OBSERVATIONS: THE SIX-RING CIRCUS

Robin Brownlee
November 04 2013 07:22PM

It's not often the aroma inside Rexall Place improves when the Edmonton Oilers move out and the Canadian Finals Rodeo moves in every November, but the smell of horseshit seems like sweet perfume compared to the stench of defeat Oiler fans have endured.

Besides, the CFR will pack up and move on down the road when their gig is done. The Oilers, meanwhile, have been stinking up their barn for seven years on end, and there's no end in sight for fans who, it seems obvious, have been holding their noses long enough.

With the Oilers taking a 3-10-2 record into a four-game road trip that begins against the Florida Panthers Tuesday, I don't have any answers for a season that's already gone sideways and pushed the faithful over the edge. If I did, I'd sell them to Kevin Lowe, Craig MacTavish and Daryl Katz. They know how to sell a bill of goods. Perhaps they'd buy one.

What I do have, though, is observations and opinions. Mostly random stuff that's been rattling around my head as the odor of ineptitude and losing has heightened. Nothing profound – no MacTavish must trade so-and-so for this-or-that guy. No fire everybody from Lowe to Joe Moss just 15 games into a season that already seems lost.

Fans in what people used to call Oil Country have pretty much covered all those angles with all the venting around here lately, and that's to be expected. This was, after all, supposed to be the season the Oilers finally pushed for a playoff spot, the season fans saw the pay-off for their patience. At the rate they're going, the Oilers could be out of post-season contention earlier than in any season since the 2006 Stanley Cup run.

It's gone desperately wrong . . .

MANAGEMENT

Fans who want to see Lowe sacked aren't going to get their way, at least not now. I'm not saying fans don't deserve to get their way because Lowe has been the architect of the disaster assembled here, even if Steve Tambellini kept a chair warm for MacTavish until he was shown the door. All I'm saying it's highly unlikely to happen.

Firing Lowe now won't change the fortunes of this team in terms of making the playoffs this season, which they won't, or missing them, which they will. Lowe sticking his shoe down his throat with his ill-timed and pompous "six rings" comment in pre-season was the last straw for many fans, but outside the satisfaction of getting that pound of flesh, I don’t see that move making the Oilers better in the short term.

Might Katz give Lowe, a close friend, the option of stepping down next off-season with some face-saving spin attached? Perhaps. I see that possibility only if this season as a whole is an unmitigated disaster – unlikely because, whether you want to hear it or not right now, this group of players is better than the record indicates. It can't stay this bad, can it? I believe it's time for Lowe to go, but Katz hasn't asked me what I think.

As for MacTavish, I suspect he's been humbled somewhat already by finding out it's a lot easier to talk about making bold moves, as he did last summer, than making them. Rookie mistake. His bad. It's better to under-promise and over-deliver than to set yourself up for criticism as he did.

Trying to right that wrong now with the team off the rails, however, might be the worst thing MacTavish could do. Until the team pulls out of the death spiral it's in, there are nothing but sucker deals waiting for him. If you were an NHL general manager, wouldn't you love the opportunity to make a deal with MacTavish right now? I'd be calling him.

I'm not saying MacTavish can't or shouldn't make a significant deal under the right circumstances, just that it's next to impossible to do so for anything approaching fair value in the compromised position he's in right now.

THE COACHES

Like MacTavish, coach Dallas Eakins grabbed everybody's attention early with his no-nonsense "I'll do things my way" approach. He seemed a bit bold for his own good, frankly, given he's a rookie as an NHL head coach. That said, he came in with a definite sense of what he wanted done and it seemed a welcome change from Ralph Krueger.

Tactically? I'm not going to sit in the cheap seats and pretend I know more about drawing up breakouts and defensive systems than Eakins does. It's clear there's been adjustments and nuances the players haven't grasped. The swarm defensive scheme? That probably works better when a team gets a timely save or two when a mistake is made. Just a thought.

As for speculation and questions about whether Eakins has already "lost the room," if that's even a possibility, that's a more damning indictment of the players than of the rookie bench boss. What, a bunch of players who haven't won a damn thing can't be bothered to listen to the message and, more important, act on it when it's delivered? Really? What, pray tell, has this group of players accomplished that would allow them that out? Nothing.

As for talk about canning assistants Kelly Buchberger and Steve Smith, that's not something MacTavish should even entertain during the season. Off-season? Perhaps. That should be up to Eakins. Then again, what should happen and what does happen, as we've seen here these last few years, are often distinctly different matters.

