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.

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, 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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#151 Spydyr
November 14 2013, 11:04AM
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#165 Spydyr September 18 2013, 07:05AM

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3 props

Eakins will make it all better. Just like the three coaches in three years before him. It is different this time.

Enjoy your kool-aid.

Unless the players buy in Eakinis will be gone in short order also.

Read the whole thread if you have time.

http://oilersnation.com/2013/9/17/gdb-6-jetting-to-winnipeg

Some people saw this coming.

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#152 Bennyboy
November 14 2013, 11:06AM
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I really think that the coaching philosophy Is the exact opposite of what we have for a team. We aren't physical grinders. It's a run and gun team. Leopards don't change spots.

So keep the philosophy if you intend to replace most of the team.

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#153 **
November 14 2013, 11:09AM
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Compare Colorado and Edmonton. VEry similar make up, similar shortcomings up to last season. BOth rookie coaches. What is making the difference?, if that answer can be adequately answered then the Oilers can begin to turn this around.

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#154 Spydyr
November 14 2013, 11:12AM
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** wrote:

Compare Colorado and Edmonton. VEry similar make up, similar shortcomings up to last season. BOth rookie coaches. What is making the difference?, if that answer can be adequately answered then the Oilers can begin to turn this around.

Easy,the system and the heart that beats in the players.

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#155 Bloodsweatandoil
November 14 2013, 11:15AM
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I think Yaz is probably right; I bet the line in the sand gets drawn after the Calgary game, another national broadcast game. Calgary has fewer stars and talent than us, but plays a more complete, tougher and have a heart beat/system. (depending on the results playing Sharks and the Flames)

If both are bad losses, you would have to assume that the Oiler management shows that they have a heart beat to the season ticket holders and the sponsors.

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#156 Walter Sobchak
November 14 2013, 11:19AM
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Alsker wrote:

I like your optimism, 6-1 Sharks. You mean we actually score a goal, nice. Doubt a coaching change, system or strategy adjustment will make any difference. There has been a black cloud over this team ever since kBlowe went chasing tier 1 players(Hossa,Heatley) and turned his back on guys like Stoll and GlenX.

This^

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#157 Cold Hard Truth
November 14 2013, 11:21AM
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The notion that we shouldn't fire Eakins just to save face is as silly and ill advised as it was to hire him and the first place.

Get the right coach for the job, and if that isn't Eakins, then get someone else. Period.

The real reason Eakins hasn't been fire yet is because to do so would be an admission of fault of MacTavish's part.

Eakins was a mistake to begin with. He was a mistake by a rookie GM, a GM whose hiring was also a mistake to begin with. It all leads back to the same source: a culture of patronage and entitlement with the Oilers organization. Until that is fixed, the Oilers problems will continue - albeit in differing manifestations.

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#158 Puck_In_Throat
November 14 2013, 11:25AM
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Honestly, I believe the problem is not just the mentality that was expressed by Lowe in his infamous "Six-Rings" tirade, but also the (unrecognized) naivete that accompanies such a statement.

KLowe: "I've won 6 cups as a player, how hard can it be to be a GM?"

MacT: "I've coached in the NHL, how hard can it be to be a GM?"

UMM actually, it is REALLY HARD. Very few GMs have perennial success. Some, however, like Detroit's GM Ken Holland, have spawned a succession of great GMs. Jim Nill (Dallas is doing pretty well). Steve Yzerman (Tampa Bay).

Here are your three candidates:

Candidate A worked as a the head pro scout for a decade with an NHL team, then in the front office of another NHL team for 6 years, then headed that NHL team as GM for seven years. He was then hired by his current team.

Candidate B has worked with the same organization for 30 years (in hockey operations), becoming GM in his 14th year with the organization

Candidate C coached in the NHL for a number of years, then was unemployed for a few years, then coached in the AHL for two years. Candidate C then worked for one year in the front office of an organization before being hired as the GM.

Which Candidate is our GM?

And we wonder why we suck.

Answer: C. Candidate A is Dean Lombardi, Candidate B is Ken Holland, and Candidate C is MacT.

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#159 **
November 14 2013, 11:26AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Easy,the system and the heart that beats in the players.

