The Coach

Jonathan Willis
November 14 2013 09:32AM

On virtually any other NHL team, Dallas Eakins would be out of a job right now. A 4-14-2 start is a fireable offence for most NHL teams, but here Eakins has a protective barrier formed by the ghosts of Criag MacTavish and Pat Quinn and Tom Renney and Ralph Krueger.

The Path Forward

It isn’t too early to think about firing the coach. It’s just too early to actually fire the coach. Edmonton has fired coaches so many times without results (on that note, wouldn’t it be nice to go back two years and let Tom Renney keep coaching the team?) and it’s time to go a different route.

This is one of the things Craig MacTavish is here for. In previous years, Steve Tambellini proved remarkably unwilling to address simple team needs (such as fourth line centre). MacTavish is already one up on Tambellini because he’s been willing to try plugging in minor leaguers (recall Mark Arcobello rotting on the farm while Chris VandeVelde and Ryan Smyth failed as fourth line centres) but that’s not enough.

It’s trade time. And not a ‘move Ladislav Smid for futures’ trade. A trade that actually brings in NHL talent. Maybe it’s a defenceman who can play in the top-three. Maybe it’s a big forward who can play in the top-six. Maybe it’s a good third-line wing so that Boyd Gordon doesn’t have to drag around Jesse Joensuu and Ryan Jones. I don’t know what’s out there, or how much what’s out there costs to acquire; I do know that this team isn’t getting the job done and Dallas Eakins seems like he’s out of answers.

Normally, when the coach is out of answers the coach pays the price. In this case, so many other coaches have been out of answers that it’s time to try giving the man behind the bench some different pieces.

Lousy NHL Debuts

Some very good coaches have had some very bad starts to their careers, generally because opportunity arises with bad (or expansion) teams. Here’s a brief list of some very good coaches who started out on the wrong foot:

  • Scotty Bowman: 4-13-2 with St. Louis
  • Dick Irvin: 2-6-4 with Chicago
  • Ron Wilson: 4-13-2 with Anaheim
  • Lindy Ruff: 5-10-4 with Buffalo
  • Ken Hitchcock: 10-18-8 with Dallas

Naturally, I’m not saying ‘oh man, Dallas Eakins is Scotty Bowman!’ That would be crazy. What I am saying is that it’s possible that the Oilers will end up benefiting from their (essentially) forced patience with Eakins. Of course, it’s just as possible that 20 games from now nothing has changed and Eakins is out the door, but it’s at least plausible that the coach can right the ship.

So, About That Trade…

It has to be coming, and it has to be meaningful.

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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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#1 Pharmboy
November 14 2013, 09:36AM
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Agreed, patience is important here, it is interesting to note that during preseason when our lineup was about equal in terms of quality with the opposition, the team had a decent record, so maybe it isn't all the new systems and motivational tactics. Big trade required. Additionally, I love Ryan Smyth but it is time, it's getting sadder to watch each game, a horrible ending to an otherwise admirable career.

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#2 Impartial Oilers Fan
November 14 2013, 11:50AM
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Can any of you Lowe haters actually give any concrete evidence as to exactly what he has been responsible for in his tenure as President that has been so deplorable? Rather than, the Oilers suck, so obviously lets blame anything with a name to it; like the "Boys on the Bus" or the swarm defensive system.

Also, please explain what his job description and requirements are. Until, you can prove what he has done, while he was the President, compared to what Tambellini was responsible for during his tenure as GM, please quit making assumptions and accusations. It reeks of desperation, frustration and generally uninformed shouting at a scapegoat.

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#3 Ike Hilliard
November 14 2013, 12:17PM
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Many of you in here sound worse than a nagging wife…

"Fire the coach"

"Fire Lowe" (actually agree with that)

"Fire McT"

"Trade Nail"

"Trade this…do that"

Its easy to sit here outside and criticize but where are all your ideas or suggestions??? Fire Eakins fine but who are candidates to replace him??

"We need trades" ya we do but i rarely see suggestions or ideas from the bunch who sit here and complain about things….