THE PLAYERS

Saturday's no-show in a 5-0 loss to the Detroit Red Wings was something I didn’t expect. It came as close to team looking like it has quit or didn’t care as anything I've seen in years. It came on the heels of a closed door meeting by the players. If that's not alarming, I don’t know what is.

We've talked for a long time about the mix of personnel on this team and how it's lacking. There's no question the line-up isn't put together right. Much of the talk has come in the context of the type of player needed – a banging winger, a big centre, a first-pairing defenseman, a veteran presence who brings some gamesmanship. Fair enough.

What about the mental make-up and character? Are there enough hate-to-lose guys in that dressing room? Enough glue guys? Enough talk-is-cheap-just-bust-your-ass guys? I think not. I don't see it. I like Andrew Ference as an addition. He knows what it takes to win. Who else does?

And what about the core players? What about Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins? Have they performed like the Six Million Dollar Men they became when management threw big money at them before their entry level contracts were even done? Rhetorical question. They haven't.

I get it that locking up Hall, Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins long term before the cap went up probably made fiscal sense, but does it make sense for them as players? With fortunes already guaranteed just out of their teens, are they as hungry and driven to succeed as they could be or is life pretty good, win or lose?

I don't know the answer, but the question is worth asking.

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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#51 Poolanov
November 04 2013, 09:07PM
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Alcohol is not illegal

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#52 BleedOil4Life
November 04 2013, 09:08PM
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@Robin Brownlee

My question to is...have you ever seen 3 coaches be fired but 2 assistants Survive??

I just can't see 3 coaches,with 3 different styles, want The same exact staff.

Am I crazy??

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#53 DSF
November 04 2013, 09:10PM
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BleedOil4Life wrote:

My question to is...have you ever seen 3 coaches be fired but 2 assistants Survive??

I just can't see 3 coaches,with 3 different styles, want The same exact staff.

Am I crazy??

NO.

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#54 Jordan1126
November 04 2013, 09:12PM
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So in other words this article tells us the organization probably won't do anything. To wait until the offseason and waste away another whole year.

This sounds like a good plan said no oilers tier 1 or 2 or 3 fan ever....

I might as well just wipe my ass with my money instead of spending it at rexall watching Groundhog Day

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#55 hankthetank
November 04 2013, 09:13PM
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BleedOil4Life wrote:

Players... Win or lose....go out It's been done since the 80's If we had 10 wins right now you are not saying this It has nothing to do with what's going on the ice

Funny how people forget the cocaine and booze The oilers did in the 80's

that wasn't my point. all that crap goes on in almost every sport, it's easy to see. i'm speaking more towards a coaches ability to gain attention in the room. i've got more respect for a manager/supervisor/yada yada thats been around for a long time in the business, knows how to deal with a lot of different attitudes (good and bad), than a guy who walks in all fire and brimstone and expects immediate results and me having no idea who this person is.

kind of a "prove yourself to me and i'll prove myself to you" thing

i don't know, i'm looking for answers too. i never played hockey aside from on some ponds and public rinks, so i don't have the locker room experience to go on here.

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#56 FireKLowe
November 04 2013, 09:15PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

I don't begrudge players a handsome salary because they are special athletes who've already beaten long odds to put themselves in that position.

I thought it somewhat restrictive and unfair under the old system that players had to wait until age 31, often when their best days were behind them, to cash-in with a big UFA deal.

That said. I think the pendulum has swung too far the other way. Too many players hit the jackpot even before their entry-level deals are done. "We've got to lock them up now in case the cap goes up and it costs us way more later" etc. Or the threat of offer sheets, even though they're seldom used.

Two years in the NHL can get you a contract for $30 or $40 million now. I'd sign a contract like that in a heartbeat, so I don't blame any young player for taking what's offered, but that's a guaranteed future on a silver platter at a very young age.

Like Burke said, Lowe basically eliminated the middle contract via the offer sheets.

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#58 TayLordBalls
November 04 2013, 09:20PM
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all these sports writers and fans miss the reason the Oil are losing:

CONFIDENCE

A 5 game winning streak will put this team right back in the hunt and all its going to take is a little confidence.

