DEAD-LAST OR DEAD AND LAST?

Robin Brownlee
November 16 2013 12:02AM

 

It seems ridiculous to say the Edmonton Oilers can forget about the playoffs for the eighth straight season after just 21 games, but that's exactly where the Oilers find themselves with 61 games to play after a 3-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks Friday.

Fact is, you could have said that, and many have, three or four games ago. The loss to San Jose, coupled with a win by the Buffalo Sabres, leaves the Oilers 4-15-2 and dead-last, 30th, in NHL standings as they prepare to face the Calgary Flames Saturday in a provincial showdown of have-nots.

I'm not going to trot out the threadbare "playing for pride" bit coaches tend to default to when it's obvious their teams are also-rans as the Oilers already are, but there's no doubt Dallas Eakins and GM Craig MacTavish are going to learn a lot about the players on their team in the games that remain – aside from the obvious, that this roster isn't good enough.

Frankly, given the frustration bubbling over as the defeats mount, like that articulated by Taylor Hall after the loss to the Sharks, it's going to be a long and challenging string to play out. That said, Eakins and MacTavish will find out a lot about who's-who and what's-what.

FRUSTRATION MOUNTS

The Oilers played some of their best hockey in several games after the Sharks took a 3-0 lead, but that was cold consolation to Hall in the dressing room as the Oilers packed for a quick flight to Calgary.

Gene Principe of Sportsnet Tweeted this quote from Hall after the game: "I'm just so tired of coming in here after games and having to give a reason why we lost. We just gotta win."

Surrounded by reporters, Hall added: "We played well for the rest of the game, but it doesn't matter. It's for nothing.

"I've been around for so many losses that you kind of put yourself in a tailspin of wondering what it is. It's really hard. We're trying really hard in here but we're not winning games. At the end of the day, that's all that matters."

While it's foolish to try to read too much into what Hall said just minutes after another disappointing defeat – one wouldn’t expect him to be tap dancing with glee -- it doesn't take a vast intellect to figure out Hall and his teammates are just as sick of losing as fans are. The question now is what he and his teammates do about it the rest of the way.

LONG WAY TO GO

The way I see it, there's a big difference between being dead-last in the standings and dead and last in the 61 games that remain. What I want to see is who digs in and battles the rest of the way. Who fades away? Who flat out mails it in? I'd imagine Eakins and MacTavish want to know, too.

This isn't about saying, "Don't give up boys and everything will be OK." That's naïve. This team is flawed in the way it's been put together, as has been pointed out for a long, long time, and a bunch of "try-hard" efforts isn’t going to make the deficits in this team's make-up go away.

Addressing the shortcomings by position and in personnel falls to MacTavish, but he's going to get a good, long while to assess who fights and who folds from here on out, and that does play into where this team is going in the long term.

Is Hall up for it? Is Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov and on and on? Who is resilient and stubborn enough to suck it up and go balls out with the post-season again a pipe dream? Who has been broken, or is close to it, by all the failure? Who says, "I'm sick of this and I'm not going to take it?" Who says, "I'm sick of this. I quit?"

Who has a heartbeat? Who is dead and last?

PARTING THOUGHT . . .

I wonder if MacTavish is seriously considering bringing in an experienced NHL coach to bolster his staff and I wonder if he still has Paul Maurice's phone number?

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#1 S2H
November 16 2013, 12:13AM
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Keep your chins up boys.

The way everyone's acting, you'd think someone was dying.

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#2 God
November 16 2013, 12:08AM
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That game was a disgrace, for the Sharks. The Oil should feel flattered that it wasn't 6-1. Couture had tough puck-luck tonight and they had a tonne of posts. The Oilers couldn't/wouldn't finish. There was no fight, nor jam left in the 3rd. The Sharks were playing their 3rd game in 4 nights. They were exhausted, they still pulled out an ugly road win.

That game was a joke to watch.