Do us all a favour and jump off the ship…maybe we can get rid of enough dead weight to turn this thing around both on the team and off!!

Just saying….

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#4 GregDonaldson
November 14 2013, 03:59PM
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Answer me this angry Oilers fans...

Tell me exactly what it accomplishes by firing Kevin Lowe?

Do you honestly think all of the team's struggles and problems will magically be cured as soon as Lowe is turfed?

You so badly need your scapegoat and your pound of flesh that you don't care how ridiculous you all sound.

Firing Lowe solves nothing, he is not going anywhere, GET OVER IT.

Go back to booing Yakupov and chase him out of town just as you did with Jason Arnott among others. The typical Oilers fan will want that "spoiled brat" Yakupov ran out of town on the first thing smoking but those same exact typical Oilers fans will lament how they don't have and need a sniper like Yakupov when he is gone.

I love the Oilers, I despise most other Oiler fans, you give the rest of us a bad name. Yes I am talking to you the ones who would yell shoot at Hemsky when he wasn't even in a position to shoot. The ones who said Horcoff was useless. The ones who bashed Penner while he was here and wanted him bought out but then turned around and complained that his trade return wasn't enough. The ones who live to bitch, whine and complain about every little thing.

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#5 Ben37
November 14 2013, 09:39AM
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Maybe it's time to stick to one coach for a little while. It's similar to Alex Smith with the 49'ers who had 6 offensive coordinators in his first 7 years. He spent more time learning the new guys name than he did the playbook.

This is what is happening to Hall, Eberle and the group that is considered the core. Every year they have a new coach and new system to learn and they never actually get to fully learn and play in a system before another one is brought it.

Perhaps it is time to have some management stability.

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#7 Dave2
November 14 2013, 02:22PM
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Bleak Winter wrote:

It's probably not going to get better under Eakins, but it's not going to get better under any of the stop-gaps we could replace him with either. That's what we're limited to now. Stop-gaps.

Who is your ideal coach to right the ship? Now explain how does that guy even want this job? We aren't in a position to hire a saviour-level coach here. We fire Eakins and I guarantee you that we get either Buchberger or Smith as interim head coach. Do you want that? Absolutely best case scenario MacT steps back in. Todd Nelson would be smarter to stay in Oklahoma and wait for a real NHL team to poach him.

The guy who would take this job now is likely not a guy who is capable of leading us out of this on his own. Anybody who is good enough has much better options for their career.

MacT can be the coach.

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#8 RealFakeDiesel
November 14 2013, 02:23PM
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If Rob Ford can apologize and continue to govern Toronto, could we not man up and say sorry to Ralph Kruger giving him back head coaching duties and force him to keep Eakens on staff as an assistant ready to take the role in the future?

Outlandish, I know. But that way there is a consistency for the young guys and still a change.

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#9 DSF
November 14 2013, 09:45AM
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Jon, I'm not so sure the Oilers will do much of anything.

The more I think about the Smid trade, the more convinced I become that it was merely a move to pare $3.5M from the payroll...dollars that go right to the bottom line.

If so, I would imagine that was a Katz mandated move once he saw that there was zero chance of getting any playoff revenue.

If there are any further moves made, I would expect they will be in the same vein...likely moving Hemsky and Nick Schultz (if they can be moved) for prospects or picks.

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#10 Spydyr
November 14 2013, 10:35AM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

Too many coaches have been turfed. Even if Eakins does a few things that I disagree with, he isn't the problem. In fact, changing coaches every year likely IS one of the major problems. So if I'm the Oilers then I'm sticking with Eakins.

What I WOULD do is fire Bucky and Smith then give Eakins Carte Blanche to hire the staff he needs to be successful. These ex Oilers have survived a couple coaching changes. It's ridiculous.

So following your logic if you have three flat tires in a row and the fourth goes flat. You will continue to drive around on the fourth flat tire?

It does not matter how many coaches have been fired in the past. If your coach goes "flat" you replace him.

Eakin's has a Nail and is almost out of air.