I would say the man behind the bench. I think Roy infects his players with enthusiasm and willingness to leave it all on the ice. Eakins has always struck me as a too high on himself guy who struggles to create empathy, let alone a bond with players. They talk about how he turned Nazem Kadri around, but that is just 1 player, and he is struggling as of late.

From the beginning Eakins was confrontational. With the media: "enjoy those donuts, it's the last time you'll see them". With the players: "they will have to stay after games to work out, I don't care who you are you'll be accountable".

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#160 **
November 14 2013, 11:35AM
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LOIL99 wrote:

Real questions. Who can fire who?

1) Can Lowe fire MacT? 2) Can MacT fire Lowe? 3) Can Lowe fire Eakins? 4) Can Eakins fire Bucky and Smith? 5) Can Lowe fire Bucky and Smith?

There is one man who can fire everyone: Daryl Katz.

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#161 CMG30
November 14 2013, 11:36AM
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Been lurking for awhile but I can't hold it in any longer:

The most ridiculous thing about this year (besides the absolutely horrendous amount of losing) is the singling out of one person for all the blame. Have we not learned yet? Remember how it was all coach MacT's fault? Well they got rid of him and how well did that turn out? Then it was all Horcoff's fault. Well they got rid of him this summer and boy did the team ever improve!

If Katz granted the wishes of half the residents of Edmonton and fired Lowe is anyone going to stand up and with a straight face tell me that this team is now a cup contender? Of course not because the biggest problem with the management of this team is not the people in charge, it's the AMOUNT of people who have been in charge. Stop the circus, the players need stability, support, consistency and accountability not mixed messages!

Granted every game they lose has a unique wrinkle but the overall problem with this team is with a lack of commitment to playing team defense. There are no quick fixes here, Pronger and Niedermayer combined couldn't right this ship at the moment, not until EVERY player commits to their teammates on every second of every shift that they are going to be where they are suppose to be, that their man is not going to score. EVERY player needs to commit to not give up the puck in either end of the rink without a bare knuckle brawl. Nobody is ever left alone in front of Dubnyk. Everybody needs to commit to the simple safe play: Blind passes have no place in the NHL. No one should attempt to carry the puck alone through 3 defenders. No one should attempt a cross ice pass through the entire opposing team, and so on.

Is this too much to ask of the players? NO! It's how every other team they've played this year has beat them. I'm just afraid that some of these players are talented enough that this is the first time anyone has actually asked.

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#162 Cold Hard Truth
November 14 2013, 11:43AM
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@dave

That means nothing. Coaches are often fired before their contract ends.

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#163 DoubleDIon
November 14 2013, 11:46AM
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Lochenzo wrote:

I've seen him play forward! Actually, Mike Green was the same way. The offence was always there but the defence took years to come around. The payoff was very good.

Except, you know that Mike Green actually put up enough offense to make up for his still "better-than-Schultz" defense right? He was the leading goal scorer and point getter in the entire NHL before the injuries hampered him. Schultz is an above average offensive guy, certainly not elite like Green at the same age. By Schultz's age he already had a 30 goal season and back to back 70+ point seasons. He was also way more physical than Schultz. Btw, he missed games in both the 73 and 76 point seasons and was over a PPG player in both. He was also a +63 combined in those seasons where he was Schultz's age. Kind of a silly comparison.

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#164 The Funky Chicken Has Left The Building
November 14 2013, 12:12PM
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Could someone...anyone (owner, manager, coach, player, trainer, etc.) just LOSE IT during a game or post game interview to let us know there is a spark of life somewhere in the Oiler organization?!

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#165 Clarko
November 14 2013, 12:17PM
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Impartial Oilers Fan wrote:

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!

I look at the overall record of this team while he has been Coach/GM/President and it is not good. Yes, they had one very good run in 2006, but in 12/13 seasons with Lowe, this team didn't win playoff round...and they have missed the playoffs 8 times in 12 seasons.

Is that all Lowe's fault...probably not. But leadership needs to be held accountable. Would a CEO of a company not be held accountable for the actions of the people he hired...especially over a 13 year span?