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#59 Gb
November 04 2013, 09:22PM
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The Oilers are paralyzed by their incompetence. As a lifelong Oakland Raiders can the parallels between the two organizations is frightening. For years the Raiders hired former Raiders as head coaches, assistants and staff with no experience beside the fact they were Raiders. Sound familiar? Poor drafting and development of players. Sound familiar? Why would anyone hire a new GM who has zero experience except for the fact he played and coached the team. I remember after MacT left and there was all the talk that he'd find another job as a coach at the NHL. Never happened. Why would anyone hire a guy with a sub-.500 record. Did Lowe scour the league looking for the best GM candidate? No he hired his buddy. Then they bring back Howson, who ran Columbus into the ground. What are the qualifications of Smith and Buckberger? They're ex-Oilers. And then they hired a rookie coach who talks a good game but goes through training camp without even realizing he players don't know how to play defence. If I was a player my morale would be at an all time low playing for an organization that rewards failure and ineptitude. I've worked for companies like that and it was a struggle just to go to work. Until Katz cleans house this team and starts over with a competent staff we will continue to dwell at the bottom of the league.

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#60 BleedOil4Life
November 04 2013, 09:23PM
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@hankthetank

I understand what you mean....man I wish the answer was an easy one

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#62 Poolanov
November 04 2013, 09:26PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

I don't begrudge players a handsome salary because they are special athletes who've already beaten long odds to put themselves in that position.

I thought it somewhat restrictive and unfair under the old system that players had to wait until age 31, often when their best days were behind them, to cash-in with a big UFA deal.

That said. I think the pendulum has swung too far the other way. Too many players hit the jackpot even before their entry-level deals are done. "We've got to lock them up now in case the cap goes up and it costs us way more later" etc. Or the threat of offer sheets, even though they're seldom used.

Two years in the NHL can get you a contract for $30 or $40 million now. I'd sign a contract like that in a heartbeat, so I don't blame any young player for taking what's offered, but that's a guaranteed future on a silver platter at a very young age.

So what's to stop them from living the high life??

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#63 madjam
November 04 2013, 09:27PM
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Just think if we replaced all management and coaches in just one day - we might fall from 29th to thirtieth ? Oh , what could be worse , staying the course ?

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#64 Poolanov
November 04 2013, 09:28PM
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At least before they made the rookies stay with the married vets and get a half decent meal every now and again

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#65 hankthetank
November 04 2013, 09:28PM
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@Gb

agree. after almost blowing the season thus far are those guys thinking "well there goes the season, according to our coaching track record, eakins will be turfed, so whats the point in trying with this new system"?

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#66 BleedOil4Life
November 04 2013, 09:29PM
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@Robin Brownlee

Wow

And the funny thing is that they know people like yourself have written the articles and that people have called in talking about it....and they just continue to Keep on the path.

Is it fair to say that the players have "tuned out" smith and Bucky? If Eakins brings in his full staff to teach the system...do you feel they may could be understanding it better?

I will say it's pathetic it's takin this long for them to learn it....you are a pro...FIGURE IT OUT.

I have a lot of respect for the press in this city when they went on the attack when Kevin Lowe made the "6 cups" comment.

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#67 hankthetank
November 04 2013, 09:29PM
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@Poolanov

short supply of Millers?

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#68 DSF
November 04 2013, 09:31PM
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TayLordBalls wrote:

all these sports writers and fans miss the reason the Oil are losing:

CONFIDENCE

A 5 game winning streak will put this team right back in the hunt and all its going to take is a little confidence.

Considering the NHL won't take a break while the Oilers go on their 5 game winning streak, the Oilers would likely still be in last place in the WC unless all of Calgary, Dallas and Winnipeg lose 5 straight.

Considering all those teams already have 14 points (two have games in hand) The Oilers would have 18 points.

You can't get there from here.

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#69 PutzStew
November 04 2013, 09:31PM
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Mr. Brownlee,

My Hat is off to you. It is an absolute pleasure to to finally read a blog where the author calls a Spade a Spade instead of tying to candy coat it or looking at the glass half full.

Thank you.

I would also like to thank the majority of the comments being made on here. I gave up hope for this team after the lock out. Between the lock out and the Arena gong show, I had finally decided I had better things to do with my time and Money then support this team. I am glad to see that I am not the only one.

Here is hoping Lowetide, Wanye and the rest of them follows suite. Thee will be no changes until everyone is on board

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#70 Poolanov
November 04 2013, 09:32PM
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@hankthetank

Na short supply of skirts :-(

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#71 Walter Sobchak
November 04 2013, 09:32PM
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Rant.

In my opinion.......To much of the same thing.