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#11 Walter Sobchak
November 14 2013, 10:05AM
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JW all those coaches were already successful at some point in there careers before they had bad starts. Eakins has no sample size.

I don't care how many coaches have been through here!!

Eakins cannot be allowed to continue this gong show!!

Two 5-3 and he never put Yakupov on one! The guy is holding a grudge, how do you not put the purest shooter on a 5-3??

It cost the Oilers the game!!!

He hasn’t done very much right since he got the job.

Allowing this to continue is going to cost MacTavish and Lowe their jobs, in the interest of self-preservation I would fire Eakins after the San Jose game in which the Oilers get throttled 6-1, if MacTavish has any kind of foresight

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#12 Primo
November 14 2013, 11:27AM
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As a Flames fan and born and raised Calgarian I'm embarrassed at having the Oilers part of our great Province. Thank goodness the Flames sweater has the proud Alberta logo. Can you imagine that logo on an Oiler jersey?

My greater concern is that the Oilers will once again gain another top draft if not first overall and also be in line with next years McDavid sweepstakes. What a tragedy. All these young stars being forced to play for the Oilers with shattered dreams and a future of endless losing.

Wonder if Bettman should consider some major rule changes around future draft processes to immediately end this embarrassment ? !

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#13 dave
November 14 2013, 11:38AM
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Eakins was given a 3 yr contract. He's not going anywhere.

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#14 Impartial Oilers Fan
November 14 2013, 12:04PM
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@DoubleDIon

Well, if you're cherry picking items from Lowe's tenure as GM, then you should also include the trade to get Pronger from the Blues, the trade to get Roloson, the trade to get Visnovsky, etc.

However, as I stated, what EXACTLY has he done as a President, that has effected the Oilers roster and results in a negative way. Not his comments, not his demeanor, just his actions as President! I'm not saying there isn't any, but I'd like to hear exact details rather than speculations because your frustrated and want to stomp your feet because your hard earned money bought a jersey.

So go ahead, someone inform me. I want to hear it!

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#15 LOIL99
November 14 2013, 12:08PM
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DoubleDIon wrote:

Do you forget that Lowe was the GM that presided over the team during the sinking of the franchise? His comments about Bobby Ryan, Penner offersheet, Pronger trade, Weight trade, horrible draft record, not signing Glencross and Brodziak. I could list more of his moves as GM. I also think he had his fingers in Tambo's pie too, but there is no proof of that. The thing that bugs me the most is his lack of accountability and comments in the media. Two-tiered fans, six rings and general stupidity.

Half the moves you mentioned were good moves!!

Penner scored 20+ goals in 3 of 4 years on the Oilers.

Pronger got us, almost singlehandedly, to Game 7 of SCF. And then demanded a trade.

Glencross wanted too much money, he signed for less in Calgary.

He drafted Eberle, Gagner, Petry, Hemsky...

Don't get me wrong, I think Lowe needs to move on, but your examples of reasons why are hilarious.

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#16 I Dont care anymore
November 14 2013, 11:52AM
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Sell the team. Move it out of here. I will now imagine myself back in the late sixties and early seventies. No pro team in edmonton. And I was happy watching Oilking hockey

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#17 2004Z06
November 14 2013, 12:17PM
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birdieman wrote:

Fire the Coach really how can any one make decisions with Lowe & mCtavish looking over his shoulder. I believe Tom Renny was not a yes man and had to go I along with many others feel it is time to let go of the 80's with X oiler players and start fresh they (Lowe) has added Messier to the fold as an advisor. Tom renny was very well liked by fans and players. This has gone on for to many years.

Frustrated

I love the old boys club analogies....I have news for you all. Many teams have old boys clubs.....Colorado, Chicago, Philly, Pittsburgh NYR and soon to be Buffalo.

That argument is getting really old.

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#18 $2H
November 14 2013, 04:16PM
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you're a clown - and probably worse at your "job" than Ryan Rishaug is at his. I wish you'd both go to Vancouver already..