I don't blame the players for the seeming lack of fight. They're confused, sad and annoyed. How did they get stuck on this broken ship, adrift? I can understand if there's a few cancers in the dressingroom that won't play under a coach. This entire team, however, is beyond hope. That's on the coach & organization.

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#3 kawi460
November 16 2013, 12:16AM
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@Racki

I believe they need some major help on the blue line. Sadly Ekblad might be the answer.

I Think Simmonds and Brayden Schenn would help turn this team around. Would probably cost a youngster though.

I also wouldn't mind Pat Maroon. Right now he's just a 10-12 min 4th liner but he looks like he could be a solid 3rd liner as soon as next season. Can't believe Tambo didn't claim him last season.

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#4 BLAKPOO
November 16 2013, 03:50AM
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Cold Hard Truth wrote:

Absolutely. We may think of ourselves as fans; however, Katz sees us as customers -- Lowe too, he said so himself. So: as customers we need to vote with our wallets. Hell, boycott Rexall Drugs. Maybe that'll rattle his bones.

Right. I'll make sure I buy my deodorant from Shoppers. That will make the Oilers a better team.

Great idea ....

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#5 Withwheld
November 16 2013, 07:10AM
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Excerpt from unsigned contact.

1 5. 6. 5.1 5.2 5.3 (a) 6.1 6.2 6.3 ThePartieshaveapprovedthedesignoftheArenaandtheWintergardensetoutinthe100%DD DocumentationasatJanuary22,2013("ApprovedDesign")andtheArena/WGProjectBudget,based ontheApprovedDesign. ARENA SubjecttoSection5.3,theProjectCosts(includingthePreDevelopmentExpenses)fortheArenaas describedinthe100%DDDocumentationandtheArena/WGProjectBudgetshallnotexceed $480,000,000. EACshallcontributeanamountnotexceeding$115,000,000totheProjectCostsfortheArena,as describedmoreparticularlyinthisAgreementandcertainAncillaryAgreements. IftheprivatesectordevelopmentattachedtotheeastwalloftheArenaandsouthwallofthe CommunityRinkdoesnotproceedinconjunctionwiththeconstructionoftheArenaandCommunity Rink: anyresultingchangestothedesignofsucheastwallandsouthwallshallbeinthediscretionof theCity,providedthatsuchchangeswillnotmateriallychangethecharacteristicsorfunctionof theApprovedDesignoftheArenaortheCommunityRink,apartfromtheeastwallandsouth wall;and (b) thecostsrelatingthereto,whichmayresultinanincreaseoftheProjectCostsbeyond $480,000,000fortheArenaand$56,500,000fortheWintergarden,shallbetheresponsibilityof theCity

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#6 nuge2nail
November 16 2013, 03:49AM
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Oiler Domination To Follow

This team sucks.

Aaron Ekblad will help, he's big so he could be somewhat impact ful as a rookie.

Ekblad Nurse J Shultz Petry Ference Belov Klefbom

Defense isn't bad, but the offense is crap.

Need to bring in 3 power forwards.

Oilers can't cycle because the small skilled forwards get killed on the boards.

This has been the problem for years.

Trade Gagner+prospect+3rd rounder for any useful forward with size(Simmonds type)

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#7 Rdubb
November 16 2013, 05:53AM
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God wrote:

That game was a disgrace, for the Sharks. The Oil should feel flattered that it wasn't 6-1. Couture had tough puck-luck tonight and they had a tonne of posts. The Oilers couldn't/wouldn't finish. There was no fight, nor jam left in the 3rd. The Sharks were playing their 3rd game in 4 nights. They were exhausted, they still pulled out an ugly road win.

That game was a joke to watch.

I don't blame the players for the seeming lack of fight. They're confused, sad and annoyed. How did they get stuck on this broken ship, adrift? I can understand if there's a few cancers in the dressingroom that won't play under a coach. This entire team, however, is beyond hope. That's on the coach & organization.