To bloody small on both sides, defence & offence......plays small.

The Oilers need a Dubinsky instead of a Gagner.

The Oilers need a Chimera instead of a Jones

The Oilers need a Brodziak instead of an Acton

The Oilers need a Weber instead of a Schultz Jr.

The Oilers need an Coburn instead of a Petry

The Oilers need a Ott instead of an Arcobelo

The Oilers need a Glencross instead of a Jounsu

The Oilers need a Downie instead of Hemsky.

All players at one time where rumoured to be available or actually Oilers property.

Not saying the Oilers need these exact players, but players to supplement the young kids.

Going into the summer with the expectation Gagner was still going to sign the Oilers needed.

2 centers moving Gagner over to the wing because Mac-T stated Hemsky was done.

Improved " 3rd" line or checking line, Oilers added Gordon, two spots still needed.

A new 4th line.......it's filled with AHL players.

A 1 & 2 defensmen allowing Petry and Smid to play in the right positions 3 & 4th pair.

The Oilers added Belov - Larssen - & my favorite Grebeshkov & one decent player in Ference.

The Oilers had little confidence in Dubnyk & went after every Euro goalie out there and failed....left with Dubnyk with a shattered ego/confidence & a head full of bad junk.

Fired another coach and replaced him with an AHL coach with a AHL game plan.

This wreaks of a brutal job of recognizing needs, arrogance, and poor player management.

Welcome to the NHL's first ever re-building a re-build.

I apoligize for going off.

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#72 Fresh Mess
November 04 2013, 09:34PM
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Some of this teams' core are coach killers.

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#73 Poolanov
November 04 2013, 09:36PM
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@hankthetank

Truly though, anyone that thinks having all the 20 year olds living together is a good idea, needs to give their head a shake.

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#74 Greg the Hammer Valentine
November 04 2013, 09:36PM
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@Robin Brownlee

In the off-season, it's possible. The Habs did it a couple seasons ago, when they got rid of the Bob Gainey regime. The front office and coaching staff was completely changed, in one fell swoop, as you put it. I'm not saying it's what the Oilers need to do, but it can be done.

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#75 PutzStew
November 04 2013, 09:38PM
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@reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)

I disagree with your point about firing Lowe not having an effect on the on ice product. This team has a sense of entitlement and lack of accountability.

How can the workers (Players, Coaches, etc.) be held accountable when the person that is suppose to be holding them accountable is the worst offender?

I sure we have all had a supervisor that was like this. Blames everyone else for the problems? That would be Kevin Lowe right now. Get rid of him and all the sudden you can make this a whole different team.

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#76 PutzStew
November 04 2013, 09:39PM
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Greg the Hammer Valentine wrote:

In the off-season, it's possible. The Habs did it a couple seasons ago, when they got rid of the Bob Gainey regime. The front office and coaching staff was completely changed, in one fell swoop, as you put it. I'm not saying it's what the Oilers need to do, but it can be done.

I am saying that is what the oilers need to do. I have been saying it for over a year.

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#78 Smokey
November 04 2013, 09:45PM
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Sacking the whole lot of them would do nothing to salvage this season. Sad to believe we have like a 2 percent chance to make the playoff in November. The only thing to look forward to in November is Movember, and which kid can grow the most peach fuzz.

However, sacking the whole lot of them would prepare the Oilers for next year. Having the right minds in there to evaluate players, revamp the roster, and take away the rotten ora of this management group would go long way to bring respectability back.

Not sacking these guys will ensure this organization is not interested in competing. The management needs an overhaul, cause free agency and getting top dollar on a trade is a lost cause with this group. You can't expect this group to fix this mess since their the ones who made it, and allowed it to grow.

Katz has to send a message to the fans, that this is the end of the rebuild next season. Frankly, I believe he's to rich, and has been to loyal to his friends to fix the problem. Fans come second. I'd rather watch hockey in The Colosium and support the EIG then this crap. At least their was pride back 7 years ago, now all we got is disillusionment, mistrust, and complete apathy from the fanbase.

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#79 DSF
November 04 2013, 09:46PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

As has already been suggested, Lowe could be fired and replaced now, giving his successor most of this season to assess everything from the GM to the coaching staff going into the off-season.

I'm not saying it can't happen or shouldn't happen, I just don't think it will happen, given the relationship between Katz and Lowe.

And that's pretty much the end of the story.