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#19 Matt Henderson
November 14 2013, 10:02AM
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Too many coaches have been turfed. Even if Eakins does a few things that I disagree with, he isn't the problem. In fact, changing coaches every year likely IS one of the major problems. So if I'm the Oilers then I'm sticking with Eakins.

What I WOULD do is fire Bucky and Smith then give Eakins Carte Blanche to hire the staff he needs to be successful. These ex Oilers have survived a couple coaching changes. It's ridiculous.

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#20 nick
November 14 2013, 02:54PM
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Hey, remember that 5 year old kid that yelled at Eakins "You Suck" He was right, give that kid a prize.

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#21 Zarny
November 14 2013, 03:51PM
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The coach isn't the problem.

I'm sick of fans talking about the "swarm" like Eakins reinvented the wheel. 1/3 of the league does basically the exact same thing.

The problem is the team on the ice. It simply isn't very good. I don't care if the Oilers had Scotty Bowman coaching they'd still have a losing record.

As JW pointed out yesterday, the Oilers drafted some talented kids as step 1 of the rebuild and figured they were done.

That's like framing a house and calling it a mansion with no plumbing, electricity or even a roof.

Hall, Eberle, Nuge, Yak and Schultz a Stanley Cup contender does not make and there are no quick solutions.

The bold moves required aren't likely available 20 games into a season. The Oilers are looking to trade picks and prospects but the teams they are trading with still have another 60 games and hopefully playoffs this year.

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#22 Rick
November 14 2013, 09:43AM
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The Common denominator throughout the head coach carousel Is Steve Smith and Bucky. At what point do you hold these two responsible for some of these problems.These kids are NOT receiving good mentoring from these two coaches.

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#23 godot10
November 14 2013, 09:44AM
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Eakins's Corsi and Fenwick closed ticked below Krueger's last night, even with a mostly eastly conference schedule.

Against five common opponents (out of six), Eakins Corsi close is 30-something-percent.

By looking at shot metrics, Corsi or Fenwick, and not goal differential, or won-loss record, one eliminates a lot of the effects of randomness, i.e. save percentage, shooting percentage.

30-something percent against common Western Conference opponents and Detroit...that is abysmal coaching.

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#24 Rama Lama
November 14 2013, 10:26AM
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It looks like Mac T threw the baby out with the bath water.........I'm certain it was not premeditated. He should have kept Krueger and brought in others to mark the x and o's.

It's not that Dallas Eakins does not have any potential.........just like bringing in young hockey players and teaching them the professional game so too should have Eakins........maybe an assistant coach to start off with?

We were all led to believe that he had multiple systems and it now appears he has NO systems.......or at least no NHL systems. HIs Ego, has prevented him from admitting he does not know what to do next.

Here is an idea Dallas, how about run-and-gun hockey. If we have all this offence, why try and teach them defence so we can win games 1 to 0 or 2 to 1? Since no players including the veterans can understand your systems, why not try something bold?

Bring on Brent Sutter as the coach and hire Wayne Gretzky as an advisor for offence.

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#25 bdaZZler
November 14 2013, 02:35PM
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Usually not one to create trade offers but would this be a viable option for both teams:

Hemsky/N. Schultz/ 1st Rounder in 2014 in exchange for Simmonds/Coburn/Meszaros....

Time to overpay on some trades...I would love to see management overpay to pry Steve Ott out of Buffalo...Poor man version of Clarkson who we offered the world too a summer ago....

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#26 Randaman
November 14 2013, 05:57PM
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nick wrote:

Hey, remember that 5 year old kid that yelled at Eakins "You Suck" He was right, give that kid a prize.

And people wonder why kids today have no respect. They have been learning from people like you obviously. Grow up

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#27 HOFFFF
November 14 2013, 09:43AM
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Pharmboy wrote:

Agreed, patience is important here, it is interesting to note that during preseason when our lineup was about equal in terms of quality with the opposition, the team had a decent record, so maybe it isn't all the new systems and motivational tactics. Big trade required. Additionally, I love Ryan Smyth but it is time, it's getting sadder to watch each game, a horrible ending to an otherwise admirable career.