Maybe MacT should talk to one of his leaders, say Ference,Hall or Eberle and ask them to be honest and to say who is a "cancer" & who they think "should be moved on"...& then MacT can try & make moves from there. Plus, is Eakins so "hard headed" that he doesn't see that his systems on the PK & PP aren't working and he MUST go back to last seasons "systems" where they were ranked near the top of the NHL, & not near dead last like this years "systems"... Where is all this accountability that was talked about all summer and spring? Should any of the big 3 or 4 have back to back bad nights they too must be benched, & if Nail continues to play poor defensively & feels like being a one man show, than he too should be BENCHED. If Hemsky continues to skate along the blue, have his entire team in the offensive zone, and than make one to many "whopsi-doodles" & give the puck away, than he MUST get benched. What did the WPG coach say last week, "we can't bench the entire team", maybe not, but start benching some of the "stars" & maybe they'll get the hint. Gagner should get benched darn near after every game as his play has been poor in all 3 zones and his +/- shows it, as does his corsi stats (from what I've heard)...

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#8 kawi460
November 16 2013, 12:11AM
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I'm just sad. It's dark days in Oil Country. I just hope what ever happens that Mac T doesn't just jump the gun and make a stupid move.

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#9 dave
November 16 2013, 12:42AM
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They do not need a new coach to bolster the staff they need a new coach period.

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#10 Retsinnab5
November 16 2013, 12:52AM
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so Mac(bold)T decides to send arguably one of are best players to the minors.

IS HE ON DRUGS?

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#11 john
November 16 2013, 01:23AM
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What does MacT need to do? Obviously the players tanked at home to get Eakins fired. They want their donuts back, the healthy foods and swarming defense is not working. Play good you get minutes and bad you sit is not working. Let them play and have fun then the winning will come. It's team sports, we don't need brand name Dmen or top brand forwards to win. The Preds are not winning the cup Weber playing D, he's one player, 20 guys play hard will win in this league. Bring in a good coach and let's play some good hockey folks!

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#12 JJ
November 16 2013, 07:44AM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

Great. Another chance for the Oiler management to asses who wants to be here next year. Another 60 game training camp. Another test of character. Another audition for next year when things will be so much better. Again. For the eighth year running......

I know it's your job to try and write something about this perennial joke of a franchise RB, but even you must be sick of writing this stuff every year.

Oh I doubt that. He's still collecting a paycheque, The oilers sucking doesn't affect the media one bit.

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#13 Step Daddy J
November 16 2013, 12:48AM
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kawi460 wrote:

I believe they need some major help on the blue line. Sadly Ekblad might be the answer.

I Think Simmonds and Brayden Schenn would help turn this team around. Would probably cost a youngster though.

I also wouldn't mind Pat Maroon. Right now he's just a 10-12 min 4th liner but he looks like he could be a solid 3rd liner as soon as next season. Can't believe Tambo didn't claim him last season.

Ekblad is definatly part of the Answer ... Mc David is the other part of the puzzle ...

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#14 arsenaloilerbarca
November 16 2013, 12:09AM
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First time poster - 27 years a fan

Going to the game vs columbus on tuesday, bringing a sign that says:

"hey MacT, here's a bold move, refund us our money"

first time i spent money on a mini pack and actually regret it… sad times being a fan of the oil :(

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#15 Racki
November 16 2013, 12:10AM
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There are players on this team that deserve better. Tonight it looked like they played quite well, good chunk of period 1 aside. I will say though that it is the same theme here, offensively... star player gets a glorious chance, and no one is within miles to gather a rebound and get a second chance. I believe that whenever it's possible, they're going to need to cut a couple of the flashy skill guys (Hemsky/Gagner come to mind, only due to being redundant and lesser parts) and bring in some quality lunch-pail goal scorers (of the Simmonds / Brouwer ilk). Until then, Hall's going to be hating post-game interviews.

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#16 Clive
November 16 2013, 12:19AM
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Cold Hard Truth - I like that title on one of the posted comments, but the bottom line is "Cold Hard Cash" The oilers make too much money as a franchise for Katz to make any management changes. It's not about wins but the year end accountant's financial statement. I'm not quite sure I have ever heard Katz talk about how important a winning team is to him?