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#80 Greg the Hammer Valentine
November 04 2013, 09:46PM
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Greg the Hammer Valentine wrote:

In the off-season, it's possible. The Habs did it a couple seasons ago, when they got rid of the Bob Gainey regime. The front office and coaching staff was completely changed, in one fell swoop, as you put it. I'm not saying it's what the Oilers need to do, but it can be done.

correction: I meant the Pierre Gauthier regime.

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#81 TayLordBalls
November 04 2013, 09:49PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Yes, I guess I missed that. A five-game winning streak will right every wrong.

less than 20% into the season and you guys are crying in your beers.

man you guys are downers

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#82 vetinari
November 04 2013, 09:50PM
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What motivation does a player have to change when your future is set at age 21 and you are going to be a multi-millionaire for life? Individual performances are taking priority over team results. Unless you have an internal drive to win and be the best player you can be, the results are going to continue like this. To break this cycle, one of them may have to be traded in the offseason (when their value is highest) or else a coach or teammate has to reach them, boot them in the arse and get them motivated.

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#83 6 ring circus
November 04 2013, 09:52PM
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Why does the Ringmaster Katz continue to have his clowns run the circus ? After watching the same performance for 7 going onto 8 years ,even he must be getting tired of all this losing,or is he blinded by the good old days that he just does not care as long as his friends are looked after and it does not help that he always has a sold out arena to boot.

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#84 Poolanov
November 04 2013, 09:57PM
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Who IS coaching our powerplay anyhow??? Take 'em wide Buchhi ????. Good plan.

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#85 DSF
November 04 2013, 10:02PM
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TayLordBalls wrote:

less than 20% into the season and you guys are crying in your beers.

man you guys are downers

At the beginning of the season, every team in the WC had a 55% chance of making the playoffs since 8 of 14 teams will do so.

The Oilers, as of tonight, have a 00.9% chance of making the playoffs.

If the teams in the WC continue to play at their current rate of success, it will take 103 points to grab a wild card spot in the west.

In order to get to 103 points, the Oilers would need to go 43-15-9 for the rest of the season.

Do you think the Oilers can win 43 of their remaining 67 games?

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#86 DSF
November 04 2013, 10:08PM
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Gerald R. Ford wrote:

You know, every time we get the poop end of the stick in this relationship, the phrase "Hey, it's a business." gets tossed out to justify... whatever. The thing is, Katz would NEVER run his other interests the way he's run this team into the ground with his verging-on-creepy 80s fanboy crushes. If some old lady walked into a Rexall pharmacy asking for a suppository, and got a turkey baster instead, I'm pretty sure the responsible employee would get dropped in a hole somewhere on the finely manicured grounds of Stately Katz Manor fairly instantaneously. We've had seven years of that turkey baster!

When Lowe goes, he won't be fired, he'll be "de-jobified", "disengaged from his position", or "designated for non-functionality".

And then Katz will hire another hero.

"Six Ring Circus"

*snicker*

Missed this earlier.

GOLD!.

Props.

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#87 Greg
November 04 2013, 10:19PM
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Greg wrote:

i know firing Lowe wont do anything for the season. but honestly, do you want Lowe making moves for this team? i say no way.

Trash if you say "Yes Lowe, make the moves" Props if you say "Fire Lowe, don't let him do anything"

wow. thanks everyone for taking part in my little poll. 51 props to 8 trashes, very nice.

and on that note i'd like to thank the following 8 people for visiting oilers nation and reading my post:

1-Scott Howson

2-Craig McTavish

3-Dallas Eakins

4-Kelly Buchberger

5-Steve Smith

6-Billy Moores

7-Daryl Katz

8-Kevin Lowe

thank you.

goodnight

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#88 mlcselli
November 04 2013, 10:20PM
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Robin, great headline to your article. Once again, I'm in complete agreement with you. There is no question that roster changes are necessary, however I don't think they are imminent. I do believe that MacT and Eakins deserve a chance to prove themselves, however I also believe Eakins has the right to bring in his own assistants. There is no doubt that he ended up stuck with Smith and Bucky, with a little persuasion from 6 rings himself. Speaking of Mr. Arrogant, Robin, you're right in that firing Lowe now won't help us in the short term, but having him gone will sure as hell do a lot for the fans disposition. He is the cause of the catastrophe the team has become.

