he could develop the young guys. Sportsnet and some media were quoting regularly the last few weeks on how Eakins said that they are not here to develop but win instead. Lie here somewhere?

About Tambo I don't understand how he was at fault since everything he did was run through Lowe.

Seem Kevin Lowe subscribes to the Fox News theory of "Stick to our narrative no matter what the facts say"

Sorry longer rant than I had planned. I am a longtime sufferer of crap teams I have been a Raiders fan since 81 Been a long time since I have been able to cheer for a quality team. Oh yeah i am also an eskie fan.

Gratuitous jab at Fox News just proves you have never watched Fox News.

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#80 Virtual_Xi
October 31 2013, 12:58PM
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@oilerman53

scotty bow's best players were federov and yzerman, 2 unreal hockey players that refused to give up on a play. Until I see some compete from the other 5 top 6 players, wins ain't gonna happen. And yes, hemsky has been competing unreal, best backchecking skill forward we have.

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#81 Quicksilver ballet
October 31 2013, 01:03PM
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The Oilers appear to have all the scars of an organization that has been blackballed for some reason.

Lowe looks like a 7-8-9 blueliner/GM when he doesn't have a Messier or a Gretzky to carry him.

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#82 They're $hittie
October 31 2013, 01:12PM
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You mean we can break up with the oilers? I thought we had to stay with them for the good of the children.

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#83 Spydyr
October 31 2013, 01:23PM
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Someone named David Boles finally did it.Below is a petition asking Katz to relive Lowe of his duties:

http://www.activism.com/en_CA/petition/kevin-lowe-must-go/45607

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#84 MF
October 31 2013, 01:32PM
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mr common sense wrote:

Steve Ott

I agree 100%. Definitely would be a great addition!

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#85 Six Rings
October 31 2013, 01:33PM
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A nice little article for anyone who hasn't read it yet...

http://theoilersrig.com/?p=2063

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#86 achcht
October 31 2013, 01:33PM
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RexLibris wrote:

So, basically something along these lines...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dca_pS9bQE0

I can't find it now, but there was a similar "its not you, its me" breakup video done by a Leafs fan a few years ago. Great stuff.

I think you might be referring to this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcEink9PE9k

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#87 Chaz
October 31 2013, 01:40PM
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Don't worry everyone. According to K-Lowe half of the teams in the league would trade their line-up for ours. Which I guess means we should have no trouble making some trades to shore up our deficiencies. Problem(s) solved! K-Lowe wins again!

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#88 Kumon Iwannasing
October 31 2013, 01:46PM
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Take some advice from a lifelong Leaf fan. Oiler fans must rise up and make their dissatisfaction known. How about a cap burning rally or something...I know jerseys cost too much. There are rumours of young Oilers partying after losses etc. It is in many ways a Winter Camp for Entitled Kids. Want to send a message and expedite cultural change. Break up the little clique in the dressing room by trading the ring leader. Bring in some character guys instead like the Leafs finally learned...Clarkson, Bolland, Reimer.

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#89 jake
October 31 2013, 01:51PM
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Um, how does this go again....it's not you, it's me

No, actually, it is you.

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#90 S cottV
October 31 2013, 01:54PM
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Hopefully the Oilers stop the bleeding and start looking like a team going in the right direction - even if the dreadful start turns out to be, too deep a hole to make a legitimate playoff run. My expectation for the Oilers at the start of the year, was for a serious run at the playoffs - that most likely, would come up just short. I suppose a serious run is still possible but the team really looks in disarray under Eakins, his systems and choice of "go to" players. We all or most - like MacT, but his choice of a rookie coach really doesn't look good at all. Eakins apparent up tempo - pressure forecheck / d zone / penalty kill, all out effort - "approach" is causing a lot of confusion and problems. Overplay at the wrong times will leave you unneccesarily exposed and we have certainly seen the results in the back of the Oiler net. Playing smart - pressuring at the right times and laying back at the right times is something that most successful teams / coaches employ. I think a rookie move perhaps supported by an old guard "run and gun" offence first mentality, that still handcuffs the Oilers organization. Interesting for an example - that the last time we saw the Oilers mix in some pressure forecheck with some lay back trap, the team was one win away from a Stanley Cup. "Patience" / "Picking your Spots" and systems that support this in conjuction with "pressure" / "compete hard" allows a young team to find "balance." Putting RNH, Eberle and Yak out against an opposition veteran first line with instructions to "go-go-go get it" is a sure fire way to go minus 2 for the night. Throw in J. Schultz and its a minus 4. An evolution into smart - balanced - play is the way out of this mess for the Oilers. Don't know why the Oilers never seem to consider a guy like local product - Ken Hitchcock. Sure - you may have to eventually fire him, but that is after 3 winning years before the players end up tuning him out - probably for the wrong reasons....

