Blame Steve Tambellini

Jonathan Willis
November 01 2013 07:55AM

There’s a long list of things wrong with the Oilers right now, but somewhere near the top of the list has to be the state of the defence corps. With the exception of Jeff Petry (and possibly Anton Belov) there hasn’t really been a positive story on the Oilers’ blue line this season, and the only way to really address the problem is with top-pairing talent – something that can be extremely difficult to find.

It’s something the Oilers once had.

The Kevin Lowe Blue

Kevin Lowe isn’t a popular figure with the fanbase these days, and that’s understandable – whatever his exact duties with the team, he’s the one prominent figure that still has a job after years and years of losing, and it doesn’t help that he occasionally says tone-deaf things. But whatever his state of popularity, the blue line that he left Steve Tambellini in the summer of 2008 was pretty solid.

Here’s that group, then and now:

  • 1. Sheldon Souray. Played just under 25 minutes per night, adding snarl and offensive production (53 points). He’s hurt now but played 21 minutes per game for Anaheim last season and did many of the same things.
  • 2. Lubomir Visnovsky. Played 23 minutes per night and added a brilliant puck-moving presence. He did exactly the same things for the playoff-bound New York Islanders last season.
  • 3. Tom Gilbert. Played 22 minutes per night and recorded a career-best 45 points. These days he’s Florida’s number two defenceman and one of only two guys with an even-or-better plus/minus on the team.
  • 4. Denis Grebeshkov. Played 21 minutes per game, posting 39 points and a plus-12 rating. Edmonton just waived him after bringing him back from the KHL in the summer.
  • 5. Steve Staios. Played 20 minutes per game in the twilight of his career; retired these days.
  • 6. Ladislav Smid. Played 15 minutes per game in 2008-09 and is a top-four NHL defenceman for the Oilers these days.
  • 7. Jason Strudwick. Edmonton’s seventh defenceman in 2008-09 has since retired and WHAT’S THAT HE WRITES HERE!

That was an awfully good group five years ago, and (if Souray were healthy) four of those guys would still be useful NHL players. What happened?

Summers of Steve

Basically, players got moved without ever being replaced.

Sheldon Souray got hurt, clearly felt slighted by the team, and went public with his feelings. The Oilers, not wanting their impressionable young players to be unduly influenced by Souray’s opinion that management would struggle to differentiate between an arse and an elbow, first exiled the defender to the minors and then bought him out entirely. In the years since, Souray had a really good season in Dallas for pennies on the dollar and then a pretty good one in Anaheim. Essentially, the Oilers alienated a useful player whose skillset was a strong fit for the team and then flushed him for nothing.

Lubomir Visnovsky drove old-timey coach Pat Quinn nuts with crazy things like “puck movement” and “occasionally pinching in the offensive zone” so Tambellini dumped him to Anaheim in exchange for Ryan Whitney. Visnovsky’s still a useful top-four defenceman, while the much younger Whitney is now a frequent healthy scratch in Florida.

Tom Gilbert drove the fan-base crazy by being soft, so the Oilers traded him to Minnesota. Nick Schultz, the player brought in to replace him, is a third-pairing defender these days. Gilbert has had his problems – including a buyout in Minnesota after a dreadful PDO season last year – but he’s a number two defenceman with the Panthers today.

Denis Grebeshkov and Steve Staios were moved for picks in solid trades, while Ladislav Smid still plays for the team.

Add it all together, and the Oilers managed to turn a solid one-through-three group five years ago into Nick Schultz today. That isn’t the whole answer, but it’s the single-biggest reason why the defence corps is the mess it is right now.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#51 Zarny
November 01 2013, 11:04AM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

I just laugh when I see stupid comments like this. Nothing is set in stone in todays game for 6 weeks, let alone 6 years. The direction of a team today can, and often does turn on a dime.

EVERY, did you friggen hear that? Every decision is made by committee. Nothing is done without their usual pow wow round table discussions. The only thing Tambellini was allowed to do without permission was go to the bathroom.

Tambellini was brought in as a fall guy, a guy to take the bullets for the 5 difficult years ahead for this club.

Couldn't get the job done MY ARSE!

Spare me your drivel.

As I said, Tambo no doubt talked to Lowe, his assistant GM and several others...or as you put it a committee.

At the end of the day though the final decision is the GM's.

Tambo was not brought in as a fall guy. If you think any business brings in someone as key as a GM to fail you're full on retarded.