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#89 Shifty203
November 04 2013, 10:26PM
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Gerald R. Ford wrote:

You know, every time we get the poop end of the stick in this relationship, the phrase "Hey, it's a business." gets tossed out to justify... whatever. The thing is, Katz would NEVER run his other interests the way he's run this team into the ground with his verging-on-creepy 80s fanboy crushes. If some old lady walked into a Rexall pharmacy asking for a suppository, and got a turkey baster instead, I'm pretty sure the responsible employee would get dropped in a hole somewhere on the finely manicured grounds of Stately Katz Manor fairly instantaneously. We've had seven years of that turkey baster!

When Lowe goes, he won't be fired, he'll be "de-jobified", "disengaged from his position", or "designated for non-functionality".

And then Katz will hire another hero.

"Six Ring Circus"

*snicker*

The difference in your analogy, and what's happening with the oilers, is that in your analogy, he's essentially emptying the shelves (selling out seats) every time he opens the doors. Fixing complaints can't bring him more money, because he still has no product to sell.

Several other nhl owners have essentially said the same thing over the years. "Why spend up to the cap, when I'm selling out every night? Spending more money on players can't fill seats I don't have". Why should he spend money firing management, who's on contracts that would need to be paid out, and the pay a new guy for those same years he already paid for, when he's not going to make more money.

Fact of the matter is, is that we have Lowe and MacT to fix things. Katz isn't likely to do anything until his wallet starts feeling the burn. No matter what he says about being a fan, he is a businessman first.

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#90 Dave
November 04 2013, 10:30PM
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I have come to the realization that the sports media could actually do a better job coaching the Oilers than their current staff. That is how bad it is.

For example Matty says play Arcobello as a center man.

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#91 sizzay
November 04 2013, 10:34PM
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So Ekblad right? Reinhart would be a good long term option for our 2C position. Maybe we will pick at #2 and just take the leftover.

Oh ya, I gave up on this season.

ALL OILER FANS PLEASE CHANT FIRE LOWE AT OUR NEXT HOME GAME. It got Ron Wilson fired. Worth a shot.

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#92 Chaz
November 04 2013, 10:35PM
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Good article, but I disagree with your premise that firing Lowe wouldn't produce any short term gain. I think it would shake this flimsy excuse of a franchise to its core and wake everyone to the fact that no ones job or place is etched in stone and anyone can and should be held accountable for their performance. If the owner's good friend can be canned than no one is safe, so turn down the sucks and start performing.

That and it will provide some appeasement for the long suffering fans. K-Lowe MUST go. The sooner the better.

GOil!!

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#93 Hank
November 04 2013, 10:35PM
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Who crapped their panties first and made the worst smell is interesting for discussion. What will bring change though is empty seats and cancelled private box subscriptions. The only thing that will make Katz sit up and take notice is the bottom line. IMO he is ALL about the money.

Nothing more and nothing less.

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#94 clyde
November 04 2013, 10:35PM
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I am not an Oiler fan. I need to say that right off the bat. My dad is a huge Oiler fan though. You fans have been unbelievably loyal during the last 7 years and I believe you deserve more. Just because Lowe was lucky enough to be surrounded by enough talent to make him a 6 time Cup winner as a player, it does not mean he knows how to build winner as a front office guy. I would start there even if it is only to send a message. If You improve management, you really have the assets to develop a good team.

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#95 Oilforlife
November 04 2013, 10:42PM
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@Robin Brownlee

I recently watched the K Lowe spat when Mac T was introduced as GM. Then also watched the YouTube feed on the K Lowe audio on the Brian Burke rivalry. And the common theme is K Lowe's persistence to remind everyone of all his cup rings. Moreover, if I recall correctly he has several times tried to poach restricted free agents with Penner working out. Is it probable that most of the league loth's K Lowe so much and his arrogance, that no GM under him has had a fair chance to succeed. Because it seems very rare that the Oilers have been able to attract any good free agents or make any significant trades.

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#96 crobar
November 04 2013, 10:43PM
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@Gerald R. Ford

so what's wrong with business?? the seats are overfull and katz gets to own a 500 million dollar arena for 30 years for the cost of one of these 6 million-dollar-slugs. who could think anything is wrong??

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#97 DSF
November 04 2013, 10:45PM
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The Rangers interested in Yakupov (and Hemsky).

http://nypost.com/2013/11/04/rangers-interested-in-oilers-phenom-yakupov/

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#98 Serious Gord
November 04 2013, 10:50PM
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DSF wrote:

And that's pretty much the end of the story.