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#91 NJ
October 31 2013, 01:56PM
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Anyone who trashes a mention of Steve Ott needs to have their head examined.

6'0", 190lbs. Not big. But he plays big. Hits a ton and agitates like crazy.

This is a guy who learned 3 foreign languages so he could agitate other players in their own language. He leaves it all out there. Despite the fact he comes from Buffalo, he is good in the circle, and can play the wing. Slot him in 3rd/4th line centre... even played top 6 in Dallas though some would say he was over his head there. Anyone who things that we couldn't use some of that on THIS team is nuts.

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#92 Jacques Strap
October 31 2013, 02:20PM
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The "Bold Moves" Action Plan:

1. Fire everybody.

2. Trade all players for better players.

3. Keep Joey. (He has 5 cups under his administration so I think he knows a little about winning).

4. Win Stanley Cup

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#93 Fresh Mess
October 31 2013, 02:20PM
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Gregor, when do we find out if Potter and freakinGrebeshkov cleared?

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#94 vetinari
October 31 2013, 02:30PM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

Gregor, when do we find out if Potter and freakinGrebeshkov cleared?

They both cleared and are with the Barons.

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#95 Rama Lama
October 31 2013, 02:43PM
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Hemmercules wrote:

This team and season are a steaming pile of crap right now , but I have to agree with Mact. Can't make a trade just for the sake of making one, if and improvement is there and the deal is good, go for it. But don't get fleeced your first season on the job 15 games in.

Start press boxing these guys when they think they can play soft and float around. Someone needs to give Yak another wake up call on how to play a hard shift every shift. I thought I saw on oil change that Eakins isn't even on the ice for practice half the time. Get out there and motivate/teach your system, obviously hanging around in the stands watching practice isn't working out too great.

Anyone who thought they would storm into the playoffs this year is delusional, but this is looking pretty bad. No quick fixes though so we wait.

I will still watch some games but like others here, I need to keep my distance a bit. So many hours watching so many loses takes its toll after a while. Thanks heavens I live far enough from Edmonton that I haven't spent too much on tickets these last few years.

Great comments on management.

If I managed my team like Eakins has done, I would have gotten fired by now. If you are the coach of a team that is losing, why on earth would you sit up with the reporter at practice?? Does Eakins have that much history with Smith and Buchburger that he trusts them to roll-out his system?

He does not even seem to know which players play which wings so sitting up in the stands with Bob Stauffer ( his professional apologist) seems we-todd-did!!!

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#96 Harlie
October 31 2013, 02:56PM
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@vetinari

I wish I only spent money on the Hockey News. I've got autographed game used rookie stuff for each of Hall, Eberle, Yakupov, Nugent-Hopkins. I'm starting to feel like a chump for buying that stuff!

1st world problems I know, but still.

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#97 Green and Old
October 31 2013, 02:57PM
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Jay wrote:

Has there been a worst franchise in professional sports over the last 8 years? Pretty pathetic stuff here

The 1967 - 2012 Leafs. But it is an unfair comparison as the Leafs ownership took suckitude to a level that cannot be truly comprehended by mere mortals. Although I'm a hurting Oiler fan today I can hold my head up high and proudly proclaim "I've never been a Leafs Fan....eva"

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#98 Dog Train
October 31 2013, 03:02PM
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The reason this season hurts so much is because it was supposed to be different. New coach, new GM, no Horcoff. Everything should be fine right? Apparently not. The Oilers will not win in this league constructed the way that they are. Too many entitled players. The sad thing is there is no quick fix. The culture of losing runs so deep that I truly believe the only way out of this is to trade one of the wunderkids. Moving Hemsky will not get anybody's attention even though he has been one of our harder working skill players. Moving out bit pieces in our bottom six or third pairing will not change the fact that our top players get schooled by the other team's top players on a nightly basis.

This season is basically lost already so I'm not suggesting that Mactavish panic and ship Yakupov today or anything like that. I'm just saying that by the end of this season, the Oilers need to get used to the thought of building this team around 2 or 3 of RNH, Hall, Yakupov and Eberle.

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#99 Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate
October 31 2013, 03:03PM
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Blood is colour Blue

Cheer for Oil until I die

No matter how bad

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#100 Zarny
October 31 2013, 03:07PM
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DSF wrote:

Max Talbot is a centre and Colorado now has 6 bonafide NHL centres.

I wonder if another shoe is about to drop there.

Max Talbot is a RW.

He's played on the wing in Phi and played on the wing in Pit.

Unlikely another shoe is about to drop. Talbot is experienced and has won a Cup. I think Col simply wanted to have an Andrew Ference type guy in their locker room to mentor the young kids.

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