And if you had actually listened to what Lowe and Tambo etc have been saying over the last few years you'd know their rebuild was a 6 year plan.

3 years to amass some prospects and 3 years to add depth around them while they mature.

That's why unlike fans like you who wet their pants after 14 games MacT isn't panicking. He knows the Oilers had no chance of winning the Cup this year. Making the playoffs was about getting pasted in the first round for the experience.

This year won't be best case. The Oilers won't make the playoffs. That doesn't mean you chuck everything in the garbage and panic.

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#52 David S
November 01 2013, 11:08AM
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Zarny wrote:

I laugh when I see stupid comments like Tambo got his marching orders from Lowe and Katz.

That's not how it works.

Katz has been sold on a 6 yr rebuild plan by Oilers' management. He's not Jerry Jones. He doesn't make personnel decisions he just writes cheques.

Tambo and Lowe no doubt talked frequently. I'm sure Lowe offered his opinion as did the assistant GM, coaches and others; but the job and responsibility was Tambo's.

My biggest criticism of the rebuild has been surrounding a very young core of forwards with little to no depth; especially on D.

Tambo's approach seemed to be he would add the other pieces once the young kids were ready to win. I think that's what got him fired. It was obvious the Oilers needed more depth to make the playoffs last year and he did nothing.

Convincing veteran NHL players to come to Edm during a rebuild could be a major factor in that approach. Teams may have been asking for too much at the deadline last year.

Bottom line is Tambo didn't get it done.

From all accounts, Katz and Lowe agreed on a ground-up rebuild (the timing of which can be debated). If you know anything about Katz (and I do, although not in recent history), he doesn't get "sold" on anything. He's a self-made guy who makes the hard calls for a living and he's damn good at it.

That's EXACTLY how it works.

The thing with a rebuild is you can't make it look too obvious. The first step in that process is hiring a disposable (Tambo) patsy to take the heat. Funny how all Tambellini's decisions ended up with us acquiring so much high end talent through the draft, huh? It's also funny that as soon as Tambellini was fired MacT started undoing all the damage Tambellini did.

Don't think Katz has much say? He was sitting beside MacT in his private box the night we got physically obliterated (TSN panned to the duo several times during the game). Almost the NEXT DAY Steve Macintyre was on a plane headed to Edmonton.

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#53 pkam
November 01 2013, 11:08AM
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Blaming Tambo for trading Staios and Grebeshkov?

I still remembered Staios was always a step or 2 behind in his last 2 years with the Oilers. He had one year left at 2.9M. I don't know how Tambo can trade him for a rookie and a 3rd round pick. I am still laughing today at Daryl Sutter for that trade. And you blame Tambo for that?

And Grebeshkov for a 2nd is another great trade by Tambo. Remember Grebeshkov was called Garbagekove by the Oilers before he was traded? You probably forgot his signature no look backhand turnover pass in our own zone. I will be excited if MacT can get us even a 3rd or 4th round pick for him.

Remember Oilers fans were so excited when we acquired N. Schultz for Gilbert. Gilbert had 3 years left at 4.0M and Nick had 2 years left at 3.5M. The Wilds have to buy out Gibert, we may get a low draft pick for Nick by the trade deadline. We may not win, but we definitely didn't lose in that trade. And it is another mistake by Tambo?

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#54 Kr55
November 01 2013, 11:09AM
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Lowe had to OK all these moves though, so he is not excluded from blame. Tambo also had orders to stop "chasing the dream" and tank.

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#55 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
November 01 2013, 11:13AM
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@Zarny

Blow it out your arse, Captain Kool-aid. 3 GM's and 5 coaches over the last 6 yrs says otherwise. Nothing from this organization is released before it is sanitized for public consumption/the Oilers spin has been applied.

It's best a fool (like yourself) remain silent, than open his mouth and remove all doubt. Please just stop talking idiot.

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#56 pkam
November 01 2013, 11:15AM
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Zarny wrote:

Haha...no Whitney's strength now is certainly not his skating.

That's the point. In Pit and before his ankle injury skating was his strength but that isn't the player that showed up in Edm.

Hence the problem with Ryan Whitney.

If he can put up points and great +/- and help his partners to excel, why do we still focus on his skating? Isn't it obvious that he has adapted his game and get his job done.

Pronger isn't great at skating but do we care?

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#57 Tim in Kelowna
November 01 2013, 11:20AM
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The Oilers need to shift their team building strategy away from a premium on skill to a premium on hustle and dedication.