The truth is nobody knows EXACTLY what Lowe has done unless your are within an organization. All we can judge is the overall performance of the product while he has been part of the organization. The results are not good and getting worse...

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#166 2004Z06
November 14 2013, 12:30PM
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CMG30 wrote:

Been lurking for awhile but I can't hold it in any longer:

The most ridiculous thing about this year (besides the absolutely horrendous amount of losing) is the singling out of one person for all the blame. Have we not learned yet? Remember how it was all coach MacT's fault? Well they got rid of him and how well did that turn out? Then it was all Horcoff's fault. Well they got rid of him this summer and boy did the team ever improve!

If Katz granted the wishes of half the residents of Edmonton and fired Lowe is anyone going to stand up and with a straight face tell me that this team is now a cup contender? Of course not because the biggest problem with the management of this team is not the people in charge, it's the AMOUNT of people who have been in charge. Stop the circus, the players need stability, support, consistency and accountability not mixed messages!

Granted every game they lose has a unique wrinkle but the overall problem with this team is with a lack of commitment to playing team defense. There are no quick fixes here, Pronger and Niedermayer combined couldn't right this ship at the moment, not until EVERY player commits to their teammates on every second of every shift that they are going to be where they are suppose to be, that their man is not going to score. EVERY player needs to commit to not give up the puck in either end of the rink without a bare knuckle brawl. Nobody is ever left alone in front of Dubnyk. Everybody needs to commit to the simple safe play: Blind passes have no place in the NHL. No one should attempt to carry the puck alone through 3 defenders. No one should attempt a cross ice pass through the entire opposing team, and so on.

Is this too much to ask of the players? NO! It's how every other team they've played this year has beat them. I'm just afraid that some of these players are talented enough that this is the first time anyone has actually asked.

Preach it brotha!

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#167 madjam
November 14 2013, 12:33PM
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Is scamming of Oiler fans legal ?

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#168 15w40
November 14 2013, 12:34PM
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DSF wrote:

He hired Tambellini and allowed him to run the franchise into the ditch for 5 years.

He then hired MacT as GM despite the fact he had zero experience and while ignoring other candidates (like Jim Nill) who have much more experience and a winning track record.

Not recognizing that reeks of ignorance.

I'm beginning to wonder if there were any overtures made toward candidates like Jim Nill.

The more that this team deteriorates, the more I wonder if Jim Nill and guys of his ilk might have just given Lowe the "don't bother" message. He had received numerous offers to work for other teams before he jumped to Dallas.

I think there was zero chance Jim Nill would come to Edmonton unless there was a complete enema of the management starting right below Katz & finishing at basically with anybody that had to do with player/personnel issues.

Even that may not have been enough depending on how Katz wants to run his toy from YVR.

Jim Nill & management types like him would never come here. The Oilers will be stuck with puppets, former Oilers, or people with no concrete track record.

IMHO

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#169 pkam
November 14 2013, 01:14PM
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DigDeepNBleedBlue wrote:

Wow! It's ugly out there. Stay inside. Hell, get your ass in the storm shelter! The sky is pucking falling.

I think I'll risk it.

Is there a need for a trade. Yup, big hillbilly boy who can spell his own name, stands 7 feet tall and can play defence. That hasn't changed. But, at this point who and from where is completely speculative. So, lets not worry about what can't be controlled.

What can?

Effort. Can't teach that, though. It's something you need to find inside of yourself. You gotta dig deep and….. Man in the mirror. Right?

System. If your personnel can't do it, change the personnel or, hey, change the system to work within the parameters of the players you employ. Just a thought. But, many say it's not the issue. Me, not convinced. Work at it.

Lines and call-ups and demotions ARE something that can be controlled on a daily basis.

Jones and Acton on the demotion.

Call-up Eager and Lander.

I'd call up a D-man too, but there's no one.

Hall-RNH-Eberle They can do a lot. Was nice to see them back together for a spell last night.

Perron-Arcobello-Yakupov Arcobello is definitely growing on me every game. Smart kid and effort. Perron isn't quite back to early season form yet, but when he gets back he'll be a bad moe foe. That I love about him. Yak. Less b*tching. Just shut up and play…

Smyth-Gagner-Hemsky Lets see what happens….