"Patience is important here...." Are you serious?

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#28 ubermiguel
November 14 2013, 10:35AM
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Time to commit to a coach and let him bring in his own guys (although Nelson has earned an NHL spot, Associate Coach perhaps?). It's flippingly obvious the coach is not and has never been the problem.

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#29 Rama Lama
November 14 2013, 04:04PM
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So sad to hear the ringing endorsement of Eakins.........it's very difficult for Mac T to admit that he made a mistake.

For all those people who continue to say it's all about our players and that none of them are any good, exactly where do we find good players?? Is there a factory where you can acquire these guys? No they are developed.......by the organization over a number of years, unless you are the Edmonton Oilers.

What Mac T should have said, is we are going to develop our players, and move them along slowly including time well spent in the AHL. No more drafting players and then developing them in the NHL. Every player has to prove themsleves in the minors........now I would be totally impressed by that statement.

Stating he is willing to trade what will prove to be another first-first rounder, is just plain stupid. Are we suppose to believe that he can turn this magic bean into a player/players, that can solidify our team? What so we can find another midget like Ference??

Sorry Mac T you will and can do better than that!

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#30 Spydyr
November 14 2013, 09:52AM
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Rick wrote:

I agree Smith and Bucky out and Nelson In .That would be a great place to start.

You know where a great place to start would be? At the top fire Lowe and let his replacement pick his guys. Hopefully he is smart enough not to hire all rookies and his buddies.

How can it get any worse?

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#31 -30-
November 14 2013, 10:32AM
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I don't see any bold moves until the trade deadline.

Our assests (players) are at an all time low. Why lose value on trades this early in the season when tradeable assets like Eberle will be worth substantially more to a team looking for his skills to make a playoff push?

The makeup of the team will change. It's been stated over and over again here that the top lines are too much of the same thing.

Eberle is gone before the season's end.

-30-

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#32 **
November 14 2013, 10:43AM
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Well If Dallas Eakins is ran out of town at least we know he'll be "fit" for it.

Let the trashing being.

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#33 Rama Lama
November 14 2013, 11:01AM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

Too many coaches have been turfed. Even if Eakins does a few things that I disagree with, he isn't the problem. In fact, changing coaches every year likely IS one of the major problems. So if I'm the Oilers then I'm sticking with Eakins.

What I WOULD do is fire Bucky and Smith then give Eakins Carte Blanche to hire the staff he needs to be successful. These ex Oilers have survived a couple coaching changes. It's ridiculous.

Just HOW do you know that Eakins is not the problem?? By any basic metric one can see that every part of our team has regressed under Eakins.

Not one player has improved under Eakins......not one. Just because we are all fatigued with coaching changes does not mean we hired the right guy...........just maybe we had the right guy all along in Krueger and hiring Eakins was a bad mistake?

Keep an open mind.

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#34 RealFakeDiesel
November 14 2013, 02:25PM
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Also, i had a dream where the Oilers were down 3 nothing but Mid game Mactavish came out of the zamboni gate waving to the crowd walking towards the bench and stood next to Dallas leading the Oilers on to victory

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#35 DoubleJ
November 14 2013, 09:51AM
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How about getting rid of Smith and Bucky. That would show some signs of accountability.

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#36 DoubleJ
November 14 2013, 09:51AM
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How about getting rid of Smith and Bucky. That would show some signs of accountability.

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#37 Walter Sobchak
November 14 2013, 10:14AM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

Too many coaches have been turfed. Even if Eakins does a few things that I disagree with, he isn't the problem. In fact, changing coaches every year likely IS one of the major problems. So if I'm the Oilers then I'm sticking with Eakins.

What I WOULD do is fire Bucky and Smith then give Eakins Carte Blanche to hire the staff he needs to be successful. These ex Oilers have survived a couple coaching changes. It's ridiculous.

You honestly believe Eakins has full authority in decision making?

Then explain why players such as Gagner - Schultz - Hall - Eberle - have not sat one minute, even benched a period?