Skill is great, but it's only useful if your team is playing as a team. If your top skill guys are trying to do it individually then the team is destined to fail. On the best teams, the skill guys check their ego at the door. That isn't happening with the Oilers.

To me there are 3 problems:

1 - Management has assembled a small & soft roster with a few guys with pedigree.

2 - The team hasn't yet adapted to Eakins' game plan.

3 - The team isn't a team. (eg. When RNH gets kneed, someone on the ice needs to drop the mitts with the offending player. Period.)

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#58 Walter Sobchak
November 01 2013, 11:20AM
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It's not just the defense that's in a mess, the bottom 6 is arguable just as bad save for Gordon.

We have players playing out of position, we have skilled players trying to do things they never have done before (PK) we have a coach asking players to play tougher??

A system that had to be scratched because it's getting eaten up night after night, players that have no concept of "Swarm" or "Zone" defense a PK that horrible & a PP that's just as bad.

The only thing the Oilers are doing better this year is out shooting the opposition and those are arguable coming from weak areas.

The team itself is bad, not just the defense, we can look back and point fingers and say he's the one to blame!

Why hasn't it been fixed then?

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#59 Zarny
November 01 2013, 11:22AM
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David S wrote:

From all accounts, Katz and Lowe agreed on a ground-up rebuild (the timing of which can be debated). If you know anything about Katz (and I do, although not in recent history), he doesn't get "sold" on anything. He's a self-made guy who makes the hard calls for a living and he's damn good at it.

That's EXACTLY how it works.

The thing with a rebuild is you can't make it look too obvious. The first step in that process is hiring a disposable (Tambo) patsy to take the heat. Funny how all Tambellini's decisions ended up with us acquiring so much high end talent through the draft, huh? It's also funny that as soon as Tambellini was fired MacT started undoing all the damage Tambellini did.

Don't think Katz has much say? He was sitting beside MacT in his private box the night we got physically obliterated (TSN panned to the duo several times during the game). Almost the NEXT DAY Steve Macintyre was on a plane headed to Edmonton.

I do know something about Katz. He's smart enough to know he doesn't know hockey and leaves personnel decisions to the people he has hired.

Of course he watches games with MacT. Mike Ilitch watches Red Wing games with Ken Holland too. That's sort of what owners do.

What Katz doesn't do is pull a Jerry Jones. He isn't directing the show or meddling with coaching, scouting or personnel decisions.

It isn't funny how Tambellini's decisions ended up with the Oilers acquiring so much high-end talent. He was a GM hired by a team undertaking a rebuild. What did you expect him to do? Trade away draft picks and prospects?

It also isn't funny that MacT has started to change course. They are into year 4 of a rebuild. What do you expect him to do? Trade away some talent for draft picks and prospects.

Both GM's operated according to where the franchise was when they were hired.

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#60 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
November 01 2013, 11:23AM
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@Walter Sobchak

That blowhard Zarny thinks it's ALL Tambellinis fault. Do we pin this years boobie prize (Sammy Reinhart) on Tambellini too?

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#61 Zarny
November 01 2013, 11:27AM
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pkam wrote:

If he can put up points and great +/- and help his partners to excel, why do we still focus on his skating? Isn't it obvious that he has adapted his game and get his job done.

Pronger isn't great at skating but do we care?

Except Whitney wasn't putting up points and his +/- wasn't great. He was a minus player. And his partners weren't excelling.

Oh and Pronger was a good skater especially when he was in Edm. Tall and lanky but he could get around the ice no problem.

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#62 Zarny
November 01 2013, 11:30AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

It's not just the defense that's in a mess, the bottom 6 is arguable just as bad save for Gordon.

We have players playing out of position, we have skilled players trying to do things they never have done before (PK) we have a coach asking players to play tougher??

A system that had to be scratched because it's getting eaten up night after night, players that have no concept of "Swarm" or "Zone" defense a PK that horrible & a PP that's just as bad.

The only thing the Oilers are doing better this year is out shooting the opposition and those are arguable coming from weak areas.

The team itself is bad, not just the defense, we can look back and point fingers and say he's the one to blame!

Why hasn't it been fixed then?

Yes, skilled players trying to do things they have never done before like PK.

Sort of like Pit getting Crosby to kill penalties which he didn't do to start his career.

Every team plays their most skilled players on the PP. If you want to win the Cup your best players need to be able to kill penalties.

Crosby does it, Ovechkin does it, Toews does it, Richards does it, Bergeron does it.