Eager-Gordon-Lander Forecheck. Dig. Hit (Everyone needs to hit. Everyone!). Drive the net*.

*see last parenthesis and make the appropriate changes.

The defence: Throw out whatever you got and pray….

San Jose is going to expose a lot. Keep your eyes on the road. Remember that mirror thing.

One thing I notice in the past 3 years and is still happening.

We lose at least 80% of puck battle along the board.

Not sure if this is the coach's fault but it definitely has nothing to do with the system. In fact, Eakins explained his Swarm defense system in one of his practice presser, 'It is basically a standard D zone coverage, but when one of our player pinch the puck carrier along the board, another player will jump in to take away the puck.'. Basically, it is a system design to address our failure to win the puck battle along the board. Unfortunately, we lose those battle even with 2 on 1 most of the time, especially in our D zone. of course, it is again the coach's fault.

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#170 6 ring circus
November 14 2013, 01:17PM
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I think its time we all forget about it,until Katz fires the old boy's club,and brings in an experienced management group, we will continue to be a bottom feeder,there is no accountability to the loyal fan base from the top of this organization to the bottom,name me one other sports team in any league that has a owner who is happy with a losing record 8 years in row and makes no changes, it's unheard of. I thought Katz becoming the owner of this team was going to be a good thing,man was I wrong, it's been a disaster.

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#171 Mike Krushelnyski
November 14 2013, 01:26PM
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rickithebear wrote:

eakins system does not provide pressure on the funnel shoting area around the net. Draw a line from goal posts thru centers of the face off dots. it creates a funnel. then step out in 10 foot curved intervals 0-10 feet; 10-20 feet; 20-30 feet; >30.

the last two seasons 2011 to 2013 our team was all shots 7.93% 0-10 16% 10-20 12.5% 20-30 8.7% >30 4.2%

this year under Eakins All 11.9% 0-10 23.5% 10-20 22.2% 20-30 18.4% >30 4.8%

we saw a definite decline in results from our vets.

Smid 12-13 kruger All 7.5% 0-10 10.9% 10-20 9.6% 20-30 6.7% >30 6.3%

13-1 4Aekins All 13.15 0-10 36.4% 10-20 21.7% 20-30 27.3% >30 4.2%

Petry 11-12 All 6.9% 0-10 11.3% 10-20 11.4% 20-30 6.3% >30 4.7%

13-14 All 13.1% 0-10 21.4% 10-20 19.4% 20-30 20.7% >30 7.6%

we miss having Fistri cand potter

Fistric All 4.8% 0-10 10.5% 10-20 13.9% 20-30 0% >30 2.7%

Potter All 4.2% 0-10 23.5% 10-20 9.6% 20-30 2.1% >30 2.2% these guys pressured anything outside 10FT.

i thought it might be Goaltending, but N. schultz stood out! He choose not to pressure out side the funnel and staid with tried and true MIN play. you shall protect in front of the net. Not a box. The funnel. He has been penalized with reduced minutes. But results say it all. N. schultz 13-14 all 5.65 0-10 9.1% 10-20 8.1% 20-30 4.1% >30 4.25 just for reference

S. weber last year. Who has Rhinne All 7.15 0-10 12.2 10-20 14.4 20-30 9.3% >30 3%

No better than Smid & petry last year.

Chnge the system Aekins

Newagesys?! is that you?

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#172 Johnnydapunk
November 14 2013, 01:32PM
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DoubleDIon wrote:

If you think the Visnovsky trade was good you're delusional. Stoll and Greene would be nice guys to have right now.

At the time, their numbers weren't so good, Visnovsky's numbers weren't bad at the time, though the fact he was traded a day before his no trade clause went into effect is kind of funny/sad. I wouldn't call it a terrible trade by any means as at the time it was the Oil trying to get a player they needed. Visnovsky's numbers were a bit crap with the Oil as I'm guessing he didn't want to really be there. All I'm saying is that I wouldn't classify that as a good or bad trade at the time. Being really picky, trading for a player who didn't want to be traded was probably not the best move though.