I must say it is gratifying to see all of the props for fire Lowe comments. Where were they when I and a few others were saying this a year / two years ago? (Yes, yes I know props/trash buttons weren't around then)

But I do not think that Katz' perceived/assumed intransigence is "the end of the story".

Clearly the majority of commenters on this site are now of the opinion that Klowe should be ousted. Presumably that support extends to the oiler fanbase as whole - at least the part of the fanbase that knows who Klowe is.

That was not the case at the beginning of the season.

And if the oil continue there losing way - likely but with a shallower dive than thusfar (it couldn't get worse could it?) this consensus will likely harden and deepen and become more pervasive.

And that could make life very uncomfortable for mr Katz as he goes about his day - exposed to the "fire Klowe" sentiment. It was precisely that kind of mood from the fans that forced Burkes hand causing him to fire Ron Wilson.

...

Good column robin, I agree with pretty much everything you stated. I am more optimistic that Klowe will be removed - things like this can gain momentum quickly (look for it to be a topic of discussion on HNIC real soon) and Katz has been known to cut his losses when necessary in business, perhaps he will apply the same ethic to his hobby (for once).

As for the players with six years and big $$;

These next couple of months could be critical - bad attitudes/ habits could become entrenched or confidence could be lost or a quitter mentality/take the money and run (or demand to be traded) outlook may take hold.

The name that resonates for me when I look at these kids is Luke Schenn. Great promise brought on too quickly, then the talent was eroded by bad coaching and the acclimation to losing. The oils you guns seem to be suffering the same damage to the talent heat shields as they try and enter the NHL orbit. I hope not but these past few games certainly looked bad..:

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#99 Kelly Youngblood
November 04 2013, 10:53PM
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If Mac T can't make his bold moves via trade I think its time to try bold moves of a different sort. Call up Omark, sign a free agent or 2, do something!!!! There is talent out there that might change the course & could shake the voodoo off these guys. I don't analyze the money and amount of contracts the Oilers have but why not put Labarbera on waivers and take a flyer on Bryzgalov? If it don't work out i'm sure Bryz is at least equal to Labarbera's skill set. Why not insert Peter Mueller into the line up and see if he's still got any scoring touch left in him? (if he's available) Big centre that had a decent scoring touch. I'm sure i'll get verbally mauled over my comments by the "informed" fans but my 2 cents is saying JUST DO SOMETHING!!!

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#100 DSF
November 04 2013, 10:58PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

I must say it is gratifying to see all of the props for fire Lowe comments. Where were they when I and a few others were saying this a year / two years ago? (Yes, yes I know props/trash buttons weren't around then)

But I do not think that Katz' perceived/assumed intransigence is "the end of the story".

Clearly the majority of commenters on this site are now of the opinion that Klowe should be ousted. Presumably that support extends to the oiler fanbase as whole - at least the part of the fanbase that knows who Klowe is.

That was not the case at the beginning of the season.

And if the oil continue there losing way - likely but with a shallower dive than thusfar (it couldn't get worse could it?) this consensus will likely harden and deepen and become more pervasive.

And that could make life very uncomfortable for mr Katz as he goes about his day - exposed to the "fire Klowe" sentiment. It was precisely that kind of mood from the fans that forced Burkes hand causing him to fire Ron Wilson.

...

Good column robin, I agree with pretty much everything you stated. I am more optimistic that Klowe will be removed - things like this can gain momentum quickly (look for it to be a topic of discussion on HNIC real soon) and Katz has been known to cut his losses when necessary in business, perhaps he will apply the same ethic to his hobby (for once).

As for the players with six years and big $$;

These next couple of months could be critical - bad attitudes/ habits could become entrenched or confidence could be lost or a quitter mentality/take the money and run (or demand to be traded) outlook may take hold.

The name that resonates for me when I look at these kids is Luke Schenn. Great promise brought on too quickly, then the talent was eroded by bad coaching and the acclimation to losing. The oils you guns seem to be suffering the same damage to the talent heat shields as they try and enter the NHL orbit. I hope not but these past few games certainly looked bad..:

I've been calling for Lowe's head since 2007 after he bungled the Smyth contract extension and then followed that up with his whale hunting expeditions and his devaluation and crappy treatment of Souray and others.

I agree the worm is turning but I'm not sure Oiler fans have the cajones to call out Lowe even when it is so obviously deserved.

If they don't, as a wise man once said of voters, "you always get the government you deserve."

We'll see.

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