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#63 Bleak Winter
November 01 2013, 11:30AM
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Ask 30 GM's in the league how they'd rebuild their team and 29 of them (we'll see what MacTavish does) would say "build from the back end out and strength down the middle". It's not a platitude, it's NHL GM canon. It is the formula to be followed. Oilers have gone a different way because they must feel they are smarter than conventional wisdom.

The tendency in Edmonton is to ignore size, strength, and defensive ability on the blue line and instead stock smaller, softer, "puck movers", who are maybe high offense, but can't take control in the defensive zone. It has been this way for years now. You'd think a rebuild initiated and masterminded by a former defenseman would have been too much about a solid defense-first blue line, but that hasn't been the case at all.

Some teams you watch and you just get the feeling the back-end is a wall that nobody's getting through. Oilers are decidedly more porous.

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#64 Zarny
November 01 2013, 11:32AM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

That blowhard Zarny thinks it's ALL Tambellinis fault. Do we pin this years boobie prize (Sammy Reinhart) on Tambellini too?

LMAO...you have bad reading comprehension.

It's not all Tambo's fault but he was the GM. He was responsible for personnel decisions.

Not Lowe. Not Katz. Not the coaches. Not his assistant GM.

That's how it works and every GM knows it.

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#65 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
November 01 2013, 11:36AM
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Oh and Pronger was a good skater especially when he was in Edm. Tall and lanky but he could get around the ice no problem.

_______________________________________________________________________________

Where do they find know-it-all tools like this, was he born yesterday? Keep tawkin jeanyous. You've obviously had more than your share of NHL 2K13.

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#66 Walter Sobchak
November 01 2013, 11:42AM
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Zarny wrote:

Yes, skilled players trying to do things they have never done before like PK.

Sort of like Pit getting Crosby to kill penalties which he didn't do to start his career.

Every team plays their most skilled players on the PP. If you want to win the Cup your best players need to be able to kill penalties.

Crosby does it, Ovechkin does it, Toews does it, Richards does it, Bergeron does it.

Well, those are what people call elite " franchise type players"

Where's the Oilers PK stand right now? Ya! That's what I thought! Keep using using them though.

I guess if you tell yourself something enough it will come true. " the PK is good!" The PK is good!"

Nope, still bad.

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#67 pkam
November 01 2013, 11:45AM
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Zarny wrote:

Except Whitney wasn't putting up points and his +/- wasn't great. He was a minus player. And his partners weren't excelling.

Oh and Pronger was a good skater especially when he was in Edm. Tall and lanky but he could get around the ice no problem.

Whitney wasn't putting up points and his +/- wasn't great before his ankle injury?

2009 3G 8A 11pts in 19 games 2010 2G 25A 27pts in 35 games (before his ankle injury)

And this wasn't good enough?

And I remember he helped Gilbert and Vandermeer to play better when paired with him.

If is after his ankle injury in 2010 that he is not the same player he was.

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#68 TayLordBalls
November 01 2013, 11:48AM
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Tambo was BRILLIANT !

If I was rebuilding a team and wanted to rip the guts out of it, then replenish it with 3 x #1 draft picks - I would hire Tambo.

He was the perfect man for the job.

Now the man is MacT and I have every bit of confidence in his abilities too.

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#69 Neal
November 01 2013, 11:49AM
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Zarny wrote:

LMAO...actually if you look at any successful franchise what they don't do is panic 14 games into a season.

As for being afraid not to make the calls...go look at Mike Milbury's career to see the folly in that thinking.

By all means tell me who you think is available right now that isn't a rental?

You think Montreal or any team with a bona fide top D wants to package someone like Subban for a younger prospect and some picks with 65 games left in the season?

Other GM's aren't going to make a trade just for sh*ts and giggles. As the Oiler GM how can you make their team better for the next 65 games?

Right On! Trades only happen when 2 GM's sign off. How many other GM's are as stupid as many of our fanbase want to think? Mac has a monumental task undoing Lowebellini's years of debacle. We have a team whose core is smaller soft forwards who think hockey is about "dangling", and a D that wants to stick check and make cute little no look passes. (Ok with the few singular exceptions). This is the mountain of sh*t Mac is looking up at and he knows it. As for Eakins, how would you like to coach this group? Bottom line is the arrows will point up but we ain't done suffering yet.

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#70 Jason Gregor
November 01 2013, 11:53AM
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Gilbert was traded because of his lack of competitiveness. Minnesota had him as a health scratch and then bought him out.