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#173 pkam
November 14 2013, 01:44PM
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Johnnydapunk wrote:

At the time, their numbers weren't so good, Visnovsky's numbers weren't bad at the time, though the fact he was traded a day before his no trade clause went into effect is kind of funny/sad. I wouldn't call it a terrible trade by any means as at the time it was the Oil trying to get a player they needed. Visnovsky's numbers were a bit crap with the Oil as I'm guessing he didn't want to really be there. All I'm saying is that I wouldn't classify that as a good or bad trade at the time. Being really picky, trading for a player who didn't want to be traded was probably not the best move though.

I don't like that trade neither but I heard rumors that it was Stoll asking for a trade because his girlfriend refused to come to Edmonton.

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#174 Johnnydapunk
November 14 2013, 01:52PM
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Impartial Oilers Fan wrote:

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.

I can only point out that his own arrogance and I'm guessing the fact he seems to have pissed off a lot of other GMs which would make trading a bit difficult, I mean Burke was quoted as saying he wanted to rent a barn in Lake Placid and have a fight with Lowe, surely if one GM is willing to go that far, I don't know how friendly the other presidents and GMs would be. It's all speculation.

I think like a lot of people have mentioned here, it's his arrogance towards fans and media which seems unjustified as his tenure off the ice hasn't exactly been spectacular. I would think a change would be nice, as perhaps the Oilers relationships with other teams may improve. I'm only guessing though as I know it can't be an easy job and anyone who comes in will not have the time offered that Lowe has had as everyone is expecting magic to happen instantly which sadly won't happen.

The Oil needs more balance on their team, less "stars" and more plugs and grinders, players who can play and get the dirty goals, Ryan Smyth in his prime is a good example of the type of players the Oil can use right now.

I'm still on the fence regarding the defence, as they aren't being outshot that often, seems like 20-30 shots a game other teams are getting, and with that if there is a goalie who let's in 9 out of 10 shots that means that other teams would score 2-2.5 goals a game which is reasonable.

Sorry if it comes out all ranty on you, I may have gone all off topic and just verbally diarhhea-ed all over you, but I'm hoping you got my gist of it all :-)

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#175 Johnnydapunk
November 14 2013, 01:55PM
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pkam wrote:

I don't like that trade neither but I heard rumors that it was Stoll asking for a trade because his girlfriend refused to come to Edmonton.

Ah so, I wasn't aware of that, I know Visnovsky didn't want to be traded, and if Stoll wanted a trade, then it wasn't terrible by any means, I guess it kind of sucked to be Visnovsky at that time (despite him getting paid crazy amounts to play a game I love)

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#176 vetinari
November 14 2013, 01:56PM
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Dave wrote:

This is amazing. There are only two times that Oilers Nation will get this much traffic and exposure. One: suck to the great beyond which they are doing. Or, two: win the cup. I really, really hope that the folks running this site are fully seeing the business opportunity and potential to captivate more widespread audience and take this site to the next level with the crazy # of hits they HAVE TO be getting. This thread is incredible when it comes to potential ad sales.

@ Dave-- don't go all "meta" on us and take us off our rants, complaints, laments, regrets, or miseries... please add at least one "fire [insert name]" into your post or "I love Lowe" or "I hate Lowe" to fit in...

By the way, the mod's would probably appreciate your enthusiasm and statement.

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#177 acg5151
November 14 2013, 02:04PM
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Craig MacTavish has tried to solve more in his time in Edmonton than Tambo did in like 3 years. Let's see, he 1) Traded for Perron - a good move 2) signed Ference, a decent move that hasn't worked out 3) Brought Dallas Eakins in and fired Krueger - a questionable move but a move nonetheless. 4) Traded Horcoff and frees up 5.5 million in cap space being spent on a once great player who needed to move on. 5) Brought in a lot of depth on D - Grebeshkov, Larsen, so that if there were blueline injuries they would have NHL defensemen. Has kind of panned out. 6) Traded Smid to clear space to make a move, and signed Bryzgalov. Jury is still out on this one.

Craig MacTavish has made a valiant attempt to fix a broken team. The Oilers remind me of the last couple of episodes of season 2 when they realized 'the group is broken' and they tried to fix it. The Oilers are a broken team and now that the management realizes it they are trying to fix it.