Ether Eakins is talking out his ass about accountability or he was told to keep playing certain players.

Not to mention his systems have failed both offensively and defensively, poor player decisions, poor PK, poor PP, poor goalie decisions, he was actually bullied into letting his backup goalie return to the net.

His shot differential is league worse, his goal for and goals against are the worst. THIS IS the worst Oiler team ever!!!! That says a lot when Pat Flippen Quinn is a better coach!!!!!

What actually qualifies this guy as a good coach? What qualifies him as a coach that should stay? Has he earned the right to stay!

MacTavish made a poor decision, it’s that easy, that simple.

It is the coach, keeping him in doesn’t make the team better!!

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#38 pkam
November 14 2013, 10:16AM
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Ultimate Warrior wrote:

Assistant GM from Pittsburgh is available for hire. I would love to see Jason Botterill in Edmonton, since he understands what a winning team looks like.

Oh wait, doesn't meet criteria 1: Being an Old Oiler

Dallas Eakins is an Old Oiler?

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#39 DSF
November 14 2013, 10:17AM
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Lochenzo wrote:

Sadly, that's the only thing that brings me some satisfaction at this point. Dreaming of a future Oiler blueline of J Schultz, Klefbom, Nurse...and Ekblad.

Have you seen J. Schultz play defense?

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#40 Cody anderson
November 14 2013, 10:33AM
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I am surprised to be saying this because I was against firing the last 3 coaches and then after hearing Eakins talk at the start of the year I thought he might actually bring a more consistent effort out of the guys.

I think he is terrible and would be fine with MacT not only firing him but taking over the bench for the remainder of the year. Another change of coaches is the last thing this group needs, but I don't see things improving much with Eakins.

His player usage and lack of line matching is not helping a team that is already lacking balance and competitiveness.

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#41 Al Low
November 14 2013, 10:37AM
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To me, the Ralph Krueger firing was ill-advised. He actually had Edmonton in a playoff contention last year until the wheels fell off in the last month. There was actual progress and hope for the team to do better this year. From what I read, the young stars of the Oilers actually respected him and it looked like their was some direction to the team. Now it's obvious to the most hardcore fan that there is no direction to the team. I don't blame guys like Yak for being frustrated. The body language of the team does not lie. Dallas Eakins may turn into a good coach at some point but it won't be here. MacT's biggest error was not giving Krueger a bit more time with this group. His itch to do something "bold" like fire the coach who, in my mind, did a decent job essentially helped cost his team this season. Sure the pieces don't fit and the team's too small and soft to really do any damage but they shouldn't be this bad either. For all of his MBA hype, MacT doesn't seem to get that continuity is important in a successful organization, at least building some semblence of it. Eakins wasn't ready for this position and it shows on a nightly basis. He's getting outcoached every night. And, so far, MacT is getting schooled in the NHL when it comes the being a manager.

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#42 Cynic
November 14 2013, 01:38PM
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The Oilers would be playing much better hockey if only the didn't have to toil in such an outmoded barn. I'm positive things will be better with a new arena.

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#43 Season Ticket Guy
November 14 2013, 02:19PM
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Ike Hilliard wrote:

Many of you in here sound worse than a nagging wife…

"Fire the coach"

"Fire Lowe" (actually agree with that)

"Fire McT"

"Trade Nail"

"Trade this…do that"

Its easy to sit here outside and criticize but where are all your ideas or suggestions??? Fire Eakins fine but who are candidates to replace him??

"We need trades" ya we do but i rarely see suggestions or ideas from the bunch who sit here and complain about things….

Do us all a favour and jump off the ship…maybe we can get rid of enough dead weight to turn this thing around both on the team and off!!

Just saying….

Sadly I have already paid for my tickets. Selling them is a pain in the butt. The only people buying tickets are the fans of the visitors.

At the game last nite the only people cheering were the Fiddler family and the person that won the 50/50.