Florida is 3-7-2, and one of those reasons is because Gilbert is in their top-pair. He isn't a top pairing D-man on a winning team.

He couldn't play in Minnesota who was competitive and no other team signed him. There is a reason for that.

Would he be that much better than J.Schultz at this point? I don't think so. He would be in your 3rd pairing here, just like N.Schultz. Gilbert moves the puck better, but N.Schultz competes much harder.

Oilers traded Gilbert because his play wouldn't help you win. He can play a lot of minutes, but he doesn't help your team win. Look at how beat him out for icetime in Minnesota...

I agree losing Souray for nothing hurt a lot. Tambellini had his ego bruised by Souray calling him out and the Oilers let it get personal. Awful decision.

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#71 Walter Sobchak
November 01 2013, 11:54AM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

That blowhard Zarny thinks it's ALL Tambellinis fault. Do we pin this years boobie prize (Sammy Reinhart) on Tambellini too?

Conveniently left out the years before Tambellini & the great work done thus far.

A monster road trip coming up against heavy teams the soft parade the Oilers have had so far is going to get ugly.

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#72 Neal
November 01 2013, 11:59AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Gilbert was traded because of his lack of competitiveness. Minnesota had him as a health scratch and then bought him out.

Florida is 3-7-2, and one of those reasons is because Gilbert is in their top-pair. He isn't a top pairing D-man on a winning team.

He couldn't play in Minnesota who was competitive and no other team signed him. There is a reason for that.

Would he be that much better than J.Schultz at this point? I don't think so. He would be in your 3rd pairing here, just like N.Schultz. Gilbert moves the puck better, but N.Schultz competes much harder.

Oilers traded Gilbert because his play wouldn't help you win. He can play a lot of minutes, but he doesn't help your team win. Look at how beat him out for icetime in Minnesota...

I agree losing Souray for nothing hurt a lot. Tambellini had his ego bruised by Souray calling him out and the Oilers let it get personal. Awful decision.

True, but what happened to Nick Schultz in the time he's been here. In Minn he was a shut down guy. Not a huge player, but so positionally smart that he was tough to play against. That's why the trade was heralded as a win/win for both teams. Look at him now - what the hell happened?

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#74 pkam
November 01 2013, 12:28PM
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Neal wrote:

True, but what happened to Nick Schultz in the time he's been here. In Minn he was a shut down guy. Not a huge player, but so positionally smart that he was tough to play against. That's why the trade was heralded as a win/win for both teams. Look at him now - what the hell happened?

I still remember the Oilers fans praised him the 1st year he was here. Somehow we turned him from a reliable shutdown D to a headless chicken.

But the question is, is this Tambo's fault?

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#75 pkam
November 01 2013, 12:43PM
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TayLordBalls wrote:

Tambo was BRILLIANT !

If I was rebuilding a team and wanted to rip the guts out of it, then replenish it with 3 x #1 draft picks - I would hire Tambo.

He was the perfect man for the job.

Now the man is MacT and I have every bit of confidence in his abilities too.

Exactly. The Oilers had been trying to make the playoff at all cost before 2010. The result is we overpaid for UFAs, we lost in most trades. We have no more depth.

When we started our rebuild in 2010, we had a very bad team. I mean very very very BAD.

So after a terrible 2010-11 season, Tambo added a few players who help the team to be more competitive, but not good enough to get out of the basement. So we didn't get dominated and blow out every game, yet we secured a top 3 picks. Do you really want him to make the team better so we were out of the top 3 draft picks?

After 2 years of rebuild, we were a bit better. Our young top draft picks started to play better. We have a little depth after 2 years of better drafting and development (which we didn't have before 2010), fans got impatient thinking Tambo was too slow in the rebuild.

The fact is, Pens didn't make the playoff 5 years after they draft Whitney. Chicago didn't make the playoff 4 years after they draft Barker. Burke said we will lead the Leafs to playoff in 4 years when he took over the job and started the rebuild and he couldn't. But Oilers fans thinks 3 years is too long.

You can complain all your want, but the 4 years that we didn't make the playoff before 2010 does not help to speed up the rebuild. And our lack of good prospects at 2010 actually make it harder than the other teams.

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#76 Oiler Al
November 01 2013, 01:20PM
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Zarny wrote:

LMAO...you have bad reading comprehension.

It's not all Tambo's fault but he was the GM. He was responsible for personnel decisions.