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#178 Kevin
November 14 2013, 02:17PM
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dave wrote:

Eakins was given a 3 yr contract. He's not going anywhere.

actually 4 years....and are'nt they still paying Renny ? and oh ya Tambellini management is a complete JOKE. Mac T says he would like to add a top pairing D but he his not ready to trade any part of the skilled core ?? is this the same skilled core which hasn't scored a goal at home in the last 3 games. Is this the same skilled core that's part of the worst start in Team history. Help me out here just trying to understand what the GENERAL MANAGER of an NHL team is saying here. Doesn't seem to make much sense to me. Actually the longer these $40 Million dollar skilled players go without actually doing anything on the ice the less value they have.

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#179 Johnnydapunk
November 14 2013, 02:49PM
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On an incredibly lighter note that could offer a good few seconds of a mild smile, I have managed to find an Oiler team that is number one so far in the standings!! 9 games in they are 7-2

Oilers Number One in Chinese Hockey!!

No idea how I found that :-)

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#180 DigDeepNBleedBlue
November 14 2013, 03:16PM
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pkam wrote:

One thing I notice in the past 3 years and is still happening.

We lose at least 80% of puck battle along the board.

Not sure if this is the coach's fault but it definitely has nothing to do with the system. In fact, Eakins explained his Swarm defense system in one of his practice presser, 'It is basically a standard D zone coverage, but when one of our player pinch the puck carrier along the board, another player will jump in to take away the puck.'. Basically, it is a system design to address our failure to win the puck battle along the board. Unfortunately, we lose those battle even with 2 on 1 most of the time, especially in our D zone. of course, it is again the coach's fault.

Yup. I get it.

"System. If your personnel can't do it, change the personnel or, hey, change the system to work within the parameters of the players you employ."

Not sure where we differ or if we actually do. Good points, though.

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#181 gcw_rocks
November 14 2013, 03:41PM
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Your question about Renney is interesting. I have been thinking that the Oilers would have been much better off had they kept Krueger and fired all the assistant coaches, replacing them with some real NHL veteran coaches. The team, imo, player harder under Krueger than they did under Renney. But Krueger was too far behind on NHL strategy and needed a strong associate coach and assistant coaches to compensate.

Instead we got Eakins. The curse of MacTavish

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#182 jr_christ
November 14 2013, 04:40PM
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Anyone know of a good place where one can go and drown their hockey-related sorrows away?

I wish we were a better team :)

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#183 Dog Train
November 14 2013, 04:50PM
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Firing the coach is the easy way out. The problem is that Mactavish seems to think that he will be able to get what he needs without sacrificing one of his core guys. He mentioned today that he wants to turn the team over to the 8-9 guys that he's identified as the team's core. If we assume that Hall, Eberle, RNH, Yakupov, Gagner (based on Mactavish's public praise for his 'character') and Justin Schultz form that core as well as acquisitions like Perron and Ference, there's not much left. Hemsky? Good luck getting more than draft picks or prospects for him at this point.

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#184 Juan Oxmano
November 14 2013, 04:54PM
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I would be very surprised if Bowman would have thrown Ganger out for a draw in the last 2 minutes of a game. Eakins has made bonehead moves right from the start. Looks like a fool is guiding a crap team. Both coach and team have rightfully earned such a crappy record. Hail the suck. P.S FIRE KEVIN LOWE

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#185 madjam
November 14 2013, 05:15PM
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Venting on site is good for fans , as they get their frustration out of their systems and still remain hockey fans . If they all held it inside they might give up hockey all together . Teams a reflection of management , and right now it is not looking good or very optimistic .

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#186 Stack Pad Save
November 14 2013, 05:43PM
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Stack Pad Save wrote:

I will tell you what it accomplishes. It starts accountability. Accountability always starts at the top.

If you are an employee and you think your boss is lazy, it is an excuse for you to be lazy. If you think your boss is incompetant than you don't have trust that your job will run as smooth as possible.

So you ask and I will tell you. The NHL is a gate driven league that answers to the fans, and the fans need to believe that the person running the ships isn't going to steer the ship into the rocks....guess what the Oilers are on the rocks and have been for some time and the man steering the ship is Keven Lowe. Fire him!