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#17 Gav
November 16 2013, 10:15AM
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I'm a fan. I'll keep on cheering for the Oilers because for some reason I love watching hockey. It is irrational, but that is what being a fan is all about. It doesn't have to make sense. It doesn't have to be rational.

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#18 God
November 16 2013, 10:18AM
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P.S. 'Book it' makes you sound like a dbag Nuck/Leaf fan.

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#19 Cold Hard Truth
November 16 2013, 12:10AM
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As MacTavish continues to put lipstick on a pig, more and more disillusioned fans are waking up and pointing the blame exactly where it needs to be: management.

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#20 HOFFFF
November 16 2013, 12:18AM
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kawi460 wrote:

I'm just sad. It's dark days in Oil Country. I just hope what ever happens that Mac T doesn't just jump the gun and make a stupid move.

Trading Smid was a stupid move. Hiring an AHL coach when these kids need leadership from a proven NHL coach is stupid. Keeping Smith and Buchberger around is stupid. Re-hiring two people they fired is stupid. Doing this same dance year after year after year expecting different results is stupid. I'm stupid for thinking things might change.

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#21 Tbang
November 16 2013, 12:30AM
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Here's what you do!

Trade Sam Gagner for a player that fits a need. Throw Arco in that 2C position unless we get a centre back for Gagner.

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#22 Nimrod
November 16 2013, 02:52AM
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I guess we have the draft to look forward to. There is no way anyone will offer anything shiny enough for our Gollum-like leadership to give up their preciousss first rounder.

I guess when all you have to sell is hope, another 18 year old kid is just what is needed for another ride on the merry-go-round.

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#23 Rheal1
November 16 2013, 07:37AM
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gcw_rocks wrote:

I can't believe that Katz hasn't cleaned house with Lowe, Howson and MacT yet. How out of touch with the fan base and the sport is he? How low are his expectations? How gullible is he.

You know, absolutely know, Lowe and MacT had to promise him things would be better this year. Instead, this is rock bottom. The worst.

He has Cassie Campbell-Pascal going on national radio and saying that the free agent hockey players she spoke to all said they would sign in Edmonton because Lowe and MacT are living in the 80s, are completely out of touch, and won't go anywhere near the franchise with this current management team.

This isn't on Lowe anymore. He's proven what he is. This is on Katz for not doing anything about it.

That was fan's perspective right there. This is a business perspective: Katz: " Kevin I hear that the Oilers fans think the team sucks, boy." KLown: " Sir, how is your bank account?" Katz: " It is full, boy. It is full. Great work". KLown: " Sir, I know a few things about making you money".

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#24 outdoorzguy
November 16 2013, 09:53AM
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Hey McTavish...see what Toronto just did..."BOLD MOVES"!!it can be done if you put a bit of effort into it.

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#25 HOFFFF
November 16 2013, 12:12AM
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Those are some damn fine looking Onion Rings.

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#26 6 ring circus
November 16 2013, 12:20AM
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After 8 year's we still have a long way's to go ? how much patience and time does this fan base have to give these incompetent's running the Oiler's,if they haven't figured it out up until now, I don't think they will ever figure it out moving forward.At the end of the this season, Katz should clean house and bring in a management group that has experience on building a winner to take over,at least that's what a smart businessman would do.

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#27 Cold Hard Truth
November 16 2013, 12:25AM
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Clive wrote:

Cold Hard Truth - I like that title on one of the posted comments, but the bottom line is "Cold Hard Cash" The oilers make too much money as a franchise for Katz to make any management changes. It's not about wins but the year end accountant's financial statement. I'm not quite sure I have ever heard Katz talk about how important a winning team is to him?

Absolutely. We may think of ourselves as fans; however, Katz sees us as customers -- Lowe too, he said so himself. So: as customers we need to vote with our wallets. Hell, boycott Rexall Drugs. Maybe that'll rattle his bones.