Not Lowe. Not Katz. Not the coaches. Not his assistant GM.

That's how it works and every GM knows it.

OK, Zarny, had enough reading your crap, go get a job and doing something useful. OH, you do have a job, if thats your pic, looks like your working at a boys only strip club.

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#77 Zarny
November 01 2013, 01:22PM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

Blow it out your arse, Captain Kool-aid. 3 GM's and 5 coaches over the last 6 yrs says otherwise. Nothing from this organization is released before it is sanitized for public consumption/the Oilers spin has been applied.

It's best a fool (like yourself) remain silent, than open his mouth and remove all doubt. Please just stop talking idiot.

LMAO...oh I don't drink the kool-aid son.

I'm not in panic mode because I fully expected the Oilers would start slow this year.

It was friggin obvious to anyone who wasn't drinking the kool-aid.

Like yourself.

You should take your own advice about remaining silent because you're one of the dumbest posters I've read on here lol.

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#78 Zarny
November 01 2013, 01:24PM
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Oiler Al wrote:

OK, Zarny, had enough reading your crap, go get a job and doing something useful. OH, you do have a job, if thats your pic, looks like your working at a boys only strip club.

LMAO @ Oiler Al.

Yep...my chemical engineering degree gets me a gig paying $200K+/yr.

Tell you what...when you can pass 1st year calculus come talk to me about getting a job ;)

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#79 Zarny
November 01 2013, 01:30PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Well, those are what people call elite " franchise type players"

Where's the Oilers PK stand right now? Ya! That's what I thought! Keep using using them though.

I guess if you tell yourself something enough it will come true. " the PK is good!" The PK is good!"

Nope, still bad.

Ron...aren't the Oilers' young kids supposed to be elite franchise players?

And I didn't say the PK was good...it's bad right now.

Guess what...Crosby wasn't very good at killing penalties when Bylsma threw him out there either.

He is now though and the Oilers skilled players will get better too.

It's a painful learning curve but necessary if you want to win the Cup.

If you just want to make the playoffs in 7th place and at best win one series before getting pasted by a real contender then by all means let's roll some 3rd line players out there on the PK.

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#80 Dog Train
November 01 2013, 01:39PM
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Losing Souray for nothing hurts the most. The Visnovsky for Whitney deal would have been good if not for Whitney's health issues. Management let their pride get in the way of doing their job and paid a good player to go away. Brutal decision.

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#81 Oiler Al
November 01 2013, 01:40PM
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Team has decent puck moving D men in Petry,Schultz jr.,Belov, however there is zero toughness on the back end. Guys like Petry and Belov with size are soft players.Smid has size but his hits are really bearhugs. None is these guys clear players in front of the net, in fact 'SMid is laying face down on the ice when most of the goals are scored. No one hammers forecheckers coming into the zone, etc.Need guys like Sutton and even Fistric to lay some hurt on the backend.Ference was more of the same, good puck mover,but its a one sided game.

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#82 Oiler Al
November 01 2013, 01:45PM
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Zarny wrote:

LMAO @ Oiler Al.

Yep...my chemical engineering degree gets me a gig paying $200K+/yr.

Tell you what...when you can pass 1st year calculus come talk to me about getting a job ;)

Eng. degree, and you still can't get a decent paying job.?

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#83 Fresh Mess
November 01 2013, 02:12PM
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@Jonathan Willis

Then why is it no one else in the NHL wanted him for free? You know something the rest of the NHL GM's didn't? It's clear you think you know more than the accomplished Pat Quinn.

Oh right, the advanced stats.

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#84 pkam
November 01 2013, 02:41PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Gilbert was traded because of his lack of competitiveness. Minnesota had him as a health scratch and then bought him out.

Florida is 3-7-2, and one of those reasons is because Gilbert is in their top-pair. He isn't a top pairing D-man on a winning team.

He couldn't play in Minnesota who was competitive and no other team signed him. There is a reason for that.

Would he be that much better than J.Schultz at this point? I don't think so. He would be in your 3rd pairing here, just like N.Schultz. Gilbert moves the puck better, but N.Schultz competes much harder.

Oilers traded Gilbert because his play wouldn't help you win. He can play a lot of minutes, but he doesn't help your team win. Look at how beat him out for icetime in Minnesota...

I agree losing Souray for nothing hurt a lot. Tambellini had his ego bruised by Souray calling him out and the Oilers let it get personal. Awful decision.