3 games in a row with 0 goals? So everything should remain the same? The "execs" make a lot of $$ it is up to them to figure this out and fix it. Up to now, they don't seem to have a solution. If I told my boss for 6 months straight that I don't know how to fix things at my job, I'd be gone. To do that for 8 years? No one in ANY job is given that leeway. OK - there is one - Pres of the Oil.

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#44 Pucker
November 14 2013, 02:33PM
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I can't believe Eakins is saddled with Smith and Bucky. If they aren't working appropriately under his guidance, he must have the authority to fire them. If that's not the case, then he made a really silly decision in taking the job.

I don't know if I support Eakins but he is a rookie coach that was introduced to the league with lousy goaltending and a bunch of players with little experience.

I'm as frustrated as anyone but the season is shot. Perhaps they can eventually get a respectful streak going. Maybe not but might as well give Eakins more rope.

. . . that being said, I'm sure glad I don't own season tickets. I do get to quite a few games but I'm not wasting my time and money till they start to look like they can turn it around.

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#45 The Real Scuba Steve
November 14 2013, 05:05PM
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GregDonaldson wrote:

Answer me this angry Oilers fans...

Tell me exactly what it accomplishes by firing Kevin Lowe?

Do you honestly think all of the team's struggles and problems will magically be cured as soon as Lowe is turfed?

You so badly need your scapegoat and your pound of flesh that you don't care how ridiculous you all sound.

Firing Lowe solves nothing, he is not going anywhere, GET OVER IT.

Go back to booing Yakupov and chase him out of town just as you did with Jason Arnott among others. The typical Oilers fan will want that "spoiled brat" Yakupov ran out of town on the first thing smoking but those same exact typical Oilers fans will lament how they don't have and need a sniper like Yakupov when he is gone.

I love the Oilers, I despise most other Oiler fans, you give the rest of us a bad name. Yes I am talking to you the ones who would yell shoot at Hemsky when he wasn't even in a position to shoot. The ones who said Horcoff was useless. The ones who bashed Penner while he was here and wanted him bought out but then turned around and complained that his trade return wasn't enough. The ones who live to bitch, whine and complain about every little thing.

Wow another blogger employed by the Edmonton Oilers to doing PR on other sites, go back to EdmontonOilers.com.

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#46 Rama Lama
November 14 2013, 06:11PM
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@Zarny

A lot of people writing in are suggesting we have little talent or very top-end talent..........I would suggest we have the most talent but do not have the development mentality or systems to properly develop our talent.

I for one would have never allowed any of our top draft choices to play on the Oilers until they played at least on AHL season. Or better yet use the Detroit model and let the cream rise to the top and then on the basis of merit promote as needed.

THis way we would not have to develop players like Yaks in the bigs! By doing so we avoid what we have right now.........no progress, and continuous re-building.

Either was is painful but the Detroit model eventually you get to the promised land. With our model we have to wander in the desert for 40 years!

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#47 Last one out, turn off the lights.
November 14 2013, 09:36AM
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Well. If this keeps up, the team will be playing in front of your said "ghosts".

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#48 camdog
November 14 2013, 09:40AM
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Pharmboy wrote:

Agreed, patience is important here, it is interesting to note that during preseason when our lineup was about equal in terms of quality with the opposition, the team had a decent record, so maybe it isn't all the new systems and motivational tactics. Big trade required. Additionally, I love Ryan Smyth but it is time, it's getting sadder to watch each game, a horrible ending to an otherwise admirable career.

You do realize that in the preseason all of the teams we faced started their AHL rosters?

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#49 madjam
November 14 2013, 09:52AM
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With a rather pathetic defence (underspending) and goalies that have to many off nights , along with a diminutive forward group that lacks physicality , one can hardly lay fault with the coach to much degree . MacT. , like Tams , needs to give the coach more viable NHL talents to work with -not more low grade ones or AHL fillins . Our team is a reflection of what MacT. has not done to change our fortunes . I suppose Lowe is responsible as any for that as well .

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#50 Bryzarro World
November 14 2013, 10:22AM
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Is it too late to let Katz move the team still? We'd have a good team in here and the best part, NO KLOWE!!

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