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#28 gooilersgo
November 16 2013, 12:29AM
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I watched the game tonight and notice poor puck possession, lazy chips, too many passes, not enough shots, skilled players with the most hits, and I began to wonder...what is the team identity? the players look confused, disheartened and almost not interested. oilers management have 6 and 5 Stanley cup winners but what are the players learning? good oilers players have been mismanaged for years into playing a game they are not comfortable playing and have ruined a few nhl careers trying to get these guys into playing a game they shouldnt be...example of mismanagement...why did arcebello get sent down...wasn't he one of the better players this year? what message does this send?

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#29 Quicksilver ballet
November 16 2013, 12:30AM
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We're in for one hell of a photo finish, that race between MacT and Eakins making the most mistakes in their rookie campaign.

All had good intentions, as it all turned into a Gong Show. We as fans can only hope now for unprecendented change if Daryl Ballard has any pride in his little toy that is the Oilers. I'd give anything to see Mr. MacKinnon throw his microphone in Lowes direction and challenged him yet again to answer his question from last summer. Can see it now, the new building opens to half empty seats, and Katz, at City Hall asking for yet one more annual handout.

If this does go into the shipper with Hall/Yakupov and others wanting out, it does have a silver lining knowing McDavid and Tyler Benson are on the horizon.

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#30 Racki
November 16 2013, 12:56AM
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Retsinnab5 wrote:

so Mac(bold)T decides to send arguably one of are best players to the minors.

IS HE ON DRUGS?

He wasn't sending Arco to the minors.. this was done to allow the team to recall Klefbom. Arco was asked to find a home, so it's clear they consider him staying here long term. Now that said, I thought that they really should have temporarily demoted Will Acton instead. I also think that Arco should be in the lineup ahead of Sam Gagner too, at least right now.

But anyways, the point being, Arco isn't really going anywhere even though he wasn't usable for tonight's game. I'm not sure if there is anyone else that didn't need waivers to get sent down (aside from Yakupov), so if there wasn't, I'd imagine Arco was chosen just for the sake of asset management (even if some personally would love to see some players leave this team).

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#31 HOFFFF
November 16 2013, 12:57AM
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I can't take it anymore. Put me out of my misery..... Good Grief....Book it....Fist

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#32 Bishai in the Benches
November 16 2013, 12:59AM
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Went to a U of A Golden Bears game tonight instead of watching the Oilers. I can honestly say it's one of the best decisions I've made in a long time. I was so nice hearing the final horn sound, and not being pissed off. It cost me $7 to get in, $4.50 for a beer, the Bears outshot and outplayed Regina, it was fast, physical, entertaining hockey, the crowd was into it, and I enjoyed myself 100%. Although it may not be "the best league in the world", I'll take $7 hockey, an honest effort, and a win over the Oilers any day. CCIS and the U of A Golden Bears have just found a new fan. I urge you all to do the same.

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#33 Batfink
November 16 2013, 08:08AM
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JJ wrote:

Oh I doubt that. He's still collecting a paycheque, The oilers sucking doesn't affect the media one bit.

Do you truly believe RB takes pride in writing about how much we suck? I rarely agree with his perspective, but I have never doubted that he is a fan and cares what happens to the once mighty Oil. I don't know where you work, but imagine your job sucks everyday, making you stressed and really dreading going into work in the morning. But what the h3ll should it matter, you still collect a paycheque right? Just sayin' that like any job, you get a different sense ofsatisfaction doing different tasks.

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#34 Fresh Mess
November 16 2013, 08:14AM
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Seriously, could some other billionaire looking for a new prestige toy please buy this franchise ? But only a real free market capitalist who believes in paying his own way and reaping the rewards. No more shysters or corporate welfare crooks...