Actually, Souray not just called out Tambellini, but Kevin Lowe as well, and for ridiculous reasons.

If I remember correctly, he told the public that Tambellini never checked how he was doing while he was on LTIR. And at the same time, he said that Kevin Lowe was forcing him to play when he was not fully recovered. So when Lowe was forcing him to play before he was ready, but when Tambellini didn't check with him, he was not happy?

I heard he asked for a trade and getting impatient and Tambellini was too patient because he didn't want to lose in the trade. So Souray bad mouth the management to vent his frustration.

What do you expect to happen to you if you bad mouth your management in the public? Souray never apologized even once. That showed how much he wanted to be an Oilers.

And seriously, Kevin Lowe overpaid to sign him at 5.4M. it is already difficult to trade that contract, and he just made it even harder with that kind of attitude.

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#85 Walter Sobchak
November 01 2013, 02:48PM
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Zarny wrote:

Ron...aren't the Oilers' young kids supposed to be elite franchise players?

And I didn't say the PK was good...it's bad right now.

Guess what...Crosby wasn't very good at killing penalties when Bylsma threw him out there either.

He is now though and the Oilers skilled players will get better too.

It's a painful learning curve but necessary if you want to win the Cup.

If you just want to make the playoffs in 7th place and at best win one series before getting pasted by a real contender then by all means let's roll some 3rd line players out there on the PK.

Ok, keep believing that throwing RNH -Hall - Eberle & Hemsky out on the PK will somehow miraculously turn it around at some point.

I know what!!! Why don't the Oilers revisit last years lines & throw Gagner -Hemsky & Yakupov out there again, cause with that learning curve and all I'm sure they won't be anywhere near a run away train in the defensive zone again!

For the record the Oilers have zero franchise players.

Good yes, not franchise good.

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#86 Micbilly
November 01 2013, 03:14PM
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How about the coach that has been instructing the players all this time? Does that coach ever get mentioned as part of the problem???? Sorry what was that Steve Smith...

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#87 pkam
November 01 2013, 03:47PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Ok, keep believing that throwing RNH -Hall - Eberle & Hemsky out on the PK will somehow miraculously turn it around at some point.

I know what!!! Why don't the Oilers revisit last years lines & throw Gagner -Hemsky & Yakupov out there again, cause with that learning curve and all I'm sure they won't be anywhere near a run away train in the defensive zone again!

For the record the Oilers have zero franchise players.

Good yes, not franchise good.

So if Hall is not franchise good player, is there a better player than Hall in the 2010 draft who can be a franchise good player?

How about RNH in 2011 and Yak in 2012?

If there is no franchise good player better than our draft in those years, is it the management's fault?

Even after drafting very high for 4 years, we still have holes in our roster and very little depth in forwards, do we have the asset to trade for a franchise player when one is available, and will he want to come here?

All I want to point out is how bad we were in 2010 that after rebuild for 3 years we are no better than a bubble team.

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#88 MessyEH!
November 01 2013, 03:51PM
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pkam wrote:

So if Hall is not franchise good player, is there a better player than Hall in the 2010 draft who can be a franchise good player?

How about RNH in 2011 and Yak in 2012?

If there is no franchise good player better than our draft in those years, is it the management's fault?

Even after drafting very high for 4 years, we still have holes in our roster and very little depth in forwards, do we have the asset to trade for a franchise player when one is available, and will he want to come here?

All I want to point out is how bad we were in 2010 that after rebuild for 3 years we are no better than a bubble team.

I do not think that word means, what you think it means.

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#89 pkam
November 01 2013, 03:52PM
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@Neal

"and a D that wants to stick check and make cute little no look passes"

That sounds like Gresbehkov. So are you suggesting that MacT is no different than the previous management?

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#90 **
November 01 2013, 04:28PM
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Whitney had the potential to be a top 2 d man. Solid move, until he got hurt. This is the one move Tambellini did right and still destiny screwed it up for him.

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#92 Zarny
November 01 2013, 05:41PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Ok, keep believing that throwing RNH -Hall - Eberle & Hemsky out on the PK will somehow miraculously turn it around at some point.

I know what!!! Why don't the Oilers revisit last years lines & throw Gagner -Hemsky & Yakupov out there again, cause with that learning curve and all I'm sure they won't be anywhere near a run away train in the defensive zone again!

For the record the Oilers have zero franchise players.

Good yes, not franchise good.

No there won't be any miracles.

They'll simply learn and be better just like Crosby.