Despise Oilers fans. Fans care, and "Oilers" fans care enough to go and pay for overpriced tickets and overpriced food with hard earned dollars. So why can't they demand accountability. They pay to watch, they should get entertainment value for their dollar and not the same weak teams year after year with the exact same problems. A super weak D, small forwards and a lack of urgency game in and game out. A fan who is "intelligent" can see this and can demand change. Because the man in charge year after year and who is not correcting the same problems is KEVIN LOWE.

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#187 Do bolo
November 14 2013, 05:55PM
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I honestly believe that I could do a better job coaching this team right now versus what we have seen from Dallas Eakins. There are probably a lot of posters and readers who also could probably do a better job. I think what really causes the most hate for Eakins is his own crap don't stink attitude. Take a look in the mirror and see who is responsible for this embarrassment of a team this year.

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#188 Walter Sobchak
November 14 2013, 06:53PM
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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.

Good points.

I can't honestly know what Katz is thinking, I admit it would be pure speculation I think I can break it down a bit, fired the coaches, didn't work, fired the GM, didn't work, haven't fired the POHO or his buddies.... Personally I don't think anybody survives the next purge.

Your right MacTavish going back behind the bench won't work, nor would Smith or Bucky.

I said 3 years ago that Brent Sutter should have been here to mould those kids, his record working with kids is undeniable.

The whole thing needs to come down, and your right, just changing the coach won't help in the short term, but is that fair to the fans, the coach and the team?

We haven't even played the top western conference teams yet, just middle soft Eastern teams.

The Oilers haven't even begun to lose yet! We as fans are in for a whole new version of suck.

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#189 Chainsawz
November 14 2013, 09:44PM
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@GregDonaldson

If you can't see how that firing Lowe helps this organization long term, then you are the type of fan that I despise. The unfaltering apologist. The one that lives to accept whatever is dished out to them by likes of Stauffer and co.

If the President of Hockey Operations has no effect of our on ice product, maybe we need one that can effect the product in a positive way.

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#190 Chainsawz
November 14 2013, 09:49PM
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Ducey wrote:

I am not really sure why a trade has to be coming. The season is lost.

Making a trade now for a big name defenseman might move this team to start playing .500 hockey for the rest of the season. Big deal. Its going to cost assets and is likely to wind up being detrimental in the future.

Who cares about the future? I want wins now.

Continuously losing has not helped this franchise one iota to date. Why repeat this madness?

Get winning and start building a winning culture.

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#191 Mo Playoffs Mo Problems
November 14 2013, 10:10PM
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@A-Mc

Didn't the Oilers ship their 2nd round pick this year to St. Louis in the Perron deal?

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#192 Burnward
November 15 2013, 02:41AM
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Johnnydapunk wrote:

On an incredibly lighter note that could offer a good few seconds of a mild smile, I have managed to find an Oiler team that is number one so far in the standings!! 9 games in they are 7-2

Oilers Number One in Chinese Hockey!!

No idea how I found that :-)

Best league in the world.

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#193 seanjohn667
November 15 2013, 07:16AM
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Season Ticket Guy wrote:

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.

there really seems to something strange going on. How they can just watch a season just evaporate before our eyes and continue sit on their hands boggles the mind. You are supposed to try to win every year. Writing off a season in November is unforgivable.

this is very weird.

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#194 birdieman
November 15 2013, 03:36PM
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@Chainsawz

The only one that can fire Low eis Katz and that will not happen. Still living in the past with these Old Oiler's is the problem.

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#195 Gary Shok
November 16 2013, 09:57PM
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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.

Are you kidding me?? Firing Lowe will solve everything. You must be from the existing terrible Oilers organization.

We are the worst franchise in Sports. We have been the joke of the NHL over the last 5 years. Are you kidding me?

Even if you tried, you couldn't put together a worse team.

A defense core that barely belongs in the NHL. Not one d man that can move the puck up. The same type of offensive players that remain up ice rather than playing defense.

Rookie players, rookie GM, rookie coach, wtf! Get some proven assets. You are an idiot

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