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#35 Oiler Al
November 16 2013, 08:38AM
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dougtheslug wrote:

Kevin, Craig, Bucky, Stevie, they are all his buddies from back in the 80's. I'm sure when he bought the team his dream was that they would all be together again at centre ice, raising the cup like they were young lions once again. So they set about recreating what they thought was a reasonable facsimile of the 80's dynasty team, with Hall as Messier, RNH as Gretzky, Schulz as Coffey, Yak as Kurri, Eberle as Anderson. Except they're not. And the game has changed a little since the 80's, where Lowe and MacT and Katz seem to permanently stuck. And they can't get their heads around it, and are stunned that their ingenious plan isn't working. So they best we can hope for is they will bring in Mark Messier to help sort things out. As DSF would say, "Book it".

And, Messier isn't from the 80's? He's from the same party... just another jock for Katz to sniff.

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#36 MMAX
November 16 2013, 08:48AM
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Rdubb wrote:

Maybe MacT should talk to one of his leaders, say Ference,Hall or Eberle and ask them to be honest and to say who is a "cancer" & who they think "should be moved on"...& then MacT can try & make moves from there. Plus, is Eakins so "hard headed" that he doesn't see that his systems on the PK & PP aren't working and he MUST go back to last seasons "systems" where they were ranked near the top of the NHL, & not near dead last like this years "systems"... Where is all this accountability that was talked about all summer and spring? Should any of the big 3 or 4 have back to back bad nights they too must be benched, & if Nail continues to play poor defensively & feels like being a one man show, than he too should be BENCHED. If Hemsky continues to skate along the blue, have his entire team in the offensive zone, and than make one to many "whopsi-doodles" & give the puck away, than he MUST get benched. What did the WPG coach say last week, "we can't bench the entire team", maybe not, but start benching some of the "stars" & maybe they'll get the hint. Gagner should get benched darn near after every game as his play has been poor in all 3 zones and his +/- shows it, as does his corsi stats (from what I've heard)...

Because Mac T's name would probably come up as one of the "cancers".

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#37 camdog
November 16 2013, 09:24AM
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I hear Mact go on and on about goaltending and defence, but right now they are not number one problem, they are being scapegoated and it is unfair.

The number one problem is this team is spent to the cap on over paid soft, forwards that don't score and don't win puck battles. The immediate need for this team is a couple of forwards that can actually win a battle for the puck.

I hated Krueger's game last season because he coached the Oilers like a European league team, aka they played to the outside. What I didn't understand is that is how Tambelini/Lowe built this team! I have no doubt that if we played on the big ice we would be successful, but this is the NHL, not the KHL!

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#38 Cynic
November 16 2013, 12:17PM
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"Bottom line, Edmonton does not have an NHL team."

I have 600 million reasons to doubt the veracity of that claim.

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#39 Max Powers - Team HME Evans
November 16 2013, 12:22PM
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@M22

Katz is the only guy who is a bigger loser than Kevin Lowe. Howson is number 3.

None of them care about winning they only care about scmoozing in fancy places and eating lobster stuffed with caviar.

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#40 kawi460
November 16 2013, 12:23AM
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HOFFFF wrote:

Trading Smid was a stupid move. Hiring an AHL coach when these kids need leadership from a proven NHL coach is stupid. Keeping Smith and Buchberger around is stupid. Re-hiring two people they fired is stupid. Doing this same dance year after year after year expecting different results is stupid. I'm stupid for thinking things might change.

There has been a lot of moves that I haven't understood. I just hope he doesn't give anyone away for a happy meal.

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#41 albertaboy19
November 16 2013, 12:34AM
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I wonder how long til Hall asks for a trade? Is hazard a quess that if they are a bottom feeding team this year (which will happen) and if they start out this way next year he will ask for a trade.

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#42 Cold Hard Truth
November 16 2013, 01:08AM
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@arsenaloilerbarca

Hockey is an institution in this country, which makes the Oilers record all the more egregious. They are not just a bad product, they are a stain on our collective psyche. It is not just the losses which merit the dishonourable discharge of the Lowe, the fact that he is still here after his stunning track record is an afront on the concept of justice.

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#43 RJ
November 16 2013, 04:09AM
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I thought keeping Gagner after last year's trade deadline is a mistake. He played well last season, and had some value as a young player.

Now? Who would trade for him with two points in eight games with a $5 million dollar hit next two seasons ($4.8 AAV)?