And yes it could take them half a season to figure it out. Very possible. It's not about this year. It's about winning the Cup in 3-4 years.

Killing penalties isn't rocket science but you don't get to be world class at it overnight. It's not a coincidence the best penalty killers in the world are also skilled players.

None of the Oilers have proven themselves to be a franchise player but Hall is close. Nuge is on track and Yakupov has played all of 60 games in the NHL. Can't say one way or the other.

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#93 Fresh Mess
November 01 2013, 05:52PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I get the same line when I critiqued anything, even when I'm right. I assume you nod along with Doug MacLean when he talks, and Mike Milbury too - after all, they were once NHL general managers.

As for Pat Quinn, if he wasn't the worst head coach in Oilers history he was *this* close to it. If you think it's beyond the pail to criticize him because of his illustrious career that's your call, but you won't be talking much about hockey in that case.

For my part, I have no trouble saying on the one hand that he's one of the all-time great coaches and saying on the other hand that ripping Visnovsky as "Barbara Ann Scott" was an incredibly stupid thing to do.

Well yes, I do think Milbury or Maclean know a hell of a lot more about the game than you or certainly me. Doesn't mean I always agree with their judgement.

And was Quinn the worst coach, or was he just saddled with the worst team ever assembled in franchise history? He did not have the benefit of icing Hall, Eberle, RNH etc. His core was a past-best Ethan Moreau and Shawn Horcoff. That teams elite scorers were a rookie Ganger and Ales Hemsky (lol).

By the way, how did things go after they got rid of Quinn and brought in Renney? Kreuger? Now Eakins with a supposedly much better team?

My interpretation of your remarks was that you were suggesting Quinn was a foolish old man, which I found to be incorrect and disrespectful. Fair game to be critical but references to age related feebleness are offside. Maybe I was reading something that wasn't there.

I will submit that this team would be much better off now had they fired Lowe et all and made Quinn GM to manage this 'rebuild'

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#94 Neal
November 01 2013, 06:11PM
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pkam wrote:

"and a D that wants to stick check and make cute little no look passes"

That sounds like Gresbehkov. So are you suggesting that MacT is no different than the previous management?

Nah, Grebishkov was quite good in 2008-2009 then was lousy in 2009-2010. I don't blame Mac for giving him a try because of the crap D we have. He knew the guy, was cheap, and cost us nothing in players. Didn't work, so he's gone. It was low risk. At least he tried. He also got Belov under similar circumstances, who looks good. My point was that I think Mac sees the enormity of the problem he inherited, and it would be unrealistic to expect him to fix it in the 6 months he's been GM.

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#95 greg
November 01 2013, 06:23PM
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at the 2012 draft we should of traded the 1st overall pick (nail yakupov aka Patrik Stefan 2.0)

trade him to montreal straight up for PK subban

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#96 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
November 01 2013, 06:27PM
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Oiler Al wrote:

Eng. degree, and you still can't get a decent paying job.?

Zarny thinks he's the only one on here who has a job. I call BS on that engineering gig though. After all the crap he's floated out there today, nobody in their right mind would give a teet like him a job.

Don't worry about him Al, he's never hired anyone in his life. He's all sheet show this guy.

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#97 Clarence Oveur
November 01 2013, 06:46PM
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If you believe that Jeff Petry plays soft, the game of hockey is lost on you.

Find something else. That's about all I have to say.

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#98 Rod from Viking
November 01 2013, 08:36PM
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@Zarny

Katz was very involved in the decision to draft Yakapov, the scouting staff and management wanted to draft Ryan Murray.

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#99 misfit
November 02 2013, 12:56AM
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DrunkGuyTy wrote:

Probably worth noting that the Visnovsky for Whitney trade was a solid deal. Whitney was a younger version of Vis. and racking up the points until he toe-picked and his career went in the toilet due to his ankle injury.

The injury thing is a weak excuse. Whitney has never, at any point in their respective careers, been better than Visnovsky. And the contracts they were signed to at the time of the trade had them becoming UFAs at the exact same time, so the age argument is irrelevant too.

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#100 Wax Man Riley
November 02 2013, 01:44PM
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Zarny wrote:

LMAO @ Oiler Al.

Yep...my chemical engineering degree gets me a gig paying $200K+/yr.

Tell you what...when you can pass 1st year calculus come talk to me about getting a job ;)

I PASSED FIRST YEAR CALCULUS!!!* CAN I HAVE A JOB??

*took me 2 tries, but I did it!

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