Buffalo, Ottawa, Calgary, NYI, Colorado and Florida are the only teams with cap space to take him today. The rest would require the Oilers taking a contract back, and it would probably be an ugly one.

I know Gagner was injured. But what's his actual value today? I don't see MacT fleecing anyone in a Gagner trade. That eight point night seems so long ago.

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#44 Bryzarro World
November 16 2013, 04:40AM
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Mac T had a looooong look last year Robin and KBlowe has had and even longer look....

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#45 mlcselli
November 16 2013, 05:47AM
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We need to scream from the rafters for Katz to address the fans. Please explain to us, why he is so thrilled with the train wreck that this team has become, that he feels no need or pressure to make some wholesale changes, ( starting with Lowe) immediately. His silence shows acceptance.

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#46 dougtheslug
November 16 2013, 05:59AM
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mlcselli wrote:

We need to scream from the rafters for Katz to address the fans. Please explain to us, why he is so thrilled with the train wreck that this team has become, that he feels no need or pressure to make some wholesale changes, ( starting with Lowe) immediately. His silence shows acceptance.

Kevin, Craig, Bucky, Stevie, they are all his buddies from back in the 80's. I'm sure when he bought the team his dream was that they would all be together again at centre ice, raising the cup like they were young lions once again. So they set about recreating what they thought was a reasonable facsimile of the 80's dynasty team, with Hall as Messier, RNH as Gretzky, Schulz as Coffey, Yak as Kurri, Eberle as Anderson. Except they're not. And the game has changed a little since the 80's, where Lowe and MacT and Katz seem to permanently stuck. And they can't get their heads around it, and are stunned that their ingenious plan isn't working. So they best we can hope for is they will bring in Mark Messier to help sort things out. As DSF would say, "Book it".

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#47 Rdubb
November 16 2013, 06:02AM
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I personally would really like to hear who MacT & Eakins believe is giving it their all and who isn't... I'd also like to see MacT talk to Hall, Eberle & Ference and see who they feel is "tossing in the towel"? Eakins has to go back to last seasons special team play since his systems are near dead last in all categories, or is he hard headed? It's my opinion from watching this team both live and on TV that there are too many players who don't play with enough, or any, HEART! And if I (& many other fans can see it) than I am sure that they staff can see it, can't they? I hope, and really hope, that these players are sick of losing, and not because they are losing by being out talented, but losing by being out played (with not enough effort by all) & maybe than they'll start kicking people's butts on the team who figure talent alone should win...or am I being to optimistic?

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#48 Mac962
November 16 2013, 06:52AM
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Not sure what to say anymore - this is surreal. If anyone thinks however this can be fixed without trading a prized piece, you are sadly mistaken - one or two must be moved as well as that draft pick - sad to say. Small and all the same. I cant stand Eakins already , but releasing him wont change the lineup and make them 3 inches taller and 30 lbs heavier.

It pains me ,big time to watch this, but as someone else said, there is a side of me that hopes Calgary destroys them, not so much for the players but rather Katz and Lowe. He may be the most uninvolved owner in pro sports history. Thanks for nothing Katz.

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#49 primo
November 16 2013, 06:58AM
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not to rub it in but the Flames farm team destroyed the Barons last night. Bryz 5 goals scored on him in 24 shots.

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#50 gcw_rocks
November 16 2013, 07:26AM
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I can't believe that Katz hasn't cleaned house with Lowe, Howson and MacT yet. How out of touch with the fan base and the sport is he? How low are his expectations? How gullible is he.

You know, absolutely know, Lowe and MacT had to promise him things would be better this year. Instead, this is rock bottom. The worst.

He has Cassie Campbell-Pascal going on national radio and saying that the free agent hockey players she spoke to all said they would sign in Edmonton because Lowe and MacT are living in the 80s, are completely out of touch, and won't go anywhere near the franchise with this current management team.

This isn't on Lowe anymore. He's proven what he is. This is on Katz for not doing anything about it.

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